229552523558500CHINHOYI UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
NAME: TANAKA MUJAJI
PROGRAMME: BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP (BSBE)
REG NUMBER: C17131892E
MODULE NAME: ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR
ASSIGNMENT: EVALUATE ANY TWO EARLY THEORIES OF MOTIVATION AND THEIR APPLICABILITY IN TODAY’S MANAGEMENT
The main question facing managers in an organization is motivation, how does it work, when to apply and to whom they should apply on. In today’s business environment, managers must employ an organizational culture, where motivation is the key to their mission as leaders. During the management boom over the last two decades, there has been an emergence of theories to successfully manage employees towards the goals of the organization (Drucker, 1973). In motivation a manager normally seeks to change or maintain certain environmental factors so as to influence the inner drives which may change or sustain the behaviours of his subordinates. Two such theories are that of Maslow, the hierarchy of needs and that of Douglas McGregor, Theory X and Y.
DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS
Motivation can be defined as “the psychological forces within a person that determine the direction of a person’s behavior in an organization, a person’s level of efforts and a person’s level of persistence in the face of obstacles” (Kanfer, 1990).
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and its applicability
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory is one of the content theories of motivation which attempt to explain motivation in terms of what arouses and energizes behavior (McKenna, 2000). Maslow (1954) identified five human needs that motivate people as physiological needs, security needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and self actualization needs. Maslow call the first two mentioned needs (self-actualization and esteem) as higher order needs and the last three mentioned needs (physiological, safety, and social needs) lower order needs (Robbins & Judge, 2007). Once the lower order needs are satisfied by an individual giving more of the same will have no effect on his motivation. Individual then advance up the hierarchy to another and that need serves as a motivation factor. Consequently, in order to motivate employee and bring about positive change in their behavior, manager must direct concentration to the next higher level need that seeks satisfaction.
Maslow is of the opinion that these needs can be arranged in a hierarchy in a hierarchy of importance, with the most basic or compelling need physiological needs (need for foods, shelter, clothes) at the bottom. In order to move up to the next category the proceedings needs must be satisfied first (George & Jones, 2008). For example safety needs must be satisfied before the social needs. According to Maslow’s theory, unsatisfied needs are the prime motivators of behavior. Once a level of need is satisfied, it no longer motivates the individual to motivate him, so the organization must then focus on the next level of needs in order to motivate the individual (George & Jones, 2008). Organizations around the world have successfully used the Maslow theory for motivating its workforce by identifying the current needs category of the workers and then designing its pay package that are targeted towards the satisfaction of that end.
However, researchers around the world have criticized the Maslow hierarchy of needs due to the following reasons.
Empirical research did not support Maslow’s view. Researchers are of the view that in the real world there is no rigid hierarchy of human needs and it operates in a flexible hierarchy. Employee in the real world does not satisfy their higher level needs in the work situation alone. Most of the upper level needs are satisfied by employee in other work setting. Therefore manager not only need to know employee behavior at work but also need to have complete understanding of employee’s private and social life.
Employees have different preferences in satisfying their needs, based on the culture to which the employee belongs. For one employee the source of motivation may be physiological needs, while for his pear the motivation may be provided by social needs. Some rewards satisfy more than one need at time. For example Bonus or high salary paid to a particular employee may satisfy both lower and upper level needs.
According to Maslow, satisfaction is the main motivational outcome of behavior. However job satisfaction is only one pillar of work performance and it may not lead to improved work performance.
McGregor’s theory X and Y and its applicability
According to Douglas McGregor, mangers were divided into 2 groups. The first being theory Y mangers and theory X managers (Waddell, Jones, George 2010). Managers which applied theory Y into their way of managing were assumed to believe that employees were not inherently lazy and if the opportunity presented itself, employees would work in the benefit of the company. Employees were also said to be capable of self-direction and self-control, and capable of providing important ideas or suggestions that could improve organizational effectiveness (Kopelman, Prottas, Davis 2008). On the other hand, the managers who adopted theory X believed that all employees were lazy, incapable of self-direction and independent work behavior, and would have little to offer in terms of organizational problem solving. Douglas McGregor’s theory has been instilled into every modern day manager’s way of managing. Bennis’ (1972) said in his report that effective development of managers does not include forcing or manipulating the behaviors of employees to suit the goals of the enterprise but instead create a relationship where the goals of the employees and the enterprise are infused into one. This way, employees would feel a sense of accomplishment when he/she achieves a goal using their own capabilities. An example of the application of this theory would be when an advertising company says to its employees that whoever successfully manages to produce an advertisement which is good enough for the customer to buy the advertisement from the company, will get a promotion.
Theory X as previously stated is where a manager thinks that all employees are lazy, dislike work and will try to avoid doing work. With that being said, theory X managers will try to counter the laziness of the employees. They would ensure that employees work hard by closely monitoring their performance. In this type of situation, theory X managers would create a work environment with strict rules; implement a well-defined system of performance appraisal to control employees (Waddell, Jones, George 2010). For example, Henry Ford, according to McGregor was a manager who has adopted theory X as Henry Ford closely monitored his employees (Waddell, Jones, George 2010). Theory Y’s assumptions are that managers should shape the company’s work culture into a way where opportunities for subordinates to exercise initiative and self-direction would be facilitated to (Waddell, Jones, George 2010).
In the words of Douglas McGregor, ‘Theory X and Theory Y therefore are not polar opposites; they do not lie at extremes of a scale. They are simply different cosmologies’. Clearly, theory X function almost like a dictatorship which does not take into account the ideas and creativity of employees. In a situation like this theory Y would benefit a company much more. Unless the company is a large corporation such as Coca cola, where the company is divided into many divisions such as production, marketing and human resources, for example in the production division, employees which are involved in manufacturing of the bottle would only be expected to carry out their purpose of making the bottles which is a repetitive process. Theory X here would be more beneficial as there is no need for innovation or creativity. Whereas, in the marketing division, innovation and creativity are essential for success hence theory Y would be most applicable.
Given the ideas presented earlier, from my point of view McGregor’s theory X and Y gives managers a new understanding of how different leadership methods has an effect on the productivity of employees. Theory X and Y are not opposites and neither is one completely better than the other one. The theories are just a guideline on how which way (theory X or Y) would better suit the company and produce a better work environment as well as increasing productivity.
In conclusion, these theories impact towards management understanding of motivation and in the appropriate designing of the company to meet employee needs (Robbins & Judge, 2007). The theories are a suitable structure for screening the different needs and outlook that employees have and the different motivating factors that might be useful to people and the company to produce a better work environment as well as increasing productivity at different levels.
Maslow, A.H., Stephens, D.C., Heil, G. and Bennis, W., 1998. Maslow on management. New York: John Wiley.
Robbins, S. P. (1998) Organizational Behavior (3rd ed.), New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc. Latham, G.P. and Pinder, C.C., 2005. Work motivation theory and research at the dawn of the twenty-first century. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 56, pp.485-516.Steers, R.M., Mowday, R.T. and Shapiro, D.L., 2004. The future of work motivation theory. Academy of Management review, 29(3), pp.379-387.
Wong, M., Gardiner, E., Lang, W. and G, Jones., 2008. Generational differences in personality and motivation: do they exist and what are the implications for the workplace?. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 23(8), pp.878-890