- WHAT IS MOTIVATION?
- Most often, motivation is the
term used to explain people's behavior. Successful athletes are
said to be highly motivated. A student who avoids work is said
to be unmotivated.
- Motivation is the individual, internal
process that energizes, directs, and sustains behavior. It is a
personal "force" that causes one to behave in a particular
- Morale is the employee's feeling toward
the job, superiors, and the firm itself
- High morale results mainly from the
satisfaction of needs on the job or as a result of the
- High morale leads to dedication and loyalty as well as
to the desire to do a job well.
- Low morale can lead to shoddy work, absenteeism, and
high rates of turnover.
- Motivation, morale, and the satisfaction
of employees' needs are thus intertwined.
- HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES ON MOTIVATION
- Scientific Management. During the early
part of the twentieth century, Frederick W. Taylor became
interested in improving the efficiency of individual workers.
- Taylor's interest stemmed from his own
experiences in manufacturing plants.
- His research eventually led to scientific management,
the application of scientific principles to management of
work and workers.
- One of Taylor's first jobs was with the
Midvale Steel Company. While there, he developed a strong
distaste for waste and inefficiency.
- Workers at Midvale "soldiered," or worked slowly,
because they feared if they worked faster they would run
out of work and lose their jobs.
- Taylor later left Midvale and spent several years at
Bethlehem Steel. There he made his most significant
contribution. In particular, he suggested that each job
should be broken down into separate tasks. His other
recommendations included the following:
- Management should determine the best way to
perform the tasks.
- Management should determine the job output to expect
when the tasks were performed properly.
- Management should carefully choose the best person
for each job and train that person to do the job
- Finally, management should cooperate with workers to
ensure that all jobs are performed as planned.
- Taylor also developed the idea that most people work
only to earn money.
- He reasoned that pay should be tied directly
to output: The more a person produces, the more he or she
should be paid.
- This concept gave rise to the piece-rate system,
under which employees are paid a certain amount for each
unit of output they produce.
- Under Taylor's piece-rate system, each employee was
assigned an output quota. Those exceeding the quota were
paid a higher per-unit rate for all units they produced.
(See Figure 9. 1.)
- Taylor's system was put into practice at Bethlehem
Steel, and the results were dramatic.
- Taylor's ideas were revolutionary and had a profound
impact on management practice. However, his view of
motivation was overly simplistic and narrow, inasmuch as
people work for a variety of reasons other than pay.
- The Hawthorne Studies. Between 1927 and
1932, two experiments were conducted by Elton Mayo at the
Hawthorne plant of the Western Electric Company in Chicago.
- The original objective of these studies, now
referred to as the Hawthome Studies, was to determine the
effects of the work environment on employee
- In the first set of experiments, lighting in the
workplace was varied for one group of workers but not for a
second group. Then the productivity of both groups was
measured to determine the effect of the variations in light.
- Productivity increased for both groups.
- For the group whose lighting was varied, productivity
remained high until the light was reduced to the level of
- The second set of experiments focused on the
effectiveness of the piece-rate system in increasing the
output of groups of workers.
- Researchers expected that output would
increase because faster workers would put pressure on
slower workers to produce more.
- However, output remained constant, no matter what
standard" rates management set.
- The researchers concluded that human factors were
responsible for the results of the two experiments.
- In the lighting experiments, researchers had
given both groups of workers a sense of involvement in
their jobs merely by asking them to participate in the
- In the piece-rate experiments, each group of workers
informally set the acceptable rate of output for the
group. To gain the social acceptance of the group, each
worker had to produce at that rate. Slower or faster
workers were pressured to maintain the group's pace.
- The Hawthorne Studies demonstrated that such human
factors are at least as important as pay rates are to
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The concept
of a hierarchy of needs was advanced by Abraham Maslow, a
psychologist. Maslow assumed that humans are "wanting" beings
who seek to fulfill a variety of needs. He assumed that these
needs can be arranged according to their importance in a
sequence known as Maslow's hierarchy of needs. (See Figure
- At the most basic level are physiological
needs, the things we require to survive. These needs include
food and water, clothing, shelter, and sleep.
- At the next level are safety needs, the things we
require for physical and emotional security. They may be
satisfied through job security, health insurance, pension
plans, and safe working conditions.
- Next are the social needs, the human requirements for
love, affection, and a sense of belonging. To an extent,
these needs can be satisfied through the work environment
and the informal organization. But they also include
relationships beyond the workplace.
