The Motivational State Of The Cost Wise Employees Commerce Essay


This report has been conducted at the request of David Orton PLC to investigate the problems and issues faced by the organisation. The report will present the issues identified including the motivational state of the Cost wise employees and what issues of concern they may have, the perceptions of the staff, the main problems facing the senior managers and finally I would be giving my personal solutions and recommendations on how the company can overcome these problems.


Having conducted the facts of the theoretical outlook of this research, it is now essential to reflect on how the evidence was collected to support the arguments in this research. There were numerous approaches to this research from the takeover of Costwise group in mid-2005.The interviews have been undertaken with ex-costwise staff and the management staff at David Orton. Observations have been conducted over a period of six months between September 2011 and February 2011.Various sites have been visited to bring into conformity to views of both the old and the new staff working under the banner of David Orton plc.

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After an in-depth research which included, interviews and various collections of data's and statistics provided I was able to come out with negative and positive consequences to the merger of Cost-wise with David Orton plc. I have found out that there are major problems from managing individual, to personalities, perceptions, attitudes motivation and finally communication within the new merged company from top to bottom.


Firstly, there was the problem of the management of the new stores. People are an organisation's most important assets. The tasks of a manager are essentially people-oriented. Unless there is some understanding of people, management will be unsuccessful. Poor people management is an important contributor to project failure. In Cost wise, store managers at local level had the authority to plan their own local strategies, for example the stocking of items, varying prices according to local competitive pressures and even went to the extent of recruiting additional staff. As we can see from this, at Costwise it was the decentralised system of management which applied. In David Orton Plc. however, the management was a centralized form of management which brought about the loss of flexibility enjoyed by Costwise Managers.

Personalities:1 accessed 08/11/11

From the above diagram, the David Orton group didn't consider the following personality issues even after the merger with the cost wise group took place. First of all, personality are those relatively stable and enduring aspects of an individual that distinguishes him/her from other people and at the same time form a basis for our predictions concerning his/her future behaviour' (Wright et al (70) as quoted by Rollinson p67).It can also be defined as' the psychological qualities that influence an individual's characteristic behaviour patterns, in a stable and distinctive manner' (Buchanan and Huczynski p168)'…stable characteristics that explain why a person behaves in a particular way' (Mullins p130).

The management of David Orton plc., has to identify whether the personalities of its new staff are nomothetic or idiographic i.e. whether the personalities of its new staff can change or whether they can adapt quickly into the working conditions of their new environment. As opposed to their former working environment at Costwise, David Orton plc. rebranding didn't go well as planned, difficulties were encountered in the early stages of the integration exercise, at with centralised form of management at the helm it was less well suited to the diverse locations of former Costwise stores, thus making store managers enjoy less flexibility like they enjoyed at Costwise.All these, lead to poor job performance, thus the Costewise sites were not turning out to be anywhere near as profitable as had been hoped.


As part of this report, my duty was to identify the likely motivational state of Costwise employees and establish any issues of concerns that the Costwise staff may have, before analysing further the likely motivational state of David Orton employees we have to consider the common characteristics underpinning an individual's motivational state. Motivation is described usually as intentional, its multifaceted, the main purpose of motivational theories is to predict behaviour.

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Extrinsic Motivation:

This is related to tangible rewards e.g. salary, security, promotion, conditions of work. As in the new employees of David Orton's plc. None of the above was certain for them in their new working environment.

Firstly, the CC ruling brought about laying off some of ex Costwise employees, these included the stores that it felt did not fit with its new image and in total 254 store were scheduled for sell-off in this way by late 2006.In this case a motivational issue of security can been identified within the remaining ex-Costwise employees.

Secondly, a strict adherence to cost targets and a tighter financial regime which was suggested by senior management of the company wasn't good news to many ex-Costwise employees who from the very start of the merger process had been aware that they were paid less than Ortons staff and had hoped to see their pay levels rise at least to parity.

Intrinsic Motivation:

The conditions of work according to ex-costwise staff are nothing to write home about. They openly express the opinion that they are little more than second class citizens in the new company. Take for example with the new headquarters ,despite the closure and sell off of the old HQ,of the 1.800 who were to lose their jobs, only 200 were to be transferred to Yorkshire. Another sign in the eyes of the ex-Costwise staff that they were not being looked after was when there was the decision to pay retention bonuses to all staff during the period up to the official takeover.

Perceptions and Attitudes:

David Orton plc senior management should check if the situation within the new merged company limits freedom to behave in line with attitude. From my review the attitudes of the employees can be divided into cognitive, affective, and behavioural. The cognitive behavioural aspect can been seen in from the view of the ex-Costwise employees who from the very start of the merger process had been aware that they were paid somewhat less than Ortons staff and had hoped to see their pay levels rise at least to parity.

Diagnosis of the problem:

There were numerous approaches to this research from the takeover of Costwise group in mid-2005.The interviews have been undertaken with ex-costwise staff and the management staff at David Orton. Observations have been conducted over a period of six months between September 2011 and February 2011.Various sites have been visited to bring into conformity to views of both the old and the new staff working under the banner of David Orton plc. With the various feedback from the employees I was able to identify the major issues facing the newly merged company and the various catalyst behind these problems.


The report identifies a range of management issues around individuals, motivation, personality, communication, attitude, and perception between the ex Costwise staff among the Orton group, which needs action to support improvement in organisational health and commitment. These actions are, improving the working conditions within the Orton group, bringing in new incentives to improve the motivation of the new staff, changing the management from a centralized organisation to a much more decentralised organisation, thereby allowing information to pass down more easily thereby making governance closer to both employees and their managers.


