Diving into detailed experiences: Muslim employees on Islamic work ethic, organisational (in) justice, and other motivational factors
Abdullah Alshuweihi, Athari
Van Ewijk, Anne
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This study explores how Muslim public sector employees in Al Ain, a relatively traditional region within the United Arab Emirates, experience Islamic work ethic and how they feel that AWE mingles with other motivational elements in alleviating negative effects of perceived organisational injustice on work motivation. While existing literature provides ample statistical evidence of this effect, there is little qualitative empirical research providing insights that managers might make use of to increase work motivation. Through iterative coding rounds in NVivo, this phenomenological study performs a hierarchical template analysis with code frequencies of 24 in-depth semi-structured interviews. The data reveal how some core elements of AWE are experienced as more directive at work than others, whereby the perceived relative importance differs between male and female employees. Furthermore, the findings suggest that a stronger feeling of AWE is often accompanied by experiences of other intrinsic motivators, while less reliance on AWE tends to coincide with higher sensitivity to perceived organisational injustice and other extrinsic motivators. These insights provide support for using a context-centric approach to help managers understand and leverage AWE as motivator.