Effect of an Individual’s Self-Realisation on Work Performance


As a determinant of performance, work has long been regarded as the essence of man, the element that shapes his identity. And thanks to the evolution of working conditions over the past decades, work is no longer just a means of earning a living for today’s society. It is an essential vehicle for self-fulfilment. But the question that arises is how does an employee’s self-realisation impact on his or her performance at work? The objective was to analyse the effects of an individual’s self-actualisation on his or her performance at work. Based on the results of an opinion survey on a sample of 250 employees, it was verified that self-actualisation has a strong impact on the performance of employees.

Share and Cite:

Randrianasolo, J. , Andrianarizaka, M. , Randriamiharisoa, M. and Rasoamparany, J. (2022) Effect of an Individual’s Self-Realisation on Work Performance. Modern Economy, 13, 116-129. doi: 10.4236/me.2022.132008.

1. Introduction

Fulfilment at work refers to a general feeling of self-realisation and well-being in and through work. It cannot be separated from personal perception. Indeed, the sense of reality is relative to each individual. Moreover, its consequences are wide-ranging: physical, emotional, psychological, etc. In the workplace, it is common to believe that a happy and satisfied person performs better at work (Fisher, 2009)1. Baron (2011)2 raises an interesting point when he mentions the purpose of the company. This is oriented towards the profit of the shareholders and not towards the well-being of the employees. Despite the provisions put in place by the law, it is difficult for the company to integrate the concept of employee fulfilment into the management of the company. The problem is therefore how does an employee’s self-fulfilment impact on his or her performance at work?

In the current context, characterised by strong competition and an increased financial crisis, the competitiveness of companies depends more and more on the performance of their human capital. Work performance is not only the execution of tasks, it is also the set of behaviours that contribute to the company’s situation and objectives (Motowidlo, 2003)3.

In line with these concepts, this study sets out to analyse the effects of an individual’s self-actualisation on his or her performance at work.

From this overall objective stems a hypothesis that self-realization has a strong effect on employee performance.

To verify this hypothesis, this analysis is based on the exploitation of data from an opinion survey of a sample of 250 employees4 of large Malagasy companies. The statistical analysis of the results measuring the degree of self-realisation of employees and their performance at work will serve to demonstrate the dependence between these two variables.

In order to provide further evidence on the importance of employees’ well-being in their individual performance, this paper will first present the theories and concepts outlined above. The results concerning the employees’ perception of the degree of self-realisation and their level of performance at work will be presented afterwards. These analyses will be used to verify the dependency between the two variables.

2. Conceptual and Methodological Framework

According to Requilé (2008)5, the slogans of the 90s are: “Be yourself”, “Don’t let stress get to you”. He explains that self-fulfilment aims to develop the individual’s potential, well-being and personal development.

Professional fulfilment refers to framing the feeling of competence, autonomy and commitment in relation to the work collectives6. Self-fulfilment at work, on the other hand, refers to Maslow’s theory of needs. Undoubtedly, it is about reaching the final stage of needs through self-fulfilment. Later, this theory was supplemented by the theories of Herzberg (1950), according to which it is not the resolution of the factors of dissatisfaction that motivates, but the achievement of the factors of satisfaction.

Work is the subject of debate in the scientific community. Some announce the end of the work-value ideology (Méda, 1995). For others, it remains the main element in favour of integration and social cohesion. Indeed, the authors who support this thinking maintain that identity and self-fulfilment depend on recognition in connection with work. The investigations carried out by Fray & Picouleau (2010)7 on the construction of identity in a framework of high organisational pressure are discussed in the article entitled: “Diagnosis of professional identity: an essential dimension for quality at work”. It highlights the relationship between the individual and hyper-competitiveness. Indeed, professional identity is essential to quality of life at work. Gohier (2000)8 believes that this professional identity is a component of the overall identity. It is only revealed through social contact. In the study carried out by Garnier, Meda, & Senik (2006), 54% of working people define themselves by their work. Indeed, people choose their job according to their personality, experience and aspirations. The job then becomes important in defining social identity and destiny according to the perception9.

According to many surveys, work is still a very important value10. Druhle (2004)11 believes that those who have not yet been able to find their talent can build a valuable image through work. However, even if work is widely appreciated, many people experience suffering in it. The question is how to persevere and preserve one’s identity when the only benchmark in the workplace is: Performance12 (Sennet, 2000).

