Indicators of Motivation | Research Methodology
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Published: Tue, 10 Jul 2018
1.1 REASON FOR SELECTING THE TOPIC AND THE ORGANIZATION
Motivation among employees in a certain organization has been given immense importance for the success of that organization these days. Especially in the rapidly changing world, without identifying the key indicators in the motivation of employees, their commitment towards the work cannot be achieved. Therefore, while I was going through the various topics suggested in the RAP guidelines provided by Oxford Brookes University, as soon as I came across this topic, I instantly decided to work on it for my research project after having discussed it with my mentor.
As far as selection of the company is concerned, I felt that Coca-Cola being an international brand that has gained loyalty among the masses, could actually be of great interest to base my research on. Moreover, I personally knew a relative of mine who is currently an employee at Coca-Cola. He had told me that the company’s human resource department since the past few years has been doing a lot to increase employee motivation and commitment towards the organization.
According to its official website, the company has a portfolio of over 3,300 products, among which the popular ones are Coca Cola soft drink, Sprite, Fanta, Diet Coke, Minute Maid juice, Aquarius mineral water and POWERADE energy drink. The company is currently striving to research on low calorie products and to substitute sweeteners in place of sugar considering the fact the people have now become more health conscious towards their diet. Moreover, Coca-Cola had revenue generation of $8.7 billion in the year 2010 and has targeted to achieve $500 million annual sales by the end of 2011 (Alazraki, 2010).
Other than that, I had studied about different motivational theories in text books during my school life, so applying it to a global organization would actually make me learn how to convert theory into practice. Since I already knew one of the employees working at Coca-Cola, doing analysis on this company was particularly easier as well as accessible for me, which facilitated in increasing the efficiency of my project.
1.2 PROJECT OBJECTIVES
The objectives of my research project were as follows:
- To know about the history of Coca-Cola, how it started and where it stands now, along with the developments that took place in its human resource.
- To study the key variables that affect motivational level of employees such as promotion, personal growth, status, independence and simulation.
- To identify what initiatives have been taken by the company to increase its employee motivational level, and relating it to different motivational theories.
- To compare its initiatives with the techniques used by its competitors.
- To make a questionnaire based on my research topic and get it filled by the employees at Coca-Cola to find out what variables effect their motivational level and how far are they satisfied with their work.
- Analyzing the questionnaire, supporting it with graphical representation and also finding out the impact of the key indicators on motivational level of the employees.
- Commenting on the research findings.
- Drawing a conclusion from it.
- Suggesting some realistic recommendations that can be implemented in the future.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTIONS AND OVERALL RESEARCH APPROACH
Before starting with my research, it was extremely important for me to frame reasonable research questions that would help me answer my research project. So, I developed the following questions that could help me answer by research approach:
- Have I completely understood the topic of my report?
- What information do I need to have, before I visit the organization?
- What are they key variables, usually, that help in employee motivation?
- What will be the sample size of my analysis? Is it large enough? Will I be able to manage such a large sample?
- Will I be able to apply statistical calculations effectively to analyze the questionnaire?
- Are my questions relevant enough to match my project objectives?
Therefore, after identifying the questions, I tackled with each question one by one to make sure that I am not missing out on anything. I was also referring to the ACCA Project guideline constantly to keep my objectives clear and to strictly go according to what is required from the research project. I then had to decide on what sort of tools to use for carrying out the research and whether I was familiar with those tools or not. Technical tools included use of spreadsheets and using statistical features available on different softwares to calculate the results and facilitate its comparison.
A questionnaire was built up based on the research question in which I had posed such questions where I had given appropriate ranges that would not only help employees in answering easily, but would also help me in interpretation and analysis of the data. Moreover, giving ranges had increased the reliability and relevancy of the data. The questionnaire was made to judge the key variables and factors that influence the motivational level of employees at Coca-Cola. The sample size taken to fill in the questionnaire was 200. A large sample size was taken so that more accurate results could be obtained by considering opinions of maximum number of employees. I also made a point to stay constantly in touch with few of the employees of Coca-Cola so that they are aware of how much important this project means to me and how much carefully and accurately they need to fill in the questionnaire.
In addition to this, I made a point to compare each result with that of its competitor’s, so that my research becomes more relevant. I used various websites from the internet as my secondary research to find out information Coca-Cola’s competitors. Thus, deciding on proper sources of information, making a close-ended questionnaire from where maximum answers to my research can be extracted and analyzing that questionnaire with the help of technical skills and reasonable comparison, were my basic steps in conducting the research.
