Analysing Practical Problems of Motivation by relating to theories


This assignment is based on a real workplace problem that one may experience at work and is related to motivation. The report undergoes investigation of the problem, giving the views of the manager, then analyses comparing to the views of Mukesh, views of the peer employees and my own views. The possible causes of the problem have been identified and related to the major theories of motivation and evaluated, certain recommendations have been made for the management to help change the issue and try to resolve to avoid this type of issue in the future.

Table of contents (This can be done automatically for you)


Issue / problem

Investigation of problem

Views of the manger

Views of Mukesh

Views of the peer employees

3.4 My own views

Possible cause of problem







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Nowadays the whole business structure is based on the relationship between the peer workers, manager and the level of motivation they encompass. At a workplace motivation is of two types, firstly management can motivate people by the way of pay, promotion, praise etc and secondly people can motivate themselves by satisfying their needs from the work. Motivation is to influence people make them behave in a certain way. (Armstrong M 2007, P-253) Components of motivation (Arnold 1991) are:

Direction - what a person is trying to do

Effort - how hard is he trying

Persistence - for how long he is trying to do

Motivating other people is to make them move in the direction you want them to go, to achieve results. People themselves are motivated when they take a course of action for the attainment of a goal and a value for the fulfillment of their needs.

Motivation Theories

Some of the most influential motivation theories have been briefed as below

Instrumentality theory - It say that a person can be directed to act in a certain way if he is rewarded for it. This theory assumes that if reward and penalties are attached to the performance, a person can be directly motivated to work.

Content theory - Motivation is to take action to satisfy needs. It focuses on identifying needs that influence behavior. An unsatisfied need creates tension and causes imbalance. To restore this imbalance a goal to satisfy need is identified and then the path to make the goal is Identified, this is how the behavior motivated by a need indentified.

Need theory - (Maslow 1954) developed the need theory. He believed that the concept of hierarchy of needs is fundamental to the personality. Only an unsatisfied need can motivate behavior. A need at a higher level emerges only after a need at the lower level is satisfied. His five major categories of need are- Physiological, Safety, Social, Esteem, Self fulfillment.

Dual factor theory - (Herzberg 1957) gave a two factor model and identified a number of fundamental needs. The two factor groups affecting job satisfaction are intrinsic and extrinsic to the job.

Equity theory - (Armstrong M 2007, P-261) It deals with how people are treated as compared to the other people, other departments or to the other people working in similar jobs in the similar organizations. People are better motivated if they are treated equal.

Issue/ Problem

Cosmo travels; Moscow is a registered IATA travel agency having its offices in India and Canada. I have worked in the organization for about ten months. I was working in the tour and travel department. My work was to look after all the matter related to tour packages only in the department and visas etc. Other department was the air ticketing department. It had a manager, and a team attending the walk in clients and handling telephonic enquires. Their main job was to make reservation and issue tickets of all the major airlines for destinations all around the world. They had a special desk for domestic ticketing which was attended by Rufina a Russian girl, almost all the other desks were occupied by the Indian staff.

My focus is on Mukesh, as the problem is associated to him. He was recruited in the organization on the recommendation of his father after the completion of his graduation. His father has been working in the organization as a peon in the Delhi office for more than twenty five years.

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In the organization an appointment is made on the basis of the qualification, computer skills and the language skills. He was given all the necessary training regarding the computers and online reservation systems, and the languages on the job itself. He worked very hard in the organization. Soon he had very good relations with the clients. He always met the targets required for the daily sales, sometimes noticed that he had been sitting idle the whole day and at the end of the day, he had met the targets. Clients just used to call him and get the tickets issued. He had maintained a good bank of clients. He issued them tickets on the 15 day credit policy of the company. He had a very few walk in clients. He maintained a very good relation with the other staff. During his period a lot a staff and even managers went in and out and he had been working continuously for more than six years then. He had seen those periods of time when he had been alone on the ticketing desk for months and controlling all the clients and calls and doing all the required work alone. He performed his duties very well, for which he was praised every time by the fellow staff and other people in the office.

