• Ashley Whillans


The Power of Workplace Rewards: Using Self-Determination Theory to Understand Why Reward Satisfaction Matters for Workers Around the World. Ashley Whillans, April 17, 2019, Paper, "How can workplace rewards promote employee well-being and engagement? To answer these questions, we utilized self-determination theory to examine whether reward satisfaction predicted employee well-being, job satisfaction, intrinsic motivation and affective commitment, as well as valuable organizational outcomes, such as workplace contribution and loyalty. Specifically, we investigated the role of three universal psychological needs—autonomy, competence and relatedness—in explaining whether and why reward satisfaction matters for employees’ well-being. We tested our model in a large, cross-sectional study with full-time employees working for multinational corporations in six main world regions: Asia, Europe, India, Latin America, North America and Oceania (N = 5,852). Consistent with our theorizing, we found cross-cultural evidence that reward satisfaction promoted greater employee functioning through psychological need satisfaction, contributing to better organizational outcomes. Critically, our results were consistent regardless of geographic location. As such, this study provides some of the strongest evidence to date for the power of understanding psychological mechanisms in the workplace: Regardless of the actual rewards that employees received, how workplace rewards made employees feel significantly predicted their optimal functioning." Link