Examine The Contemporary Views On Motivation Commerce Essay

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Motivation is the reason or reasons for engaging in a particular behavior, especially human behavior as studied in economics and psychology. These reasons may include basic needs such as food or a desired object, hobbies, goal, state of being, or ideal. The motivation for behaviour may also be attributed to less-apparent reasons such as unselfishness or self-sacrifice or morality. Motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of human behaviour.

Contemporary views on Motivation

In this section four different contemporary views on motivation will be discussed these motivation theories can help managers understand how to motivate their staff. These four theories are equity theory, expectancy theory, reinforcement theory, and goal setting theory. These four theories are all different views on motivation each theory will be discussed in details below. Equity theory will be discussed first.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory

Maslow is a humanistic psychologist. Humanists do not believe that human beings are pushed and pulled by mechanical forces, either of stimuli and reinforcements (behaviorism) or of unconscious instinctual impulses (psychoanalysis). Humanists focus upon potentials. They believe that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities. Humans seek the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom.

This has been labeled "fully functioning person", "healthy personality", or as Maslow calls this level, "self-actualizing person."

Maslow has set up a hierarchic theory of needs. All of his basic needs are equivalent of instincts in animals. Humans start with a very weak disposition that is then fashioned fully as the person grows. If the environment is right, people will grow straight and beautiful, actualizing the potentials they have inherited. If the environment is not "right" (and mostly it is not) they will not grow tall and straight and beautiful.

Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on. Maslow's basic needs are as follows:

Physiological Needs

These are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction. Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc

Safety Needs

When all physiological needs are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active. Adults have little awareness of their security needs except in times of emergency or periods of disorganization in the social structure (such as widespread rioting). Children often display the signs of insecurity and the need to be safe. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc

Needs of Love, Affection and Belongingness

When the needs for safety and for physiological well-being are satisfied, the next class of needs for love, affection and belongingness can emerge. Maslow states that people seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation. This involves both giving and receiving love, affection and the sense of belonging. Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, affection, relationships, etc.

Needs for Esteem

When the first three classes of needs are satisfied, the needs for esteem can become dominant. These involve needs for both self-esteem and for the esteem a person gets from others. Humans have a need for a stable, firmly based, high level of self-respect, and respect from others. When these needs are satisfied, the person feels self-confident and valuable as a person in the world. When these needs are frustrated, the person feels inferior, weak, helpless and worthless. Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

Needs for Self-Actualization

When all of the foregoing needs are satisfied, then and only then are the needs for self-actualization activated. Maslow describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was "born to do." "A musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write." These needs make themselves felt in signs of restlessness. The person feels on edge, tense, lacking something, in short, restless. If a person is hungry, unsafe, not loved or accepted, or lacking self-esteem, it is very easy to know what the person is restless about. It is not always clear what a person wants when there is a need for self-actualization. Self-Actualization needs - realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences

Equity Theory on Job Motivation

John Stacey Adams, put forward his Equity Theory on job motivation in 1963. The theory acknowledges that subtle and variable factors affect each individual's assessment and perception of their relationship with their work, and thereby their employer. However, awareness and cognizance of the wider situation - and crucially comparison - feature more strongly in Equity Theory than in many other earlier motivational models.

Equity Theory model therefore extends beyond the individual self, and incorporates influence and comparison of other people's situations - for example colleagues and friends - in forming a comparative view and awareness of Equity, which commonly manifests as a sense of what is fair.

When people feel fairly or advantageously treated they are more likely to be motivated; when they feel unfairly treated they are highly prone to feelings of disaffection and demotivation. The way that people measure this sense of fairness is at the heart of Equity Theory.

Equity, and thereby the motivational situation we might seek to assess using the model, is not dependent on the extent to which a person believes reward exceeds effort, nor even necessarily on the belief that reward exceeds effort at all. Rather, Equity, and the sense of fairness which commonly underpins motivation, is dependent on the comparison a person makes between his or her reward/investment ratio with the ratio enjoyed (or suffered) by others considered to be in a similar situation.

Equity Equations


-Outcomes(self) / Inputs (self) = Outcomes (other) /Inputs (other)

Underpayment Inequity

Outcomes(self) / Inputs (self) < Outcomes (other) /Inputs (other)

Overpayment Inequity

Outcomes(self) / Inputs (self) > Outcomes (other) /Inputs (other)

Application of Equity Theory of Motivation

When a manager is striving to achieve employee satisfaction, motivation levels, etc. then he should consider Adam's Equity Theory. Therefore, he should consider the balance and imbalance that is seen in the inputs and outputs of the employee. These inputs include:



Hard work








Trust in superiors

Colleague support

Personal sacrifice, etc.

