Workers productivity is the key factor in organizational success

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Abstract

Workers' productivity is the key factor in organizational success, since they serve as the driving engine for the organization. Productivity is influenced by workers' motivation for work. Motivation has a direct effect on the productivity. Therefore, in order to improve workers' productivity, it is imperative that their motivation is enhanced. Maslow and Herzberg theories will be used in this study. These two theorists will be used as a survey for needs, motivators and demotivators. The research will take place in a Thai Floor tile manufacturing company. While needs in Thailand considers low on Maslow due to economics, we will test the different needs between plant workers (who has lower income) and office workers. Herzberg's motivation theory is one theory that emphasizes that managers should take separate measures to increase workers' satisfaction and decrease their dissatisfaction so that their productivity may be enhanced. There is need to check whether the theory is valid as it compliments nearly all other theories of motivation, that focus their discussion around certain factors and do not categorize factors on the basis of satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

This research will check the Herzberg's theory of motivation by analyzing the impact of individual factors on the workers' productivity from their own perspective. The research will clearly identify the productivity influencing factors that are job satisfiers and others that are job dissatisfiers. This will allow the research to come up with a practicable strategy that addresses both types of concerns of the workers. In addition to that, the effect of environment on the factors influencing workers' productivity will be studied by comparing the response of office workers to that of plant workers for the same factors. Owing to the great difference between the office environment and the plant environment, it is expected that workers' response will greatly vary for the same factors, and will yet be consistent within their individual categories of office and plant. This will allow the researcher to devise strategy that takes into account the effect of environment on the workers' productivity, so that the practicability of the strategy can be enhanced.

Research Problem

Herzberg's theory of motivation emphasizes upon the need to take separate measures to improve the satisfaction and reduce the dissatisfaction of workers. This research aims at identifying methods to improve satisfaction and reduce dissatisfaction of workers simultaneously so that their productivity can be enhanced and the quality of their work can be improved.

Also, this research designs to test a validity of Herzberg two-factor theory of motivation (Motivation - Hygiene). The Herzberg theory has given a mass of investigations and experiments in many industries and different type of organizations around the world. Results do not always support, in fact, only about one in three do so. (Gardner, 1977)

Significant of Study

Productivity is one of the most concerns in the state of the art business practices. The progress of any organization depends upon the speed of work. Workers' motivation plays a decisive role in boosting the speed of work because they work at the grass root level. Their productivity is essential for the company's progress to comply with the schedule. Companies that surpass the deadline make the owners incur great financial losses. Liquidated damages absorb the profit margin that not only decreases the profitability of business, but also serves as a potential discouragement for the owners.

Therefore, workers' productivity is the key factor that needs to be concentrated upon in order to increase the profitability of a business. The extent to which a worker is productive is governed by several factors that include but are not limited to the workers' motivation, skill, age, and culture. For the scope of this research, workers' motivation will be focused and means will be identified to increase their motivation so that they may increase their productivity. Various theories of motivation have been proposed, each highlighting a specific aspect of motivation. One such theory is the Herzberg's motivational theory that emphasizes that workers can only be motivated for work if managers take measures to both satisfy them and remove the factors that dissatisfy them. Such theories are readily being relied upon by both researchers and practitioners. There is a need to check the validity of these theories. This research will check the validity and practical usability of the Herzberg's theory of motivation by devising a strategy based on it that would focus on improving workers' motivation for work, and hence their productivity.

The research will be very useful for researchers and philosophers that tend to base their proceedings on the Herzberg's theory of motivation. It is the fact that in Thailand, very few researchers are working in this area, it will be very useful to validate the Herzberg's theory for Thailand, a country which considers as developing economy, low income and compromise culture. So author has chosen this area for research that would be helpful for further research in this field.

If the strategic model of productivity enhancement devised in this research brings out positive results, it would not only justify the usability of the Herzberg' motivation theory, but would also provide the owners with a well developed strategic model of productivity improvement.

Objectives

The research will achieve the following objectives:

• Identification of dissatisfying factors that decline the productivity of workforce.

• Identification of satisfying factors that improve the productivity of workforce.

• Studying the influence of environment (office and plant) on the nature of factors influencing productivity.

• Identification and recommendation appropriate intervention to improve motivation and productivity

• Formulation of a productivity improvement strategy that simultaneously focuses on lessening the dissatisfaction and improving the satisfaction among workers.

• Judgment of the validity of the Herzberg's theory of motivation through results of the strategy.

Review of the literature

Motivation is the key factor in influencing humans to work better, so an increase motivation will result in higher productivity and more profit. Understanding and having knowledge about motivation can help create a satisfier environment resulting in achieving higher productivity (Halepota, 2005). Productivity is directly influenced by an individual's level of satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the job. Various theories of motivation like Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Alderfer's ERG theory and the Herzberg motivational theory commonly stress upon a need to address workers' concerns on these factors so that their motivation for work can be increased. Therefore, workers' satisfaction or dissatisfaction factors can be linked to their motivation. Hence, this research would base the workers' productivity improvement strategy upon the Herzberg's motivation theory. This requires an in depth analysis of the motivation increasing methods that are conventionally applied in Thailand.

Before analyzing methods in place in Thailand to improve workers' motivation, it is customary to define the term "motivation". Motivation can be understood as "the process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors" (Cherry, 2011). According to Locke and Latham (2004, p. 388), motivation: 'refers to internal factors that impel action and to external factors that can act as inducements to action'. Halepota (2005), motivation is a factor that significantly influences productivity. A higher level of motivation can result in higher productivity.

