Personal Investment as a Predictor of Camp Counselor Job Performance


  • Kevin D. Lyons


Employee recruitment and selection is a perennial task of summer camp directors. While camp directors do their best to ensure that quality camp counselors are hired, there is little empirical work done on this topic that might guide directors in this formidable task. This study sought to fill this gap by examining the relationship between motivation factors that led counselors to apply for a position at camp and their ensuing job performance. This research focused upon meanings behind motives using Maehr and Braskamp's (1986) Theory of Personal Investment.A sample of camp counselors was surveyed to ascertain motives for wanting to work at the camp. Tlus data was supplemented with demographic information and formed the independent variable for this study. The job performance of the staff was assessed using the camp's standardized evaluation and became the dependent variable for the investigation. A series of bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify whether specific motives and demographic characteristics predicted ensuing job performance.The results of this investigation suggest that specific motives associated with ethics and morals were predictors of a number of job performance criteria. This study also found that less altruistic motives associated with the development of practical skills and experience were also able to predict job performance. In addition, this study also found that a number of demographic characteristics predicted specific job performance measures.This paper discusses the implications of the findings for practice. Specifically ,this paper discusses tl1e merits of seeking to hire a staff who were motivated to apply for tl1e job of camp counselor for a variety of reasons. Tlus strategic interviewing technique would likely result in a staff who displayed a range of desirable capabilities relevant to the job. Recommendations were made regarding ways to structure selection interviews so that specific capabilities of interviewees could be ascertained by camp administrators. This investigation provides timely evidence of how the selection interview can still be used in an effective way by camp administrators. This paper concludes by making recommendations for further research that would examine the relationship between work motivation and job performance in others sectors of the leisure and recreation industry.





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