Motivation and obsolescence in engineers

R. D. Arvey, C. W. Neel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Employee motivation is a major problem in combating professional obsolescence. Expectancy theory postulates that an individual will be motivated to perform well if certain desired rewards can be expected. To test this theory, a study was made of 98 engineers at a southeastern utility company. Results of the study confirm, to some extent, the validity of expectancy theory. The data also indicate that relatively older engineers value tasks which make use of their abilities and where they can show accomplishment. The authors suggest that assigning tasks which call for creativity and making use of the abilities and talents of older engineers may prove to be a valuable motivating tool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalIndustrial Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1976


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