INFORMATION GATHERING AND BUSINESS TECHNIQUES USED
2.1 SOURCES OF INFORMATION AND METHODS USED TO COLLECT IT
2.1.1 Secondary source
The basic secondary sources of information used in information gathering were the internet and the text books I had, in which different motivational theories were discussed in great detail. Management by Daft and Business Studies by Peter Stimpson were the two main books I frequently referred to while working on my project. Moreover, for my own understanding of these theories in a better way, I also referred to ‘Psychology in Action’ written by Karen Huffman. I had also reviewed some sample reports to understand completely, how to interpret results or in what manner people, usually, write interpretations and gave recommendations. Different and very interesting articles were also available online that enriched my knowledge and made it easier for me to understand the whole scenario existing in the organization, thus, helping me in interpreting the results.
The official website of Coca-Cola was also a major source to gain information about the history of the company and to access some published articles, which discussed the achievements of Coca-Cola’s HR department in motivating the employees reach their organizational goals. After referring to these sources, contra-verification was done in order to ensure that the particular website or article is providing the accurate information.
2.1.2 Primary source
After building upon the secondary research and gathering sufficient information about the company, I then did the primary research. To conduct my primary research, I designed a questionnaire about which I discussed earlier. Before starting with the survey, I had arranged a meeting with the HR manager of Coca-Cola to have an overview about the workings of their department and to brief him about my research project. The meetings with him also acted as a source of gaining information on the factors they considered important to influence motivation of their employees and how far has the company been able to address those factors. Incase of any incomplete information, I then again referred to the authentic websites to find out the details. Statistical techniques were used to analyze the raw data obtained.
2. 2 LIMITATIONS IN INFORMATION GATHERING
The internet: While browsing the net, we usually come across a lot of irrelevant and unauthentic websites; therefore, I had to be very careful in avoiding such websites to ensure authenticity of information. It was also very time-consuming to visit numerous websites and select information that best suited my research. Referencing material from electronic media was also an issue, as the originality of the source was sometimes in doubt. Also, the information gathered had to undergo a lot of editing so that the focus of my topic was not deviated and irrelevant material could be avoided.
Questionnaire: Although I tried to put in straight forward questions in the questionnaire, still the information achieved from it cannot be fully reliable as employees sometimes reluctantly do not go for the right option and deliberately go against their actual opinion due to their own psychological reasons. Since the sample size was large I had emailed the questionnaires to the respective employees and to get back the filled questionnaires was again time-consuming as constant reminders had to be sent and great care had to be taken to not bother them much.
Interviews: The initial interviews with some employees and the HR manager helped in gaining a lot of information about the company, but still not all the relevant information was provided, such as the drawbacks and the issues being faced by employees. So interviews helped me in knowing about the pros of the company but not the cons. Moreover, some complex questions asked by me to the employees and the manager were either left unanswered or were answered diplomatically in order to prevent disclosure of information that the company considered as confidential.
Sample reports: The limitation faced in reviewing sample reports was that every report used different formats according to the requirements of his/her instructor or employer. Moreover, authenticity of the information presented in the report could be questioned. The interpretations made in those reports were according to their subject matter and the same could not be applied here.
2.3 ETHICAL ISSUES FACED AND HOW THEY WERE RESOLVED
One of the main ethical issues that I faced during my research was the confidentiality of information. Some of the information that was useful for my project could not be made part of it as the company considered such information as private. Secondly, employees did not actually give the true picture of the organization and only narrated all the ‘good stuff’ about the company. Moreover, when comparing Coca-Cola’s statistics with its competitors, it was not ethical to name those competitor’s weaknesses and leak information without their consent, therefore, I had to be careful when interpreting my results. Also, getting questionnaires filled from such a large size was a tedious task and I had to patiently deal with it in order to give minimum trouble to the employees. Questionnaires had to be made according to the mental capability of the employees and such questions had to be avoided where employees feel that their weaknesses are being judged and portrayed.
To overcome such problems, I firstly ensured the employees that they could fill in the questionnaires without mentioning their names. Secondly, I assured them that their opinions will be strictly used for the purpose of analyzing the research project, and would not be exploited by any means.
2.4 BUSINESS AND STATISTICAL TECHNIQUES USED ALONG WITH THEIR LIMITATION
To facilitate my analysis and interpretation, I used some famous motivational theories by renowned psychologists. For instance, Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory by Abraham Maslow states that satisfaction of employee’s basic physiological needs such as adequate heat, air and a base salary, is the first step to increase his/her motivational level in the hierarchy. Following it are the safety needs such as safe work and job security; the third level comprises of belongingness needs such as relationship with co-workers; the fourth step includes esteem needs such as high status and recognition; and after all these needs are satisfied, the employees look for fulfillment of self-actualization needs such as growth, advancement and creativity. Thus, an employee would first want an adequate salary that could fulfill his physical needs and then he would strive to achieve the top level needs such as achievement and growth.
