I. The Concept of Motivation
1. WhatMotivates People ?
2. TheMotivational Process in Organizations
II. The Expectancy Theory of Motivation
1. Valenceof Rewards
III. Developing Motivational Principles
1. MatchingRewards to Employee Needs
2. MatchingRewards to Performance
3. MatchingJobs to Employees
People join and work in organizations tosatisfy their needs. They are attracted to organizations that have the means ofsatisfying their needs. These means are called incentives of rewards;organizations use them to induce peopleto contribute their efforts toward achieving organizational goals. Thecontinued existence of an organisation depends on its ability to attract andmotivate people to achieve these personal and organizational goals.
I. THE CONCEPT OF MOTIVATION
Motivation is defined as goal-directedbehavior. It concerns the level of effort one exerts in pursuing a goal.Managers are concerned with this concept because it is closely related toemployee satisfaction and job performance.
If managers are asked to list the problemsthey 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 becausemotivation is closely related to the success of an individual, an organisation,and society. Through motivational efforts, people achieve their personal, ororganizational, and societal goals. In an age of high labour costs and limitednatural resources, the effective utilization of human resources is a key tosolving many organizational and economic problems.
Yet motivating employees is becomingincreasingly complex and difficult. As people become better educated andeconomically more independent, the traditional means of motivation þformal authority and financial incentives become less effective. In addition,the ever increasing contraints placed on organizations further erode the powerof manager to motivate employees. Within these contraints, however, managersstill have the responsibility of motivating their employees toward theattaintment of organizational goals. To meet this responsibility, they shouldunderstand how and why people are motivated to work in organizations and beequipped with a set of principles that can be applied to employee motivation.
Why are some amployees better motiveted thanothers? Employee motivation is difficult to understand because it involves avariety of individual and organizational factors. The individual factorsinclude needs, goals, attitudes, and abilities; the organizational factorsinclude pay, job security, co-workers, supervision, praise and the job itself.
A number of theories have been developpedto explain employee motivation in organizations. These theories can be dividedinto two main categories: (1) content and (2) process. Content theories includethe needs theory and the reinfircement theory. The needs theory indicates thathuman behavior is energised by internal stimuli þ needs; thereinforcement theory explains how behavior can be controlled by its consequences þ rewardand punishment.
While content theories are primarilyconcerned with the internal and external causes of behavior (needs andincentives), process theories attempt to explain the process by which peoplemake motivational choices. The process theories are the perceptual theory, the expectancytheory, the equidity theory and the discrepancy theory.
The MotivationalProcess in Organizations
The motivational process in organizationscan be described by a model that is composed of three parts: motivationalinputs, motivational decisions and motivational outcomes.
The first part of the model identifies aset of motivational determinants. These key variables can be described as:
1. Employeeneeds. People have a set of needs they want to satisfy: (a) existence(biological and safety), (b) relatedness (affection, companionship, andinfluence), and (c ) growth (achievementand self-actualization). These internal stimuli energize behavior.
2. Organizationalincentives. Organizations have a set of rewards that can satisfy employee needs.These include: (a) subatantive rewards (pay, job security, and physical workingconditions), (b) interactive rewards (co-workers, supervision, praises andrecognition), and (c ) intrinsic rewards (accomplishment, challenge, andresponsibility). These organizational factors influence the direction ofbehavior.
3. Percaptualoutcomes. People develop a set of perceptions regardng: (a) the value oforganizational 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 theprocess by which people make motivational choices and decisions. This processdescribes the motivational efforts involved in deciding to perform effectively.The specific element involved is:
4. Motivationalefforts. If they have the ability and authority, people make motivationaldecisions based on how they perceive the value of rewards, the instrumentalrelayionship between performance and rewards, and the likehood of taskaccomplishment. Generally, positive perceptions lead to high motivation.
The last part of the model explains theoutcomes of employee motivation. It shows the relationships among motivation,performance, rewards, employee satisfaction and organizational productivity.These key variables can be discribed as:
5. Performancelevels. Performance is a function of ability and motivation. Ability determineswhat a person can do, while motivation determines what a person will do.Employee job performance influences organizational productivity, which in turnaffects the levels of organizational rewards.
