?What motivates people at work? Essay

There have been a big figure of theories looking into motive at work and the factors which affect it. In this essay I will be researching three cardinal theories in the country, each provides a really different angle on what motivates employees at work.

To get down I will look at a demand theory of motive, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory ( 1959 ) , as the name suggests need theories concentrate on the need’s of the employee as the chief beginning of motive. Herzberg built upon Maslow’s enormously influential Hierarchy of Needs ( 1954 ) . Conducting research on 203 American comptrollers and applied scientists he looked at what makes employees satisfied and dissatisfied at work. Contrary to Maslow’s theory Herzberg suggests that motive is non measured on one additive graduated table from satisfied to dissatisfied, but instead the two are independent of each other and form separate graduated tables. The first group which determines dissatisfaction ( or de-motivation ) are named Hygiene factors which include our basic demands such as our wage and safety. The add-on or betterment of hygiene factors can merely take to contentment in employees and non motive.

The 2nd group which determines satisfaction are named Incentives, these include our internal demands such as our demand to accomplish, to be recognised and given duty. A diminution or deficiency of incentives will non de-motivate employees, but adding them can take to increased motive. Research on the theory has provided both support and unfavorable judgment. To get down with the theory is supported by the figure of successful reproductions as reported by Hodgetts and Luthans ( 1991 ) , these reproductions have taken topographic point across the universe and in a broad assortment of different occupation sectors and still achieved the same consequences. The chief country of unfavorable judgment for the Two-Factor theory targets the methodological analysis of the research it was derived from. Soliman ( 1970 ) pointed out that the inclination of topics to give socially desirable replies would hold impacted the replies participants gave to Herzbergs open ended inquiries. In add-on there is a inclination for people to impute negative state of affairss to others and positive to themselves e.g.

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“I felt satisfaction when ‘I’ achieved and was recognised for it” or “I was dissatisfied when ‘the company’ paid me late” . This colored ascription of fulfilling and dissatisfying state of affairss is another illustration of a job with the methodological analysis. More jobs with the methodological analysis are shown by House and Wigdor ( 1967 ) . After re-analysing Herzberg’s original consequences they concluded that factors described as being either a hygiene or incentive were non reciprocally sole. In many instances the add-on of Hygiene factors can move to actuate people, likewise a deficiency of Motivator factors can do dissatisfaction. However every bit good as looking at the empirical research on the theory we must besides believe about its value when practically applied to the workplace.

In support of the theory it does, to a certain extent makes sense. If one month you miss out on wage or are required to make something unsafe you would be dissatisfied. At the same clip employees do non experience satisfied or motivated by safe working conditions or being paid on clip because it is what they expect. The same goes for Motivator factors, an employee would experience more satisfied if they received a personal compliment from the foreman but it is improbable that they would experience disgruntled if it didn’t happen. They surely wouldn’t expect it every twenty-four hours. Yet one key job with the theory is that it fails to take into history the difference between satisfaction and motive. An employee may be satisfied at work, they may obtain all the ‘motivator’ factors outlined in the theory but this does non intend they will automatically be motivated to be every bit productive as they can be.

Another unfavorable judgment is that the theory does non account for single differences, employees are non all the same, some may be more mercenary and be motivated more by pecuniary wages. Some strive for accomplishment and are willing to make anything to derive the regard of their equals and high position within the concern while others may be content with their occupation and merely wish to maintain their caputs down and acquire on with it. Put merely, while being given duty may fulfill some people others may happen it an unpleasant add-on to their occupation. In drumhead the Two-Factor theoretical account and its back uping research have been found to hold good re-test and transverse cultural dependability but has been to a great extent criticised for its cogency and methodological analysis. Although this weakens the value of the theory it has still been highly influential and can be practically applied in most organisations as a method by which staff motive can be monitored and improved.

Following I am traveling to look at the Goal Setting Theory Locke ( 1969 ) . The basic premiss of the theory is that by puting a end you can increase a person’s motive and public presentation. This addition in public presentation is due to the motivational influence of ends in 4 cardinal countries ( as cited in Woods 2010 ) . The first is that ends help to concentrate a person’s attending and behavior in the right way. Second ends have the consequence of increasing the attempt a individual is willing expend. Third the add-on of a end addition the sum of a clip a individual will pass on a specific undertaking. Finally they motivate an person to seek out and use relevant cognition and accomplishments in order to finish the end. This is how the end puting theory explains why we are motivated by ends. In add-on to this Locke and Latham ( 1990 ) put frontward 5 cardinal characteristics of a end which find how actuating it is, to be effectual ends must be ;

1 ) Specific, a end which gives a specific mark is more motivative so ends which merely require a individual to ‘do your best’ . 2 ) Measurable, a mensurable mark enables a individual to track their advancement towards the end and change their attempt and method consequently. 3 ) Time-Bound, using a deadline to accomplishing the end enables a individual to better pull off their clip and attempt. 4 ) Challenging, it is improbable that an easy end will actuate a individual to set in maximal attempt. By doing the end disputing people are push and required to work harder in order to accomplish. 5 ) Attainable, holding a end which is impossible to accomplish is likely to de-motivate a individual, why would a individual put attempt in if they have no opportunity of success. It must be realistically possible to accomplish ends. The theory provides a good elaborate description of both how and why people are motivated.

