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Motivation and demotivation in the hospitality industry

Info: 5373 words (21 pages) Essay
Published: 2nd May 2017 in Business

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The purpose of this literature review, as the title suggest, is to have a briefly look and understand the role of motivation and consequently demotivation in a management point of view, with an eye addressed in the Hospitality Industry.

The review will follow and explain an important theory study of the subject as a more practical study focused in a management prospective.

Important for this literature review is to give the reader not only a basic knowledge of the subject, but also let reflect to the possibilities, question and doubts that this subject produce for a future management role.

Defining Motivation

The first step for a good employee’s motivation management is to understand the meaning of motivation.

The concept of motivation has being defined in different ways by many contemporary authors:

“the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction”

(Kreitner, 1995)

“a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific, unmet needs”

(Buford, Bedeian, & Lindner, 1995)

“an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need”

(Higgins, 1994)

“the will to achieve” (Bedeian, 1993)

(James R. Lindner, (June 1998), Understanding Employee Motivation, Place of Publication: Journal of Extension. Available from: http://www.joe.org/joe/1998june/rb3.php)

In a management point of view, motivation is to inspire people to work, individually or in groups in the ways such as to produce best results. It is the will to act. It is the willingness to exert high levels of effort towards organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts and ability to satisfy some individual need.

Motivation is getting somebody to do something because they want to do it. It was once assumed that motivation had to be injected from outside, but it is now understood that everyone is motivated by several differing forces.

Motivation is a general term applied to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes and similar forces. To say that managers motivate their subordinates is to say that they do those things which they hope will satisfy these drives and desires and induce the subordinates to act in a desired manner.

To motivate others is the most important of management tasks. It comprises the abilities to communicate, to set an example, to challenge, to encourage, obtaining feedback, to involve, to delegate, to develop and train, to inform, to brief and to provide a just reward.

(Ken Shah & Prof. Param J. Shah, Place of Publication: Lay Networks. Available from: http://www.laynetworks.com/Motivation.html)

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Before list and explain the major theories of motivation, it must be first defined and understand the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside an individual rather than from any externa l or outside rewards, such as money or grades.

The motivation comes from the pleasure one gets from the task itself or from the sense of satisfaction in completing or even working on a task.

Intrinsic motivation does not mean, however, that a person will not seek rewards. It just means that such external rewards are not enough to keep a person motivated.

(Carol Bainbridge, Intrinsic Motivation, Place of publication: About.com. Available from: http://giftedkids.about.com/od/glossary/g/intrinsic.htm)

Extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from outside an individual. The motivating factors are external, or outside, rewards such as money or grades. These rewards provide satisfaction and pleasure that the task itself may not provide.

An extrinsically motivated person will work on a task even when they have little interest in it because of the anticipated satisfaction they will get from some reward. The rewards can be something as minor as a smiley face to something major like fame or fortune.

Extrinsic motivation does not mean, however, that a person will not get any pleasure from working on or completing a task. It just means that the pleasure they anticipate from some external reward will continue to be a motivator even when the task to be done holds little or no interest.

(Carol Bainbridge, Extrinsic Motivation, Place of publication: About.com. Available from: http://giftedkids.about.com/od/glossary/g/extrinsic.htm)

Theories of Motivation

Different motivation theories have being created studied and modify during the years; the most important are listed and described in a management contest in this chapter.

Contribution of Robert Owen

Though Owen is considered to be paternalistic in his view, his contribution is of a considerable significance in the theories of Motivation. During the early years of the nineteenth century, Owens textile mill at New Lanark in Scotland was the scene of some novel ways of treating people. His view was that people were similar to machines. A machine that is looked after properly, cared for and maintained well, performs efficiently, reliably and lastingly, similarly people are likely to be more efficient if they are taken care of. Robert Owen practiced what he preached and introduced such things as employee housing and company shop. His ideas on this and other matters were considered to be too revolutionary for that time.

Jeremy Bentham’s The Carrot and the Stick Approach

Possibly the essence of the traditional view of people at work can be best appreciated by a brief look at the work of this English philosopher, whose ideas were also developed in the early years of the Industrial Revolution, around 1800. Bentham’s view was that all people are self-interested and are motivated by the desire to avoid pain and find pleasure. Any worker will work only if the reward is big enough, or the punishment sufficiently unpleasant. This view – the ‘carrot and stick’ approach – was built into the philosophies of the age and is still to be found, especially in the older, more traditional sectors of industry. The various leading theories of motivation and motivators seldom make reference to the carrot and the stick. This metaphor relates, of course, to the use of rewards and penalties in order to induce desired behavior. It comes from the old story that to make a donkey move, one must put a carrot in front of him or dab him with a stick from behind. Despite all the research on the theories of motivation, reward and punishment are still considered strong motivators. For centuries, however, they were too often thought of as the only forces that could motivate people.

