Elements of work motivation

Elements of work motivation

  • Elements
    • Direction of behavior: which behaviors does a person choose to perform in an organization?
    • Level of effort: how hard does a person work to perform a chosen behavior
    • Level of persistence: when faced with obstacles, road blocks, and walls, how hard does a person keep trying to perform a chosen behavior successfully
  • Employees are always motivated, question is what are the motivated to do, what you want them to do or something else?
  • Motivation: the psychological forces within a person that determine the direction of a person’s behavior in an organization. A person’s level of effort, and a person’s level of persistence in the face of obstacles
    • Direction: what you choose to do
    • Effort: how hard you try to do it
    • Persistence: the extent to which you keep trying when you encounter resistance
  • Components of motivation à forces within individuals that energize, direct, and sustain behavior overtime
    • Behavior that has its objective to satisfy the need gets energized
    • Directed: focus in ways to maximize your probability of success
    • Sustains: keeps it going overtime


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Theory X and Y

  • Theory X
    • The average worker has an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it if possible
    • Because of this dislike, people must be coerced, threatened, controlled, in order to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational goals
    • The average human being prefers being directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has remotely few ambitions, and desires security above all else
  • Theory Y
    • The expenditure of physical or mental effort at work is as natural as play or rest
    • External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means for bringing about effort towards the fulfillment of organizational goals. Adults will exercise self-direction and self-control toward objectives to which they are committed
    • Commitment towards objectives is a function of the rewards they associate with their achievement. The most significant rewards are related to esteem and self-actualization
    • The average human being learns to accept and to actually seek responsibility
    • The capacity to exercise high levels of creativity, imagination, and commitment to responsibility at work is widely, not narrowly distributed, throughout the population
    • Under conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human are only partially utilized
  • Discussion of X and Y
    • X is traditional (old, outdated, no longer valid) y is modern
  • Managerial implications of MacGregor’s x and y
    • Employees are usually x or y types


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

  • Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: need levels
    • Self-actualization needs: the needs to realize one’s full potential as a human being (ex. By using one’s skills/abilities to the fullest and striving to achieve ones goal)
    • Esteem needs: the need to feels good about one’s self and one’s capabilities to be respected by others, and to receive recognition and appreciation (ex. By receiving promotions and being recognized for accomplishments on the job)
    • Belongingness needs: needs for social interaction, friendship, affection, and love (ex. By having good relations with coworkers and supervisors, being a member of a cohesive group and participating in social functions – holiday parties)
    • Safety needs: needs for security, stability, and a safe environment (ex. By receiving job security, adequate medical benefits, and safe working conditions)
    • Physiological needs: basic needs for things such as food, water, and shelter that must be met in order to survive (ex. By receiving enough pay to live life)
  • Content theory (Maslow): content of human needs, internal forces within us that energize our behavior and cause us to conclude some action
  • Process theory: process by which we make decisions about how to satisfy our needs when alternative courses of action are available to us (choice behavior, expectancy/equity theory
  • Only need that’s motivating is an unsatisfied one
  • Self-actualization à the more you have, the more you want
  • When needs are satisfied, they become less important
  • Lower level needs satisfied before higher level needs


Alderfer ERG theory

  • Alderfer ERG theory need levels
    • Growth needs: the needs for self-deployment and creative and productive work (ex. By continually improving skills and abilities and engaging in meaningful work)
    • Relatedness needs: the need to have good interpersonal relations, to share thoughts and feelings, and to have two-way communication (ex. By having good relationships with coworkers, supervisors, and subordinates and by obtaining accurate feedback from others)
    • Existence needs: basic needs for human survival like food, water, clothes, shelter (ex. By receiving enough pay to live)
  • Differences between Alderfer and Maslow
    • Alderfer is 3 level classification and Maslow is 5 levels
    • Differ in how needs are assumed to operate: Alderfer lower level needs don’t have to be satisfied before higher level needs
    • Alderfer believes more than one need can satisfy people at a time
    • Alderfer argues when a person isn’t able to satisfy a higher-level need, the motivation to satisfy a lower level need will increase


