Employee motivation and job satisfaction in family-owned businesses


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This study aimed to investigate the differences in motivational focus and sources of satisfaction between family and non-family employees in family businesses. Data from a questionnaire survey conducted between May and September 2021 were used to examine the relationship of work motivation between family and non-family employees. Data were collected via a questionnaire and interviews with 56 non-family employees and 148 family employees from family businesses of eight Slovak regions. To meet the stated aim, relevant quantitative methods such as the two-sample Fisher’s F-test, two-sample Student’s t-test with inequality of variances, and the Pearson correlation method were applied. Based on the established results, it can be assumed that it is possible to adapt the dealings with the employees of family companies more closely to their individual needs, and thus contribute to their performance. Non-family employees are more oriented towards economic benefits. Family employees show a more balanced orientation between economic benefits and moral satisfaction. This confirms that financial considerations are still an important factor of motivation for non-family employees. According to the results of the study, non-family employees tend to focus on content and activity, while family employees rather focus on success. A possible explanation could be that family members perceive the success of a company more than their own and feel more confident in the choice of activities they would like to carry out, so they take this fact more than for granted.

This paper has been supported by funds of the project VEGA No. 1/0240/20. This study was supported by the project GAAA 5-5/2020 “Development of family businesses in Slovak regions”, which has received funding from Grant Agency Academia Aurea and by project VEGA 1/0813/19 “Managing the development of innovative and start-up forms of businesses in international environment and verification of INMARK concept”, which has received funding from the Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Sport of the Slovak Republic.

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    • Conceptualization
      Ladislav Mura, Zuzana Hajduova, Marián Smorada
    • Investigation
      Ladislav Mura, Zuzana Hajduova, Marián Smorada, Zuzana Jakubova
    • Resources
      Ladislav Mura, Marián Smorada, Zuzana Jakubova
    • Writing – original draft
      Ladislav Mura, Zuzana Hajduova, Marián Smorada
    • Writing – review & editing
      Ladislav Mura
    • Methodology
      Zuzana Hajduova, Zuzana Jakubova