Limitation: The limitation in this theory is that employees not necessarily go through all the levels when satisfying their needs and their might be a possibility that a high-order need might be satisfied before the low-order need; it varies from one person to another.
Frederick Hergberg’s two-factor theory also identifies the key indicators of motivation and the factors that lead to dissatisfaction of employees. According to this theory, if hygiene factors are poor, employees would be dissatisfied.
Limitation: The theory ignores the fact that their might be employees who are adaptable to poor working conditions and the hygiene factor might not be of significant importance to them if other factors such as their pay and position in the company are satisfactory.
Moreover, when I was designing my questionnaire, I also kept in mind the acquired needs theory developed by David McClleland and the schedule for reinforcement tools to be used by organizations (Daft, 2003). Acquired needs theory states that needs, such as need for achievement, power and affiliation, are not in born in a person, but are acquired by the person as time passes by. On the other hand, the reinforcement approach links the behavior with its consequences. For instance, if employees are given rewards, a variable-ratio schedule should be used instead of fixed-ratio schedule, because when the number of rewards is not fixed and is dependent upon to what extent employee performed well, employees are motivated more to work harder in order to get a greater reward (Daft, 2003).
Statistical techniques used and their limitation
The statistical technique used to analyze the data collected was exploratory factor analysis. Some basic tests were carried out to see if the assumptions of the techniques are applicable in our data set or not. Primary Component analysis was done to extract the results and explain variance, and the Eigen values derived from the results were graphically represented using a Scree Plot. The variables were then grouped into components by using Varimax Rotation. Moreover, before starting the analysis, pre-testing was done through reliability analysis. The method used for reliability analysis was Cronbach’s alpha.
The limitations associated with these techniques there are several ways to implement different techniques, so argument exists over which technique is the most suitable one. Likewise, opinion diversity is there about what amount of components to use or which rotation matrix to apply. Therefore, all such limitations lead to the problem of reliability.
ANALYSIS, CONCLUSION AND FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS
The instrument was pre-tested by getting filled 5 to 6 samples of questionnaire to discover if there were any issues with the instrument and to find out whether the questions were easily understood and comprehended. By pre-testing, it was concluded that all respondents were at ease in responding and the instrument appealed them.
Reliability analysis is done through various methods (Cronbach’s alpha being one of them), and the purpose of analysis is to know whether the same set of items would result in same responses if the questions are re-administered or re-casted. The variables are considered as reliable if they are portraying stable results after being repeated a number of times (Santos, 1999).
Cronbach’s Alpha is the internal consistency model which is based on the average correlation. The data is split into two halves and the correlation coefficient is taken out, and the average of the two values represents Cronbach’s Alpha (Field, 2006). Here the value of Cronbach’s Alpha is 0.839 which signifies consistency of data.
3.1.2 Respondent Statistics
The above diagram displays the total no. of people in terms of gender that have participated in our study. The total no. of sample size is 200 (N=200). Out of the sample size of 200, 128 of the total population is represented by male and 72 respondents are females. Although, the number of females, were less as compared to males, but were enough to understand the behavior of both the genders with respect to the factors that affect the motivation level of the employees.
The above diagram displays the total number of people in terms of age that participated in our study. In our analysis the total no of sample size is 200 (N=200). Out of the sample size of 200, people lying in the age bracket of 21-30 is 43; 46 people lie in the bracket of 31-40; 60 are in the age bracket of 41-50; 40 lie in the bracket of 51-60; and only 8 of the respondents lie in the age category of above 61 years. The population division in terms of age is well diversified.
The above diagram displays the total number of participants in terms of marital status. In the analysis, the total number of sample size is 200(N=200), out of which, 81 people were single and 116 were married. This indicates that the population division in terms of marital status is almost equal, however, in terms of specific numbers there were more married people as compared to single ones.
The above diagram displays the total no. of people in terms of working experience that participated in our study. In our analysis the total no. of sample size is 200 (N=200). Out of this size, 123 people were having a working experience of 1-5 years; 66 had it of 6-10 years; and only 8 people had an experience of 11-15 years. Thus, we conclude that majority of the respondents lied in the category of 1-5 years.
The above diagram displays the total number of participants in terms of designation. Out of the sample size of 200, there were 62 Junior Employees, 51 were Supervisors, 64 were working as Managers, and 20 people were working as Senior Managers. In this study, the focus was to collect the data from all the levels of organization, so that a better understanding of the results is prepared.
