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Definition Of Employee Motivation Business Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 5446 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The aim of this literature review is to provide us brief overview regarding extensive research in the field of employees motivation and its factors affecting the organization. This research is helpful to find out employees motivation of Sainsbury through different means. There are lots of researchers carried out the research in the field of employee’s motivation. Some of methods and ideas presented in literature review given theses researchers. This literature review will give us the concept of employee’s motivation its importance and factors which motivate staff and improve organization performance. Although many others researchers also conducted their research in this field but it was out of scope and I selected only those researches which were directly or indirectly related to my topic. In this chapter secondary research is mostly used the information is taken from books and journals. It will discuss the relevant theory on the topic and give the opinion that relate to employees motivation and commitment. Employee’s motivation and commitment is the most important topic in the field of Human Resource Management.

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Work is very important for every individual infect it is inevitable in the life of every person and every one want satisfaction in the work. Employees need satisfaction in the job and it is the responsibility of manager to understand their problems and find the way to satisfy them. The assumption is that a motivated worker will give his best performance to the organization as a result productivity of organization will increase and poor performance will be a forgotten issue in the organization. Managers can adopt different ways to motivate employees and managers who are successful in motivating employees providing an environment in which incentives are available for them which are much needed for the job satisfaction of employees. Employees should have enough pay which motivate them and push them to work hard. Today manager cannot solely motivate employees through pay. The other factors benefit and reward and job satisfaction encourage them to work hard and efficiently. It is the responsibility of manager to develop environment in which employees are motivated and they become productive members of organization.

In this chapter first we discuss the HR theory to understand about HR and then focus on employee’s motivation to increase customer’s services

2.1 HR

Research conducted in organizations suggests that HR affects organizational outcomes by shaping employees attitudes and behaviours. The high commitment of HR increases organization performance by giving environment in which employees are involved in organization and they work hard to achieve organization goals. (Whitener, E 2001) Research suggests that employees interpret organisational actions such as human resource practices, as symptomatic of the personified organisation’s commitment to them. They reciprocate their perceptions accordingly in their own commitment to the organisation. It is seen that high commitment to motivate employees work well for organization. Such organizations have high productively as compared to those which has low commitment. Before that Dean and Lepak also said the same opinion.

According to Dean and Lepak (1996) HR is classified as control practices and its main purpose to increase efficiency and reduce labour in organization. Its aim to increase productivity and provide the environment for employees that help to achieve the goals of organization. The high commitment strategy of HR includes selective staffing development appraisal competitive packages and training of staff. According to Foot and Hook in 1999 the employees are most important resource which contributes to achieve organization goals. HR is very important in decision making process and it comprises a range of issues employee development, recruitment and reward schemes. Recruitment will give us qualified employees in order to achieve corporate goals in an efficient manner. But Beardwell (2004) has different opinion. He linked the organization performance to changes in different business environment including micro and macro contexts. He said our HR strategy must fit the Organization strategy

According to Mullins successful HR has proactive role in organization. HR creates values by providing opportunities and his values are crucial for organization future success. It will increase the skill of current workforce and will recruit the highly skilled workforce

2.2 Definition of employee motivation

There are many employees motivation definition. But personally I think the simple definition of employee motivation is reflection of commitment, level of energy and creativity that organization employees bring to their job. The motivation is present in every function of life. Education is motivated by desire of knowledge. Sport is motivated by desire to win and eating is motivated by hunger.

Walker (1980) stated that there is poor relationship between job satisfaction and performance output. Highly satisfied employees can be poor motivates whereas highly dissatisfied workers can be good performers. Several variables affect the relationship between job performance and job satisfaction although no direct causal between these have been identified. Walker thinks it is useful to view motivation as summary factor because motivation has impact between employee job satisfaction and job performance. While Campbell and Pritchard (1976, p.78) defined motivation as determinants of the choice to initiate effort on the given task the choice to expend a certain amount of effort, and the choice to persist in expending effort over a period of time”. Therefore motivation is influenced by individual behaviour, skills, abilities, knowledge and management

According to Beck (1983) four philosophies underline the various perspectives on work motivation. These are rational economic man, social man, self actualising man and complex man identified by Schein (1985). The rational economic man thinks that people are solely motivated by economic considerations and they are able to make economic decisions. The extrinsic reward and emphasising of organization on pay are originated from this motivation. In case of social man workers are motivated by social needs which may not met their work. In practice it will focus on establishing the environment satisfying the social interrelationships at work. In the case of self actualising man people are intrinsically motivated and they feel pride in their work. In this approach the reward system has high value. According to complex man people are motivated by great variation of motives, experience and abilities and these motives are changed passage of time as new motives are learnt and new skills changes their attitude towards their jobs.