- Esteem needs include the need for respect and
recognition (the esteem of others) as well as a sense of
accomplishment and worth (self-esteem). These needs may be
satisfied through personal accomplishment, promotion to more
responsible jobs, various honors and awards, and other forms
- At the uppermost level are self-actualization needs, the
needs to grow and develop as people and to become all that
we are capable of being. These are the most difficult needs
to satisfy, and the means of satisfying them tend to vary
with the individual.
- Maslow suggested that people work to satisfy their
physiological needs first, their safety needs next, and so
on up the "needs ladder."
- In general, people are motivated by the
needs at the lowest (most important) level that remain
- However, needs at one level do not have to be
completely satisfied before needs at the next-higher
level come into play.
- Maslow's hierarchy of needs provides a useful way of
viewing employee motivation as well as a guide for
management. By and large, American business has been able
to satisfy workers' basic needs, but the higher-order
needs present more of a problem.
- Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory. In the later
1950s, Frederick Herzberg interviewed approximately 200
accountants and engineers in Pittsburgh.
- During the interviews, he asked them to think
of a time when they had felt especially good about their
jobs and their work.
- Then he asked them to describe the factor or factors
that had caused them to feel that way.
- Next, he did the same regarding a time when they had
felt especially bad about their work.
- He found that feeling good and feeling bad resulted from
entirely different sets of factors.
- Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction. Herzberg's
interviews convinced him that satisfaction and
dissatisfaction may be different dimensions altogether.
- The idea that satisfaction and
dissatisfaction are separate and distinct dimensions is
referred to as the motivation hygiene theory. (See Figure
- The job factors that Herzberg found most frequently
associated with satisfaction are achievement,
recognition, responsibility, advancement, growth, and the
work itself. These factors are generally referred to as
motivation factors because their presence increases
motivation. However, their absence does not necessarily
result in feelings of dissatisfaction.
- Job factors cited as causing dissatisfaction are
supervision, working conditions, interpersonal
relationships, pay, job security, and company policies
and administration. These hygiene factors reduce
dissatisfaction when they are present to an acceptable
degree. However, they do not necessarily result in high
levels of motivation.
- Using Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory. Herzberg
provides explicit guidelines for using the
motivation-hygiene theory of employee motivation.
- He suggests that the hygiene factors must be
present to ensure that a worker can function comfortably.
But he warns that a state of no dissatisfaction never
- Managers should make hygiene as good as possible but
should then expect only short-term improvement in
- Managers must work to provide the motivation factors,
which will presumably enhance motivation and long-term
- Employee pay has more effect than is explained by
- Theory X and Theory Y. The concepts of Theory X and
Theory Y were advanced by Douglas McGregor in his 1960 book,
The Human Side of Enterprise. They are, in reality, sets of
assumptions that underlie management's attitudes and beliefs
regarding worker behavior.
- Theory X is a concept of employee motivation
generally consistent with Taylor's scientific management.
The basic assumptions of Theory X include the following:
- People dislike work and try to avoid
- Because people dislike work, managers must coerce,
control, and frequently threaten employees to achieve
- People generally must be led because they have little
ambition and will not seek responsibility. They are
concerned mainly with security.
- Theory Y is a concept of employee motivation generally
consistent with the ideas of the human relations movement.
The basic assumptions of Theory Y include the following:
- People do not naturally dislike work. In
fact, work is an important part of their lives.
- People will work toward goals to which they are
- People become committed to goals when it is clear
that accomplishing the goal will bring personal
- People often seek out and willingly-
- Employees have the potential to help accomplish
- Organizations generally do not make full use of their
- McGregor argued that most managers behave in accordance
with Theory X. But he maintained that Theory Y is more
appropriate and effective as a guide for managerial action.
(See Table 9. 1.)
- Theory Z. In the 1970s, William Ouchi, a
management professor at UCLA, began to study business practices
in United States and Japanese firms.
- In Japan, Ouchi found what he calls Type J
firms. They are characterized by:
- lifetime employment for employees
- collective (or group) decision making
- collective responsibility for the outcomes of
- slow evaluation and promotion
- implied control mechanisms
- nonspecialized career paths
- a holistic concern for employees as people
- American industry is dominated by what Ouchi calls Type
A firms. These firms are characterized by
- short-term employment
- individual decision making
- individual responsibility for the outcomes of
- rapid evaluation and promotion
- explicit control mechanisms
- specialized career paths
- a segmented concern for employees only as
- A few very successful American firms represent a blend
of the Type J and Type A patterns. These Type Z
- long-term employment
- collective decision making
- individual responsibility for the outcomes of
- slow evaluation and promotion
- informal control along with some formalized
- moderately specialized career paths
- a holistic concern for employees
- Theory Z is the belief that some middle ground between
Ouchi's Type A and Type J practices is best for American
business. (See Figure 9.4.)