In the course of time some new staff was recruited for the ticketing desks. The new staff was very well qualified, met the required computer skills and was having a command over the language. They had relevant experience of the job as well. Although there was no hierarchy amongst the team, some of the new staff gradually took on more and more responsibilities. They started exploring the new base of clients and new markets. They started advertising, which was never done before for the sale of air tickets in that particular office. They were successful in getting many new clients and particularly a new segment of clients, which were the overseas students who studied in the different universities of Russia. They had the entire sale in cash. On the other side Mukesh was stuck to his work, doing the job and meeting the required sales targets. He did nothing to improve the sales nor did he try to get new clients. He was happy with the job; he had commitments outside his work that too were important to him.

His relationship with the manger started getting bad. One day when he was having a client in front of him, manager came upon him and asked him to finish soon with the client as some other clients were in the queue. He became angry and in protest he banged the keyboard on the desk. Manager became very upset and told him that his swearing upon him is unacceptable and he would take a action against him and would be reporting the matter to the seniors and get him sacked off from the job. The very next day he was called by the administration to come to Delhi and report.

Investigation of the problem

3.1 Views of the manager

According to the manager Mukesh was not improving the quality of his work. He didn't care for the walk in clients and was stuck to his target and didn't want to do more.

The new staff is more educated and more experienced. They are engaged in the exploring of the new markets. New staff has been able to get a lot of new clients and they had most of their sales in the cash. The new staff is taking more and more of the responsibilities upon themselves.

When the manager asked Mukesh to finish with the client quickly, he swore at the manager which is unacceptable to the manager.

3.2 Views of Mukesh

According to him he is a hard worker and committed. He had been working for the company for so long and he his very faithful to the company.

He had very good relation with all the customers and has been achieving the everyday sale targets. All his customers were very loyal to him.

He had very good relation with all the members of the staff, if he the peon, they were the couriers or other co members.

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He wanted to do the job and he had a meaning for the job.

3.3 Views of peer employees

According to the other employees Mukesh is a very hardworking and faithful person. He has been working for so long in the company and they have not heard even a single complaint against him. When the new staff comes, the manager valued the new staff, as the new staff is more qualified and more ambitious. Mukesh had very good relations with all his clients as well as with them.

3.4 My own views

Mukesh is less qualified with no relevant work experience. He was given the job on the recommendation of his father who had been working for a long stand of more than 25 years in the company office. He was given several trainings on the job to overcome his shortcomings in the computer skills as well as language. He maintained a very good relation with all his peer employees and his clients. During his period many employees came in and out. He had seen some new mangers as well. But the new staff this time was more ambitious and more qualified. They took more and more responsibilities upon them. Manager valued those new employees. This changed the Mukesh's motivation that he is not valued.

Possible cause of problem

Mukesh had been working for a long time in the company, he had no problem working in the company, neither the other employees working in the company seem to have any problem from him while working in that company. Everybody was happy working with each other. He had maintained a very good relation with his clients and his clients too were very loyal to him and there seem to be no problem too. But something was going on in his mind that made him behave in such a manner in front of the manger in spite of holding such a reputation in the company and all his fellow staff.

Possibly when the new staff comes in, it is where the problem actually started. The new staff is more qualified and having more experience. They took more and more of the responsibilities on them, in spite of the fact that company had no such system of hierarchy. They were more ambitious. Manager valued them. All the factors would have made him think that he is not valued anymore and thus may have changed his motivation towards the work. He must be feeling that he is being not treated equal in the company by the manger because he is less educated and he is the son of a poor employee of the company who was given a job in the company on the recommendation of seniors, as giving his father a reward for his long standing job and his loyalty towards the company.