The above-mentioned perspectives on the concept of motivation have inspired many useful and meaningful definitions of the construct. For example Schultz (1998) defined motivation simply the personal and workforce characteristics and explain way people want to behave according to their own way on the job. Beck (1983) also gives the similar view and said that there are variations in behaviour in employees such as why some people work harder than others. In this regard we will refer work characteristics to specific characteristics of a person’s job, for example its task variety, whereas personal characteristics include those determined by a person’s personality, for example an intrinsic need for achievement.

But Spector (2003) states the internal state of motivation that person can engage in particular behaviours and that motivation can be viewed from two angles. On the one hand motivation encompasses direction in which we select particular behaviour from choice of behaviours referring to the amount of effort and intensity that the employee put into a task. The other angle is desire to achieve the certain goal which drives from individual own desires and needs. Petri (1996) also regarded motivation as internal state and explain differences in the intensity of behaviour and explain why in one situation behaviour is occurring and in another situation they are not occurring. The motivation is useful to increase understanding and prediction of behaviour.

But Beach (1980) states that intrinsic motivation is main tool related to the job content and to achieve the goal. He states that extrinsic motivation is related to job environment which gives employees the reward on the basis of their performance at work. Successful organizations focus on employee’s recognition and attribute their success to corporate culture.Van Niekerk (1987) states motivation is to provide the ideal environment for employees at work and workers will able to perform the tasks of their own free will in order to achieve the goals of organization and satisfy their own needs.

Pinder (1998) described work motivation as the set of internal and external forces that initiate work related behaviour and these forces determine its intensity, duration, direction and its level. Pinder also emphases that the researchers should relay on established theories of motivation which will guide them to motivate the employees as work motivation is an internal, invisible and hypothetical construct. In terms of equality theory work motivation is included both attitudinal and behavioural while in goal setting theory motivation is behavioural

The purpose of this study and various definition of employee motivation have been combined to form an eclectic view of the concept. Employee motivation was viewed as an innate force and numbers of factors are involved in employee’s motivation and these factors changes time to time depending on the motives and particular needs of employees. Environmental forces also have impact on the level of motivation of employee although these forces do not have a causal link with motivation but are related to job itself and the organization. Both innate and environmental forces together determine the employee behaviour at work. Motivation is very important in an organization it provides crucial link between employee job satisfaction and employee performance and level of motivation in employees will determine organization profit and success. It is very important for an organization to maintain highly motivated workforce and determine such factors which will motivate the employees and make them to feel that they are the part of organization and they have value in organization

2.3 Employee recruitment

Recruiting the correct employees is important in employee’s motivation and they fit in the organization and have skills to fulfil the commitment. If an organization ignore the correct employees for the correct role than its economic cost can be immense. Beardwell (2004) and then Mullins (2005) emphasis on recruitment process of employee’s. Both said that employees should be technically fit to any given rule. Best companies are doing this for long time and ensure that selection process full assessment of candidates abilities, values, interest and careful review how they will match the organization culture. The ability to achieve competitive advantage in market is dependent on composition of workforce

According to Armstrong (2001) there is pressure on organizations to recruit right people for right job. If they fail to does this then it will adverse effect on the budget of organization. There are number of factors which should consider in recruitment process including the culture of organization, legal implications, attracting and employing the correct candidate and the cost in time and resources. Before the Armstrong the Holden in (1994) emphasised on good HRM practice in recruitment and selection. The organization can use recruitment process to continue or even change the organization culture. When a change of strategic direction is required, recruiting the right candidates is an important factor to increase the chance of success

2.4 Team working and job rotation

Team working is important in organization. When employees in organization work together they share the ideas, motivate each other and help to increase the sales of organization. According to Cohen (1996) cited in Bacon, N & Blyton, p 2003:14) when the human work together they create meaningful work. When humans work in a team they got higher job satisfaction according to job characteristics and management theories. The different tasks in team encourage workers to use different skills and rotation in job reduces in boredom of repetitive work. This helps team members to share the responsibility of work in their area and develop the skills essential for effective team work. In team employees participate in goal setting thereby motivation for team members

According to Friedrich (1998) Job rotation is long term planning but it can be organized at short notice. Job rotation will support the employee’s abilities and interest but also their prospects for promotion. Task of job rotation should be explained to employees who can only be justified by corresponding benefits. Some employees will give resistance and refuse to give up job in which they are comfortable

