Assessing the role of work Motivation on Employee Performance”
The main purpose of this study was to” assess the role of work motivation on employee performance”. This study in an assessment of this purpose used deductive approach in which a qualitative survey was carried out among students at of RVS Institute Of Managenment Studieswho are assumed to be future employees .The survey was intended to get their responses on what they feel is (are) the best factors that could motivate them as future employees among a list of ten motivational factors. In this light the study sets to identify the most ranked factors among the ten motivational factors.
The analysis from the empirical findings showed that Job satisfaction”was the most ranked factor for both sub groups that made up the sample survey. However a study from previous researches used in this study showed that different results could be obtained from different groups of already working employees. This study therefore can be seen as an introduction to a more detailed study to be carried by future researchers on the field of employee’s motivation.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Chapter One – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -1
1.1 Introduction/Background- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -1
1.2 Research question/problem statement – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -3
1.3 Objectives/purpose of study – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -3
1.4 Limitations and demarcations – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -3
1.5 Definitions – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 4
1.6 Disposition – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 5
4.1 Sample – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -27
4.2 Data collection – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -27
4.3 Choice of investigating factors – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -28
4.4 Criticism of data – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -29
3.1Scientific method- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -20
3.2 Choice of subject – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -20
3.3 Perspective – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 22
3.4 Preconception – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 22
3.5 Scientific ideal – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -23
3.6 Scientific approach – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -24
3.7 Research method- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -25
Review of Literature
Chapter III- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 6
2.1What is motivation – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 6
2.2 Motivational theories – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 8
2.3 History and explanation of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 12
2.4 Organisational/managerial applications of Maslow need theory – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -14
2.5 Criticisms of Maslow’s need theory- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -15
2.6 Empirical studies on employees motivation using Maslow’s model- – – – – – – – – – – – – – -16
Chapter Four – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 27
4.5 Data analysis – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -30
4.6 Quality of research design – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -30
4.7 Degree of generalisation- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -32
Chapter Five findings – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 33
5.1 General results – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -33
5.2 Gender (male/female) – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -36
5.3 Age group – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -37
Chapter Six – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -38
6.1 Analysis of the empirical finding- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -38
6.2 Gender – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 42
6.3 Age group – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -43
Chapter Seven- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 45
7.1 Conclusions – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -45
Chapter Eight – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 49
8.1 Strengths and weaknesses – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 49
8.2 Contributions – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -49
8.3 Recommendations – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 50
Reference list – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 51
Appendix – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -53
List of tables
Fig 2.1 The process of employees motivation – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 10
Fig 2.3 Hierarchy of needs /ERG theory- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -13
List of tables
Table 5.1 Description of sub-groups and number of respondents – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -33
Table 5.2 Collective rank order of motivating factors – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 34
Table 5.3 Factors that influence respondents’ rankings by sub-groups- – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -36
This chapter starts by presenting a background discussion of the selected topic of this thesis. At the end of this discussion the research question is formulated and the main purpose of this thesis (which is two folds) are established. What this research hopes to contribute and the delimitation’s of this study are also discussed.
1.1: Introduction /Background
When looking at factors that affect job satisfaction, I find that Agency theory might be helpful as it explains the extent to which organisations need to think of their human resource responsible in producing the output needed by organisations to meet shareholders value.
Agency theory is concerned with issues related to the ownership of the firm when that ownership is separated from the day-to-day running of the organisation. It assumes that in all but owner- managed organisations the owner or owners (known in agency theory as the “principal”) of an organisation must vest authority to an “agent”-corporate management- to act on their behalf. Harrison R and Kessels J. (2004, Pp 25-26)
The principal recognises the risk, here and act on the assumption that any agent will look to serve its own as well as the principal interests as it fulfils it contract with that principal. However, this is not the situation in real life situation. As all agents are perceived to be opportunistic (Williamson, 1985; Seth and Thomas, 1994). These approaches to examining the problems of human exchange derived from the field of finance and economics but they are often applied to the study of shareholders Risk Management (SHRM) (Harrel-Cook and Ferris, 1997).
Agency theory is therefore used to analyse this conflict in interest between the principal (shareholders of organisations) and their agents (leaders of these organisations). Whereby the “Agents” in keeping with the interest of the shareholders and organisational goals turn to use financial motivational aspects like bonuses, higher payrolls, pensions, sick allowances, risk payments, perks to reward and retained their employees and enhance their performance.
There is a strong lobby propounding the view that human resources and their management are the source of competitive advantage for the business, rather than, say, access to capital or use of technology. It is therefore logical to suggest that, attention needs to be paid to the nature of this resource and its management as this will impact on human resource behaviour and performance and consequently the performance of the organisation. Indeed Boxall and Steeneveld (1999) argue that there is no need to prove the relationship between firm critical influence on performance and labour management as it is self evident that the quality of human resource management is a critical influence on the performance of the firm. Concern for strategic integration, commitment flexibility and quality, has called for attention for employees motivation and retention. Given this perception, the principal in an organisation feels unable to predict an agent’s behaviour in any given situation and so brings into play various measures to do with incentives in other to tie employee’s needs to those of their organisation.
Thus getting employee’s identification with respect to the organisation, and thus increasing their commitment level. As an approach to mediate the employment contract, elements of human resource strategy (especially those to do with rewards and retention) can offer a way of ensuring an efficient transaction process that enables both parties to get committed towards the fulfilment of each other needs. The fundamental problem, dealt with is what drives or induces people to exploit their potential resources in the way they do in organisations? The issue of motivation and performance are they positively related? By focusing on the financial aspect of motivation problem like bonus system, allowances perks, salaries, etc. By paying attention to the financial aspect of motivation, I intend to probe in to the role this aspect has on enhancing employee’s performance. I believe, financial motivation has become the most concern in today’s organisation, and tying to Mallow’s basic needs, non-financial aspect only comes in when financial motivation has failed. Gibson, Ivancevick, Donnelly, (2004, Pp 214) a space is then set for non-financial measures. Though in some situation, it is being operated side by side. But as a research topic for my thesis I will employ the financial aspects of motivation used by the agents of organisation in enhancing their employee’s performance and the extent to which non-financial aspects of motivation turn to enhance employee’s performance. To evaluate the methods of performance motivation in organisation in organising some motivational factors like satisfies and dissatisfies will be used to evaluate how employees motivation is enhanced other than financial aspects of motivation
1.2 Research Question/Problem Statements
As a research question, the research seeks to answer what role does motivation play in enhancing performance in organisation. This will be possible through analysis of information gathered from students at Umeå University. Hence this thesis is mainly quantitative.
1.3 Objectives /purpose of Study
In trying to find an answer(s) to the research question and on the basis of the above background discussion and research question, the main purposes developed for this thesis is to assess the factors that motivate employees to perform best at work. This is done by carrying out a survey in which respondents responding to a survey, ranked the least to most important factor on a list of ten factors un to how these factors influence them.
1.4 Limitations and Demarcations
The limitation is being considered in relation to the natural explanation to which the researcher has limited the study and the active choices to limit the study area that is financial motivation as a determinant of performance. The study is limited to existing theories and models, and their influence and limitation on performance enhancement. By considering the financial and non-financial aspect of motivation on employees’ performance relating to existing theories and models, I intend to mark a demarcation for the study. Here I have considered limitation inline with the research objective that is the study is limited. I believe that with the changing nature of the work force, recent trends in development, information and technology, the issue of financial motivation becomes consent on one of the most important assets in an organisation. A lot has been said on the outside forces of an organisation. This research considers the inside forces as a starting point. Ideally, a study of all the explanatory variables will be considered appropriate in order to capture the interactive influences of other variables and thus be able to come up with holistic and generally more acceptable results, of financial motivation and performance.
Motivation: Motivation by definition refers to what activates, directs human behaviour and how this behaviour is sustained to achieve a particular goal. Also it can be defined as the set of processes that arouse, direct and maintain human behaviour towards attaining some goals. Jones (1955) argues that” Motivation is concerned with how behaviour gets started, is energised, is sustained, is directed, is stopped and what kind of subjective reaction is present in the organisation while all this is going on.”Gibson, Ivancevick, Donnelly (Organisations: processes, structure, behaviour Pp214)
Role of financial motivation: The potential role of money as (a) conditioned reinforce (2) an incentive which is capable of satisfying needs (3) an anxiety reducer (4) serves to erase feelings of dissatisfaction Opsahl and Dunette, (motivation and organisational climate Pp 65-
Employee satisfaction: This refers to the positive or negative aspects of employee’s altitude towards their jobs or some features of the job Ivancevich etal (Pp 448)
Organisational Goals: A concept, which refers to the focus of attention and decision-making among employees of a sub-unit.
Organising: This involves the complete understanding of the goals of organisation, the necessity of proper co-ordination, and the environmental factors that influence the gaols and employees within the organisation.
Employee attitudes: Mental state of readiness for motive arousal.
Performance: the act of performing; of doing something successfully; using knowledge as distinguished from merely possessing it; A performance comprises an event in which generally one group of people (the performer or performers) behave in a particular way for another group of people.
Efficiency: The ratio of the output to the input of any system. Economic efficiency is a general term for the value assigned to a situation by some measure designed to capture the amount of waste or “friction” or other undesirable and undesirable economic features present.
It can also be looked as a short run criterion of effectiveness that refers to the ability of the organisation to produce outputs with minimum use of inputs.
In this section I will describe and explain the concepts, models and theories that are relevant in the field of motivation and necessary to facilitate a comprehensive analysis and understanding of the research question .It may be useful to conceptualise the term financial motivation and what its concepts are. A broader definition of motivation will be introduced.
2.1 what is motivation?
