People join and work in organizations to satisfy their needs. They are attracted to organizations that have the means of satisfying their needs. These means are called incentives of rewards; organizations use them to induce people to contribute their efforts toward achieving organizational goals. The continued existence of an organisation depends on its ability to attract and motivate people to achieve these personal and organizational goals.
I. THE CONCEPT OF MOTIVATION
Motivation is defined as goal-directed behavior. It concerns the level of effort one exerts in pursuing a goal. Managers are concerned with this concept because it is closely related to employee satisfaction and job performance.
If managers are asked to list the problems they face, the problem of motivating employees is likely to be near the top. Employee motivation is a major concern of managers as well as scholars because motivation is closely related to the success of an individual, an organisation, and society. Through motivational efforts, people achieve their personal, or organizational, and societal goals. In an age of high labour costs and limited natural resources, the effective utilization of human resources is a key to solving many organizational and economic problems.
Yet motivating employees is becoming increasingly complex and difficult. As people become better educated and economically more independent, the traditional means of motivation ? formal authority and financial incentives become less effective. In addition, the ever increasing contraints placed on organizations further erode the power of manager to motivate employees. Within these contraints, however, managers still have the responsibility of motivating their employees toward the attaintment of organizational goals. To meet this responsibility, they should understand how and why people are motivated to work in organizations and be equipped with a set of principles that can be applied to employee motivation.
What Motivates People?
Why are some amployees better motiveted than others? Employee motivation is difficult to understand because it involves a variety of individual and organizational factors. The individual factors include needs, goals, attitudes, and abilities; the organizational factors include pay, job security, co-workers, supervision, praise and the job itself.
A number of theories have been developped to explain employee motivation in organizations. These theories can be divided into two main categories: (1) content and (2) process. Content theories include the needs theory and the reinfircement theory. The needs theory indicates that human behavior is energised by internal stimuli ? needs; the reinforcement theory explains how behavior can be controlled by its consequences ? reward and punishment.
While content theories are primarily concerned with the internal and external causes of behavior (needs and incentives), process theories attempt to explain the process by which people make motivational choices. The process theories are the perceptual theory, the expectancy theory, the equidity theory and the discrepancy theory.
The Motivational Process in Organizations
The motivational process in organizations can be described by a model that is composed of three parts: motivational inputs, motivational decisions and motivational outcomes.
The first part of the model identifies a set of motivational determinants. These key variables can be described as:
1. Employee needs. People have a set of needs they want to satisfy: (a) existence (biological and safety), (b) relatedness (affection, companionship, and influence), and (c ) growth (achievement and self-actualization). These internal stimuli energize behavior.
2. Organizational incentives. Organizations have a set of rewards that can satisfy employee needs. These include: (a) subatantive rewards (pay, job security, and physical working conditions), (b) interactive rewards (co-workers, supervision, praises and recognition), and (c ) intrinsic rewards (accomplishment, challenge, and responsibility). These organizational factors influence the direction of behavior.
3. Percaptual outcomes. People develop a set of perceptions regardng: (a) the value of organizational rewards, (b) the relationship between performance and rewards, and (c ) the likehood that their efforts may result in task performance.
The second part of the model explains the process by which people make motivational choices and decisions. This process describes the motivational efforts involved in deciding to perform effectively. The specific element involved is:
4. Motivational efforts. If they have the ability and authority, people make motivational decisions based on how they perceive the value of rewards, the instrumental relayionship between performance and rewards, and the likehood of task accomplishment. Generally, positive perceptions lead to high motivation.
The last part of the model explains the outcomes of employee motivation. It shows the relationships among motivation, performance, rewards, employee satisfaction and organizational productivity. These key variables can be discribed as:
5. Performance levels. Performance is a function of ability and motivation. Ability determines what a person can do, while motivation determines what a person will do. Employee job performance influences organizational productivity, which in turn affects the levels of organizational rewards.
6. Rewards. Performance may be either rewarded or not rewarded. Equitable rewards lead to employee satisfaction; inequitable rewards or no rewards lead to dissatisfaction.
