Money Profiles as Related to Work-Related Attitudes: An Examination of the Money Ethic Endorsement Among Citizens in the USAThomas Li-Ping Tang, Department of Management and Marketing, College of Business Middle Tennessee State University Murfreesboro, Tennessee 37132 USA Theresa Li-Na Tang, FISI-Cendant Brentwood, TN 37027 USA Roberto Luna-Arocas, Department of Administration and Marketing University of Valencia Valencia, Spain
This research was supported by funds from the Faculty Research and Creative Activity Committee of Middle Tennessee State University.
Address all correspondence to Thomas Li-Ping Tang, PO Box 516, Department of Management, College of Business, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132 USA. Telephone: (615) 898-2005, Fax: (615) 898-5308, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A total of 564 citizens in the United States was classified into four money profiles based on the six Factors (Good, Evil, Achievement, Respect, Budget, and Power) of the Money Ethic Scale (Tang, 1992) using cluster analysis. Money Repellers (15.54%) have the lowest scores on Factors Good and Power and the highest on Factor Evil. Apathetic Money Handlers (31.08%) have the lowest scores on Factors Respect and Achievement and the highest on Budget. Careless Money Admirers (30.16%) have the lowest scores on Factors Budget and Evil. Achieving Money Worshipers (23.22%) have the highest scores on Factors Good, Respect, Achievement, and Power. Achieving Money Worshipers have the highest level of organization-based self-esteem, the Protestant Work Ethic, intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, and satisfaction with social and self-actualization needs, whereas Money Repellers have the lowest. Apathetic Money Handlers have the highest level of satisfaction with physiological and safety needs. Results offer further support for the Money Ethic Scale and the four money profiles.
Keywords: Money Profiles, Money Ethic Endorsement, and Work-Related Attitudes
Money Profiles as Related to Work-Related Attitudes: An Examination of the Money Ethic Endorsement Among Citizens in the USA
Money can be considered as the instrument of commerce and as the measure of value (Smith, 1776/1937). Managers may use money to attract, retain, and motivate their employees (Chiu, Luk, & Tang, 1998; Milkovich & Newman, 1999; Opsahl & Dunnette, 1966; Whyte, 1955). Although money is used universally, the meaning of money is in the eye of the beholder (McClelland, 1967). People’s attitudes toward money are learned through the socialization process, established early in childhood, and maintained in adult life (Furnham & Argyle, 1998). Money attitudes may reflect people’s life experiences (Furnham, 1984; Wernimont & Fitzpatrick, 1972) and may be used as a “frame of reference” to examine their everyday life (Tang, 1992, p. 201).
On the one hand, for many managers and researchers, money is a motivator (e.g., Gupta & Shaw, 1998; Lawler, 1971). Most people in our societies work very hard for their money. In America, money is how we keep score and income is used to judge success (Rubenstein, 1981). Employees’ beliefs about money are also clearly related to their actual economic behavior. On the other hand, according to the motivator-hygiene theory of motivation, pay is considered as a hygiene factor and not a motivator (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). Others support this notion (Cameron & Pierce, 1994; Kohn, 1993, 1998; Pearce, 1987; Pfeffer, 1998).
Tang and his associates (Luna-Arocas & Tang, 1999; Tang, Tillery, Lazarevski, & Luna-Arocas, 1999) assert that people, in general, may have positive, indifferent, and negative attitudes toward money. Moreover, it is possible to classify people into money profiles based on the Money Ethic Scale (Tang, 1992, 1995; Tang & Luna-Arocas, 1999; Tang & Kim, 1999a; Tang, Luna-Arocas, & Whiteside, 1997). Luna-Arocas and Tang (1999) examined university professors in the USA and Spain and identified four money profiles using the 15-item Money Ethic Scale (Tang & Luna-Arocas, 1999): Achieving Money Worshiper, Careless Money Admirer, Apathetic Money Handler, and Money Repeller. The five factors of the Money Ethic Scale are: Budget, Evil, Equity, Success, and Motivator.
Achieving Money Worshipers have the most positive attitudes toward money. They worship money as their Success and Budget money carefully. Money Repellers have the most negative attitudes toward money. They consider that money is Evil and is not Success. The other two clusters of people fall between these two extremes. That is, Careless Money Admirers have somewhat positive and indifferent attitudes toward money. They value Success but do not Budget money carefully. Apathetic Money Handlers have somewhat negative and indifferent attitudes toward money. They think that money is neither Evil nor a Motivator and tend to have high intrinsic job satisfaction and life satisfaction. They may adopt the simplicity movement, scaling back, living on less, and liking it.
It is also interesting to note that, in that sample, American professors who teach in the College of Business have the highest income among all different colleges. Further, most of Business professors (75%) are in the Achieving Money Worshiper cluster. Thus, high-income professors have the most positive attitudes toward money and the highest satisfaction with pay and pay administration. They also tend to have the highest work ethic and the longest work experiences. Money Repellers have the most negative attitudes toward money, the lowest income, the lowest work ethic, and the lowest satisfaction with pay administration.
Moreover, Tang, Tillery, Lazarevski, and Luna-Arocas (1999) investigated 30 university students in the College of Management at Kiril and Methodi University and 60 small business owners and employees in large organizations in Skopje, the capital of the Republic of Macedonia. The same four money profiles are also identified in the Macedonian sample. The largest cluster for working people is Achieving Money Worshiper (45.0%) and the smallest one is Apathetic Money Handler (6.7%). For students, the largest money profile is Money Repeller (53.6%). Again, those who have money tend to have the most positive attitudes toward money and are Achieving Money Worshipers. It appears that the four money profiles can be consistently identified in different populations and cultures using the 15-item Money Ethic Scale.
The main purpose of the present study is to investigate the money profiles using the original 30-item, six-factor Money Ethic Scale (Tang, 1992) in a sample of citizens in the United States. The six money factors are Good, Evil, Achievement, Respect, Budget, and Power. Several different variables are examined in this study. Relevant literature will be reviewed below.
