Thursday, 22 December 2011

11: Human Factors and Motivation

The most effective manager will almost be an effective leader and that leading is an essential function of manager, there is more to managing than just leading. However, all managerial functions (planning, organizing, staffing, etc) accomplish little if managers do not know how to lead people and to understand the human factor in their operations in such a way as to produce desired result.

Nature of Leading and Leadership

The managerial function of leading is defined as the process of influencing people so that they will contribute to organization and group goals. The manager’s job is not to manipulate people but, to recognize what motivates people.

Human Factors in Managing

The individuals involved also have needs and objectives that are especially important to them. Through the function of leading, managers help people see that they can satisfy their own needs and utilize their potential and at the same time contribute to the aims of an enterprise. Managers should thus have an understanding of the roles assumed by people, the individuality of people, and the personalities of people.

Multiplicity of Roles

Individuals are much more than merely a productive factor in management’s plans. They are members of social systems of many organizations; they are consumers of goods and services, they are members of families, schools, community, trade associations and political parties. In short, managers and the people they lead are interacting members of a broad social system.

No Average Person

There is no average person. Yet in organized enterprise, the assumption is often made that there is. Firms develop rules, procedures, work schedules, safety standards and position description – all with the implicit assumption that people are essentially alike. But it is equally important to acknowledge that individuals are unique. In an enterprise, not all the needs of individuals can be completely satisfied but managers do have considerable latitude in making individual arrangements.

The Importance of Personal Dignity 

Achieving results is important but the means must never violate the dignity of people. The concept of individual dignity means that people must be treated with respect, no matter what their position is in the organization.

Consideration of the Whole Person

The human being is a total person influenced by external factors. People cannot divest themselves of the impact of these forces when they come to work. Managers must recognize these facts and be prepared to deal with them.


Human motives are based on needs, whether consciously or subconsciously felt. Some are primary needs such as physiological requirements for water, air, food, sleep and shelter. Secondary needs are self-esteem, status, affiliation with others, affection, giving, accomplishment and self-assertion. Naturally, these needs vary in intensity and over time among different individuals. Motivation is general term applying to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, whishes and similar forces.

An Early Behavioral Model: McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

One view about the nature of people has been expressed in two sets of assumptions developed by Douglas McGregor and commonly known as “Theory X” and “Theory Y”.

Theory X Assumption

These “traditional” assumptions are as follows:
1. Average human beings have an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if they can.
2. Because of this human characteristic of disliking the work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed and threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort towards the achievement of organizational objectives.
3. Average human beings prefer to be directed, wish to avoid responsibility have relatively little ambition and above all want security.

Theory Y Assumption

Theory Y assumptions are as follows:
1. The expenditure of physical effort and mental effort in work is as natural as play or rest.
2. External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means for producing effort towards organizational objectives. People will exercise self-direction and self-control in the service of objectives to which they are committed.
3. The degree of commitment to objectives is in proportion to the size the rewards associated with their achievement.
4. Average human beings learn, under proper conditions, not only to accept responsibility but also to seek it.
5. The capacity to exercise a relatively high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in the solution of organizational problem is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population.
6. Under the conditions of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilized.

Theory X is pessimistic, static and rigid. Control is primarily external that is imposed on the subordinate by the superior. In contrast, Theory Y is optimistic, dynamic and flexible with an emphasis on self-direction and the integration of individual needs.

Clarification of the Theories

1. Theory X and Theory Y are assumptions only. They are not prescriptions or suggestions for managerial strategies. These assumptions are intuitive deductions and are not based on research.
2. Theory X and Theory Y do not imply “hard” or “soft” management. The effective manager recognizes the dignity and capabilities, as well as the limitations, of people and adjusts behavior as demanded by the situation.
3. Theories X and Y are not to be viewed as being on a continuous scale.
4. The discussion of Theory Y is not a case for consensus management, nor is it an argument against the use of authority.
5. Different tasks and situations require a variety of approaches to management. Productive enterprise is one that fits the task requirements to the people and the particular situation.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

The Needs Hierarchy

1. Physiological Needs: These are basic needs for sustaining human life itself, such as food, water, warmth, shelter and sleep. Maslow took the position that until these needs are satisfied to the degree necessary to maintain life, other needs will not motivate people.
2. Security or Safety Needs: These are the needs to be free of physical danger and of the fear of losing a job, property, food or shelter.
3. Affiliation or Acceptance Needs: Since people are social beings, they need to belong, to be accepted by others.
4. Esteem Needs: This kind of need produces such satisfactions as power, prestige, status and self confidence.
5. Need for Self-Actualization: it is the desire to become what one is capable of becoming – to maximize one’s potential and to accomplish something.

