Researchers found that two out of three employees would still want to keep their jobs if they were financially independent - a slight increase over the last 15 years.
But only a minority of the 3,458 working men and women questioned for the Employment in Britain Survey said they felt strongly committed to their employers.
Less than a third said they would turn down an offer of a better-paid job to stay with their current organisation.
The investigation into the attitudes of working people was conducted by Dr Duncan Gallie of Nuffield College, Oxford, and Dr Michael White of the Policy Studies Institute, sponsored by the Department of Employment and a consortium of leading employers.
It found that during the past decade women's reasons for going out to work had grown closer to men's, with more women citing the importance of financial pressures.
Overall, 63 per cent of the people questioned said the level of skill required in their jobs had risen over the past five years.
Increased skill levels have been accompanied by a greater variety of work and increased responsibility, with 62 per cent saying they had to work harder than five years ago.