Managerial applications of need theory

  • Managerial applications of need theory
    • Don’t assume all employees are motivated by the same needs. Needs can range from higher-order to lower-order and usually changes over time
    • To determine what will motivate an employee, find out what needs the employee is trying to satisfy on the job, sometimes all you have to do is ask, an alternative is to leave them to decide
    • Make sure you have the ability to give and withhold outcomes that will satisfy the employee’s needs
    • Be sure to tie the giving of need satisfying outcomes to desired job performance
    • Organizations must make many kinds of reward available to managers to distribute and permit flexibility in how these rewards are allocated
  • To apply need theory on the job managers must understand what needs are and how they operate
  • Managers get from employees what they inspect not what they expect
  • Needs, rewards, and evaluation and control systems are all interconnected parts of the broader strategy an organization applies to motivate employees to behave in organizationally desirable ways
  • Managers should rely on a clear understanding of the needs their employers have and the things that they can do to satisfy those needs overtime in exchange for the quantity/quality of performance the organization wants


Expectancy theory

  • Expectancy theory
    • A process theory of motivation that tells us how people make choices about their direction and level of effort when they have alternatives available to them
    • It assumes people are motivated to obtain positive outcomes and avoid negative outcomes
    • It assumes people are responsibly rationale processors of information and bade their decisions on perception
  • Expectancy: a person’s perception of the extent to which his or her effort will result in a certain level of job performance, it can be affected by factors internal and external to the individual (subjective probability)
  • Instrumentality: a person’s perception of the extent to which performing certain actions at a given level will lead to a particular outcome (subjective probability)
  • Valence: the felt value or attractiveness of a particular outcome to a person


Conclusions about expectancy theory

  • To be motivated to work, people must
    • Desire the outcomes offered by the organization
    • Perceive that performance on their part will lead to those outcomes
    • Believe that effort on their part will lead to performance
  • Therefore, managers must do everything they can to strengthen
    • Their employee’s effort – performance expectations
    • Their performance – outcome instrumalities
    • Their outcome values


What specifically can managers do?

  • Effort – performance expectations
    • Create high general expectations for success (providing outgoing positive messages about employee’s ability to succeed)
    • Give feedback to employees (positive and negative) about all relevant aspects of their job performance so they know what they are doing wrong/right. This is an importance source of information they can use to determine what behaviors they should maintain or change
    • Get feedback from employees (positive and negative) regarding aspects of their job that they might know more about than you. This will help you make better decisions and possibly provide employees with a greater feeling of involvement, participation, and empowerment
    • Use the above information to set achievable goals, this will tend to maximize employee’s achievement motivation, to the extent they are capable of experiencing this motivation
    • Set reasonable workloads
    • Establish clear path goal relationship, make sure that employees have a clear understanding of how to achieve goals they are being held responsible for
    • Provide adequate resources to do the job (money, equipment, supplies, information)
    • Develop appropriate employee selection procedures, will ensure right employees are hired for the job
  • Performance – outcome instrumentalities and valences
    • Make credible threats/promises so employees will conclude that rewards will follow promises with certainty and punishments will follow threats with certainty
    • Make sure that the outcomes you provide are attractive to employees. Value is subjective and the value of an outcome (vacations, promotions, OT) isn’t perceived the same by everyone
    • Understand that needs influence perception. An outcome will be valued to the extent it is seen as satisfying the needs people have
    • To find out what outcomes a person values isn’t always complicated, just ask
    • Make sure that all possible outcomes you can provide are known to employees so they can decide which outcomes have value for them
    • Make the allocation of rewards visible to employees to enhance your credibility and permit employees to make relevant social comparisons. Comparisons are necessary in order for employees to access the connection you’ve established between performance and reward and to determine whether you are applying these reward allocation rules fairly and equally
    • Offer rewards that have enough variability in terms of how frequently they can be provided and, in their amount, so that rewards can be tied to performance