Questioning the Needs Hierarchy

Edward Lawler and J Lloyd Suttle found little evidence to support Maslow’s Theory human needs form a hierarchy. They did note, however, that there were two levels of needs – biological and other needs – and that the other needs would emerge only when biological needs were reasonably satisfied. They found further that the higher level, the strength of needs varied with the individual. They found that as managers advance in an organization, their physiological and safety needs tend to decrees in importance, and their needs for affiliation, esteem, and self-actualization tend to increase.

Alderfer’s ERG Theory

ERG theory has only three categories: existence needs (similar to Maslow’s basic needs), Relatedness Needs (pertaining to satisfactorily relating to others) and Growth Needs (referring to self-development, creativity, growth, and competence). This theory suggested that, one may be motivated by needs on several levels at the same time. Also when people experience frustration on one level, they may focus on the needs at the lower level need category.

Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory 

This is Two-Factor theory of motivation. In one group of needs are such things as company policy and administration, supervision, working conditions, interpersonal relations, salary, status, job security and personal life. These were found to be only dissatisfies and not motivators. If they exist in a work environment in high quantity and quality they yield no dissatisfaction. Their existence does not motivate in the sense of yielding satisfaction; their lack of existence would, however, result in dissatisfaction. In second group, Herzberg listed certain satisfiers –and therefore motivators– all related to job content. They include achievement, recognition, challenging work, advancement, and growth in the job. Their existence will yield feeling of satisfaction or no satisfaction (not dissatisfaction).
The first group of factors will not motivate people in an organization; yet they must be present, or dissatisfaction will arise. The second group, or the job content factors, were found to be the real motivators because they have the potential o yielding a sense of satisfaction. Clearly, if this theory of motivation is sound, managers must give considerable attention to upgrading job content.

The Expectancy Theory of Motivation

Another approach, one that many believes goes far in explaining how people are motivated, is the expectancy theory. People will be motivated to do things to reach a goal if they believe in the worth of that goal and if they can see that that what they do will help them in achieving it. Modern expression of what Martin Luther says “Everything that is done in the world is done in hope”. Psychologist Victor H. Vroom makes the point that motivation is a product of the anticipated worth that an individual places on a goal and the chances he or she sees of achieving that goal. His theory may be stated as,
Force = valence X expectancy
Where, force is the strength of a person’s motivation, valence is the strength of an individual preference for an outcome, and expectancy is the probability that a particular action will lead to desired outcome. When a person is indifferent about achieving certain goal, a valence of zero occurs; there is negative valance when the person would rather not achieve the goal. The force exerted to do something will depend on both valence and expectancy. Moreover, a motive to accomplish some action might be determined by a desire to accomplish something else, e.g. a person might be willing to work hard to get out a product for valence in the form of pay. Or a manager might be willing to work hard to achieve company goals in marketing or production for a promotion or pay valence.

The Vroom Theory in Practice

One of the great attractions of the Vroom theory is that it recognizes the importance of various individual needs and motivations. It does seem more realistic. It fits the concept of harmony of objectives: Individuals have personal goals different from the organization goals, but these can be harmonized. The strength of Vroom’s theory is also its weakness. It is consistent also with the idea that a manager’s job is to design an environment for performance, necessarily taking into account the differences in various situations. Despite its difficulty in application, the logical accuracy of Vroom’s theory indicates that motivation is much more complex that the approaches of Maslow and Herzberg seem to imply.

The porter and Lawler Motivation Model

This model indicates the amount of effort (the strength of motivation and energy exerted) depends on the values of reward plus the amount of energy a person believes is required and the probability of receiving the reward. The perceived effort and probability of actually getting a reward are, in turn, influenced by the record of actual performance. Clearly, if people know they can do a job or if they have done it, they have better appreciation of the effort required and know better the probability of getting a reward. Actual performance in a job is determined principally by effort expended. But it is also greatly influenced by an individual’s ability (knowledge and skills) to do the job and by his or her perception of what the required task is. Performance, in tern, is seen as leading to intrinsic rewards (such as a sense of accomplishment or self-actualization) and extrinsic rewards (such as working conditions and status). Understandably, what the individual sees as a fair reward for effort will necessarily affect the satisfaction derived. Likewise, the actual value of rewards will be influenced by satisfaction.

