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Historical Perspectives on motivation - Essay Example

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Historical Perspectives on motivation

Motivation, the drive to satisfy a need, ultimately comes from within an individual. The job of a manager is to find each worker's commitment, encourage it, and focus it on some common goal.2
Huit (2001) cites that there is a general consensus from a variety of psychology textbooks that motivation is an internal state or condition (sometimes described as a need, desire, or want) that serves to activate or energize behavior and gives it direction. The following are Huit's description of motivation: (1) internal state or condition that activates behavior and gives it direction; (2) desire or want that energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior; and (3) influence of needs and desires on the intensity and direction of behavior. Frank (1994) also adds to Huit's list of descriptions by quoting that the arousal, direction, and persistence of behavior. However, Huit notes that many researchers are now beginning to acknowledge that the factors that energize behavior are likely different from the factors that provide for its persistence.
Early studies on management include the book written by the so-called "Father of Scientific Management" himself Frederick Taylor, entitled The Principles of Scientific Management, published in 1911. ...
This is in line with the dogma of scientific management, which posits that the way to increase productivity is to look into the most efficient ways of doing things and then teaching workers these methods. Jobs are detailed in such a way that each worker has a specified, well controlled task that can be performed as instructed. Specific procedures and methods for each job must be followed with no exceptions.3 Scientific management viewed people as machines that needed to be properly programmed and had little concern for the psychological or human aspects of work. Presently, much emphasis in some companies is still placed on conformity to work rules rather than on creativity, flexibility, and responsiveness. 4
Taylor's approach in his method included the following: time, methods and the rules of work. In progress to Taylor's efforts, time-motion studies involved breaking down the tasks needed to do a job and measure the time needed to do each task. One of Taylor's famous experiments includes increasing the output of a worker loading pig iron to a rail car. Taylor broke the job down into its smallest constituent movements, timing each one with a stopwatch. The job was remodeled with a decreased number of motions as well as effort and the risk of error. Rest periods of specific interval and duration and a differential pay scale were also used to improve the output. With scientific management, Taylor increased the worker's output from 12 to 47 tons per day! The Taylor model gave rise to dramatic productivity increases.5
Henry L. Gant, on of Taylor's followers, developed GANTT CHARTS by which managers plotted the work of employees a day in advance. It consists of a table of project task information and a bar chart that graphically displays project schedule, depicting ...Show more

Summary

One of the essential elements in order for leadership to succeed is to motivate others to do and give out their best. For one, the importance of satisfaction cannot be overstated. For example, losing an employee of the company can cost over $100,000 (i.e., cost for work left undone, publication costs for hiring information, training costs, and so on)…
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Historical Perspectives on motivation essay example
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