The model and the scale which measure the work motivation of tour guides: Case study of tour guides in Ho Chi Minh City

NGUYEN THI THUY (Lecturers, Faculty of Human Resource Management, University of Labor and Social Affairs - Ho Chi Minh City Campus)


This study tests the model and the scale which are used to measure the work motivation of tour guides by using the self-determination theory and the goal theory. This study was conducted by using both qualitative and quantitative research methods with data sets collected from 565 tour guides in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Fingdings from the data analysis which was done by using the principal axis method of factor extraction and the promax rotation factor analysis support the hypothesized model. This study’s results show that the motivation of tour guides is the self-concordance which includes the concepts of internal dynamism, goal-driven motivation and consolidation adjustment motivation. Based on the study’s findings, some managerial implications are proposed.

Keywords: Work motivation, self-concordance, tour guide, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

1. Introduction

Work motivation, on the other hand, is perhaps one of the few areas in psychology that has always been driven by the positive approach of humanizing the workplace and finding ways to help working people satisfy their needs for selfworth and well-being. Theories of motivation explore the sources of pleasure that people experience when they maintain equilibrium and preserve homeostasis by avoiding pain and overstimulation. Other motivational theories focus on the enjoyment people experience when they break through the boundaries of homeostasis and stretch their limits. The sources of pleasure and enjoyment are seen as residing in the individual, in the work environment, and in the fit between the two.

Pritchard (1990) defined motivation as the process that determines how energy is used to satisfy needs. Motivation is a cognitive resource allocation process where a person makes choices as to the time and energy that are to be allocated to an array of motives or tasks. Thus motivation includes the direction, intensity, and persistence of this allocation process. Similar to Vroom’s expectancy theory, Pritchard and his colleagues view motivation as a future-oriented concept in that people, they said, anticipate the amount of need satisfaction that will occur when specific outcomes are received. The perceived relationship between applying energy to actions, and this resulting need satisfaction, influences how much of the energy pool is devoted to that action.

Empirical research on goal-setting theory in the present century continues unabated. As noted earlier, Mitchell and Daniels (2003, p. 231) concluded that it is the single most dominant theory in the field. Locke & Latham (1990) had given the model shows that goal commitment as part of the motivation hub. Goals are the situationally specific form of one’s values (Locke, 2000). To predict what an employee will do in a given situation requires knowledge of how values are translated by the person into specific goals. Thus goals are the immediate precursor of action. They affect action in three ways.

First, goals affect the facts people choose to act on. They regulate the direction of action by focusing attention and behavior on value goal relevant behavior at the expense of non-goal-relevant action. Second, values and goals affect the intensity of one’s actions and the concomitant emotions dependent upon the importance of the goal to the person. The more difficult a valued goal, the more intense the effort to attain it. Third, valued goals affect persistence.

After reviewing the goal-setting literature in the 20th century Locke et al concluded that all goal effects are mediated by knowledge and ability to perform the requisite task. Goal setting without adequate knowledge is useless (Locke, 2000; Locke & Latham, 2005). A goal may affect choice, effort, and persistence, but the employee will not be able to attain the goal unless that individual knows how to do so. The converse is also true. Knowledge in the absence of goals is also useless to the extent that the person has no desire to take action, to make use of that knowledge.

It is common for individuals to set goals but fail to follow through with them. It is equally common for individuals to attain their goals but to be no happier than before. Both of these outcomes, we suggest, involve failures in the conative process (Emmons, 1989; Little, 1993): the motivational sequence that begins at goal inception, continues through the period in which goals are pursued and either attained or abandoned, and has important ramifications for individuals' appiness and further motivation.

2. Self-Determination Theory and Self-Concordance Model

Building on Vroom’s (1964) expectancy-valence theory of motivation, Porter and Lawler (1968) proposed a model of intrinsic and extrinsic work motivation. Intrinsic motivation involves people doing anactivity because they find it interesting and derive spontaneous satisfaction from the activity itself. Extrinsic motivation, in contrast, requires an instrumentality between the activity and some separable consequences such as tangible or verbal rewards, so satisfaction comes not from the activity itself but rather from the extrinsic consequences to which the activity leads. However, one strand of research concerning the additivity of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation was potentially problematic and controversial. Specifically, early studies testing the additivity hypothesis found that tangible extrinsic rewards undermined intrinsic motivation whereas verbal rewards enhanced it (Deci, 1971), thus implying that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can be both positively and negatively interactive rather than additive.

