Motivation And Development Of Systems Development Professionals Business Essay

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The Latin word movere, or motum, meaning to move, which was the original foundation for the word motivation. Motivation has been described as what directs, energizes, and sustains behaviour (Porter, Bigley & Steers., 2003). There are a variety of sources for motivation including goals, values, and the need for achievement, biological needs, and relatedness, among many others (Reeve, 2005).

There are many ways to self-motivate or motivate others though we find throughout history that Abraham Maslow and

Maslow: hierarchy of needs

An individual can be viewed as a form of hierarchy of needs or as a pyramid, which Maslow's theory of motivation is built upon. In this theory Maslow felt that rudimentary needs of an individual were physiological, unless they had food and shelter. Motivating to higher levels are pointless in Maslow's eyes. This applies within the workplace as well; if employees are uncomfortable with the work environment, then it would be difficult to motive them to a higher level.

maslows hierarchy of needs

Upon meeting to the individuals basic requirements, employees are then motivated to gain a sense of security. During difficult or stable economic climates, managers must provide sufficient information to their employees pertaining to protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, and stability.

When a sense of security is met, employees can be socially motivated. Here Maslow see's that employees need an atmosphere where each individual has an intellect of Friendship and Intimacy with fellow team members and work patriants.

Then we look at self-esteem, once a good social networks is in place. Are employees apprised for the good work they have done. Employees need a feeling of need by the company to provide an ongoing high level of work.

And finally, when all the above factors are in place, employees are looking for self-fulfilment. This is moving up the cooperate ladder, training opportunities, or improved working environment.

View the pyramid as a continuously evolving guide; employees can be spread out at different stages on the pyramid, thus one must constantly alert to their stage so one can foster motivation at the right level.

There are a few criticisms to Maslow's theory, the most common being the small number of people that Maslow himself declared as self-actualizing. Questioning and producing conclusions onto what self-actualization really is. This is not very viable in many eyes.

Though in his defence he understood this and felt his work as direction for one to take. In his eyes he wanted others to build upon his work and merge it to the needs of the groups/leaders techniques, in a more rigorous approach. The "father" of American humanism Maslow, initiated his profession as a behaviourist with a solid physiological focus.  He indeed believed in science, with frequently grounding his concepts with biology.  His path was to broaden psychology to take account of the best in us, including the pathological.

Extra criticism is that Maslow placed such constraints on self-actualization, making it a little harder to respond to.  Firstly, Kurt Goldstein and Carl Rogers phrased to refer to what every living creature does "To try to grow, to become more, and to fulfil its biological destiny" (Gubb, 2007).  Maslow has limited it two percent of what the human species achieves. While Rogers felt self-actualization was best shown through babies for the human race, Maslow saw this as roughly achieved only rarely by the young.

Herzberg: Two-factor theory

During the late 1950's, Frederick Herzberg, came up with one of the more popular motivation theories. Through interviewing a group of employees deducing what made them satisfied and unsatisfied when at work. Two sets of questions were asked:

Think of a time when you felt especially good about your job. Why did you feel that way?

Think of a time when you felt especially bad about your job. Why did you feel that way?

Herzberg produced the two-factor theory from this. This theory was made up of two factors for job satisfaction: Motivation and 'Hygiene'. 'Hygiene factors', had to be in place for employees to be satisfied, but these did not necessarily motivate the employees. For example, if an employee is working below the minimum wage, it is not likely that he/she will be motivated until a perceived fair rate of pay is given. At the same time, if an employee is well paid, Herzberg believed that a pay rise would not have a lasting motivational effect.

Motivators, on the other hand, produce satisfaction by fulfilling individuals' needs for meaning and personal growth. These issues come in the form of achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility and advancement.

Herzberg suggested that once the hygiene factors were met, employers should focus on recognising the achievements of the employee and providing opportunities to learn and grow. So the motivation theories of Maslow and Herzberg were similar in this regard.

Applying the theory

To apply Herzberg's theory into real-world, we begin with the hygiene issues. While hygiene issues are not the source of satisfaction, these issues must be met first to create an environment where employees' satisfaction and motivation can be possible.

