Using your knowledge of Taylor and Mayo, examine the foundations of motivation theory. Motivation is the drive to improve oneself or to achieve a higher level of benchmark. Motivation is what drives people to improve themselves. Motivation has always been a part of the human behavior. It has been used since the very beginning of human society as a means to develop themselves. There are a number of ways in which people or employees can be motivated. However, it was not until the mid 18th century that any sort of theory on motivation was developed. In fact the very first recorded history of development of motivational theories was by Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1856-1917), who came up with Taylor's motivation theory (Champagne, 1989).
Therefore this theory is generally considered to be the foundation of motivation theories. According to Taylor's theory, workers are motivated primarily by the wages that they are entitled to receive. He stated that workers should receive payment based on the amount of productivity that they managed in the day. Therefore people who worked more would receive higher payment whereas people who were in efficient and had low productivity would receive lower wages.
This basic theory of Taylor's is actually based on certain scientific management observations that were made by him. This theory also made certain assumptions on human behavior. According to this theory humans are actually economically driven and are always in pursuit of maximizing economic gain. Also this theory stated that people tend to work and respond alone rather than in a group. Taylor's theory also declared that humans can be used as machines in a standardized fashion (Herzberg, 1959).
Taylor's theory of motivation has certain weaknesses in it. It clearly does not acknowledge the fact that people have a range of differences among them. People are not the same always. Hence there is no surety on the fact that one good way/theory will be suitable for all the people. Furthermore, Taylor also seems to have overlooked the fact that certain people do not work for just financial gains.
Elton Mayo stated another theory related to motivation which also can be considered to be among the foundations of such theories in the future. According to this theory of motivation, workers are not overly concerned about the wages that they receive but in fact they are motivated more by a need for social interaction (Champagne, 1989). Hence Mayo's theory recommended that managers take a more personal approach to managing their businesses and operations. It recommended that managers actually treat their workers as valuable resources and to ask their opinion in matters before making decisions.
Mayo's theory gave certain practices that would help in motivating employees more in an organization. They are:
Better communication: Within a work environment increased communication among the managers and the workers would motivate the workers to perform better.
Greater manager involvement: Managers ought to involve themselves into the workers lives in order to understand their difficulties.
Working in teams: People are social animals and therefore they need certain amount of interaction in a work environment. Hence productivity can be increased if people are grouped together to carry out a task.
Examine two problems associated with the study of motivation
Motivation is a major factor in any organization. Therefore a number of studies have been done on understanding motivation, its impacts and how to improve it etc. All these studies however faced certain problems.
The first problem that is faced during the study of motivation is that people are not the same. There exists a vide range of psychological differences in human beings. These differences can be found in people with different age groups or different genders etc. Hence there is a very wide range of factors that actually motivate different people. Therefore it is very difficult to generalize these factors and to draw concrete conclusions from them (Alera, 1990).
The second problem that is generally faced while studying motivation is
Identify the factors which lead to an effective workgroup.
Almost all motivational theories state that people tend to perform better when they work as a team. There are a number of studies that have shown that the average productivity within an organization is much higher if the workers are grouped and allowed to work in teams. Therefore it is important to understand the factors that make a work group so effective. Some of these factors are:
Setting goals and objectives: Setting appropriate goals and objectives is important as it will enable the team to focus and prioritize its plan. By developing a goal and setting clear objectives, the different work groups will know exactly what is to be done. It will allow the work groups to split the work amongst the individuals in the work group. In addition to this, working in a group establishes a healthy state of competition. Hence by having clear cur objectives that have been well defined, it will spur the individuals within the work group to increase their effectiveness and to learn the various advantages of cooperation (Hersey, 1977).
Communication: Communication is another factor that is a very important part of any business operation. Without proper and effective communication, nothing can be accomplished in a proper manner. Therefore, communication is vital, especially within a work group. Since in a work group, there are numerous individuals, each with their own set of tasks to be accomplished. However, it is not as simple as that, since in order to accomplish the goals, the people within the workgroup have to communicate their ideas, their issues and sometimes ask for help from their team members. Therefore, in order to do all this, proper communication is a must to make an effective workgroup (Cragan, 1995).