7. Satisfaction. The ammount of satisfaction modifies the type and intensity of employee needs. This modified need structure influences the individual's future behavior.
This conceptual model identifies a number of factors influencing employee motivation, satisfaction, and performance.
II. THE EXPECTANCY THEORY OF MOTIVATION
Expectancy theory explains the process by which people make motivational choices. According to this theory, people make motivational choices based on how they perceive (1) the value of rewards, (2) the instrumental relationship between performance and rewards, and (3) the chance of getting the job done.
The expectancy theory starts with the assumption that people are rational beings who want to maximize their gains in their goal-directed endeavors. Therefore, when they are faced with a number of behavioral options leading to need satisfaction, they will evaluate the potential outcomes of these options and select one that promises an optimal result. In evaluating these behavioral options, a rational person will analyze (1) the value of the rewards that the organization offers (valence), (2) the relationship between performance and rewards (instrumentality), and (3) the perceived chance of accomplishing the required task (expectancy). The tendency to act (motivation) is said to be a function of the valence (V), the instrumentality (I) and the expectancy (E). Using the initials of these three variables, expectancy theory is often called the VIE theory. Now let's discuss each of these key elements.
Valence of Rewards
Valence is a subjective value attached to an incentive of reward. People attach a valence to an incentive because they believe it satisfies some of their needs. Since it is subjective, people differ in the value they attach to a given incentive. For example, one person may attach a high value to a promotion, while another person can avoid it. The former may like it because it brings money and power, while the latter dislikes it because it means more responsibility or the headaches of dealing with other people's problems.
Also since it is subjective, managers have little control over the valences their employees attach to organizational incentives. However, managers can influence the valence if incentives by matching rewards to employee needs. Valence usually increases when (1) an employee has strong needs, (2) the incentive matches one or more needs, and (3) the size of the incentive is large enough to satisfy the aroused needs. For example, an employee will probably attach a high valence to money if (1) he or she has a strong economic need, (2) money used as an incentive, and (3) the size of the monetary incentive is sufficiently attractive.
Instrumentality refers to the ralationship between performance and raward. People ask, "Will I be rewarded if I perform the job well?" If the answer is affirmative, they will be motivated to exert an effort and increase the level of task performance. If the answer is negative, their motivational efforts will be reduced. As with valence, the measures of instrumentality can be positive or negative. If people perceive that their performance is generally rewarded, the perceived instrumentality will be positive. If they perceive that performance does not make any difference to their rewards, or if poor performers are rewarded as much as or more than high performers, the instrumentality will be low.
Since perceived instrumentality is a subjective judgment, managers do not have direct control over it. But they can positively influence their subordinates' perception of the instrumental relationship by matching rewards to rerformance and by communicating this fact effectively to the subordinates. For example, managers can improve instrumentality by using performance-contingent pay systems such as piece rates, merit rates, or performance bonuses, and by managing such systems fairly.
Expectancy is the belief that effort leads to performance. It is a subjective feeling that people attach to the likehood of accomplishing a task. They may ask, "Can I perform and accomplish the task goal?" "How much effort would the task reqiure?" If they feel there is a close relationship between their effort and task accomplishment, expectancy will be favorable. However, if the task is too simple or too complex relative to their ability, then they may feel that their effort is not related to task performance.
Like other motivational concepts, expectancy is subjective; people attach varying expectancies to an outcome. A task may seem simple to some but not to others. A person's ability and personality influence his or her effort-performance expectancy. Competent and secure individuals tend to perceive expectancy more positively than incompetent and pessimistic individuals.
Managers have no direct control over how their employees perceive the chance of achieving an outcome or task, but they can influence the employee's expectancies positively by matching people to jobs. When people are matched with jobs, employees can utilize their job skills and energies effectively. Consequently, effort-performance expectancy will be increased.
III. DEVELOPING MOTIVATIONAL PRINCIPLES
Managers can improve the valence, instrumentality, and expectancy employees place in their job situations by (1) matching rewards to needs, (2) natching rewards to performance, and (3) matching job to employees.
