Money As A Primary Motivator Business Essay


It is of utmost importance that employees should like their respective jobs. It cannot be denied that most of the time of human beings is spent at work. If employees like the work they do, they would be motivated to be regular at work and enjoy what they are doing. This would prove to be an advantage for the company as well since this would boost up productivity level and the commitment of employees. If employees do not like their work, the absence rate may rise, individuals would be dissatisfied and disappointed with almost every minor issue that arises. Their motivation level will fall, hence causing a downfall in productivity level for the organisation since the overall performance of the employees will fall.

Numerous researchers have defined the term 'motivation.' Buchanan and Huczynski (2007) have described it as a decision making process that enables the person to choose the desired outcome and adopts the appropriate behaviour and actions to reach it. Daft and Marcic define the term as ' the force or forces that arouse enthusiasm and persistence to pursue a certain course of action.' Basically motivation is a driving force that drives employees in a company to persevere and work hard in whatever job they are doing.

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Motivation attributes to the elements that make the person act, react or move. It is a term that is widely used in psychology. Motivated people work with the aim of reaching specific goals and targets. For instance, there are athletes who work and train hard on their activities to reach their goals and ambitions. It can be said that the individuals have the objective and motive to achieve and acquire. They are motivated by their own ambitions or goals and they can go to any extent to achieve their aims. Some students also work hard for the examinations since they are motivated to succeed in their academic results. McGregor (1960) found two theories to describe motivation namely theory X and Y. Theory X says that employees should be managed and controlled in the proper way to be motivated to work, which can also be called the external (environmental) simulation. However, Theory Y says that people will be more motivated if they are given freedom and autonomy, this can be termed as the internal (physiological) simulation. Nevertheless, some motives or goals have to be present for these to happen. The person cannot be motivated without any goal or purpose. The employees need to find the motives, and the managers have to arouse them in order to motivate the employees. Hence, motivation can also be defined as the the task of arousing, maintaining and directing a person's behaviour in a way that will help in attaining a specific goal. One this has been achieved, the process is often stopped.

As mentioned above, various and mitigated theories have been founded with respect to motivation. Some different theories have been developed further in this study so as to get a better understanding of the topic and its implications.


A research was carried out by Herzberg, Mausner and Synderman in 1959 with regard to the motivation relating to work. They interviewed around 200 engineers and accountants working in the similar companies in the Pittsburgh Industry area. They discovered the hygiene factors and developed a theory on them, that could also be called the two-factor or dual factor theory. They believe that hygiene factors are factors that do not motivate the employees work harder but are nevertheless important to enable the employees to work. These factors should be present else the employees would not be really willing to work. Herzberg (1959) explained that hygiene factors could be an individual's relationship with the environment in which he/she operates. These essential factors however deal only with the job context.

Hygiene factors do not have a direct link with the work but can lead to job dissatisfaction pertaining to the work situation if the hygiene factors are not good. When the hygiene factors are present and acceptable, the employees would not be satisfied but would only be 'not dissatisfied.'

Additionally, some common aspects have been found by Herzberg and his colleagues that determine the hygiene factors:

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Relating to the company's policy and administration (which also implies the companies' norms and values), the organisational culture and the shared beliefs inside the organisation, the later should have a sound communication system inside the organisation, a reasonable level of autonomy should be given to the employees and also all rules should be explained as viewed as fair by the employees.

The second one is the supervision-technical aspect which is the employees' relationship with the managers and higher authorities. The supervisors should be willing to teach and delegate responsibilities to subordinates. The supervisors should be fair and should display technical ability.

The third one being salary, including all forms as remuneration/compensation as well as rewards and bonus systems. It places high importance on wage and salary increments. Employees would not be satisfied if they are not allocated the fair increments.

The fourth aspect is the interpersonal relationships inside the organisation. If the interpersonal relationships are sound, people would like to work in the company. It may be linked to work or the social interactions that happen within the company. It involves the relationships between employees, employees and superiors and the latter with their subordinates.

The last one is the working conditions. The physical conditions should be sound and the necessary equipments should be available so as to enable the workers to work properly. It includes proper lighting, the right tools, proper ventilation in the workplace and so on.

