Motivation is nothing but an energizer of behavior


Motivation is nothing but an energizer of behavior and mother to all motions. Motivation helps in completing the job satisfactorily. It happens due to the factors like desire or need, reward or expectations of the individual. (Business Dictionary)

This paper basically talks about Work Motivation which means a desire which helps motivates the person in completing his or her job.

Paper consists of the theories of motivation invented and discussed by various authors and their views on motivation. A case study on Dominos related to this topic had also been mentioned which will help us in knowing the topic better. I have chosen this topic because now wherever we see, motivation of the employees has been of the major importance in the companies which in turn will help them increase their turnover.

Motivation is now one of the important topics which one must understand to keep their employees satisfied and happy.

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Grazier provides a useful reference indicating that the expectation of a benefit is a major reason that somebody would be motivated to do something. "Each day brings with it an endless list of decisions to be made. The process of making those decisions is driven, in large part, by the hope of a benefit or the fear of a consequence.

Litreature Review

There are various theories on motivation that have been discussed and invented to understand the topic better.

Some of the theories are as follows:

Abraham Maslow's Theory of Needs Hierarchy.

Clayton Alderfer's Needs Theory (ERG).

Frederick Herzberg's Hygiene-Motivation Theory.

D. McClelland's Acquired Needs Theory.

J. S. Adams Equity Theory.

Victor Vroom's Expectancy Theory.

I would like to give a brief explanation to few of the theories mentioned above and about the authors' opinion on them.

Abraham Maslow's Theory of Needs Hierarchy:

Abraham Maslow discovered this theory in the year 1943 in his paper 'A Theory of Human Motivation'. (Maslow) He was an American Psychologist who developed this theory of Needs of Hierarchy. According to him, there are five levels of needs that an individual must fulfill and every next level will motivate him to reach the other level of satisfaction.

Physiological Needs: these are the basic needs that an individual would need to survive. So his first motive is to fulfill his needs like food, clothing, shelter, education etc. So in order to remain satisfied, these needs must be met relatively and repeatedly within proper interval of time. This need is prioritized among all the other needs mentioned below.

Safety Needs: Once the basic needs are sure to be fulfilled, a man will look for the safety and security of his body, his family, job, health etc. what he really cares about. After is sure of his safety he might want to go the other level of love and belonging needs.

Love and belonging needs: After the man is sure of his safety, all he looks for his beloved ones around him. He would like to be socially involved with his family, friends, relatives and his co-workers too.

Esteem Needs: Self esteem needs include his need for self-respect, respect by others, respect for others, achievement, adequacy, strength, freedom, reputation and all that he aims for achieving his second highest level of satisfaction from his job. Once he reaches this level, he is almost satisfied with everything he possess.

Self-Actualization Needs: This is the last level of what an individual would dream of. Here, he aims of becoming the one he is actually capable of. A person might feel restless till all his capabilities are taken into consideration. So at this point he may do everything he is truly capable of doing. In real life, such needs are felt by persons with rare capabilities and urge of attaining this level of need.

So according to Maslow, these are the needs which will push an individual to attain his level of capability in doing his job.

This theory is very practical in nature and his approach is very direct, general, easy to understand and clear-cut. But this theory does not have any empirical path that is no practical proof and that it is not applicable everywhere. (Banerjee)

Clayton Alderfer's Needs Theory (ERG).

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This theory was found by Clayton Alderfer in 1969 which is a refined version of Maslow's theory of needs. This theory is categorized into three levels i.e Existence, Relatedness and Growth. It is a refined Maslow's theory which is cut down from 5 levels to 3 levels.

a. Existence: Psychological and Safety Needs.

b. Relatedness: Social and External Esteem Needs.

c. Growth: Self-Actualization and Internal Esteem Needs.

But unlike Maslow's theory, ERG theory says that these evels can be attained simultaneously and not after one another and that the order of the preference would be different for different people. (NetMba)

Frederick Herzberg's Hygiene-Motivation Theory.