Performance is the ability of an individual to achieve the objectives that he or she has set or been set. In a managerial and qualitative approach, performance has three ideas13 (Jacquet, 2011).

The first considers it as a result, which represents the “level of achievement of objectives”. The second as an action, which implies an actual production, thus a process. And finally the third considers success, as an attribute of performance. Performance is a polysemous, complex and difficult to define concept which has evolved strongly with management theories. Its definition may differ from one author to another but generally it revolves around the notion of effectiveness and efficiency.

The individual context of performance indicates the results that an employee has brought to the company in comparison to other employees. Individual performance can result from trust at work, organisational justice as well as organisational supports or hierarchical relationships. Well-being at work has a positive effect on an individual’s performance because on the one hand it improves the individual’s image of his or her work and on the other hand it gives him or her an obligation to do the job.

Work performance refers to what people do at work, to the action itself. Hackman and Oldham’s (1976) model adequately represents the positive influence between workplace factors and performance. This model assumes that work characteristics have an impact on psychological health, which in turn has consequences for personal and professional outcomes. The human relations school by Mayo, Maslow, McGregor and Likert (1920-1970) believes that the achievement of economic and financial objectives must involve the satisfaction of staff needs.

These different theories will support the field verification of the hypothesis assuming that professional fulfilment has a strong impact on the performance of employees, as the research methodology here follows a hypothetico-deductive approach. The dissertation methodology is defined as the set of methods adopted to ensure the completion of the research work. Indeed, quality work requires the use of various techniques and methods. As a reminder, the literature review provides theoretical knowledge on the different concepts of the topic. This knowledge is then deepened through an exploratory qualitative study. This stage facilitates the formulation of the hypotheses to lead to the design of the theoretical model. The subsequent quantitative study is based on structural equation models. It aims to test the theoretical model in relation to the hypotheses by testing the psychometric qualities and dimensionalities of the measurement scale. The statistical analysis of the results of an opinion survey of a sample of 250 employees chosen according to the simple random probabilistic method, allows for a better understanding and identification of their experiences in the workplace concerning their fulfilment and their level of performance.

3. Results

The results presented will firstly concern employees’ perception of the degree of self-realisation and then their level of performance at work. These analyses will then be used to verify the dependence between the two variables.

3.1. Degree of Self-Actualisation of Employees

Table 1 shows the items used to measure employees’ level of self-actualisation, and from the pattern of responses, these employees tend to agree or disagree with these items.

Indeed, items with an average of 3 show that they tend to be neutral on the statements made (Items: 11, 12). The items with an average of more than 3 show that these employees tend to agree with the proposed statements (Items: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

The Pearson correlation analysis presented in Table 2 aims to specify the existing relationships between the constituent dimensions specific to the variable self-realisation. It allows us to evaluate the relevance of the choice made on these dimensions to answer the research question raised by the problem.

According to the correlation statistics, it is found that the significance levels are 0.000 < 0.005. Thus, the dimensions of the Self-realisation variable are all positively and significantly correlated at the 1% level. The strength of the relationship

Table 1. Trend of responses collected.

Source: Authors, 2021.

Table 2. Correlations of self-realization components.

**La corrélation est significative au niveau 0.01 (bilatéral). Source: Authors, 2021.

varies between 0.419 and 0.505. The strongest relationship is between Sense of Competence and Willingness to Commit, which is 50.5%. In other words, when the employee feels that he or she is competent in his or her tasks, there is a very high chance that he or she will want to commit to doing much more for the organisation in the future.

In conducting the factor analysis of all items of the variable: Self-actualisation, some items were removed to ensure the reliability of the analysis. These are found at the level of each dimension. For the Recognition dimension: item 1 and item 3. For the dimension Sense of competence: l’item 8. Finally, for the commitment dimension: items 9 and 10.

The KMO Index, in Table 3, is greater than 0.5. With an approximate chi-square

Table 3. KMO index and Barlett’s test of self-realisation.

Source: Authors, 2021.

of 533.034 and a degree of freedom of 55, the Barlett Test (0.000) is highly significant. Therefore, the conditions are fulfilled to perform the Exploratory Factor Analysis. Since the data are factorable, the application of Principal Component Analysis is necessary for these data.

