Maslow states that an employer should first aim to fulfil an individual s physiological needs such as food, water and shelter, once these needs have been satisfied the individual will then focus on the next higher need, working up through the hierarchical structure until they reach the full potential, otherwise known as Self Actualization . A modern organization that uses Maslow s theory in practice would HSBC bank. An employee on the Graduate Scheme at HSBC would first begin at the physiological step , meaning that he or she will be satisfied at the fact that they have a secured income and place within this organization, especially in an economy where graduates are unlimited and jobs are relatively scarce, workers will be strongly motivated to satisfy their lower level needs. The next step within this hierarchy would be the safety step , meaning the graduate employee will feel secure within the organization and aim to use their job as leverage to attain living accommodations in a safe environment. Once the graduate employee have established themselves on the programme, he or she will focus on the next step up on the hierarchical ladder will be social belonging, this is where the graduate employee has his or her human needs fulfilled to the optimum level and are now moving away from monitory motivators towards non-monitory motivators. For example HSBC bank would offer bonus schemes, good pay rates and a comfortable environment to work in so that the lower order of needs are fulfilled to maintain workforce retention. However when the graduate s needs move up the hierarchical ladder towards self esteem and self actualization it becomes extremely vital her managers to find ways of motivation that reflect Intrinsic aspects of paid work. This would mean that the individual will be less inclined in terms of money and more focused on achieving success and status. Therefore modern organizations such as HSBC would use fringe benefits such as company cars and share schemes for recognition in terms of success, they may reconfigure work structure and processes to challenge the worker such as job enlargement, enrichment and delegation. In some cases the bank may offer their workers a degree of autonomy, in other words freedom.
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An alternative theory is Alderfers ERG Theory , this is similar to Maslow s, but the only difference is that Alderfer believes that all needs take place simultaneously. His assumption is that an employee s need, can be divided into three basic categories, Existence ; this includes nutritional, safety and material requirement. The second category is the Relatedness needs, these are an individual s relationships between family, friends and collegues. Lastly, the third category is growth, this reflects a person s desire to grow and develop within the organization. Alderfer suggests All three levels might be important at the same time and he believes that it is better to think in terms of a continuum, from existence needs to growth needs with workers moving along it in either direction (John Bratton 2007). Consequently if an employee s growth needs are not met, then the employee may regress into a state of frustration causing the employee to focus on fulfilling their relatedness needs. ERG theory fits well with my present employer, Currys Plc. An employee would behave in the following manner, a sales advisor would normally expect a basic salary which reflects the amount of effort they put into their sales. Also the need to impress fellow work collegues and family will take place within the individual as he or she has secured the job position. These will both fulfil relatedness and existence needs simultaneously. Further, as a current sales advisor at Currys, as sales are made by me, the need to perform better in my job increases motivation and creates a domino effect on work collegues who portray one s self as a growing within the organization, further reinforces self esteem and confidence in the employee, hence influencing the job performance intentions of senior managers and frontline employees. ERG theory empathises that there is a strong relationship between the three needs, the individual s personality trait and their job performance intentions. Modern organizations like Currys, use ERG Theory to differentiate between different categories of employees in order for them to analyse which motivation tactic is required for each individual employee based on their job role and how will employee behaviour is influenced. On the process theory side modern organizations can use equity theory and expectancy theory to determine motivation. Process theory would normally focus on how employees make conscious choices that lead to particular work behaviour. Organizations use process theories by clarifying a clear link between effort and reward to motivate employees, an example of this would be a sales call centre, the sales person who meets their set targets will be rewarded with a bonus at the end.
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Modern organizations can use the above theories to help motivate their workforce, however implementing these successfully in the workplace can be challenging as John Bratton states it would be difficult to apply these in there pure form . The reason for this is primarily because each individual is different as they each belong to different backgrounds and have different motivational factors based on their individual situations. The managers must take into account racial, age, gender and any disability factors; they should also take into consideration the job role and position of employee to workout planned motivation strategies in order to create appropriate rewards. As any individual is different, apply motivational factors in a homogenous way would be incorrect, as every individual has different needs, values, job perceptions and judgement of their work situation. For example lone parents would be motivated regardless of fringe benefits provided by the organization, as they see the job as a secure base of income. The motivational factor would be their welfare of the children. On the other hand a young dynamic man would be motivated by monetary needs and the thirst for status and recognition.