Implication for Practice 

To the practicing manager, this model means that motivation is not a simple cause and effect matter. It means, too, that managers should carefully assess their reward structures and that through careful planning, managing by objectives, and clearly defining duties and responsibilities through a good organization structure, the effort-performance-reward-satisfaction system can be integrated into an entire system of managing.

Equity Theory

An important factor in motivation is whether individuals perceive the reward structure as being fair. Equity Theory, which refers to an individual’s subjevtive judgments about the fairness of the reward she or he got, relative to the inputs (which include many factors, such as effort, experience, and education) in comparison with the rewards of others.
Outcomes by a person/Inputs by a person
= Outcomes by another person/Inputs by another person

If people feel that they are inequitably rewarded, they may be dissatisfied, reduce the quantity or quality of output, or leave the organization. If people perceive the rewards as equitable will continue at the same level of output. If people think the rewards are greater than what is considered equitable, they may work harder. It is also possible that some may discount the rewards. One of the problems is that people may overestimate their own contributions and rewards others receive. Certain inequities may be tolerated for some time by employees. But prolonged feelings of inequity may result in strong reactions to an apparently minor occurrence.

Goal Setting Theory for Motivating

This theory is same as Management by Objectives (MBO). The proposition is that for objectives to be meaningful, they must be clear, attainable and verifiable. Indeed clear goals, if accepted, are motivating. Objectives must be verifiable, challenging, yet, they must be reasonable. Completely unrealistic objectives that cannot be achieved are de-motivating rather than motivating which is an important aim of MBO. To gain commitment to achieving the goals, true participation in setting them is essential.

Skinner’s Reinforcement Theory

This approach, called positive reinforcement or behavior modification, holds that individuals can be motivated by proper design of their work environment and praise for their performance and that punishment for poor performance produces negative result. The work situation to determine what causes workers to act the way they do, and then they initiate changes to eliminate troublesome areas and obstructions to performance. Specific goals are then set with workers participation and assistance, prompt and regular feedback of results is made available, and performance improvements are rewarded with recognition and praise. Even when performance does not equal goals, ways are fond to help people and praise them for the good things they do. It has also been found highly useful and motivating to give people full information on a company’s problems, especially those in which they are involved. Perhaps the strength of the Skinner approach is that it is so closely akin to the requirements of good managing. It emphasizes removal of obstructions to performance, careful planning and organizing, control through feedback, and expansion of communication.

McClelland’s Needs Theory of Motivation

According to McClelland there are three types of basic motivating needs. He classified them as the need for power, need for affiliation and need for achievement. All three drives –power, affiliation and achievement—are of particular relevance to management.

Need for Power

People with a high need for power have a great concern for exercising influence and control. Such individuals generally are seeking positions of leadership; they are frequently good conversationalists through often argumentative; they are forceful, outspoken, hardheaded and demanding and they enjoy teaching and public speaking.

Need for Affiliation

People with high need for affiliation usually derive pleasure from being loved and tend to avoid the pain of being rejected by a social group. As individual, they are likely to be concerned with maintaining pleasant social relationships, to enjoy a senses of intimacy and understanding, to be ready to console, and help others in trouble and to enjoy friendly interaction with others.

Need for Achievement

People with a high need for achievement have an intense desire for success and equally intense fear of failure. They want to be challenged, and they set moderately difficult (but not impossible) goals for themselves. They tend to be restless, like to work long hours, do not worry unduly about failure if it does occur, and tend to like to run their own show.

How McClelland’s Approach Applies to Managers

Entrepreneurs—people who start and develop a business or some other enterprise—showed very high need-for-achievement and fairly high need-for-power derives but were quite low in their need for affiliation. Managers generally showed high on achievement and power and low on affiliation, but not as high or low as entrepreneurs. McClelland found the patterns of achievement motivation clearest in people in small companies, with the president normally having a very high achievement motivation. In large companies, what is quite interesting is that he found chief executives to be only average in achievement motivation and often stronger in drives for power and affiliation. Upper-middle level managers in such companies rated higher than their president in achievement motivation.

