The impact of Islamic work values on employees' job performance in Malaysia

  • Mastura Ab. Wahab

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This thesis investigates the impact of Islamic work values (IWVs) on job performance among employees in Malaysian organisations. IWVs blend their religious content with the quality performance of commercial values, which increases the scope and the compatibility of IWVs to fit into a broader context. In Malaysia, IWVs are greatly valued and widely practised in many organisations. The Malaysian government initiated the implementation of selected Islamic work values in public organisations in the early 1980s which were later adopted by the Malaysian corporate sector. In spite of their growing importance in the management of contemporary Malaysian organisations, there has been very little extensive study in this area because the influence of IWVs in driving the employees’ performance has been overshadowed by other new trends for managing employees’ performance quality such as team working, empowerment and Total Quality Management (TQM). Therefore, the objectives of this thesis are to identify the IWVs and then to ascertain the level of impact of IWVs on employees’ job performance. A mixed-method design was chosen consisting of a qualitative, followed by a quantitative approach. The qualitative research included lexical analysis, experts’ assessments and a focus group, whilst for the quantitative study a survey method was used. In analyzing the survey data, an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) using varimax rotation was performed, followed by a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). EFA was firstly used for theory building to see how the measures might group into constructs. The SEM was used to psychometrically establish the IWVs constructs in terms of their validity and reliability. The SEM with structural paths was then applied to test the hypotheses. For this, a total of seven Malaysian organisations were sampled. 447 matched set questionnaires were distributed of which 239 were completed and returned, yielding a response rate of 53.46 per cent. In general, the findings of this thesis indicate the significant positive impact of such work values as responsibility, perfectionism, benevolence and gratitude on the employees’ job performance. Among these, responsibility was found to be the strongest IWV contributing to the performance effectiveness of employees. The study also distinguished the IWVs into two main factors: setting-related and task-related work values. The results reveal that patience-perseverance, consultative-cooperative, continuous self-criticism and piety contribute to the effectiveness of setting-related work values on contextual performance. In the case of task-related work values, the study demonstrates the IWVs of perfectionism,responsibility,benevolence,competitivecooperative, gratitude and self-discipline to be the strongest predictors of task-related work values affecting contextual performance. Furthermore, the IWVs have been found to have a greater effect on contextual performance than on task performance. The performance in this study has shown a dyadic style in which work performance is escalated through contextual performance which, consequently, could have an impact on task performance. The findings of this study have important implication for the management of organisations in Malaysia which are highlighted in the thesis. The study also contributes to a refinement of the current theory and an advancement of knowledge of management work values. The findings suggest useful guidelines for managers to develop appropriate strategies in managing their performance effectiveness and, most importantly, it broadens and deepens our understanding of IWVs and their impact on work performance as a central theme to achieve quality in management at the organisational level in Malaysia.
    Date of Award2012
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorWahyu Sutiyono (Supervisor), Deborah Blackman (Supervisor), Ali Quazi (Supervisor) & Alice Richardson (Supervisor)

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