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At the same time, in all theories of motivation, the inducements of some kind of ‘carrot’ are recognized. Often this is money in the form of pay or bonuses. Even though money is not the only motivating force, it has been and will continue to be an important one. The trouble with the money ‘carrot’ approach is that too often everyone gets a carrot, regardless of performance through such practices as salary increase and promotion by seniority, automatic ‘merit’ increases, and executive bonuses not based on individual manager performance.

It is as simple as this: If a person put a donkey in a pen full of carrots and then stood outside with a carrot, would the donkey be encouraged to come out of the pen?

The ‘stick’, in the form of fear (fear of loss of job, loss of income, reduction of bonus, demotion, or some other penalty) has been and continues to be a strong motivator.

Yet it is admittedly not the best kind. It often gives rise to defensive or retaliatory behavior, such as union organization, poor-quality work and executive indifference, failure of a manager to take any risks in decision making or even dishonesty. But fear of penalty cannot be overlooked. Whether managers are first-level supervisors or chief executives, the power of their position to give or with hold rewards or impose penalties of various kinds gives them an ability to control, to a very great extent, the economic and social well-being of their subordinates.

Abraham Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory

One of the most widely mentioned theories of motivation is the hierarchy of needs theory put forth by psychologist Abraham Maslow. Maslow saw human needs in the form of a hierarchy, ascending from the lowest to the highest, and he concluded that when one set of needs is satisfied, this kind of need ceases to be a motivator.

As per his theory this needs are :

Physiological needs

These are important needs for sustaining the human life. Food, water, warmth, shelter, sleep, medicine and education are the basic physiological needs which fall in the primary list of need satisfaction. Maslow was of an opinion that until these needs were satisfied to a degree to maintain life, no other motivating factors can work.

Security or Safety needs

These are the needs to be free of physical danger and of the fear of losing a job, property, food or shelter. It also includes protection against any emotional harm.

Social needs

Since people are social beings, they need to belong and be accepted by others. People try to satisfy their need for affection, acceptance and friendship.

Esteem needs

According to Maslow, once people begin to satisfy their need to belong, they tend to want to be held in esteem both by themselves and by others. This kind of need produces such satisfaction as power, prestige status and self-confidence. It includes both internal esteem factors like self-respect, autonomy and achievements and external esteem factors such as states, recognition and attention.

Need for self-actualization

Maslow regards this as the highest need in his hierarchy. It is the drive to become what one is capable of becoming; it includes growth, achieving one’s potential and self-fulfillment. It is to maximize one’s potential and to accomplish something.

As each of these needs is substantially satisfied, the next need becomes dominant. From the standpoint of motivation, the theory would say that although no need is ever fully gratified, a substantially satisfied need no longer motivates. So if you want to motivate someone, you need to understand what level of the hierarchy that person is on and focus on satisfying those needs or needs above that level.

Maslow’s need theory has received wide recognition, particularly among practicing managers. This can be attributed to the theory’s intuitive logic and ease of understanding. However, research does not validate these theories. Maslow provided no empirical evidence and other several studies that sought to validate the theory found no support for it.


Theory X and Theory Y of Douglas McGregor

McGregor, in his book “The Human side of Enterprise” states that people inside the organization can be managed in two ways. The first is basically negative, which falls under the category X and the other is basically positive, which falls under the category Y. After viewing the way in which the manager dealt with employees, McGregor concluded that a manager’s view of the nature of human beings is based on a certain grouping of assumptions and that he or she tends to mold his or her behavior towards subordinates according to these assumptions.

Under the assumptions of theory X:

Employees inherently do not like work and whenever possible, will attempt to avoid it.

Because employees dislike work, they have to be forced, coerced or threatened with punishment to achieve goals.

Employees avoid responsibilities and do not work fill formal directions are issued.

Most workers place a greater importance on security over all other factors and display little ambition.

In contrast under the assumptions of theory Y:

Physical and mental effort at work is as natural as rest or play.

People do exercise self-control and self-direction and if they are committed to those goals.

Average human beings are willing to take responsibility and exercise imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solving the problems of the organization.

That the way the things are organized, the average human being’s brainpower is only partly used.

On analysis of the assumptions it can be detected that theory X assumes that lower-order needs dominate individuals and theory Y assumes that higher-order needs dominate individuals.