Special Motivational Techniques 

Motivation is so complex and individualized that there can be no single best answer.


Money can never be overlooked as a motivator. Money is often more than a monetary value. It can also mean status of power.
First, money is likely to be more important to people who are raising a family. Money is an urgent means of achieving a minimum standard o living.
Second, it is probably quite true that in most kinds of business and other enterprise, money is used as a means of keeping an organization adequately staffed and not primarily as motivator. Various enterprises make wages and salaries competitive within their industry and their geographic area to attract and hold people.
Third, money as a motivator tends to be dulled somewhat by the practice of making sure that salaries of various managers in company are reasonably similar. Organizations often take great care to ensure that people on comparable levels are given the same, or nearly the same compensation.
Fourth, if money is to be an effective motivator, people in various positions, even though at a similar level, must be given salaries and bonuses that reflect their individual performance. Even if a company is committed to the practice of comparable wages and salaries, well managed firm need never be bound to the same practice with respect to bonuses.
It is almost certainly true that money can motivate only when the prospective payment is large relative to a person’s income.

Other Rewards Considerations 

Intrinsic rewards may include a feeling of accomplishment or even self-actualization. Extrinsic rewards include benefits recognition, status symbols, and, of course, money. Incentive plans may be based on piecework, sales commission, merit pay, bonus plans, profit or gain sharing, and stock options. The pay may be based on individual, group and organizational performance. When the pay is based solely on individual performance, people may compete against each other that may make teamwork and cooperation difficult. Considering organizational performance as criterion of bonuses is based on the notion that employees contributed to outstanding performance and therefore should be rewarded.


One technique that has been given strong support as a result of motivation theory and research is the increased awareness and use of participation. Participation is also means of recognition. Above all, it gives people a sense of accomplishment. But encouraging participation should not mean that managers weaken their positions.

Quality of Working Life

One of the most interesting approaches to motivation is the quality of working life (QWL) program, which is systems approach to job design and a promising development in the broad area of job enrichment, combined with grounding in the socio-technical systems approach to management. QWL is not only a very broad approach to job enrichment but also an interdisciplinary field of inquiry and action combining industrial and organization psychology and sociology, industrial engineering, organization theory and development, motivation and leadership theory. QWL has received enthusiastic support from a number of sources. It has a promising means of dealing with stagnating productivity. Workers and union representatives have also seen it as a means of improving working conditions and productivity and as a means of justifying higher pay.

Job Enrichment

Research on and analysis of motivation point to the importance of making jobs challenging and meaningful. Challenge, achievement recognition, and responsibility are seen as the real motivators. Job enlargement attempts to make a job more varied by removing the dullness associated with performing respective operations. It means enlarging the scope of the job by adding similar tasks without enhancing the responsibility. In job enrichment, the attempt is to build into jobs a higher sense of challenge and achievement, jobs may be enriched by variety. But they also may be enriched by giving workers more freedom in deciding about such things as work methods, sequence, and pace or the acceptance or rejection of materials; taking steps to make sure that workers can see how their tasks contribute to a finished product and the welfare of the enterprise.

Limitations of Job Enrichment

It may not be possible to make all jobs very meaningful. Another limitation is cost. There is also some question as to whether workers really want job enrichment. What these workers seem to want above all is job security and pay. The limitations of job enrichment apply mainly to jobs requiring low skill levels. The jobs of highly skilled workers, professionals and managers already contain varying degrees of challenge and accomplishment. Jobs can be enriched by introducing more status symbols in the form of titles and office facilities and tying bonus and other rewards more closely to performance.

Making Job Enrichment Effective

First, organizations need a better understanding of what people want but wants very with people and situations. Research has shown that workers with few skills want such factors as job security, pay, benefits, less restrictive plant rules, and more sympathetic and understanding supervisors. Second, if productivity increase is the main goal of enrichment, the program must show how workers will benefit. Third, people like to be involved, to be consulted, and to be given an opportunity to offer suggestions. Fourth, people like to feel that their managers are truly concerned with their welfare.

A systems and Contingency Approach to Motivation

The foregoing analysis or theory, research and application demonstrate that motivation must be considered from a systems and contingency point of view. Human behavior is not a simple matter but must be looked upon as a system of variables and interactions of which certain motivating factors are an important element.

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