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The term 'motivation' is derived from the Latin word 'movere' translated to mean 'to move' (Porter, Bigley and Steers; 2003, p.1). It is often associated with the will to perform a task with enthusiasm, without the use of force or the whip. Organizations that place a high priority on grooming or developing a highly motivated workforce often display unique characteristics amongst which include: high confidence levels, the absence of industrial conflicts and ultimately noticeable is improved performance. A plethora of definitions exist across literature for the term 'motivation' -while some emphasize its ability to yield astronomical gains to the companies applying it, others simply refer to it as the indispensable ingredient necessary for the effective functioning of any one organization. One definition by Graham and Bennett (1998, p.60), defines motivation to work as "all the drives, forces and influences -conscious or unconscious- that cause the employee to want to achieve certain aims." Another definition by Robbins and Judge (2009, p.209) refers to motivation as being "those processes that account for an individual's intensity, direction and persistence of effort towards attaining a goal." In all of these, what one would find common in the foregoing definitions of motivation is the 'drive' and 'direction' it affords the individual. This essay shall focus on a discourse bothering around the dynamics of managing motivation at work. In so doing, the essay shall explore the nature of motivation as well as an overview of the concept of individual differences as it relates to motivation. Relevant recourse to theories such as the content, process and goal setting theories of motivation shall also be made in an attempt to ascertain the possibility of managing motivation.
Based on its very nature, motivation may be broadly categorized under two distinct headings, namely: extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. While the one is externally induced by such things as incentives and bonuses, it is founded on the notion that certain gains would accrue to the individual if he engages in a particular activity or alternatively, that particular penalties would elude him if an activity were performed or otherwise not executed. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation stems from a genuine interest or innate passion for an activity and is more psychological in nature as the benefits simply comprise a feeling of inner satisfaction, pleasure or happiness as against feasible rewards. To further buttress this point, Mullins (2005) points out that extrinsic motivation is driven by the existence of foreseeable rewards while intrinsic motivation is fueled by the activity itself and the passion for it.
Before delving into the complexities inherent in managing employee motivation, it is imperative to highlight the role of individual differences at work. Organizations by their very nature consist of a diverse group of people working together to achieve a common aim. Diversity in itself implies that each individual holds on to certain beliefs and patterns of work that are unique and sometimes conflicting. Similarly, it then applies that what serves as motivation to one could most likely differ from what would trigger another to outperform his peers. That is, while some may only require a little push to perform at their optimal levels, others may require a blend of several motivational techniques to achieve the same outcomes. It may then be said that the importance of a highly motivated workforce cannot be overemphasized in the light of the fact that people perform at their best when they are highly motivated. (See: Porter, Bigley and Steers, 2003).
Several authors have debated on the adequacy of the different motivation theories and whether or not there exists a 'one fit for all'. While some may be apt to portend that employee motivation cannot be managed, others have quite simply resorted to getting the perfect mix for each individual case. In subsequent discussions, emphasis shall be placed on a discussion from both perspectives while making reference to relevant theories or studies supporting same. This paper shall draw on Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, Alderfer's ERG theory, Vroom's expectancy theory, Lawler and Porter's expectancy model as well as Locke's goal setting theory.
The underlying tenet of Maslow's need theory is that the individual's needs are at every point in time ranked in order of priority. Maslow categorized these needs from the very basic to the most ambitious into five cadres that is; physiological needs, Safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self actualization needs respectively. Physiological or basic needs relate to among other things, clothing and shelter. Safety, social and esteem needs refer to the need for security, love and status respectively. At the peak of the hierarchy is what Maslow termed the self actualization need which is the apex on the pyramid. It is at this point that Maslow believes individuals have realized their full potential. Underlying the theory is the principle that a lower level need is satisfied before a higher level need and that a satisfied need no longer motivates (Mullins, 2005; Ramlall, 2004).