Conditions for equity and inequity

  • Equity condition à referent person comparison
    • Equity: outcomes/inputs = outputs/inputs
    • Overpayment inequity: outputs/inputs > outputs/inputs
    • Underpayment inequity: outputs/inputs< outputs/inputs
  • Persistence: what you need to know/do to assure level of effort instilled in your employees will be sustained overtime à equity theory
  • Perceived equity: extent to which an individual believes there is fairness/justice in the way rewards have been allocated by the organization (fairly allocated rewards à employee satisfied by rewards à sustained performance overtime)
  • What determines whether you’ll perceive the allocation of rewards equitable or inequitable
    • Inputs person believes they provided to the organization
    • Perception of the outputs/input’s person received for their contributions
    • Outcomes-to-inputs ratio compares to the ratio of others
  • Compare ourselves to referent persons (someone who we perceive as similar to in important ways that are relevant to the allocation of rewards or circumstances others in the organization are facing)
  • Output input ratios
    • Equity: same, rewards are comparable to rewards received by referent persons for their inputs
    • Overpayment inequity: employee perceived to be over rewarded in exchange for contributions compared to referent persons
    • Underpayment inequity: person feels under rewarded relative to their inputs in comparison to referent persons à leads to dissatisfaction, motivation to discontinue one’s current level of performance


Why perceptions of equity can go astray

  • Important points about equity
    • It’s an important determinant of a person’s satisfaction with their rewards
    • It’s perceived rather than objective equity/inequity that counts (eye of the beholder)
  • Factors influencing felt equity
    • People tend to misperceive how much they are contributing to their organization in a positive direction (perceived to be more valuable than they are)
    • Value: how important you perceive your particular contribution to be
    • People differ in their evaluation of the outcomes they receive in exchange for their performance (different people have different needs), relationship between outcomes and needs: an outcome satisfies a need that we have, that outcome will be perceived as a reward
    • People don’t consider all outcomes they receive and tend to undervalue their full worth in monetary terms (benefits)
    • 3 different types of inequity/equity
      • Internal equity comparisons employees make with employees above and below them in the hierarchy of authority (perceive below fewer rewards, above higher rewards) comparing jobs not performance, job qualifications, or conditions
      • External equity: comparisons employees make with comparable employees in other organizations
      • Employee equity: comparisons employees make with comparable employees in their organization in terms of performance, job qualifications, condition of employment (employees looking at what referent persons are doing)


What employees can do to restore perceived equity in the allocation of rewards

  • Change your inputs or outcomes (to the extent they have control over them)
  • Change your referent persons inputs or outcomes (behave politically)
  • Reassess what inputs and outputs are really relevant to you or actually present in your work environment
  • Change your referent persons to those with whom perceived equity is in better balance
  • Rationalize the inequity (oh it’s really not that bad)
  • Leave the job or organization if you have the opportunity to do so
  • Cause your referent person to leave the job or organization


The motivation equation

Inputs à performance à outcomes

  • Inputs: effort time, education, experience, skills, knowledge, job behaviors
  • Performance: quantity or work, quality of work, level of customer service
  • Outcomes: pay, job security, benefits, vacation job satisfaction, feeling of accomplishment, pleasure of doing interesting work


Procedural justice

  • Procedural justice the perceived fairness of the procedures used to make decisions about the distribution of outcomes
  • Causes of perceived procedural justice
    • How employees should be treated by the distributor of outcomes
      • Be honest and courteous
      • Provide timely feedback
      • Respect worker’s rights/opinions
      • Allow workers to contribute their own view points
    • What you should explain to employees regarding the reasons for your decision
      • How performance was appraised
      • How outcomes were tied to performance
    • Consequences of perceived procedural justice
      • When individual receives medium to high level of outcomes, outcomes are viewed as fair regardless of procedures
      • When individual receives low level of outcomes, they are viewed as fair only if the procedures are perceived as fair


Questions addressed by 4 theories of motivation

  • Need theories
    • What outcomes are individuals motivated to obtain in the workplace
  • Expectancy theory
    • Do individuals believe that their inputs will result in a given level of performance
    • Do individuals believe that performance at this level will lead to obtaining outcomes they deserve
  • Equity theory
    • Are outcomes perceived as being at an appearance level in comparison to inputs
  • Procedural justice theory
    • Are the procedures used to asses inputs and performance and to distribute outcomes perceived as fair