In 1985 Ryan, Connell, and Deci first presented a differentiated analysis of extrinsic motivation using the concepts of internalization. Central to Self-Determination Theory (SDT) is the distinction between autonomous motivation and controlled motivation. Autonomy involves acting with a sense of volition and having the experience of choice. In the words of philosophers such as Dworkin (1988), autonomy means endorsing one’s actions at the highest level of reflection. Intrinsic motivation is an example of autonomous motivation. When people engage an activity because they find it interesting, they are doing the activity wholly volitionally (e.g., I work because it is fun). In contrast, being controlled involves acting with a sense of pressure, a sense of having to engage in the actions. The use of extrinsic rewards in the early experiments was found to induce controlled motivation (e.g., Deci, 1971). SDT postulates that autonomous and controlled motivations differ in terms of both their underlying regulatory processes and their accompanying experiences, and it further suggests that behaviors can be characterized in terms of the degree to which they are autonomous versus controlled. Autonomous motivation and controlled motivation are both intentional, and together they stand in contrast to amotivation, which involves a lack of intention and motivation.

The human capacity to set and pursue personal agendas is sometimes referred to as conation (Hershberger, 1988). Co native processes involve the proactive efforts of individuals to attain outcomes and thus meet their needs (Emmons, 1989; Little, 1993) and can be conceptually distinguished from cognitive and affective processes (Kanfer, 1989). The importance of this complex process for individuals' well-being and level of adjustment and the need to understand the process are readily apparent.

The Self-Concordance motivation model is the result of a system of linking goals, competencies, and decisions. Maybe assume that all motivated individuals pursue goals, even though individuals vary in the degree to which they are clearly aware of those goals in everyday life (Emmons, 1986). Developing from self-determination presentations and goal theory, the authors Sharon K. Parker, Uta K. Bindl & Karoline Straus (2010) approached the workforce in a proactive aspect. Accordingly, the model effect is configured by the last three concepts in the contentization process, namely intrinsic motivation, target-driven motivation and integration dynamics.

Fig 1: Proactive motivation model (Sharon et al, 2010)

Proactive motivation model (Sharon et al, 2010)

The content process is the work of adjusting outward dynamics gradually closer to the outside motivation of each individual. The content process is the work of adjusting outward dynamics gradually closer to the outside motivation of each individual. in the model on external dynamics includes two types of motivation, the last component of the internalization process is Identified Motivation & Integrated Motivation and Intrinsic Motivation.

Identified Motivation: This is the motivation being autonomously extrinsically motivated requires that people identify with the value of a behavior for their own self-selected goals. With identified regulation, people feel greater freedom and volition because the behavior is more congruent with their personal goals and identities. They perceive the cause of their behavior to have an internal that is, to reflect an aspect of themselves. Example: If nurses strongly value their patients’ comfort and health and understand the importance of doing their share of the unpleasant tasks for the patients’ well-being, the nurses would feel relatively autonomous while performing such tasks (e.g., bathing patients), even though the activities are not intrinsically interesting.

Integrated Motivation: This is the fullest type of internalization, which allows extrinsic motivation to be truly autonomous or volitional, involves the integration of an identification with other aspects of oneself-that is, with other identifications, interests, and values. With integrated regulation, people have a full sense that the behavior is an integral part of who they are, that it emanates from their sense of self and is thus self-determined. Example: if integrated, the nurses would not only identify with the importance of the activities for maintaining their patients’ comfort and health, but regulation of the activities would be integrated with other aspects of their jobs and lives. Thus, the profession of nurse would be more central to their identity, they would be more likely to act in ways that are consistent with caring for people more generally, and they could come to appreciate the importance of doing uninteresting activities.