The Increasing Importance of Money
In the wake of global competition, organizations are increasingly interested in reducing labor costs and increasing worker productivity. Money may play an important role in achieving these goals. Money does improve performance quantity and does not erode intrinsic motivation (Gupta & Shaw, 1998). However, the jury is still out regarding the impact of financial incentives on performance quality (Gupta & Shaw, 1998). For the past two decades, there is a significant increase regarding the importance of money and income in the USA and in many countries around the world (Abramson & Inglehart, 1995; England, 1991; Gottlieb & Yuchtman-Yaar, 1983; Mitchell & Mickel, in press; Mitchell, Mickel, Dakin, & Gray, 1998; Tang, Tang, Tang, & Dozier, 1998).
The psychology of money has become an important topic in organizational behavior. Money attitudes have been examined in studies of work-related attitudes and behavior (e.g., Furnham & Argyle, 1998), voluntary turnover (Tang, Kim, & Tang, in press), consumption (Luna-Arocas, Quintanilla-Pardo, & Dнaz, 1995), and risky economic behaviors (Fank, 1994). It is impossible to cover the totality of attitudes towards money in this paper (see Furnham & Argyle, 1998).
Money attitudes are related to different aspects of satisfaction and work-related attitudes (Cranny, Smith, & Stone, 1992; Tang, 1992). Money attitudes can be perceived from three perspectives: the person (cf. Arvey, Abraham, Bauchard, & Segal, 1989; Staw. Bell, & Clausen, 1986), the environment (e.g., Judge, 1992), and the interaction between the person and the environment (i.e., B = f (P x E)) (e.g., Steel & Rentsch, 1997). We argue that peoples’ money attitudes may change over time. People may select college majors and enter careers due to their money attitudes (i.e., a self-selection process). Moreover, in a given environment, people’s attitudes are modified further based on the interaction between the person and the environment (Tang & Smith-Brandon, 1999; Tang, Smith-Brandon, & Tang, 1997).
Rich people tend to be perceived as being physically fit and healthy (Luft,1957). Poor children tend to overestimate the size of coins significantly more than do the rich children (Bruner & Goodman, 1947). Older people tend to have more positive beliefs toward money than their younger counterparts (Tang, 1992). The socialization process (Kirkcaldy & Furnham, 1993), the socio-economic background, the stage of one’s development in life, the symbolism (format) of money (i.e., coin, note, check, or credit card) (Webley, Lea, & Portalska, 1983), and the culture and economic condition of the country (Tang, Furnham, & Davis, 1996) have impacts on the meaning of money. Tang and Kim (1999b) suggest that there are significant differences in money attitudes between university students and full-time employees in the USA because they have different experiences in using and making money.
Classify People Based on Different Money Attitudes
Profiling people based on their money attitudes may enhance researchers and practitioners’ understanding of people’s attitudes toward money, pay satisfaction, turnover, and work-related behavior (e.g., Doyle, 1992, Forman, 1987, Furnham, 1996, Goldberg & Lewis, 1978, Wiseman, 1974). The discussion of all money types is beyond the scope of the present paper. Very few studies in the literature have actually classified people “empirically” using money-related attitudes. In this study, we will employ the Money Ethic Scale to develop money profiles and examine their work-related attitudes.
The Money Ethic Scale
Tang (1992) developed a 30-item Money Ethic Scale (MES). The six factors of MES can be grouped into three major components: affective (Good and Evil), cognitive (Achievement, Respect, and Power), and behavioral (Budget) component. Tang (1992) found that age and sex (female) are positively related to Factor Budget. Further, high-income people tend to think that money represents their Achievement and money is not Evil. Young people tend to see money as Evil. Factor Achievement is negatively correlated with satisfaction of work, promotion, supervision, and coworkers (cf. Smith, Kendall & Hulin, 1975) and overall life satisfaction.
Tang and Gilbert (1995) found that intrinsic job satisfaction (cf. Weiss, Dawis, England, & Lofquist, 1967) is associated with Factor Power, whereas extrinsic job satisfaction is negatively associated with Factor Evil. The Protestant Work Ethic (cf. Blood, 1969) is significantly correlated with Factors Good, Achievement, Respect, and Power. Further, the Protestant Work Ethic (cf. Mirels & Garrett, 1971) is correlated with Factors Evil, Budget, and Power (Tang, 1992) and is related to Factors Achievement, Respect, and Evil (Tang, 1993).
Tang developed several versions of the Money Ethic Scale (MES): the 30-item MES (Tang, 1992), the 12-item MES (Tang, 1995), the 6-item MES (Tang & Kim, 1999a), and the 15-item MES (Tang & Luna-Arocas, 1999). The Money Ethic Scale has been used in full-time employees (Tang, 1992, 1995), mental health workers (Tang & Gilbert, 1995; Tang & Kim, 1999a), MBA and Ph.D. students and entrepreneurs (Mitchell et al., 1998), nurses and administrators (Tang, 1996b), employees in the USA, the UK, and Taiwan (Tang, Furnham, & Davis, 1996), students in Singapore (Lim & Teo, 1997), students in Taiwan (Tang, 1993), and students and small business owners in Macedonia (Tillery, Tang, & Lazarevski, 1998). The MES has been translated to and discussed in other languages, such as Chinese (Chen, 1987), French (Charles-Pauvers & Urbain, 1998), Italian (Tang, 1996a), and Spanish (Luna-Arocas, 1998; Quintanilla, 1997).
On the basis of the six-factor, 30-item Money Ethic Scale (MES), the present authors assert that people’s attitudes toward money can be positive, indifferent, or negative. Positive attitudes toward money are all related to the cognitive factors of the MES. It means that money represents their Achievement, Respect, and Power. In terms of the affective component, people may consider money either Good or Evil. Thus, negative attitudes toward money are related to the affective component—money is Evil. Further, people with positive and negative attitudes toward money may or may not Budget their money carefully, i.e., the behavior component of the MES. Therefore, it is possible that three or more money profiles will be identified.
Variables Examined in the Present Study
Intrinsic and Extrinsic Satisfaction. Performing a task in anticipation of tangible or intangible reward, or payment, while under surveillance, external evaluation, or with a time limit will undermine intrinsic motivation to perform the task (the overjustification effect) (Deci & Ryan, 1985; Tang & Baumeister, 1984). When intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are both very high, people may mistakenly infer themselves performing the target task for extrinsic reasons (Staw, 1976). They have redefined their own purpose or motive for performing the task. Further, when extrinsic rewards are very explicit and salient, then, people may change their perception concerning the nature of the task from play (intrinsically-motivated task) to work (extrinsically-motivated activity) (Tang & Baumeister, 1984).