Company and administrative policies: Company policies need to be consist and clear, without unnecessary rules, or frustration among colleagues can become apparent. While employees would not feel a great sense of motivation or satisfaction due to company policies. It can reduce dissatisfaction by making insuring policies are fair and apply equally to all. Providing easy access to updates and reminding about these policies are a must, when tasks are handed.

Supervision: Providing good leadership for employees can decrease dissatisfaction. A supervisor must provide help and guidance to employees, while not being a Drill Sargent, unless the position calls for this type of management style. When choosing a supervisor, one must remember that good employees are not always the best candidate.

Salary: The age old saying "you get what you pay for", is true when it comes to staff members. While money is not a motivator to all employees, they still need to be paid fairly. Using local media for comparison to insure that each department's averaged salary is rational.

Interpersonal relations: Keeping a social relationship with underlings and superiors. Allowing for reasonable time for socialization (e.g., over lunch, during breaks, between patients). This can host to job satisfaction and employees gratification between each another and the company as a hold. Bring to justice any rudeness, inappropriate, and offensive behaviour of any individual.

Working conditions: An employee's work equipment and environment should up-to-date and ensure being safe. Providing sufficient work quarters, to avoid tension between the workforces. Avoiding overcrowding and allow each employee his or her own personal space, whether it be a desk, a locker, or even just a drawer, as even a nice chair can induce the psyche of an individual to be good or bad.

As noted before, we cannot overshadow the hygiene factors. As Hertzberg mentions, doing so can introduce trouble in the workforce. Employees will become unhappy, and the hardworking employee's would find work at companies that meet the hygiene factors. Though mediocre would stay, the quality of the product would fall. Deal with hygiene issues before moving on to the motivators:

Work itself: Employees need to know that the work that they are providing is important and meaningful to the task at hand. Providing significant criticism is needed, though one must not over criticise. If issues are found, explain the good work, and then provide the error or unnecessary points one can see. This can provide greater efficiency and satisfaction with the workforce.

Achievement: Herzberg's theory states that personal want to provide good work. To insure that they do such, placing them in positions that fully utilise their talents. This can insure they are not set up for failure in the future.

Recognition: Noticing employees for a job well done and rewarding them for it, can bring friendly completion between individuals and teams. This can be trough public/corporate recognition or a bonus.

Responsibility: providing a bit of freedom and power to work on their tasks motivates them to have a feeling of ownership of the results. As they advance in their career, one should provide opportunities to for personal to undertake more responsibilities. Though be careful to not overburden them. A good method is to provide them with higher responsibilities and trickling their lower responsibilities to other staff members.

Advancement: Performance and loyalty rewarded with advancement. If positions are unavailable at the time to promote, then enhance their title (i.e. if he/she is part of a large team, break into smaller groups and provide the valued employee to be team leader of one of the groups). Providing or allowing further education for the employee, can make them fulfilled professionally and more valuable to the company.

Critics have argued that Herzberg's two-factor theory result is observed, because it is natural for people to take credit for satisfaction and to blame dissatisfaction on external factors. Furthermore, job satisfaction does not necessarily imply a high level of motivation or productivity.

The theory has many limitations, which are related to research methodology used, empirical validity and assumptions in the theory. His theory is criticized on many grounds. Many have found the theory to be an oversimplification. Despite such criticism, Herzberg's two factor theory has made a significant contribution towards improving manager's basic understanding of human behaviour. His theory is simple to grasp, based on some empirical data and guides managers to improve employee motivation. Herzberg provided stimulus to other researchers to develop alternative theories of motivation.

McGregor: The XY Theory

Douglas McGregor's XY theory was first proposed in his 1960's work 'The human side of enterprise'.

Here he had stated that there are two way to manage people, first is the authoritarian-style and second (theory x) and the other is in participative-style (theory y). Managers of Theory X are demanding, unconcerned to the staff welfare and morale. They do not acknowledge or praise employees and withhold rewards. Theory Y managers, which McGregor rates as the best form, assume that staff are ambitious, self-motivated, and anxious to accept more responsibility. Helen Murlis, a director at the Hay Group, states that good managers can also help to boost employee motivation by acknowledging an individual's reward levers are. "Something good managers do intuitively and most reasonable managers learn to do is understand the reward levers for individuals [and] how they like to be given praise and recognition. Some people want quite a bit of attention and some don't want so much. A big turn off and demotivator is having a manager with the leadership style of Attila the Hun," she explains.