The outputs for an employee include:

Financial rewards like increase pay scale, benefits, perks, etc.

Intangibles like recognition, reputation, responsibility, sense of achievement, praise, feeling of achievement, job security, etc.

Victor Vroom's Expectancy Theory

The expectancy theory of motivation is suggested by Victor Vroom. Vroom does not concentrate on needs, but rather focuses on outcomes. Vroom separates effort (which arises from motivation), performance, and outcomes.

Vroom, hypothesizes that in order for a person to be motivated that effort, performance and motivation must be linked. He proposes three variables to account for this, which he calls Valence, Expectancy and Instrumentality.

Expectancy is the belief that increased effort will lead to increased performance i.e. if I work harder, then this will be better. This is affected by such things as:

Having the right resources available (e.g. raw materials, time)

Having the right skills to do the job

Having the necessary support to get the job done (e.g. supervisor support, or correct information on the job)

Instrumentality is the belief that if you perform well that a valued outcome will be received i.e. if I do a good job, there is something in it for me. This is affected by such things as:

Clear understanding of the relationship between performance and outcomes - e.g. the rules of the reward 'game'

Trust in the people who will take the decisions on who gets what outcome

Transparency of the process that decides who gets what outcome

Valence is the importance that the individual places upon the expected outcome. For example, if I am mainly motivated by money, I might not value offers of additional time off.

Having examined these links, the idea is that the individual then changes their level of effort according to the value they place on the outcomes they receive from the process and on their perception of the strength of the links between effort and outcome.

So, if I perceive that any one of these is true:

My increased effort will not increase my performance

My increased performance will not increase my rewards

I don't value the rewards on offer

Vroom's expectancy theory suggests that this individual will not be motivated. This means that even if an organization achieves two out of three, that employees would still not be motivated, all three are required for positive motivation.

Crucially, Expectancy theory works on perceptions - so even if an employer thinks they have provided everything appropriate for motivation, and even if this works with most people in that organization it doesn't mean that someone won't perceive that it doesn't work for them.

However, it could equally apply to any situation where someone does something because they expect a certain outcome. For example, I recycle paper because I think it's important to conserve resources and take a stand on environmental issues (valence); I think that the more effort I put into recycling the more paper I will recycle (expectancy); and I think that the more paper I recycle then less resources will be used (instrumentality)

Thus, this theory of motivation is not about self-interest in rewards but about the associations people make towards expected outcomes and the contribution they feel they can make towards those outcomes.

Reinforcement Theory

Reinforcement theory states that behavior that is rewarded is likely to be repeated, whereas behavior that has been punished is less likely to recur. Reinforcement is an action that follows directly from a particular behavior. Reinforcements can be used in a number of different ways:

A positive reinforcement strengthens desired behavior by providing a reward e.g. an customer service agent at the airport who took over her colleagues jobs because they were absent and dealt with all the issues at once, she could be rewarded for her hard work which might get her motivated to work harder and take up more tasks at once.

Punishment is an undesired consequence that follows from undesirable behavior flight attendant who is rude to her customers might get punished or be given a warning, this way this behavior might not occur again.

Reinforcement can work effectively but in general, positive reinforcement might be the most effective action because as it states behavior that is rewarded is likely to be repeated.

Many kids find candy to be rewarding. If they sit quietly in their chairs for five minutes and you give them each a sweet, those kids will learn to sit quietly. The candy (Consequence of Reward) is used to increase the behavior of sitting quietly. So, we have discovered a Reward.

And then the next time your spouse spends the afternoon cleaning up some grubby corner of the basement all you have to do is give them a candy bar and next week find him in the bathroom scrubbing out the tub, this is not likely to happen. Candy functions as a reward in some circumstances, but candy has no effect in others.