- Reinforcement Theory. Reinforcement theory is based
on the premise that behavior that is rewarded is likely to be
repeated, whereas behavior that has been punished is less
likely to recur.
- Kinds of Reinforcement. A reinforcement
is an action that follows directly from a particular
behavior. Reinforcements can take a variety of forms and can
be used in a number of different ways.
- A positive reinforcement strengthens desired
behavior by providing a reward.
- A negative reinforcement strengthens desired behavior
by eliminating an undesirable task or situation.
- Punishment is an undesired consequence that follows
from undesirable behavior.
- Managers who rely on extinction hope to eliminate
undesirable behavior by ignoring it.
- Using Reinforcement. The effectiveness of
reinforcement depends on which type is used and how it is
- Generally, positive reinforcement is
considered the most effective action, and it is
recommended when the manager has a choice.
- Continual, repetitious reinforcement can become
tedious for both managers and employees, especially when
the same behavior is being reinforced over and over in
the same way.
- CONTEMPORARY VIEWS ON MOTIVATION
- In recent years, managers have
begun to explore four other models that take a more dynamic
view of motivation: equity theory, expectancy theory,
reinforcement theory, and Theory Z.
- Equity Theory. The equity theory of motivation is
based on the premise that people are motivated first to achieve
and then to maintain a sense of equity.
- As used here, equity refers to the distribution
of rewards in direct proportion to the contribution of each
employee to the organization.
- Everyone need not receive the same rewards, but the
rewards should be in accordance with individual
- According to the theory, we tend to implement the idea
of equity as follows.
- First, we develop an input-to-outcome ratio.
Inputs are the things we contribute to the organization.
Outcomes are the things we get from the
- Next, we compare this ratio with what we perceive as
the input-to-outcome ratio for some other person, called
the comparison other."
- If the two ratios are roughly the same, we feel that
the organization is treating us equitably and are
motivated to leave things as they are.
- If our ratio is the lower of the two, we feel under
rewarded and are motivated to change things. We may
- decrease our own inputs by not working so
- try to increase our total outcomes by asking for a
raise in pay.
- try to get the comparison other to increase some
inputs or receive decreased outcomes.
- leave the work situation.
- do a new comparison with a different comparison
- Equity theory is most relevant to pay as an
- Expectancy Theory. Expectancy theory, developed by
Victor Vroom is a very complex model of motivation that is
based on a simple assumption. According to expectancy theory,
motivation depends on how much we want something and on how
likely we are to get it. (See Figure 9.5.)
- Consider three sales representatives who are
candidates for promotion to one sales manager's job.
- Bill has had a very good sales year and
always gets good performance evaluations. But he isn't
sure he wants the job because it requires a great deal of
travel, long working hours, and much stress and
- Paul wants the job but he doesn't think he has much
chance of getting it. He has had a terrible sales year
and gets only mediocre performance evaluations from his
- Susan wants the job as much as Paul, and she thinks
she has a good chance of getting it. Her sales have
improved significantly this past year, and her
evaluations are the best in the company.
- Expectancy theory would predict that Bill and Paul
are not very motivated to seek the promotion. But Susan
is very motivated to seek the promotion, because she
wants it and thinks she can get it.
- Expectancy theory is complex because each action we take
is likely to lead to several different outcomes, some that
we may want and others that we may not want. For example, if
people work hard and put in a lot of extra hours, several
things may happen.
- They may get a pay raise.
- They may be promoted.
- They may gain valuable new job skills.
- They may have less time to spend with their
- They may have to cut back on their social life.
- Expectancy theory is difficult to apply, but it does
provide several useful guidelines for managers. It suggests
that managers must recognize the following:
- Employees work for a variety of
- These reasons, or expected outcomes, may change over
- It is necessary to clearly show employees how they
can attain the outcomes they desire.
- Goal-Setting Theory. Goal-setting theory
suggests that employees are motivated to achieve goals they
establish together with managers.
- There are three requirements for the goals that
- They should be specific.
- They should be moderately difficult.