Another challenge is that because needs vary from individual to individual it becomes tedious for managers to reward all employees based on their specific needs, managers would have to be aware that rewarding one employee may change the motivation of other employees, for example, modern organization use rewards such as employee of the month and performance pay to motivate an individual, this can create two effects the first being a positive influence in the rest of the workforce, to exhibit similar behaviour. The second being a negative influence, where collegues may feel resentment and demotivated because they may feel alienated or that they lack training and the manager has failed to recognise this or may feel favouritism is being took place. The final challenge is that when managers use the theories to design a reward package that the employee s value, it becomes important that the reward package is central to the employee job design. In other words an employee would want to share rewards for any gains in productivity they achieve in line with co-workers in similar job roles for example a female nurse being paid slightly more than the male nurse, then he will feel that gender discrimination is being placed, which could demotivated them. Therefore recent scholars suggest that managers needs to design jobs so there are characteristics, autonomy, feedback, skill variety, task identity and tasked significance provide a good fit with the abilities, goals, knowledge, values and skills of each employee (John Bratton 2007).
In the table above, it can be seen that for a knowledge worker, autonomy and challenging work through appropriate job design would be the most effective motivation strategy. Although this may seem simple to do, when designing, the job and hence the motivation strategy, some employees may have separate view of their particular job and perceive an identical task differently, depending on the factors discussed above, such as age, gender and personality. For example Josselson states in her work that women orient in more complicated ways balancing many involvements and aspirations, therefore their identities are difficult to articulate whereas men orient themselves objectively, this is why the medical profession have a high percentage of male surgeons, as cutting edge decisions are made more decisively in comparison with women who are more subjective and emotional. Therefore it s a challenge for managers to differentiate appropriate motivational tactics to influence the perceptions of different employees.
Leadership and Management:
Organizational behaviour can also be influenced by the management and leadership style within the business. Henri Fayol has defined management as a series of four keys activities that managers must continually perform these are planning, organizing, directing and controlling. Traditionally the managers role is to co-ordinate resources and the workforce aspects of the organization, this way the manager can ensure that all employees have a common direction or common goal within the workplace, and also this way objectives can be set for the employees allowing the management to control the workplace activities according to rules and regulations of the company. Peter Drucker believes that management is the central process through which organizations can achieve a common ground between the workforce and the business activities. John Bratton illustrates four major perspectives on management, the science, political, control and practice perspectives, these can be seen in the diagram below.
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Figure 4.2 Four major perspectives on management (John Bratton 2007 Work and Organizational Behaviour p105).
The science perspective separates the management from the social context leading to the conception that a manager performs a set of general skills independent of the workforce, for example an Autocratic manager, the political perspective illustrates the workplace as a miniature society where managers and the workforce build relationship to influence the organizational behaviour of employees, for example a Democratic manager would build alliances and networks of co-operates relationships. The control perspective conceptualizes the management as a controlling agent that works towards controlling workers, their cooperation and their commitment to their job. The practice perspective states that management aim to continually improve their workforce and incorporate all of the above three perspectives, for example managers would be secure in giving subordinates delegated responsibility within structured discipline. These four approaches can be applied in practice to influence the organizational behaviour, for example workforce within Virgin have a friendly fun cooperate culture therefore the management are likely to quite democratic towards their workers and their self development whereas the managers within a bank would be very autocratic and strict because the nature of the business involves handling people s confidential data and sums of finance therefore leading to controlling managerial behaviour towards its workforce. The above theory explains four approaches the managers can employ in the workplace to manage their workforce and its behaviour. On the other hand management alone doesn t influence how an organization functions; another key aspect that we have to consider is the leadership style of this management. To be an effective leader, you must become yourself. To know how other people behave takes intelligence, but to know myself takes wisdom (John Bratton 2007). Leadership can be defined as an attribute a good manager possesses to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute towards the effectiveness and success of the organizations that they work for. John Kotter argues that if any business wants to be successful and wants to survive then it has to employ managers who can lead effectively; he indentifies three important processes that differentiate a good leader from a good manager. A successful leader will establish a common corporate aim which the workforce can use for direction, he will create a common vision for all workforce to follow through a mission statement and will strive to motivate and inspire their workforce and remove any barriers the workforce have. The diagram below illustrates this difference