In Table 4, with the 3 factors retained, the initial data is represented at 78.19%. The 1st factorial axis, concerning the items on the willingness to commit, represents 22.19% of the total information. The 2nd factorial axis, which groups the items on the Sense of Competence, represents 18%, the 3rd factorial axis, which groups the items on Recognition, represents 17.99%. In this case, these 3 factorial axes can be retained representing 78.19% of the information with a loss of only 21.81%.

The extraction column indicates that the quality of the representation of the variables is satisfactory. All extraction values are above 0.6. Item 5 is the best represented with 0.692 and item 10 is the least represented with 0.598. The Component Matrix in Table 5 shows that the Recognition items are positively correlated with the 3rd factorial axis. Of the 4 items mobilised, only 3 of them have extraction values higher than 0.6 and eigenvalues higher than 0.5.

The items of the dimension: Sense of competence is positively correlated with the 2nd factorial axis. Three of the four items used were retained because of their relevance.

As for the willingness to commit items, they are correlated with the 1st factorial axis. The commonalities are very satisfactory for the 4 mobilised items.

Once the results of the factorial analysis have been obtained, the next step is to conduct a reliability analysis in Table 6. The analysis of Self-realisation will therefore be carried out with the dimensions: Recognition, Sense of Competence, and Willingness to commit.

The Willingness to Commit dimension, which includes 4 items, has a Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.761, which is greater than 7. Consequently, the reliability of the items is guaranteed. On the other hand, the dimensions Recognition and Sense of Competence were not entirely convincing. By removing the failed items, including one item each, the remaining items allow the study to continue. For Recognition, Cronbach’s Alpha increases from 0.636 to 0.742. For the Sense of Competence, it increases from 0.693 to 0.726.

3.2. Measurement of Individual Employee Performance

Several items outlined in Table 7 allow for the measurement of individual employee performance. As a reminder, the scale used has a rating from 1 (Strongly Disagree) to 5 (Strongly Agree).

Items with an average of less than 3 show the employees’ disagreement with the statement. Items with an average of 3 show that they tend to be neutral about

Table 4. Total explained variance of self-realisation.

Extraction method: Principal component analysis. Source: Authors, 2021.

Table 5. Extraction quality and RDS component matrix.

Extraction method: Principal component analysis; Rotation method: Varimax with Kaiser normalisation. Source: Authors, 2021.

Table 6. Summary of RDS dimensional reliability statistics.

Source: Authors, 2021.

Table 7. Trend of responses on individual performance.

Source: Authors, 2021.

the statements made (Items: 35, 40, 42, 43, 46, 47). Items with a mean of more than 3 show a tendency to agree with the proposed statements (Items: 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 41, 44, 45).

According to Table 8, the correlation table, in general, the significance level is 0.000 < 0.005. The relationships between the dimensions are therefore significant and positive.

The strength of the relationships varies between 0.460 and 0.574. The Individual Performance variable has dimensions with 2 strong correlations among them. The first is the strong relationship between Quality and Persistence: 57.4%. The second is the relationship between Productivity and Persistence: 54.6%.

The factor analysis of the Individual Performance Variable in Table 9 revealed 3 questionable items. Two of them belong to the Persistence dimension. One of them is related to the Productivity dimension. They had to be eliminated because of their low factor loadings.

The KMO index is 0.859, which is greater than 0.5. With an approximate Chi-square of 756.477 and a degree of freedom of 55, the significance of Barlett’s Test: 0.000 is therefore highly significant. The data are therefore factorable. The Factorial Analysis can be carried out.

The total variance explained in Table 10, shows that 3 factors are retained which can contain 72.65% of the total information. It can be concluded that there is a loss of information of 27.35%. The 1st factorial axis relating to quality and persistence provides 25.77% of the information, the 2nd factorial axis relating to productivity items provides 19.62% and the 3rd factorial axis relating to development items provides 17.25%.

Table 8. Correlations of individual performance components.

**La corrélation est significative au niveau 0.01 (bilatéral). Source: Authors, 2021.

Table 9. KMO index and Barlett’s test of the individual performance variable.

Source: Authors, 2021.

Table 10. Total explained variance of the individual performance variable.