1According to Greenberg and Baron (2000 p190) this definition could be divided into three main parts. The first part looks at arousal that deals with the drive, or energy behind individual (s) action. People turn to be guided by their interest in making a good impression on others, doing interesting work and being successful in what they do. The second part referring to the choice people make and the direction their behaviour takes. The last part deals with maintaining behaviour clearly defining how long people have to persist at attempting to meet their goals.
Kreitner (1995), Buford, Bedeian &Linder (1995), Higgins (1994) all cited in Linder (1998,p3) defined motivation as “the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction, a predisposition to behave in a purposive manner to achieve specific unmet needs, an unsatisfied need, and the will to achieve, respectively.
Young (2000, p1) suggest that motivation can be defined in a variety of ways, depending on who you ask .Ask some one on the street, you may get a response like “its what drives us” or “its what make us do the things we do.” Therefore motivation is the force within an individual that account for the level, direction, and persistence of effort expended at work.”
Halepota (2005, p16) defines motivation as “a persons active participation and commitment to achieve the prescribed results. “Halepota further presents that the concept of motivation is abstract because different strategies produce different results at different times and there is no single strategy that can produce guaranteed favourable results all the times.”
According to Antomioni (1999, p29), “the amount of effort people are willing to put in their work depends on the degree to which they feel their motivational needs will be satisfied. On the other hand, individuals become de-motivated if they feel something in the organisation prevents them from attaining good outcomes.
It can be observed from the above definitions that, motivation in general, is more or less basically concern with factors or events that moves, leads, and drives certain human action or inaction over a given period of time given the prevailing conditions. Further more the definitions suggest that there need to be an” invisible force” to push people to do something in return. It could also be deduced from the definition that having a motivated work force or creating an environment in which high levels of motivation are maintained remains a challenge for today’s management. . This challenge may emanate from the simple fact that motivation is not a fixed trait -as it could change with changes in personal, psychological, financial or social factors.
For this thesis, the definition of motivation by Greenberg & Baron (2003) is adopted, as it is more realistic and simple as it considers the individual and his performance. Greenberg
&Baron defines motivation as:
“The set of processes that arouse, direct, and maintain human behaviour towards attaining some goal”. (Greenberg &Baron, 2003, p190)
Bassett-Jones &Lloyd (2005, p931) presents that two views of human nature underlay early research into employee motivation. The first view focuses on Taylorism, which viewed people as basically lazy and work -shy”, and thus held that these set of employees can only be motivated by external stimulation. The second view was based on Hawthorn findings, which held the view that employees are motivated to work well for “its own sake” as well as for the social and monetary benefits this type of motivation according to this school was internally motivated.
2.2 Motivational theories
Even though much research been conducted on the field of financial motivation and many researchers and writers have proposed theories on the concept of financial motivation, and its role in enhancing employee’s performance in every organisation some of these models have been widely used and accepted by today’s organisations leaders. In this thesis discussion on some of the motivational theories will include Alders (ERG theory), Maslow (Need theory), Vrooms (Expectancy theory), Adams (Social equity theoty), Taylor (productivity theory), Herzberg (Two factor theory), Mac Gregory (theory X and Y), Geogopalaus (path goal theory) and skinner (Reward theory). To better understand this discussion a summary of the theories is presented and an indebt discussion on Maslow and ERG theories on which I base my thesis overlooked.
Alder asserts in his Existence relatedness and growth theory commonly known as the ERG theory that there are three basic human needs: Existence, relatedness and growth, which must be meet by an employee to enable him, increase performance.
Maslow (1943) suggests that human needs can be classified into five categories and that these categories can be arranged in a hierarchy of importance. These include physiological, security, belongings, esteem and self-actualisation needs. According to him a person is motivated first and foremost to satisfy physiological needs. As long as the employees remain unsatisfied, they turn to be motivated only to fulfil them. When physiological needs are satisfied they cease to act as primary motivational factors and the individual moves “up” the hierarchy and seek to satisfy security needs. This process continues until finally self- actualisation needs are satisfied. According to Maslow the rationale is quite simple because employees who are too hungry or too ill to work will hardly be able to make much a contribution to productivity hence difficulties in meeting organisational gaols.
Vroom (1964) proposes that people are motivated by how much they want something and how likely they think they are to get it he suggest that motivation leads to efforts and the efforts combined with employees ability together with environment factors which interplay’s resulting to performance. This performance interns leads to various outcomes, each of which has an associated value called Valence.
Adams (1965) on his part suggests that people are motivated to seek social equity in the rewards they receive for high performance. According to him the outcome from job includes; pay, recognition, promotion, social relationship and intrinsic reward .to get these rewards various inputs needs to be employed by the employees to the job as time, experience, efforts, education and loyalty. He suggests that, people tend to view their outcomes and inputs as a ratio and then compare these ratios with others and turn to become motivated if this ratio is high.
Taylor (1911) observed the soldering by employees, which is a situation whereby workers work less than full capacity. He argued that soldering occurs due to the fact employee’s fear that performing high will lead to increasing productivity, which might cause them to lose their jobs. This slow paces of work where promoted by faulty systems however this situation is not what prevails with contemporary employees who organisations evaluate them through their performance.
Herzberg suggested that there are factors in a job, which causes satisfaction. These he called intrinsic factors (motivators) and other factor he refers to as dissatisfies (hygiene factors). According to him if the motivational factors are met, the employee becomes motivated and hence performs higher.
Mac Gregory suggested that there exist two sets of employees (lazy and ambitious employees) With lazy employees representing theory X, hard and ambitious workers representing Y. According to him the lazy employee should be motivated to increase performance in an organisation
Geogopalaus path Goal theory of motivation states that, if a worker sees high productivity as a path leading to the attainment of one or more of his personal goals, he will turn to be a high producer. But if he sees low productivity as the path leading to the attainment of his goal he will turn to be a low producer and hence needs to be motivated.
This discussion on the above motivational theories explains the fact that the concept of employee’s motivation has been a critical factor addressed by previous authors as what determines the core competence of every organisation in achieving a competitive position.
Skinner who propounded that any behaviour that is rewarded tends to be repeated supported this view.
The term motivation has been used in numerous and often contradictory ways. Presently there appears to be some agreements that the crucial thread that distinguishes employee’s motivated behaviours from other behaviour is that it is goal directed behaviour, Bindra (2000
P223) agues that the core of motivating individuals lays in the goal-directed aspect of behaviour.
Jones suggested “motivation is concern with how behaviour gets started, is energised, is sustained, is directed, is stopped and what kind of subjective re-action is present in the organisation while this is going on. The Jones statement can be converted into a diagram which shows the employee motivational process as it influences performance.
Figure 1.1. The process of employees motivation
Tension or drive
To fulfil or need
Re-definition of needs
The figure illustrates that the process begins because of tension within drives or needs of an employee. Next there is a search within the company or groups or within employee to fulfil his desires. When the employee is satisfied with his financial motivation he redefines his desires and needs and the process is initiated again.
These groups of researchers were over the years divided into what was later labelled the content and process theories of motivation. According to steers, mowday &Shapiro
(2004,p382) the process generated during this period, makes this period referred to as “the golden age of work motivation theories”.
“Never before and, some would argue, never since has so much progress been made in explicating the aetiology of work motivation” (steers et al., 2004, pp380-383)
Bassett-Jones & Lloyd (2005,p 932) suggests that the “content theorists led by Herzberg, assumed a more complex interaction between both internal and external factors, and explored the circumstances in which individuals respond to different internal and external stimuli. On the other hand, process theory, where victor Vroom was the first exponent considers how factors internal to the person result in different behaviours.
From the focus point of these two groups, one could observe that the process theories attempt or try to understand the thinking processes an individual might go through in determining how to behave in a workplace. The primary focus was on how and why questions of motivation, how a certain behaviour starts, developed and sustained over time.
It is true that human behaviour in general is dynamic and could affect the individual’s personal altitude as well as factors surrounding that individual. These exogenous factors eminent from the environment in which the individual operates generate stimuli to employees. It is my belief that employees in general are goal seeking and look for challenges and expect positive re-enforcement at all times. Hence it could only be of benefit if organisations could provide these rewards and factors. Though I have discussed earlier in this thesis that employees are financially motivated, motivation could be seen as a moving target, as what motivates differs among different people. And may even change for the same person over a given period of time, developments within the modern organisation has probably made motivating employees ever more difficult due to the nature of every individual, behaviour increasing the complexity of what can really motivate employees.
According to Bassette-jones & Lloyd (2005,p.932) “expectancy, equity, goal setting and reinforcement theory have resulted in the development of a simple model of motivational alignment. The model suggest that once needs of employees are identified, and organisational objectives and also satisfy employee needs .If poorly aligned, then low motivation will be the outcome”.
According to (Wiley, 1997,p264) “modern approaches to motivation may be organised into three related clusters: (1) personality-based views (2) cognitive choice or decision approaches and (3) goal or self-regulation perspective; where personality-based views emphasise the influence of enduring personal characteristics as they affect goal choice and striving. Workplace behaviour is posited to be determined by persons current need state in certain universal need category. Cognitive choice approaches to work motivation emphasise two determinant of choice and action; expectations, and subjective valuation of the consequences associated with each alternative. These expectancy value theories are intended to predict an individual choice or decision. Goal framework to work motivation emphasise the factors that influence goal striving which focuses on the relationship between goals and work behaviour. The assumption is that an employees conscious intentions (goals) are primary determines of task-related motivation since goals direct their thoughts and action”.
It is worth noting that an in-depth review of all the different theories mentioned above, is beyond the scope of this thesis. However, the personality-based perspective of work motivation within which Maslow need theory of motivation and Alders ERG theory falls will provide the main support and serve as a foundation for the research reported in this thesis. Specifically, as organisational scholars have paid a great deal of attention to the idea that people are motivated to use their jobs as mechanisms for satisfying their needs. This thesis intend to use Maslows hierarchy of need theory of motivation as a foundation to identify the factors that motivate today’s employees, and in the process determine a ranking order of factors that motivates these employees, the original Maslow theory will be looked at more detail hereof.
