Unit 12 Business Motivation

BS08 Motivational theory

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  • Created on: 25-09-13 09:56


· Motivation is an external factor achieve through money.

· Employees should be closely supervised and paid piece-rate.

· The most efficient means of production is when employees are trained and told how to operate.

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·         Highlighted the importance of fulfilling psychological needs to improve employee performance.

Motivation according to Maslow and Herzberg, depended upon designing jobs to fulfil psychological needs.

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Taylor explained

Taylor’s theories were based on a simple interpretation of human behaviour, that people were motivated solely by money. He combined this principle with a simple interpretation of the role of the manager: to operate the business with maximum efficiency.

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Taylor's Ideas

Taylor’s ideas to improve efficiency became known as scientific management. He believed managers could find the ‘best way’ to complete a task (within the production process) through a scientific procedure of observation, experiment and calculations. Based on these ideas he set out a number of recommendations.

·         Managers should study the tasks being carried out by workers and identify the quickest way of doing each.

·         The skills of each employee should be matched to the tasks needed to be carried out, and each given specific instructions on what to do and how to do it.

·         All workers should be supervised and controlled, and those who do not work efficiently should be punished.

·         Workers should be rewarded financially for being efficient, and pay schemes designed to may more for those who produce more. 

Taylor believes that money motivates and that workers seek to maximise pay.

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Theory of X and Y

A number of objections have been made to Taylor’s theory:

·         The theory assumes there is a scientific ‘best way’ to organise production, this ignores differences between workers, which may affect the success of any one method.

·         The approach treats workers as machines to be used and controlled, creating an atmosphere of conflict between workers and managers.

·         Money is not the only motivator. Taylor’s ideas ignore personal and social needs of individuals at work.

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MASLOW’S and HERZBERG’S Theory of Motivation

He believes that motivation lies within each individual employee, and that managers merely need the key to unlock the motivational force. By focusing on the psychological needs of employees both Maslow and Herzberg encouraged managers to treat their employees as individuals with different needs and aspirations.

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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow suggested that all human beings have the same types of needs and that these could be organised as a Hierarchy of needs (which he presented in a triangle with 5 levels).

He argued that employees have a series of needs they seek to fulfil at work. Once a lower level is satisfied, individuals strive to satisfy needs further up the hierarchy. He established 5 levels of human needs that can be satisfied through employment. Maslow’s theory offers a more individualistic approach to motivating employees, recognising that not all people are the same.

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HERZBERG’S Theory of Motivation

Herzberg’s two-factor theory was the result of a study in which he asked 200 accountants and engineers in the USA which factors within their work created job satisfaction and which created dissatisfaction. He stated that there are two sets of factors motivators and hygiene factors that are both important in motivating workers.

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Herzberg Motivation Factors

·         Motivators. These factors relate to the job itself and can be used to positively motivate employees.

Þ      A sense of achievement

Þ     Recognition of effort

Þ     Interesting work

Þ     Responsibility

Þ     Opportunities for promotion

Þ     Opportunities for self improvement

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Hygiene Factors

·         These factors do not lead to motivation but without them employees are likely to become dissatisfied.

Þ     Company policy

Þ     Relationships with supervisors or colleagues

Þ     Working conditions

Þ     Pay and status

Þ     Security

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Two Factor in Practice

Several practical conclusions can be drawn from the two-factor theory.

·         To motivate a workforce a business must first make sure that all the hygiene factors are being met

·         The motivators must be there, ensuring that the job itself is meaningful and interesting, that workers are trained to do their job well and that they have the opportunity to develop their skills.

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