n Acta Commercii - Influence of reward preferences in attracting, retaining, and motivating knowledge workers in South African information technology companies : original research

Volume 15, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2413-1903
  • E-ISSN: 1684-1999



The world of work is evolving and the nature of relationships between knowledge workers and their employers has changed distinctly, leading to a change in the type of rewards they prefer. The nature of these preferences in the South African, industry-specific context is poorly understood. The purpose of this study was to deepen understanding of the reward preferences of Information technology (IT) knowledge workers in South Africa, specifically as these relate to the attraction, retention and motivation of knowledge workers.

The research design included a quantitative, empirical and descriptive study of reward preferences, measured with a self-administered survey and analysed using non-parametric tests for variance between dependent and independent groups and non-parametric analysis of variance.
This study found that there are specific reward preferences in knowledge workers in the IT sector in South Africa and that these preferences apply differently when related to the attraction, retention and motivation of employees. It identified the most important reward components in the ompetition for knowledge workers and also demonstrated that demographic characteristics play a statistically significant role in etermining rewardpreferences.
The study's findings show that a holistic approach to total rewards is required, failing which, companies will find themselves facing increased turnover and jobhopping. Importantly, the study also highlights that different rewards need to form part of knowledge workers' relationship with their employer in three different scenarios: attraction, retention and motivation.

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