2.3 History and Explanation of Maslows Hierarchy of Need Theory
The “motivation to work” published by Maslow probably provided the field of organisational behaviour and management with a new way of looking at employees job altitudes or behaviours in understanding how humans are motivated. Probably the best-known conceptualisation of human needs in organisations has been proposed by this theory. Abraham Maslow was a clinical psychologist who introduced his theory based on personal judgement, which was generally known as the need hierarchy theory. According to him if people grew in an environment in which their needs are not met, they will be unlikely to function as healthy individuals or well-adjusted individuals. This idea was later applied to organisations to
emphasise the idea that unless employees get their needs met on the job, they will not function as effectively as possible.
Specifically Maslow theorised that people have five types of needs and that these are activated in a hierarchical manner. This means that these needs are aroused in a specific order from lowest to highest, such that the lowest-order need must be fulfilled before the next order need is triggered and the process continues. If you look at this in a motivational point of view Maslow’s theory says that a need can never be fully met, but a need that is almost fulfilled does not longer motivate. According to Maslow you need to know where a person is on the hierarchical pyramid in order to motivate him/her. Then you need to focus on meeting that person’s needs at that level (Robbins 2001)
According to Greenberg and Baron (2003,p192) the five needs identified by Maslow corresponds with the three needs of Alderfers ERG theory. Where as Maslow theory specifies that the needs be activated in order from lowest to highest Alder’s theory specifies that the needs can be activated in any order. His approach is much simpler than Maslows. Alder specifies that there exist three main needs as opposed to five postulated by Maslow. This human basic needs include existence, relatedness and growth. These needs according to Alder need not necessarily activated in any specific order and may be activated at any time. According to him Existence needs corresponds to Maslows physiological needs and safety needs. Relatedness needs corresponds to Maslows social needs and growth needs corresponds to esteem and self-actualisation needs by Maslow
Below is a summary of these needs that in this thesis are divided into Deficiency needs
(psychological, safety, social needs) and Growth needs (esteem, self-actualisation needs).
(tm) Physiological needs are the need at the bottom of the triangle and include the lowest order need and most basic. This includes the need to satisfy the fundamental biological drives such as food, air, water and shelter. According to Maslow organisations must provide employees with a salary that enable them to afford adequate living conditions. The rationale here is that any hungry employee will hardly be able to make much of any contribution to his organisation.
(tm) Safety needs this occupies the second level of needs. Safety needs are activated after physiological needs are met. They refer to the need for a secure working environment free from any threats or harms. Organisations can provide these need by providing employees with safety working equipment e.g. hardhats, health insurance plans, fire protection etc. The rationale is that employees working in an environment free of harm do their jobs without fear of harm.
(tm) Social needs: This represents the third level of needs. They are activated after safety needs
are met. Social needs refer to the need to be affiliated that is (the needed to be loved and accepted by other people). To meet these needs organisations encourage employees participation in social events such as picnics, organisations bowling etc
(tm) Esteem needs this represents the fourth level of needs. It includes the need for self-respect
and approval of others. Organisations introduce awards banquets to recognise distinguished achievements.
(tm) Self-actualisation: This occupies the last level at the top of the triangle. This refers to the
need to become all that one is capable of being to develop ones fullest potential. The rationale here holds to the point that self-actualised employees represent valuable assets to the organisation human resource.
Most research on the application of need theory found that although lower-level managers are able to satisfy only their deficiency needs on the jobs, managers at the top level of organisations are able to satisfy both their deficiency and growth needs (Greenberg &Baron
2003 p.194) this view was supported by Shipley & Kiely (1988, p.18)
Shiply & Kiely (1988,p.18) argue that as ” need satisfaction is an attitude, and that it is perfectly possible for a worker to be satisfied with his/her need, but not be motivated the reverse of which holds equally true. Hence, need satisfaction and motivation are not synonymous and both need fulfilment and un- fulfilment can have negative as well as positive influence on motivation
2.4 Organisational /managerial Applications of Maslows Need theory
The greatest value of Maslows need theory lies in the practical implications it has for every management of organisations (Greenberg & Baron 2003 p.195). The rationale behind the
theory lies on the fact that it’s able to suggest to managers how they can make their employees or subordinates become self-actualised. This is because self-actualised employees are likely to work at their maximum creative potentials. Therefore it is important to make employees meet this stage by helping meet their need organisations can take the following strategies to attain this stage
3/4 Recognise employee’s accomplishments: Recognising employee’s accomplishments is an
important way to make them satisfy their esteem needs. This could take the form of awards, plagues etc.. According to (Greenberg & Baron 2003, p197) research carried out in GTE Data services in Temple Terrace, Florida shows that awards are given to employees who develop ways of improving customer’s satisfaction or business performance. But it should be noted that according to Greenberg &Baron awards are effective at enhancing esteem only when they are clearly linked to desired behaviours. Awards that are too general fail to meet this specification.
3/4 Provide financial security: Financial security is an important type of safety need. So
organisations to motivate their employees need to make them financially secured by involving them in profit sharing of the organisation. In a research carried out with AT&T and Wang showed that 50% of their employees received financial outplacement services to assist laid-off employees in securing new jobs.
3/4 Provide opportunities to socialise: Socialisation is one of the factors that keep employees
feel the spirit of working as a team. When employees work as a team they tend to increase their performance. Research conducted on IBM shows that it holds a “family day” picnic each spring near its Armonk, New York headquarters.
3/4 Promote a healthy work force: Companies can help in keeping their
Employees physiological needs by providing incentives to keep them healthy both in health and mentally. In a research carried out at the Hershey Foods Corporation and Southern California Edison Company showed that Employees are provided with insurance rebates with health lifestyles while extra premiums were given to those with risk habits like smoking.
2.5 Criticisms of Maslows Need theory of motivation
Maslow proposed that if people grew up in an environment in which their needs are not meet, they would be unlikely to function healthy, well-adjusted individuals. Research testing Maslow’s theory has supported the distinction between the deficiencies and growth needs but showed that not all people are able to satisfy their higher-order needs on the job. According
the results of the research managers from higher echelons of organisations are able to satisfy both their growth and deficiency needs lower level managers are able to satisfy only their deficiency needs on the job. Maslow’s theory has not received a great deal of support with respect to specific notion it proposes (Greenberg &Baron 2003, p195). To them this model is theorised to be especially effective in describing the behaviour of individuals who are high in growth need strength because employees who are different to the idea of increasing their growth will not realise any physiological reaction to their jobs.
Centers & Bgental (1966, .193) in their survey carried out among a cross-section of the working population in Los Angeles, posited “background factors, altitudes and aspirations affects workers needs, expectations and situation assessment”. According to Graham & Messner (1998, p.196) there are generally three major criticisms directed to the need theory and other content theories of motivation. (A) There is scant empirical data to support their conclusions, (b) they assume employees are basically alike, and (c) they are not theories of motivation at all, but rather theories of job satisfaction. This was supported by the views of Nadler & Lawler (1979) in Graham &Messner (2000, p 188).
Nadler & Lawler (1979) cited in Graham & Messner (2000,p.198) where also critical of the need theory of motivation. They argue that the theory makes the following unrealistic assumptions about employees in general that: (a) all employees are alike (b) all situations are alike and that (c) there is only one best way to meet needs. Another critic to this view was Basset-Jones & Lloyd (2004, p 961).
Basset-Jones & Lloyd (2004, p 961) presents that in general, critics of the need theory argue that it is as a result of the natural feeling of employees to take credit for needs met and dissatisfaction on needs not met.
Nonetheless and regardless of the heavy criticism levied at the hierarchy of need theory, I believe that this theory has a made a significant contribution in the field of organisational behaviour and management especially in the area of employee motivation and remains attractive to both researchers and managers alike. The incorporation of the need theory into the work environment today could be as a result of the contributions made so far by Maslows Hierarchy of need theory.
2.6 Empirical studies on employee motivation using the original and adapted Maslows model
If any person has to come up with the question that is there any need for employees motivation? The answer to this type of question of-course should be simple-the basic survival of every organisation be it public or private limited before, today and in the foreseeable future lies in how well its work force is motivated to meet the objectives of the organisation. This explains why the human resource department in today’s organisation is became a focus of its core functions. I think that motivated employees are needed in this rapidly Business world where the principal-agent conflict is the issue confronting most managers. Most organisations now consider their human resources as their most valuable assets (a strategic or competitive advantage). Therefore, in order to effectively and efficiently utilise this strategic asset, I believe managers and the organisation as a whole, must be able and willing to understand and hopefully provide the factors that motivate its employees within the context of the roles and duties they perform. This is because highly motivated employees are the cause of high productivity levels and hence higher profits for the organisation. Having noted this rationale the next question one may ask is what factors motivate today’s employees”?
According to Wiley (1997, p265) at some point during our lives, virtually every person may have to work. He claims that working is such a common phenomenon that the question “what motivates people to work is seldom asked. Wiley went on to say that “we are much more likely to wonder why people climb mountains or commit suicide than to question the motivational basis of their work”,. Therefore, exploring the altitudes that employees hold concerning factors that motivate them to work is important to creating an environment that encourages employee motivation.