Frederick Herzberg discovered this theory in his findings of 'The Work of Motivation' in 1959. According to him, there are various factors which cause satisfaction and dissatisfaction among the employees which motivated them or not to complete their job.

He developed Motivation-Hygiene factors to determine these factors.

He called the Satisfiers-Motivators and Dissatisfiers-Hygiene factors.

Factors causing Satisfaction and dissatisfaction cannot be termed as the complete opposites of one another. The opposite of satisfaction will be 'No' satisfaction and not 'Dissatisfaction'.

Few factors that may lead to Job Satisfaction can be the Motivators like Achievement. Satisfaction, Recognition, Responsibility, Growth etc..

Other factors which may lead to Job Dissatisfaction can be the Hygiene Factors like Job security, working conditions, personal life etc.

Few of the critics for this theory states that two factor result is observed because one will take credit for satisfaction and blame dissatisfaction on external factors and also that job satisfaction does not always imply for high level of motivation. ( Herzberg)

D. McClelland's Acquired Needs Theory.

The theory of needs was conceptualized by American Pschologist David McClelland during his work of Henry Murray. This theory was stated by him in 1961. it states that individual has three dominant needs: Need for Achievement, Affiliation and Power.

a. Need for Achievement: This can be to the level to which the individual wants the challenging tasks on a high level. Some characteristics of such people are that they want to have success, positive feedback, high risks, work with high achievers, work alone, etc. They are the best leaders but demand too much from their employees and staff.

b. Need for Affiliation: Here the people seek good relations with others. Some characteristics can be like they want to be accepted or liked by others, high level of trust and mutual understanding, co-operation etc. These people undermine the decision making and objective capability of managers.

c. Need for Power: Such people are the Heads, who like to be incharged of everything. Such people enjoy competition, status oriented, influencing others, leaders etc. They do not posses flexibility skills and are not much people oriented.

Unlike Maslow, McClelland did not give any transition stages, they can be prioritized according to the individuals' needs. Need for Achievement and Power are for the typical middle and top managers. (McClelland)

J. S. Adams Equity Theory.

This theory was developed by John Stacey Adams in 1963. This theory says that there should be a balance between employees' inputs outputs. An employee can be de-motivated if there is no balance between them. Inputs like their effort, loyalty, hard work, commitment, ability, adaptability, tolerance, flexibility, skills. Outputs like their salary, benefit, recognition, reputation, responsibility, sense of achievement, sense of advancement, job security, praise.

Employees tend to compare themselves with others whose inputs are on similar base to know whether they are being treated fairly. But it is not practically possible to treat everybody in the same way in regard to their outputs. It is not even possible for anyone to measure the inputs and the outputs and give a fair decision. In order to motivate the employees, a fair decision has to be given to the employees to improve their performance. In order to do so, the managers must understand the employees better try and give them the best possible out come according to what they expect.

The equity theory also says that if the employees are to be motivated then it is time for the managers to try and provide the employees with rewards that are very much equal to their inputs as far as possible. (Articles Base)

Victor Vroom's Expectancy Theory.

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Victor Vroom came up with this theory in the year 1964. The theory holds a positive correlation between efforts and performance. If favorable performance results in a desirable reward, the reward satisfies an important need, and the desire to satisfy the need remains strong enough to drive performance (Nayab). Individuals may have different set of goals but they are motivated if their beliefs are:

There is a positive correlation between efforts and performance,

Favorable performance will result in a desirable reward,

The reward will satisfy an important need,

The desire to satisfy the need is strong enough to make the effort worthwhile.

Thus the theory talks about three beliefs:

a.Valance: These are the orientations in respect to the outcomes may it be extrinsic or intrinsic (Vroom). An outcome shows positive valence if the employee prefers having the specified reward to not having it. The outcome shows negative valence if the employee prefers to avoid such outcomes. Outcomes to which the employees remain indifferent are zero valences and fail to motivate the employee (Nayab).

b.Expectancy: It shows the different expectation levels and their confidence of performing a job (Vroom). It is the confidence of employees regarding their ability to perform a task, or the strength of an employee's belief on the accomplishment of a task (Nayab).

c.Instrumentality: It's the perception of the employee as to whether they will get what they actually expect from the manager and that manager has to take care that the expectations of the employees are fulfilled (Vroom).

