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To what extent can theories of motivation help managers manage employees in a modern knowledge-based organisation? Justify your answer.

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Introduction

Q. To what extent can theories of motivation help managers manage employees in a modern knowledge-based organisation? Justify your answer. Purpose of this Essay: The purpose of writing this essay is to know and understand the need of motivation theories and relate them with the modern knowledge1-based organization in order to understand their effectiveness in the industry. The view of motivation was not common in the early days, but later after researches it became an important aspect for every industry and is a focal point for managers in this fast growing industry as its plays a vital role in order to progress a business successfully. Introduction to Motivation: Motivation can be operationally defined as: "The inner force that drives individuals to accomplish personal and organizational goals." - (Lindner, 1998) In the early time, employees in the industry are deemed for as just an input machine for manufacturing goods and services. Later after researches for employees behavior, referred as Hawthorne Studies conducted by Elton Mayo from 1924 to 1932 (Dickson, 1973), changed the perception and took it in a new direction which initiated the image that money is not key for motivating employees, its their behavior which links their attitudes (Dickson, 1973). It is through the Hawthorne Studies that leads the needs and motivation of employees as the prime focus of managers (Bedeian, 1993). The Role of Motivation Before moving forward, we must know why do we need motivated employees? The answer to this is simply for survival (Smith, 1994). ...read more.

Middle

They are much less structured in the way they satisfy there needs. - Different people with different working backgrounds and in different situations may have different hierarchy of needs. - According to McClelland in 1980 who identified needs for achievement, affiliation and power, claims that other needs are also significant or even more significant. - Some employees don't seek to self-actualize in the workplace; fulfillment for them lies elsewhere. Humanistically minded managers and trainers who attempt to force their idea of self-actualized traits and values upon employees may well produce resistance and resentment-especially when they try to "align" the whole package with the current goals of some particular corporation. Herzberg's two- factor theory (1959): Herzberg's work categorized motivation into two factors: motivators and hygienes (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and recognition, produce job satisfaction. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction. He used the word 'hygiene' in the sense that they are considered maintenance factors that are necessary to avoid dissatisfaction but that by themselves do not provide satisfaction. He referred the hygiene factors as "KITA" factors, which means these factors doesn't provide motivation but can only provide movement. We can present few factors that cause hygiene or dissatisfaction and motivator or satisfaction by listing in the order of higher to lower importance. Factors Affecting Job Attitudes Leading to Dissatisfaction Leading to Satisfaction Company Policy Achievement Supervision Recognition Relationship with Boss Work itself Work Conditions Responsibility Salary Advancement Relationship with Peers Growth Implications for Management: Herzburg argued that job enrichment is required for intrinsic motivation, and that it is a continuous management process. ...read more.

Conclusion

The key is to be consistent in applying the positive and negative consequences (Skinner, 1969). Criticism Skinner's reinforcement theory: There are many critics on the analysis of behavior, many of whom disagree with the notion that animal experiments can be used as a basis to discuss human behaviors. Referring to an experiment where reinforcement was used to teach pigeons to play a simple tune on a toy piano, Eric Ashby made the following criticism, "Employees do behave like pigeons, and this is why this technique is so dangerous. Pigeons can be taught to play the piano but they cannot be taught to understand music. Rote Learning without understanding is useless" (Mayer:Richard, 2003) Vroom's expectancy theory (1964): Vroom's theory is based on the belief that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). Rewards may be either positive or negative. The more positive the reward the more likely the employee will be highly motivated. Conversely, the more negative the reward the less likely the employee will be motivated. Implications for Management: Recent studies have expanded Vroom's expectancy theory, and have pointed out that expectations have a great deal to do with how the "psychological climate" is formed in the workplace. The psychological climate, which can be positive or negative, is made up of various aspects which contain expectations. Leadership style is critical in managing expectations and one of the most important determinants of psychological climate (Litwin:Stringer,1966). To use expectancy theory in the workplace, rewards or other outcomes to motivate people must be desired by those individuals. Managers must therefore try to identify desirable, valued outcomes rather than simply assuming they know exactly what their employees want. ...read more.

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