The implication of this theory to managers suggests that motivation can be managed at the workplace. It supports that a manager will only be required to understand each employee to the point of being able to determine which needs have been satisfied and which are yet to be satisfied. Hence, it will be expected that at each point in time, he is aware of the level of needs his staff are presently seeking to satisfy which will aid him in his attempts to retain a motivated workforce. John Adair (1996), in support of this comments that while Maslow focused on the individual as against the group, his theory has been useful in explaining and helping managers understand the rationale behind diverse needs and how best the employees' needs may be satisfied (also, see Porter, Bigley and Steers, 2003).
Notwithstanding the seeming validity behind the theory, it can be said that Maslow's theory provides an overly simplistic approach to understanding the concept of motivation. It poses a series of challenges to the manager who seeks to motivate a diverse set of employees at once (Adair, 1996). Firstly, it is obvious that individuals don't spend their entire day at the office and as such are not expected to satisfy all their needs in the four walls of the work environment (Mullins, 2005). The implication of this to any one manager is for him to maintain a trail of his subordinate's activities both within and outside the organization to enable him understand which needs have been met and which are to be actualized; the attainment of which is largely unreasonable, creating itches in every attempt by a manager to effectively managed employee motivation. Secondly, it is also known for a fact that while some rewards have the capacity to satisfy more than one strata of need on the pyramid for particular individuals, the same set of rewards may only barely satisfy another's hence resulting in a lack of uniformity in the management of employee motivation at work. Furthermore, Mullins (2005), points out yet another challenge for managers who seek to motivate naturally creative people as these individuals would continuously seek after self actualization even when lower level needs are yet to be satisfied; thus defying Maslow's key principle, which is based on hierarchy of needs with pursuit of satisfaction going from lower/basic needs to the highest. Added to this category are those individuals who have suffered traumatic experiences such as chronic unemployment and hence would continually seek to satisfy lower level needs, seeing no reason to progress up the ladder. Consequently, devising a single motivation plan for all employees using this model may in fact result in chaos.
A further refinement of Maslow's theory was done by Alderfer in his Existence-Relatedness-Growth (ERG) theory. Alderfer categorized employees' needs as occurring in the order as depicted above -this compressed the original five hierarchies of Maslow's theory into three broad classes, that is; existence, relatedness and growth. While the basic and safety needs fell largely under existence, relatedness covered Maslow's safety, social and esteem needs. Growth on the other hand referred to esteem and actualization needs. However, Alderfer's theory both agrees with and differs from Maslow's in the sense that it recognizes the fact that employees would usually satisfy their needs in a forward progression; however, when they continually seek to meet a need but keep meeting with disappointments, the same employees will result to a frustration-regression mode and hence continue to satisfy needs at a lower level. The theory tends to make provision for those creative individuals not considered in Maslow's theory by postulating that more than one need may be operative at the same time and that lower level needs are not necessarily satisfied before higher level needs. In yet another context, the implication of this theory is that while employees who have suffered some form of disappointment in attaining growth needs will not necessarily be dissatisfied, such individuals will alternatively seek to attain the satisfaction of other existence and relatedness needs which will serve as the new driving force for behavior (see Porter, Bigley and Steers, 2003; Arnold et al., 2005; Mullins 2005).
The process theories are those that are concerned with 'how' individuals are motivated by identifying those factors or variables that influence motivation (Mullins, 2005). They include but are not limited to the Vroom's and Porter and Lawler's expectancy theories. The first of these as developed by Vroom is the expectancy theory. The theory holds that employees/individuals will always seek to maximize pleasure and as such, prefer some outcomes over the achievement of others (Steers, Mowday and Shapiro, 2004; Vroom, 1995). The theory supports that employees can be motivated once there exists a direct relationship between his effort and his performance; provided that positive performance will result in rewards that are deemed important to him. Vroom's theory emphasizes three variables. Valence, which is the impression the employee has about certain outcomes and thus determine his attractiveness to it; instrumentality, which refers to the belief held by the employee that a level of performance will result in some form of outcome and finally, expectancy, which relates to an employee's opinion about the attainability of such performances (Ramlall, 2004; Robbins and Judge, 2009).