From the much amount of literature available on employee motivation, it is clearly evident that a lot of surveys regarding employees and what motivates them have been undertaking. These employee motivation surveys have been conducted in many different job situations, among different categories of employees using different research methods and applications. One of the very first survey to be conducted was on industrial workers by (Hershey & Blanchard, 1969) over the years, similar or different survey employees have been carried out see (Kovach, 1987, 1993) (Wiley, 1995), (Lindner, 1998, 1999)
According to a research carried out by Kovach on industrial employees who were asked to rank ten “job rewards” factors based on personal preferences where the value 1 represented most preferred and 10 being the least preferred. The results were as follows (1) full appreciation of work done (2) feeling of being (3) sympathetic help with personal problems (4) job security (5) Good wages and salaries (6) interesting work (7) promotion & Growth (8) employees loyalty (9) Good working conditions (10) tactful discipline
During the periods of (1946, 1981 & 1986) when employee surveys were carried out, supervisors were at the time asked to rank job rewards, as they taught employees would rank them. The rankings by the supervisors were relatively consistent for each of the years. These rankings were as follows: (1) Good wages (2) Job security (3) promotion and Growth (4) working conditions (5) interesting work (6) personal loyalty to employees (7) tactful discipline (8) full appreciation (9) sympathetic help with personal problems (10) recognition (Kovach 1987 p.49-54)
The results from the supervisor survey indicated that their ranking had not changed over the study period with regards their collective perception of factors that motivate employees. This shows that they had a very inaccurate perception of what motivates employees but also that they did not realise the importance of the need theory
In a survey by Wiley (1997, p.278) in which approximately 550 questionnaires were administered to person employed at different industries and divided into 5 subgroups, or categories namely: (occupation, gender, income levels, employment status and age) they were asked to rank 10 factors according to the level of importance each is in motivating them to perform best with the most important factor ranked 1 and the least important ranked 10th. The survey concluded with the following collective rank order by respondents: (1) Good wages (2) full appreciation of work done (3) job security (4) promotion (5) interesting work (6) company loyalty to employees (7) Good working conditions (8) tactful discipline (9) recognition (10) sympathetic help with personal problems.
The results from a representative sample of the labour force in seven different countries by
Harpaz (1991 p.75) showed that the two most dominant work goals were “interesting work”
and Good wages”; He further concluded that these two factors were consistent across different organisational levels, between genders and age groups.
Quinn (1997) also cited in Harpaz (1991 p.311) concluded, “When the ratings of twenty three job related factors (including the need factors) were carried out, the conclusion reached was that no single factor was pre-eminently important”. He further pointed out that, “The most aspect of the worker job was that of sufficient resources to perform a task. From the above studies presented so far, the rankings by different subgroups have shown semantic differences in the importance placed on different motivational factors. For example (Kovach, 1987, Wiley, 1997 and Harpaz, 1990) .The discrepancies in these research findings supports Nelsons (2001,p.2) positional view that “what motivates employees differs and may change for the same employee over time”.
It is appropriate at this level to give a brief summary of the previous researches in this thesis. Even though the original need hierarchy theory was presented some 50 years ago, some of its if not all factors remain of significant importance to employees today. The large number of earlier and recent studies investigating employee motivation using sometimes the original or modified version of Maslow’s theory, may continue the appreciation of this theory and the issue of employee motivation. The literature also shows that where the original theory was lacking (short comings or criticised for), has been greatly taken into consideration. Researchers have taken issues such as differences in gender, age, income, culture & countries etc and how these may affect or influence employee work motivation extensively. The commonality between these previous researches is the agreement that certain factors are more important as motivational factors than others and that these factors may change from one employee to another. These previous studies have also been taken using different methods, from surveys, questionnaires, face-face interviews, but their outcomes have not differed significantly. A possible explanation could be due to the fact that even though these studies were carried out using different methods and target population, the motivator’s factors remain same. The literature used in this thesis covers a wide range of time period, highly relevant and useful for addressing the purpose of this thesis
In this chapter the intended approach to answering the research question and purpose of this study discussed in the introduction chapter, are mainly discussed. The scientific method is firstly discussed followed by my preconceptions and perspective of this study. Secondly the different approaches that are available for making a scientific research are discussed. During the discussion of each approach, the approach found to be suitable for this thesis research is identified and motivated
3.1 Scientific method
In order to form a background and to give the reader an appropriate direction of focus of my work, I have put forward and motivate the choices I have made when working on this research. Thus all the issues raised in this chapter should form the basis for evaluation of the result in the light of how I have planned and carried out the work.
3.2 Choice of Subject
In a rapidly evolving environment, where skills and capabilities continuously play a vital role in the creation of shareholders wealth and values, firms must be able to learn fast and adapt regularly. So as to attract, retain and integrate their workers with respect to new challenges of globalisation and technological advancement. Ensuring that their workers can construct and share strategically valuable knowledge. Organisations must be able to arouse, directs and sustained human behaviour to achieve organisational goals and meet shareholders value Many organisations have failed to link employee’s interest to those of the organisations and as such, employees and employers job contract has become unstable, with higher labour turn over. Thus I have chosen to write on this topic because traditional tangible assets (employees) have become less important than intangible knowledge -based assets (technology). I believe, a study like this one could form the bases for the evaluation of company motivational strategies, and thus a quorum for future research and organisational adjustments.
The emergence of the knowledge economy is one of the most dramatic shifts to have taken place in society since the industrial revolution, with the impact of the World Wide Web
I address the belief that, with the current trend of globalisation, labour turnover demands more part times to full time jobs, companies need to continuously measure and evaluate their motivational strategies with respect to labour turnover and the number of new applicant and hence think on how to enhance performance
Having worked back home, with some organisations where I served as an intern, I realised that some employers were misunderstanding the concept of motivation. The work environment was not conducive and in most situations, the environment was tense with little or no job satisfaction employer’s turn to look upon financial motivation as the only aspect of motivation, which can be used to enhance every employee’s performance. Thus, I thought of the issue of employee’s motivation of a research interest. Thus when the issue of a C-level thesis came to my mind I reflected on my past experience with my former employers with motivation being a point of focus. I believe the result and recommendation could serve some other organisations and open up opportunities for further research. We may agree that in reality most if not all organisations consider their employees to be the most valuable resources since the other factors of production can easily be obtained due to globalisation. Researchers for example Pfeffer (1998), cited in (Whittinton and Evans, 2005,p.120) suggested “perhaps the only remaining source of sustainable competitive advantage is through people”. This in other words suggests that the effective and efficient management of this human resource has and will continue to be of increasing importance possibly for all organisations.
Thus, the subject of this thesis was based on the increase importance of people within all kinds of organisations. That is to identify if financial motivation is the sole factor pushing today’s employees to go the extra mile and give their best at work, and in so doing provide a rank of all other factors that can push employees to best performance. Aspiring as a future manager, the findings of this thesis will not only help me understand what motivates employees in different works of life, but also an advantage for my future managerial abilities and capabilities.
Perspective in terms of a research study can be considered as the starting point of the research study .it more or less clarifies from which direction the researcher(s) studies the problem at hand and how he or she plans to interpret the research findings in reality. The choice of perspective usually has a strong connection with the purpose of the research and most often than not influences the choices of methods and theories needed to carry out the research (Reed, 2006,p2). The general perspective in this thesis is broadly from USBE student’s point of view as employees and future employees. That is to identify what motivates employees to do best at work. This perspective is taken with the hope that results of this thesis could act as guide that would help organisations retain their most valuable resource and hopefully reap the rewards of a motivated work force. This thesis will provide a collective rank order of motivational factors among employees, taking the perspective of the employees is considered to be appropriate for this thesis.
Writing a research like this one requires every researcher to take a stand and have a view of knowledge. Here, I have taken my stand or perspective for this research with respect to two folds. An academician and a businessperson can often view problem interpretation differently. Here the perspectives I have taken reflect my interpretation and findings of the problem at hand. Thus, my overall objective is ” To assess the role of work motivation on employees performance”. Thus my perspective is that of performance enhancement in relation to financial Motivation and to judge if other motivational factors can as well enhance employees’ performance.
Individual’s preconceptions are their ideas that exist regarding different phenomenon. According to the Cambridge advanced learners dictionary, preconception is an idea or opinion formed before enough information is available to form it correct (Reed, 2006, p1). This opinion is as a result of a complex pattern, which is usually influenced by a person’s practical experience, social background education, etc. Each and everyone decision values and behaviour is affected by preconceptions for they posses it. It therefore undermines everyone complete objectivity especially when making observations. Rather than pursuing complete objectivity, I should instead be aware of such a phenomenon and let them not interfere in my decisions in an unreasonable manner. Preconceptions differ from individual to individual
depending on for example experiences, education or previous scientific work. Education in its self forms a strong foundation for understanding, preconceptions. Preconceptions are socially founded, subjective opinions on the issues to be studied. The scientist preconceptions vary depending upon the parents, religion conviction, circle, and set of acquaintances, working places, social status. Some are deeply founded than others and as such are harder to change e.g. faith and politics.
As a business student with previous economic background and work experience, my preconceptions will not only affect my findings and the conclusions made, but also the whole scientific process as noted earlier. Thus pure objectivity is very difficult to maintain in scientific research. To some extent, my findings reflects the values, my work is inevitably subjective and that it is important for me to give the reader knowledge regarding my background providing the reader with sufficient information against which the work research can be evaluated and understood.
Preconceptions are the foundation upon which I have based all my following experiences and therefore the following experiences can be coloured by our preconceptions. They are not just a built in memory; they affect me while I search from new knowledge and decide the approach that I have on the subject that am about to explore (Sarita N, and Ulrika Rönnholm (2004) Culture What are its effects). My preconceptions came from my previous studies and practical experience within the public sector in Cameroon and educational background. Having this in mind, my preconceptions (especially about the motivational importance of money) and how this might affect the study was questioned at great lengths Primarily because the empirical findings or results of this thesis will be based on the responses obtained from the questionnaires administered to the survey participants, which of course during the study period are not affected by my individual preconceptions.