The notion of «play» is associated with choice of activity, self-determined goals and strategies, opportunities to readjust goals, whereas the term «work» is related to performance standards, strategies, and external feedback from supervisors (Cellar, Furst, Vavra, & Fulton, 1992). Researchers have marshaled considerable evidence testifying to the relationship between task labels (e.g., work vs. play) and task outcomes (Glynn, 1994; Poulton & Ng, 1988; Webster & Martocchio, 1993).
In a material-oriented society such as the USA, almost all people work for their money with some exceptions (e.g., free services and volunteer work in the community) (cf. The Service Ethic, Tang & Weatherford, 1998). Money and the extrinsic reward system (Lawler, 1971) control those who value money and want to have more money. People working for money may become the pawns (slaves) of money rather than the origins (masters) of money (cf. deCharms, 1976).
On the basis of the discrepancy notion of satisfaction (Lawler, 1971), people may experience a high level of dissatisfaction when they have high expectations toward money. Luna-Arocas and Tang (1999) revealed that Apathetic Money Handlers have the highest intrinsic job satisfaction, whereas Careless Money Admirers have the lowest intrinsic job satisfaction. Further, Achieving Money Worshipers have the highest income and Money Repellers have the lowest.
The Protestant Work Ethic. The principal aspects of the Protestant Work Ethic (PWE) as described by Weber are hard-work, asceticism, and industriousness. People with high Protestant Work Ethic endorsement spend more time an a task, produce greater output, and work longer hours on their study and less time on leisure than those without (Furnham, 1990; Weber, 1958). Blood (1969) developed one of the most widely studied measures of the Protestant Work Ethic. Luna-Arocas and Tang (1999) found that Achieving Money Worshipers have the highest endorsement of the Protestant Work Ethic, while Money Repellers have the lowest. Blood’s scale will be used in the present study.
Organization-Based Self-Esteem. Organization-based self-esteem (OBSE) can be defined as “the degree to which organizational members believe that they can satisfy their needs by participating in roles within the context of an organization” (Pierce, Gardner, Cummings, & Dunham, 1989, p. 625). Further, “organization-based self-esteem reflects an evaluation of one’s sense of personal adequacy and worthiness as an organizational member. Employees with high organization-based self-esteem have come to believe that they are important, meaningful, effectual, and worthwhile within their employing organization. As such it is the self-perceived value that employees have of themselves within their employing organization, and those with high organization-based self-esteem have come to believe (based upon successful experiences) that they can satisfy their needs by participating in roles within the context of the organization” (Pierce, 1999). Several other studies also examined the construct of organization-based self-esteem (e.g., Pierce, Gardner, Cummings, & Dunham, 1993; Singer & Tang, 1996; Tang & Gilbert, 1994; Tang & Ibrahim, 1998a). People with a high level of OBSE tend to be better organizational citizens and have high global self-esteem (Tang & Gilbert, 1994).
Importance and Satisfaction of Human Needs. Based on induction from his own clinical observations, Maslow (1954) postulated a hierarchy of human needs incorporating five levels: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. Later, Maslow (1968) suggested the biologically based two-level hierarchy: deficiency motivation and growth motivation. Maslow’s (1954) theory remains very popular among managers and students of organizational behavior (Pinder, 1984). Maslow’s theory provides an attractive and intuitively acceptable perspective to human motivation and has a commonsense appeal to managers in our society today.
Recently, Tang and West (1997) and Tang and Ibrahim (1998b) have investigated the «importance» of all five levels of human needs and tested Maslow’s (1954) needs hierarchy theory. In this study, we will examine the importance and satisfaction of human needs based on the same measures (i.e., Tang & Ibrahim, 1998b; Tang & West, 1997) which were modified based on Porter’s (1961) Need Satisfaction Questionnaire (NSQ). We expect that Money Repellers will have the lowest concern for the importance of needs and the lowest satisfaction of needs.
The Present Study
In the present study, we will identify money profiles and examine possible differences in demographic variables and work-related attitudes in a sample of university students in the United States. On the basis of previous studies (i.e., Luna-Arocas & Tang, 1999; Tang et al., 1999) using the 15-item, five-factor Money Ethic Scale (Tang & Luna-Arocas, 1999), Tang and his associates have identified four money profiles. In this study, we will use a different measure (i.e., the original 30-item, six-factor Money Ethic Scale, Tang, 1992) and expect to find the same kind of clusters (money profiles).
We predict that Achieving Money Worshipers will have the most positive attitudes toward money. Money Repellers will have the strongest belief that money is Evil. Careless Money Admirers will have general positive attitudes toward money but they do not Budget their money carefully. Finally, Apathetic Money Handlers are indifferent toward money.
Further, most of regional state university students in the southeastern USA have part-time jobs and do not have a lot of money. Moreover, the two largest clusters for students in Macedonia are Money Repeller (53.6%) and Apathetic Money Handler (32.1%) (Tang et al., 1999). Thus, in the student sample of the present study, we expect to have a smaller Achieving Money Worshiper cluster and a larger Money Repeller cluster and Apathetic Money Handler cluster, relatively speaking. The percentage of people in each of these clusters may be different for different samples.
Since Money Repellers have the most negative attitudes toward money, the lowest income, lowest work ethic, and lowest satisfaction with pay administration (Luna-Arocas & Tang, 1999), it is possible that they may maintain also negative attitudes toward work, the work environment, other work-related values, and human needs. We predict that Money Repellers will have the lowest scores on organization-based self-esteem, the Protestant Work Ethic, and intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, whereas Achieving Money Worshipers will have the highest. Further, we expect that Money Repellers will have the lowest concerns for the importance and the satisfaction of human needs, whereas Achieving Money Worshipers will have the highest. The following hypotheses are tested.
Hypothesis 1: There will be four clusters (money profiles) for a sample of American citizens (university students).
