Name: Matt Young
NTU ID: N0267994
1) 1. Henry Ford believed that workers could be motivated by increased pay. Frederick Taylor believed that workers were inherently lazy. What could they learn from motivation theory?
Maslow ‘suggested there is a hierarchy of needs up which people progress’ (Fincham, R, Rhodes, P (1999). Principles of Organizational Behaviour p132) this theory along with many other content and process theories challenges both Ford and Taylor’s ideas. All theories have one aim of motivating employees; through doing this it is likely to improve efficiency. This essay will argue the strengths and weaknesses of Ford and Taylor’s theories, while comparing and contrasting to other motivation theories showing how they both could learn from and enhance these into their own theories.
Taylor’s scientific management theory is a very straight forward theory with all thinking to be for the managers, ‘every man who gets on this job has got to lay bricks my way’ (Pugh, D (1997). Organization theory p294), this quote typifies Taylor’s theory, with his belief that workers were lazy and ‘managers do the thinking and workers obey’ (Fincham, R, Rhodes, P (1999). Principles of Organizational Behaviour p258) This theory means the workers do no thinking and just do what the managers ask of them, with the idea of maximizing efficiency through the worker being told the exact way to perform the task and completely focusing on completing their work quick. It is argued that Taylorism leaves workers brain dead due to the lack of thought, basically turning the workers into machines. Taylor has no faith in workers and believes they are lazy, it could be argued that in order to motivate workers having so little faith in the workforce leads to a decrease in motivation.
Ford’s theory has been described as Taylor’s ideas into reality. Ford is most renowned for his view of pay to motivate and his $5 day. This has been challenged by other motivation theories to be not entirely correct. A recent example of Ford’s theory being challenged is the British Airways workforce strikes about working conditions and payment ‘BA cabin crew went on strike last month over pay and working conditions’ (news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/8647340.stm, (2010). Despite the strikes being partly about money, the fact that they are on strike due to working conditions as well shows that workers are not completely focused on money and have other concerns at work. ‘Fordism is typified by the assembly line’ (Fincham, R, Rhodes, P (1999) Principles of Organizational Behaviour p523) this is something that is still used today for example in McDonaldisation, whether this leads to higher efficiency or not is a debatable matter. It could be argued that this demoralizes the workers leading to a lack of motivation.
Maslow’s theory is a very widely known content theory. His hierarchy of needs consists of both higher order and lower order needs. Once the lower order needs are satisfied the higher order needs become more important. There is a lot of controversy over this theory even from Maslow himself. There are even suggestions that ‘higher-order needs to increase in importance over lower-order needs as individuals move up the managerial hierarchy’ (French, R; Rayner, C; Rees, G and Rumbles, S (2008) Organizational Behaviour p161). This varies from person to person, for example whether the individual is an extrovert or introvert but this theory is definitely something that Taylor and Ford could learn from.
A similar but more proven theory is Alderfer’s ERG theory, the main difference being that you can move up and down the 3 three groups, rather than just up like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It differs from Maslow in the way that when satisfied what you have becomes more important. This makes sense in the way that when you have something, like money and stability you want to keep it...