3.5 Scientific Ideal
Depending upon the way you choose to perceive the reality, a scientific research should be essential to give the reader knowledge on the research. This view should follow the theoretical and scientific choices of the study. They are two scientific ideals that emerge from the interpretation at hand; the positivism and the hermeneutic. These ideals are two extremes and the researcher may place him any way along the line. In my reflections upon the rule of financial motivation, I describe myself as an unreconstructed positivist, guided by the belief
that employees are motivated financially to perform better. As a result, conclusions can be drawn about employees’ attitudes towards financial motivation. This results in the generation of scientific knowledge base on generalised propositions that can be tasted against facts from which it is possible to Asses the rule of work motivation on employee performance.
3.6 Scientific approach
In this research, I will follow the deductive approach. Since it utilises a wide range of existing theories and tries to find answers from existing research and findings about motivation and employees enhancement, which I very much believe, will be use to form the basis to compare, analyse and investigate the findings of the research. The investigation will start from a sample questionnaire and various theories on motivation, and performance enhancement relating them to previous research. And then conclude by analysing the results of the questionnaire ranking the motivational factors that is welcomed by employees towards their performance. Reed (2006,p1) suggest that,” empirical research generates knowledge derived from observation or experimentation as opposed to theory and that empirical research uses inductive reasoning to draw conclusions about the experimentation and observations “. In general, a study can be carried out using an inductive or deductive approach. Reed goes further to present that the inductive approach is “where specific observations or measurements are made in order to develop broader conclusions, generalisation and theories. The deductive on the other hand, is “where one starts thinking about generalisations, then proceeds towards specifics on how to prove or implement the generalisations.
3.7 Research Method
Basically, they are two main research methods and each method is employed and used depending on the research question at hand. Firstly, the qualitative method is where the goal is to widen the knowledge and the whole pre-understanding through field observations or in laboratories. The weakness of this method is the effect from the control of the phenomena, which will continue to change because of the scientific process. During the oral method, the interviewer should guide the conversation as little as possible. Through the language, the scientist and respondents could take part of each other’s thoughts by their own valuations and
experience, for it becomes easier for the scientist to gather information from the respondents. Qualitative research is by no means a new strategy or framework for doing social research (Hamilton, 1994; Vidich and Lyman, 1994)2. None-the-less, there has been a very considerable growth in the use and popularity of qualitative research since the early 1960s, which can easily convey the impression that it is of more recent origin than is in fact the case. It seems to imply any approach, which does not entail the collection and analysis of qualitative data. This view is generally regarded as unhelpful though it does have some
currency, largely because for most writers and practitioners, it is viewed as being more than the mere absence of qualitative data.
Quantitative methods on the other hand are based on already decided and well-structured questions, which all the respondents will be asked. The information is reduced to a certain area of interest and respondents will be repeated the same questions. This can be combined with open questions, which give the respondents the flexibility to answer from different perspectives. Quantitative and qualitative aspects may also be combined in the same study. They can compliment each other by bringing width and depth into the research. A mix of qualitative and quantitative studies gave me the best ideal to follow as by focusing on secondary data, and previous research I intend to forge ahead with the research question. With my main objective, to achieve a deeper understanding of the chosen subject, this research will place more emphasis on the qualitative research method and at some level I have employed knowledge realised from articles written on the topic conducted in previous research. The combined approaches will be the most meaningful way to probe into the subject and assess the role of the financial aspect of motivation in enhancing employees’ performance.
The major part of this thesis uses a quantitative method, as the aim is focus on gathering information or opinions about the many factors in a systematic manner (in this case a survey) in order to identify the factor that motivates today’s employees. However, a quantitative approach is considered most suitable when analysing the results between the different subgroups of respondents as the results are mainly presented in figures.
3.8 Literature collection
A search in the Umeå University library database yields a considerable amount of literature
(both books and scientific articles) concerning work motivation dating as far backs as the
1950s. To develop a strong theoretical background, several of these materials were utilised, which enabled me to select those that I considered most suitable for this thesis. The books and articles were found using the search engines and databases available at Umeå Universitetsbiliotek, and the Internet. From a review of literature, a survey questionnaire was developed to collect data for the study.
The survey questionnaire developed included a list of ten factors that were adapted from previous researchers already mentioned in the previous discussions. During the study period,
200 surveys were administered to USBE students who represent the target population of this study. These typed questionnaires were all hand-delivered to participants, which were dropped in a box assigned for collection. My presence was only relevant for explaining some statements in the questionnaire that the respondents needed further explanation.
The questionnaire asked participants to rank the surveys ten questions according to how important each is in motivating them as future employees to perform best at work. The most important factor was ranked 5 and least important ranked 1. All factors were to be ranked and no rank could be used more than once. The participants were as well asked to indicate their; gender, Current age. The respondents filling the questionnaire found no major problem in understanding the question as they were asked the only major problem i realised although from a very small number of respondents, was that of ranking the factors. However, out of the
200 hundred questionnaires administered 150 responded questionnaires usable for this thesis (75%). The remaining 25% were those that were not refund by the respondents for various reasons, which could not be, count for. As one student working in a group said” we could only fill out the questionnaire after our group discussion” .In general, collecting data among USBE Students was very interesting, as many of the respondents were happy making an assessment of their future employment situations. Therefore I consider the 75% response rate to be adequate and a good sample for this thesis.
3.9 Criticism of Literature
The literature used in order to develop a theoretical framework for this thesis can be classified as secondary sources, as it represents data that is already collected by others. Majority write of articles used in this thesis, Thus as a result, most of the findings are based on employees in
America and the cultural and environment perspectives of these researches probably influence these results. However, some literature was found based on and European and other parts of the world.
The chosen literature has a wide variety when it comes to time perspective (from the 1950s to present). Even though some critics may argue that Maslow need theory of motivation was developed in the 1950s, it may not be useful today, and thus produces mixed feelings depending on what one is interesting. On and where, I believe this theory remains highly influential and important to organisations, educational institutions, and perhaps the research field. Further more, despite the fact that this theory is criticised for being too method bound, there are observable connections between the different studies using different approaches reported in this thesis. The different researchers seem to continuously refer to each other’s work, and so seem to relate to each other and present more or less similar results. Due to this interline, I am of the opinion that the literature used in this thesis could be considered highly relevant, up-to-date and therefore, correct and useful.
RESEARCH METHOD AND DESIGN
In this chapter, the practical methods used in order to answer the research question and fulfil the purpose of this thesis are presented. Motivating my choice of factors, possible problems with the data and how the data was analysed follows the first two discussions. Finally, the quality of the chosen research design is criticised.
The purpose of this thesis is to access the role of financial motivation in enhancing employee’s performance in organisations, utilising Mallow’s hierarchy of need theory as a foundation in order to achieve this aim. The process through which this would be obtain is by allowing individuals to rank a given set of adapted motivational factors according to how important each is in motivating them as future employees to perform best at work. I am of the view that by using a general survey method rather than interviews, it would be possible to overcome some of the major concerns of Mallow’s critics. That is, for example the “critical incident technique” criticised by Ewen (1964, p.162), which involved asking respondents to describe exceptional events from their history. As a result, a total of 200 questionnaires (see appendix for sample of administered questionnaire), were prepared and randomly administered among students of USBE. These questionnaires were distributed randomly in order to ensure maximum representation of all level of students from different works of life and to avoid any possible biases. To ensure this, for example, the sample included students from different age groups, regions and studying different field of programmes within the Business school.
4.2 Choice of investigating factors
Choosing the investigating factors for a research is of great importance for the outcome of that study. The factors selected in this study are from a number of previous studies, enabling this thesis to accommodate a broader view of the existing literature. Therefore it is only necessary at this point to motivate my choice for adopting some factors for this thesis and not others.
Firstly, the original plan was to undertake a case study of Volvo Company Umeå to assess the role of financial motivation on the performance of their employees, taking into consideration my preconceptions. However, this did not materialise because of some language difficulties, for example, when I contacted through phone calls to carry out my study, I was told of the language difficulties. Therefore with a degree of counselling from my supervisor the decision was taking to instead carry out a general survey involving students at Umeå Business School who comprise the future employees.
Secondly, only two subgroups are considered in this thesis. These included (age and gender) because I saw them as the most appropriate subgroups to be used for this thesis since the respondents to the survey included just students who could only be sub-divided for easy analysis of the results. Thus a third factor was to include the basis on which the selection for the factors was done to ensure validity in the results obtained from the analysis of the survey.
Thirdly, the basis for selecting the ten factors in this thesis was that each factor must have been used by at least more than one previous research thus making the results and analysis of this thesis objective. Hence a discussion on what constitutes Deficiency needs and Growth needs was necessary as a fourth reason for the selection of investigating factors.
Fourthly, it is worth noting that from the ten factors of need used in this study, three could be regarded as Deficiency needs for every employee (Good working conditions, job security, and nature of job). While the other seven could be considered growth needs for every employee (promotion and expectations, organisational/management style, recognition, satisfying goals, Good wages, team spirit, working hours). These factors were considered to be appropriate for this study.
Finally, it is worth nothing that even though most of the target population of previous studies was specific group of employees, however most of the factors used were the same, though some were different. In this study, certain factors such as Good working conditions, working hours were not considered, as I did not find them highly relevant in this study, as their inclusion will only result in a pull of unnecessary data.
4.3 Data analysis
After data were collected on all the factors, excel computer programme was used to present the results. The collective rank order was determined by entering the ranking given to each of the 10 factors in the survey questionnaire (see appendix 2). After entering the rankings given to each factor by each respondent, the total or sum of all the rankings for that factor was totalled. The factor with the least or lowest sum, was ranked number 5 or the last factor and the factor with the highest sum was ranked 1 or first. The same procedure was used to analysis the ranking of factors between the different subgroups. This system of data analysis was found to be more appropriate as different participants gave a different ranking for the same factor, and this was the simplest method that I could use to present the results.
