Organisation Theory Case Study – Motivation at the Bradley Clothing Company
The personnel manager of the Bradley Clothing Company, Alice Johnson thinks the theories of Maslow and Herzberg are very suitable for the management; therefore, she put the theory into practice. The outcome is not what she expected, so this is the main discussion point about the relationship between theory and reality.
The theories of Maslow and Herzberg are surely worthy to be the reference for implementation, but there are still some theories which assist and support these two theories to make it more complete, and it is also very important to take this into consideration. In the following, I am going to discuss the combination of those theories and the practical method for execution. Content Theories of Motivation
The theory was developed by Abraham Maslow (1943, 1954, 1971), and his main argument was on the resolution between drives and motives and he claimed we have nine intrinsic needs. During the nine needs, from the basic biological requirements to the highest hierarchy self actualization and it really pointed out the progress of needs from human beings. However, the process could be stopped by any levels, and besides, maybe it is too vague for the Mrs.
Goal Setting Theory Case Study
Johnson to predict the behaviour from the employees of the company because there are different positions of jobs which have different working content. Although the Marlow’s theory still offers the correct concept, the situation nowadays may need some adjustment. The theory is was more of a social philosophy which reflected white American middle-class value, so it cannot cover all the conditions. Clayton Alderfer (1972) claimed the ERG theory which included existence, relatedness and growth needs.
Alderfer’s theory could be linked to the Maslow’s theory which is biological and safety needs, affiliation needs, and self-actualization and self-esteem needs. It simplified the process of the Maslow’s theory and directed at organizational settings because Maslow was not intentionally concerned with work motivation. Actually, if Alice can take this as her basic idea for the different levels of needs, it will be easier to categorise. Although Alice took the idea from Maslow, it is newer to adapt he ERG theory, besides it also related to the original Marlow’s theory.
This is the fundamental part of staff’s needs, and only figure out the source of the needs, it is possible to continue the following steps. Then, here is two quotes which was from Sheila Ritchie and Peter Martin (1999) that ‘the task of the manager is to find out what it is that motivates people’ and ‘make them smile more and carp less’. There are twelve motivational drivers and for the Bradley Clothing Company, clothing designers need to be self-development, social contact and relationships.
It is because the clothing designers are satisfied with the status quo and they feel happy about the current achievement, and this could be a concern afterwards. If they just think they do not have to make in progress, the ability of competence must be going down and it will be very easy to lose to the other competitors, so they have to have the kind of self-awareness which is similar to self-development and remind themselves to keep improved continuously and the manager could show the work from other companies to motivate the designers to have better performance.
For the other employees such as cutters, seamsters, pressers, and packagers, it should focus on recognition, variety and change and money and tangible rewards. The jobs they are responsible for is replaceable, but as a good company, it should take care of all the employees and that is why they are the partners in the company. Besides, although it is hard to let them feel their job full of variety, the company still can educate them that try to take every different piece of clothes as the new work and maybe they just do not appreciate what they do.
In this way, if they could think what they do is also very important part of the process, it might be higher their self-esteem and try to feel the variety and change for themselves. The most practical way to motivate those employees is to raise their salary and offer tangible rewards, but maybe this could be difficult to do this, because Mrs. Johnson thinks that the company’s wage and salary levels were among the best in the industry.
I think if it could not enhance the encouragement for the employees, the item of money and tangible awards can be taken into consideration. ‘Marlow’s is a universalist theory, which applies to everyone, and thus cannot readily explain differences between individuals and between cultures’ (Buchanan and Huczynski, 1985) This is the reason why it is necessary to consider the other three process theories of work motivation, equity theory, expectancy theory, and goal setting theory.
The equity theory is fom Stacy Adams (1963, 1965). The definition of equity theory is that based on our perceptions of fair treatment. It is normal to find out the argument among the employees that why they do not get the same wage even they do the same thing and they compare the rewards (pay, recognition) and contributions (time, effort, ideas). For the Bradley Clothing Company, if they have the well system about the management of the salary and the workload, it will not be a big problem for them at this stage.
On the other hand, it is essential to avoid the inequity to the employees, because it is hard to convince them and it is even harder to ask them work better. The formula for equity theory: my rewards (minus my costs)/ my effort and contribution = your rewards (minus your costs) / your effort and contribution. According to the equity theory, the rewards could be either tangible or intangible and the importance falls on equal treatment and avoids the unfair distribution because the inequity would definitely decrease the motivation.