All of the above listed factors initiate short term changes with regard to the job attitude of employees. The short term can here be defined as not more than two weeks. The dual factor theory also has another angle which is termed as the motivators which can in turn be directly linked to a person's performance. These factors give rise to the need for personal growth and self-actualisation in work (Pugh, 1990). Self-actualisation is another motivating factor as per Maslow's hierarchy of needs.


First created in 1943, a theory relating to individual development and motivation was developed by Maslow. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs has five levels. The first one is physiological needs. These are the basic needs of an individual such as hunger, thirst, the need for oxygen and the innate needs. The next one is the safety needs of a person such as security and comfort, physical attack, freedom from pain etc. The third one is the love and social needs. People need to feel a sense of belonging; they need to have friends and form part of social activities in their surrounding. It needs to be a two-way traffic, that is give and receive. Fourth one is the esteem needs. People have to feel respected, they need to have confidence and feel strong. Employees want to obtain a prestige status and want to acquire respect for the positions they occupy. Last and final one is the self-actualisation needs. This happens when or if one has reached their full potential and realise it. The person wants to be all that he/she can be. For instance an individual working as a director wants to be the best one and will work towards achieving that goal (Maslow (1943) cited in Mullins, L. 1996 :40).

As soon as the lower levels of the hierarchy have been reached, they do not motivate individuals anymore as these lower needs are mostly seen as a person's need to survive. However, not everyone can reach the top levels. Thomas (2000) added that some of Maslow's motivational factors arise from helping others and satisfying the social needs of men.


As mentioned above McGregor (1960) made up two theories of human behaviour at work namely Theory X and Theory Y. These theories did not imply that everyone had to necessarily belong to another of those two groups but those two groups were seen as two extremes and a set of possible behaviours could happen between them.

Theory X workers could possess the attributes such as they would not like their work and would try to evade it whenever possible. They would not be ambitious, would hate responsibility and would prefer to be led by others. They are not leaders. These individuals like and want security. This particular group would require organisations to impose a management system of coercion, control and punishment.

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Theory Y workers can be characterised as hard workers, people who like to work and if the work conditions are good, it would lead to job satisfaction for them. Motivated people in this group like to take responsibility. They like to work in environments where they can be creative.


A well-known professor, Victor H.Vroom (1995) has done much research in the field of organisation and management. He founded the expectancy theory which is based on motivation to work, being a cognitive model. The equation that Vroom adopted for calculating the level of motivation is: M = (E) x (I) x (V), where E stands for expectancy, I stands for instrumentality and V stands for valence (Schermerhorn et al., 2005). This theory states that people are motivated to work when their work is acknowledged. Expectancy signifies that an individual can expect an outcome when the latter has accomplished a task. An action will lead to an outcome. Instrumentality means if a person performs better, it will lead to a better outcome. Vroom details it as an outcome-outcome association. Valence means different outcomes have different values depending on the employee. One may prefer something than another person would not desire (Vroom, 2005).

Drafke and Stan (1998) believe that any motivator, be it money, achievement or status, must be can motivate people but they must want it and feel that they can achieve it. The expectancy theory implies that people can be motivated only by things they want and desire.


Another researcher, David McClelland has carried out studies pertaining to motivation to work. It resulted in a theory based on three needs: achievement, power and affiliation. These needs differ from person to person such as a manager and a worker.

The need for achievement refers to people who want to do jobs where they have personal responsibility and those jobs should neither be easy nor hard. They should have a 50-50% probability of succeeding.

The need for power relates to people who like to have power over others and in decision making. These people are more concerned about prestige and not efficient performance.

The last one, need for affiliation is when the people need to feel liked by others. They expect friendship and cooperation.

According to McClelland, managers and entrepreneurs are goal-oriented and calculated risk-takers. Hence they are more likely to be motivated by the need for achievement. The need for power is present in managerial and leading positions. Stephen (2005) says that worker positions prefer affiliation as they desire friendship and being in good terms with colleagues.


The traditional methods of organisational understanding have been questioned in Jackson's and Carter's book namely Rethinking Organisational Behaviour. These two said that people are motivated only by money since it is a wage labour economy (Jackson and carter, 2000). They also add that people will never work without a salary but can work without job satisfaction.

To sum it up, people work because of the rewards and bonuses. They believe that need theories with regard to motivation have been misjudged. They also add that it is not possible for a person to motivate another one since it is a product of the human mind.