Hypothesis 2: Money Repellers will have the lowest scores on organization-based self-esteem, the Protestant Work Ethic, and intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, whereas Achieving Money Worshipers will have the highest.
Hypothesis 3: Money Repellers will have the lowest concerns for the importance and satisfaction of human needs, whereas Achieving Money Worshipers will have the highest.
A 200-item questionnaire was distributed to students in two regional state universities and students in a nearby military base in the southeastern United States. They participated in the study voluntarily and their confidentiality was assured. Data were collected from a total of 564 students (male = 184, female = 360, missing data = 20). The return rate was 72.9 per cent. These students had an average age of 23.52 years and had 14.64 years of education. There were 441 Caucasian, 52 African-American, 6 Hispanic, 14 Asian, and 3 American Indian. Further, 91 subjects were married, 406 were single, and 16 were divorced. Further, 363 participants (64.4% of the sample) reported a job tenure of 26.14 months (SD = 64.55) and an average annual income of US$9,260.94 (SD = $10,522.68). These demographic data reflected the student population in these universities. There is no reason to believe that the present sample is atypical.
Demographic variables such as: gender, age, education, total work experience (in month), marital status, and income were measured. A 5-point Likert-scale with disagree strongly (1), neutral (3), and agree strongly (5) as anchors was employed for all attitudinal measures. The 30-item Money Ethic Scale (Tang, 1992) was used in the present study. The Cronbach’s alpha for each of the six factors of the Money Ethic Scale in the present study was listed below: Factors Good (.83), Evil (.73), Achievement (.75), Respect (.75), Budget (.78), and Power (.74). The total scores for factors are used in data analyses (see Table 2).
Organization-based self-esteem was measured by the 10-tem scale (Pierce et al., 1989). The Cronbach’s alpha was .92. The 20-item Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire was employed to assess intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction (Weiss, Dawis, England, & Lofquist, 1967). The Cronbach’s alpha for Intrinsic Satisfaction (.86) and Extrinsic Satisfaction (. 84) was quite good in the present study.
Porter’s (1961) Need Satisfaction Questionnaire (NSQ) was modified and adopted (see Tang & Ibrahim, 1998b; Tang & West, 1997). The participants were asked to indicate the importance and satisfaction of the five needs using the identical 13-item scale. The average scores were used in our data analysis. The number of items and Cronbach’s alpha for the importance and satisfaction of Maslow’s five needs were listed below: physiological needs (3 items, importance = .87, satisfaction = .83), safety needs (3 items, .82, .73), social needs (2 items, .73, .65), self-esteem needs (2 items, .55, .67), and self-actualization (3 items, .84, .82), respectively. Finally, the 4-item Protestant Work Ethic developed by (Blood, 1969) was employed. The Cronbach’s alpha was .70 in this study.
The Cluster Analysis
The cluster analysis allows researchers to divide a set of observations into relatively homogeneous manageable groups based on the inter-object similarities. The ultimate goal is to arrive at clusters of people who display small within-cluster variation, but large between-cluster variation. In discriminant analysis, researchers begin with a priori well-defined groups and identify variables that distinguish the groups, whereas in cluster analysis, researchers begin with an undifferentiated group and divide the group into subgroups that differ in meaningful ways.
There are four popular methods related to the operation of hierarchical cluster analysis: (1) single linkage, (2) complete linkage, (3) average linkage, and (4) the Ward’s method. There are examples of practical application of the Ward’s method in social science (e.g., Hair, Anderson, Tatham, & Black, 1992; Singh, 1990). In this study, we will follow the three-stage procedure suggested by Hair et al. (1992) and Singh (1990): (1) partitioning, (2) interpretation, and (3) validation and profiling. The QUICK CLUSTER program allows “efficient clustering of a large number of cases into a requested number of groups” (SPSS, 1988, p. 841).
Table 1 shows the mean, standard deviation, and correlation of major variables. We applied the QUICK CLUSTER program of SPSS (1988) to the whole sample. We closely examined the results of 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-cluster solutions and identified a four-cluster solution that fitted our data and theory. The means and standard deviations of the five factors of the Money Ethic Scale for the four clusters are presented in Table 2. The four clusters were labeled (1) Money Repeller, (2) Apathetic Money Handler, (3) Careless Money Admirer, and (4) Achieving Money Worshiper. These four clusters were arranged, interestingly enough, from the most negative attitudes toward money to the most positive. The size of these four clusters can be arranged according to the following order (from the largest to the smallest): Apathetic Money Handler (31.08%), Careless Money Admirer (30.16%), Achieving Money Worshiper (23.22%), and Money Repeller (15.54%).
The order for these four clusters, in terms of cluster size, in the present study is not exactly the same as the four clusters identified in previous studies (e.g., Luna-Arocas & Tang, 1999; Tang et al., 1999): Achieving Money Worshiper, Money Repeller, Careless Money Admirer, and Apathetic Money Handler. These minor differences regarding the percentage of people in each of the four money profiles (clusters) were probably related to the participants’ work-related experiences, income, the socialization process, and different cultures. These results suggest that the students in the United States can be classified into four clusters also, based on a different measure of the Money Ethic Scale (Tang, 1992).
It is interesting to note that the largest cluster for students was Apathetic Money Handler and the smallest one was Money Repeller. Previous results show that the largest cluster for employees was Achieving Money Worshiper. Those who have money tend to have more positive attitudes toward money (Achieving Money Worshiper) than those who do not. As expected, most students are in the Apathetic Money Handler cluster. Hypothesis 1 was supported.
It should be pointed out that the F tests should be used only for descriptive purposes because the clusters have been chosen to maximize the differences among cases in different clusters. Results of analyses of variance (ANOVAs) suggested that Factor Good was the most powerful money attitude in profiling the participants (F (3, 543) = 377.97, p = .000). Thus was followed by Factor Respect (F (3, 543) = 168.10, p = .000), Factor Achievement (F (3, 543) = 162.08, p = .000), Factor Power (F (3, 543) = 161.14, p = .000), Factor Budget (F (3, 543) = 37.45, p = .000), and Factor Evil (F (3, 543) = 6.02,p = .000). Thus, the importance of these six MES factors (Tang, 1992) in classifying people into four clusters was listed below: Good, Respect, Achievement, Power, Budget, and Evil (Table 3).
