The theories of motivation are separated into two parts, content theories and process theories. Content theories are those that seek to define what people are motivated to gain, telling about the needs that might trigger motivation, but not about the process of motivation. Established content theories brought up in the publications are, Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory and McClelland’s managerial needs theory, which are all important when addressing motivation (Hannagan 2002).
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was developed to describe the different levels of priorities that an individual is trying to achieve; it includes five levels of human needs that are arranged in a hierarchical order. The basic idea of this theory is that when satisfaction occurs at each level, this then leads to improved work and social behaviour, and the fulfilment at each level automatically leads to the next.
The uniqueness, experience and choice of an individual, makes the classification of the human needs too specific, both for modern society and the number of limiting factors in people’s lives. Needs are unique to each individual, and are constantly changing through the life cycle, and fulfilled through a variety of ways. “The hierarchy is difficult to relate to work processes, because people do not necessarily satisfy their higher order needs through their jobs or occupations.
Many people prefer to satisfy their needs outside the workplace, for example through leisure activities. ” (Hannagan 2002 p. 321). Herzberg’s two-factor theory based on the was the original basis for the research, and the publications show that the theory can be well used in practise when looking at the motivation of people (Herzberg 2003 & Maidani 1991) as it addresses not only the what Herzberg called the satisfiers (motivators) but also the importance of hygiene, as poor hygiene strongly contributes to dissatisfaction and de-motivation.
McClelland’s managerial needs theory explicitly recognises individual differences in motivation, which puts it at an advantage, as many theories had been flawed as they had not taken into account people’s individual differences. However the publications also recognise that McClelland’s theory was conducted using the Thematic Appreciation Test (TAT), which has been found to be unreliable (Hannagan 2002). This could therefore be detrimental to the accuracy of the research needed for the independent study on employee motivation. Process theories however show the variables that explain the direction and intensity of behaviour.
These type of motivation theories are shown by Vroom’s expectancy theory, Porter and Lawler’s expectancy models and Adams equity theory, which should all be considered when writing a research proposal as they add to the understanding of motivation. “They provide a further contribution to our understanding of the complex nature of work motivation. ” (Mullins 2002 p. 435). Vroom’s theory is based on three key variables, which are valence, instrumentality and expectancy. The theory believes that people prefer certain outcomes from their behaviours over others.
This idea by Vroom has been tested and discussed in the publications. “The overall results suggested little significant support for the model as a whole. ” (Mullins 2002 p. 438). Porter and Lawler’s have developed a more recent expectancy model based on the same ideas of Vroom original studies. The publications address the effectiveness of such expectancy theories. “Numerous research studies aimed at testing expectancy models appear to suggest general support for the theory. ” (Mullins 2002). Adams equity theory focuses on one of the main variables of satisfaction in the expectancy models, perceived equitable rewards.
It stresses the importance of organisational justice and fairness (Hannagan 2002). Apart from just motivation theories, the publications have pointed out that Human Resource Management (HRM) views should be looked at as well as any studies on job satisfaction, management style, stress, groups and culture (Herzberg 2003). From looking at the publications, it has been made clear that it is not difficult to find researches relevant to the topic in hand. There is clearly much secondary data available to answer the research questions and meet the objectives of the independent study.
One of the journal articles, tested Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory to two different working populations using a questionnaire based on Herzberg’s classification scheme (Maidani 1991). This journal shows that the type of data required to answer the research questions for the independent study is readily available from secondary sources. The article also shows the type of approach used to undertake the questionnaires and retrieve the data. This type of information could come in very useful when/if attempting to carry out primary research on the employees in electrical goods production lines.
The four publications have provided a useful insight into the concepts and theories of motivation that could be incorporated into the research for the independent study. After analysing this information, it will allow the research to be structured in a way that the writer feels is the most effective way of answering the research questions. The publications have shown a variety of views on motivation and have tested these theories in practise, allowing for conclusions to be made about their reliability and accuracy.
The theories have been tested, and produced much data on motivation of workers in their job. This shows that much data and information is already available through secondary sources, which could be used to meet the objectives of the independent study. Also the publications describe the way that the theories were tested, which allows the writer to have an insight into how to best collect his own primary research (Maidani 1991). The Independent study as mentioned earlier will be focused on the motivation of employees working on a production lines for electrical goods companies such as Sony.
From this a research question has been devised, ‘To what extent do electrical goods companies provide motivational factors in their manufacturing sector, to achieve high performance from their employees? ‘ This study is aiming to look at how electrical firms try to meet their company objectives with the employees needs (extrinsic and intrinsic), to result in high performance. In order to do this, the research will involve both the use of secondary sources as well as the collection of primary data to produce up to the date information on today’s electrical firms.
For the primary research, the data collection will need to include views, attitudes and expectations that will address the research question as clearly as possible. The original idea of using Herzberg’s two-factor theory will continue to be used, as it has been shown in the publications to be an effective motivation theory when applied in practise. This theory however is only one of many conclusions that could be drawn from the research that has been done on motivation, so as a result the expectancy theory will be incorporated into the research to find out employees expected outcomes of behaviour.
The primary research will adopt two approaches, by using Herzberg’s theory in the style of interviewer-administrated, structured questionnaires (Gill 2002), in order to come in contact with the workers to collect data about their opinions as an indication of the companies’ effectiveness to provide motivational factors that they need to work, and also any de-motivational factors that may be apparent. With the help of the secondary sources, the questionnaire should hopefully obtain the majority’s opinions about their working environment and also their intrinsic motivators.
The interviewer-administrated, structured questionnaires will be appropriate, as they will have a higher response rate than just sending out questionnaires for employees to fill in, which will result in a more reliable and convincing result from the research for the independent study. Specific questions will be used in order to obtain specific information that will be easier to analyse. The second approach that the primary research will adopt is using the expectancy theory by conducting in-depth interviews with open questions that will be able to obtain qualitative data.
This will allow employees to voice their individual opinions, and their expected outcomes of behaviour in their job. If face to face interviews are unavailable, then interviews over the telephone or via email may be considered in order to obtain the information but will not be as a effective and reliable as speaking to the employees in person. These approaches seem appropriate, as a more detailed description of the management environment can be revealed and compared with the workers views to meet the research objectives. To carry out this research, two established electrical goods companies will be selected, such as Sony and Panasonic.
Both are successful firms, and the research will hopefully find out the way in which they manage to motivate their employees that are carrying out monotonous jobs on assembly lines for their products. From each company, a random selection of 100 employees will be made to represent an overall unbiased view of employees’ motivational factors. Further secondary sources will be required in the assistance of analysing the quantitative data resulting from the specific questions, but the qualitative data from the interviews, will not be presented as results, the views from these will be discussed and analysed in the study.