6. Rewards.Performance may be either rewarded or not rewarded. Equitable rewards lead toemployee satisfaction; inequitable rewards or no rewards lead todissatisfaction.
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 numberof factors influencing employee motivation, satisfaction, and performance.
II. THE EXPECTANCY THEORY OF MOTIVATION
Expectancy theory explains the process bywhich people make motivational choices. According to this theory, people makemotivational choices based on how they perceive (1) the value of rewards, (2)the instrumental relationship between performance and rewards, and (3) thechance of getting the job done.
The expectancy theory starts with theassumption that people are rational beings who want to maximize their gains intheir goal-directed endeavors. Therefore, when they are faced with a number ofbehavioral options leading to need satisfaction, they will evaluate thepotential outcomes of these options and select one that promises an optimalresult. In evaluating these behavioral options, a rational person will analyze(1) the value of the rewards that the organization offers (valence), (2) therelationship between performance and rewards (instrumentality), and (3) theperceived chance of accomplishing the required task (expectancy). The tendencyto act (motivation) is said to be a function of the valence (V), theinstrumentality (I) and the expectancy (E). Using the initials of these threevariables, expectancy theory is often called the VIE theory. Now let's discusseach of these key elements.
Valence is a subjective value attached toan incentive of reward. People attach a valence to an incentive because theybelieve it satisfies some of their needs. Since it is subjective, people differin the value they attach to a given incentive. For example, one person mayattach a high value to a promotion, while another person can avoid it. Theformer may like it because it brings money and power, while the latter dislikesit because it means more responsibility or the headaches of dealing with otherpeople's problems.
Also since it is subjective, managers havelittle control over the valences their employees attach to organizationalincentives. However, managers can influence the valence if incentives bymatching rewards to employee needs. Valence usually increases when (1) anemployee 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. Forexample, an employee will probably attach a high valence to money if (1) he orshe has a strong economic need, (2) money used as an incentive, and (3) thesize of the monetary incentive is sufficiently attractive.
Instrumentality refers to the ralationshipbetween performance and raward. People ask, «Will I be rewarded if Iperform the job well?» If the answer is affirmative, they will bemotivated to exert an effort and increase the level of task performance. If theanswer is negative, their motivational efforts will be reduced. As withvalence, the measures of instrumentality can be positive or negative. If peopleperceive that their performance is generally rewarded, the perceivedinstrumentality will be positive. Ifthey 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, theinstrumentality will be low.
Since perceived instrumentality is asubjective judgment, managers do not have direct control over it. But they canpositively influence their subordinates' perception of the instrumentalrelationship by matching rewards to rerformance and by communicating this facteffectively to the subordinates. For example, managers can improveinstrumentality by using performance-contingent pay systems such as piecerates, merit rates, or performance bonuses, and by managing such systemsfairly.
Expectancy is the belief that effort leadsto performance. It is a subjective feeling that people attach to the likehoodof accomplishing a task. They may ask, «Can I perform and accomplish thetask goal?» «How much effort would the task reqiure?» If theyfeel there is a close relationship between their effort and taskaccomplishment, expectancy will be favorable. However, if the task is toosimple or too complex relative to their ability, then they may feel that theireffort is not related to task performance.
Like other motivational concepts,expectancy is subjective; people attach varying expectancies to an outcome. Atask may seem simple to some but not to others. A person's ability andpersonality influence his or her effort-performance expectancy. Competent andsecure individuals tend to perceive expectancy more positively than incompetentand pessimistic individuals.
Managers have no direct control over howtheir employees perceive the chance of achieving an outcome or task, but theycan influence the employee's expectancies positively by matching people to jobs.When people are matched with jobs, employees can utilize their job skills andenergies effectively. Consequently, effort-performance expectancy will beincreased.
III. DEVELOPING MOTIVATIONAL PRINCIPLES
Managers can improve the valence, instrumentality,and expectancy employees place in their job situations by (1) matching rewardsto needs, (2) natching rewards to performance, and (3) matching job toemployees.