The problem stated here is a good example of the motivation. It states clearly that how a person is motivated. If we apply theories of the motivation on the whole story, I would suggest that Mac Gregor theory Y must be applied to the first part of the workplace scene. According to the Mac Gregor theory X, people act for their basic needs rather than contributing for the company, therefore manger need to motivate them by the way of rewards and punishments to control the workers. And according to the Mac Gregor theory Y people are motivated by their higher aspirations and use their responsibilities well to fulfill their aspirations. In this workplace story Mukesh was motivated by the higher aspirations and he had been responsibly working in the company. At certain times he had to work alone in the field and he had a full control over the business and played a very good role for the company. He was given a chance to develop his judgment, discretion and autonomy. He was motivated by the fact that he was the son of a peon and in spite of being less qualified and having no working skills and experience he was given a job. He wanted to prove himself and had a goal to stay there and develop further. He worked very hard and learned all the required computer skills and made a good command over the language. He was always praised for his work by the fellow staff and particularly seniors when he worked alone for a quite long period of time in that office.

(Armstrong M, P-261) Equity theory; It is a comparative process, it involves feelings and perceptions. According to this theory motivation is affected by the fairness in the treatment a person gets as compared to the other individuals, as compared to the other departments and as compared to the other people working on the similar jobs in the other organizations. In this workplace story Mukesh was feeling that he was not being treated equally by the new manager as compared to the new staff. Manager values the new staff and he is no more valued. All this sort of feelings changed his motivation, thus he was stuck only to his work and no more interested in any sort of developments in the company. He was very much frustrated in that period of time.

The psychological contract; It is a kind of assumption or certain assumptions between the employer and the employer which are unwritten and often unspoken. Specific examples from a work context can be trust, loyalty, and professional ethos. These are possibly threatened by outsourcing performance by relating pay and rewards. In this particular workplace situation Mukesh was attached to the company with loyalty and trust. It can highlighted from the facts that he was given all sort of required training when he was on the job and he worked as if he had been working in his own office. He built such a relation with the customers. For Mukesh it was the psychological contract that he had with the company.


By applying different theories on the workplace problem, it seems to be that Mukesh wanted to work for the company and he had been working hard in that company. He starts work happily and worked hard. He had good relation with the other employees and his clients. New staff that is more qualified and experienced comes. They are more ambitious, and they more and more responsibilities on them. The manger gives them more value and importance. It lets Mukesh down. He then had a feeling that he is not being valued. All his previous hard work and loyalty towards the company are no more useful. He had a negative motivation for work, which made him frustrated and thus he behaved in such a manner. He only concentrated on his work he supposed to do and nothing else.

In this problem manager started giving stress on the walk in clients, it brought cash sale to the company and increased the overall revenue of the company. The exploration of new markets added a more customer base to the company. The new staff worked hard on the system.

Mukesh had a very good customer base and they were very loyal to the company as well as him. He had been meeting the targets of the company only through them.

Manager was ignoring the fact that loyal customers of a company are the soul of the company and provide enough business for smooth running of a company. Clients of Mukesh would give him a good business on the phone itself and he had not to take much effort, but only required keeping a good relation with them, which Mukesh was very well doing. He always had his targets met by the evening.


From this workplace problem it is very much clear that how can motivation affect the working and the behavior of a person. A manger must understand the possible outcomes about way of treating an employee. He must have good knowledge of the human psychology and behavior. If he would have acted in some other way, he might not have created the situation and possibly everything must have gone well.

This needs to be MUCH longer.. about 500 words


In this problem manger ignored the working of Mukesh. He just adopted the new staff and worked on the walk in clients. In fact the manger must not have ignored Mukesh, but he must have formed a team and distributed the work in the team members. This would have made feel Mukesh that they all are working together and he is the part of the team. Being a team member he cannot feel that he is undervalued and ignored, rather the new staff must have learnt how to make a loyal client base and how much it is important for a company and the employee to have a loyal client base.

The manger may have performed in some other manner he would have distributed the task between all the staff. He would have suggested a new comer to join Mukesh and instead asked Mukesh in few of the activities with the new comers. In this manner the situation which aroused in the problem would not have occurred.