However, an employee can be demotivated by a manager, if incentives are not enough, or if the worker failed in a task, or if the work environment is not sound. The book also says that rich people have to be rewarded more to make them work harder and the poor have to be rewarded lesser to make them work harder. The rich should be able to display their assets and show off their richness.


Incentives are important to boost up motivation. The most commonly used are: money, performance feedback and recognition. Alexander D. Stanjkovic and Fred Luthans have researched the differential effects of incentive motivators on work performance. They believe the most frequently used one is money, particularly cash payment although this entails big costs for the company. Money is a motivating factor since it satisfies physiological and psychological needs.

As for social recognition, the work of individuals should be appreciated (Stanjkovic and Luthans, 2001). They should get personal attention with good communication. Everyone in the organisation must make an effort. This will benefit in the way that people will do positive actions and avoid doing things that will make others dislike them.

Finally, performance feedback is also a motivator. It is vital to give feedback for tasks accomplished. This would aid them to improve their mistakes and weaknesses. The authors add that the three motivators vary according to the individual.


Regarding the factors that motivate a 'boss', Jay T.Knippen and Thad B.Green wrote an article about it. They believe it is hard to find out the motivators for one's boss (Knippen and Green 1996). However, it can be found by following a process.

It starts with the guessing game. It is a process where several factors can motivate the manager. These factors can however change over time. There should be an analysis of how the manager behaves along with his/her values in life.

Then one should try to know how and why the motivators motivate. The researcher should try to ask the manager or people who know him or even watch and listen to him/her. One has to see the behaviour of the manager in various situations. This might tell about the real motivators of the manager.

If a certain motivator happens often, it will hint that it motivates the manager. One should find out the elements that have an effect on the manager. For instance, if a manager in motivated by power, he/she will not bother about affiliation (Knipper and Green (1996).


It is difficult to assess motivation these days. Individuals prefer to be self-managed rather than being closely supervised and abiding by strict rules. Hence they need to innovate and be committed. This has led to the introduction of new motivational factors such as intrinsic rewards and reward from the work. Thomas (2000) says that if the job is completed properly, it will itself motivate the employee.

Guest (1999) says that HRM has introduced a new model of managing people at work, an effort made to boost up their commitment level. Storey (1987) highlighted the 'hard' and 'soft' versions of HRM (Storey (1987) cited in Guest, D. 1999). The hard version judges the efficiency of the HRM on the company's performance criteria. The soft one also does the same but also shows concern for employees' outcomes.

Walton (1985) sees HR as sharing mutual goals, influence, respect, rewards and responsibility. He also says that 'psychological contract under this unitarist, high commitment model is one of mutuality, but it is a mutuality strictly bounded by the need to operate within an essentially unitary framework' (Walton (1985) cited in Beardwell, l. et al 2004).

The concept of job security is no more an issue. Employees now leave their jobs for better job offers that they get and best performing employees have more options to decide where to work (Thomas, 2000). Marchington and Wilkinson (1997) believe that given that there is less job security; companies can boost up motivation of employees by providing them with transferable skills.

The best practice principles of management theory claim that six basic factors exist to motivate employees (Redshaw, 2001). Training can be used. People want to learn new skills so as to guarantee that they will always fit in organisations with new jobs. People should be recognised. Outstanding performance should be rewarded, financially. There should be sound communication. Alignment of the person's job with the organisational goals is also important, people should be shown how they are contributing to the organisation. And finally, the leadership in place should be enabling.

Employees should be treated as valuable workers in the company. This will help to create a motivating environment at the worlplace (Thompson, P. and McHugh, D. 2002). However it is no easy task to motivate employees since they are motivated by different factors each.

There are employees who are self-motivated, others by the fear that they might lose their jobs, others are motivated by monetary rewards, hence it would be good to reward those employees with salary increments if they perform better. Beardwell and Holden (1994) say that a motivating environment can be created by giving the equipments, resources, information and emotional support to employees.

Motivation theories have changed to job satisfaction. Earlier it was monetary gains. Managers should know and encourage behaviour that goes hand in hand with employees' motivation, hence increasing employee morale at work. Social aspects introduced by the work environment can also act as satisfiers.

It was thought that when HR empowers workers, it would motivate them. Nevertheless, this field of management is being questioned for the control it puts forward at work.

Nevertheless, motivational topics remain complicated even today. All theories have their pros and their cons. A worker's need should be given attention and the employee should be respected. These contribute immensely in motivating employees.