The strength of expectancy theory lies inthe fact that it accomodates three theories of individual behavior (needs,reinforcement, and perception) and that it can be operationalized. We have seena set of motivational principles from expectancy theory and now I'll try toexplain how these principles can be applied in organizational settings.
Matching Rewardsto Employee Needs
By matching rewards to needs, managementcan increase not only the valence of rewards but also the level of employeesatisfaction. How can management match rewards to needs? There are a few thingsthat managers can do:
1. Figure outwhat employees want. Managers can ask their employees what kinds of rewardsthey prefer. This information can be used to select appropriate rewards. Peoplewant different things from their jobs, and matching rewards to these needsincreases the valence of the rewards.
2. Find peoplewho value rewards. The match between rewards and needs can be achieved byfinding people who may value what the organisation may offer. Someorganizations are limited in their ability to offer a variety rewards. In thiscase the organization needs to attact people who can be motivated by what itcan offer. For example, if the only things a company can offer is money, itshould hire people who are striving for economic need saticfaction.
Matching Rewardsto Performance
By relating organizational rewards to jobperformance, management can increase the chances of attaining both individualand organizational goals. This strategy favorably affects theperformance-reward instrumentality. There are several things that managers cando in this effort.
1. Useperformance-contingent reward systems. Some reward systems lack motivationalvalue because they are not tied to performance. Annual bonuses and fringebenefits are often not tied to performance; they are usually given to employeesinstead for maintaining organizational membership. Incentive pay and meritsystems are examples of relating rewards to performance.
2. Maintainequity in reward systems. Matching rewards to performance also means that theamount of reward should be commensurate with task complexity, labouravailability, prewailing wage level, and amount of responsibility. When thereare no objective performance criteria, managers need to be cautious inevaluating the performance of their employees.
3. Communicateperformance-reward contingencies. It does not matter whether or not rewards areactually tied to performance. Unless the performance-reward contingencies areclearly communicated to employees and perceived by employees as such, the rewardsystems cannot have a strong impact on employee motivation. Performancefeedback, followed by reinforcement, is essential in maintaining a high levelof performance.
Matching Jobs toEmployees
Mathing the technical, physical, andpsychological requirements of the job to the employee's qualificationsenchances the effort-performance expectancy. If the job is either too simple ortoo complex, the employee may not feel that his or her effort has beeneffectively utilized in the task performance. The matching process involves thefollowing actions.
1. Design the jobto suit employee needs. People want different levels of job challenge. Someemployees may prefer complex and challenging jobs; other may prefer simpletasks. Task complexity needs to be differentiated to reflect the technical andpsychological qualifications of employees.
2. Matchemployees to jobs. The match between jobs and people can also be achieved byhiring people who will fit the jobs. When it is economically and technicallyimpractical to redesighn jobs, it makes more sence to fit employees to jobsthan the other way around.
3. Improveemployee job skills. Another way of fitting people to jobs is by training. Whenemployees are underqualificated to perform their jobs, training can help themfind a better fit. Training also enchances effort-performance expectancy.
4. Setchallenging but attainable goals. Set performance goals that are challengingbut attainable. If the task goals are ether too high or too low, employees arenot likely to feel that their efforts are related to task performance. When thetask goals are challenging but attainable, they are more likely to perceive therelationship between effort and task accomplishment.
This diccussion demonstrates howmotivational principles can be applied in managing organozational reward andwork systems.
My work presents a model of motivation,describes a set of motivational principles. Here also shown in short theexpectancy theory, which explains how motivational decisions are made.
People make motivational decisions basedon how they perceive the relationship between their needs and organizationalrewards (valence), their performance and rewards (instrymentality), and theirefforts and task performance (expectancy). Generally, work motivation increaseswhen they perceive these relationships favorably.
A set of motivational principles can bederived from the expectancy theory. The valence, instrumentality, andexpectancy of performing a task can be improved by adopting the following threeprinciples:
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.