An Empirical Case

The case I have selected is on Dominos Pizza's. This case refers to the problems of the employees faced in relation to the motivation. There are a few problems faced by them in the company due to lack of motivation.

Domino's Pizza is recognized as the world's leading pizza delivery company. It was founded in 1960. Their expertise and passion for delivering hot and fresh pizzas has earned them numerous awards and the loyalty of millions of pizza lovers around the world. There are over 620 Domino's Pizza stores in a growing number of towns and cities throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

David Brandon was named Domino's CEO in 1999, he went on a crusade to reduce Domino's 158% employee turnover rate. Brandon's crusade has been a success. These days, Domino's employee turnover rate hovers around an impressive 107% (Wall Street Journal)

There are some problems which are faced by Dominos in having a control or motivating their employees. Following problems have been noticed in few of the articles.

Inequality in Wages: Pizza-makers and telephone operators provide similar inputs as delivery drivers; however, the delivery drivers receive less financial reward creating inequity (free online research papers).

"Without a steady boss, workers there (Domino's)…….had a turnover rate as high as 300% a year". This indicates that previous store managers had experienced under-reward inequity creating a high turnover rate in employees (free online research papers)

This problem is a major issue in dominos where the outputs as the payments are not equally distributed among the employees which can be the biggest de-motivation for the employees working in there. This will not help the employees in giving their 100% in the job they do. Thus even due to the carelessness of the store manager or the under-reward inequity, the employees are leaving the job and the turnover rate has gone up.

Boredom: This is due to the simple and sometimes repetitive nature of working in the fast food industry (free online research papers).

Boredom is another major problem in the job. If the work is not exciting and is monotonous, it is very obvious that the employee will not like doing the job he is given. So in the fast food industry, the work given is very repetitive and no chance of expansion. So some change has to be brought about or some motivational factors should be taken into consideration to keep the work going. This is one of the major problems in dominos.

Lack of Employee Initiative: The nature of the tasks associated with Domino's employees, are so generic and simple that there is little scope for employee initiative which creates dissatisfaction (free online research papers).

There should be some challenging jobs given to the employees in the company so that there is flow which keeps the employees feel that they are capable of doing the job appropriately. The work should be as that the employees themselves take the initiative in doing the job. But none of the jobs in Dominos are that challenging that the employees would want to be a part of it. It's a major drawback in the Dominos.

Importance to the task and not the employees: Worldwide Dominos is known best for its delivery time-30 minutes. So if the product is not prepared or delivered on time, the long term profitability of the organization will be affected. This can create less demand for the product and ultimately decrease employee motivation due to less working hours (free online research papers).

Giving a lot of importance to the task and not appreciating the work done by the employees is not at all expected. This will not at all motivate the employees in giving out their best. In Dominos, a lot of importance for the delivery time is been given and not taken care of the employees who do their job efficiently. This has led to the dissatisfaction among the employees.

Deaths due to over pressure: By 1989 more than 20 deaths had occurred involving Domino's drivers, calling the company's 30-minute delivery guarantee into question (Funding Universe).

This shows that the employees or the delivery boys were so much pressurized for completing their job on time that led to deaths. This resulted in the highest employee turnover during that time.

These were some of the problems which I could find in Dominos. In my later part of the study, I will relate these problems with the motivational theories by different authors, analyze it and come up with the suitable solutions.

Analysis and Discussion

The analysis for the problems mentioned above will be discussed in relation to the theories mentioned in the literature review.

1. Inequallity in wages: When we consider this problem, the first we consider is the Maslow's Theory of Needs Hierarchy. The first and the basic physiological need are not being fulfilled. When an employee is not able to receive the basic salary what is expected, it will not motivate him at all to push himself for the other level of need of safety and security and thus will never reach his Self-Actualization need.

