Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Olivia Yu


One of the most critical issues facing government over the next decade will be filling management positions vacated by Baby Boomers. The purpose of this quantitative correlational research study was to examine how intrinsic and extrinsic motivations affect job satisfaction among different age cohorts in the public workforce. The public workforce is comprised of Baby Boomers (born 1946- 1964), Generation X (born 1965- 1980) and Generation Y (born1981 to 1996). The theoretical framework for this study was Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory. A random sample of 213 participants: Generation Y = 40, Generation X = 77, and Baby Boomers = 96, participated in an online SurveyMonkey government panel. The panel was composed of local, state, and federal employees. Participants answered the survey using the Career Goals Scale, the Job Satisfaction Scale, and a brief demographics scale. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics as a measure of central tendency. Also, inferential statistics using Pearson product-moment correlations, simple linear regressions, and one-way multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) were conducted to answer three central research questions. Results revealed that both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations affect job satisfaction. Also, results of the individual one-way ANOVAs did not indicate significant differences in intrinsic motivation or job satisfaction among the age cohorts. Finally, pairwise comparisons determined that there were significant differences in extrinsic motivation between Baby Boomers and Generation Y. The information for this study may inform human resource managers in the public sector, about factors that would affect benefit plan policy, and improve recruitment and retention of employees.