Motivational techniques used within your own organization


This work is done for providing an analytical review of motivational techniques used in organization. In this work I created a hypothetical organization which is FMCG is business nature. This work is divided into four parts. First part, discussed about the literature related with the motivational techniques and finds the place of the motivational techniques in the organizations. Second part, discussed about the relation of motivational techniques can be used in the organization. The third part discussed about the theoretical limitations of the motivational factors used in the organizations. In the last part, a conclusion is drawn on the basis of total work.

Literature Review

According to Robbins and Coulter (2005), "The processes that account for an individual's willingness to exert high levels of effort to reach organizational goals, conditioned by the effort's ability to satisfy some individual need." On the other hand, Weihrich and Koontz (2003) identified motivation as "a general term applying to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes, and similar forces."

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If we consider the Content perspectives of motivation according to Griffin (2005), which focus on the following question What workplace factors motivate people? According to this criteria motivation deals with needs and need deficiencies. Brown (2000) argued that, 'motivation can be more effectively enhanced by providing employees with more autonomy and greater responsibility.'

The most widely known theories of motivation are Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Fredcrick Herzberg's Two Factors Theory, Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y, The Expectancy theory, The Goal Setting theory, The equity Theory etc. these theories of motivation are briefly described below:

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Abraham Maslow a human relationist, argued that people are motivated to satisfy five need levels. They are, Physiological needs, Security needs, Belongingness needs, Esteem needs, and Self-actualization needs. This is known as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory of motivation. This theory shown in the figure below:

Figure: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.


Through this theory, Maslow mentioned that, when an inferior rank need is satisfied (for example, assuring food, clothing, the need of breathing, etc), the next level need becomes dominant, and the attention of the person is dedicated to the accomplishment of this higher rank need. The need of self-actualization can never be satisfied; Maslow mentions in this sense that "man is a perpetually wanting animal" and only an unsatisfied need can motivate the behavior, the dominant need being the primary factor for behavior motivation. During the evolution of needs towards the top of the hierarchy of needs, there is also a psychological evolution, but it doesn't happen necessarily as a direct progression. The inferior rank needs continue to exist, even if temporarily in a latency state as motivation factors, and people constantly come back to previously satisfied needs.

Maslow's theory has had a great influence over the organizations, but it was also very criticized, especially for its rigidity, because people are different and have different priorities. Even Maslow mentioned that it is hard to accept that people's needs advance progressively and constantly towards the top of the pyramid, in a very orderly manner.

Another motivation theory is Frederick Herzberg's Two Factors Theory. He made an investigation about the sources of professional satisfaction and dissatisfaction for accountants and engineers. Hertzberg ascertained that their statements about the good periods were mostly related to content elements of the professional activity, especially professional acknowledgement, achievements, promotions, responsibilities and the nature of work itself.

The frustrations of the interviewees were frequently related to the context of their work: the company policy, the management, the surveillance system, the salary, and the work conditions. Hertzberg considers that motivation and the increase of work performance can be only obtained through the action of the motivational factors, which directly reflect the content of the executed work by the employee on his position.

The contextual factors represent only the conditions necessary for the execution of work processes. This theory was often criticized, especially because it does not make any evaluation of the relation between satisfaction and performance. Many critics also suggested that Hertzberg drew deductive conclusions, with general incidence, unjustified by the utilization of significant interviewees.

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Douglas McGregor developed one of the best known motivational theories, Theory X and Theory Y. In the process of work, McGregor separate employees in two categories. Employees that align to the X theory are predisposed to negligence, by avoiding work as much as possible, by lacking ambition and avoiding responsibilities. Considered a medium level person, the X employee is indifferent to the needs of the company that he belongs to, and has certain inertia towards change, by resisting it. In consequence, at the workplace, the X employee must be forced, threatened with punishments, permanently controlled and penalized in order to be determined to make the efforts necessary to attain the company objectives. According to the Y theory, the employees consider it normal to make physical and intellectual efforts at work, by voluntarily taking upon themselves different assignments and responsibilities and by being motivated by the associated rewards. The Y employee must not be forced by different means to obtain performance, because he is motivated by the content of his work. McGregor's view can, of course, be considered simplistic, because external and internal factors can often decisively influence his work performance.

Along with those three content theories, there are also different process theories. If in the content theories the accent is on the specific factors that motivate the employees regarding certain necessities and aspirations, in the process theories the accent is laid on the processes, on the psychological forces that have an effect on motivation. They start from the premise that motivation begins with the wish of doing something, generating expectations. The process or cognitive theories are more useful to the managers than the content theories because they offer more realistic principles regarding the motivation techniques. The best known process theories are: the expectancy theory, the goal setting theory and the equity theory.