The American psychologist Victor Vroom (1964) developed the expectancy theory of work motivation, based on three concepts: valence, instrumentality, and expectancy. There is obvious explanation that if you work harder, you will expect you get more rewards. The same principle to the realistic situation and it is that the employees always think the more they work, and the more they get. ‘Expectancy theory helps to explain individual differences in motivation and behaviour, unlike Maslow’s universal content theory of motivation. (Buchanan and Huczynski, 1985)
Therefore, we can see the different interpretation for different position because it concerns about the individual case. Lyman Porter and Edward Lawler (1968; Lawler, 1973) create a model of work motivation which is based on Vroom’s expectancy theory. At first, ‘the perceived value of rewards’ and ‘expectation that performance will lead to reward’ come to the making effort part, then there are two more element which are ‘individual abilities and traits’ and ‘role perceptions’ with ‘the effort’ to the ‘job performance’.
After the job performance, you can get the rewards either from intrinsic or extrinsic side, and there is another element ‘perceived equity of rewards’ which combine with the rewards and lead to the ‘job satisfaction’. In this whole process, the each individual item should be considered into the real execution for the management because the motivation has been developed in those steps. Goal-setting Theory
Edwin Locke (1968, 1975; Latham and yukl, 1975) argues that ‘goal setting is more appropriately viewed as a motivational technique rather than a formal theory’ (Lock, 1975, p. 465). There are four main points about the goal theory: challenging goals, specific goals, participation in goal settings and knowledge of results of past performance. I think Mrs. Johnson should know these four different ways of goals to control the performance of the employees because they are in the different positions, and certainly they have different goals for the jobs.
The manager could help the staffs to set their goals. For example, the clothing designers are suitable for the first two goals- the challenging goals and specific goals, because they have use their creativities and try to innovate the unique collection for their design and especially the goals for the designers all depend on their own ideas and only they could put the limit to themselves so set the challenging goals and specific goals would be better for their performance.
About the third goal- participation in goal setting, it is suitable to use for the other workers in the company. These employees are not responsible for the innovation, so they just have to cooperate with the new design and know how to follow the instructions. Last but not least, knowledge of results of past performance is also a kind of important information and reference for the whole staff because when they know the results of the previous project, it will help them to set the direction for the coming case.
The main features could be sum up as goal difficulties, goal specificity, participation, acceptance and feedback. The whole process normally should start form the beginning, but it still could be adjusted as different positions and levels of the employees. Motivator and Hygiene Theory The idea of job enrichment was first developed by the American psychologist Frederick Herzberg (1966, 1968). Motivator factors which are for the job contents include achievement, advancement, growth, recognition, responsibility and the work itself.
Hygiene factors which are in the organizational context are pay, company policy, supervisory. In this theory, Herzberg argued that improvement in the hygiene or context factors will remove dissatisfaction, but will not increase motivation and performance. It is an interesting idea that personnel manager Mrs. Johnson does not notice this very well. The hygiene rewards are more intended to the extrinsic rewards, but the intrinsic rewards are more important influences on the motivation to work.
As a result, a manager cannot only use the single theory to evaluate the adaptability but should care about the real working situation of the staff. The job characteristics model is designed by Richard Hackman and Greg Oldham (1974; Hackman and Purdy, 1975). There are mainly four factors which are implementing concepts, core job dimentions, critical psychological states and personal and work outcomes and one very important indicator which is employee growth need strength (GNS).
This model sets out the links between the features of jobs, the individual’s experience, and the outcomes in terms of motivation, satisfaction and performance. This model also takes into account individual differences in growth need strength (GNS), a concept of self-actualization’. (Buchanan and Huczynski, 1985) From the model and the explanation, the different factors of motivation for work can be analyzed and it can try to find the real point for increase the motivation.
GNS which is related to Maslow’s concept of self-actualization can indicates the willingness to welcome personal development by job enrichment. I think Mrs. Johnson can use this job characteristic model as a reference and put in practice. It is certain that it should make adjustment anytime depending on different job contents and attribution. Conclusion It is not always easy to put one kind of classic theory into the real condition and we can say the theory can only offer the basic spirit of the implementation.
Mrs. Johnson indeed simplifies the management of motivation and it may neglect what the staffs really want and need. The theories of the Maslow and Herzberg’s might be simple but actually it should be taken as the basic roots of the whole concepts. Besides there are plenty of other theories which have been developed by theoretical professionals, so Mrs. Johnson should make good use of them and have a discussion with the representatives from different positions and in this way, it could have better result to boost the motivation. (1949 words)