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Employees are not only working for achieving their needs, but they also work in exchange their effort with the rewards and rewards and motivation are related strongly (Zaman, 2011). This essay will describe and apply perceptions, attitudes and motivational theories to Simon case. Simon is a hard-working employer and decided to resign from the company that he has worked for 15 years because he got 3 times failure for promotion in a formal interviewing. Simon thinks it is hard for him for promoting because he perceives that he has no chance because does have formal qualifications like other competitors even he has more experience which make him frustrates and give up.
This essay will be divided into 2 sections which first section will describe and apply the theories and will give a recommendation for the second section.
Explain and Apply Motivation, Attitude and Perception theories of the case.
Motivation is important in the workplace because it is a good way of driving employees to work efficiently with more energy and persistence and rewards is a good way that companies can use for stimulus employees’ motivation (Eerde, 2015).
Extrinsic rewards such as fridge benefits, salary and company rule, engage with Maslow’s lower level needs while intrinsic rewards such as skill, self-satisfaction and achievement feeling relate with higher level needs (Roberts, 2005).
Austin (2002) explained that Maslow’s theory contains with 5 steps of needs which are physiological (Salary and safety and ventilation workplace), security (job security and benefits such as fridge and pension), social (peer friendship), esteem (freedom of work, responsibility, peer acceptable and employer recognition) and self- actualization (challenging and creative task).
Furthermore, there are 2 factors in Herzberg’s theory which are hygiene factor (employee’s management way and work environment) and motivation (role of work which drive and inspire employees). According to Seath (1993), Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and Herzberg’s 2 factors theory are overlapped as hygiene factor is basic needs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (physiological, security and social) and Motivation factors are Maslow’s hierarchy of needs’ higher needs (esteem and self-actualization).
Applying the theories to the case, Simon achieved basic needs of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and satisfies with the hygiene factor of Herzberg’s 2 factors theory. He has been working for 15 years as a line manager which can assume that his satisfaction about work environment, workplace, salary and benefits. This is because he might not work for 15 years if he not satisfies with the environment factor and he might not eager to go higher level of needs if his lower level needs did not achieve. Moreover, he achieved the 4th stage of Maslow’s theory (Esteem Stage). In Esteem is divided to self-esteem and other esteem. Simon also got admiration from his team members which is other esteem and he also has self – confidence that he has ability enough to be promoted because of his 15 years of experience. Simon also reached to his saturation level of his line manager position, so he wants to go to the next step which is to be promoted in a higher position with more challenge task that is Self- actualization of Maslow’s theory and Herzberg’s motivation. This is supported by Fallatah and Syed (2018) which stated that the growth of their career path and professional growth are a condition of workers’ self-fulfilment which refer to self-actualization. However, he rejected for promotion which is not only do not reach self-actualization but also affect his esteem in self-esteem and esteem by others. This is because Simon might think that the company do not trust and recognize his ability even he has been working for 15 years. It also effects with his self-esteem because he also has self-confident that he has ability, hardworking and experience to be promoted and suit for higher position. This situation is not only mean that Simon cannot achieved self-actualization needs but also has a negative effect to esteem needs and job satisfaction.
Equity theory is when people compare their input (effort, experience, ability) and output (salary, regard and recognize) with others and they might feel negative or positive about equality (Lundberg, Gudmundson, & Andersson, 2009). In this case, Simon compared his result with other candidates and he thinks that he got under-reward which is unfair for him because they got promoted while they have less experience than him. So, he decided to move because he assumes that he was treated unfairly. This is because there is a strong connection between equity and resignation because it has a negative effect on job satisfaction (Griffeth and Gaertner,2001). However, Simon’s perception about unfair promotion might be wrong because of his bias.
Attribution theory, one of Perception theory, contains with internal and external factors which explain about factors of events (Kelley and Michela, 1980). Cajee (2005) claimed that internal factors are associated with persons which are personal controllable such as abilities and attempt whereas external factors are about outside environment which cannot control by themselves such as environment and luck.
Applying this theory to the case, Simon who disappointed for promotion, so he tries to understand causes that the company chose other competitors instead of him. After he knew that others have formal qualifications that he does not have. The qualification is the internal factor that persons can control and do by themselves, but Simon has more experience that he had been working 15 years which is his advantage of internal factors over other candidates. Simon perceived that his experience is his good point that make him suit to be promoted. The company criteria are an external factor that he cannot control but Simon cannot assume that the external factor is a main cause of promotion. The promotion criteria did not state about the minimum education of the candidate because if the company sets the minimum qualification of candidate for their requirement, Simon might not apply at the beginning, so it means that everyone who think they suit with this position can apply for this position. However, the company must find the right candidate with this position which higher position must have more responsibility, ability, knowledge and management skill which experience only might not enough. Moreover, Attribution theory can make people misunderstand the cause of situation by bias. Ross (1977 cited in Manusov, V. & Spitzberg, B., 2008) states that fundamental attribution bias is when people likely to have a more tendency for internal factors than external factor for action. Langdridge and Butt (2004) demonstrated that emotion has effect impact on fundamental attribution which is good emotion will increase internal attribution whereas negative cognitive will decrease it. In this case, Simon might judge the situation wrongly because of his regret and disappointment. Because he has the confident that he is the right person with his experience while company did not choose him just other candidate have a better qualification, so he perceived that formal qualification is a major factor in promotion criteria.