The order of these five MES factors (Tang & Luna-Arocas, 1999) for the USA and Spain study is listed below: Success, Budget, Motivator, Equity, and Evil. The order of the five MES factors for the Macedonian sample is as follows: Evil, Success, Budget, Motivator, and Equity. It should be pointed out the different factors (versions) of the Money Ethic Scale were used in these studies. Further, the importance of these six Factors of the Money Ethic Scale in the present study is different from that of the Luna-Arocas and Tang’s (1999) study and Tang et al.’s (1999) study in cluster analysis, revealing culture differences in these samples.
The last column of Table 3 presents the posteriori contrasts of means using the most conservative method, the Scheffe’s test (p < .05). Thus, the mean differences among the four money clusters will be discussed below.
Cluster 1: Money Repeller. Money Repeller was the smallest group in this study. People in Cluster 1 had the highest score for Factor Evil and also the lowest scores for Factors Good and Power. They also tended to have low scores for Factors Achievement and Budget. The most significant factor related to this cluster is Factor Evil. They consider money as Evil, the strongest negative affect toward money.
Cluster 2: Apathetic Money Handler. The Apathetic Money Handler was the largest group of the four. This cluster had the lowest scores for Factors Respect and Achievement and the highest score for Factor Budget. They also tended to have low score for Factor Evil and moderate scores for Factors Good and Power. In general, Apathetic Money Handlers have negative attitudes toward money (Respect and Achievement), do Budget their money carefully, and think that money is moderately Evil. In other words, they are indifferent (apathetic) toward money. Results reflect the mind set of students. Students do not have a lot of money. Therefore, it is not very likely for them to feel that money is a sign of their Achievement and that money gives them the Respect they deserve. However, attending school and working on part-time jobs help them understand the importance of money. For the little money they have, they Budget and use it very carefully. They handle their money skillfully.
Cluster 3: Careless Money Admirer. Careless Money Admirer was the second largest group of the four. People in Cluster 3 had the lowest scores for Factor Budget and Evil. They tended to have moderate scores in all other Factors (i.e., Good, Respect, Achievement, and Power). Therefore, they have positive attitudes toward money, in general, and they do not Budget money carefully. The most significant factor is Factor Budget, the behavior component of the Money Ethic Scale. They do not Budget their money carefully.
Insert Tables 1, 2, and 3 about here
Cluster 4: Achieving Money Worshiper. The third group, in size, was Achieving Money Worshiper. Participants in Cluster 4 had the highest scores for Factors Good, Respect, Achievement, and Power. They also tended to have high scores regarding Factors Budget and Evil. These people had the most positive attitudes toward money. In summary, Achieving Money Worshipers have the most positive attitudes toward money, whereas Money Repellers have the most negative attitudes. Careless Money Admirers (somewhat positive) and Apathetic Money Handlers (somewhat negative) fall between the two extreme groups.
Validation and Profiling
ANOVA. For external validation, we used analyses of variance (ANOVAs) and the Scheffe’s test for the posteriori contrasts of means and also discriminant analysis. Table 3 presents the results of ANOVAs. Significant ANOVA results were further tested using Scheffe’s test to examine the means among the four money profiles. Variables examined here were not used in cluster analysis. There were no significant differences in age, education, job tenure and annual income among the four money clusters. Although the differences failed to reach significance, it appears that Achieving Money Worshipers (Cluster 4) had slightly more income than others. The results are in the expected direction. Results of professors in the USA and Spain indicate that Achieving Money Worshipers had higher income than others.
Further, as expected, there were significant differences among the four money profiles in organization-based self-esteem (F (3, 536) = 19.43, p = .0000), the Protestant Work Ethic endorsement (F (3, 532) = 18.40, p = .0000), intrinsic job satisfaction (F (3, 501) = 11.09, p = .0000), and extrinsic job satisfaction (F (3, 499) = 8.35, p = .0000). Significant results were again analyzed using Scheffe’s test (p < .05). In general, Achieving Money Worshipers tended to have higher scores than did Money Repellers.
Further, in terms of importance of human needs, we found significant differences among the four money profiles in the following variables: physiological needs (F (3, 542) = 4.07, p = .0071), safety needs (F(3, 542) = 4.94, p = .0022), self-esteem needs (F (3, 542) = 9.30, p = .0000), and self-actualization needs (F (3, 542) = 9.54, p = .0000). Regarding the satisfaction of human needs, we presented significant differences among the four money profiles below: physiological needs (F (3, 540) = 4.77, p = .0027), safety needs (F (3, 542) = 14.31, p = .0000), social needs (F (3, 541) = 7.13, p = .0001), self-esteem needs (F (3, 542) = 2.61, p = .0506, approaching significance), and self-actualization needs (F (3, 540) = 3.36, p = .0186). In general, Money Repellers tended to express the lowest concerns and satisfaction of most of these needs. It should be pointed out that there were no differences regarding the importance of social needs and the satisfaction of self-esteem needs among the four money profiles. These results support the notion that those who express positive attitudes toward money tend to show positive attitudes toward themselves as employees in an organization (OBSE), the work-related attitudes (PWE), intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, and also satisfaction of human needs in general (physiological, safety, social, and self-actualization). Results support Hypotheses 2 and 3.
Discriminant Analysis. For discriminant analysis, we included demographic variables (age, sex, education), the six factors of the Money Ethic Scale (Good, Evil, Achievement, Respect, Budget, and Power), work-related attitudes (organization-based self-esteem, the Protestant Work Ethic, and intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction), and the importance and satisfaction of five human needs (i.e., physiological, safety, social, self-esteem, and self-actualization) to predict the membership of the four clusters. Job tenure and income were not included in this analysis because including these two variables may reduce the sample size significantly.