The implication of this theory is that motivation may be managed once realistic targets are set and once outcomes which are attached to high performance are effectively communicated to employees. A good example of how managers can ensure motivation using Vroom's model is by utilizing the concept of performance related pay, a system that attaches the promise of reward to performance and in relation to some pre-set targets/objectives (Beardwell and Claydon, 2010). That is, in an effort to enjoy the benefits of high performance, employees would seek to meet their objectives, which will in turn boost overall organizational performance. However, while Porter and Lawler modified Vroom's model, they believe that not all effort results in performance as employees may be motivated but might lack the necessary skill to execute their tasks or may be lacking in the knowledge of the requirements of the job (Ramlall, 2004). Also pointed out by Porter and Lawler's model of expectancy is the relationship between performance and satisfaction. They portend that while some performance may not result in the expected rewards, thereby not resulting in satisfaction; performance of other tasks may alternatively lead to intrinsic or extrinsic rewards (Porter, Bigley and Steers, 2003). In essence, when a task is performed and reward is received, the employee measures this against his expectation and the outcome of that comparison determines whether or not satisfaction will be achieved or whether or not he will continue to strive towards higher performance. A big challenge however lies in the subjectivity of performance measures and its assessment in work organizations which may be seen to pose serious implications for the effective administration of employee motivation.
Another motivational theory that has received tremendous support in its notion of how motivation may be managed is Locke's 'Goal-Setting' theory. The theory is built on the premise that specific goals drive individuals to perform better and subsequently attain set goals as against a general and vague goal (Arnold et al., 2005; Seijts, Latham, Tasa and Latham, 2004). The theory also identifies that individuals have differing goal orientations which may either be a 'learning' type on the one hand; where the emphasis is to be skilled in the performance of a given task or a 'performance ' type on the other, where the focus is on the completion of a task. The theory further postulates that individuals with a learning goal tend to experience improved performance once the task is a bit difficult while those with performance goals improve with the simplicity of the task assigned as their emphasis is on task completion. In addition, while feedback serves to aid the performance of those with learning goals, it motivates them as well (see Porter, Bigley and Steers, 2003). However, the same cannot be said for individuals having performance goals due to their aversion for criticism. Hence, in effectively managing his staff, the manager is thus expected to set clear and realistic goals, he may also tie the achievement of such goals to certain incentives which will improve employees' commitment to performance.
Just like every other theory on human beings, the goal setting has its shortcomings. An observation made of the theory by a series of authors is that performance decreased when people who were given specific learning goals to perform did not have the knowledge required to perform the task (Seijts, Latham, Tasa and Latham, 2004). Hence, the implication of this theory is that a high performance goal will only be achieved when employees have been equipped with the relevant skill to perform such tasks. It is also worthy to note that one implication of the goal setting theory is that when an incentive is attached to a goal that cannot be attained, it results in decreased performance for the employee and often times, a motivator to involve in unethical behavior in meeting such goals especially among individuals who are performance driven (Schweitzer, Ordonez and Douma, 2004). The existence of conflicting goals which is often a characteristic at work organizations also poses serious limitations for the application of goal setting theory as one would invariably suffer for the other to be achieved. Then again, when faced with a difficult task or goal, there is also a high probability for individuals to focus on task strategy; that is how to demystify and resolve the complex task (which is a learning goal) as against its actual performance. This will in turn results in lower performance on the task and consequently thwart attempts at ensuring high performance motivation (see Seijts, Latham, Tasa and Latham, 2004; Schweitzer, Ordonez and Douma, 2004; Arnold et al., 2005).
