Individual differences in reward preferences

what 'type' of reward for which 'type' of employee?

Lauren Krause

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This paper examines individual differences in reward preferences. Traditionally organisations reward employees financially for their contribution. However with the increasing diversity of the Australian workforce it is important to explore other ways of rewarding employees and organisations should look further than a 'one size fits all' approach. This study investigated personality characteristics (Big Five personality traits, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation) and preferences for experiences or material possessions. A total of 211 Australian participants took part in the study by completing an online survey. The study found that intrinsic motivation and experientialism were significantly positively correlated. Alternatively, extrinsic motivation was found to significantly positively correlate with materialism. This study has implications for matching personaltiy characteristics of individuals in different jobs with reward preferences. For example it seems that people working in 'sales roles' are well suited to cash or material rewards. Alternatively, the results of the study show that people working in 'delivery roles', such as consultants, may be best suited to experiential rewards. It is important to determine what 'types' of rewards are valued by which 'type' of employees so that organisations maximize their investments from their reward programs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersonality down under
Subtitle of host publicationperspectives from Australia
EditorsSimon Boag
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherNova Science Publishers
ISBN (Print)9781604567946
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • experientialism
  • individual differences
  • materialism
  • organisations
  • rewards

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