How Could Volkswagen Use Motivation Theories Commerce Essay

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This study was initiated as a result of identifying factors affecting motivation in Volkswagen after the franchise by Nissan Motors. It identified those factors perceived by Volkswagen employees as most important for their motivation to work. A survey containing five questions related to their perception of the factors that motivate them to work. This study will analyze on how to either sustain or enhance the current level of motivation in Volkswagen.

Ethics, essentially consist of a set of moral guidelines towards conductance of an appropriate behavior. Such behavior conforms to professional standards of conduct. The corporate code of ethics consists of a set or moral principles and values that govern the behavior of the organization with respect to what are right. A single code of ethics will result in the preservation of consistency and harmony within an organization. A code of ethics will be devised while conducting this study.

The code of ethics will compromise of anonymity of respondents. The name, age, and profession of the respondent will not be asked. The respondent's opinion about Volkswagen will be respected and will in any case be used against them.

Secondly, utilization of research findings will be used as code of ethics. This means that the result of this research will be used to analyze the impact of the takeover on employee motivation and to find a solution to the problem.

Justification of the chosen methodology in terms of research question

The research design for this study employs a survey method. This is a method whereby the researcher gathers information about a certain phenomenon and the factors influencing it. When conducting a survey, a researcher samples respondents who answer the same questions.

Research using primary and secondary research relating to the proposal

Primary research is defined as original data gathering from people within target market. They are called fist hand data as they are being collected for the first time for its own needs.

Secondary research is the use and analysis of data that already exist. These data were originally collected by another organization, often for a different purpose, and are often referred to as second hand data.

For the purpose of this study both primary and secondary data will be collected. Given that previously no study was carried out on the factors affecting motivation in Volkswagen, there was a need to collect primary data. Hence in this case questionnaires will be distributed to the employees of Volkswagen to collect data. The formulation of the research objectives is largely materialized by the availability of secondary data such as leaflets, conditions of service of Volkswagen and among others. Secondary sources of information such as management and psychology journals will be used.

Research project

The action plan was approved and was qualified as being a good one by the supervisor. Questionnaires were hand delivered and emailed to participants. Questionnaires were filled out by participants and collected by the author. Some participants preferred to use email to return the questionnaires. The objective of this research project is to analyze the impact of the takeover on employee motivation in Volkswagen, and analyze how to either sustain or enhance their level of motivation by using motivation theories. So now we are going to go through some motivation theories such as Maslow hierarchy of needs, Herzberg and the two factor theory, Elton Mayo and so on so as we able to make a conclusion on employees in Volkswagen.

Definition of Motivation

It is easy to understand why machines, buildings, brand names and financial assets are resources of a business. What is less easily understood or realized is that perhaps the most significant resource of any business is the people it employs. As the world adopts technology at a faster rate with more sophisticated applications and as products tend towards greater similarity there is a growing awareness that a business differentiate itself and its brands by creating a quality, focused and well motivated workforce. For instance, a business organization bequeathed by modern capital, equipment, and highly qualified managers may not necessarily witness success when the labor force is less motivated. Managers should thus be concerned with the "what" and "how" workers are motivated.

Hence this research project will be dealing with the use of motivation theories so as to sustain employee motivation in Volkswagen.

Maslow (1908-1970) and the hierarchy of human needs

Abraham Maslow's research was not based solely on people in the work environment and his findings have significance for students of psychology and sociology too. He was concerned with trying to identify and classify the main needs that humans have. He also said: our needs determine our actions- we will always try to satisfy them and we will be motivated to do so. If work can be organized so that we can satisfy some or all of our needs at work then we will become more productive and satisfied. Maslow summarized the human need as follow:

Physical needs: income from employment- high enough to meet essential needs.

Safety needs: offering a contract of employment with some job security. A structured organization that gives clear lines of authority to reduce uncertainty. Ensuring health and safety conditions are met.

Social needs: working in teams or groups and ensuring good communication to make workers feel involved.

Esteem needs: offer recognition for work done well. Status, advancement and responsibility will gain the respect of others.

Self actualization: offer challenging work that stretched the individual- this will give a sense of achievement.

The first need is physiological needs. Once this need is fully satisfied, then the employees would be motivated by safety needs. Volkswagen staff will be motivated by safety need only after having satisfied the precedent need. With the takeover by Nissan motors, employees of Volkswagen are looking for job safety, as they fear they may lose their jobs, so the managers should see to it that the employees have job security. After having satisfied the safety needs, then the employees will be motivated by social needs, those needs are acceptance and communication. Managers should communicate with their staff often to give them a sense of belonging to the organization and show them that the situation will be the same after the takeover. Then there is the need which is associated with status and esteem. Here people are motivated to work because they are seeking recognition and self respect. They want other to respect and acknowledge their capabilities. Such needs exist at the top of the pyramid to show that this is the ultimate aim of an employee.