Integrated regulation is theorized to represent the most developmentally advanced form of extrinsic motivation, and it shares some qualities with the other type of autonomous motivation, namely, intrinsic motivation. Integrated regulation does not, however, become intrinsic motivation but is still considered extrinsic motivation (albeit an autonomous form of it) because the motivation is characterized not by the person being interested in the activity but rather by the activity being instrumentally important for personal goals. In short, intrinsic motivation and integrated extrinsic motivation are the two different types of autonomous motivation (with identified extrinsic motivation being relatively autonomous).

Intrinsic Motivation: An intrinsic motivation associated with doing micro-work with interests directly related to the activity rather than by an unrelated result (Example: A student attends a full and active class learn English because I enjoy the knowledge I learn after each lesson). That is basically the distinction between the engine inside from the dynamic outside.

3. Method

This study uses a combination of two research methods are quantifiable and qualitative. In the quantifiable research methods, the author conducts in-depth interviews with experts in the travel and tourism industry, including the leader of the travel management center of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Tourism, the directors of the Travel Agency and tour guides to explore the concept of work motivation.

Qualitative research results show that, for the tour guide profession demonstrating high self-control at work, they like to work independently and are empowered to have autonomy and self-determination. like solving problems that arise at work. Approaching the internalization process, the working motivation of the tour guide is the self-control one. Next, the author conducted group interviews to discover and complete the scale. The scale used in qualitative research is extracted from the original scale of Tremblay et al. (2009) with 3 component concepts (Identified Motivation, Integrated Motivation and Intrinsic Motivation) with nine items. Through the discussion process, the questionnaires are adjusted to suit the specifics of the profession and the research context as well as Vietnamese culture while adding an observational variable of the concept of intrinsic motivation. Next, the questionnaire is completed and put into official quantitative research. Data were collected from a sample of 565 tour guides in Ho Chi Minh city, Viet Nam. The methods of data analysis with principal axis factoring and Promax rotation results support the hypothesized model.

4. Results

4.1. Descriptive statistics results

Surveying the way of direct interviews and online interviews with google.doc tool. The total number of votes sent (including online and offline) was 600 and returned 580 votes, after checking and cleaning there were 15 papers rejected due to the error of the remaining information, 565 satisfactory votes. needs to be analyzed. The socio-demographic measures have also been included in this study. Descriptive statistics associated with major measures included in the study may be found in Table 1.

Table 1. Descriptive Statistics Results

Descriptive Statistics Results

According to the results of the data synthesis above, the number of surveyed samples corresponding to the expected criteria (stratified sample) is relatively satisfactory. Specifically, the ratio of men and women is approximately the same; Regarding the card type, about 52,4%  inbound and 47,6% outbound; About 60% of age group is under 40 years old; Regarding the form of employment with the company, the tour operators have 26,9% of tour guides being organic in travel companies, semi-organic tour guides are nearly 19,6%, the rest are freelance tour operators (53,5 %); Regarding the language to register for practice, domestic tour guide uses Vietnamese (47,6%), international tour guide using English is 36,5%, and other languages only accounts for 15,9%;

Based on the survey results, the average values of the observed variables are summarized and concluded in Table 2, showing that almost all observations are at the average level (falling from 2.63 up to 3,04).

Table 2. Descriptive Statistics Medium Value Results

Descriptive Statistics Medium Value Results

4.2. Factor Analysis Results

Table 3. Summary Cronbach's Alpha and EFA Results

Summary Cronbach's Alpha and EFA Results

The table above shows that there are 3 out of 3 component concepts used to measure the concept of working motivation, all have a Cronbach’s Alpha > 0.6, it can be concluded that the dynamic scale works with 3 concepts. The results of EFA analysis have KMO = 0.886 > 0.5 and Sig. = .000 < 0.05. The working motivation scale has 3 components that are extracted: internal motivation (IM), target adjustment motivation (IDM) and consolidated adjustment motivation (INM) with total extracted variance. is 76,482% > 60% with the weight of all factors are greater than 0.5. Thus, we can conclude that the scale explains well the concept of working motivation.