4.4 Quality of the research design
Validity: Research design is often divided into three broad categories, according to “the amount of control the research maintains over the conduct of the research study”. These three broad categories namely: “Experimental, field and observational research. They vary on two important characteristics: Internal and External validity. The External research concerns the overall validity of the research study (Watt & Van Den Berg, 1995, p.186-194). In an Experimental research, the researcher controls the setting in which the research is been conducted and may influence the variable(s), while observing the changes or no change in the variables. Thus, due to the ability to control and eliminate certain variables and conditions that may have a profound effect on the outcomes of the research, would likely improve the validity of the research.
In a field research, the researcher retains control over the independent variable(s), but conducts the research in a natural setting without any control over environmental influences. On the other hand, in an observational research, the researcher can neither control the variable(s), or the research setting. This kind of research usually takes place sometime after the actual process being researched (Watt & Van Den Berg, 1995, p.193-195)
Internal Validity describes or accounts for all factors, including those, which are not directly specified in the theory being tested, but might affect the outcome of the study. In other words, it usually concerns the soundness of the research being carried out. External validity conclusions covers the specific environment in which the research study is conducted to
Similar real world situations (Watt & Den Berg.1995, p.198-1999) In this case a research which has a generalised conclusion, could be more valuable than one whose conclusions cannot be applied outside the research environment.
The research for this thesis could be considered as a field research as it is carried out among people who happen to constitute the future work force and whose responses I cannot influence in any significant manner. Furthermore, to ensure both internal and external validity believes to have used the most accurate and up-to-date literature. The right and relevant questions asked in the survey, the most feasible data collection method used, and the tools used to analyse the data are also considered to be accurate and produce valid results; the overall validity of this thesis is considered to be high. However I would argue that the internal validity of this thesis is relatively high, but the same cannot be said for its external validity. The reason for this position is therefore discussed under the reliable headings.
Reliability: The aim of any research I believe is to use a given procedure and reach a conclusion that will be applicable in any given environment. The primary objective should be that if a later investigation followed exactly the same procedures as described by an earlier investigator and conducted the same study all over again; this later investigator should be able to arrive at the same results and conclusions. Thus the study is considered to be highly reliable. However, due to the very nature of human beings 100% reliability cannot be considered for this study, as individual perceptions are central in this study. In other words because we are different as individuals and that our individual wants and preferences are different, future investigations may not produce exactly the same results as reported in this thesis. Nonetheless, I believe that the results of this study could be regarded as highly reliable.
Degree of generalisation: For a research to be able to generalise the results obtained from the sample surveyed to the total population depends on how well the sample represents the total population and how accurately data was collected and analysed. This generalised conclusion would possibly make the research work more valuable and appreciated. Furthermore, the larger the number of observations, the more trustworthy the generalised the conclusion might be. In this study, the target population was 200 USBE Students representing future employees. I acknowledge the fact that this sample is not large enough to be applying the results to the total population or generalise the result. However, the results of this study could be used as a starting point for managers or organisations and other interested parties to identify and understand what factors motivate employees and thereby ensure an environment that encourages, promotes, and fosters such factors.
Finally the aim of this thesis was to determine factors that motivate today’s employees and in so doing provide a collective ranking order. Thus this thesis does not make any attempt to investigate the employee’s level of satisfaction. The reason being that previous researches have shown that “one can be motivated and yet not satisfied” or motivation may not necessary lead to increased performance on the job”.
In this chapter, the results on how motivational factors influence USBE Students are presented and discussed”
5.1 General results
This survey was designed to investigate the factors that influence USBE students to be motivated at work. The respondents were divided into various categories, something that the original Maslow study did not do. As there are differences between what motivates employees and what employees want over time, it is possible that there may also be differences between categories of employees based on their gender and age. Figure 5.1 below shows the subgroups studied in the survey, the number of respondent and percentage of the subgroup representing the total of 122 respondents.
Table 5.1:Description of subgroups and the number of respondents
Subgroups Number of respondents Percentage of total respondents (122) Gender Males
50.8% Age groups 20 or less
31 and above 6
It can be observed from the table that the subgroups were fairly represented in the total population of 122 respondents. However, the respondents within the age groups 20 or less and
31 and above warrants further explanation. Lower level of respondents constituting the ages
20 or less and 31 and above could be explained by the fact that a Majority of the USBE
students fall out of these age range.
The respondents surveyed in these thesis-represented students in different programmes of studies at the Business school. A survey questionnaire administered to respondents asked participants to rank the ten motivational factors according to how each factor would influence them at work. The most important factor was to be ranked 5 and the least important factor was to be ranked 1.All factors were to be ranked and no rank could be used more than once. The figure below presents the collective rank order of the 10 motivational factors according to how important each is in influencing the respondents.
Table 5.2 Collective rank order of motivating factors according to respondents
Rank Factor A B C 1 Job satisfaction 540 63 20.9% 2 Promotions/expectation 530 55 18.2% 3 Recognition 521 20 13.6% 4 Good salary 496 27 13.6% 5 Organisational/management styles 466 16 6.6% 6 Satisfying goals 458 17 8.9% 7 Team spirit 455 41 5.3% 8 Good working conditions 445 41 5.6% 9 Working hours 423 17 5.6% 10 Possibilities of layoffs 331 5 1.7%
Notes: Column A-Shows the sum of the ranking given to each factor by the total respondents, the smaller the sum of the total rank, the lower the factor was ranked as a motivational factor. Column B. shows the number of times respondents ranked the factors most important
Column C-shows the percentage of respondents who ranked a particular factor as most important (5)
Column C =
Sum of respondents who ranked a factor most important *100% Total number of respondents who ranked any factor most important
Hence it could be seen from the table that column C is a derivation from column B this explains why if we count from the excel sheet how many times the number 5 appears on each questionnaire from the total sample size (122) we get the corresponding result for each factor. When we then make a summation of this total and divide the corresponding result above that summation multiplied by 100% gives us the percentages in column C.
From the review of data, 20.9% or total of 63 0f the 122 participants, as shown in column “B” in table 5.2 above,” ranked job satisfaction “as the most important motivational factor. In fact, it was the most popular number one motivational factor across all the categories and subgroups in this survey. The remaining 79.1% was shared among the 9 other factors while
1.7% ranked possibilities in layoffs occupying the 10th position as the least important
motivational factor. The second highest ranked factor was “promotion/expectation representing 18.2% of the total respondents, followed by Team spirit 13.6%, Good working environment 13.65% respectively.
The figures under column “B” in figure 5.2 above represent the Excel results (see apedix1). When the total ranking of each factor by each respondent was entered, the total ranking given to “job satisfaction” for example was equal to 540 followed by followed by “Expectation/promotion” with a total ranking of 530. The least two factors: working hours and threats of layoff” were both given a total rank of 423 and 331 respectively. Note the lower the total ranking given to a factor, the less important it is as a motivational factor and the lower the total ranking the lower it is as a motivational factor.
It is interesting to observe that all four factors mostly ranked by USBE students fall within the original Maslow study the other motivator factors were ranked 5th, 6th, and 7th respectively in this thesis. The undisputed ranking of “Job satisfaction, as the most important factor (63 of the total 122 respondents) clearly shows that managers and organisations by no means should underestimate its importance.
Table 5.3: below shows the categories into which respondents were divided in the factors that influence them survey carried out for this thesis. The collective rank order of factors by the entire group of survey student’s (122) is presented and the figure also makes it possible for the responses of each subgroup to be compared with others and also that of the entire group.
Figure 5.3: The factors that influence respondents rankings by subgroups
Factors Female s Males 20 and below 21-25 26-30 31 and above Good working
conditions 3 3 1 3 3 1 Promotion
/expectation 2 2 1 2 2 3 Organisation/mana
gement styles 8 8 6 9 6 6 Team spirit 4 4 4 4 4 4 Job satisfaction 1 1 1 1 1 1 Recognition 5 9 9 5 6 9 Working hours 5 7 6 6 6 4 Goals attainment 7 6 6 8 5 6 Good salary 9 5 5 6 9 6 Threats of layoff 10 10 9 10 10 9
The most obvious general observation that could be made from table 5.3 above is that the entire group of survey participants and each of the subgroups consistently ranked “job satisfactions the most important motivational factor. Working conditions and threats of layoffs were often than not given the least importance ranking than any of the other factors. The responses or results from the various subgroups are discussed thereof:
5.1.1 Gender (male/female)
When the responses of men and women are analysed (table 5.3 above) no significant differences were found in the ranking of factors or preferences of the two groups. Both men and women (though placing different rankings) ranked four of the same factors among the top five most important motivational factors. However, certain factors ranked differently by the two group needs a closer look for example women ranked High salary and goals attainment
among the five most important motivational factors, 9th and 7th, while men ranked the same
factors outside the top five most important factors, 5th and 6th respectively.
Another difference in ranking of factors between these two groups was also observed between Recognition and working hours. While men ranked these two factors as 9th and 7th women on the other hand ranked the same factors at 5th and 5th respectively. Considering the results of this survey, one may safely assume that men are more interested in making money and climbing the organisational hierarchy than do women. Compared with the entire group’s collective ranking order of the top five factors were also included in the top five motivational
factors by both men and women.
5.1.2 Age group
Four age groups (see table 5.3 above) were analysed: 20years or under, 21-25, 26-30, 31and above. The ranking of the top five motivational factors was Similar among these subgroups. For example all different groups although ranked slightly different between the different age groups, ranked all high job satisfaction, expectations/promotions, team spirit, good working environment and positive recognition among the top five factors.