Herzberg the two factor theory

Despite basing his research on just 200 professionally qualified workers, Herzberg's conclusions and famous two factor theory have had the greatest impact on motivational practices. His research was based around questionnaires and interviews with employees with the intention of discovering those factors that led to them having very good feeling about their jobs and those factors that led to them having very negative feeling about their jobs. His conclusions were that, job satisfaction resulted from five main factors: achievement, recognition for achievement, the work itself, responsibility and advancement. He called these factors the "motivators". Motivators conversely are much more important for motivating workers. Their presence is a must in order to generate positive satisfaction, for example a good management style encouraging consultation and participation can really ignite the will to work.

Elton mayo (1880-1949) and the human relations theories

Elton mayo is best known for his 'Hawthorne Effect" conclusion. These were based on a series of experiments he and his team conducted over a five year period at the Hawthorne factory of Western Electric Co in Chicago. His work was initially based on the assumption that working conditions, lightings, heating, rest periods and so on, and had a significant effect on worker's productivity. The conclusion on Elton Mayo's work: changes in the working conditions financial rewards have little or no effect in productivity. When management consult with workers and take an interest in their work then motivation improved. Groups can establish their own targets or norms and these can be greatly influences by the informal leaders of the group.

Factors affecting motivation

Researchers found different factors of motivation in their research. For some people, pay is not ranked as being the most important factor of motivation while for others it is. According to the hierarchy of needs, pay is an important reward as it provides employees with the means to purchase items which satisfy their physiological needs and esteem needs.

Good communication and the role played by the supervisor

Communication refers to the passing of information from one person to another, id there is effective communication between the manager of Volkswagen and the staff, then the latter will be motivated. Furthermore, the supervisor should provide feedback regarding performance to be able to set realistic goals and to give them a sense of belonging to the organization. Some workers are frustrated by the lack of supervision and employee involvement in decision making. Different styles of leadership should be adapted to different types or workers, depending upon their level on motivation. Workers of Volkswagen hear that with the takeover of Nissan motors the span of control may become wider thus increasing the time taken to communicate.

Fringe benefits

Some employees are motivated by benefit for instance medical subsidies, vacations, home loan etc… as these may ensure financial well being. It is believed by Gerhart and Milkovich (1992) that by linking benefits to seniority, workers will be reluctant to change jobs. However with the takeover, the staff of Volkswagen fears that their benefits obtained previously may changed.


Training is another factor that can impact on motivation, according to some employees. They believe that with the takeover, they should be better trained so as to meet the challenges. People with the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities, and compatible values will not be frustrated in their work.


The workers are motivated by several factors. The managers of Volkswagen should motivate their workers by taking these factors into consideration, as they are feeling apprehensive with the takeover of Nissan motors.


The data collection method which has been considered the most appropriate in the research is the written questionnaires as it proceeds in an orderly and specific manner. The factors affecting motivation as well as the level of frustration of the staff with regards to the takeover by Nissan motors, has been discussed. All these findings will be represented below in a bar chart which shows the level of frustration of the employees with regards to their pay level, good communication, the benefits they are receiving, the level of training and the level of equity by the takeover of Nissan motors.


The number of workers who are frustrated that their level of pay may change is 20.

The number of workers who fear that the span of control and the time taken to communicate with their supervisors may increase is 12.

The number of workers who fear that their benefits may be affected is 5.

The number of workers, who demand training as they want to be better equipped to meet the challenges, is 10.

The number of workers who fear that inequity may occur is 3.

The total number of workers interviewed is 50.

Evaluation on the methodology used and analysis of findings:

A bar chart was used to illustrate all the information so that information can be understood clearly.

The table below shows the different values in terms of percentages.



Valid %
















40%, out of which 15 % are female, are frustrated with regards to their level of pay.

24%, out of which 13% are female, feel that the span of control and the time taken to communicate with their supervisors may increase.

10%, out of which 7.5% are female, fear that the benefits they are receiving may change.

20%, out of which 14% are female, feel that they must get more training so as to better face new challenges.

6%, out of which 2 % are female, feel that inequity may occur with the re-branding process

Impact on the performance on the organization

A lack of motivation amongst the workforce may lead to a fall in productivity and efficiency: workers are more frustrated and are less willing to give the best of themselves. Hence productivity as well as efficiency may fall, thereby preventing the organisation which is Volkswagen to attain its pre-determined objectives. Motivation induces workers to work harder and also to compete among themselves. However, with a lack of adequate motivation, there will be no competition. As a consequence, Volkswagen may become less competitive both internally and externally. Motivation also promotes more comprehensiveness. Motivated workforces has a favorable attitude and are willing to adapt to changes. However, if workers are less motivated, they will be less willing to accept changes, thus making Volkswagen more inflexible.


The bright picture is that the majority of people still believe that the future is bright enough and many challenges would be overcome with appropriate training and development. Volkswagen could come up with various incentive packages to motivate its staff and face the fierce competition intelligently and wisely.