4.3. Confirmatory Factor Analysis Results (CFA)

Fig 2: Analysis CFA Results

Analysis CFA Results

The CFA results (fig 2) and results of the SEM linear structure model test (fig 3) with statistical parameters are good. Specifically, in SEM results: Chi-square = 60.808, CMIN/df = 1.900 < 2, TLI = 0.981 > 0.95, GFI = 0.966 > 0.95, CFI = 0.987 > 0.95 and RMSEA index = 0.050 < 0.05. This result shows that the theoretical model achieves high compatibility with market data.

Fig 3: Standardized Regression Weights: Analysis SEM Results

Standardized Regression Weights: Analysis SEM Results

5. Discussion and conclusions

This study approaches the concept of work motivation in terms of proactive motivation. This is a multidimensional concept with 3 components: goal-driven motivation, consolidation adjustment motivation and internal dynamism. Research results show the suitability of the theoretical model with the instructors' practical data.

In addition, with the sample size of the surveyed representative of 565 guides in Ho Chi Minh City, the analysis shows that the working motivation of tour guides in the survey area is only at an average low level (Mean value = 2.89 < 3). In which the lowest is the Identified motivation according to the target (Mean value = 2.72), followed by the intrinsic motivation (mean value as 2.89) and finally the Intergrated Motivation (Mean value as 3.01 > 3) reaching the average level.

Regarding the current situation of the labor force of tourist tour guides in the area is not high at present and there is no difference in the results of this study among groups which are at average low level (2.89). Specifically, the mean value of the target motive is the lowest (2.68) followed by the internal dynamic (2.98) and the consolidated adjustment motivation (3.02). This result shows that the tour guide has not clearly defined their job goals or if so, this goal is not really consistent with personal aspirations and orientations, so the motivational aspect of the tour guide's work. to hit a low-level target. The lowest mean observation is ID3 “I choose this job to achieve important goals” (2.63) which means that the job goals here with the individual tour guide are not helping. they are either not tied to the achievement of the tour guide's important personal goals. In addition, because the labor force is influenced by many factors, considering in this study the factor is personal brand orientation, the average value of this factor is only average, so it partly reflects the characteristics. In terms of the personal and professional goals of the research sample, their labor force is also affected (not high).

Intrinsic motivation and fusion motivation have a higher average value than target motivation, this shows that the instructor's work behavior is mainly derived from the passion of the profession, love of the current job. The observed variable IN3 "This job is a part of my life" has the highest average value (3.04), showing that tour guides "love their job" very much and considers their job as part of their life.


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Giảng viên khoa Quản lý nguồn nhân lực,

Trường Đại học Lao động Xã hội (Cơ cở 2)


Bài viết nhằm khám phá mô hình và thang đo để đo lường động lực làm việc của hướng dẫn viên du lịch dựa trên lý thuyết tự quyết định và lý thuyết mục tiêu. Nghiên cứu này sử dụng kết hợp hai phương pháp nghiên cứu là định lượng và định tính. Dữ liệu được thu thập từ mẫu 565 hướng dẫn viên du lịch tại Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam. Kết quả phân tích dữ liệu bằng phương pháp Principal Axis Factoring và phép quay Promax trong phân tích mô hình cấu trúc tuyến tính SEM đã hỗ trợ mô hình giả thuyết được đề xuất. Kết quả nghiên cứu cho thấy động lực của hướng dẫn viên du lịch là động lực tự chủ, đây là một khái niệm đa hướng bao gồm gồm 3 khái niệm thành phần: động lực nội tại, động lực mục tiêu và động lực hòa nhập. Thang đo được kiểm tra để xác định mức độ ý nghĩa thống kê. Cuối cùng, tác giả đưa ra phân tích mức độ động lực và đề xuất một số hàm ý quản trị.

Từ khóa: Động lực làm việc, động lực chủ động, hướng dẫn viên du lịch, Thành phố Hồ Chí Minh, Việt Nam.

[Tạp chí Công Thương - Các kết quả nghiên cứu khoa học và ứng dụng công nghệ, Số 23, tháng 9 năm 2020]