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Employees cannot be motivated with money - Essay Example

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Employees cannot be motivated with money

This paper argues that money is a good motivator and stands against the claim that money cannot motivate employees. It also elaborates how money motivates the employees and increases their work efficiency. The paper utilises the Herzberg Two Factor Theory and Expectancy Theory while explaining the arguments in the favour and against the effectiveness of money as a good motivator.
The importance of money as a motivator over other factors has always remained to be a debatable issue. There are views that suggest the significance of money as a dominating motivator, whereas there are also some instances that provoke one to think about the other factors and their power to motivate people to work and perform in a better manner. The view that 'money cannot motivate employees' is based on the idea that employees can be motivated to work if the job enhances their satisfaction, social status, responsibility and achievement etc with the help of better working environment, company policies, promotion and growth prospects etc, rather than just money.
Herzberg describes this approach in the two factor theory (motivation and hygiene) which supports such a point of view. He elaborates that there are factors that in actuality lead to satisfaction (motivators) and other ones are the factors which preclude dissatisfaction (hygienes). Herzberg says that good working conditions, status, money etc(extrinsic factor of job) are the factors necessary for growth and development but the factors that arouse the motivation to grow are creating chances for achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement and job itself .These are the intrinsic factor of job. In order to motivate people managers should consider job itself rather than looking on its surrounds (Sheehan and Barry, 1997, pp. 305-322). This theory, to some extent, strengthens the claim that some factors are even more important than money, but nevertheless does not support that money does not bear the capacity to motivate employees.

It is also said that money may matter highly for the people of lower or junior rank but as far as employees of higher rank are concerned, they may not feel as motivated only by the provision of more money. People usually want to possess money to live a convenient life and bear the expenses of living. Money is the basic need of all human being and one of the most important reasons behind one to do the job. But this does not mean that this is the only reason of doing work. There are factors other than money, which motivate the people to do work. Chiu and Luk also say that "people do want to become the masters of money rather than the slaves of money" (2002, p425). Mostly people would not like to be the slave of money but they want to acquire it for the sake of livelihood. Although this serves to be a criticism of money as a good motivator, this is also the point where the importance of money becomes highly evident.

Money possesses an essential role in motivating employees because it is a basic need of every human being and also the most important reason for one to do the job. Money helps people live a better livelihood and put all their efforts into work rather than remain involved with the solution of their economic needs. Wiley (1997) point out that the majority of people consider the money and job security as the basic motivating factor. In a survey ...Show more


The importance of money as a motivator remains to be an issue that has attracted great academic attention. There are people who regard money as the greatest motivator, whereas some people consider it to be a secondary factor. No one can, however, deny the role of money in motivating employees…
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