It has been one of the most widely researched countries within motivational psychological science and is still really much an germinating country. Research by Latham and Baldes ( 1975 ) put the nucleus premise of the end puting theory to the trial in a existent universe puting. They introduced the end of making 94 % efficiency in the burden of trucks ( antecedently at merely 60 % ) to a group of employees in a logging company. The employees were motivated by the end and successfully achieved ( and frequently surpassed ) it and continued to work systematically at the mark rate. To hold achieved the same addition in efficiency without Goal theory ( by buying more trucks ) would hold cost the company $ 250,000. Another illustration of research back uping the Goal puting theory comes from Blumenfeld and Leidy ( 1969 ) .

They found that 55 applied scientists in charge of soft drinks machines checked well more machines when put a end so when no end was set. Furthermore it was found that applied scientists checked more machines when put a ambitious end so if set an easy end. A cardinal job with the methodological analysis of both pieces of back uping research above is that there was small control over immaterial variables. For illustration Latham and Baldes ( 1975 ) did demo a immense addition in productiveness, but this may non hold been due to the add-on of a end. Possibly the competitory nature of the lumbermans lead to an addition in efficiency, it may besides hold merely been down to the increased supervising the workers received at the clip. Again it is of import to look at the theory in footings of its practical application in the workplace. Its cardinal strength is that it does look to work as a method of increasing motive, nevertheless once more the theory fails to account for single differences. Employees who are already extremely motivated at work would profit from ends being set ; it would force them and enable them to turn out themselves.

However other less confident employees may non bask the competitory nature of workplace ends and marks, it could even do emphasis and uncomfortableness and leads to a decrease in motive. In add-on, when you direct a person’s attending and attempt towards one specific end you may acquire a lessening in public presentation in other undertakings. A end may non increase motive but merely direct it. For illustration if you give hospital staff the mark of seeing all patients within 10 minuets they may accomplish the mark but at the cost of service and quality of intervention. This would evidently be damaging to the quality of work on the whole. A concluding point to see is that all employees have different degrees of ability so in order for ends to force an employee but still remain accomplishable they must be separately tailored.

Equally good as being impractical in a big concern Equality theories ( discussed next ) would propose that giving some people easier marks than others may really take to a decrease in motive. On the whole Goal Theories are really utile and practical when applied in the right fortunes. Possibly one failing of both the theory and back uping research is in its inability to account for causes of demotivation in an organisation. However the research shows that ends do actuate people at work, yet when applied to an organisational environment we see possible drawbacks and possible troubles which are hard to get the better of.

The concluding theory I am traveling to analyze is the Organizational Justice Theory which builds upon the equity theory put frontward by Adams ( 1963 ) . The Organizational Justice theory has been constructed from theory and research contributed by a important figure of psychologists, surely excessively many to name in their entireness. However two cardinal subscribers worth observing are Greenberg ( 1987a ) who coined the term Organizational Justice and conducted much of the early research and Mowday ( 1987 ) ( cited in Greenberg 1990 ) who has had a important impact on the theory. The nucleus belief of the theory is that employees can be motivated ( or de-motivated ) by their perceptual experience of how reasonably they are being treated at work in comparing to their co-workers. The theory suggests three different types of justness which can be perceived. The first is Distributive Justice, which looks at the extent to which an employee thinks they are being reasonably rewarded for the work they put in compared to others, the theory suggest that a individual will either addition or diminish their degree of input in order to equilibrate out and reconstruct equality.

The 2nd is Procedural Justice, this looks at how just a individual feels the processs and systems are within a concern, for illustration is holiday day of the month allotment carnival. The 3rd is Interactional Justice, this is the least researched country and via medias of two parts ; Informational Justice describes how good informed a individual is about the determinations taken within a concern, utilizing vacation as an illustration once more it may be explained to an employee why they can non hold the vacation they asked for. Interpersonal Justice describes the extent to which person feels they are treated with regard. As with the Goal puting theory at that place has been a considerable sum of research put into Organizational Justice theory. In a recent survey Zapata-Phelan, Colquitt, Scott and Livingston ( 2009 ) ( cited in Woods 2010 ) looked at how procedural and interaction justness effected motive and in bend public presentation. They found that when a individual perceived high procedural justness in an organisation there was an addition in motive, taking to an addition in public presentation.


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