Herzberg presented a unique theory about motivation in which he said that factors that cause dissatisfaction among workers in their workplace are not opposite to the factors that inculcate satisfaction in them. In 1959 Herzberg wrote "We can expand … by stating that the job satisfiers deal with the factors involved in doing the job, whereas the job dissatisfiers deal with the factors which define the job context". Herzberg (Herzberg, 1987) stated that factors involved in producing job satisfaction are separated and distinct from the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction. The opposite of job satisfaction is not job dissatisfaction but no job satisfaction and the opposite of job dissatisfaction is not job satisfaction, but no job dissatisfaction. That essentially means that if the employers take measures to reduce the dissatisfaction among workers, they may effectively preclude all the factors causing dissatisfaction among workers. However, that does not mean that such an attempt of the employers would generate satisfaction among workers so that they would improve their performance. There is dire need to study the relationship between the potential satisfying and dissatisfying factors so that measures taken by employers can be made effective in drawing the desired results by simultaneously addressing both satisfaction and dissatisfaction.

Herzberg's job satisfiers and dissatisfiers compliments nearly all other theories of motivation, that essentially talk about certain specific factors, addressing which, employers can increase the motivation of their workers. For example, the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory has identified five specific needs that hierarchically play a role in motivating a worker. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg's two factor theory can be best explained with the help of the figure given below:

Figure 1 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs vs. Herzberg two factors

As can be observed from the figure, Maslow has simply highlighted five needs and has not talked about any satisfying or dissatisfying factors. According to Maslow, a worker will only think about realization and self actualization if his/her four basic needs of physique, security, affection and esteem are met. The similarities of Maslow and Herzberg' theories are that both use hierarchy scale, where one stage must first completed before advancing to the next stage. Herzberg's hygiene factors (e.g. salary, work condition, security) are corresponding to physiological, safety and social needs of Maslow. Likewise, Alderfer's ERG theory talks about the needs of existence, relatedness and growth (NetMBA, 2010). Alderfer has emphasized that managers need to simultaneously take measures to address each of the three needs of existence, relatedness and growth, and did not specify any satisfying or dissatisfying factors.

Research Methodology

The research methodology will be based on Action Research on the floor tile manufacturing company in Thailand. The size of the company is around 300 people. The scope of this research will focus only on one location where plant and office operate together. The employees belong to this location is approximately 160 people in which 50% are plant workers (e.g. xxx) and 50% are office workers (e.g. back office, sales, marketing). The research will be based on 3 stage of Organization Development Intervention, as figure below:

Figure 2 Action Research Approach

The research will use both quantitative and qualitative approaches which are questionnaire, interview, and focus group workshop. In order to cover the whole range of factors that may influence the workers' productivity, data will be collected both from workers working in offices and others that work in the plant. It is expected that plant specific factors that influence productivity are different from those that are not plant specific, and are indeed office specific. This can be attributed to the fact that the culture prevalent in a tile manufacturing company's office is significantly different from that which is prevalent in the plant. By collecting data from workers working in both areas, the research will not only be more realistic, but also will provide the researcher with an opportunity to draw a comparison between the office and plant specific satisfying and dissatisfying factors. Data will be collected from about 160 people through questionnaires and interview session with manager level.

Research techniques

A two stage survey questionnaire will be used as the survey instrument. The first set will be based on list of needs; another will be importance of motivator and hygiene factors to improve productivity. In the second stage of questionnaire, the author will also ask respondents to rate the application and presence of those factors in the company.

For manager interview, questionnaire will be used to guide interview process. The manager will have to rank the questionnaire on behalf of what worker think and what techniques they had adopted to motivate their workers. The questionnaire will include demographic such as age, years with company, position, gender and will be based on Likert scale. The common factors will be mentioned and the workers will be asked to grade them as their provision satisfies them and their lack dissatisfies them. Likert scale will have numbers from 1 to 4 where 1, 2, 3 and 4 would mean "does not satisfy", "somewhat satisfies", "satisfies a lot" and "extremely satisfies" respectively. Similar scale will be used to measure dissatisfaction and 1, 2, 3 and 4 would represent "does not dissatisfy", "somewhat dissatisfies", "dissatisfies a lot" and "extremely dissatisfies."

Anticipated Results

Means of responses for the graded factors that were originally commonly identified as both satisfiers and dissatisfiers will be found, to see which the most influential factors on the workers' productivity are. Factors whose satisfying and dissatisfying role is equal will be identified, along with other factors with biased satisfying or dissatisfying role. This will help confirm the validity of Herzberg's theory in Thai manufacturing context and will ease the formulation of a strategy that would enhance workers' satisfaction and reduce their dissatisfaction. Their productivity is expected to increase as a result of this.

Another answer will retrieve from this research is how existing motivation tools apply in the company and how effective it is. In addition, the cross analysis of workers and managers will help manager understand more in worker's needs and what important to them in order to create a satisfier environment.

Resource Required

Expense for questionnaire translation and questionnaire

The questionnaire will need to translate into Thai since plant people have no skill in English and it will be more effective and understandable to use Thai questionnaire. The expense of translation questionnaire will be required. For questionnaire, the author hasn't decided which questionnaires to use, some might need to buy a license to use it.

Time and Effort

Study more on literature review, statistic analysis and previous studies in Thailand motivation

Others

Need statistic tool to analyze the result of questionnaire i.e. SPSS

Work Schedule

There are 3 key phases:

Phase 1 - Literature Review and Prepare for PhD. Candidate defense (Key milestone: pass the defense)

Phase 2 - Start Data Collection, Intervention implementation and Analysis (Key milestone: complete action research)

Phase 3 - Thesis writing and Thesis defense. (Key milestone: pass the defense)

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