An organization that is run on Theory X lines tends to be authoritarian in nature, the word “authoritarian” suggests such ideas as the “power to enforce obedience” and the “right to command.”

In contrast Theory Y organizations can be described as “participative”, where the aims of the organization and of the individuals in it are integrated; individuals can achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts towards the success of the organization. However, this theory has been criticized widely for generalization of work and human behavior.

Contribution of Rensis Likert

Likert developed a refined classification, breaking down organizations into four management systems.

1st System – Primitive authoritarian

2nd System – Benevolent authoritarian

3rd System – Consultative

4th System – Participative

As per the opinion of Likert, the 4th system is the best, not only for profit organizations, but also for non-profit firms.

Frederick Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory

Frederick has tried to modify Maslow’s need Hierarchy theory. His theory is also known as two-factor theory or Hygiene theory. He stated that there are certain satisfiers and dissatisfies for employees at work. Intrinsic factors are related to job satisfaction, while extrinsic factors are associated with dissatisfaction. He devised his theory on the question: “What do people want from their jobs?” He asked people to describe in detail, such situations when they felt exceptionally good or exceptionally bad. From the responses that he received, he concluded that opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction. Removing dissatisfying characteristics from a job does not necessarily make the job satisfying. He states that presence of certain factors in the organization is natural and the presence of the same does not lead to motivation. However, their non presence leads to de-motivation. In similar manner there are certain factors, the absence of which causes no dissatisfaction, but their presence has motivational impact.

Examples of Hygiene factors are:

Security, status, relationship with subordinates, personal life, salary, work conditions, relationship with supervisor and company policy and administration.

Examples of Motivational factors are:

Growth prospectus job advancement, responsibility, challenges, recognition and achievements.

Contributions of Elton Mayo

The work of Elton Mayo is famously known as “Hawthorne Experiments.” He conducted behavioral experiments at the Hawthorne Works of the American Western Electric Company in Chicago. He made some illumination experiments, introduced breaks in between the work performance and also introduced refreshments during the pauses. On the basis of this he drew the conclusions that motivation was a very complex subject. It was not only about pay, work condition and morale but also included psychological and social factors. Although this research has been criticized from many angles, the central conclusions drawn were :

People are motivated by more than pay and conditions.

The need for recognition and a sense of belonging are very important.

Attitudes towards work are strongly influenced by the group.

Vroom’s Valence Expectancy Theory

The most widely accepted explanations of motivation have been propounded by Victor Vroom. His theory is commonly known as expectancy theory. The theory argues that the strength of a tendency to act in a specific way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual to make this simple, expectancy theory says that an employee can be motivated to perform better when there is a belief that the better performance will lead to good performance appraisal and that this shall result into realization of personal goal in form of some reward. Therefore an employee is :

Motivation = Valence x Expectancy.

The theory focuses on three things :

Efforts and performance relationship

Performance and reward relationship

Rewards and personal goal relationship

The Porter and Lawler Model

Lyman W. Porter and Edward E. Lawler developed a more complete version of motivation depending upon expectancy theory.


Actual performance in a job is primarily determined by the effort spent. But it is also affected by the person’s ability to do the job and also by individual’s perception of what the required task is. So performance is the responsible factor that leads to intrinsic as well as extrinsic rewards. These rewards, along with the equity of individual leads to satisfaction. Hence, satisfaction of the individual depends upon the fairness of the reward.

Clayton Alderfer’s ERG Theory

Alderfer has tried to rebuild the hierarchy of needs of Maslow into another model named ERG (Existence, Relatedness and Growth). According to him there are three groups of core needs as mentioned above. The existence group is concerned mainly with providing basic material existence. The second group is the individuals need to maintain interpersonal relationship with other members in the group. The final group is the intrinsic desire to grow and develop personally. The major conclusions of this theory are :

In a individual, more than one need may be operative at the same time.

If a higher need goes unsatisfied than the desire to satisfy a lower need intensifies.

It also contains the frustration-regression dimension.

McClelland’s Theory of Needs

David McClelland has developed a theory on three types of motivating needs :

Need for Power

Need for Affiliation

Need for Achievement

Basically people for high need for power are inclined towards influence and control. They like to be at the center and are good orators. They are demanding in nature, forceful in manners and ambitious in life. They can be motivated to perform if they are given key positions or power positions.

In the second category are the people who are social in nature. They try to affiliate themselves with individuals and groups. They are driven by love and faith. They like to build a friendly environment around themselves. Social recognition and affiliation with others provides them motivation.