Before bringing this paper to a close, it is imperative to touch on the role of money as a motivator. This thinking stemmed from the scientific management school where employees were seen as economic animals that only appreciated higher wages as a means of motivation and were willing to seek same even at the expense of their leisure hours (Mullins, 2005). Money in itself is a motivator. In addition, it motivates by virtue of the fact that it affords the individual a means to satisfying his other needs (Stajkovic and Luthans 2001). However, it gets to a point in the life of an employee when money no longer motivates, where he would prefer to have more leisure time and would not mind considering trading off any increment of salary for increased leisure. This is the concept of the backward sloping curve derived from the additional unit of money received for every hour worked (Fajana, 2001). Furthermore, while the expectancy and the goal setting theories are advocates of the motivating power of money and its ability to condition behavior towards achieving certain outcomes, the cognititive evaluation theory proposes that pay diminishes overall motivation when applied to a task that initially provided intrinsic rewards to an individual (Robbins and Judge, 2009). In addition, Herzberg in his two factor theory classified money under the hygiene factors stating that its presence will not necessarily motivate or yield improved performance while its absence will result in dissatisfaction. All this only seeks to further compound the complexities inherent in motivating individuals.
In conclusion, it is common knowledge that for the achievement of organizational goals, the manager is saddled with the responsibility of coordinating the efforts of other employees who may not necessarily share the same interests. To this effect, he is expected to motivate each member of the team if the task is to be completed within the time specified. As simple as this may sound, this poses the most difficult of duties for the manager as there is an absolute need to understand each individual's complexities and what drives them to perform. At this juncture, it is pertinent to comment that employees have divergent motives for taking up jobs. While some have been found to take up employment for reasons ranging from the financial benefit it confers and the social need it meets, others work just to pass up idle time or by reason of compulsion from their spouses or families. Furthermore, it should also be noted that individual motivating factors may change over time for the same individual: a change in priorities or interests for example. Obviously, it goes without saying that a manager who has in his team one of the less interested categories of people would eventually be faced with bottlenecks even when all effort has been spent on motivation.
The modern work organization consists of a wide variety of individuals working closely together to achieve the objectives of the whole. What sets a successful organization apart from the rest lies in its ability to organize this diversity for its own good. Often times, employees come from varying backgrounds with each having its own unique interests, passions and work style. The ability of a manager to synchronize their respective skills, knowledge and abilities determines how successful the enterprise would eventually be in attaining its corporate goals. The will to work is experienced differently by different individuals. While some may be naturally inclined to work, hating any state of idleness, others need to be stimulated, motivated or even forced to get their work done. The word 'motivation' has its origins in Latin. Originally coined from the Latin word 'movere' which means to move (Mowday and Shapiro, 2004), motivation may be likened to a driving force that stimulates an individual or a group to perform. A number of definitions have been tendered for the term motivation, each seeking to provide an understanding for human behavior. Porter, Bigley and Steers (2003, p.1) define motivation in three parts. First, they refer to it as 'what energizes human behavior', then they label it as that which 'directs or channels such behavior' and lastly, they state that its responsibility involves 'maintaining and sustaining the behavior' already energized and directed. In clearer terms, they define motivation as a force that energizes, directs and sustains human behavior. Another definition by Robbins and Judge (2009, p.209) define motivation 'as the processes that account for an individual's intensity, direction and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal.' In the course of this essay, an overview of a few motivational techniques shall be described and subsequently, motivation shall be explored by making reference to both old and new theories as a guide towards helping us develop a broad understanding as to why motivation may or may not be managed.