Next we talk about is Adams Equity Theory. According to this theory, there should be balance between employee's inputs and outputs. A misbalance will be created which will lead to employee dissatisfaction. Thus in this problem, there is inequality of wages, where the employees' inputs [dedication, hard work, time] are not given fair outputs [wages]. Some authors suggest that employees will experience an emotional tension when they perceive inequities, and, when sufficiently strong, the tension motivates them to reduce the inequities (Mcshane and Travaglione). Thus due to these reasons if employee is de-motivated, me may quit the job. This is what' has lead to high employee turnover rate in Dominos.

When mentioning about Frederick Herzberg's Hygiene-Motivation Theory, here the inequality in wages will refer as to the hygiene factor which is a major dissatifier. When an employee is happy in the work he is doing which contributes to his dissatisfaction at work, he may not want to continue working in the same organization. This might lead in employees quitting the job and the company's reputation is at risk

Even Victor Vroom's Expectancy Theory has to contribute in this by saying that if the expectation or the perception of the employees is not fulfilled, it may de-motivate him. So the expected outcome that is the salary expected by the employees should match with the actual outcome that is given. This can act as a major motivator to the employees to do their job efficiently.

Solution to these problem can be given as according to The equity theory of motivation, the fact that people are motivated first to achieve and then to maintain a sense of equity. Equity refers to the allocation of rewards in direct parity to the contribution of each employee to the organization (Adams). So equal wages must be given whose inputs are considered to be at the same level. As in this case, the pizza makers and the delivery boys should be given equal wages.

2. Boredom: This one of the major drawbacks in any fast food industry. This is because there is very less scope of expansion in relation to the jobs assigned to the employees. The job is very simple and not much challenging. So the work gets really monotonous and boring. In Dominos, the employees are major under the category of pizza makers and the delivery boys. Only the risk taking will be in the hand of managers who are also bound to follow the rules by the Franchise.

Considering Frederick Herzberg's Hygiene-Motivation Theory, boredom is one of the hygiene factors who act as the major dissatifier. If the employee is not interested and is bored of doing the same job again, he will not enjoy his work. This can act as a de-motivator and make the employees quit their job.

For this problem, D. McClelland's Acquired Needs Theory says that if the tasks are not challenging and are very simple to deal with, there is no sense for Need for Achievement. There are individuals who set goals for themselves and look for the results in them; they are high risk takers etc. So if they do not get a chance to present their capabilities, they get de-motivated. The behavior of individuals with a high need of Achievement is explained by the fact that they talk a lot about ways to improve things. Once they start thinking in terms of 'achievement', they will start acting accordingly (Manea).

This problem arises due to the simple and sometimes repetitive nature of working in the fast food industry. To increase the skill variety for employees, the store manager can implement a job enrichment scheme that is designed to reverse the effects of tasks that are repetitive requiring little autonomy (Fourman and Jones). This will help the employees in keeping interest in their work and can avoid boredom.

3. Lack of Employee Initiative: This problem arises when there is very little scope for the employees to grow from one level to another. In Dominos this problem is very common due to the simple and generic work assigned to them. No challenging jobs are available for the pizza makers and the delivery boys except for cooking and delivering, which has the least risk and no growth opportunities.

As per Clayton Alderfer's Needs Theory (ERG), growth is one of the important factors for work motivation. If there is going to be no growth and the work is going to be stabilized all long, none of the employees would want to work there. Everybody has an aim and would want to achieve those.

Also as per Abraham Maslow's Theory of Needs Hierarchy, one will not able to achieve his esteem needs till there is any growth or initiative taken to achieve them. If one do not have a chance to achieve his needs, he will not be motivated to do his job. Till there is no factor to motivate the employees, the work done will not be 100%. It will overall affect the outcome of the company.

Also there will be lack of employee initiative if there is no proper communication between the manager and the employees. Even if there is no sense of belongingness amongst each other and are not able to help eachother, this problem may arise. So the third level of need that is love/belonging need is also not fulfilled. Till the employees feel that they are the actual part of the company, they will not do the job efficiently. So it is very necessary for the managers to take care of this problem.