Figure 5.1 Management and leadership compared (John Bratton 2007, Work and Organizational Behaviour p134)
The Path goal theory developed by Robert House is based on the theory of motivation, which relates to several leadership styles that are specific to employees and different organization situations, House claims that they are four leadership styles that can impact an organizations behaviour and consequently impact employee performance, he claims that the main task of the leader is to smooth the followers path to the goal, for example direct the employee to his or her work objective. The four styles in the model are directive, supportive, participative and achievement oriented. The directive style is where the leader would normally communicate and expectations from employees, design a work plan for the workers and maintain a set performance standard. The supportive style can be used in practice by leaders who want to express concern for their employees and create a work environment which demonstrates support, for example a paternalistic organization. The participative style can be used in call centres where team leaders are selected who aim to share decision making authority with their team members or subordinates, for example is Currys a sales team leader would can be given delegated responsibility in the absence of the branch manager. Finally the achievement oriented leader is one who will set challenging goals for his or her workers, expect advance levels of performance and show strong confidence in their workforce, for example again working in Currys, the sales staff will be provided with weekly sales target to achieve, the team leader would have to show full confidence to ensure the sales staff are motivate enough to achieve their set target.
Figure 5.6 The path-goal model (John Bratton 2007, Work and Organizational Behaviour p5.6)
In addition an alternative model for leadership is the situational leadership theories which suggest that leader s behaviour should be adjusted to the maturity level of the subordinate. The model employs two dimensions of leadership behaviour, task orientated and relationship orientated. This model concentrates on two aspects of behaviour, the first being where the manager would delegate tasks to the worker in order for the leader to observe whether the worker has taken mature approach to the task given, the most mature worker would accept responsibility to complete their work with willingness, whereas the least mature will be unable and unwilling to follow or complete tasks which are given with responsibility. This way the situational leadership model can help leaders determine which approach they need to take to manage the organizational behaviour of their workers. For example, most mature employee would require a delegating style of leadership, where the leader would employ a style that shows less concern with task and relationship because the worker willingly accepts responsibility. The least mature employee would require a leadership style that is telling or directive as the employee would be characterised as creating a high concern with the task, requiring strong structure of behaviour that coupled a low concern for relationships and behaviour.
Figure 5.7 The situational leadership model (John Bratton 2007, Work and Organizational Behaviour p147)
The challenges of employing the above management and leadership models in practice can create a series of limitations, for example the situational leadership model doesn t have any central hypothesis that can be tested scientifically therefore this model can be deemed invalid and unreliable to follow. There is no real evidence to support this model, for example if a manager was to become directive towards an immature employee there is no set guarantee that the employee would become responsive and willing to accept responsibility of work. In most organizations employees exhibiting such behaviour would normally be fired following a disciplinary procedure irrespective of the leadership style. On the other hand the model focuses attention more on the employees behaviour as a participant rather than the actual leadership process required to manager organizational behaviour. Other factors that can lead to challenges in practice is the fact that a good leader may unconsciously alter their leadership style when put in a situation or place under pressure for aspects beyond their control, for example a democratic manager may visit a companywide conference preaching an autocratic management approach or corporate culture to tighten up the organizational activities in order to improve revenue, the conflict of objectives as a result of the conference may force the leader or manager to alter their approach to the workforce due to the constraints placed upon them by senior directors, thus defeating the leadership and management models in practice.
In my opinion the leadership and management models provide a scientific framework that organizations can use as a guidance for setting up or recruiting the right managers and leaders to help influence, direct, control and manage the organizational behaviour of their workforce. Although the models have their drawbacks such as the facts that these are scientific approaches with no real evidence supporting them, the models do create a psychological step for the organizations to follow initially in order to begin understanding their workforce. On the other hand, the theories posed by Maslow and Alderfer, complement how a workforce can be motivated in order to complete set given tasks to the performance standards expected by the leaders. However it has to be noted that all employees come from different backgrounds, situations, culture and have different personal needs therefore any one set theory wouldn t apply to any one worker. Leaders and managers would need to create a motivational package that consists of a combination of motivational tactics which would cover a wide range of multi-cultural workforce and their needs.
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