Leadership: Leadership by definition involves the ability to guide a group towards a common goal. Since a majority of organizations and teams or groups have a common goal to achieve, it is imperative that good leadership is also made available for the work group. A good and effective leadership will ensure that the individuals within a work group all have their own set of duties to carry out. In addition to this, an effective leader would also be like a teacher, supervising others and providing help wherever it is needed. Thus people in the work group will always be on schedule to achieving the common goals. In fact leadership can be shared among the various members of a group, which makes the entire workgroup even more effective. Therefore, leadership is another factor that makes a god and effective work group (Fiedler, 1967).
Critically discuss the growing significance of team working in current organizations
Today's business world is a lot more challenging when compared to the business world a couple of decades ago. There is cut throat competition among various businesses and every available advantage is seized by organizations to go in front of their competition (Adair, 1986). One such advantage that enables more productivity from the employees is team work.
A number of studies have shown the extent to which a good team can contribute to an organization (West, 1994). Team work enables more interaction among the employees. Sometimes a team consists of people from different departments who are all working together. This increases the interaction between departments and makes the entire work group more communicative and will therefore interact with each other more. This leads to better productivity, lower stress levels among the employees; it will also make it easier for the management to communicate with the employees. Therefore organizations tend to encourage team work and formation of work groups.
In addition to this, organizations develop or set a work group that consists of well trained and experienced people and also fresh new workers. This way, since they are in the same work group, the new employees get a chance to observe and learn from their experienced colleagues. Research has shown that employees tend to learn faster if they are taught practically and by their friends and colleagues than a separate class room session under a unknown guide. This saves additional training sessions for the organization.
Examine the roles or skill types that R.M.Belbin considered essential to effective team performance.
Dr Meredith Belbin, is a British psychologist who developed a model which states certain roles through which an accurate and coherent system can be formed which can aid in increasing the overall performance of a work group (Belbin, 1981). Overall there are nine roles or skill types that help in improving performance of a team, they are:
Plant (PL): The plant is a designation to a type of person who is intellectually superior. This person is tasked with the role of coming up or creating new and original ideas and proposals. Hence such a person would require to be highly imaginative and intelligent.
Resource Investigator (RI): A resource investigator is a person who has to bring new contacts, ideas and developments to the team. His role is to be a liaison officer between the management and the team. A resource investigator has to be extrovert, sociable and relaxed in nature.
Coordinator (CO): A coordinator is person whose role is to preside over a team and coordinate all the different activities that are taking place within the group. Therefore the coordinators role would be to ensure that the external goals are met. A coordinator must have the skill to include all team members in a discussion and also must posses natural people skills.
Shaper (SH): A shaper is generally a person whose role it is to be a leader. Therefore the primary role of a shaper is to provide a structure for the group's efforts. They also have to provide challenges wherever they are required. Hence a person vying to be a shaper would have to have the following skills: Be dynamic, outgoing, challenging and tenacious.
Monitor Evaluator (ME): A monitor evaluator as the designation suggests has the role of analyzing the various proposals, ideas etc from the various team members. In addition to this, a monitor evaluator also has to keep an eye on the progress of the team and report them to the shaper.
Team Worker (TW): A team workers role is to ensure that the team does not have any internal discords among themselves. A team worker has the role of helping the team in carrying out various tasks and at the same time be a sympathetic and loyal member who can be trusted. Generally they are considered as the anchor for any team.
Implementer (IMP): An implementer is similar to a team worker in that their role is to ensure that the actual work is carried out. They listen to the plant and the shaper and the feed back from the monitor evaluator and correspondingly go about accomplishing the job.
