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Motivation in the Workplace. This specific study looks into the distinction between promotion versus prevention focused individuals, and how motivational tactics within these two character types can work together or separately.

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Introduction

Motivation The study of motivation is a central principle within the science of psychology. When people fail and succeed, especially in the workplace, their tendencies and actions give a clear description of their personality and character. Some people fail and give up on their attempts, taking the perspective that is always easier to prevent themselves from failure again rather than keep trying. While conversely, others may fail and try harder, motivating themselves to succeed through failures. Both of these types of feedback signs are found in empirical studies, however, little application has been found in how to use this data in interpreting workplace relationships and the motivational tactics of management. This specific study looks into the distinction between promotion versus prevention focused individuals, and how motivational tactics within these two character types can work together or separately. It is necessary in the workplace environment to find a focus on broad perspectives in which a unique assessment of promotion versus prevention characterization is derived within the workplace environment. Fundamentally the distinction between advancement (prevention) focused and security (prevention) focused individuals' takes place within how they interact on both a physical and social level. When considering needs, certain individuals are much more concerned with how much nourishment, growth and development they experience, while others concern themselves more with shelter, safety and protection. E.T. Higgins advanced the theory that prevention vs. promotion focused individuals not only concern themselves with differing sets of values and emphasis, motivations for advancement and security also can create "different modes of goal pursuit". In specific, that people "represent and experience basic needs for advancement in an entirely different fashion than basic needs for security". This revolutionary theory has dramatic application to the workplace. Managers, who differ in motivational mindset from employees, could have a conflicting value standard that dramatically decreases their effectiveness in motivating production and positive work environment. Within the workplace environment, the connection between employees and employers is extremely important to sustain productivity and workplace culture. ...read more.

Middle

Thus, using such a strategy, an individual can have a significantly better change of identifying correct methodologies and avoid the error of omission in decision making. For management who take this strategy, risk taking is a significant part of the decision making matrix. This means that management wants individuals to endorse a method that "might" be correct, and risk being wrong, rather than not forwarding a method and miss the opportunity to succeed. In contrast, management that takes the prevention focused strategy will look at alternatives through a very narrowly defined window. This means that they have very strict criteria for acceptance and a higher threshold for potentially relevant information. This strategy can be taken by management in order to increase the chance of rejecting incorrect decisions, and avoiding risky commitments that cause severe losses. The obvious conflict that could arise within this instance is if employees and employers use contrasting strategies within the workplace. The tension that is inevitable could result in the breakdown of relationships between the two parties. Recent research conducted by Molden and Higgins in 2004 demonstrated that individuals with promotion focus tend to endorse more explanation for their performance than those with prevention concerns, and as a result form less certain impressions than those with prevention concerns as well. The tension that results when these two systems come in conflict can result in psychological stress and general reduction in workplace productivity. Another important problem that arises within conflicting systems in the workplace is there effect on insight and creative thought. Management with a promotion focus generally tends to facilitate an exploratory approach to boost creativity. Whereas prevention focused management would narrowly consider alternatives and have a general inhibition for creativity. This management style difference is not necessarily wrong however. Those with a very strict method to achieve corporate goals tend to be more efficient, because less time is wasted on exploring ideas that become irrelevant later. ...read more.

Conclusion

Those employees that are promotion focused often can have dramatic failures which can both decrease their productivity and synergy with management. Prevention focused employees can become too conservative and as a result never achieve significant career or financial gains. The ultimate conflicts however, occur when there is a conflict between management and employee focus and strategies. Such differing promotion versus prevention focuses causes the fundamental reasons and thought processes of individuals to change and this cause significant stress. However, because both of these types of systems must be employed within the workplace to gain the most productivity from employees, it is necessary for employers to note this conflict and aggressively attempt to minimize its impact. What this means is that employees must take positive steps towards understanding what motivation types works the best with their employees and adapt their strategies accordingly. This can be done when managers tailor their rewards system and corporate philosophy into something that is extremely flexible and that allows them to incorporate motivation for both types of systems. Many corporations and current HR practices already use this methodology within their current corporate philosophy, and as a result they can establish strong employee-employer relationships even if the decision matrix employed by these individuals contrast. The importance is in acknowledging that there is a fundamental difference in promotion versus prevention focused individuals. However, their established motivational systems, does not have to reflect negatively upon how they utilize and establish themselves towards achieving an end state. In conclusion, the research conducted and reviewed in this study has demonstrated that concerns with advancement versus security are distinct thought process that creates a fundamentally different way for processes of evaluation, judgment and ultimate decision making. However, within the workplace setting the prominence and importance of employee-employer relationships can influence how an individual selectively applies their system of motivation. This means that the pursuit of end states can still be a cohesive and unified pursuit. It is up to each individual management system to understand the necessity of allowing employees to work within both a promotion and prevention focused motivation system. ...read more.

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