Méthode d’extraction: Analyse en composantes principales. Source: Authors, 2021.

The extraction values in Table 11 show that the quality of representation of the variables is acceptable, with values above 0.5. The best represented item is item 40 for 0.750. The least represented item is item 37 for 0.598.

The component matrix after rotation reveals that the Quality items are correlated to the 1st factorial axis. All the 4 mobilised items are retained. The productivity items are positively correlated with the 2nd factorial axis. Out of the 4 items mobilised, only 3 items are acceptable. And the items concerning Persistence are correlated to the 3rd factorial axis. Out of the 4 items mobilised, only 2 of them are retained.

Table 11. Representation quality and component matrix of individual performance.

Méthode d’extraction: Analyse en composantes principales; Méthode de rotation: Varimax avec normalisation Kaiser. aConvergence de la rotation dans 4 itérations. Source: Authors, 2021.

The last variable of the study is Individual Performance with the following dimensions: Productivity, Quality, Persistence and Environment.

According to Table 12, the table of reliability statistics, the Quality dimension (0.811) is convincing with a reliability index exceeding 0.7. The same is true for the Development dimension with 0.869. For Productivity, Cronbach’s Alpha increased from 0.653 to 0.761 after the removal of two deficient items. For Persistence, the removal of the defective items increased the Cronbach’s alpha from 0.472 to 0.507, but it remains insufficient.

4. Discussion

The following analyses attempt to demonstrate a direct relationship between the two variables.

The hypothesis suggests a strong relationship between Self-actualisation in the work environment and the Performance achieved. The results obtained validate this idea in view of the significant and positive concordance attested at the level of variances (Table 14). In addition, the relationship with the respective Individual Performance dimensions tells us more (Table 13). This result is supported

Table 12. Summary of dimensional reliability statistics for individual performance.

Source: Authors, 2021.

Table 13. Correlations self-realization – performance.

**La corrélation est significative au niveau 0.01 (bilatéral). Source: Authors, 2021.

by Cropanzano and Wright (1999); Judge et al. (2002) who believe that the employee’s work psychology influences his performance. Self-actualisation is based on how the employee feels.

The Pearson correlation highlights the most related dimensions (see Table 13). A strong relationship exists between the feeling of competence and productivity amounting to 49.1%. Employees find satisfaction in mastering their tasks and areas. They gain a sense of self-esteem that reduces the burden and obligation of work. According to the theory of self-determination, the feeling of competence is one of the basic psychological needs of human beings. However, this theory considers intrinsic motivation as an intermediate variable before arriving at behavioural consequences. Furthermore, there is considerable evidence (Barrick et al., 2001) that people with emotional stability and uprightness are predisposed to perform well in any occupational group.

Furthermore, 47.2% of the willingness to commit is linked to the desire to improve one’s work (see Table 13). It is clear that there are initiatives, voluntary actions towards the projects awarded when these correspond to the field of personal interest. Thus, the positive and significant result between Recognition and improvement is evident (32.5%).

The significance of Recognition with Productivity at 45.4% supports this (see

Table 14. Summary of hypothesis test statistics.

Source: Authors, 2021. ***means that the dependency is very significant.

Table 13). The more recognition actions are demonstrated towards the employee, the more likely he/she is to make efforts to be productive. Brun and Dugas (2005) confirm this by stressing the importance of quality time and availability that the immediate superior must show, even to employees who are already performing well on a daily basis14.

The Pearson correlation table in Table 13 shows that, in general, all dimensions of self-actualisation and all dimensions of the Performance variable are positively correlated.

The significance values are all equal to 0.000 < 0.005. The strength of the relationships ranges from 0.325 to 0.491. It is found that the strongest relationship is 49.1% between the feeling of competence and Productivity. The weakest but not least important relationship is between Recognition and Development.

Table 14 shows the statistical tests to verify the hypothesis, with the Coefficients Ratio (CR) being greater than 1.96. The null hypothesis (H0) assumes that there is no relationship between the two variables at the 5% significance level (P).

The result shows a Coefficient Ratio of 2.99 ≥ 1.96 and a Probability of 0.000 ≥ 0.05 which is associated with a p-value of 0.0001. Therefore, there is a positive and significant effect of Self-realization on Work Performance.