Completer Finisher (CF): A completer finisher is a person whose role is to ensure that the team meets the deadlines. They have to supervise and see that the various schedules are being met and whether the project is right on schedule. They have to maintain proper communications within the team members in order to convey a sense of urgency to finish the work on time.
Specialist (SP): A specialist is a person whose role it is to provide certain technical, financial or statistical help for the team. Generally a specialist is not part of a team but he/she is brought in only when there is a need for them.
Explain the role and importance of leadership in a team situation
Leadership is a vital part of any management. Without effective leadership, the entire workforce may not know what their duties are. In addition to this it is important to have a leader within a team as without a singular voice, the various members within a team can argue amongst themselves and ultimately there might not be any work accomplished. Hence a leader generally listens to all the ideas and selects one that is most appropriate.
The primary role of leadership involves communication and building teams so that there is a effective work environment within a team. Good leadership is often required in times of stress and panic as it provides the stable support necessary to come out of such a situation. Leadership is also absolutely vital in implementing decisions as quickly as possible (Jones, 1992).
Organizational conflicts can be defined as a misunderstanding which occurs when a individual or a group of people believe that others have or will in future take certain steps that is at odds with them and their own set of beliefs and goals (Gabarro, 2006). Almost all organizations face some form of organizational conflicts within their ranks. Generally such conflicts may occur between the management and the staffs or among the various employees.
Three major sources of conflict between management and staff
There are certain reasons which may lead to an organizational conflict between the management and the staff, such as:
Differences in power, status and cultures: This is one of the main causes of conflicts within an organization. In most organizations, there is always a distinct line between the management and the staffs. It is the role of the management to supervise the staffs; however, there is often a misunderstanding between the staff and the management on the exact nature of their authority. In addition to this sometimes there may be a difference in opinion among the staff and the management on the culture or the way things are done in the organization.
Competition over scarce resources: In order to accomplish a task, there is a need for resources. For example: A graphics designer would require a computer station with a printer. If there is no ink in the printer, then the designer would not be able to carry out his job efficiently. Therefore sometimes there is a conflict over the available resources as the management tries to distribute all the available resources equally, but the staff may demand more.
Ambiguity over jurisdiction: This is another potential area for conflicts. Sometimes the staffs are annoyed over an overbearing management. Unless the jurisdiction of the management is clearly defined by the organization, such issues may keep occurring.
The positive aspects of organizational conflict
Organizational conflicts are not completely negative in nature. Sometimes they also serve a positive purpose. There are certain aspects of organizational conflicts which can be termed as positive for the organization or the teams. According to (Morrill, 2000)these aspects are:
Organizational conflicts will lead to a discussion of the problems. More discussion means greater the chances of understanding the problem and resolving it. Furthermore, discussion will also bring to light the various issues being faced by the staff in an organization.
Organizational conflicts are usually the basis for change in a firm. Change occurs only if there is a need. Hence organizational conflicts provide the need to reexamine the structure within an organization and to effect the necessary changes.
An organizational conflict if resolved tends to increase the motivation and loyalty among the employees.
Three different strategies for dealing with sources of conflict
It is very important that organizational conflicts are avoided as much as possible. However, in the event that a conflict arises, it is vital that it be looked into and an attempt is made to resolve it as soon as possible. There are several ways to manage an organizational conflict (Pathak, 2004). Some of them are:
Bargaining and Negotiating: This is one of the steps generally taken to resolve a dispute among the management and the staff. An example of such a situation is when there is a labor strike and the management and the union sit together and decide to negotiate the terms. During this process, both parties make certain offers and counter offers. This process goes on till a mutually satisfactory decision is arrived at.
Mediation and Arbitration: Mediation and arbitration is normally done in the case of a dispute between the staff and the management. Generally mediation means that there is logrolling or cost cutting or bridging involved as the prime factor or reason behind the dispute.
Another way through which conflicts are resolved is by super ordinate goals. In this method a commonality is seen in the goals and the solution is bigger than either parties' initial goal. Thus by forming a common objective, a conflict can be resolved peacefully.