Intrinsic Motivation of Organ Transplant Coordinators in Europe and Japan


Deceased organ donation is much less prominent in Japan than it is in Western countries. Since organ shortage is a serious social problem in Japan, various solutions to the problem have been considered. Although it was believed that the most critical factor in the organ shortage was the absence of a well-established in-hospital system to convert potential donors into actual donors, no prior studies attempted to analyze the problem from the perspective of the intrinsic motivation of in-hospital coordinators. Thus, we conducted a questionnaire survey in Europe and Japan to identify the characteristics of in-hospital coordinators, who play crucial roles in organ donation. We compared job satisfaction, pride in one’s work, professionalism, job core dimensions based on Hackman and Oldham’s Job Characteristics Model, and job responsibilities among 43 European and 73 Japanese in-hospital coordinators. Our results demonstrated that the European coordinators have higher levels of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback in their job characteristics, take more pride in their work, and exhibit more professionalism in their jobs than the Japanese coordinators. These three factors also lead to their job satisfaction and high job performance. These findings imply that the Japanese coordinators need motivation to improve the process by which potential donors are selected as actual donors. We suggest that if the job responsibilities of the Japanese coordinators were redefined, they were provided with systematic education and training to foster their professionalism, and they received the recognition of healthcare professionals and the public, they would feel a greater sense of pride, and this would promote increased organ donation in Japan.

Organ donation; in-hospital coordinator; intrinsic motivation; job characteristics model; survey research; Europe and Japan

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