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Drawing on your understanding of the theories of motivation and using examples where appropriate, critically assess the role of money as a motivator?

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Introduction

Drawing on your understanding of the theories of motivation and using examples where appropriate, critically assess the role of money as a motivator? The basic outlook on motivation is that needs equal behaviour which in turn equals satisfaction and vice versa. I.e. you have certain needs or wants, and this causes you to do certain things (behaviour), which satisfy those needs (satisfaction), and this can then change where needs/wants are primary. 'The underlying idea is that all human beings are motivated to undertake certain actions - including purchasing goods and services and going out to work - by certain needs. Various needs come into play as motivators.'(Abraham Maslow.) Abraham Maslow suggested that we are motivated to satisfy our needs hierarchically: first is the desire to satisfy physiological needs, then the desire for security, the desire for companionship and a sense of belonging, the desire for self-esteem, and the desire for self-actualization, doing what one most wants and is best suited to do. As people's lower or basic needs are met, broader more in depth issues motivate them. A person needs to feel as if his/her needs have been met on previous level(s) ...read more.

Middle

In a company that uses a stock option policy, managers get stocks as their bonus, and this policy can lead to illegal performance and inappropriate actions as Ivan F. Boesky found out to his disadvantage. He was accused of insider trading that led to huge personal profits and eventually a $100 million fine. This scandal was described as one of the worst on Wall Street history, and unsettled public confidence with the fear that stock trading may be fixed. 'Money is often used for motivating, but it also addresses itself to human greed, which dulls the conscience and may lead to unethical and illegal behaviour.' (Weihrich and Koontz, 1988) Secondly, companies can use other low cost motivators to motivate their workforces to perform better. "A personal organiser, complete with a leather case, is one of the gifts being offered to British Telecom employees as part of BT's "Living Our Values" initiative. BT is using non-cash benefits to reward exemplary behaviour. The BT initiative is an example of an employer using gift items to enable managers to show gratitude to employees for such things as continuous improvement and teamwork." ...read more.

Conclusion

Management tend to use money as armour in their toolbox and release their 'weapon of extra incentive' when required. On the whole money is not always top employee priority although it is important, because 'the money that you bring home buys the bread.' People are also motivated by variety of items and using money as the only motivator is not as good a strategy as it should be. It can motivate people to perform better but only as the external motivator. People do not feel that they really want to work because of "intrinsic interest in a task" (Kohn, 1998) but they work just for money. This can lead to inefficiency and illusion of performance and also cause corruption and illegality in work. In fact there are many motivators that can bring about the same or even better result as money. Furthermore, using these motivators can reduce the cost of the company also. Last but not least, although money can buy many things, it cannot buy satisfaction and not all employees' needs can be satisfied by money. Therefore, monetary motivators can not motivate everybody. As seen in this essay, motivating people by money can create some disadvantages and money is not the 'be all and end all of motivation,' so the company has to be very wary when using it. ...read more.

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