In preparation for this paper, Team “B” conducted the “Work Motivation Survey” of 14 employees who would be representative of a diverse workforce. In this paper, Team “B” proposes two motivational theories and projects how individual differences among the profiled employees might create potential workgroup conflicts. In addition, the impact of the data on job satisfaction and motivation is discussed in each theory in relation to the merger/acquisition transition theme of maintaining acceptable levels of individual performance throughout the transition period. Goal-Setting Theory vs.
Reinforcement Theory of Motivation in the Work Place The goal-setting theory of motivation states that intentions-expressed as goals-is a major source of work motivation. Specific goals lead to increased performance and that accepted difficult goals result in higher performance than easy goals (Robbins, p. 114). The reinforcement theory of motivation states that reinforcement conditions behavior. The reinforcement theory argues that behavior is environmentally controlled, irrespective to internal forces, and that people exert more effort on tasks that are reinforced than on tasks that are not (Robbins, p.115).
According to the text by Robbins, both theories are supported by considerable evidence. In this paper, we will compare a hypothetical work place in which both theories are applied on a diverse workforce. We will discuss how individual differences among the fourteen profiled employees in separate divisions create potential workforce conflicts. This will be related to the merger/acquisition transition with the stated goal of maintaining acceptable levels of individual performance during the merger/acquisition period.
Learning Team “B” chose 14 employees and prepared Work Motivation Survey forms for each. Different types of production were considered and comprised both innovative and routine types of production similar to those in an ordinary work environment. Projected employee results were proposed based on the salient features of both motivational theories, as they would apply to a merger/acquisition scenario. Goal-Setting Theory Motivation The Acme Enterprise Company (Acme) is a factory involved in the design, production, and sale of widgets.
Acme was the target of an acquisition by E-Z Widget International (E-Z), a market leader in the field of widgets. It had been determined that at the end of the period of six months following the announcement of the acquisition/merger, E-Z would decide the fate of Acme management and non-management employees. The Acme employees did not know details of the E-Z corporate decision-making process but believed that production levels and profitability would impact heavily on the corporate decision.
In order to provide optimal production figures, Acme management officials set quotas for production and sales of widgets during the transition period. The quota was based on a 120% increase over widget sales during the last year. They also determined that the Acme design staff should design new categories of widgets. The number of new designs had been left up to the decision of the design staff based on their assessment of the difficulty and time required.
Seven of the profiled employees are assigned to the production and sales staff of Acme. Their motivational scores are attached as Attachment A. 71% of the employees indicated that they tried very hard to improve their past performance and all of them indicated that they enjoy competition and winning. 71% of the workers indicated they enjoyed a difficult challenge. While 42% indicated that they did not care about knowing about their progress, 57% indicated that they did and that they enjoyed setting and achieving realistic goals.
71% stated that they at least agreed to enjoyed completing a difficult task and 57% stated that they enjoyed working with others rather than working alone. Based on these surveyed characteristics, the production and sales group took on the challenge of producing and selling an increase of 120% of widgets over the next six-months. During the first two months, production levels climbed slightly; however, a few problems arose. The employees who had indicated a lack of interest in improving past performance increased usage of the sick leave and vacation time which slowed production accordingly.
Other employees had to fill in for them causing resentment. Those that did not enjoy belonging to a group led the discontent. The 28% of the employees who indicated that they enjoyed building close relationships with fellow employees pulled together for the common good but their actions were outweighed by the surveyed 57% who disagreed with forming close social relationships. At the end of the first two months, production had climbed to the 103% of the average past year’s monthly production level.