Human motivation in the professional setting Essay
Human motivation in the professional setting
Consider these two findings of a classical management experiment by David McClelland on developing achievement motivation (1965): 1) Not all management programs automatically lead to improved performance. This was important to know. There is a viewpoint in psychology which states that the positive effects of such courses are largely due to suggestion, or to the “power of positive thinking”; and according to this view it would not be achievement motivation training as such that produced the effect we secured; any training promoted as convincingly would work as well.
Yet the participants in the company course did not do as well, despite the fact that, if anything, it had a more solid company support – all of which argued against this viewpoint. 2) Our experiment showed its effects only in comparison with a course that seemed to slow people down. This strongly suggested that we ought to be trying it in a less achievement-oriented environment if we wanted to find more dramatic effects. To a certain extent we were only “gilding the lily” in trying to make the executives of this high-pressure firm more achievement-oriented.
Citing psychology as basis, let me leave McClelland’s assertions and get to that field of social science. We know that motivation directs behavior towards a particular incentive that produces pleasure or alleviates an unpleasant state. In other words, incentive motivation is characterized by affect, the production of pleasure or displeasure. Early psychologists argued that almost every sensation we have contains some degree of reward or displeasure. This might explain why the new participants in the McClelland experiments fared well and better than those who were originally from the company.
The second point of conclusion explains that the original company participants were already used to the environment and the rigors of the experiment provided an additional push to the already rigorous environment. Human Motivation in the Human Setting Page 2 In addition to this, it will be worthwhile to take another answer to the perennial question: How do you install a generator in an employee? A brief review of Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene theory of job attitudes is required before theoretical and practical suggestions can be offered.
The findings of those experiments and studies, along with the corroboration from many other investigations using different procedures, suggest that the factors involved in producing job satisfaction (and motivation) are separate and distinct from the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction. Since separate factors need to be considered, depending on whether job satisfaction or job dissatisfaction is being examined, it follows that these two feelings are not opposites of each other.
The opposite of job satisfaction is not job dissatisfaction, but rather no job satisfaction; and similarly, the opposite of job dissatisfaction is not job satisfaction, but no job dissatisfaction. Two sets of different needs of man are involved here. One set of needs can be thought as stemming from his animal nature – the built-in drive to avoid pain from the environment, plus all the learned drives which become conditioned to the basic biological needs.
For example, hunger, a basic biological drive, makes it necessary to earn money, and then money becomes a specific drive. The other set of needs relates to that unique human characteristic, the ability to achieve and, through achievement, to experience psychological growth. The stimuli for the growth needs are tasks that induce growth; in the industrial setting, they are the job content. Contrariwise, the stimuli inducing pain-avoidance behavior are found in the job environment.
To illustrate, a typical response involving achievement that had a negative effect for the employee was, “I was unhappy because I didn’t do the job successfully. ” A typical response in the positive side, on the other hand was, “I was happy because the company reorganized the section so that I didn’t report any longer to the guy I didn’t go along with. ” Human Motivation in the Human Setting Page 3 What then should the manager do? To answer this question, let me get back to the thesis of McClelland (1965).
He outlines four major techniques: 1. Goal Setting – McClelland stresses the involvement of considerable goal setting. In an organization, employees get motivated as they come to embrace the same goals set in the organization. Aside from the function of motivation, it also keeps the people intact and together. Goals can then be developed from the general to the specific. 2. Language of achievement – the point here is to develop the “achievement syndrome.
” “This part,” says McClelland “deals specifically with having the individual learn to think, talk, act, and perceive others like a person with a high achievement motive…In short, the participant learns to use the language of achievement so that it colors his experience in every day life. ” 3. Cognitive Supports – In brief, the employee needs to have a logical environment, a good self-image, and a thing that he/she will value for life.
These will motivate a person to perform better. 4.and lastly, Group Supports – the people around the person must provide emotional stability and support for the growth of a person. Respect and acceptability is the key for this last facet. Human Motivation in the Human Setting.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Baldwin, C. (1966). The Functions of the Executive. Cambridge, Harvard University Press. Maslow, A. H. (1943). “A Preface to Motivation Theory” Psychosomat. Med. Vol. 5 McClelland, D. C. (1965). “Achievement Motivation can be Developed” Harvard Business Review. Harvard College.