- They should be goals that the employee will commit to
- Employee rewards should be tied to goal
- There are several benefits of using goal-setting theory.
- It allows managers to design rewards that
fit employee needs.
- It clarifies expectations.
- It maintains equity.
- It provides reinforcement.
- KEY MOTIVATION TECHNIQUES
- Management by Objectives. Management by
objectives (MBO) is a motivation process in which managers and
employees collaborate in setting goals.
- The primary purpose of MBO is to clarify the
roles that the employees are expected to play in reaching
the organization's goals. MBO allows subordinates to
participate in goal setting and in performance-
- Most MBO programs consist of five steps. (See Figure
- The first step is to secure the acceptance
of top management.
- Next, preliminary goals must be established.
- In the third step, manager and employee establish
goals for the employee.
- Fourth, the manager and each employee meet
periodically to review the employee's progress.
- The fifth step is evaluation.
- Like many other management methods, MBO has advantages
- MBO can motivate employees by involving them
in the MBO process. Also, communication is improved
within the firm.
- A major problem with MBO is that it does not work
unless the process begins at the top of the organization.
In some cases, MBO results in excessive paperwork.
Finally, some managers have difficulty sitting down and
working out goals with their employees.
- Job Enrichment. Job enrichment is an attempt to
provide workers with variety in their tasks. It gives them some
responsibility for, and control over, their jobs.
- Job enlargement, which means expanding a
worker's assignments to include additional but similar
tasks, can lead to job enrichment.
- Job redesign is a type of job enrichment in which work
is restructured in ways that cultivate the worker-job
- Behavior Modification. Behavior modification is the
use of a systematic program of reinforcement to encourage
desirable behavior. Specific steps include the following:
- The target behavior-the behavior that is to be
- Existing levels of this behavior are then measured.
- Next, managers provide positive reinforcement.
- Finally, levels of the target behavior are measured
again, to determine whether the desired changes have been
- Flextime. Flextime is a system in which employees
set their own work hours within certain limits set by
employers. Typically the firm establishes two bands of time:
- Core time is when all employees must be at
- Flexible time is the time employees may choose whether
to be at work.
- Part-Time Work and Job Sharing
- Part-time work is permanent employment in which
individuals work less than a standard workweek.
- Job sharing is an arrangement whereby two people share
one full-time position.
- For the workers, job sharing provides the
security of a permanent job along with the flexibility of
a part-time job.
- For firms, job sharing provides an opportunity to
attract highly skilled employees who might not be
available on a full-time basis.
- Job sharing is difficult if tasks aren't easily
- Telecommuting. A growing number of companies allow
telecommuting-working at home all of the time or for a portion
of the workweek.
- Because there is less travel time and fewer
distractions, many telecommuters report increased
- Reported disadvantages of telecommuting include feelings
of isolation, putting in longer hours, and being distracted
by family responsibilities.
- Employee Empowerment. Empowerment means giving
employees greater involvement in their jobs and in the
operations of the organization by increasing their
participation in decision making.
- For empowerment to work effectively, management
must be involved and perform the following functions.
- Set expectations.
- Communicate standards.
- Institute periodic evaluations.
- Guarantee follow-up.
- Advantages of employee empowerment include increased job
satisfaction; improved job performance; higher quality
output; increased organizational commitment; lower turnover;
and lower use of sick leave.
- Obstacles to empowerment can include resistance on the
part of management; distrust of management on the part of
workers; insufficient training; and poor communication
between management and employees.
- Self-Managed Work Teams. One of the ways in which
organizations are increasing employee motivation is through the
use of self-managed work teams, groups of employees with the
authority and skills to manage them.
- To make the most effective use of teams, it is
essential that organizations are committed to the team
approach, that team objectives are clear, that training and
education is ongoing, and that compensation rewards
- Gain sharing is a compensation method in which employee
bonuses are tied to achievement of team goals such as
increased sales or productivity, or improved customer
- When correctly implemented, use of teams can lead to
higher employee morale, increased productivity, and
- Although the work team strategy is increasingly popular,
it is not without problems.
- Lack of support from managers and
supervisors can minimize or eliminate potential
- Companies must be prepared for an initial increase in
costs for training and implementation.
- Employee Ownership. Some organizations are
discovering that an effective technique for motivating
employees is to let them own the company.
- Employee-owned businesses directly reward
employees for success. When the company benefits from
increased sales or lower costs, employees benefit
- Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) have been shown
to provide considerable employee incentive and increase
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