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'In what ways, and to what benefit for management has sociological and/or psychological knowledge contributed to our understanding of motivations and orientations to work'

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MA in Personnel and Development Semester 1 4HRMM30 : General Management Organisational/Individual Environment Stream 313 'In what ways, and to what benefit for management has sociological and/or psychological knowledge contributed to our understanding of motivations and orientations to work' by Anna Manola Module Leader: Lisa Matthewman Submission Date: Wednesday 10th December 2003 The relationship between individuals and their workplace is largely determined by their motivation, the driving force behind actions. Therefore motivation is defined as the process that accounts for an individual's intensity, direction and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal (Robins,). Research conducted in this area has a subsequent effect on management styles. Motivation theories are basically divided in two basic categories. The earliest ones focused on content, what actually motivates people, were followed by process theories where the focus is on the actual process of motivation. Maslow(1943) introduced the hierarchy of need motivation theory which is the most widely established theory and it still influences management today. Maslow suggested that people have five kinds of needs namely physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualisation. People are trying to satisfy them following an ascending order. It is necessary to satisfy a lower ranked need in order to move to a higher ranked one. ...read more.


People are influenced by the expected results of their actions. The choice of behaviour is based on expectancy of most favourable consequences. To describe that feeling of anticipated satisfaction out of a specific outcome Vroom used the term 'valence'. The Cognitive Evaluation theory, which was developed subsequently, could be applied to jobs, which are neither dull nor interesting. Here what is important is self-efficacy not job satisfaction thus setting and achieving goals. In that process self generated feedback is a more powerful motivator. In that process of setting up goals and achieving them Adams with the Equity Theory found that people tend to compare them selves with others and therefore concerned with fair treatment [cited at Anderson, 2002]. For example employees compare the rewards and promotional opportunities that they have with other employees, which can result in feelings of disappointment when they perceive their performance equal but the financial rewards unequal. As a result of feeling inequity individuals might change the inputs and outcomes or might even distort them cognitively. They might decide to leave the field or become aggressive and act on others unrelated to the subject of comparison. Finally they might decide to change the object of comparison. The individual thinks that he should be awarded in a certain way, what Porter and Lawler names perceived equitable reward. ...read more.


Rabey goes one and defines the golden mean for a manager/leader. He reckons that a manager should be something between a manager where he manages and gets results from planning, control and compliance and a leader who leads and motivated followers choose to give commitment. Managers can play a unique role in building trust and co-operation with employees, which is the foundation to success. Tietjen and Myers(1998) conclude that 'it is the work itself that brings fulfilment and Maslow's higher order of needs into being'p.231. For management this means that they are challenged to create the necessary conditions so that the fulfilment gained from doing the job is expected daily. In the lines of effective interpersonal relationships at work Orpen (1997) found in a study that mentoring can improve motivation. Motivational research and organisational history suggests that management should adopt a more customer-focused style. During the last century research as well as management practice has moved from recognising as money incentives as the strongest motivator to placing emphasis on the employee and the intrinsic motivation that he has. The focus is now on the actual process of motivation and managers are called to create the necessary conditions in the workplace for their employees to achieve common company objectives. The ultimate goal is to have empowered workers, able to take an active role in the pursue of their career oriented goals and his objectives are in accordance with the ones shared by management. ...read more.

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