The management task

Hygiene factors create an environment in which people could be motivated. If these factors where not met it would lead to employees being dissatisfied but having them does not motivate them. Motivating factors motivate people only of all the hygiene factors are present. Herzberg, F. , 1968, p72). It was stated by Dixon, R. (1995, p23) that: “… satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not just opposites so removing the causes of dissatisfaction will not cause satisfaction. This could be very important for managers in that he provision of welfare services may create a better working environment but will not actually motivate people.

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” One sub-category of theories is balance theories. Balance theories state that a person’s behaviour is affected if he/she compares themselves to others (Saal, F. E. and Knight, P. A. , 1988, p274) . The most well known balance theory is the equity theory. Adam’s equity theory states that perceived inequalities between individuals are more important than actual inequalities. Dixon, R. (1995, p75) tells us “Any perceived inequalities between similar workers… will cause low motivation… ”

Mangers learn from this theory that they must monitor reward systems carefully to ensure fairness and assure that incompetence isn’t reward or diligence is punished. E. g. A manager directs work away from an employee with below standard work (incompetence rewarded) and channels it to an employee who carries out the work well (diligence punished) (Macall, H. , 1997, p24). Vroom’s Expectancy theory states “the level of motivation that an individual feels for doing a particular activity depends upon the extent to which the results are expected to contribute to the individuals’ particular needs and goals”.

(Dixon, R. , 1995, p75) and is calculated by : Obviously this calculation is not consciously made each time an individual makes a decision but it can be seen as weighing up the points ‘for and against’ a decision. From this managers can see that to maximise motivation they need to establish clear links between effort, performance and rewards, minimise restraints of performance (by providing appropriate training, support, organisational systems, etc) and try to avoid undesirable outcomes or costs (Macall, H. , 1997, p22).

Maccoby (1988) argued that different individuals had to be motivated in different ways depending on their personality type. “He identified five different social character types who have different key drives” (Macall, H. , 1997, p24). These types and key drives are as follows: SOCIAL CHARACTER TYPE KEY DRIVE Expert Needs to achieve a sense of mastery and control in his/her work. ‘Experts’ are most effective when given independence. Helper Derives satisfaction from relationships and the opportunity to care for the needs of others.

Defender Gains self-esteem through exercising power to defend and protect. Innovator Enjoys the creative freedom to experiment and is driven by the need to compete. Self developer Aims to achieve a balance between mastery and play, knowledge and fun. From this managers can learn they must identify each individuals social charter type offer them different incentives, to achieve there ‘key drive’, in order to fully motivate their workforce (Macall, H. , 1997, p25).

The final theory this report will explore is Locke and Latham’s Goal theory (1984). This theory has been put into practice many times and has the highest rate of constant success of all the motivational theories. The basic principles are “difficult goals lead to higher performance than easy goals, specific goals lead to higher performance than general ones and feedback on performance is necessary if difficult specific goals are to show their benefits” (Chmiel, N. ed. 2000, p313).

It states if you give people clear and achievable goals they will work harder and be more successful than if you simply encourage them to do their best and just by setting the goals has a positive effect on staff moral (Macall, H. , 1997, p25). Managers can, and do, use this effectively as most companies do set goals and objectives but they must make sure they review to insure they meet with what is said by Macall, H. (1997, p25). She states that managers must “Make sure goals are achievable because if staff perceive them as to difficult they will give up more easily…

But they must contain an element of difficulty as striving through and completing a difficult task is the highest motivating factor” Mullins, L. J. (2005, p503) summed up the relevance of motivational theories to managers by saying: “These different theories are not conclusive… However it is because of the complexity of motivation that these different theories are important to the manager… They will help demonstrate the many motives that influence people’s behaviour at work… and how best to motivate and reward staff to work willingly and effectively.

The manager must evaluate their relevance and judge how best and to what extent they might be applied with advantage in particular working situation” In conclusion understanding theories of motivation important to managers when they carry out their professional role because “more motivated staff work harder and are more productive than those not motivated by their work” (Dixon, R. , 1995, p78). Every theory has the ability to “sensitise managers” (Steers, R. M. and Porter, L. W. , 1991, p582) to the different techniques available to them as every individual is motivated in a different way.

By studying motivational theories managers can carry out their professional role more effectively with a happier, more productive workforce.


Chmiel, N. ed. 2000, Introduction to work and organisation psychology- a European perspective, Blackwell Publishing Ltd. , Oxford Dixon, R. , 1995, The management task, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford Drucker, P. F. , 1955, The practice of management, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford Herzberg, F. , 1968, Work and the nature of man, Staples press, London Macall, H. , 1997, Motivating and Leading People, Greenwich University Press, London