ASIA PACIFIC INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT OF
ASSIGNMENT ON HBPO
SUBJECT: In Today’s Organisation Which Motivational
Theory Do You Largely Find In Application
A right way to motivate an employee is to win his heart!!!
In today's economy, more so in knowledge based industry IT, ITES/BPO, the biggest
task in front of a HR Manager is to motivate and retain employees. All the attempts
made in this direction are big failure and no one knows what is a route to
employees' heart. At one time, employees were considered just another input into
the production of goods and services. What perhaps changed this way of thinking
about employees was research, referred to as the Hawthorne Studies, conducted by
Elton Mayo from 1924 to 1932 (Dickson, 1973). This study found employees are not
motivated solely by money and employee behavior is linked to their attitudes
(Dickson, 1973). The Hawthorne Studies began the human relations approach to
management, whereby the needs and motivation employees become the primary
focus of managers.
Motivation has been defined as:
The psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction (Kreitner,
A predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet
needs (Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995);
An internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994);
And the will to achieve (Bedeian, 1993). For this article, motivation is
operationally defined as the inner force that drives individuals to accomplish
personal and organizational goals.
In one sentence motivation means, the process that account for an individual’s
intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal.
Why do we need to motivated employees?
Motivated employees are needed in our rapidly changing workplaces.
Motivated employees help organizations survive.
Motivated employees are more productive.
To be effective, managers need to understand what motivates employees within the
context of the roles they perform. Of all the functions a manager performs,
motivating employees is arguably the most complex. This is due, in part, to the fact
that what motivates employees changes constantly.
Research suggests that as employees' income increases, money becomes less of a
motivator. Also, as employees get older, interesting work becomes more of a
Early Theories of Motivation
Before considering the recent days techniques and values adapted by todays
organization to motivate their empolyees, it’s so essential to understand what the
motivation theory actually means.
The 1950s were a fruitful period in the development of motivation concepts.
Four specific theories were formulated during this period, which heavily attacked
and now questionable in terms of validity, are probably still the best-known
explanations for employee motivation.
Need Hierarchy Theory
Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of human needs theory is the most widely
discussed theory of motivation.
The theory can be summarized as thus:
Human beings have wants and desires which influence their behavior; only
unsatisfied needs can influence behavior, satisfied needs cannot. Since needs are
many, they are arranged in order of importance, from the basic to the complex. The
person advances to the next level of needs only after the lower level need is at least
The further the progress up the hierarchy, the more individuality, humanness and
psychological health a person will show. The needs, listed from basic (lowest,
earliest) to most complex (highest, latest) are as follows:
Safety and security
Theory X and Theory Y
Douglas McGregor in his book, "The Human Side of Enterprise" published in
1960 has examined theories on behavior of individuals at work, and he has
formulated two models which he calls Theory X and Theory Y.
Theory X Assumptions: Theory X labeled as negative approach of human
behavior. The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it
if he can. Because of their dislike for work, most people must be controlled and
threatened before they will work hard enough. The average human prefers to be
directed, dislikes responsibility, is unambiguous, and desires security above
Theory Y Assumptions: Theory Y labeled as positive approach of human behavior.
Under the theory Y, managers assume that employees can view work as being as
natural as rest or play, and therefore average person can learnt to accept, and even
seek, responsibility. Imagination, creativity, and ingenuity can be used to solve
work problems by a large number of employees.
Frederick Herzberg and his associates began their research into motivation
during the 1950's, examining the models and assumptions of Maslow and others.
The theory suggests that the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, as was
traditionally believed. Removing dissatisfying characteristics from a job doesn’t
necessarily make the job satisfying. There are two types of motivators, one type
which results in satisfaction with the job, and the other which merely prevents
dissatisfaction. The two types are quite separate and distinct from one another.
Herzberg called the factors which result in job satisfaction motivators and those that
simply prevented dissatisfaction hygienes.
Hygienes are simply factors that describe the conditions of work rather than
the work itself. Herberg's point is that if you want to motivate people, you have to
be concerned with the job itself and not simply with the surroundings.
Hygienes, if applied effectively, can at best prevent dissatisfaction: if applied poorly,
they can result in negative feelings about the job.