Thus, the presence of autonomy in the workforce can lead to the psychological state of felt responsibility for outcomes, resulting in high job satisfaction (Morgensen and Campion). This problem can also be rectified by giving a regular feedback to the employees regarding their work. This will help them to rectify their mistakes in the work they do through the feedback and can work on it.

4. Importance to the task and not the employees: When the employees feel that the work they are doing is not appreciated, they are not much bothered about what they are doing. As in Dominos, the most important aspect is to deliver the pizza in 30 minutes. This creates a lot of pressure and stress on the employees. They may not be able to do their work efficiently due to peer pressure.

As per Frederick Herzberg's Hygiene-Motivation Theory, stress and pressure on to the employees acts as a dissatisfier that is a hygiene factor. A work cannot be done efficiently if it's done under pressure. One must have all his space and time to get his work done. Employees are made to work in 100 degree Celsius in the kitchen which is so harmful. Thus no good working condition is provided to work in.

For this problem, stress releasing programmers should be conducted, a proper safety instruments should be provided to work in the kitchen, a little high salary is to be paid to the workers to work under pressure, etc. such motivating factors as per the theory should be applied to motivate the employees and get the work done.

5. Deaths due to over pressure: As mentioned above that there were a lot of deaths taking place due to the accidents of the delivery boys in order to deliver the pizza on time. This led to the highest employee turnover rate.

According to Abraham Maslow's Theory of Needs Hierarchy, safety and security is the second most important need to be fulfilled for an employee. In 1989 for Dominos, it had faced highest employee turnover because there was no security for the life of the employees. They had suffered a major loss because there were not many employees ready to work and the orders were much more than that.

Dominos had a major comeback in 1990's. Its Chief Executive insisted on maintaining Domino's original concept of a simple menu that speeds order preparation, allowing the company to uphold its 30-minute guarantee. In an effort to be flexible--and to compete with Pizza Hut's pan pizza--Domino's offered a new pizza with more cheese and an increased number of toppings (Funding Universe). This happened only after the Executive came up with the good panel of Top Executives.

Thus Dominos again took a lead in the pizza industry. It happened after the new panel of the executives were brought in. so it is very necessary to keep the employees updated and keep bringing change and challenges which will help the employees in knowing their own capabilities.

These were some of the problems that Dominos had to face due to low Work Motivation among the employees. These problems can be solved by taking into consideration the various theories on motivation as mentioned above.


This study has brought about a broader view of motivation and its importance in the organization. Now-a-days all the organizations have started giving equal importance to the employees as to the turnover of the company, because employees are the biggest assets of the company and they can't afford to lose them.

This study has also helped us knowing and understanding Work Motivation in detail.

To perform the task very efficiently, it is very necessary to motivate the employees in such a manner that even they are satisfied with work and the outcome is also the best. Employees must find their job important and should enjoy doing it.

The perception of the employees in regards to the mission and their desire to provide meaningful contribution are two factors that show the degree of importance of employees place on their jobs. Dissatisfied employees can lead to a decrease in motivation and this can be counter-productive. This can be rectified by providing regular feedback on employee performance (Johnston).

All the theories carry on their individual importance. All have their unique thoughts of interpreting the human behavior and how they are motivated or de-motivated. Most of the problems stand equally important to all the theories mentioned. Thus the theories are very important to be understood to deal with employees in any organization.

Maslow had described work motivation in different set of levels which are to be achieved one after another, whereas Alderfer's theory argued and refined Maslow's theory into three stages which can be achieved simultaneously. Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory shows two different parts as satisfiers and dissatisfiers which would motivate or de-motivate the employees. McClelland's Acquired needs theory says that a person can be motivated depending on the type of need he has, whether it is need for Achievement, Affiliation or Power. Adams's Equity theory talks about motivation that a person can only be motivated if he gets the perfect outcome for his inputs. Vroom's theory says that motivation is a co-relation between efforts and performance.

This shows that all the authors have their unique perspective of looking at the motivation and all carries equal importance. If Customers are God, Employees must be treated equally because they are the one to reach to the customers.