The role of motivation in management

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According to Hellriegel, Slocum, Woodman in Organizational Behavior (2001), "Motivation represents the forces acting on or within a person that cause the person to behave in a specific, goal-directed manner...Because the work motives of employees affect their productivity; one of management's jobs is to channel employee motivation effectively toward achieving organizational goals." In other words, motivation is the key to success in any organization.


Post WWII, the concepts of mass production, economy and scale, and uniform production methods brought businesses to leadership in their respective fields. During these years the labor pool was made up most significantly of men who learned to be successful by following orders and following through until they were told differently. This is a mindset which created an effective military machine, and brought economic success back to their home country.
However, today's labor pool is significantly different. The workers are educated, and have been taught to think as well as work. Today's workers want to know, and to some extent feel connected to the 'why' behind their tasks as well as the 'what' of their daily tasks. To a great extent, these workers no longer hold to the ideals of the previous generation, and are no longer motivated to work for a secure paycheck, and a 30 year career path. Today's workers are looking for an emotional connection, or what researchers call a psychological contract (Clair et. ...
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