The results of the discriminant analysis including standardized canonical discriminant function coefficients, pooled within-groups correlations between discriminating variables and standardized canonical discriminant functions, the eigenvalues, the amount of variance explained, and the canonical correlation for each of the three Functions were all presented in Table 4. Table 4 shows that Function 1 separated Cluster 1 from Cluster 4. Achieving Money Worshipers (Cluster 4) tended to have positive attitudes toward money (money is Good) than Money Repellers (Cluster 1). Further, Function 2 separated Cluster 1 from Cluster 2. Money Repellers were different from Careless Money Handler regarding the following variables: Factors Good, Respect, and Achievement. Finally, Function 3 separated Cluster 3 from Clusters 1 and 4. Careless Money Admirers (Cluster 3) tended to be different from others on Factors Budget and Evil. The classification statistics are presented in Table 5. Results of Table 5 showed that 91.57% of original grouped cases correctly classified. Thus, the variables employed in the discriminant analysis are very powerful in predicting the membership of these four clusters of money profiles.
Profiling. Table 6 summarizes the results of the Money Ethic Scale (Good, Evil, Achievement, Respect, Budget, and Power), work-related attitudinal variables (organization-based self-esteem (OBSE), the Protestant Work Ethic (PWE), intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction), and the importance and satisfaction of human needs. Thumbnail sketches for the four clusters are presented. For example, Achieving Money Worshipers tend to have the highest scores on Factors Good, Respect, Achievement, and Power. They also tend to have the highest scores of OBSE, PWE, and intrinsic and extrinsic satisfaction. They express the highest importance for physiological, safety, and self-esteem needs and have the highest satisfaction with their social and self-actualization needs. The other money profiles, Apathetic Money Handler, Careless Money Admirer, and Money Repellers, are presented in Table 6 in the same format.
Insert Table 4, 5, and 6 about here
The major purpose of this study is to examine different money profiles and work-related attitudes using the original 30-item, six-factor Money Ethic Scale in a sample of citizens in the United States. Our results show that on the basis of the six money factors (Good, Evil, Achievement, Respect, Budget, and Power), we identified four money profiles. These four money profiles are similar to those reported in previous studies (e.g., Luna-Arocas & Tang, 1999; Tang et al., 1999).
The four clusters (money profiles) are (1) Money Repeller, (2) Apathetic Money Handler, (3) Careless Money Admirer, and (4) Achieving Money Worshiper. Achieving Money Worshipers have the most positive attitudes toward money, whereas Money Repellers have the most negative attitudes toward money. Careless Money Admirers are somewhat positive, while Apathetic Money Handlers are somewhat negative toward money. These two money profiles fall between the two extremes.
The percentage of people in each of these four clusters (i.e., the size of these four money profiles) for the present study is different from that of the other studies. The order of importance for these six Money Ethic variables in classifying people into money profiles in the present study (Good, Respect, Achievement, Power, Budget, and Evil) is different from that of the other studies (e.g., Success, Budget, Motivator, Equity, and Evil, Luna-Arocas & Tang, 1999; Evil, Success, Budget, Motivator, and Equity, Tang et al., 1999). The differences are due to the different versions of the Money Ethic Scale used, different money factors examined, and the different types of participants in different cultures in these studies. In general, the results of these studies further strengthen and support the external validity of the Money Ethic Scale and the four money profiles identified in these studies.
Achieving Money Worshipers consider money in the most positive direction and have the highest scores for Factors Good, Respect, Achievement, and Power, a sign of their success. Achieving Money Worshipers are concerned about how they Budget their money, the behavioral component of the Money Ethic Scale. Achieving Money Worshipers have the highest level of positive attitudes toward themselves as employees in an organization (OBSE), hard-working attitudes (PWE), intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, and satisfaction with social and self-actualization needs (i.e., higher-order needs). Their satisfaction of physiological and safety needs is also very high. It is possible that those who worship money may actually achieve what they want (money) and are quite happy with what they have financially. Achieving Money Worshiper has been identified as the largest group in two previous studies of university professors and students and employees. It is the third largest group in the present sample.
Careless Money Admirers (30.16%) have general positive feelings toward money but they do not Budget their money carefully. They tend to have a moderate level of organization-based self-esteem, work ethic, and intrinsic satisfaction. They also seem to have a moderately high level of satisfaction with safety needs and social needs. The behavioral aspect of the Money Ethic Scale (i.e., Factor Budget) seems to play an important role in several aspects of satisfaction in life. Tang (1992) found that those who Budget money carefully tend to have higher work satisfaction and life satisfaction. They exert effort and try very hard to make money. It is plausible that people in this cluster can be highly motivated by money.
Apathetic Money Handlers believe that money does not represent their Achievement and Respect but they do Budget their money carefully. In the present study, all participants were university students. This is one of the major reasons that Apathetic Money Hander is the largest group in the present sample. Our results reflect the money attitudes in the eye of students: Students do not have a lot of money, do not believe that money is a sign of their Achievement and Respect, and do Budget their money carefully, for the little money they have. Luna-Arocas and Tang (1999) assert that on the basis of the discrepancy notion of satisfaction (Lawler, 1971), people may experience a high level of dissatisfaction when they have high expectations toward money. With low income, they turn their attention internally and find fulfillment in life and on the job. Our results reveal that they have the highest level of satisfaction with their physiological needs and safety needs (lower-order needs). As mentioned earlier, Achieving Money Worshipers have the highest level of satisfaction with social and self-actualization needs (higher-order needs). Apathetic Money Handlers’ low desire for money may lead to higher satisfaction in different aspects of their lives, supporting the insufficient justification effect (Staw, 1976). This reflects a similar position—“waste not, want not”. Apathetic Money Handlers are poor but happy. Their basic needs are satisfied. Money will only help them survive and have a reasonable life. To them, money is only a hygiene factor, not a motivator. They may be highly motivated by money when they work longer and are older.
Money Repellers have the most negative attitudes toward money and believe that money is Evil. It is interesting to note that about 15.54% of students are in this cluster. Money Repellers have the lowest level of organization-based self-esteem, the Protestant Work Ethic, intrinsic and extrinsic job satisfaction, importance of needs (physiological, safety, self-esteem, and self-actualization needs) and satisfaction of needs (physiological, safety, social, and self-actualization needs). They may be labeled as the “sour grapes” or “sour losers” in the society. It is possible that money is not a motivator for them (cf. Lawler, 1971) but a hygiene factor (Herzberg et al., 1959). Tang (1992) pointed out that young and low-income people tend to believe that money is Evil. Thus, the present results seem to support previous findings.