This happened during the research which I conducted in Sainsbury. Some employees were happy with their current position in Sainsbury while others were not happy with their role in Sainsbury. The first one will give resistance to give up their position

2.5 Empirical Evidence on Employees Motivation

Employee motivation is the biggest factor in the success or failure of an organization. Motivated workforce will give best output and productivity while without motivated workforce productivity, profit; morale, product and service all suffer. An organization should have effective strategy to motivate the staff and to stay competitive in the market. There are different factors to motivate individuals and all of them are motivated differently. Some of them are motivated by money other by the opportunity for professional development and job satisfaction. It is the responsibility of managers to understand what factors will motivate their employees to increase productivity. Employee’s motivation is closely linked to employee’s performance.

By conducting the search in this manner the resultant articles were specific case studies of employee motivation in various organizations. The resultant case studies looked at a range of topics on both employee motivation and employee performance and how these constructs can be connected. One particular study looked specifically at “the followers” of an organization and what key factors a leader needs to know about the various types of followers. The case studies in this review expand upon the work of Maslow, Taylor, and Herzberg.

Simms in (2007) discusses how various organizations utilize tailored versions of “non-cash e’ rewards” as employee incentives. Simms suggests that Herzberg’s view of salary as not being a motivator holds. The ability to hold up an incentive that doesn’t get absorbed by the employee’s monthly bills has a larger effect on employee motivation. He also suggests it may be more acceptable to boast about a special award or party rather than an employee’s salary raise. Simms then goes on to expand the discussion of non- cash rewards such as flex time, employee of the month, and tailored goal incentives. Simms argues it is important for employers to communicate these benefits to employees because many employees don’t understand their total compensation package. By communicating the total package, the employer reinforces their commitment to the employees and helps to motivate the employee. This motivation leads to greater employee satisfaction and performance.

The case study of the Harrah’s Entertainment sales teams lays out the use of team incentives to increase sales across the various branches of the Harrah’s Entertainment family of products. However, the core to the incentive packages, that Jakobson discusses, is the use of Merchandise Awards. Jakobson states that Merchandise Awards are even more effective than Top Seller Trips. Harrah’s also uses simple employee motivation tactics such as recognition at weekly and monthly sales meetings of the top sales teams.

Whiteling in (2007) looks at the cases of Reuters and supermarket giant Sainsbury’s to show how important it is to create a culture where employees become directly involved in suggestions for change. By creating a culture where employee input is valued and

the changes faced by the organization are better understood and receive the support of the employees. This also has the side effect of creating employee motivation to support and accomplish the organizations goals and change efforts (Whiteling, 2007). Silverman in (2006) utilizes a similar strategy to create a high-performance workforce. Silverman suggests keeping employees engaged by working with storytelling. Employers can systematically ask employee’s to tell their story for good or not-so good situations. In this way, an employee/employer relationship can be forged which can help foster mutual support and idea sharing. Similar to Whiteling, Silverman suggests that the organizations culture needs to be developed around the concept of storytelling.

Employees need to feel their stories are being heard, understood, and valued by those requesting the stories. By forging these relationships, the employee feels valued by the employer, supervisor, and organization as a contributor. This value translates into higher work performance and stake within the organization (Silverman, 2006; Whiteling, 2007).

Sharbrough’s (2006) study looks at the correlations between leader’s use of Motivating Language (ML) and employee job satisfaction and the perception of a supervisor’s effectiveness. In both cases, there was a statistically significant correlation in this study between a leader’s use of ML and employee job satisfaction and the perception of a supervisor’s effectiveness. This correlation can be utilized by organizations to measure a leader’s use of ML and determine levels of employee satisfaction as well as determine the perceived effectiveness of a supervisor

Kellerman (2007) has expanded the work of Zaleznik, Kelley, and Chaleff to create what he calls a level of engagement to classify the followers of an organization. This employee continuum ranges from “feeling and doing absolutely nothing” to “being passionately committed and deeply involved.” In this way, a leader can assess their subordinates and tailor a leadership approach to maximize the affect a particular effort will have on employee motivation.

