Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Wesley J. Johnston, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Danny Ballenger, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Todd Maurer, Ph.D.


According to research, organizational innovativness is a key component in a firm’s short- and long-term success. How a firm achieves organizational innovativenss is a hotly debated topic. While much of the literature focuses on sales, marketing, and other customer-facing departments, I investigate network administrators and system administrators in the IT operations departments of firms. In this study, I propose several factors that lead to organizational innovativness by focusing on the IT operations department. Self-determination theory (autonomy, competence, and relatedness) and job attitudes (intention to stay, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment) are utilized to determine job performance and organizational innovativness. Motivation is evaluated as a moderator to determine if the strength of the relationships between constructs changes when employee motivation is considered. My research answers the following question: How and why does self-determination impact employee performance and innovation in IT operations organizations? The study results provide evidence that, while the constructs of self-determination theory do influence job performance and organizational innovativness, motivation does not represent a significant moderating effect in this framework. This indicates once autonomy, competence, relatedness, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment are embedded in an organization, taking measures to add motivation may be a waste of time. The other finding to highlight is that intention to stay did not have a significant effect on job performance. This is likely due to employees not intending to stay at a firm are not interested in performing at a high level or if they are performing optimally, they may be taking the skills they learned and looking for employment elsewhere. This study provides a contribution to theory by aligning the constructs of self determination theory and job attitudes as validated predictors of job performance and organizational innovativness. This theoretical framing has not been presented in the past and also not applied to a setting such as IT operations. This framework can be applied to other organizational departments outside of IT operations. From a practitioner viewpoint, this study highlights how management and human resources departments can provide monitoring and ongoing support focused on instilling autonomy, competence, relatedness, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment as antecedents to job performance and ultimately organizational innovativness. The data from this research study can enable leadership and human resources departments to make more informed decisions regarding motivational techniques within the IT operations departments.


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