In recent years, many people in the USA and around the world are increasingly concerned about their income, pay, and materialism. Many so-called “successful young couples” now have two well-paying jobs, a big five-bedroom home, and two healthy kids, yet they do not have time to enjoy simple pleasures like riding bikes or reading. McNichol (1998) asserts that a small but growing number of Americans is living on less and liking it by scaling back, paring down, and doing without. The “simplicity movement” has “its roots in 18th century ‘Yankee frugality’ and in Henry David Thoreau’s urge to ‘simplify, simplify” (McNichol, 1998, p. 4). This message has appeared in recent books (e.g., Simple Abundance and Your Money or Your Life) and PBS special (Affluenza, Escape From Affluenza). In a simple, less stressful, and enviously uncluttered life, people can live on far less by curbing impulse spending and do the things that matter to them. Our Apathetic Money Handlers seem to have adopted these values. This is the largest cluster of the four with 31.08% of the people.
As we discussed earlier, money attitudes can be perceived from three perspectives: the person, the environment, and the interaction between the person and the environment. First, according to Arvey et al. (1989) and Staw et al. (1986), people bring many attitudes and dispositional (personality) variables to work. These attitudes and values are very difficult to change and tend to be quite consistent even when individuals change both the employer and their occupation. Following these arguments, for people with certain money profiles, it is not very likely to improve their pay satisfaction and life satisfaction in an organization. For some people, it is very difficult to motivate them with money. Therefore, it is very important to identify different approaches to motivate people with different money profiles. Second, it is also possible that people will react similarly toward the environmental variables and be highly motivated by money and the reward systems in organizations. Therefore, a large amount of money will create a strong impact on people’s work related behavior, performance, and effectiveness. Our results show that due to different money profiles, people do not consider or perceive money equally. Thus, they are not equally motivated by money and the reward systems.
Third, others suggest that attitudes toward money are formed early in their childhood and maintained in adult life (Kirkcaldy & Furnham, 1993), based on the way they were raised, social and economic background (Bruner & Goodman, 1947), and work-related experiences. Our results show that the percentage of students in each of the four money profiles is different from other sample of full-time employees. In general, students tend to have negative attitudes toward money, whereas employees have positive attitudes. It is possible that as students graduate from college and start to work, they start to work hard for their money, spend their money (i.e., consumption), and enjoy having money. Their direct experiences with money may change their money attitudes. High-income people tend to think that money is not Evil (Tang, 1992). As people grow older, their income level changes. The importance and satisfaction of needs in life (Tang & West, 1997) and their money attitudes may also change (Furnham & Argyle, 1998). It may take some time for people to progress from deficiency needs (physiological needs) to growth needs (psychological needs).
Recently, the Human Resources Research Organization conducted the 1998 income and employment survey of the membership of the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) in the USA (Burnfield & Medsker, 1999). The results showed that median income (US$100,000) of the 45-49 year age group is the highest among all age groups. The median income of other age groups is listed below (i.e., < 35 group, $60,000; 35-39 group, $70,000; 40-44 group, $80,000; 50-54 group, $91,500; and 55+ group, $92,000). Previous SIOP income surveys showed that the 50-54 year age group had the same or a higher median income than the other groups. People’s income changes over time. Those in the 45-49 year age group reach their career peak in income.
Luna-Arocas and Tang (1999) found that among the four money profiles, people in the Achieving Money Worshiper Cluster were the oldest (46.49 years), had the highest income ($50,903.23), the longest work experience (21.55 years), the highest work ethic endorsement, the highest satisfaction with pay, pay administration, and equity within the university setting, and high life satisfaction. In the present study, there are no significant differences in participants’ age among the four money profiles. The average age of university students in this study is about 23.52 years old. It is possible that the majority of these students may become Achieving Money Worshipers when they become a member of the 45-50 year old age group.
People’s money attitudes may change based on their age and income. Further, people may also move from one money profile to another money profile, as their income changes. It is plausible that many people (Careless Money Admirers, in particular) may become Achieving Money Worshipers. However, we have collected only cross-sectional data from a sample of students in the USA. Future researchers may consider longitudinal data and test this hypothesis.
The human capital theory suggests that the higher the human investment, the higher the pay off. Pay is also related to the supply and demand of the market. High human investment leads to high financial reward and success. Due to their money attitudes, people may choose certain college majors and careers (i.e., school teacher, university professor, business person, doctor, lawyer, investment banker, etc.). People’s money attitudes may also change due to their experiences in college and careers.
Researchers and managers need to think long and hard and identify ways of motivating people in these four money profiles. Our results suggest that people with different money profiles have different patterns of work-related attitudes and behaviors. The four clusters of people identified in this study are quite unique and interesting. It is quite common that we may find people with these four money profiles in their organizations. In the wake of global competition, organizations are increasingly interested in reducing labor costs and increasing worker productivity. Our understanding of money profiles and work-related attitudes may help managers identify different motivational programs to motive employees and achieve organizational goals. Future research needs to replicate these findings in other occupations, regions, and cultures to test the generalizability of the present findings and investigate other variables.
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Mean, Standard Deviation, and Correlation of Major Variables
Note. N = 562. Income: N = 363. Sex: Male = 0, Female = 1; Importance of Needs: Variables 16-20. Satisfaction of Needs: Variables 21-25.
*p < .05, **p < .01, ***p < .001.
Means (and Standard Deviations) of the Money Ethic Scale for the Four Clusters
Note. *p < .05; Scheffe’s test. For each Factor (row) of the Money Ethic Scale, the highest and lowest means are in boldface. The lowest means are underlined.
