Forget about the money? A latent profile analysis of calling and work motivation in Chinese employees

Zhang, Chunyu; Hirschi, Andreas (2021). Forget about the money? A latent profile analysis of calling and work motivation in Chinese employees. Career development international, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print), pp. 1-14. Emerald 10.1108/CDI-12-2019-0294

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Purpose – Calling is typically associated with more intrinsic than extrinsic work motivation. This could give the impression that employees with a calling do not need or care about external rewards. To deepen the understanding of the relationship between calling and work motivation, we tested how calling is combined with different types of work motivation and how such combinations affect work outcomes differentially.
Design/methodology/approach – We applied latent profile analysis among Chinese employees with diverse occupations (N = 1,290) to identify calling and work motivation profiles and test their relations with work outcomes, assessed four months later.
Findings – Four profiles emerged: externally motivated low calling, moderately externally motivated calling, moderately motivated calling, and highly motivated calling. Employees with weaker and stronger callings indicated being extrinsically motivated for work. Employees in the highly motivated calling profile exhibited highest job satisfaction, lowest cynicism, and lowest turnover intentions, followed by employees in the moderately motivated calling profile, the moderately externally motivated calling profile, and the externally motivated low calling profile.
Implications – Our findings imply that employees with a strong calling do care about external rewards and also benefit from external incentives to work.
Originality/value – This study is the first to explore the differential relationship between calling and work motivation. Moreover, our findings offer insights regarding the under-researched notion that different types of calling predict work outcomes differently.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Work and Organisational Psychology

UniBE Contributor:

Hirschi, Andreas


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology








Christine Soltermann

Date Deposited:

18 Feb 2021 11:42

Last Modified:

09 Jul 2021 21:36

Publisher DOI:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Calling profiles, work motivation, external motivation, latent profile analysis, job satisfaction




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