motivation, organizational commitment, restaurants, hourly employees


Employee motivation shall be defined by Robbins (as cited in Ramlall, 2004) as: "the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort's ability to satisfy some individual need." To engage in the practice of motivating employees, employers must understand the unsatisfied needs of each of the employee groups. This study desires to provide practitioners in the restaurant industry the ability to recognize motivators for these different employment groups and their relationship to organizational commitment. The restaurant industry consists of two types of employees: salaried and hourly. This study focuses on hourly employees, and their subdivision: tipped employees. For the purpose of this research hourly employees shall be defined as employees that depend on their hourly wage as their main source of income and tipped employees shall be defined as employees that depend on the receipt of tips as their main source of income. The purpose of this study desires to provide practitioners in the restaurant industry a comparison and analysis of employee motivation between the two employment groups and their level of organizational commitment. After formulating a thorough research review, a questionnaire instrument was assembled. The sample for this study was a convenience sample consisting of 104 restaurant hourly tipped and non-tipped, front of the house personnel employed in a single branded, national restaurant chain located in the metropolitan area of Orlando, Florida. The research instrument was a survey questionnaire instrument comprised of three sections: 1.) twelve motivational factors derived from Kovach (1995), 2.) nine questions from the reduced OCQ from Mowday, Steers, and Porter (1979), and a section concerning demographic information of gender, age, race, education level, marital status, job type and tenure in the industry. Results from the study revealed that firstly, all of the employees in this thesis study felt that management loyalty was the most important motivating factor; secondly, intrinsic motivation factors were more important to non-tipped hourly employees; thirdly, gender had a strong influence in half of the motivating factors; fourthly, promotion and career development was found to be more important to non-tipped employees; lastly, overall mostly medium positive relationships were found between employee motivation and organizational commitment. Implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed in the final chapter.


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Graduation Date





Upchurch, Randall


Master of Science (M.S.)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management

Degree Program

Hospitality and Tourism Management








Release Date

January 2006

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)


Rosen College of Hospitality Management