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Empirical evidence demonstrates that motivated employees mean better organizational performance. The objective of this conceptual paper is to articulate the progress that has been made in understanding employee motivation and organizational performance, and to suggest how the theory concerning employee motivation and organizational performance may be advanced. We acknowledge the existing limitations of theory development and suggest an alternative research approach. Current motivation theory development is based on conventional quantitative analysis (e.g., multiple regression analysis, structural equation modeling). Since researchers are interested in context and understanding of this social phenomena holistically, they think in terms of combinations and configurations of a set of pertinent variables. We suggest that researchers take a set-theoretic approach to complement existing conventional quantitative analysis. To advance current thinking, we propose a set-theoretic approach to leverage employee motivation for organizational performance.

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This document was originally published in the Journal of Innovation & Knowledge by Elsevier. This work is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivatives 4.0 License. Details regarding the use of this work can be found at: doi: 10.1016/j.jik.2016.01.004

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