3.1.3 Description of the factors
There are some basic assumptions of every test/technique that need to be fulfilled before their implementation; factor analysis also has its own assumptions. The two basic assumptions of the factor analysis are the KMO value and the Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity. For the validation of factor analysis, the KMO value should be greater than 0.5 and the significant value of the Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity should be less than 0.05. In the above table, the value of KMO is greater than 0.5 that is 0.644 and the significant value of Bartlett’s Test of Sphericity is 0.000 that is less than 0.05. It means that both the basic assumptions of the factor analysis are met; therefore, we can apply factor analysis on our data.
Communalities table is one if the primary output of factor analysis, initially it was assumed that all the variables were equally important by assigning them value equal to one. Later on, based on the data, variables that were most important or prominent in the data set were identified. The highest extraction value gave us the idea about the variable that is most important in the analysis. The highest extraction value in the above table is 0.824 for the variable ‘perks’. Perks are the facilities granted to employees, such as day care centers, parking space, free car washes, flexible timings and vacations (Mintzer, 2006). It means that perk, available to the employees in Coca-Cola, is the most important variable in terms of enhancing the motivation level of the employees, apart from their salary and other benefits. Granting perks to employees improves the overall work environment of the organization, making it more attractive for its employees to work for the organization. Following perks, the second most important variable is teamwork; the extraction value of the variable is 0.821. Teamwork fosters a culture that increases unity, equality and collaboration in the organization. Teamwork removes any barriers that exist between departments or divisions (Susan, 2011).
- Total Variance Explained
The Principal Component analysis was used to extract the results for the given data set. The table of total variance explains the different aspect of the analysis. Firstly, it explains the number of factors or groups that are building out of the analysis; the basic criterion behind developing the components is Eigen Value. The components that have Eigen value equal to or greater than one would be included in the final set; here we have also included the factor that has an Eigen value of 0.910 for displaying better results. As it can be observed in the above table that out of a total number of 38 components, 14 components have been formed representing the 72.706% variation of the data set. The minimum requirement of the variation explained by the factors is 60%. The above table shows the variance percentage represented by each group individually as well as collectively. The variance percentage of the first component is the maximum among all other components in the extraction square of sum loadings, but when the Varimax rotation was applied, the variation explained by all the components becomes equal, as it shows that all the formed components are of equal importance.
Scree Plot is just a graphical representation of Eigen Values and components. On the x-axis we have components and on the y-axis, there are Eigen values. If we examine the above diagram in detail, it can be observed that same pattern is followed after component thirteen in the graph. Before that, the line is in curve, showing a downward trend, but after component fourteen the line becomes steeper showing a similar pattern. Scree plot, therefore, helps in identifying that what number of components should be used to be formed in the analysis. From the above diagram, maximum thirteen components would be enough to prepare the results.
- Rotated Component Matrixa
Extraction Method: Principal Component Analysis.
Rotation Method: Varimax with Kaiser Normalization.
a. Rotation converged in 26 iterations.
The above table Rotated component Matrix is been developed by using Varimax rotation. Rotation of the components helps in minimizing the errors as well as biasness in the results. There are total fourteen components that have been formed. As seen in the table,
- The first component represents the factor equipment, visibility, and variety.
- The second component represents simplicity, social interaction, clarity, and bonuses.
- Third component factor is represented by independence, insurance, and flexibility.
- Fourth component includes regularity, responsibility, and power.
- Fifth component comprises of Location, intellectuality and organizational image.
- Sixth component includes teaching, competition, and tranquility.
- Seventh component includes perks and pays.
- Eighth component consists of status and simulation.
- Ninth component includes personal relevance, recognition, and personal growth.
- Tenth component includes balance and contribution.
- Eleventh component includes security and benefits.
- Twelfth component has teamwork and conditions.
- Thirteenth component comprises of busy and jockey,
- The last fourteenth component consists of a single factor that is promotion.
The variables in each component having highest value are also known as surrogate variables, therefore, all these variables are essential factors in affecting the motivational level of the employees. Surrogate variables also gave the idea that if they are achieved or are on the higher side, the other factors of the component will automatically be achieved or moved towards the higher side too, collectively increasing the motivation level of the employees. For e.g. if teamwork is the surrogate variable for component twelve, it means that if in any organization the teamwork is promoted, and people are joined together to work on a task or a project, it will increase the motivational level of the employees. With this, the person starts to find out good working conditions in his work too and performs much better.