A wide variety of motivational techniques have been employed by organizations for grossly similar reasons. While some invest in such schemes for largely performance related purposes, others have simply imbibed a culture that encourages a continuous process of employee motivation to further build its image in the eyes of the public or better still, count itself as note worthy, adopting the very principles of best practice. Of the myriad motivational techniques that exist, a few would here be described in brief. Employee involvement which dates as far back as to the 19th century was originally employed to gain the commitment of employees over a backdrop of trade union militancy (Brannen, 1983). However, in recent times, it has evolved to include giving a voice to the individual employee as well as involving them in the decision making processes of the organization. By so doing, it is believed that this increased autonomy will result in a more motivated workforce (see Robbins and Judge, 2009). Other techniques often utilized are incentives, job rotation and job enrichment. Incentives play a vital role in the motivation of employees and could either be in monetary or non-monetary form (Stajkovic and Luthans, 2001). While they may be used to reward remarkable performances, they are also useful in eliciting certain desirable traits from employees which are necessary for the achievement of a firm's overall corporate goal. That is, once employees are aware that performing to certain standards will attract rewards, they tend to strive towards attaining and maintaining such levels of work. As the name implies, job rotation is a technique that involves moving an employee across various units in a firm to perform tasks that are almost similar in context to his original work. It especially holds true in organizations where there is a high tendency for jobs to be routine and monotonous (Robbins and Judge, 2009). Job enrichment as described by Mullins (2005, p.280) entails broadening the 'five core job dimensions': that is, skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy and feedback. In addition, Robbins (2009, p. 254) referred to it as being "vertical expansion of jobs." In simpler terms, job enrichment covers all those processes that involve increasing the level of autonomy or control accorded to the employee in the performance of his day-to-day activities, the impact of his duties to individual's lives and its overall meaningfulness to the employee.
However, while millions of dollars are being invested in attaining a highly motivated workforce, it is a known fact that no single motivational tool creates that perfect fit for all employees. This essay shall attend in great detail to the theories of Maslow, McClelland, Adam's equity theory, Skinner's reinforcement theory and the goal setting theory in a bid to discover the effectiveness or otherwise of applying the principles of motivation at work.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory postulates that needs of the individual may be categorized into five strata. He referred to these needs as ranging from physiological needs, which is the desire for the basic things of life such as clothing, food and shelter to the self actualization needs which is the ultimate need of any individual (Ramlall, 2004). According to the theory, once a need has been met, it ceases to motivate as the individual tends to seek satisfaction for other higher level needs that take its place. Other needs include the safety need which covers things like job security, the social needs which refers to our natural inclination to be loved or to be affiliated to social groups and the esteem need, that is; the need for status and influence. Maslow's need theory holds certain distinct implications for the management of employee motivation. The theory has been labeled by scholars as having little or no usefulness at helping the manager at work understand the import of managing employee motivation (Mullins, 2005). While the theory makes valuable contribution about the different levels of needs experienced by individuals, it also provides a guide for managers to devise programs to ensure motivation of staff as well as mechanisms to deal with instances of stress that will occur from an employee's inability to satisfy certain needs (Ramlall, 2004). However, this theory gives the manager no hint as to when certain needs would become the leading needs or which ones have stopped being important to the individual. The theory also vaguely depicts the relationship that exist between needs and behavior; such that while it is possible for certain needs to be reflected by the same behavior, a diverse range of behavior may be expressed to denote a single need, hence lacking the clarity required to guide any manager effectively motivate his staff (Arnold et al., 2005). Another concern with the application of Maslow's needs theory is the fact that it emphasizes that satisfaction results in improved work performance which is not necessarily a given (Mullins, 2005) owing to the fact that these needs met are often individualistic (personal), their attainment may not have an impact on the employee's output. Lastly, the theory does not account for individuals who would alternatively seek to satisfy other higher level needs on the hierarchy if they are unable to satisfy their immediate present needs, thus, not conforming to the traditional step by step progression as stipulated in the needs theory and hence a challenge for effective management (see Porter, Bigley and Steers, 2003).