A common thread of communication between employers and employees emerges as a requirement for employee motivation (Simms, 2007; Jakobson, 2007; Whiteling, 2007; Silverman, 2006; & Sharbrough, 2006). Many of these case studies link high employee motivation with increased employee performance. By first utilizing Kellerman level of engagement” classification, an organization can tailor the use of ML and motivational lltechniques in the organization. In this way, employee motivation can be maximized to increase employee performance by focusing the use of ML and motivational techniques

2.6 Theories of motivation

As we discussed that there are number of ways to motivate employees. Lots of researchers gave the theories of motivation. I will discuss most common theories. These theories will give us idea how we can motivate employees. All these theories have some common points to motivate employees but these theories also have different opinion

2.6.1 Fredrick Winslow Taylor and Elton Mayo Theories of Motivation

Fredrick Winslow Taylor (1856-1917) said that employees are mainly motivated by pay. His theory argued that workers need supervision because naturally they do not enjoy work therefore manager should break their work in small tasks and training and tools so they work efficiently on given task. They are than paid according to number of items they produced in a set period of time-price-rate pay. This will motivate them to work hard and maximise their productivity. Taylor method work well and different organization adopted this method to increase productivity level and lower unit cost. The most notably advocate was Henry Ford who used them to design the first ever production line, making Ford cars. This was the start of the era of mass production. Taylor theory has close links with autocratic management styles and Macgregor theory X approach. Taylor theory failed soon as workers became bore on repetitive tasks and they were treated like human machines.

Elton Mayo than gave better theory he said workers are not only motivated with money by they could be better motivated if we met their social needs whilst at work. Taylor ignored these second points which cause adverse effect on his theory. He also conducted an experiment on two groups and examines the effect on their productivity levels of changing factors such as working condition. From Mayo theory we can conclude that employees are best by better communication between them and managers. Employees are also motivated by involvement of managers in their working lives. They are also motivated when they work in a team. Therefore Sainsbury should use team working and introduce personal department to involve managers to look employees to motivate them the increase the production

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2.6.2 Maslow theory of motivation

. Maslow in (1943) gave hierarchy of human needs based on two groupings: deficiency needs and growth needs. Within the deficiency needs, each lower need must be met before moving to the next higher level. According to Maslow employees have five levels of need physiological, safety, social, ego, and self- actualizing Once each of these needs has been satisfied, if at some future time a deficiency is detected, the individual will act to remove the deficiency.


Figure: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In this theory the physiological needs include homeostasis such as need for oxygen satisfaction of thirst and hanger. It also includes sleep and sexual desire. The safety needs include security and safety. It covers security in all aspects of life. It also includes security of family, property and morals. The affection, sense of belonging, social activities, friendships, and both the giving and receiving of love are love needs in Maslow theory. The esteem needs are both self-respect and the esteem of others. Self respect covers the strength independence and freedom and achievement. While esteem of others include status, reputation, appreciation and attention. The self- actualization needs include the realization of potential of an individual. In this need we consider what is the potential of humans and what are they capable of becoming. These needs may vary widely from one individual to another. Maslow conceived a human being developing five groups of needs, in sequence, from one to five.

The survival needs start at birth. During childhood everyone aware all groups of needs. If a manager wants to motivate his employees he should satisfy all five needs in his employees

In Maslow theory once we achieved lower level needs like physiological and safety levels others does not provide same level of motivation. There are problems in Maslow theory relating to work situation. The higher level needs do not satisfy their needs because of work situation. It is the responsibilities of managers to understand their needs in private and social life not just their attitude at work. There is no time frame in Maslow theory when the satisfaction of lower level needs and emergence of higher level needs. Even the people within the same level of hierarchy there have different motivation factors. There are lots of ways in which people seek satisfaction for example their esteem needs

2.6.3 Fredrick Herzberg theory of motivation

Fredrick Herzberg the friend of Maslow introduced two factor theory of motivation. He believed that there are certain factors that business can introduce which will directly motivate employees and work hard to increase productivity. He named such factors motivation and hygiene Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and recognition, produce job satisfaction. He said there are others factors which will not motivate them or they will not work hard. He named such factors hygiene factors. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction.

According to Herzberg all these factors must present in any job because their absence will give dissatisfaction and decrease productivity and lead to strike in organization. Their presence will yield average productivity but not necessarily above the average. The challenge is that their presence does not motivate in a special way. Herzberg referred this group as dissatisfies. However second group existence will yield satisfaction and this include achievement, recognition, advancement and growth in job. According to Herzberg only way to motivate employee is through job enrichment

Herzberg believed that democratic approach is the best approach to motivate employees by improving the nature of job through certain methods.