People in the third area are driven by the challenge of success and the fear of failure. Their need for achievement is moderate and they set for themselves moderately difficult tasks. They are analytical in nature and take calculated risks. Such people are motivated to perform when they see at least some chances of success.

McClelland observed that with the advancement in hierarchy the need for power and achievement increased rather than Affiliation. He also observed that people who were at the top, later ceased to be motivated by this drives.

J.Stacey Adams Equity Theory

As per the equity theory of J. Stacey Adams, people are motivated by their beliefs about the reward structure as being fair or unfair, relative to the inputs. People have a tendency to use subjective judgment to balance the outcomes and inputs in the relationship for comparisons between different individuals. Accordingly :


If people feel that they are not equally rewarded they either reduce the quantity or quality of work or migrate to some other organization. However, if people perceive that they are rewarded higher, they may be motivated to work harder.

B.F.SkinnerReinforcement Theory

B.F. Skinner, who propounded the reinforcement theory, holds that by designing the environment properly, individuals can be motivated. Instead of considering internal factors like impressions, feelings, attitudes and other cognitive behavior, individuals are directed by what happens in the environment external to them. Skinner states that work environment should be made suitable to the individuals and that punishment actually leads to frustration and de-motivation. Hence, the only way to motivate is to keep on making positive changes in the external environment of the organization.

Goal Setting Theory of Edwin Locke

Instead of giving vague tasks to people, specific and pronounced objectives, help in achieving them faster. As the clarity is high, a goal orientation also avoids any misunderstandings in the work of the employees. The goal setting theory states that when the goals to be achieved are set at a higher standard than in that case employees are motivated to perform better and put in maximum effort. It revolves around the concept of “Self-efficacy” i.e. individual’s belief that he or she is capable of performing a hard task.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory

As per these theories a shift from external rewards to internal rewards results into motivation. It believes that even after the stoppage of external stimulus, internal stimulus survives. It relates to the pay structure in the organization. Instead of treating external factors like pay, incentives, promotion etc and internal factors like interests, drives, responsibility etc, separately, they should be treated as contemporary to each other. The cognition is to be such that even when external motivators are not there the internal motivation continues. However, practically extrinsic rewards are given much more weight age.

(Ken Shah & Prof. Param J. Shah, Place of Publication: Lay Networks. Available from: http://www.laynetworks.com/Theories-of-Motivation.html)

Types of Motivation

From the different theories of motivation is possible made a classification of different types of motivations.

Achievement Motivation

It is the drive to pursue and obtain goals. An individual with achievement motivation wishes to achieve objectives and advance up on the ladder of success.

Here, accomplishment is important for its own shake and not for the rewards that accompany it.

Affiliation Motivation

It is a drive to relate to people on a social basis. Persons with affiliation motivation perform work better when they are complimented for their favorable attitudes and co-operation.

Competence Motivation

It is the drive to be good at something, allowing the individual to perform high quality work. Competence motivated people seek job mastery, take pride in developing and using their problem-solving skills and strive to be creative when confronted with obstacles. They learn from their experience.

Power Motivation

It is the drive to influence people and change situations. Power motivated people wish to create an impact on their organization and are willing to take risks to do so.

Attitude Motivation

Attitude motivation is how people think and feel. It is their self confidence, their belief in themselves, their attitude to life. It is how they feel about the future and how they react to the past.

Incentive Motivation

It is where a person or a team reaps a reward from an activity. It is “You do this and you get that”, attitude. It is the types of awards and prizes that drive people to work a little harder.

Fear Motivation

Fear motivation coercions a person to act against will. It is instantaneous and gets the job done quickly. It is helpful in the short run.

(Ken Shah & Prof. Param J. Shah, Place of Publication: Lay Networks. Available from: http://www.laynetworks.com/TYPES-OF-MOTIVATION.html)

The Role of Motivation

Pass from theory to practice is essential for every manager and the first step to do it is understand why is necessary to motivate employees and then how to do it.

Motivate employees is survival (Smith, 1994):

motivated employees are needed in our rapidly changing workplaces to help organizations survive since motivated employees are more productive.

To be effective, managers need to understand what motivates employees within the context of the roles they perform.

Of all the functions a manager performs, motivating employees is arguably the most complex. This is due, in part, to the fact that what motivates employees changes constantly (Bowen & Radhakrishna, 1991).

For example, research suggests that as employees’ income increases, money becomes less of a motivator (Kovach, 1987).

Also, as employees get older, interesting work becomes more of a motivator.

(James R. Lindner, (June 1998), Understanding Employee Motivation, Place of Publication: Journal of Extension. Available from: http://www.joe.org/joe/1998june/rb3.php)

Motivation Techniques

To motivate employees there are several techniques that can be used and can be described and classified in a few mayor groups.