The strength of expectancy theory lies in the fact that it accomodates three theories of individual behavior (needs, reinforcement, and perception) and that it can be operationalized. We have seen a set of motivational principles from expectancy theory and now I'll try to explain how these principles can be applied in organizational settings.
Matching Rewards to Employee Needs
By matching rewards to needs, management can increase not only the valence of rewards but also the level of employee satisfaction. How can management match rewards to needs? There are a few things that managers can do:
1. Figure out what employees want. Managers can ask their employees what kinds of rewards they prefer. This information can be used to select appropriate rewards. People want different things from their jobs, and matching rewards to these needs increases the valence of the rewards.
2. Find people who value rewards. The match between rewards and needs can be achieved by finding people who may value what the organisation may offer. Some organizations are limited in their ability to offer a variety rewards. In this case the organization needs to attact people who can be motivated by what it can offer. For example, if the only things a company can offer is money, it should hire people who are striving for economic need saticfaction.
Matching Rewards to Performance
By relating organizational rewards to job performance, management can increase the chances of attaining both individual and organizational goals. This strategy favorably affects the performance-reward instrumentality. There are several things that managers can do in this effort.
1. Use performance-contingent reward systems. Some reward systems lack motivational value because they are not tied to performance. Annual bonuses and fringe benefits are often not tied to performance; they are usually given to employees instead for maintaining organizational membership. Incentive pay and merit systems are examples of relating rewards to performance.
2. Maintain equity in reward systems. Matching rewards to performance also means that the amount of reward should be commensurate with task complexity, labour availability, prewailing wage level, and amount of responsibility. When there are no objective performance criteria, managers need to be cautious in evaluating the performance of their employees.
3. Communicate performance-reward contingencies. It does not matter whether or not rewards are actually tied to performance. Unless the performance-reward contingencies are clearly communicated to employees and perceived by employees as such, the reward systems cannot have a strong impact on employee motivation. Performance feedback, followed by reinforcement, is essential in maintaining a high level of performance.
Matching Jobs to Employees
Mathing the technical, physical, and psychological requirements of the job to the employee's qualifications enchances the effort-performance expectancy. If the job is either too simple or too complex, the employee may not feel that his or her effort has been effectively utilized in the task performance. The matching process involves the following actions.
1. Design the job to suit employee needs. People want different levels of job challenge. Some employees may prefer complex and challenging jobs; other may prefer simple tasks. Task complexity needs to be differentiated to reflect the technical and psychological qualifications of employees.
2. Match employees to jobs. The match between jobs and people can also be achieved by hiring people who will fit the jobs. When it is economically and technically impractical to redesighn jobs, it makes more sence to fit employees to jobs than the other way around.
3. Improve employee job skills. Another way of fitting people to jobs is by training. When employees are underqualificated to perform their jobs, training can help them find a better fit. Training also enchances effort-performance expectancy.
4. Set challenging but attainable goals. Set performance goals that are challenging but attainable. If the task goals are ether too high or too low, employees are not likely to feel that their efforts are related to task performance. When the task goals are challenging but attainable, they are more likely to perceive the relationship between effort and task accomplishment.
This diccussion demonstrates how motivational principles can be applied in managing organozational reward and work systems.
My work presents a model of motivation, describes a set of motivational principles. Here also shown in short the expectancy theory, which explains how motivational decisions are made.
People make motivational decisions based on how they perceive the relationship between their needs and organizational rewards (valence), their performance and rewards (instrymentality), and their efforts and task performance (expectancy). Generally, work motivation increases when they perceive these relationships favorably.
A set of motivational principles can be derived from the expectancy theory. The valence, instrumentality, and expectancy of performing a task can be improved by adopting the following three principles:
1. Match rewards to employee needs (valence).
2. Match rewards to performance (instrumentality).
3. Match jobs to employees (expectancy).
1. Lawler, Motivation in Work Organizations.
2. Vroom, Vork and Motivation.