2.6.4 Alderfer Modified Need Hierarchy Theory

Alderfer produced a modified need hierarchy theory and converts Maslow five levels of needs into three levels. Alderfer model of need is called ERG model

(Existence, Relatedness, Growth). According to Alderfer sustaining human survival and existence are concerned with existence needs. It also cover physiological and safety needs. Relatedness needs are concerned how people relate to their social environment and it cover the Maslow need for social and interpersonal relationships. In Alderfer theory growth needs are in the highest need category and it includes Maslow needs for self-esteem and self-actualization

Like Maslow Alderfer also suggest that we should move from lower level needs to upper level needs. Maslow says that we should not move to the next level needs until we have not satisfied that need whereas Alderfer suggests that needs are more a continuum than hierarchical levels. At the same time more than one need may also be activated. For example if we are unable to satisfy the growth needs in the individual than relatedness needs may reassume most importance.

Alderfer also proposed number of basic propositions relating to three need relationships. Some of Alderfer propositions followed Maslow theory but some of these propositions were the reverse of the theory. Different studies were conducted to test these propositions among different sample of people in different organization

These studies showed mixed results. In the proposition where the existence needs are less satisfied they will get constant support from all six samples. However the proposition in which existence needs are satisfied desire for relatedness needs was not supported in any of the six samples. Unlike Maslow the result of Alderfer work gave the new idea that we do not need to satisfied the lower level needs before a higher level need emerges as a motivating influence. However the results of Alderfer theory do support the idea that there is decrease in the strength in lower level needs as they become satisfied

2.6.5 Murry Manifest Need Theory

Murray model of motivation is known as manifest need theory the early work of Murray and its colleges at Harvard Psychological Clinic during the 1930s identified this model. Murray said that motivation is linked with the understanding of human behaviour. A need he says is a predisposition to behave in a certain way under certain condition. A need is identified with goal. In the Murray motivation theory the understanding of human behaviour is essential. Murray identified two types of needs. These are viscorogenic needs and psychogenic needs. Viscorogenic needs are concerned with the physical condition of the body e.g. food while according to Murry there are 27 psychogenic needs and divided them into five classes namely Ambition, Defence of Status, Response to Human Power, Affection and Exchange of Information.

In 1938 after several years of clinical observations Murry wrote his classic’ Explorations in Personality’ in which he argued that we should classified individual according to the strengths of various personalities need variables. These needs will give motivation force both in term of intensity and direction of goal directed behaviour

Murray stated that analysis of such needs was a hypothetical process and occurrence of this process is imagined to account for certain subjective facts and objective (1938, p.54)

Murray said that needs should be viewed mostly learned behaviour rather than innate tendencies which were activated by cues from the external environment. According to Murry each need has two factors. These factors are qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative component represents the object toward which the motive is directed and quantitative represents the strength of motive toward the object

Murray suggests that in order to understand a person need it was important to understand previous behaviour and experience. It means that the history of individual is necessary to understand his needs

2.6.6 Porter and Lawler Expectancy Model

Porter and Lawler have developed Vroom expectancy theory. They not only consider motivational force in their model but they also consider the performance in their model. They said that the motivational force does not lead directly to performance the individual abilities and traits are also lead to performance. They also introduce rewards as a motivational force. Porter and Lawler see performance, satisfaction and motivation as separate variables and they try to explain the complex relationship among these variables.

The relationship among these variables is expressed diagrammatically in the below diagram. Porter and Lawler suggest that job satisfaction is an effect rather than a cause of performance. It is performance which leads to job satisfaction


Value of reward (Box 1) has resemblance to the valance in Vroom model. It is people desire to achieve various rewards from work

In (Box 2) perceived effort-reward probability is similar to expectancy. The certain rewards are dependent upon a given amount of effort according to person expectation

Effort in (Box 3) the amount of energy a person exerts to achieve a given activity. We cannot link this to how successful a person is in carrying out the activity. The amount of energy is dependent upon the interaction between the input variables of value of reward and perception of the effort-reward relationship

In (Box 4) abilities and traits Porter and Lawler said that we cannot guarantee that effort will directly lead to performance but performance is influenced by individual characteristics. The others factors such as intelligence, knowledge, skills, personality and training affect the ability to perform a given activity

Role perceptions in (Box 5) refer the way individual view their work and which role are suitable them to adopt. The role perceptions will influence the level and direction of action which is consider essential for effective performance

Performance (Box 6) depends on lots of factors. It depends on the amount of effort exerted the intervening influence of persons abilities and traits and what is required from their role than exertion of large amount of energy can still give low level of performance

In (Boxes 7 and 8) the rewards are desirable outcomes. Intrinsic rewards are sense of achievement and derive from the individuals themselves a


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