Closely related to Maslow's need theory is McClelland's needs theory. Unlike Maslow's hierarchy of need theory, he illustrates that human needs are often competing and each type of need (as will be discussed subsequently) serves to motivate behavior (Steers, Mowday, and Shapiro, 2004). McClelland's categorized the needs into four which include: the need for achievement, the need for power, the need for achievement and the need for autonomy. The theory provides that while employees with a high achievement need would always seek the achievement of moderately difficult assignment as well as a desire for feedback on such tasks to enable them know how successfully they have performed (Mullins, 2005), employees with high affiliation needs would prefer working in teams as against alone. Those with power needs would otherwise crave control while employees displaying a high need for autonomy would prefer independence as well as control over their work. This theory provides managers with a clear guide on how to manage individuals once their dominant needs have been identified and portends that employee performance and motivation is as a consequence of the level of one's desire for achievement (Mullins, 2005; Ramlall, 2004). However, it should be noted that McClelland argued that these needs operate in the subconscious which means a possibility exists whereby one has a need but is unaware of such needs, hence making motivation challenging (Robbins and Judge, 2009). Another challenge posed by this theory in attempts aimed at managing employee motivation is the fact that individuals possessing a high achievement need do not make the most successful managers because their need bothers around them succeeding personally as against influencing others to succeed (see Robbins and Judge, 2009; Steers, Mowday and Shapiro, 2004). Hence, the successful motivation of individuals would entail a comprehensive understanding of the need that dominates each personality, a task which is both cumbersome and resource demanding.
Another theory useful for our purpose is Adam's equity theory usually referred to as distributive justice (Porter, Bigley and Steers, 2003). Unlike other theories that focus on what motivates individuals to work, the equity theory is concerned with how employees are motivated and those factors that can otherwise facilitate or inhibit motivation. The underlying tenet of this theory focuses on fairness. That is, when employees perceive that they are fairly treated in comparison to their colleagues, feelings of motivation will ensue. The premise of this theory is that individuals weigh certain inputs and outputs and by comparing themselves with other employees, feelings of equity or inequity would occur depending on how favourable or otherwise the comparison was (see Locke and Latham, 2004). In managing motivation, the manager is to ensure fairness in rewarding employees with each reward being justified by objective parameters mainly because feelings of inequity often result in tension, a decline in performance from the affected employees or an exit from the organization where such inequity is seen to persist. A major setback of viewing motivation in this light lies in the subjectivity employees may place on the amount of input invested in any piece of task. While the employee may overstate their efforts without having the full knowledge of the amount of effort exerted by another, other factors such as professional qualifications, length of experience may not be factored into his analysis, hence providing an unequal basis for comparison. In resolving the occurrences of employees feeling displeased or tensed, employers may however, seek to develop reward systems that are both objective and fair (Ramlall, 2004). Notwithstanding, this also is not without its challenges especially when faced with employees who already have a fixed mindset of such inequity at work and thus, proving difficult to be convinced or motivated.
The importance of reinforcers on behavior also provides an insight for understanding motivation and why employees would repeat a particular behavior rather than another. The reinforcement theory as developed by Skinner believes that behavior is influenced by factors external to the individual; that is environmentally caused (Steers, Mowday and Shapiro, 2004). The tenets of the theory is that the probability of a behavior been repeated rests on the consequences of the responses to that behavior; that is whether the behavior is welcomed by rewards or punishments (Locke and Latham, 2004). Although originally a theory in learning (Robbins and Judge, 2009), its usefulness may be utilized by managers in identifying acceptable and productive behavior and using appropriate models or tools to sustain such desirable behaviours. However, the reinforcement theory suffers limitations like all other theories on the subject. The theory fails to recognize the importance of individual's emotions, attitudes or expectation on their behavior but only attributes behavior to the effects of external responses (Robbins and Judge, 2009). In essence, a manager who may be seeking to reinforce productive behavior of employees at work may not necessarily get consistent results due to the vast variety of internal factors that operate to cause an employee to want to give more effort or withdraw an equally significant measure of same towards achieving organizational goals.