The expectancy theory, also named the VIE theory was initially elaborated by Vroom (1964) and then developed by Porter and Lawler (1968). This theory establishes a connection between the employees' motivation and the certitude of their expectancies. The motivation is possible only when there is a clear relation between the work performance and its results and the results are means to satisfy a certain need.

The goal setting theory, developed by Lotham and Locke (1979) states that, the level of motivation and performance is higher when the individual has specific objectives established and when these objectives, even with a high level of difficulty, are accepted and are offered a performance feedback. The human resources specialists have an important role to play in establishing organizational objectives. The employees must participate in the process of goal setting in order to obtain their approval when setting higher and higher targets and the human resources people can help them to understand the consequences of these targets over their entire activity. Feedback is also vital to maintain employees' motivation, especially when targeting even higher objectives.

The equity theory, speaks about the people perceptions regarding the way they are treated in comparison with others. Actually, the theory states that the people are higher motivated when they are fairly treated and less motivated when there is no equity between employees. This theory only explains one of the features of the motivational process, but an important one at an ethical and moral level.

From many perspectives this theory is contrary to the general theories developed by Maslow and Herzberg. They put into light only the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of an individual. The Fifty - Fifty rules enlarge the motivation understanding and suggest that 50 per cent of our motivation lies without us. Of course, this does not mean that it is pointless to study the very much known theories. The two researcher's contribution lies in the fact that they map out the internal needs and motivations of an individual, many times accomplished through work. Maslow's sketch map is more general and more original. Herzberg continued and applied Maslow's theory into practice. He dichotomized the human needs into satisfiers and dissatisfiers, or motivational and hygiene factors. The Fifty - Fifty rules covers both perspectives: the internal perspective of an individual and its inner motivational factors and also the external perspective, when the employee motivation is influenced by others and the instant circumstances. Adair (2006) argued that, "When someone is motivating you, he or she is consciously or unconsciously seeking to change the strength and the direction of your motive energy".

Discussion of the relevance of Motivational techniques on my organization

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I design this work by constructing a hypothetical organization of mine. That will have business of Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG). As for doing business as FMCG the organization needs to increase efficiency in production and marketing. Though these two sectors are totally different in structure so I need to use different motivational techniques for different departments and also need to consider that these techniques should have relations with each other and while using monetary factors as motivational tools this should be equal for each of the divisions. In my organization I would like to use following motivational tools:

Monetary Incentives

Goal Setting

Job design

As per my concern by using these factors I will become able to increase my profitability and productivity. In the first if I discuss about monetary incentives this will motivate the employees to perform at a standard level and also motivate them to increase their efficiency. Locke et al. (1980) conducted a research on the significance of monetary incentives on performance improvements and the result of this research was "The median performance increase found in the field studies they reviewed was 30 percent."

Management by objectives (MBO) is now one of the most widely used motivational techniques. It establishes standards for employee performance and offer feedback of the employees about the extent to which the standards have been achieved. Locke et al. (1980) attribute a 16 percent median improvement in performance (with a range of2 percent to 57.5 percent) as a result of goal setting. They also emphasized that feedback about progress for goal setting to regulate performance effectively.

According to Hackman (1977) Job design involves the structuring of various aspects of the job content. It increases the responsibility, task autonomy of the employees and distributes the authority which flattens the hierarchy.

Theoretical Limitations

As all the techniques and tools is suitable for each and every situation. On the other hand we can say every motivational technique has some limitations. As if we use the monetary incentives as motivational tools it will reduce net profit after tax of the company and also encourage managers for window dressing which may cause Agency Problem.

On the other hand, while implementing MBO approach as motivational tools, the objective should be dynamic, otherwise the profitability and efficiency of the organization will be hampered at a specific stage. While setting the goal we must consider several difficulties such as, First, goal setting often is an important prerequisite of effective performance appraisal and monetary incentives. Second, goal setting offers one of the primary routes to personal significance reinforcement because it creates a mechanism by which individuals can observe their contributions to organizational success. Third, goal setting is an attractive alternative to monetary incentives, which, in the long run either could fail for lack of adequate financial rewards or might detract from public interest values. Fourth, goal setting might be an efficient alternative to monetary incentives in that it offers a high rate of return for quite limited investments.

In case of Job design approach, Locke et al. (1980), argued that, "Evaluating the effectiveness of job design is more difficult than evaluating the effectiveness of other motivational techniques because it usually is implemented in conjunction with feedback and other structural changes." And he suggest that, by controlling the goal setting component job design program can be controlled without having any effect on the performance.


In conclusion, it is clear that for having the best output from the employees of the organization need to use several techniques of motivation for ensuring the optimum output. All the factors of motivation will not suited each type of the organization. Selection of motivational factors depends on the structure and nature of the organization, so it is very difficult to choose a suitable one. A huge analysis, research, and experience are required for selecting the best approach for any organizations.