However certain other factors between the different age groups were ranked differently. Good wages was given higher importance (ranked 5th) by the age group 21 and below 6th by 21-25
9th by 26-30 and 6th by 31 and above. Another interesting observation was the difference in
ranking of good working conditions by the age groups 20 and below and 31 and above. This factor was ranked first by both groups while it was a given a low importance by the age group
21-25 and 26-30. One possible explanation could be the fact that, the age group 20 and below are still new in the labour market and still have a huge appetite for materials things like cars. While the age group 31 and above are already in to the responsible age and will prefer a secured and working environment.
Irrespective of gender, and age the level to which the respondents participated in the survey had no significant difference in the ranking of motivational factors among the different students in the Umeå Business School. This high level of similarities could be explained by the fact that majority (if not all) of the respondents are constitutes the future labour force
In this chapter the, the empirical findings or results of this study presented in chapter 5 are connected to the theoretical framework. The results are compared to other previous studies to see if they compliment/support each other or contradict /differ from each other. However, it is worth noting that the top five motivational factors are given more emphasis than the last five.
6.1 Analysis of empirical findings
In an attempt to possibly contribute to, without doubt, one of the most important issues facing organisations and their employees before today and possibly in the foreseeable future this thesis undertook the “factors that motivate me” survey among 122 students of the Umeå Business School. Considered being a team of the future labour force. The results indicate that the paramount and most popular motivating factor by a low margin (20.9%) among all the survey participants was that of Job satisfaction.
It is necessary to make the reader aware at this point that in discussing the responses or results of this survey, major emphasis will be placed on the top five motivational factors ranked by the entire and different subgroups. However, were appropriate the other factors not ranked among the top five will also be discussed. Furthermore it is worth noting once more that, even though most of target population of previous studies (involving the use of Maslow need theory and it factors) were carried out among specific groups of employees or industries, nonetheless, most of the factors remain the same. Or in some cases factors were adopted to suit particular study.
The collective rank order of motivational factors by the entire group of 122 respondents for this thesis indicate that: (1) Job satisfaction, (2) promotions and expectation, (3) Recognition, (4) Good salary, (5) organisation/management styles were considered to be the top five most important factors. (Ranked first to fifth respectively). Although these factors used in this study are the same or Similar to those used in previous studies, the ranking of these factors however, differs significantly in some cases from those reported by previous studies.
A comparism of some primary motivational factors (top five motivational factors) identified by this thesis to those five other previous findings. It can be observed from the table that three factors namely job satisfaction; promotions/expectation and Recognition were almost consistently ranked among the primary motivator factors in this thesis and all the other previous studies. This table is further used in analysing the results of this thesis with other previous findings thereby fulfilling the first purpose of this thesis, which was to assess the role motivation on employee’s performance.
Comparison of the ranking of primary factors
Hersey &Blanchard (1969), study of industrial employees, ranked: (1) full appreciation of work done, (2) feeling of being (3) sympathetic help with personal problems, (4) job security (5) Good wages/salaries as the five top motivational factors out of ten factors.
Kovach (1987) carried out a similar study of industrial employees in 1981 and again in 1986 and concluded that by 1981 what workers wanted had changed interesting work was in first position and sympathetic help with personal problems had dropped to the ninth position. Kovach further reported that by 1986 the ranking had changed further and the top five ranked motivational factors were (1) interesting work (2) full appreciation of work done (3) feeling of being (recognition) (4) job security (5) good wages/salary.
In a survey by Wiley (1997) in which approximately 550 questionnaires were administered to persons employed in different industries and divided into 5 subgroups namely (employment status, gender, age, income levels and occupation). The survey concluded the following collective rank by respondent’s (1) Good wages (2) full appreciation of work (3) job security (4) promotions/expectations and (5) Interesting work.
The ranked order of motivational factors according to a survey of extension workers by Lindner (1998) found the following ranking of five out off the ten motivational factors.(1) Interesting work (2) good wages/salary (3) recognition (4) job security (5) good working conditions.
It is only appropriate at this point to discuss the findings of this study compared with the other previous studies mentioned above. It can be observed that Hampaz (1990) ranked Job satisfaction as the most important motivational factor at that time among industrial workers. Seventeen years later, the results of this study also indicate that the most paramount motivational factor by a wide margin among future employees today is that of Job satisfaction. This finding is further supported by the 1986 study carried out by Kovach (1987), and Lindner (1998).
Furthermore, the importance of interesting work is also supported by Herzberg’s (1968) motivation-hygiene theory. This theory posits that employees are motivated by their own inherent need to succeed at a challenging task. The manager’s job is then to provide opportunities for people to be motivated to achieve (Herberg 1987,Pp29-31). Interesting work was also ranked 5th by one of the earliest employee surveys (Hersey &Blanchard 969) as well as the 1946, 1997 results in Wiley (1997). Although in this study job satisfaction was not
ranked first but it was considered among the top five motivational factors. Based on the results of this thesis I believe that (at least in the developed world situation) this factor will only grow in importance for employees. I do not doubt the fact that no employee will prefer a boring and monotonous job that lives him unsatisfied. Therefore, organisations are faced with the task of making work interesting for their employees else run the possible risk of high labour turnover. For example, I have always seen money as the main and primary reason why people work. This has however been proven otherwise.
Organisational/management styles were ranked as the 4th most important motivation factor. What I discovered was the fact that this factor had never been emphasised by the previous studies. Nelson (2004, p.16) however, presented that today’s employees expect to have more balance in their working and personal relation with their boss. This factor was included in the survey as a motivational factor, due to my conviction that employees especially in the western world wants to spend as much time with their Boss as much as possible. The result evidently indicates that respondents of the survey consider indeed this factor as an important motivational factor.
Herberg (1968,pp87) suggested that “yes, having spiralling wages motivates people, but only to seek the next wage increase, therefore as an affecter of job altitudes, salary has more potency as a job dissatisfies than a job satisfies. Hence, Herzberg as a hygiene factor
originally considered wages/salaries. However over the year’s research have shown that it is dissatisfaction on the job. Even (1964), Shipley & Kiley (1988) concluded that some job characteristics did not group according to the hygiene-motivator dichotomy since variables led to both satisfaction and dissatisfaction and that certain factors were identified to be both motivators and dissatisfies respectively.
Wiley(1997), the results of the 1992 study reported in Wiley (1997) and Analoni (2000) all ranked good wages as the most important motivational factor, while it was ranked second by Lindner (1998) and Hampaz(1990). In this study good wages was ranked 4th as the most important factor among respondents. In a study by Wiley (1997) good wages was ranked the
5th most important factor. This consistent average importance given to wages by employees
may suggest that this factor have never and perhaps will never be regarded as the most important motivational factor. However, majority of these studies have been undertaken in the developed word the importance that might not be thesame in the developing world.
Hersey and Blanchard (1969) ranked promotions/expectations in 7th place. While Kovach (1987), Wiley (1997), Lindner (1998), all ranked this same factor in the 6th, 4thand 5th places respectively. On average, this factor was ranked 6th between 1946 and 1992 as reported in Wiley (1997). In this study this factor was ranked 2nd. The almost average ranks of this factor both in this study and previous studies are closely linked to the rank position given to this factor since 1946. The irony with this factor is that, originally Herzberg considered it as a motivator thus one would expect it to be highly rated among employees as top motivational factor. The result of this study and those of similar studies mentioned above, do not seem to support the original Herzberg theory of this factor being a motivator.
Recognition or full appreciation of work done in the study by Herzberg (1987) and Wiley (1990) was not ranked 2nd, by Hersey & Blanchard (1969) as one of the most important motivational factor with a rank of 1st and 3rd by Lindner (1998). Further more, the results reported in Wiley (1997) indicated that this factor was ranked 1st in 1946 and consistently ranked 2nd between 1980 and 1922. In this study this factor occupied the 3rd position. Perhaps the high levels of importance given to this factor in these earlier studies was because Herzbergs two factor theory was new as a motivational tool for organisations. That may cause employees at that time who feel their work is not being appreciated and recognised may work less or undermine the work of other employees. A lesser importance position for this
factor (3rd) in this study could be because in recent years team work rather than individual work is encouraged and promoted by most organisations.
Some studies for example (Kovach, 1987,Wiley, 1997,Harpaz, 1990,Lindner1998, etc) and including this one, comparing what could influence employees in general and different subgroups of employees, have shown systematic difference in the importance placed on the different motivational factors by different groups of employees (USBE students). Furthermore, common conclusions or agreements among diversified employee groups and countries have also been found, for example (Harpaz, 1990,Huang & Van Devliert, 2003). This observable difference especially in the motivational importance placed on certain job factors highly support the idea that, what motivates employees differs and may even change for the same employee over time.
The results of this study suggest otherwise and therefore do not lend support to the general conclusion reached by these authors. The results of this thesis indicate in general that lower order needs appeared more important in ranking as motivational factors than higher order needs. So far I have looked at the collective ranking of motivational factors by respondents in this study. It is important also to answer the second purpose of this thesis: that is analysing the responses by subgroups in the different categories (gender and age). To determine if there exist any significant difference or similarities between the subgroups as supported by Wiley (1997 p273) “not all demographic groups of people place thesame importance on each factor” hence what might influence individuals at one level of the organisation may not motivate those at the other level(s). The different subgroups are analysed thereof
Wiley (1997) concluded that, women placed greater importance on appreciation of work done, interesting work and more importance on good working conditions, whereas, males on the other hand placed more emphasis on interesting work. When responses of men and women was analysed in this study the results showed that no significant differences were found in the ranking of factors or preferences of the two groups. For example both men and women ranked job satisfaction, good working conditions, and promotions/expectations as the three top motivational factors. This could be explained by an equal opportunity for both men and women in Sweden
Kovach (1987) also found no significant differences between men and women, but however reported that, women placed full appreciation of work done in first place, while men put it in second place. Although men and women ranked Job satisfaction the same, nonetheless I believe women placed more emphasis on it than men. Good salary was also ranked more by women than men, a conclusion also reached by Kovach (1987) the reason(s) for such difference is open to speculations and could be explained by the fact that Sweden being a feminist state women will always strive for higher wages.
