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Motivation

Essay by   •  October 3, 2010  •  6,183 Words (25 Pages)  •  2,689 Views

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Intro

Why am I writing this paper? Why are you reading it? Why did you get up this morning and come to class? Why did you decide to take this class? Why did you decide to teach this class? Each day brings with it an endless list of decisions to be made. We are the Foley Consultants and we hope to create an understanding for the students of MGT 310 of the strategies to motivate teams, how to avoid the inhibitors of team motivation, and why it is an essential skill to obtain to succeed in today's evolving global economy. Our vision focuses on having the MGT 310 students' walk away with a good understanding of motivation in the work environment and an understanding of how critical it is to have in the workplace.

The process of making decisions is driven, in large part, by the hope of a benefit or the fear of a consequence, that's motivation. For example, some of us really love beer. In fact, we pay people to provide us with beer. We give them money to enjoy the taste and alter our mood. However, we restrict our consumption because too much can be bad for our health and can cause trouble in our lives. Decisions made through thought of benefit and fear of a consequence. We hear the term motivation often. Generally we associate the word with human behavior: a meaning, a state of mind that moves us to action. And even though few of us have had formal training in it, it is one of those characteristics of life that seems to fit the old saying; "I know it when I see it." This word has held a place of stature and importance, because it has been, perhaps, the most significant outcome is worker involvement. As the collaboration trend, and more specifically, the use of employee teams continues to grow, one question that is taking on greater importance is how to keep the team motivated over the long haul.

History

Motivation has been with us since the dawn of man. In the recent hundred years or so we have a much better grasp on motivation and how it affects everyone. With the Industrial Revolution in 1890, emerged Fredrick Taylor's (American Engineer) Scientific Management Theory. Primarily concerned with "Productivity" and relied on the assumption that employees were motivated by money, Scientific Management was absorbed with identifying task efficiency, establishing performance standards and initiating "piece rate pay" as a motivator, but was consistently despondent to the social welfare of employees.

With mounting concerns of social well-being, the Human Relations Movement

emerged in from the commencement of Elton Mayo's 1927 to 1932 Hawthorne Study (Dyer). Focused on production and employee welfare, the movement advocated that people were motivated by other effects, there social environment and job satisfaction, than money. Through further evolution of Human Relations and influence from statistician, by Dr. William Edward Deming, the Quality Movement was born. Emphasizing the value of people in the effort of continuous improvement, the campaign championed "increasing management-labor cooperation, as well as improving design and production processes", (Knock, Frederic) in an effort to diminish system errors and increase motivation, innovation and knowledge.

A psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow did research on motivation. In his research, he divides our needs into five levels starting with physiological needs, such as food, water, and shelter. Then there are the safety needs, belongingness needs, esteem needs and finally our self-actualization needs. This is all known as Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and is taught to business students across the globe.

David C. McClelland offered a different perspective with his acquired-needs theory, which argues that our needs are acquired or learned, based on our life experiences. It talks of Need for Achievement, Need for Affiliation, and the Need for Power, personal power and institutional power. Douglas McGregor, an American social psychologist, proposed his famous X-Y theory in his 1960 book The Human Side of Enterprise.

Theory x and theory y are still referred to commonly in the field of management and motivation. While more recent studies have questioned the rigidity of the model, McGregor's X-Y Theory remains a valid basic principle from which to develop positive management style and techniques. McGregor's X-Y Theory remains central to organizational development, and to improving organizational culture.

Theory Z was developed by not by McGregor, but by William Ouchi, in his book 1981 'Theory Z: How American Management can meet the Japanese Challenge. Theory Z also places more reliance on the attitude and responsibilities of the workers, whereas Mcgregor's X-Y theory is mainly focused on management and motivation from the manager's and organizations' perspective. There is no doubt that Ouchi's Theory Z model offers excellent ideas, even if it lacking the simple elegance of McGregor's model, which let's face it, thousands of organizations and managers around the world have still yet to embrace. For this reason, Theory Z may for some be like trying to manage the kitchen at the Bistro 24 before mastering the ability to cook a decent fried breakfast. (Grazier)

David Adler, the Director of Repair and Overhaul at Honeywell, explained,

"Over the past 20 years I have seen motivation change in two major ways across this country. Most companies used to sponsor more company events outside of work such as bowling leagues, softball teams, basketball teams quarterly picnics for celebrations. In additional employees knew that companies had pensions if the employees stayed with the company for a long period of time. Today, employees are not interested in company sponsored events outside of the working hours. They value free time and vacation more than pay, particularly if they are under thirty five years of age. The second key change from a motivational standpoint is the time frame to provide feedback to employees. Today, since CEO's can be fired for missing quarterly earnings projections, all employees within Honeywell receive at least quarterly updates on their performance to goals as compared to 10 years ago when employees may not have known what the goals were and had one review a year."

Importance of Motivation

Understanding what motivates people can help managers get the most optimal level of production out of their teams. Therefore, before you can thoroughly implement motivational techniques, it is critical to know why it is important. The main reason why motivation is important is because its

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