3.1.5 Analysis of the Factors on Gender basis Affecting Motivation
The above studied variable is one of the important variables that plays important role in the motivation level of the employees. If we look at the above diagram, we can observe that the behavior of the equipment is same in both the genders. People working in organization either male or female consider availability of equipment equally important. If facilities such as printer, scanner, and photocopy machine, writing pad, files and other such equipments are round the clock available in the organization, it helps in speeding up their work and removes barriers that could exist in increasing their efficiency.
Over here, Hergberg’s two-factor theory is applicable, which considers work environment an important factor in satisfaction or dissatisfaction of employees. Availability of equipment contributes to a positive work environment that is employee-friendly and affects their level of satisfaction including both, male and female (Daft, 2003).
The above studied variable is also one of the important variables affecting the motivation level of the employees. If we look at the above diagram, we can observe that the behavior of promotion differs with respect to Gender. Promotion is the most important factor for males as compared to females. Male motivation highly differs with respect to the promotion they get. Although the median line of both the genders is equal, but the overall box plot of males is on the higher side. There are some outliers also present in the male category, but we have considered them as exceptional. Promotion is a factor that extremely plays a highly essential role in employee motivation, especially among the males. Promotion increases their focus on the work and affects their pay as well as position in the organization, thus employees after a considerable period of time; desperately wait for the organization to promote them to a higher level.
Applying the reinforcement approach over here, if promotion instead of at fixed intervals and ratios, is given at variable intervals, it would increase the motivation of employees to work harder and with more focus, since the time of promotion would be unexpected. Secondly, variable ratio means that the amount of reward or the degree of promotion is variable and according to the tasks performed by a certain employee, therefore, if promotion is also given in variable ratios, it would act as a positive reinforcement tool in the organization (Daft, 2003).
The above studied variable is one of the important variables that plays role in the motivation level of the employees. If we look at the above diagram, we can observe that the behavior of status is highly important for females as compared to males. Females are highly specific about the respect and status they got in the organization. In addition, this factor has a huge impact on their motivation level, as the median line is upward for the females. However, as compared to males, status is important but relatively less essential when compared with other factors. There are other factors that motivate males, but for females status is highly important and it affects their performance highly in the workplace.
If we apply the acquired needs theory over here, it could be seen that women are not status conscious by birth, but this factor has built in them over time and status defines power, affiliation and achievement, which is to be superior above all. So, if their acquired needs are fulfilled by the organization that would be a key variable in increasing their willingness to do work. As far as males are concerned, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory could be applied, since status in Maslow’s hierarchy could be categorized under self-actualization, it comes after the satisfaction of other basic needs. The graph shows that having a high status is an essential key variable but there are other factors that males consider more important than status. According to this theory, those other factors could include pay, promotion, job security and condition of the work place (Daft, 2003).
Coca-Cola is a company that encourages a work environment that satisfies all its stakeholders existing within and outside the organization. Studying these variables helped in understanding the management techniques to be used in the organization to drive employee’s effectiveness and efficiency in their work. In our analysis, promotion is standing separate among all the other factors, showing that this factor is of prime importance and has a huge impact on the motivation level of the employees. Personal relevance is also one of the most important motivation factors. Employees find themselves highly motivated when they are able to use any of their personal talent, education or training in their jobs. Therefore, Coca-Cola needs to develop programs and design jobs in a way that encourages employees to show their personal talents and skills, which would then help them in performing well and boosting their enthusiasm.
The analysis further concludes, that status is also one of the important aspects that directly affects the motivation level of the employees, who feel that their job is of high status and seen as a respectable one in the society. Simulation refers to the personal liking of the job work. If employee finds things to do in a job that is of his/her personal interest it improves his readiness level. If employee finds something in his/her work that he or she loves to do, then this aspect of the job increases his/her willingness to do so. Past researchers have witnessed that material reward and motivation has a direct relationship with each other. Thus, Coca-Cola needs to focus on material rewards and should plan according to the need of the employees.
Further it has been witnessed, that independence of doing work is also one of the prime factors that has a huge impact on the motivation level of the employees. If the people are provided the liberty to work with less supervision and perform their job in a way they want to, this will surely develop their motivation in doing work. Apart from this, personal growth is also exceedingly important. Every one wants to develop him/her self with the passage of time, therefore, providing opportunity to employees to develop themselves and grow as an individual has a direct positive impact on their level of keenness.
Thus, we conclude that the study has identified that a number of factors have a direct impact on the motivation level of the employees, so if proper working is done on it, it will result in a higher motivational level of the employees. Working on these factors would help Coca-Cola in enhancing their productivity of the work, as well as in improving the job satisfaction of the employees.
After a thorough analysis of my
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