Harpaz (1990) with regards to gender differences reported that, Job satisfaction emerged as the leading work goal, irrespective of the gender and at all organisational levels. Recognition on the other hand realised a higher overall rank for men over men because of the rationale that men are always seen heading higher managerial positions that lead to heavy recognition.
6.2 Age Group
Harpaz (1990) comparison of the different age groups (30years and under, 31-50, and over
50) showed that Job satisfaction was the most salient goals across all age groups, followed by good pay. However, good pay was generally less important for manager but more important for employees of all ages.
The ranking of the top five motivational factors was almost similar among the different age groups in this study. For example Job satisfaction was ranked first by all the various age groups and good working conditions, promotions/expectations, team spirit and recognition though ranked slightly different were all ranked among the top five motivational factors.
Wiley (1997) concluded that the ranking of motivational factors were very Similar among this subgroup. The ages 20 and below and 31 and above, ranked threats of layoffs quite lower than the other ages. Perhaps because at the age at the age 20 and below constitutes the dependency population and 31 and above could be considered explained by the fact most of this group have been working for long and must have invested that any layoff is not a big problem. Hence this explains why the ages 21-30 have a high tendency to secure their jobs.
Kovach (1997) considering four ages (30 and under, 31-40, 41-50 and 50 and above) concluded that the 30 and under group choose good wages, job security, promotion/expectation as their first three choices. In this study job satisfaction, promotions/expectation and good working conditions were ranked as the first three choices by the 30years and under age group. This results therefore, does not fully support those reached by Kovach (1987)
In this chapter, the overall conclusion of the research is presented.
The primary objective of this thesis was to assess the” role of work motivation on employees performance”. By using Maslow need theory of motivation as a foundation or basis, the original need factors, which have over the years been modified by other researchers, were also adapted for use in this thesis. To be able to answer the research question two purposes were developed for this thesis. Firstly using the adapted factors, to determine a collective ranking order of 1o motivational factors and secondly, determine if there are any similarities or significant differences from the results of the survey and my preconception.
A survey questionnaire was prepared and administered among 200 USBE Students in Umeå of which only 150 were usable. Financial motivation we may all agree, remains one of the problems and major concerns facing organisations before, today and even in the foreseeable future. Furthermore, organisations and those who work in them have over the years changed in what motivates them as employees. Available and numerous studies carried out shows that since the 1950s employee’s motivation have been the focal point of much management of organisations. Given the difficult nature of identifying how and what really motivates these employees it is paramount that these organisations find all means and ways possible to understand the motivational factors and to sustain them overtime for their general survival. Such an understanding is the cause of low level of labour turnover, high productivity, and high profitability. In order for them to gain an understanding of what really motivates their employees an employee survey such as this one may be used to gain insight to employees job motivation preferences.
The respondents in this survey ranked as top five factors that motivate them as future employees as follows: Job Satisfaction, promotions/expectations, Recognition, Good salary, and organisational/management styles. This thesis concludes that, these factors reflect the current state of affairs in terms of employees needs and implies that especially job redesign strategies may be used to reinforce and to motivate employees today.
The most obvious and major findings emerging from this study is the clear indication of Job Satisfaction as a top motivator among today’s future employees. Strikingly, however is the ranking of a number of lower orders need factors rather than the growth (higher order need factors) among the primary and top five most important motivational factors.
Regardless of age and gender, respondents in this survey seem to have a common interest or goal. This I believe may have some practical implications for organisations, but perhaps its provision and implications may not be as difficult because employees seem to have similar preferences and wants. That is, they want their work to be as satisfying as it could be. In general respondents in this thesis place high emphasis on Job Satisfaction and other factors, which that are largely of basic in nature. Therefore organisations that may provide such enabling environments, facilitate and tirelessly promote these basic need factors could attract and retain high calibre employees.
Harpaz (1990,p.81) argues that when work is “interesting and challenging, people are inspired to perform more than is obligated to warrant their instrumental attainments”, In order words, employees may put additional effort with the hope of reaching their potential and accomplishing worthwhile ends. Therefore the availability of unavailability of such job factors may affect the worker and may influence the way the worker reacts towards the job. This may also in the long run ultimately affect the workers motivational level and consequently the workers performance or output on the job. Hence making jobs more interesting and challenging and ensuring the availability of the primary motivational factors identified by this thesis, is not only crucial for satisfying workers needs, but also it is requisite for maintaining productivity and ensuring the long term survival of the organisation.
The results of this study evidently show that it was mainly the growth factors (lower order needs), which were highly valued and given higher motivational importance than the traditional higher order need factors by the respondents. Maslow originally considered need factors such as recognition, promotion and responsibilities to be very important motivators. Wiley (1997, p.279) suggest that “these factors are longstanding motivators to employees performance and that the most successful method of motivating is to build challenge and opportunity for achievement into the job itself”.
When it comes to the issue of money, which for me though was the foremost reason why people work or are motivated to work. Harpaz (1990, p.80) argues that the role money plays in people lives cannot be overlooked, since the main reason why people work is to secure income, which gives them buying powers and surpluses for savings. According to (Greenberg J. & Baron R Behaviour in Organisations 8th edition Prentice Hall p.191) “When it comes to motivation money isn’t everything” he argues that perks, although important ultimately motivate people less than doing interesting and important work. In this study, all the
respondents irrespective of age and gender considered wages to be of motivational importance. Available literature as well as the findings of this study, show that good wages has been consistently ranked among the top five factors that motivate every employee to do his job best.
Although an important motivational factor has been identified as wages by previous studies. Nonetheless my general conclusion regarding wages is that, good wages should not be regarded as purely a basic need factor as in Maslows theory of motivation, but a factor that can lead to motivation and may have the potential to de-motivate employees. Put differently money can perform a dual role in motivating employees.
This thesis also concludes that the ranking of work-related factors that motivate employees may change over time and may differ significantly from one person to another and also across different groups of employees. Furthermore, this thesis concludes that the important motivational valve placed on each factor may vary according to age and gender.
It is my believe that since the things or factors that motivate people to do perform best are distinct and different, learning about what workers want from their jobs, or what is more important for them, may generate essential information for effective human-resource management. Thereby guarantying the long-term profitability and survival of the organisation. Furthermore, such learning may help organisations to find answers to questions such as “why do some people invest greater effort in their jobs and why some people are more efficacious in their jobs than others”?
The overall conclusion of this thesis is that in general, Growth factors appeared more in ranking as motivational factors Deficient factors. Furthermore, this study also concludes that the motivational value placed on each factor may vary according to age and gender. This
conclusion is highly supported by Nelson (2001, p.2) who presented that “what motivates people may vary from one person to another and may even vary over time with the same person”
In sum, i would argue that the long-term survival of any organisation depends largely on the motivation of its employees be it financial or non-financial. Therefore organisations should be willing to continuously and on regular basis, undertake employees surveys such as this one in order to understand what their employees expects from their current job. The result of such exercises could prove useful for the organisation, because knowing what their employees wants and efforts in meeting these needs facilitate a mutual working environment for both the employees and its management. Finally I believe the results of this study and those presented and discussed in this thesis could be useful in helping organisations determine what motivates employees or job-related motivational preferences of their employees today and in the foreseeable future.
In this final chapter, the possible strengths and weaknesses and contributions of this thesis in the area of employee motivation and the broad field of organisational behaviour and management are discussed. This is followed by some suggestions for further research
8.1 Strength and weaknesses
As a primary strength, this thesis uses a sound and solid theoretical base as presented in the literature review. The use of scientifically accepted methods of data collection and analysis further strengthens this thesis. The results from the analysis are clearly presented and contradict existing studies or are supported by the results of other studies. Therefore I believe the findings of this thesis can be applied generally, and could be used as a starting point by organisations, to make available what their employees prefer in their job.
The sample size, the short study period, the judgement ranking of factors by respondents and the generality of the results based on only USBE students could represent a weakness of this study. Nonetheless I strongly believe that the strengths of this study in general far outweigh the possible weaknesses.
By surveying USBE Students whom constitutes the future work force, this thesis was able to gather first hand data and presents a realistic result. The study found Job Satisfaction” to be the foremost important motivational factor and that the motivational value placed on a factor may vary from one person to another. Such findings enhances our understanding of employee motivation and provides a starting point for organisations that may see it fit to design or re- design the employees work or even the organisation as a whole. We may acknowledge that making work interesting is not an easy task for any organisation, but using survey results like this one may guide the organisation in the right direction, which could make a whole lot of difference for both the employer and employee.
8.3 Recommendations for further research
Additional research should be carried out to gain a continuous view, insight and knowledge of what motivates employees to perform best on their job. Employee motivation evens after some 50years of research continue to be one of the problems and challenges facing organisations today. Furthermore factors such as technological advances, globalisation, retrenchments etc leave employees with an uncertain future this is because most organisations today do not guarantee life employment’s for their employees as it was the case before. Therefore there is the need for researchers to continue carrying out employee surveys so as to determine what motivates employees to go extra miles and thus put in 110% in their work. The outcomes of such surveys will help organisations be at par with changes in employee’s preferences. The outcome of this research shows that Growth rather than Deficient factors are valued more by today’s employees. Therefore it would be interesting if further research with a much larger sample size could be undertaken to confirm either fully or partly the findings of this study. Further research could also consider other factors such as location of the organisation, other demographic factors and regional tendencies (for e.g. developed and developing countries)
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