The goal setting theory, inspired by some of the writings on management by objectives was pioneered by Ed Locke. The underlying fundamentals of the theory posits that people tend to act in accordance with goals and would focus behavior into achieving those goals. The theory emphasizes the importance of setting very specific goals whose achievement may be measured. While the proponents of the goal setting theory believe that difficult goals ensures a higher performance than when a simpler goal is set, they also emphasize the importance of feedback in assessing the extent to which the specific and difficult goals have been attained. Similarly, the implication for a manager is that at every point in time, he is to ensure specific goals are accorded to each staff. The theory supports the ability for financial incentives to improve performance as long as the goal is seen as achievable and the reward in question is of a substantial sum, financial incentives may be used to boost commitment to the goal. One good thing about this theory as remarked by Arnorld et al., (2005) is the fact that it has been tested across a variety of work contexts and have been proven to be practicable. The goal setting theory also makes a distinction between learning goals and performance goals. While the former is connected with people who enjoy learning processes and understanding the intricacies of a task, the latter relates to individuals whose main focus is the successful completion of a task. This has some implications for managers who have these categories of people in his team in the sense that while those with learning goals may welcome difficult tasks and see feedback as a way of assessing successes, those with performance goals would prefer simpler goals that would always ensure success. However, having mentioned this, the role of a manager is to ensure that staff are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to perform on tasks/goals allotted them( see Seijts, Latham, Tasa and Latham, 2004; Arnold et al., 2005).
The goal setting theory although has enjoyed much support and acceptance has been seen to having certain effects on its users. However, Arnorld et al., (2005) suggest that setting difficult goals affects employees in a way that causes them to focus on such short term tasks where feedback is rapidly received and at the detriment of longer term goals. Another set-back is that the theory may not prove effective in a setting where employees have a clear understanding of what constitutes performance and would rather focus on attaining such parameters as against any other goals that may be set (Arnold et al., 2005). A counter argument would be to advise managers to convert such performance parameters into achievable goals, goals with alternative solution paths thus leading employees to focus on the task itself and how it should best be solved (see Seijts, Latham, Tasa and Latham, 2004; Arnold et al., 2005).
A look at the preceding theories may bring one to question if they still retain their relevance in present times. While Mullins (2005, p.274) opines that managers can obviously apply the older and newer models to ensure role performance in their organizations, they portend that a more modern concept of motivation is one that emphasizes 'friendship, work and respect'. Considering the fact that there has been an upsurge in the growth of knowledge workers over the past two decades as a result of technological advances, globalization as well as the new forms of work, these workers unlike their manual counterparts are those who apply the theory and practice of expertise to produce value to their respective employers. It then becomes key to recognize how such employees should be motivated. Various authors have emphasized the importance of competence, support and clarity of task in the motivation of such knowledge employees (Mullins, 2005). This quickly brings to mind Herzberg's two factor theory of motivation which categorizes motivators as including a sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility for one's work, nature of work and advancement (see Robbins and Judge, 2009). The role of money as a motivator also suggests that while certain individuals respond almost instinctively when motivated with money, others do not. Although this may be attributed to differences in age, priorities or the status of such individuals, these varying responses to motivating tools simply communicates that human beings are distinct and unique entities. Evidence of this exists in a recent study conducted by the Economic and Social Research Council where it was found that employees are not entirely motivated by monetary incentives but by values and social norms such as career progression, holiday breaks, the quality of the work environment, work hours and even flexible working time all inspire employees (Mullins, 2005). This shift away from financial incentives holds certain implications for managers whose aim is to succeed at directing and coordinating the efforts of an ever growing diverse workforce.
In conclusion, it has been established in this paper that motivation of employees is possible. However, personal priorities, individual differences, perception about management, its motives or the systems in place for rewarding performance at work and a host of other factors may be said to complicate all efforts wheeled at ensuring its management. This essay focused on a discussion bothering around the meaning of motivation, some techniques employed by employers in motivating employees and the complexities inherent in motivating people. Relevant theories were also explored with a view to highlighting the arguments that pertain to the perspectives of whether or not motivation can be managed while relating the implications of each to the modern organization.