Original Research

The relationship between personality types and reward preferences

R. Nienaber, M. H.R. Bussin, C. Henn
Acta Commercii | Vol 11, No 2 | a153 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ac.v11i2.153 | © 2011 R. Nienaber, M. H.R. Bussin, C. Henn | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 December 2011 | Published: 06 December 2011

About the author(s)

R. Nienaber, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
M. H.R. Bussin, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa
C. Henn, Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management, University of Johannesburg, South Africa

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Orientation: Research has shown that total rewards models structured according to individual preferences, positively influence efforts to attract, retain and motivate key employees. Yet, this is seldom done. Structuring total rewards models according to the preferences of employee segments is a viable alternative to accommodate individual preferences.

Research purpose: The primary aim of the study was to determine the relationship between personality types and reward preferences. The secondary aim was to determine the reward preferences for different demographic groups.

Motivation for the study: An enhanced understanding of reward preferences for different employee segments will enable employers to offer more competitive reward options to their employees. This may, in turn, have a positive impact on retention.

Research design, approach and method: Two measuring instruments, the MBTI® Form GRV and the Rewards Preferences Questionnaire, were distributed electronically to 5 000 potential respondents. The results from 589 sets of questionnaires were used in the data analyses. Primary and secondary factor analyses were done on the items in the Rewards Preferences Questionnaire.

Main findings/results: The study confirmed that individuals with certain personality types and personality preferences, have different preferences for certain reward categories. There was a stronger relationship between reward preferences and personality preferences than for reward preferences and personality types. Preferences for reward categories by different demographic groups were confirmed. The significant difference in reward preferences between Black and White respondents in particular was noteworthy, with Black respondents indicating significantly higher mean scores for all reward categories than White respondents. Finally, a total rewards framework influenced by the most prominent preferences for reward categories, was designed.

Practical/Managerial implications: This study confirms that there are significant differences in the reward preferences of different segments. Management can more effectively structure reward models according to these preferences without increasing overall costs.

Contribution/value-add: The existing body of knowledge on the reward preferences of people with different personality types and personality preferences are enhanced. In addition, the study on the reward preferences of different demographic groups within a South African context adds considerably to the existing body of literature. Based on research results, a total rewards framework, on employee preferences, was designed. Furthermore, an increased understanding of the reward categories that contribute towards .the attraction, retention and motivation of employees as well as preferences for certain reward categories, have been obtained.


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