Motivators are those things that allow for psychological growth and development on
the job. They are closely related to the concept of self-actualization, involving a
challenge, an opportunity to extend oneself to the fullest, to taste the pleasure of
accomplishment, and to be recognized as having done something worthwhile.
Herzberg goes further than Maslow, cutting the hierarchy off near the top and
maintaining that motivation results only from some elements of esteem needs and
The Need for Achievement
David McClelland states that achievement, power, and affiliation are three
important needs that help explain motivation.
The theory focuses on three needs, defined as follows:
The Needs For Achievement (nAch) is the drive to excel, to achieve in
relation to a set of standards, to strive to succeed.
The Need For Affiliation (nAff) It can be a dominant motivating force
affecting behavior and may manifest itself in many different ways.
The need for Power (nPow) motivation refers not to autocratic, tyrannical
behavior but to a need to have some impact, to be influential and effective in
achieving organizational goals.
THE NEW ERA OF MOTIVATIONAL THEORIES: Motivating the
employees at present philosophy...
After discussing the primitive motivation theories of earlier days, we can find that
those theories have some limitation to understand present days magerial scenario.
In now a days the work environment, the economic policies, and the psychological
standards is so specific and also have been changed to a large extent. Business has
been developed in an inter-intra-globalization model. With the going concern
concept the level of work, the level of expertise is so far than the early days. In a
situation Organizations have to implement a new thoughts of understanding the
motivational theories. Employee motivation is enhanced most when organizations
creatively and appropriately employ a multitude of motivators.
Economic Rewards: Money is a primary motivator. While base salary remains the
largest share of the total cash pie, cash incentive plans continue to grow in
popularity. Special achievement incentive rewards, spot bonuses, and cash-
equivalent rewards all play a role in the economic reward package. In many
companies, stock-based incentive plans, once limited to top executives, are offered
to all employees. We are seeing an explosion of creative ideas in the realm of
economic rewards, although not all approaches motivate people.
Promotions and Transfers: While having economic value, promotions also carry
crucial social and psychological meaning (recognition and sense of accomplishment)
that, for many, far outweigh additional money or perquisites.
Opportunity to Grow: The chance to improve one's self is an enormously
important source of motivation. Organizations that offer this advantage are in a
win-win partnership with their employees. The company creates and maintains a
talented workforce to use as a competitive weapon, and the employees sharpen
their own competitive edge as they self-actualize. Talk about synergy.
Challenging and stimulating work: The nature of work as a source of motivation
varies with personality. For some, detailed work involving technical tasks can be a
turn-on; for others, fast-paced work with changing goals, roles and challenges is
their dream job. But whatever the person-job match, the work itself proves every
bit as important a motivator as economic rewards.
Autonomy: Freedom to take action, to make decisions, to work independently, is
one of the factors most valued by people. Autonomy is crucial to achieving a sense
of self-worth. Autonomy strongly influences the decision of individuals to join and
stay with an organization.
Leadership: Leaders inspire people through their words and actions. By presenting
a clear sense of purpose, offering a vision worth striving toward, and providing
encouragement, leaders have the power to imbue people with hope, enthusiasm
Goals: Goals are powerful motivators. Goals give people a clear sense of what is
expected of them, offering challenge and opportunity. They can energize and inspire
Fun: Many work places are woefully devoid of smiles and laughter, yet a bit of
humor goes a long way toward brightening the day and infusing spirit into the
culture. Fun plays a vital role in motivation.
The Great Idea Award: It is also important to find a way to reward or recognize
employees whose suggestions help improve the operation. One option is to establish
a Great Idea Award and give the recipient a customized certificate. Other options
could be to give them a logo item, a cash award or even a day off. Managers at
agencies that offer cash awards to employees who make money -saving suggestions
should find out the procedures and use that mechanism whenever appropriate.
Here is some Firms find innovative ways to motivate
1. Helping Employees Be Better Volunteers
IBM provides a matching grant program that matches cash donations and time
worked as a volunteer. While putting the process of tracking volunteer hours online,
IBM went a step farther and created an interactive Web site devoted to helping
staffers find volunteer organizations and be better volunteers.
2. Focusing Charity on What Moves Employees
Progress Energy has provided support to a variety of charities over the years. But
the company didn't feel it was making much of a difference.
