Motivational factors on the employee’s commitment

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 May 2016

Motivational factors on the employee’s commitment

Today’s organizations and companies want their enterprise to be around in the future, successful and sustainable; avoiding the risk of performance or any negative effect. They consist of employees known as personnel that turned into human resources. Some of the major factors shaping the outcome are the quality that you hold: if employees are the right people; how the manager could keep it up; how they can be motivated for good performance. Motivation is a necessary tool for management or leadership providing a reason to employees to perform in a certain way. In addition, the essay will include the academic background of motivation theories as that of Herzberg, Maslow, Adams and Vroom. Setting goals is an essential motivating process and has been the focus of recent research and theory on work motivation (Locke and Latham, 1990). Thus, examples would be provided for further and practical explanation of theories, as the cases of Starbucks, Freese and Nichols (FNI) and Apple’s iPhone. At the start of the 20th century fundamental theories of motivation are presented, models about what motivates workers and their responses. Several theories of motivation try to analyze and estimate who wants, what and why. This is the reason why the theories of Herzberg, Maslow, Adams and Vroom have implications on the contemporary business.

First, the bigger portion of Herzberg is that he developed the motivation –hygiene theory, which believes that there are many factors that workers could be motived. Byhese factors generate satisfaction and dissatisfaction. According to Herzberg (1959) accomplishment, the work itself, responsibility, growth and recognition, and company policies, work conditions, supervision including relations with peers and management, salary causing respectively the two different distinctions. Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction portrait two different human needs driven by salary to purchase shelter and food and by actions leading to grow and attain (Herzberg, 1987). However, job satisfaction does not imply always-high level of productivity or excellence of motivation response. Practicing in business, the challenge at work is to raise the utility of ability of employee leading to the growth of responsibility levels.

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory and Maslow’s are the main theories of motivation. Continuing with Maslow’s model, Maslow classifies the human needs and examines how the classifications are connected to each other. A person starts at the bottom level, where they try to satisfy basic needs (food and house). When the needs have been fulfilled, there are no longer a motiving force and the individual goes to the next stage. Moving on the rest hierarchy; we can recognize safety needs (loss or protection against unemployment), social needs (communication, teamwork), esteem needs (human to be accepted and valued by others, respect from others) and self-actualization (how people think about themselves) (Maslow, 1954). If the management can find which level of need each employee expects, they can then decide corresponding rewards.

Besides, one of the most relevant process theories of motivation is Adams’ Equity Theory. According to Adams, the theory argues the comparison of employee’s job input and outcome and also the same with that of other person at the same level (Mowday, 1991). Adam identified inputs as characteristics (age, sex, education, social status) that guide individual to ‘’social exchange’’ for an effort. Outcomes are specified as the benefits, the rewards or privileges (money, work duties, better status, power, authority). The employee is not moved to an action when there is a balance between inputs and outcomes, because they are already satisfied and equality exists. However, if the individual notices that the ratio of outcome/input is less than that of expected, then inequality exists and motivation forces start to build up the lost equity. It should be noted that there are two main different ways to restore the equity. Either the individual might choose higher outcome based on their lower inputs, or reduce the inputs in relation to the same outcome (Adams, 1965). The actual purpose is the equality between input and outcome.

Therefore, inequality could be when the employee is either over-rewarded or under-rewarded (Fok et al, 2000). It was initially proposed in the early 1960s the Expectancy Theory by Victor Vroom, which premises the significance of motivation. The theory tries to examine why individuals choose specific behavior or action. According to Vroom (1964), there are three central components; Expectancy (effort leading to a particular level of performance); Instrumentality (that performance will lead to outcomes); Valence (the value that the individual places on the outcome). Droar (2006) suggests that for a person to be motivated the key elements must be linked. Otherwise, Porter and Lawler (1971) argue that Expectancy theory needs to be updated, because it includes some flaws. For example, an employer gives a reward, such as a promotion or financial bonus hence the employees will bonus their productivity to gain the reward. However, this only works if the employees believe the reward is favorable to their actual needs. Apple is a company that can be used to exemplify the theory of Herzberg. Behind Apple and the design of products by employees is the psychology of extrinsic and intrinsic characteristics driven by the question ‘’Will I enjoy using this product myself? ‘’.