The investigation has revealed a series of actions to be taken to improve the situation and recommends the following actions to improve the situation in support of a more cohesive and successful human resources strategy.These recommendations are as follows:


To improve the motivation of staff across the new merged company, its senior managers have to accept the fact that motivation is really important if they want the merger to not be a failure. We need motivation at work in order to reach our goals. In fact it is one of the most important and driving factor for us reaching our goals. So when that being said it is not hard, to imagine how things would be if there was no such thing as motivation. The company can improve the motivation of staff by :

1. Use employee's competence.

One of the most powerful employee motivation factors. Few things are more motivating to people than when they can use their competence. Most people don't get to use their competences to the fullest. They usually have a number of competences that they don't think the company wants or needs,utilise them in the best way possible.

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2. Ask questions and listen.

Usually people like to talk about them self-more than about others. So if you as a manager listen to your employees and let them talk about them self or their job, it will be much easier for you to get them to listen to you.

3. Invite employees to discussions about WHY and HOW.

Usually decisions are not made in consensus. Even if some managers would like to have their employees think that that is the case. Not even management teams make decisions. It always has to be one person deciding. My point is that: employees always work in a situation where somebody else is making decisions that affect him or her. So, even if they cannot make the decision they can be a part of the process of finding the right solution. And this can be very motivating. People like to be involved and the Why and How are good questions for involvement.

4. Let attendees prioritise problems and solutions.

A very effective way of firing up a group of people in a meeting is to first let them brainstorm about top problems that need to be solved in the group or company. Then let them prioritise the list by voting. It works like this: Everybody get to use 3 to 5 points that they can use to vote on the most important problems. They can choose to put all points on one problem or distribute them on several. When everybody in the room has voted you have a prioritised list of problems. Then you do the process over again, but this time does it on solutions. You will end up with a list of important problems and solutions. And the best thing is that everyone has participated in in the meeting creating them.

5. Post-it notes.

Use post-it notes for brainstorming meetings. It is a good tool to use. Give everybody that participates in the brainstorm a pad of post-its. Then give them a topic or question to brainstorm, either individually or in pairs. Tell them to write down everything that comes to mind on one post-it note. There must not be more than one thing on every paper. After 5-10 minutes, when the ideas are draining, you ask them to put their notes on a whiteboard or on a wall. You could ask them to do it one by one as they explain their notes. Next step is to ask them to sort the notes in groups. Remove doubled and add new things that come up in the process. Then you have a good base to do the prioritisation exercise described in number 4.

6. Rotate the groups.

If people are allowed to choose their own seats in a meeting room they tend to seat next to people they know. This can be good, but it can also be restraining to the result of the work, therefore a good tip could be to have them change seat after every break. This way they will meet more new people and exchange ideas in small group discussions with more people.

7. Exhibition.

This is another very good method for group work presentations. What you do is that you have each group answer a couple of questions on a flip pad. You should use different questions for each group or have two groups solve the same question. When that is done you ask them to rotate individually in the room to read results that the other groups have found. They can add stuff to others flip pads, giving it more ideas. Watch the discussions that take place in the room.

8. Rotate chairman.

This is one of the positive steps the company had taken by reviling the Chairman off his duties when the takeover began to look like it was not going to work out.

9. Stand up meetings.

One of the employee motivation factors that helps vitalise your meetings is to do stand-up meetings. This is a way of having short meeting to discuss one or two items. And because the meeting is not sitting down meetings you can have them basically anywhere; the cafeteria, the hallway, the lobby etc. The meetings can be scheduled or just spontaneous once. It is fun and it is short. There will not be long meetings. If the discussions take a direction that demands more in depth discussions you can turn the meeting into a sit down meeting or reschedule.

10. Surveys before and after.

Ask people of their expectations before the meeting and then follow up after the meeting is a very powerful method of actually setting people's expectations. And by measuring after the meeting you will A. show people that you listen to their views on the meeting and B. you will learn from it. accessed 12/11/11.


David Orton plc can benefit tremendously if its system of management is changed into a decentralised form of management. From my review I noticed that in Costwise, store managers a local level had the authority to plan their own local strategies, for example to stock certain items vary prices according to local competitive pressures and recruit additional staff. A decentralised system of governance is the best way forward for the Orton group at these stage because it will improve:

1. Empowering Employees

Employees can be empowered by having more autonomy to make their own decisions, giving them a sense of importance and making them feel as if they have more input in the direction of the organization. It also allows them to make better use of the knowledge and experience they have gained and implement some of their own ideas.

2. Relieving the Burden

Decentralizing takes some of the burden of daily business operations off the business owner. When the owner allows others to perform such tasks as hiring new employees or ordering supplies, this frees her up to spend more time on big-picture items, such as planning for expansion or meeting with important clients.

3. Preparing for Emergencies

A situation may arise where the business owner must be away from the business for an extended period time because of illness or another type of emergency. A decentralized structure provides a better chance that the organization will maintain self-sufficiency because managers and employees are accustomed to working autonomously.

4. More Efficient Decision-Making

A decentralized organization is able to make decisions more quickly than one with a centralized structure. A manager often can make a decision without having to wait for it to go up a chain of command, allowing the organization to react quickly to situations where fast action can mean the difference between gaining and losing a customer.

5. Ease of Expansion:

For a growing business, decentralization can facilitate the process of expansion. For example, if expansion results in opening a new business unit in a different geographic area, decentralization allow the new unit to operate as an independent entity, meaning it can react more easily to the specific needs of the area, such as deciding to sell products that appeal to the local market.

Finally, decentralization offers several advantages, though relinquishing control may be difficult for a business owner accustomed to making all the decisions.