Theory X - authoritarian, repressive style. Tight control, no development. Produces limited, depressed culture.




'Theory X'




Theory Y - liberating and developmental. Control, achievement and continuous improvement achieved by enabling, empowering and giving responsibility.

'Theory Y'

Theory X ('authoritarian management' style)

In this theory, which has been proven counter effective in most modern practice, management assumes employees are inherently lazy and will avoid work at any chance and that they inherently dislike work. Resulting in the need for management to have a comprehensive supervision system over their staff members. Michael J. Papa told "if the organizational goals are to be met, theory X managers rely heavily on threat and coercion to gain their employees' compliance". 

The use of Theory X management style is believed to lead to mistrust, restrictive supervision, and a disciplinary atmosphere. Though it works in training, this method causes diseconomies in large scale group or businesses, where trust and responsibilities needs to be spread out.

Theory Y ('participative management' style)

Here management assumes employees are ambitious and self-motivated and practice self-control. With the manager providing responsibility, the staff will feel more trusted and they will be more creative when solving issues. Theory Y managers believe that the satisfaction of completing a good assessment is a strong motivation. The Human Side of Enterprise states that McGregor argues that managers to be open with the views of staff.

Though it provides trust between management and staff, under supervision or overburdening with takes on staff can arise. We see in 1997 the NHS came into critical condition as "The government set a target for a two-week wait for urgent cancer referrals, but the urgent referral notice has been so captured by the 'worried well' middle-classes, according to the BMJ, that 'an alarming two-tiered system of treatment has been created' - an estimated 8,800 women eventually diagnosed with breast cancer were labelled 'routine' and not fast-tracked.". Showing supervision by management was not taken correctly to provide for this new format.

Uses in Industry

There are many companies that use these theories, though they are some that test at least the Herzberg's and Maslow's theories or use both within different departments. This provides an understanding to how these theories work and which is best for a department or all departments.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) shows us that they follow Maslow's theory for their management style. Providing a 'self-actualisation' through offering recognition, promotion opportunities and to develop a lifelong career of one's self with their group. Allowing for employees to be rewarded and enjoy their work environments, as many of RBS's employees are in flexible work environments.

Siemen's follows the Hertzberg theory in their management; they state this due to being in an industry that needs have high hygiene levels. They state "Herzberg's theory showed that managers need to attend to the motivating factors and personal development aspects to improve employee performance. They also need to ensure that hygiene factors are met or managed in order to avoid dissatisfaction in the workplace." (Anon., 2011)

Kellogg's shows that the Maslow being used here: "Laura Bryant joined Kellogg's straight after university in 2002. She joined the Field Sales team initially. This involved visiting five to ten supermarkets a day to develop relationships at a local level. After two years her hard work was rewarded and she was promoted to Customer Marketing Manager at Head Office. This helped to raise her profile as she wanted to move into marketing. With support from her manager, Laura made the transition from Sales to Marketing as Assistant Brand Manager on Rice Krispies and Frosties. In 2009 she was promoted again to manage the marketing plan for Special K and she is now Brand Manager for Kellogg's Cornflakes. The company has helped motivate her to climb the hierarchy of needs and achieve her career ambitions." (Anon., 2011). While Kellogg's use Herzberg's social relationships for team meetings, where staffs share issues and success stories, with providing: "Once a month it recognises individuals that have worked above and beyond the K-Values. Winners receive a range of awards ranging from cash prizes, vouchers or holiday entitlements." (Anon., 2011)


Although Herzberg's paradigm of hygiene and motivating factors and Maslow's hierarchy of needs may still have broad applicability in the business world, at least one aspect of each, salary as a hygiene factor (Herzberg) and esteem as a lower order need than self-actualization (Maslow).

Though, many industries take these methods as templates rather than a route to follow. This way of thinking has shown that they can insure that each department has a correct management style. As not every department works in the same fashion. This is why it is best to follow and test a few management styles and find which procedures are best for the group.

Though we see that Theory Y style or management is most common, under supervising is not always good. As a valid amount of supervision can provide advantages and disadvantages of current work methods in an overview, rather than only what the staff feels are the errors or the project. People do not like work, neither do they hate it. Staffs feel the need to be bossed as they see that that the company wants to improve them. They also need the freedom to show that they can improve to the instructed requirments.