There are different kinds of motivational method.

Many people are motivated toward self-direction and independence. The idea of ‘being your own boss’ as a unit entices many managers and employees. Employees find that part of their work satisfaction is from the high degree of freedom. They are willing to work independently.

Encourage, Praise and Recognition

The company fosters a friendly climate at work, praising good performance, and recognizing the employees who make an important performance. These encouragements make the employees find the satisfaction of the work and enjoy their job.


It can be regarded as the major goal of most workers. Social science research has focused largely on the significance of non monetary rewards. That research, however, also provides ample evidence that pay is important, money is, of course, an economic reward.

Social Recognition

For some people, they are not willing to do such jobs which are accursed. Fancy title is important (for e.g. dishwashers are named ‘sanitation specialists’) most people expect and want for superior effort.

Working Condition

It includes both physical and social aspects of the workplace. People are willing to work at a place which is more comfortable. One employer may offer an air conditioned, clean, well- lighted kitchen, and an acceptable dining area rather than the place is hot and dirty. Similarly, people prefer to work in a friendlier environment in which they feel accepted and respected by their co-workers and by the management. Safety needs are almost all the people concern about it. Most of the people prefer to work at a safer place. Also, companies are responsible to protect their employees.

Employers should be reminded to:

– Let the employee feel fun when at work

– Making winning moment for the employees

Get to Know the Employees

Supervisors develop a motivated staff by creating a climate in which employees to work with rather that against. In order to help employees become motivated, it must be understand their needs, interests and goals and must be help employees to set up a goal and achieve it.

Recruitment and Selection

Interviews with job applicants offer an excellent opportunity to learn about the individual needs, interests and goals or prospective employees. It is easier to motivate employees from the start to contribute to your department.


New employees are usually highly motivated to succeed, keep that motivational level high.


Organization cares enough to provide employees the necessary instruction and direction to ensure their success. Employer can train them by different methods such as lecture teaching, role play or actual experience. Cross-training can be valuable motivational method to give employees development and advancement. From the employees’ perspective, cross-training prevents the feeling of being locked into a particular job, and allows them to acquire additional work skills.

Coaching and Evaluating Performance

Let supervisors and employees know how well they are performing their jobs. Provide written feedbacks to let them know how they performed. Identifies strengths in performance and offer a plan for improving weaknesses. The information also gives the supervisor and the employee the opportunity to mutually develop specific goals and due dates to accomplish the desired results. As a result, improve department morale.

Effective Communications

Communication is a key to any motivational program. Keeping employees informed about events and activities in the department and organization will yield positive results. Employees who are aware of what’s going on feel a greater sense of belonging and value. Developing a departmental or organizational newspaper is an excellent way to keep lines of communication open. Also, bulletin boards are the most effective area accessible to all employees and when employees are asked to view the board daily.

(Team H1, Discuss why employee motivation is so important for the hospitality industry, Place of publication: HTM. Available from: http://project.shtm.polyu.edu.hk/wiki/index.php/Team_H1_-_Discuss_why_employee_motivation_is_so_important_for_the_hospitality_industry.#5._How_the_hospitality_industry_will_be_harmed_if_employees_lack_motivation)


Another crucial factor for managers to know is the meaning of demotivation, the consequences, and why workers demotivate.

Defining Demotivation

For the common sense, “demotivation” is a reduced driving force for thinking, feeling or acting. Someone is demotivated, who is neither initiatory nor active. However, demotivation refers to more than just non-acting or unmotivated behavior. It can also refer to an engagement into “unacceptable” directions, for example, non-role- or goal-consonant orientation or ‘counterproductive work behaviors’ including aggression, violence, and theft or incivility (Andersson & Pearson, 1999). Thus, demotivation is not just only the lack of motivators or reversal of motivation (Ng et al. 2004). As a particular experience demotivation represents a distinct state of dissatisfaction, in which motivational energies of those affected are hindered, have been discouraged or are directed to counterproductive orientations. With this demotivation confines and reduces the form, direction, duration and intensity of engagement, commitment, or identification with the work itself, other people at work or the entire organization. For example workers who are inadequately motivated tend to make only a minimal effort, therefore reducing overall productivity potential (Ng et al. 2004) or generate problematic practices in organizations (Wunderer & Küpers 2003).

(Wendelin Küpers, Embodied and Emotional Dimension of Demotivation in Organizations. Available from: http://www.usq.edu.au/~/media/USQ/Business/Journals/Volume%20141%20Paper%204.ashx)



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