The Relationship Between Employee Motivation and Evaluation Capacity in a Community-Based Education Organization

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Anuradha Sen
Thomas Archibald
James C. Anderson
Tiffany Drape


  • Background: Evaluation capacity building (ECB) has gained popularity among organizations due to the increased importance of accountability and organizational effectiveness. While the ECB literature has occasionally addressed the notion of motivation, it has usually been in terms of motivation to do or use evaluation (Clinton, 2014; Taylor-Ritzler et al., 2013); this study sought to ascertain whether general overall employee motivation in an organization is itself related to evaluation capacity. By better understanding this relationship, those who are involved in administering, implementing, evaluating, or researching ECB can be better equipped to understand one of the ‘mediating conditions’ or ‘antecedent conditions’ (Cousins et al., 2014) affecting an organization’s ability to do and use evaluation, and, in turn, can more efficiently and effectively craft their ECB work.

  • Purpose: The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between: (a) employee motivation and individual evaluation capacity; (b) employee motivation and evaluative thinking, and (c) evaluation capacity and evaluative thinking.

  • Setting: The study focused on the Cooperative Extension System, a non-formal community-based education organization linked to public land-grant universities throughout the United States. Specifically, this study drew participants from two state Extension systems, Virginia and Maryland.

  • Intervention: Not applicable.

  • Research Design: This quantitative study used a descriptive correlational design (Creswell, 2003) to uncover the relationship between the variables: motivation and evaluation capacity, motivation and evaluative thinking, and evaluation capacity and evaluative thinking.

  • Data Collection and Analysis: To investigate the relationship between the factors of interest (motivation, evaluation capacity, and evaluative thinking), three instruments were used: the Multidimensional Work Motivation Scale (MWMS), the Evaluation Capacity Assessment Instrument (ECAI), and the Evaluative Thinking Inventory (ETI). STATA MP 13.1 quantitative software was used to analyze the collected data.

  • Findings: Employees with lower overall motivation in doing their work have lower evaluation capacity, and employees with higher motivation which is triggered by no external means but driven by internal factors have higher evaluation capacity.


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Sen, A., Archibald, T., Anderson, J. C., & Drape, T. (2023). The Relationship Between Employee Motivation and Evaluation Capacity in a Community-Based Education Organization. Journal of MultiDisciplinary Evaluation, 19(45), 3–18. (Original work published September 15, 2023)


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