The extrinsic motivation is based on rewards for executives by giving them 3%-5% bonus of their salary. Next, all Apple employees receive discounts on products or they might receive free iPhone or iPad if they are on the developing team (Issaacson, 2011). This is more efficient than the increase of the salary as long as they see in front of their eyes the results of the effort, but also it is cheaper for Apple. In addition, intrinsic motivation is driven by corporate culture. Employees are weightily committed to their job, as ‘’monotonous encoding’’ that they enjoy it (Issaacson, 2011). The culture of Apple was forced by Steve Job. What motived him to follow his dream and his heart was the passion, creating innovative products based on enjoying using himself rather than to bring profits to Apple. The core principles for this are: Do something direct for your life; Get better and better at something that matters; There is no reason not to follow your instincts and your heart, nothing to lose (Awareness of his death) ; Understand that you live only once. Apple is a company that works and thinks outside the box helping people to change the world (Gladwell,2011). Furthermore, Freese and Nichols (FNI) is a practical example of expectancy theory. FNI is the first engineering/architecture firm to receive this honour.

Employees are trained to improve quality in the work and seminars and FNI University training offered by the company. Workers have the authority to work on their own. In 2010 FNI gained the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. In addition, Starbucks Corporation, the most famous chain of coffee shops in the world, attracts customers for its quality and the good value for money while the prices are high. Beyond, the employees are also satisfied. Major motivational principle of king of coffee is the equity, meaning how fair the employees are treated by the employers during their work ( , 2009). For Starbucks employees are partners, not just employees, giving them valuable knowledge and training and providing them with rewards and benefits. Besides, Starbucks offer a creative and excellent work place, as part of ethics program, where the company treats its ‘’partners’’ with respect and prestige.

Motivation theories should be examined in a deeper and macro level. Firms corporate operate and have subsidiaries in different countries, where there are different employees around the world with different cultures and values. It is complicated for an organization to motivate different cultures, for the reason why each has different temperament and the ranking of needs differs among cultures. The motivation to work differs across cultures and this could be illustrated the following example. In countries where there is high risk of economic failure the reward of success is low, like Greece, where there is an enthusiasm for work because the deep recession. Great enthusiasm for work could be found when high uncertainty of outcome combined with positive reward (Triandis,1982).

To conclude, according to the background theories, personal goals are contributing to the developing of human behavior. They are used by individuals to monitor, to modify and evaluate their behavior. Generally speaking, motivation can be preferential and selective aspect of particular behavior. It should be understood that motivation is important for the explanation of force toward a particular behavior or action. Vroom’s expectancy theory also places emphasis on the importance of motivation in the explanation of why people choose a particular action or behavior. Managers’ responsibility is to inspire, empower, envision and motivate employees for the fulfillment of their needs based on the different cultural background.

Adams, J. (1963) Towards an understanding of inequity. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 67 p.422-436. Adams, J. (1965) Inequity in social exchange . Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Academic Press. Droar, J. (2006) Expectancy theory of motivation. (2009) Woke up, smelled the coffee. [online] Available at: [Accessed: 23rd October 2012 ]. Fok, L. et al. (2000) Human factors affecting the acceptance of total quality management. International Journal of Quality and Reliability Management, 17 (7), p.714-729. Freese and Nichols Website (2010) Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Report. [online] Available at: Gladwell, M. (2011) The Tweaker: The Real Genius of Steve Jobs. New York:. Herzberg, F. (1987) One more time:How do you motivate employees. Harvard Business Review, 65 (5), p.109-120.

Herzberg, F. et al. (1959) The Motivation of work. 2nd ed. Barbara B. Snyderman:.

Isaacson, W. (2011) Steve Jobs. New York: Simon and Schuster. Locke, E. and Latham, G. (1990) A Theory of Goal Setting and Task Performance. Prentice Hall: Englewood, NJ. Maslow, A. (1954) Motivation and personality. New York: Harper and Row New York, p.91-93 , 256. Mowday, R. (1991) Motivation and work. New York: McGraw-Hill. Porter, L. and Lawler, E. (1968) Managerial Attitudes and Performance. Homewood: IL:Richard D. Irwin Inc. Triandis, H. (1982) Cross-Cultural Management :Conceptual Analyses. International Studies of Management and Organization, 12 (4). Vroom, V. (1964) Work and Motivation. New York: John Wiley and Sons.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

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