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How might a knowledge of motivational theories help you, as manager of a supermarket chain, introduce policies to increase the motivation and productivity of your employees?

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Introduction

Assignment ? 1: How might a knowledge of motivational theories help you, as manager of a supermarket chain, introduce policies to increase the motivation and productivity of your employees? Use both theory and practice to support your answer. Word Count: 1498 INTRODUCTION "Motivation" is defined as the reason why people behave in certain ways. Many theories have tried to explain motivation in order to control it and use it as a managerial technique to improve staff performance. ?DISPOSITIONAL MOTIVATION THEORIES The dispositional theories try to explain motivation thanks to an understanding of people's psychology (needs, personality etc) 1) Content theories Content theories are concerned with people's fundamental needs and how they determine motivation factors. ?Maslow's "hierarchy of relative prepotency" or "hierarchy of needs"(1942) Maslow states that people have five basic needs which are in order of importance: * "Physiological needs" * "Safety and security needs" * "Love/Belonging needs" * "Self-esteem needs" * "Self actualisation needs" "This diagram shows Maslow's hierarchy of needs, represented as a pyramid with the more primitive needs at the bottom." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs accessed 28 March 2007) Maslow's theory is that people's behaviour is conditioned by these needs, which they will aim to satisfy, starting at the bottom of the hierarchy. ...read more.

Middle

Outcomes Expectancies Instrumentality (adapted from Figure 12.3 "Expectancy theory relationships" p.361 Tim Hannagan (2005) Management Concepts and practices Fourth Edition. FT Prentice Hall) If any of these links are perceived by the employee as being broken e.g. the employee doesn't believe his efforts will be rewarded and / or the outcomes (rewards) don't offset the efforts, according to him, then motivation will not be initiated. This idea can be summarized with the following expression: "Motivation = Expectancy * Value" This theory highlights the necessity of a reward (not necessarily material) to motivate people. It also shows the importance of communication and trust between managers and employees. Indeed, if the employee doesn't believe the reward is within his reach, no matter how attractive it is, he will not be motivated. Finally, it teaches managers the essentiality of fairness. An unfair reward (either too big or too small) will have the effect of de-motivating the employee who will either think the rewards are too easy to achieve (so no need to try harder) or his efforts are not worthwhile (so what's the point trying ?). Since the assessment of efforts and rewards are quite subjective, a good communication (again) has to be established between the manager and the employee to ensure fairness. ...read more.

Conclusion

The table below gives the characteristics of an efficient consequence: 1 The importance given by the employee to the consequence is substantial (rewards usually have more effect than punishments) => "value",Vroom 2 It is likely to happen, according to the employee => "expectancy",Vroom 3 It occurs immediately after the behaviour i.e. Nobody wants to wait five years for a reward. It is also important to realise that one behaviour can have multiple consequences, but only the most appealing consequence will have an influence on the employee's behaviour. CONCLUSION: Thus, there is no one best way to motivate people, as the application of these theories always depends on the employees' personality . However, the main conclusion we can drawn is that people need some kind of reward i.e. psychological, social, material, etc to provide efforts. Managers will therefore have to analyse the situation before choosing the appropriate theory combination to increase their staff motivation and productivity. Finally, it is important to realise that performance is not only conditioned by motivation, but also by other factors such as ability and "the presence and quality of organisation support systems". PERSON = Internal Psychological Factors (emotion, needs, values, goals, etc) (adapted from Figure 12.1 "Bandura's model of reciprocal determinism" p.352 Tim Hannagan (2005) Management Concepts and practices Fourth Edition. FT Prentice Hall) Reference material: Tim Hannagan (2005) Management Concepts and practices Fourth Edition. FT Prentice Hall 7 ...read more.

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