2 Identify a company currently addressing motivation problems at work and evaluate their efforts

Kani Lanka Resort's currently motivation problems at work and an evaluation of their effort

Kani Lanka Resorts is a luxury resort which is located in Kalutara Sri Lanka and is an ideal place for a quiet relaxing vacation. It used to cater for the International Market, but due to the low tourist arrival during the last stages of the civil war in the country, the resort started to cater for the domestic tourism market. This resulted in low room rates as well as low tourist arrival. As such the following problems have been identified in relation to the Motivation in the work place:

Financial Motivational Problems:

Low salary and compensation package for the employees

Due to low arrival of foreign tourist employees have less tips

Year end bonus is not being paid because of the financial difficulties.

Non Financial Motivational Problems:

Long working hours and heavy work load

In adequate training and development for the staff

No recognition or appreciation has been given to staff even though they have worked very hard for low pay.

Due to cost cutting the quality of food served to staff has been poor

Disgruntled staffs have had moments of confrontation with the people of the area.

The Impact of this has been that staff turnover has been very high, particularly among Kitchen staff, Room Boys and restaurant Waiters. This maybe because since there are only a few staff, the work load is much heavy compared to the salary.

Most of the staff is not provided in-house training in a proper continued basis therefore this result in incompetent staff, improper working attitude and complaints from tourists at the hotel.

Due to the low salary the Resort is also unable to attract qualified and trained staff, which mostly prefers much more lucrative jobs abroad in Middle East.

The employees and especially the junior staff of tend to be not dealing nicely with passengers. The cause as explained by one staff indicates that the employees themselves work hard and are undervalued and have to work many hours without a break this leaves them exhausted and stressed and makes it hard for them to deal nicely to guest. Not only will there be a high turnover but also Kani Lanka might lose more customers over time because of the bad customer service of the unmotivated and tired employees.

Kani Lanka Resort's Low Salaries.

It is clear that Kani Lanka staff do not get the wages they deserve for the hard work they put in. Long hours of work, with no rest time, which should result in better compensation packages and better salary. Kani Lanka might need an Union not only will the turnover decrease but also the companies reputation might get better, cheap Rooms Rates might not be enough in the long run to be successful as a most resorts have reduced their prices.

It is important for any company to understand that without their employees there is no business, every employee should be treated fair enough and should been given a working environment they can cope with. Working 12 hours without a break is inhuman; paying for training or uniforms is certainly not acceptable especially in a company where the employees are underpaid.

As mentioned before in this assignment it explains that human resource management plays a key role in the success of the operations task in training and motivating the right kind of personnel for the organization, human resource management is responsible for how people are treated in an organization, helping them perform their work and solving problems that might arise.

The question that here is: Is there a human resource management department in Kani Lanka organization? If there is one than it does not seem that this department is of any help for the employees or for the organization itself. In overall it seems that there is no motivation from the employees because Kani Lanka does not seem to know how to motivate their own staff which leads to low morale because they are certainly not satisfied this again leads to poor work, absenteeism, and high rates of turnover.

Exploring the relationship between the effective employment of appropriate recruitment and selection strategies and their impact on staff motivation.

Staff Selection and Recruitment

Careful recruitment of the right kind of personnel is an important step, recruitment should be seen as a powerful tool in itself for enhancing and maintaining the organisation's standing and image. For Kani Lanka in this case, it is necessary to know that their high turnover is affecting their reputation as an overall company, it might be easy for the time being to hire new employees every time an employee leaves the company possible but with time when more people leave Kani Lanka the reputation of the company and its image might get seriously affected and as a result it can get hard to employee new staff. There are certain steps a company has to go through to recruit new staff from vacancies to arranging interviews and train the new employees but most important that when these steps are taken and training and development follows after the recruitment process it can have a major positive affect on the company.

Recruitment Methods Used by Kani Lanka and the Impact It Has On Staff Motivation.

Kani Lanka follows the normal procedure of recruiting new staff starting from advertising and vacancies to interviewing and testing and than training but it does fall out on the proper training and development some staff has no training once they join the Resort. They arrange interviews by sending out letters to successful applicants where the interview is held at a venue and everyone has to go through a test those who are successful are to be interviewed. The successful interviewers will than be recruited and trained by Kani Lanka. Training and development might be poor but it has to be understood by Kani Lanka that training opportunities provided by them can help create personal job satisfaction and help them retaining their personnel.

It does not seem that Kani Lanka itself put much effort in the training procedure and therefore many employees get unmotivated provide poor work results, are rude to customers because they are stressed out and might not know how to deal properly with their tasks because the training has been poor and as a result to that they leave their jobs.