Motivation tools

  • Inputs: job design, goal setting
  • Performance: performance appraisal
  • Outcomes: pay, career opportunities


Approaches to job design

  • Approach and features (motivational focus)
    • Scientific management (extrinsic)
      • Work simplification
      • Time and motion studies
      • Price rate pay
    • Job enlargement (intrinsic)
      • Horizontal job loading (increase the number of tasks with not increase in difficulty/responsibility)
    • Job enrichment (intrinsic)
      • Vertical job loading (increase responsibility and provide worker with opportunities for growth)
    • Job characteristics model (intrinsic)
      • Core job dimensions
        • Skill variety
        • Task identity
        • Task significance
        • Autonomy
        • Feedback
      • Critical psychological states
        • Experienced meaningfulness of the work
        • Experienced responsibility for work outcomes
        • Knowledge of the results
      • Work and personal outcomes
        • Intrinsic motivation
        • Job performance
        • Job satisfaction
        • Absenteeism and turnover
      • Social information processing model (extrinsic and intrinsic)
        • Emphasis on social environment
        • Emphasis on implications of past behaviors
      • Scientific management (Frederick Winslow Taylor)
        • Divide tasks into small parts and assign to different individuals
      • Job enhancement (Hertzberg)
        • Work divided into motivation factors and hygiene factors
          • Motivation factors: aspects of work content (characteristics of the task, amount of responsibility, ability of the job to satisfy growth needs, how much autonomy you have, how challenging)
          • Hygiene factors: work context (job security, your coworkers, pay, working conditions, your supervisor)
        • Intrinsic motivation simulated by interesting and challenging work
        • Social and information processing (Salecik and Pfeffer)
          • Factors that shape/influence employee’s perception of the characteristics of their job
            • Perceptions/attitudes of other employees regarding what aspects of the job one should pay attention to, how job characteristics should be evaluated
            • The employee’s own past behavior and experience
          • Out past experience has a bearing on our perceptions/evaluations of current situations
        • Help us understand how people evaluate their current situations and why people differ in evaluating the same situation
        • The more we freely commit ourselves to a course of action the more likely we will perceive the job as favorable
        • The less committed we are/personally responsible we feel for making the career choice the less inclined we will be to perceive the job favorably


The 5 core job characteristics

  • Skill variety
    • The extent to which a job requires a worker to use different skills, talents, and abilities
  • Task identity
    • The extent to which a job involves performing s while piece of work from beginning to end
  • Task significance
    • The extent to which the job has an impact on the lives or work of other people in or out of the organization
  • Autonomy
    • The degree to which the job allows a worker the freedom and independence to schedule work and decide to carry it our
  • Feedback
    • The extent to which performing a job provides a worker with clear information about their effectiveness


The job characteristics model

  • Model identifies
    • Specific characteristics of jobs that determine their motivational potential
    • What the major psychological factors were that determined an employee’s reaction to these characteristics
    • What behavioral and attitudinal response were likely to be
  • Core job dimensions: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, feedback
  • Critical psychological states: experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for the work outcomes, knowledge of the results
  • Personal and work outcomes: high intrinsic motivation, high job performance, high job satisfaction, low absenteeism and turnover


Ways to redesign jobs according to the job characteristics model

  • Change made and core job dimensions involved
    • Combine tasks so that a worker is responsible for doing a piece of work from start to finish
      • Skill variety, task identity, task significance
    • Group tasks into natural work units so that workers are responsible for performing an entire set of important organizational activities instead of part of them
      • Task identity, task significance
    • Allow workers to interact with customers or clients and make workers responsible for managing those relationships and satisfying customers
      • Skill variety, autonomy, feedback
    • Vertically load jobs so that workers have more control over their work activities and higher level of responsibility
      • Autonomy
    • Open feedback channels so that workers know how they are performing their jobs



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