The company conducted a series of surveys and held focus group sessions to gain
an understanding of which organizations its employees really cared about.
3. A sobering tour
Many of the agencies that Triangle United Way provides funding to aren't backed by
a national agency with a fancy PR campaign. They are small organizations helping
the mentally disabled or sheltering abused women. As more people choose to direct
their United Way funds to specific (and often well-known) agencies, those smaller
organizations that get funding through the Community Care Fund suffered.
4. Humor and Ingenuity Employed to Fund Food Bank
Joe Freddoso, Director of Cisco's RTP site operations, has shaved his legs for
charity. Other Cisco Systems employees have dyed their hair, or auctioned off
weeks at their beach houses - anything to help raise funds for the Food Bank of
Eastern and Central North Carolina.
The Food Bank is the main Triangle charity that Cisco Systems supports. Each fall,
executives and staff members think of imaginative ways to get employees to
donate. One year, engineers attached motors to rubber ducks and held races in the
fountain in front of the main campus. Freddoso, director of Cisco's RTP site
operations, says executives have scooped ice cream for donations. A 5k run held at
lunchtime on a Friday each fall includes challenges from executives who pay out of
their own pocket for anyone who can beat them. "We really try to make it fun," says
Freddoso. The company's effort has netted between $350,000 and $450,000 a year
for the Food Bank.
In the explanation of mostly adapted todays motivational theory, the historical
perspectives of Motivation theory and New thoughts of employees motivation can be
Need Theories: Already introduced four theories that focused on needs: Maslow’s
hierarchy, ERG, McClelland’s needs, and the two factors theory. None of these has
found widespread support, although the strongest of them is probably McCelland’s
theory, particularly regarding the relationship between achievement and
productivity. In general, need theories are not very valid explanations of motivation
that are adapted by todays Organisation to motive their employees.
Goal-Setting Theory: There is little dispute that clear and difficult goals lead to
higher levels of employee productivity. This evidence leads us to conclude that goal-
setting theory provides one of the most powerful explanations of this dependant
variable. The theory, however, doesn’t address absenteeism, turnover, or
Reinforcement Theory: this theory has an impressive record for predicting factors
such as quality and quantity of work, persistence of effort, absenteeism, tardiness,
and accident rates. It doesnot offer much insight into employee satisfaction or the
decision to quit.
Equity Theory: Equity theory deals with productivity, satisfaction, absence, and
turnover variables. However, its strongest legacy probably is that it provided the
spark for research on organizational justice, which has more support in the
Expectancy Theory: It focuses on performance variables. It has proved to offer a
relativity powerful explanation of employee productivity, absenteeism, and turnover.
But expectancy theory assumes that employees have few constraints on their
decision discretion. Expectancy theory has some validity because for many
behaviors people consider expected outcomes. However, the rational model goes
only so far in explaining behavior.
These are just a few suggested methods for encouraging employees to contribute
their ideas for improving their organization. Implemented on their own, each of
these practices would have limited impact. The key is to use a multifaceted
approach that continually reinforces the fact that employees' ideas are welcome,
valued, and rewarded. It would be awesome to see how much an organization's
effectiveness could be improved if all managers were to systematically seek out and
implement these kinds of suggestions from front-line employees. By helping your
management team optimize employee emotions, you will be helping your
organization make a significant impact on the primary sources of competitive
advantage in today's marketplace.
To evaluate in briefly, any organization can’t adapt one single motivation techniques
Or it its tough to determine what motivate employees in their field of job. It’s
actually not like that. Organizations have to take different motivation theories to
evaluate their employees because they have dissimilar needs in various diversity.
But it should also to be mentioned that motivation theory adapted by today’s
Organisation in too some extent depends on the classification of the business. Such
as highly product oriented Organisation will must emphasis on goal-setting theory
or highly customer satifactionary Organisation would like to concentrate on the
For example, according to NTPC’s CHAIRMAN and Managing Director C.P. Jain, the
best way to motivate anyone is to let him/her know that performance will be
rewarded. We treated our human resources as long term assets of the Organisation.
NTPC adapted new theories of motivation. The company taking care of medical
expenses even post retirement. After a hard day’s work, employees have the option
of unwinding by playing pool or sweating it out in the gym.