Intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivations of Master of Library and Information Science students: A cross-cultural comparative study

Kevin K.W. Ho, Patrick Lo, Dickson K.W. Chiu, Elaine Wei San Kong, Joyce Chao chen Chen, Qingshan Zhou, Yang Xu, Søren Dalsgard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the career and learning motivation of students studying a Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) degree programs at universities located in four different countries, namely the University of Hong Kong, National Taiwan Normal University, Peking University, and the University of Copenhagen. The MLIS students from these four universities were invited to take part in a self-completion online questionnaire survey, and 200 responses were collected in total. We discovered that their prior working experience in the library had an impact on their decision to pursue the MLIS program. We also categorized the career and learning motivation factors of MLIS learners into intrinsic and extrinsic factors, and discovered that the participants were motivated by both intrinsic and extrinsic factors to pursue their graduate studies in the Library and Information Science (LIS) field. We found that intrinsic factors influenced the students of University of Copenhagen significantly more than the other student groups, and this could be explained by Hofstede’s cultural dimensions. Our findings can assist with the formulation of development strategies for MLIS programs through a review of the LIS curriculum and help MLIS programs in different countries attract more people to pursue a career in LIS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-156
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Librarianship and Information Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes



  • Cross-national comparative study
  • graduate study
  • Hofstede cultural dimensions
  • librarianship
  • Library and Information Science
  • Library career
  • Library studies curriculum
  • Master of Library and Information Science degree program
  • questionnaire survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Library and Information Sciences

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