Moreover, Self- fulling prophecy theory also can be applied to the case. Merton (1949 cited in Derek,1983) states that Self-fulling prophecy is a wrong interpret of the event that make people have a wrong belief and do wrong behave which make what they belief come true. Simon might fail in his third unsuccessful promotion might fail because of his perception that other candidates were chosen just because they only have better qualification. This is mean, Simon thinks that he has a little hope for the promotion because he has no formal qualification like others then he might not try his best in the third interview that make he missed the promotion. This is because there is no evidence to prove that other candidates got promoted because they only have formal qualifications. They might provide good strategies, vision, attitude while interview that what strategic that they will do if they got a promotion or have more ability, skill and knowledge even they have less work experience. Simon thinks that he has more experience that his advantage point, but only more experience might not enough to be promoted. This make he was rejected in his 3rd promotion and his attitude changed after the situation.
There are 3 elements of attitude which are cognitive, affective and behaviour. Millar and Tesser (1986) explained that cognitive component is the process that person evaluate situation by their perception and believe. Affective component is about emotion and feeling either satisfy or dissatisfy of the event (Makanyeza, 2014). According to Kwon and Vogt (2010), behaviour component is the way people might act or do toward situation. Explaining the case by 3 elements, cognitive component is the process Simon think why the company did not choose him. Simon might think that company’s promotion decision is unfair because the company promote other candidates who has formal qualification whereas he has more experience. Affective component is how Simon feels after he was rejected which he is disappointed and disliked the company decision. Behaviour component is action that he might do which he decided to resign from the company as he told his friends that he has no hope and give up.
In addition, Simon’s attitude changed because he missed his promotion. Lewin’s attitude change theory has 3 steps as unfreezing, moving and refreezing. Unfreezing, the first step, is when problems or situations occur which make people desire to change or they believe that it is needed to change, and it can be related to emotion (Lewin, 1947 cited in Burnes 2004). This stage involves with emotion and feeling as people want to change because they dissatisfy with it. This is supported by Schein (1995) which states that transformation occurs because people feel dissatisfy, frustrate or disappoint from an event that happened or information that they hear. Moving step is about process for making a new behaviour or new perception Coghlan and Jacobs (2005). Refreezing, the last step, is to evaluate the effectiveness of change and make it sustainable (Glenn,2010).
Applying this theory to the case, Simon was rejected for promotion 2 times via interview processes which make him doubt. Simon investigated for finding reason and he found that the successful candidate had better qualification. This is an unfreezing step in Lewin’s theory because Simon frustrated with the situation and decides to step out of his comfort zone which his line manager position in the company that has been working for 15 years. He wants to be a successful candidate who get promotion in next time, so he investigates why others was chosen for improving. This stage, unfreezing step, is also shown clearly after he failed in the 3rd interview that make him disappoints and might affects with his esteem by others which he has 15 years of experience, but the company did not recognize. This makes him knows that the change is needed, because he feels helpless that increase desire to change. After that, Simon perceives and convinces himself to move which is moving step (2nd stage of Lewin’s theory). He thinks that it might impossible for him to be promoted because he does not have a good formal qualification, so it will be more opportunity for better position, if he moves to other company. However, Simon did not move to refreezing step of theory because he might still uncertain, so he tell his colleague about his decision. Simon might want to ask peer about an opinion for evaluating and brainstorming for his decision to achieve his goal (higher position) which is also a part of moving step.
Recommendation that may implement to the case
Undeniable that promotion is one of attractive motivation for some workers which is an important tool for company to increase workers’ performance, but promotion is a competition which is not everyone can achieve. Rahman and Nurullah (2014) claimed that only 10% workers can achieve self-actualization needs which is skill development, accomplishment and promotion. Simon has a high demand to be advancement because he reaches to his saturation point, so he applied the promotion, but he got rejected 3 times. The company should identify which stage are workers on in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and motivation because their motivation and hierarchy of needs might be different. Simon loses his esteem, trust and motivation because his perception about his promotion rejection. Firstly, the company should investigate the reason why Simon was not chosen to find what the thing that he lacks for promotion. After that, the company should talk with him individually about the things that he needs to improve to achieve his goal. This is because Simon might lose his esteem if company talk this issue with him in public. Moreover, the company should fix his wrong perception and expectation of this position. Experience might be important for some task that need skill, but it might not enough in management level. This is because the length that he has been working in the company is not important as what he can learn from the period that he worked same as the formal qualification. The company did not just select from their qualification certification, the company also needs to know what they learned. In formal interview process might contain the question that candidates can provide their vision, knowledge and strategy that they evaluated which make company know what the candidate learned and what will they can do for company. If he has strong motivation to get advancement, he will be willing to learn the things that he lacks. However, the company should set the standard and criteria of promotion that what they exactly requirement for position to avoid misunderstanding and wrong perception.
To conclude, there are many theories of perception, attitudes and motivations that can explain and use for analysis this case. Firstly, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s motivation are used for explaining Simon’s needs and job satisfaction, which he achieved esteems needs and satisfied with job environment, but he wants to go further to the next step for being advancement. Equity theory is used for more understanding his emotion that relates to his decision to resign. Secondly, attribution theory is applied to understanding his perception and Self- fulling prophecy theory also applied for explaining his wrong perception which might cause of his 3rd unsuccessful interview. Thirdly, application of attitude changed to describe his change in 3 steps because he missed the position that he looks for. Lastly, suggestion, that might implement to help this situation, explain to Simon about skill that he needs to have for that position and also set the clearly criteria to avoid the wrong perception in the future.
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