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THEORIES OF MOTIVATION - Essay Example

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THEORIES OF MOTIVATION

Their work has become generally predictable with little or no challenge, especially with the supervisor involving himself at the floor level for telling the workers what to do, and often doing it himself. The workforce needs motivation to get out of its present de-motivated state. Maslow’s theory of motivation with its emphasis on analyzing individual needs and psychological factors will help to find solution. This contrasts with Herzberg’s or McGregor’s theories that place greater importance on situation analysis and management style respectively. Key words: Motivation, Maslow, Herzberg, McGregor, needs, psychological factors, Theory X, Theory Y, Gen Xers, Millennials, relationship, team-spirit. Case Study: Sun-2-Shade - Theories of Motivation Case summary The Sun-2-Shade case reflects the situation whereby workers do not feel motivated in spite of the business flourishing, good pay and a supportive supervisor. The significant descriptive words in the case like boring job, resenting supervisor help and late-coming clearly point to the estrangement between the supervisor and his workers, who are said to be around his age group (Gen Xers and Millennials). There is an absence of team-spirit, no sense of belonging or accepting responsibility for their lackadaisical attitude. One needs to analyze the case in the light of theory of motivation vis-a-vis the supervisor’s approach and characteristics of the age group of the workers/supervisor. Using Abraham Maslow’s theory of motivation Maslow’s hierarchical nature of human needs point to what motivates a person at a particular stage of his/her career. For example, people at the bottom of the 7-stage pyramid of the hierarchy value the basic physiological needs more. When the lower stage needs are met, the relevant factors lose their importance as motivators and a higher degree of motivating factors come into play, which are more psychological nature. Thus, as they move up to, for example, the fourth stage, self-worth and self-esteem become more relevant as ‘needs’ – in other words, motivating factors (Martin and Jumis, 2007, pp.72-75). Significantly, Sun-2-Shade workers seem to be yearning for such recognition having already achieved secure jobs, good pay and working in a progressive/growing company. A word about the interaction of the age factor is relevant. The supervisor and the workers are of the age group – Gen Xers (born 1965-‘76 period) and Millennials (born 1977-‘98 period) (Thielfoldt and Scheef, 2004). Obviously, the age group is a mix of the seniors of the former and juniors of the latter categories. Gen Xers prefer ‘flexibility and freedom’ while Millennials value ‘structured, supportive environment’ but can ‘expect and demand more’ (ibid.). Hence there are subtle differences in the groups of workers and this can point to the solution to the problem. Using Herzberg and McGregor theories Herzberg’s two factor motivation theory proposed that hygiene factors have the ability to reduce dissatisfaction while motivators increase job satisfaction (Anon., n.d, online). The hygiene factors like pay and benefits, job security, working conditions, company policies, etc. determine how an individual rates his job/employer against his own expectations. In the process of such assessment, the individual is less concerned about his own credentials and more concerned with what he is getting out of the job. The better the hygiene factors the more the satisfaction level, which then works as the basis for the motivators. The motivators like work content, recognition, promotion etc. help an individual to gain a sense of job satisfaction. Hence, the Herzberg theory supports the view that motivation cannot be achieved if the underlying hygiene factors are ignored. McGregor’ ...Show more

Summary

Sun-2-Shade case deals with the problem of a successfully running and well-managed company but whose workers appear to be losing interest in what they do. Their work has become generally predictable with little or no challenge, especially with the supervisor involving himself at the floor level for telling the workers what to do, and often doing it himself. …
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