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What motivates employees

What motivates employees

Gaining the knowledge of what motivates employees and how they were motivated was the focus of many researchers following the publication of the Hawthorne Study results (Terpstra, 1979). The literature review on this research intends to discover the current theories and issues in relations to work motivation throughout the literature sources. It is important to understand what motivation actually is, and more specially the term ‘work motivation’.

The literature review will look at four major motivational theories. They are:- Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, Herzberg’s two- factor theory, Adams’ equity theory and Vroom’s expectancy theory.

They are Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, and Herzberg’s two- factor theory are needs based motivational theory, commonly known as content theories. These theories explain that human needs change with time. People have certain needs and desires to achieve and those needs and desires change over a period of time. Adams’ equity theory and Vroom’s expectancy theory are collectively known as cognitive theories. These theories will examine the employee’s behaviour in terms of performance and compare their performance and rewards with others.

According to Maslow, employee’s needs have five levels (Maslow, 1943). It is based on the hypothesis that human needs are capable of being exhaustible. Satisfactory achievement of the first level of needs leads to the next level. Once a particular need has been satisfied, that need will no longer be a driving force of motivation.

Herzberg’s considered motivation into two factors: motivators and hygiene (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). According to this theory people are influenced by two factors. These factors are “Motivators and hygiene”. Achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility, advancement and growth were included in the motivation factors and dissatisfying factors largely from non-job related factors such as company policies, salary, co-worker relations and supervisory styles (Steers and Porter 2001). These theories will help to understand the various factors which influence the employees of the organisation.

Adams equity theory focuses on people’s reactions to the fairness of outcome they receive in relations to their perception of the inputs they provide, especially when compared to the perceived outcomes/inputs that others receive. (Porter et al., 2001). According to Adams theory equity is achieved when the ratio of employee outcomes over inputs is equal to other employee outcomes over inputs (Adams, 1965). This theory will provide more understanding towards motivational difference between permanent and temporary staff of the organisation.

Vroom’s theory supports that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). The rewards can be either positive or negative, but the more positive reward will lead the employee to work more motivated and conversely, the more negative the reward the less likely the employee will be motivated.

In M&S money call centre (M&S), permanent and temporary staffs are performing the same duties, expected to meet the same target and trained to perfume the duties in the same way, reword system is different in terms of bonus, pension, company discount card and other non monetary rewards.

By taking this into consideration and applying the selected four theories in this environment. Both groups employees must show a difference in motivation in line with Adams equity theory and also will be on different stages in relations to Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory. The research will also explain what they expect as a permanent / temporary employee working for M&S in line with Vroom’s expectancy theory. Two factor theory will explain how much influence each motivation factor have on all the employees.

3.3.1. References:

  • Adair, J. (1990) Understanding Motivation. London: The Talbot Adair Press.Adams, J. S. (1965) Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berkowitz. Advances in experimental social psychology. New York: Academic Press.

    Arkin, A. (1997) People Management, Call Centre Stress, Vol 3 Issues 6, 22-27

    Arnold, J., Cooper, C., Robertson, I.T. (1998) Work Psychology, Understanding human behaviour in the workplace, third edition. Essex: Pearson Education Limited

    Collis, J. & Hussey, R (1997) Business research: a practical guide for undergraduate and postgraduate students, second edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan

    Fisher, C. (2004) Researching and writing a dissertation: A guidebook for business students, second edition. Essex: Pearson Education Limited.

    Fletcher, C. (1993) Appraisal: Routes to improved performance, second edition. London: IPD House.

    Gillham, B. (2000) Developing a questionnaire: Real world research, second edition. New York: Contimuum International Publishing group

    Hertzberg, F. (1968) One More Time: How do you motive employees? Harvard Business review, 53-62

    Hertzberg, F., Manunser, B. and Synderman B (1959), The Motivation in Work. New York: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

    Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B, B. (1959) The motivation to work. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

    Holman, D.J. (2002) Human Resource Management Journal, Employees well being in call centres, Vol 7

    Jones, F., Burke, R. J., & Westman, M. (2006) Work-Life balance: psychological perspective. Sussex: Psychology press.

    Katzell, Yankelovich (1975) Compensation Benefits Review, Pay vs Work Motivation and Job Satisfaction, Vol 8, 54-66

    Kruger, D.J. (2003) The Community Psychologist, Integrating quantitative and qualitative methods in community research, Vol 36, 18-19

    Lindner, J, R. (1998) Understanding Employee Motivation. Vol 36, issue 3, June.

    Luthans, F. (1998) Organisational Behaviour 8th edition. Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill

    Marshall, C,. Rossman, G. (1999) Designing Qualitative Research third edition. London: Sage Publication Ltd

    Maslow, A.H. (1954) Motivation and Personality. Harper and Row Publishers, New York: New York

    Miguel, A,. Quinones & Ehrenstein, A. (1996) Training for a rapidly changing workplace: application of psychological research. Washington: American psychology association.

    Mullins, L. J. (2002) Management and Organisational Behaviour, 6th Edition. London: Prentice Hall.

    Myers, M.D. (2002) Qualitative Research in Business & Management. London: Sage Publications.

    Porter, L. W., Bigley, G.A., & Steers R, M. (1975) Motivation and work behaviour. New York: Irwin McGraw-Hill

    Porter, L.W., Lawler, E.E. (1968) Managerial attitudes and performance. Homewood II: Irwin

    Rose, E. (2002) The Journal of Industrial Relations, The labour process and union commitments within a banking services call centre, Vol 44, Issue 1, 40-61

    Rose, Ed. (2001 Employment relations, second edition. Essex: Pearson Education Limited

    Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill (2007) Research methods for business students, third edition, Essex: Pearson Education Limited

    Smith, K. Toddd, M. Waldman, J (2009) Doing your undergraduate social science dissertation. Oxon: Routledge

    Terpstra, D. E. (1979) Theories of motivation: borrowing the best. Personnel Journal, 58. 376.

    Vroom, V. (1992) Management motivation. second edition. London: penguin books ltd

    Vroom, V. H. (1964) Work and motivation. New York: John Wiley and Sons Ltd.

  • 5. Outline Methodology:

    After the literature review and background study of the call centre environment, a positivist approach has been adapted to the research. Even though, motivation is considered as a subjective factor, the background study of the call centre environment is compared and addressed similar to battery- farming condition (Arkin 1997) with characteristic of tailorism. The most important reason for selecting positivist approach is, that this research is testing the four theories of motivation mentioned in literature review in call centre in permanent and temporary employees, which falls in line with Myers, M.D (2002) argument that positivist generally attempt to test theory.

    The research method used to collect primary data is a semi structured questionnaire with open and closed questions. Secondary data will be gathered from organisation through human resource department on recruitment statistics and also from survey results previously conducted by the organisation.

    The questionnaire includes open and closed questions, both categorical and quantifiable. All the questions are statistically analysed by using codes and excel spreadsheet and will be presentable through bar charts/pie charts.

    The positivist approach of testing theory and using quantifiable data collecting methods falls into the deductive approach which falls in line with positivism (Saunders et al. 2007)

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