Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2015

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



Management; Accounting and Finance

Program or Major

Business Administration

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Jennifer Franczak


This study applied self-determination theory principals and the already existing links to work motivation to examine how praise would moderate the relationship between work motivation and autonomy. Previous literature has already stated that there is a positive relationship between autonomy and work motivation and also a positive relationship between praise and work motivation. A sample of 54 participants was used in a 37 question survey highlighting questions on work motivation, autonomy and praise. Our results yielded that there was in fact a significant relationship between praise moderating the effects of autonomy on work motivation. From this research it is evident that praise plays a much greater role in the level of work motivation that employees have. This is something that managers should pay attention to when creating higher levels of motivation in their company.