Means of the External Variables for Cluster Validation
Variables Cluster 1 Cluster 2 Cluster 3 Cluster 4
Money Apathetic Careless Achieving
Repeller Money Money Money
Handler Admirer Worshiper
N = 547 n = 85 n = 170 n = 165 n = 127 Cluster Paired
Percentage (%) 15.54% 31.08% 30.16% 23.22% Comparisons*
Age 23.33 23.91 23.19 23.24
Education 14.43 14.77 14.44 14.98
Tenure 28.29 19.11 31.75 29.92
Income 6,432.38 9,192.48 9,433.13 11,071.17
OBSE 33.71 40.43 38.39 40.81 4, 2, 3 > 1
PWE 13.08 15.00 14.48 16.11 4 > 2, 3 > 1
MSQ-Int 39.39 44.05 43.01 46.23 4, 2 > 3 > 1
MSQ-Ext 18.00 19.27 19.09 21.53 4 > 2, 3, 1
Importance of Needs
Physiological 3.31 3.60 3.64 3.88 4 > 1
Safety 3.45 3.79 3.83 4.01 4 > 1
Social 3.69 4.01 3.93 3.96
Self-Esteem 3.39 3.88 3.77 4.07 4, 2, 3 > 1
Actualization 3.51 4.12 3.88 4.12 2, 4 > 1
Satisfaction of Needs
Physiological 3.76 4.19 4.01 4.14 2, 4 > 1
Safety 3.38 4.07 3.87 4.02 2, 4, 3 > 1
Social 3.24 3.70 3.74 3.86 4, 3, 2 > 1
Self-Esteem 3.09 3.30 3.42 3.43
Actualization 3.12 3.33 3.42 3.57 4 > 1
Note. *p < .05; Scheffe’s test. Foe each Factor (row) of the Money Ethic Scale, the highest and lowest means are in boldface. The lowest means are underlined.
Pooled Within-Groups Correlations
Between Discriminating Variables and
Standardized Canonical Discriminant Standardized Canonical Discriminant
Function Coefficients Functions
Variable 1 2 3 Variable 1 2 3
Age -.052 -.056 .040 Good .842* -.399 -.192
Sex .012 -.120 .029 Power .525* .294 -.091
Education -.042 .071 .299 PWE .175* -.054 .096
Good .765 -.639 -.143 OBSE .170* -.146 -.138
Evil .094 -.094 .350 MSQ-Int .130* -.042 -.102
Achievement .240 .426 .291 MSQ-Ext .130* .024 .106
Respect .224 .518 .004 Self-Esteem-I .118* -.025 -.021
Budget .025 -.429 .626 Safety-I .094* .005 -.069
Power .268 .329 -.154 Physiological-I .091* .014 .004
OBSE .041 .008 -.139 Self-Actualization-S .091* .014 .004
PWE .013 .074 .173 Respect .420 .567* .075
MSQ-Int -.043 .172 -.437 Achievement .417 .444* .311
MSQ-Ext .058 -.137 .311 Sex -.087 -.176* .038
Physiological-I -.078 .029 .223 Self-Actualization-I .106 -.110* .019
Safety-I .040 .073 -.259 Physiological-S .073 -.100* -.090
Social-I -.077 .220 .106 Budget .131 -.317 .555*
Self-Esteem-I -.013 -.039 .158 Evil -.007 .060 .474*
Self-Actualization-I .102 -.119 .066 Safety-S .117 -.164 -.282*
Physiological-S -.063 .150 .439 Social-S .019 -.019 -.199*
Safety-S .016 -.250 -.416 Education .049 -.057 .160*
Social-S .036 .056 -.244 Self-Esteem-S .048 -.003 -.138*
Self-Esteem-S -.194 -.094 -.353 Social-I .033 -.038 -.059*
Self-Actualization-S .169 .117 .316 Age .001 -.009 .043*
Eigenvalue 2.762 1.345 .154
Canonical Correlation .857 .757 .365
Functions at Group Centroids
Cluster 1 -3.014 1.143 .474
Cluster 2 -.208 -1.646 .059
Cluster 3 -.095 .649 -.533
Cluster 4 2.544 .767 .367
Note. Coefficients greater than .40 are in boldface. Variables ordered by absolute size of correlations within function. *Largest absolute correlation between each variable and any discriminant function.
Predicted Group Membership
Actual Group No. of Cases 1 2 3 4
Group 1 63 58 3 2 0
92.1% 4.8% 3.2% .0%
Group 2 139 0 127 11 1
.0% 91.4% 7.9% .7%
Group 3 34 6 7 118 3
4.5% 5.2% 88.1% 2.2%
Group 4 91 0 2 1 88
.0% 2.2% 1.1% 96.7%
Note. 91.57% of original grouped cases correctly classified.
Thumbnail Sketches for the Four Clusters (Money Profiles)
Cluster 1 Cluster 2
Money Repeller Apathetic Money Handler
Factor Good—The Lowest Factor Good—High
Factor Respect—Moderate Factor Respect—The Lowest
Factor Achievement—Low Factor Achievement—The Lowest
Factor Power—The Lowest Factor Power—Moderate
Factor Budget—Low Factor Budget—The Highest
Factor Evil—The Highest Factor Evil—Low
OBSE—The Lowest OBSE—High
Work Ethic—The Lowest Work Ethic—Moderate
MSQ-Intrinsic—The Lowest MSQ-Intrinsic—High
MSQ-Extrinsic—The Lowest MSQ-Extrinsic—Low
Importance of Needs Importance of Needs
Physiological, Safety—The Lowest Physiological, Safety—Moderate
Self-Esteem— The Lowest Self-Esteem—High
Self-Actualization—The Lowest Self-Actualization—High
Satisfaction of Needs
Physiological, Safety, Social —The Lowest Physiological, Safety, Social—High
Self-Actualization—The Lowest Self-Actualization—Moderate
Cluster 3 Cluster 4
Careless Money Admirer Achieving Money Worshiper
Factor Good—Moderate Factor Good—The Highest
Factor Respect—Moderate Factor Respect—The Highest
Factor Achievement—Moderate Factor Achievement—The Highest
Factor Power—Moderate Factor Power—The Highest
Factor Budget—The Lowest Factor Budget—High
Factor Evil—The Lowest Factor Evil—High
OBSE—High OBSE—the Highest
Work Ethic—Moderate Work Ethic—The Highest
MSQ-Intrinsic—Moderate MSQ-Intrinsic—The Highest
MSQ-Extrinsic—Low MSQ-Extrinsic—The Highest
Importance of Needs Importance of Needs
Physiological, Safety—Moderate Physiological, Safety—The Highest
Self-Esteem—High Self-Esteem—The Highest
Satisfaction of Needs
Safety, Social—High Safety, Social—High
Self-Actualization—Moderate Self-Actualization—The Highest