Original Research

The relationship between employee motivation and service quality: Case study of a selected municipality in the Western Cape province, South Africa

Amanda H. Sibonde, Maurice O. Dassah
Africa’s Public Service Delivery & Performance Review | Vol 9, No 1 | a499 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/apsdpr.v9i1.499 | © 2021 Amanda H. Sibonde, Maurice O. Dassah | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 September 2020 | Published: 10 August 2021

About the author(s)

Amanda H. Sibonde, Department of Graduate Centre for Management, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa
Maurice O. Dassah, Faculty of Public Policy and Governance, Simon Diedong Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies (SDD-UBIDS), Wa, Ghana


Background: In South Africa, municipal service delivery is characterised by a low level of motivation amongst employees, poor service quality and a high level of citizen dissatisfaction, often resulting in violent protests.

Aim: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between municipal employees’ motivation and quality of services delivered.

Setting: The study was conducted at a selected municipality in the Western Cape province, which is unnamed for ethical reasons.

Methods: In this quantitative study, two main hypotheses were advanced to examine the relationship between employee motivation and service quality, and six hypotheses tested the relationship between leadership, job satisfaction, career growth, organisational culture, physical work environment, work group teams and service quality. The sample consisted of 121 employees selected from a target population of 219 using simple random sampling technique. A five-point Likert-scale survey questionnaire was administered. Data were captured on an Excel sheet and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23. The analysis was done descriptively and correlationally.

Results: Whilst analysis of descriptive statistics showed low mean scores for motivation and five of its six constructs, indicating low motivation amongst municipal employees, correlational analysis confirmed the six hypotheses for the constructs, with different degrees of positive correlation between them and service quality. This means motivated employees are highly likely to deliver high-quality services.

Conclusion: A transformational leadership style, job rotation and enlargement, provision of training, career growth and development opportunities, change in organisational culture, improved work environment and enhanced teamwork could assist in addressing the employee motivation–service quality conundrum.


customer satisfaction; employee motivation; municipality; service quality; South Africa.


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