5. Conclusion

With the objective of analysing the effect of employee self-realisation on work performance, this research was based on the results of surveys of a sample of 250 employees. At the end of the analyses, the hypothesis that employee self-actualisation impacts on job performance was verified. It was found that recognition and a sense of competence had a significant and positive effect on productivity, and that commitment to work had a positive effect on job persistence. However, it should be noted that this statement is limited in time due to the possibility of changes in the components of well-being and their subsequent influence on performance.


Table A1. Socio-demographic characteristics of the sample.

Source: Authors, 2021.


1Fisher Mark, “Le réalisme capitaliste”, Genève-Paris, Entremonde, 2009.

2Xavier Baron, “Le monde en direct”, 2011.

3Motowidlo, “Gestion de performance au travail”, 2003.

4Description in TableA1 in Appendix.

5Requilé, “Entre souci de soi et réenchantement subjectif.Sens et portée du développement personnel”, 2008.

6Coste S., “Sépanouir dans le travail enseignant. Réalité,normes,stratégies”. Lyon: Chaire Unesco/IFE, 2014.

7Anne-Marie Fray & Sterenn Picouleau, “La qualité au travail”, 2010.

8Gohier, “La construction de l’identité professionnelle: recherche et formation”, 2000.

9Hugues E.C, “le regard sociologique”, EHESS, 1996.

10D. Méda, “Le travail, une valeur en voie de disparition”, Paris, Aubier-Montaigne, 1995.

11Druhle, “Sociologue de limprévisible”, 2004.

12R. Sennet, “Travail sans qualité”, Paris, Albin Michel, 2000.

13Stephan Jacquet, “Management de la performance”, 2011.

14Brun, Dugas, “La reconnaissance au travail: une pratique riche de sens”. Document de sensibilisation, chaire en gestion de la santé et de la sécurité du travail dans les organisations, 2005.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding the publication of this paper.


[1] Baron, X. (2011). Le monde en direct. De Charles-Louis Havas à L’afp, Deux Siècles D’histoire.
[2] Barrick, M. R. et al. (2001). Personality and Job Performance at the Beginning of the New Millennium: What Do We Know and Where Do We Go Next? International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 9, 9-30.
[3] Brun, J.-P., & Dugas, N. (2005). La reconnaissance au travail: Une pratique riche de sens. Document de sensibilisation, chaire en gestion de la santé et de la sécurité du travail dans les organisations.
[4] Cropanzano, R., & Wright, T. A. (1999). A 5-Year Study of Change in the Relationship between Well-Being and Job Performance. Consulting Psychology Journal: Practice & Research, 51, 252-265.
[5] Druhle (2004). Sociologue de l’imprévisible (p. 225). Sociologie d’aujourd’hui, Universitaires de France.
[6] Fisher, M. (2009). Le réalisme capitaliste. Genève-Paris, Entremonde.
[7] Fray, A.-M., & Picouleau, S. (2010). La qualité au travail. Le diagnostic de l’identité professionnelle: Une dimension essentielle pour la qualité au travail.
[8] Garnier, H., Meda, D., & Senik, C. (2006). La place du travail dans la performance. Economie et Statistique, 393-394, 21-40.
[9] Gohier (2000). La construction de l’identité professionnelle: Recherche et formation. Paris: L’Harmattan.
[10] Hackman and Oldham (1976). Comportement organisationnel et performance humaine. Business and Economics.
[11] Herzberg (1950). The Motivation to Work. Wiley.
[12] Jacquet, S. (2011). Management de la performance. Professeur de management, membre du CREG.
[13] Judge, T. A. et al. (2002). Personality and Leadership: A Qualitative and Quantitative Review. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87, 765-780.
[14] Méda, D. (1995). Le travail, une valeur en voie de disparition. Aubier-Montaigne.
[15] Motowidlo, S. J. (2003). Gestion de performance au travail. In Handbook of Pyschology, Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Wiley.
[16] Requilé, é. (2008). Entre souci de soi et réenchantement subjectif. Sens et portée du développement personnel. Mouvements, 2, 65-77.
[17] Sennet, R. (2000). Travail sans qualité. Les conséquences humaines de la flexibilité (p. 223). Albin Michel.

Copyright © 2024 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.