Conclusion Motivation is the essential tool to help reduce high turnover as this assignment has shown if it was for Kani Lanka employees the main reason for the high turnover is the fact that they are not motivated enough and do not have a high morale. There are different theories that could be put in practice to solve this issue and to help the managers at this Resort and learn the reasons for job dissatisfaction of their employees, their reasons for not performing well at their current job and what could help them do solve these problems.

In overall different motivation theories could help Kani Lanka managers reduce staff turnover. The training staff selection and recruitment goes through the ordinary stages mainly all staff can only be recruited by applying through vacancies on their website or via job agencies, but staff has to pay for training upfront, this is a main concern as one of the most important tool to motivation is by training the employees and help them to develop their skills.


It is important to identify here that there are two sorts of motivational problems. One is intrinsic motivational problem while the other is extrinsic motivational problem.

Intrinsic motivation comes from rewards inherent to a task or activity itself - the enjoyment of a puzzle or the love of playing (Deci, 1972). Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside an individual rather than from any external or outside rewards, such as money or grades.

Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the performer. Money is the most obvious example, but coercion and threat of punishment are also common extrinsic motivations.

Here it is important to identify that the motivational problems found in kani lanka are both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, but more problems are of intrinsic motivation.

For every company it is important to have a fully functional Human Resource department, manager or an executive who is fully aware of the HR concepts. This helps manage staff and apply HR concepts in managing the staff which will enable the company to have effective and highly motivated staff.

Considering the case of Kani Lanka for example an HR person will be able to identify how an employ can be motivated, this will help them to treat their staff properly because without them the company could not operate.

Not all motivational tools need to be financial rewards it can be non financial rewards as well. To deal with the three motivational problems in terms of financial aspects faced by kani lanka the following methods can be used to motivate the employees.

Financial Motivational Problems:

Since one motivational problem is low salary and compensation to the employees Kani Lanka can devise the salary according to seasonality. For example months where there are more tourist arrivals such as New Year and Christmas, can be identified and to these months a slight increase in salary can be arranged so as to motivate the employees.

To compensate low tips due to low arrival of foreign tourist, Kani lanka can educate the foreign tourist about t he financial situation of the company and the difficulties faced by the employees and try to persuade the tourist to tips generously, which might help motivate the employees.

Kani Lanka can provide a small year end bonus which goes a long way rather than not paying bonus at all. This will show that even when the financial situation is worse the company still pays bonus, which means that when the financial situation is better the company will pay more.

Non Financial Motivational Problems:

Kani Lanka should identify the peak work load and off peak work load and try to concentrate more staff into that time period rather than having equal staff in all the shifts.

In adequate training and development for the staff is a major issue. Kani lanka can take training as an investment and try to train the people. This would motivate the staff and help retain them.

Kani lanka can hold an annual employees day where by family and friends of employees are invited and plaques and certificates of appreciation given to the staff which will become a huge motivational factor.

The food provided to the tourists could be increased a little and this can be served to the staff which would not become an additional cost to the resort.

Once the staff are motivated staff will not be disgruntled therefore communal disharmony can be avoided, and the people of the area can be invited to lunch and or dinner and introduced to staff whereby relationship can be built.

Kani Lanka seems not to care about their reputation; the high turnover is a major issue and it should be decreased, applicants looking for a job in the future would not want to apply for Kani Lanka because of its bad reputation and image towards employees. The staff tends to be rude to customers and lacks in its customer service it does not matter that the rates of the resort are inexpensive.

Customers therefore will go to other Resorts with the same prices as Kani Lanka but with better customer service. This motivation problem that is Kani Lanka is currently addressing will have not only an impact on staff turnover but also on its image and maybe their profits in the future.

The staff is underpaid and it would be a good idea if Kani Lanka would go with a union this will help the employees having to secure that there will be help if they might need it and the employees salary might increase. Training should be continuously to help them develop their skills at their jobs. Furthermore it is from major concern to address the reasons of the high turnover which are the fact that the employees have to pay for training, staff is not appreciated, work many hours with less break and are underpaid. In result of solving these issues the employees will be motivated, have higher morale and produce better work.

Different solutions are there to help motivate their staff for example by giving them incentives such as rewards and bonuses or facilities to such as gym memberships this will help them feel appreciated and valued for the work they produce. As last not to forget customers will also be treated better which decreases the chance of losing the business and boosts up the reputation and image of Kani Lanka