• Leading:MotivatingEmployeesandManagingStyle

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  • Leading:MotivatingEmployeesandManagingStyleIntroduction

    With the current trend towards downsizing that organizations are using to cut costs, it is more important than ever that managers become motivators. Those that have survived downsizing find themselves taking on more responsibilities or doing the work in different ways than what they were accustomed. It is in most peoples nature to resist change, even if only for a short time. Because survivors are in a precarious position, managers need to think of ways to reassure them that their positions are secure and at the same time motivate them to do the work that needs to get done. But how do managers motivate people? What method is the best method to use? Are managers the only ones capable of motivating people? These subjects are addressed in this lesson along with some theories both on motivation and leadership?

    What is Motivation?

    Although some people erroneously label motivation as a trait, it actually is an interaction between a person and a situation. Motivational drive or how much effort a person exerts toward attaining a certain goal may differ from person to person or from situation to situation. The term motivation is formally defined for this course as the processes that account for an individuals willingness to exert high levels of effort to reach organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts ability to satisfy some individual need. Three things stand out in this definition: effort, organizational goals and need. When the employee exerts effort correctly, that is toward organizational goals, then the needs that he has, whatever they might be, will be met.

    Early Theories of Motivation

    Three early theories that are widely known look at motivation from different aspects. The first, Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Theory, uses a pyramid to depict how peoples needs go from physiological to self-actualization and the fact that the needs that are satisfied first are the lower-order needs. The theory also stresses that the lower-ordered needs are external needs while the higher-ordered ones are internal needs. Once one need is substantially satisfied, the person moves on to the next higher level, although no need is entirely satisfied. How does it fit

    in with motivation? Maslow infers in order for a person to be motivated, the manager must understand what level the person is on and work at satisfying his needs at or above that level.

    The next theory is McGregors theory X and Theory Y. His theory X was a negative view of people and stated that workers have little ambition, dislike work and want to avoid responsibility. Theory X indicated that the only way to motivate that individual was to closely control his work effectively. On the other hand, his

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  • Leading:MotivatingEmployeesandManagingStyleTheory Y stated that workers can exercise self-direction, accept and actually seek out responsibility and consider work to be a natural activity. His Theory Y is what he assumed best fit workers and that managers should handle their employees accordingly.

    The final early theory was Herzbergs Motivation-Hygiene Theory. He believed that individuals attitudes toward work determined their success or failure. In his theory he suggested that the opposite of satisfaction was no satisfaction and the opposite of no dissatisfaction was dissatisfaction. How was this theory used to motivate? In reality the information on satisfaction and dissatisfaction, only was a key to bringing about harmony in the workplace. He believed that in order to motivate people, motivators would have to be emphasized. Motivators are factors that increase job satisfaction and drive.

    Contemporary Theories of Motivation

    In addition to the early theories, there are six contemporary motivation approaches that although not as well-known as the earlier theories, are reasonably supported by research. A chart that follows this section summarizes those approaches and details their main components.

    The Three-Needs Theory identifies three components associated with what an employee needs: need for achievement; need for power and; need for affiliation. Also discovered in this research is the fact that employees that have a high need for achievement dont necessarily make good managers because they focus on their own accomplishments while high affiliation and power needs are closely related to managerial success.

    The Goal-Setting Theory is the proposition that specific goals increase performance and that difficult goals when accepted, result in higher performance than do easy goals. With respect to motivation, the theory suggests that specific and challenging goals are superior motivating forces. Further, it states that individuals that have a high sense of capability respond to negative feedback with increased effort and drive. However, it does point out that these implications are culture-bound and do not necessarily apply to cultures where performance is not regarded as highly by subordinates as it is by managers and where subordinates are not reasonably independent.

    In the Designing Motivating Jobs approach or JCM, job design, job enlargement through increasing job scope (adding more tasks horizontally), job enrichment through increasing job depth (adding more responsibility vertically) and the job characteristics model are examined. Not only does this approach offer guidance on ways of motivating employees through making jobs more satisfying but from the model come suggestions on how mangers can accomplish it. Five suggestions are offered to managers for job changes: 1) combine tasks or put fragmented jobs back together; 2) create natural work units; 3) establish client relationships through the serving employee; 4) expand jobs vertically and; 5) open feedback channels.

    The Equity Theory states that an employee compares his or her jobs input-outcomes ratio with that of relevant others and then corrects any inequity. The others that is referred to in the

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  • Approach Developer Highlights

    Need for achievement desire to succeed

    Three-Needs Theory David McClelland Need for power make others behave

    Need for affiliation need for interpersonal relationships

    Goal-specificity increases performance

    Challenge (difficult goals) higher performance, if accepted

    Goal-Setting Theory Feedback self-generated more powerful than external

    Self-efficacy belief that one is capable

    Public goals strengthens commitment

    Reinforcement Theory

    Behavior externally caused reinforcers (rewards) immediately following behavior increase repetitive behavior

    Job design the way tasks are combined to form complete jobs

    Job enlargement horizontal expansion of jobs through job scope which indicates the number of different tasks and frequency of tasks in a job

    Designing Motivating Jobs

    Job enrichment vertical expansion of job by adding planning and evaluating responsibilities through increasing job depth or degree of control employees have over their work

    Job characteristics model conceptual framework for analyzing jobs or guiding managers in designing motivating jobs includes 1) skill variety; 2) task identity; 3) task significance; 4) autonomy; 5) feedback;

    Equity Theory J. Stacey Adams Deals with comparisons and proposes that employees believe that the more one puts in (inputs), the more that person should get out

    Leading:MotivatingEmployeesandManagingStyledefinition represents 1) others; 2) the system; and 3) self. The employee may correct the inequity in a number of ways. They will either distort their own or others inputs or outcomes; behave in some way to induce others to change their inputs or outcomes; behave in some way to change their own inputs or outcomes; choose a different comparison person; or quit heir job.

    The Expectancy Theory regarding motivation emphasizes rewards. The individual considers how hard one has to work to achieve a certain level of performance, whether it is necessary to work at that level, if one can work at that level, whether or not a reward will be given for working at that level and if the reward is, in essence, worth it.


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  • Leading:MotivatingEmployeesandManagingStyle


    Expectancy Theory Victor Vroom Action based on expected outcome of action as well as attractiveness of outcome

    Combining or using a combination of the theories addressed in this section would be a better solution to solving problems with motivation than choosing in single approach. The manager should consider first of all what type motivational problems he or she is having and proceed from there.

    Current Issues in Motivation

    Managers today are faced with a variety of motivational issues. Can managers motivate professionals in the same manner that they motivate non-professionals? Can they motivate groups of people for which they have charge in different cultures in the same way? Can they motivate teams in the same manner that they motivate individuals? The answer is neither yes nor no. However, the approaches and theories addressed in the lesson do give the manager some insight as to how with different situations.

    Because cultures are different, how people of that culture react to certain stimuli is going to be different. Investigation into some of the traditions and beliefs of various countries will give the manager a clue as to how workers in that society may be motivated. Workers in non-industrialized countries will not respond in the same manner as those in ind

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