Motivation/Reward System

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Essay 1: Motivation/Reward System

Blake P. Rodabaugh
EDD 9100 CRN 35455
Leadership Seminar

Nova Southeastern University
January 15, 2012

Essay 1: Motivation/Reward System

Employee motivation seems to be at the core of what defines leadership or more importantly a leader. The success or failure of an organization is dependent upon the ability of those in leadership positions and roles to motivate and inspire the members of the organization to high levels of performance. Leaders that are effective have the ability to increase the level of job engagement and organizational commitment on the part of employees. Particularly in the field of education, highly qualified and motivated faculty members are critical to the economic and academic success of the organization. Without them the organization at best stumbles along at a mediocre level and at worst fails (Siddique & Khan, 2011).

There are two types of rewards when dealing with motivational factors of staff, extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is that which comes from outside of the individual such as money, promotion, coercion, grades, or the fear of punitive action. Intrinsic motivation is that which comes from within the individual through a feeling of enjoyment, pleasure, or interest in the task at hand. In investigating the type of reward system to be implemented whether extrinsic or intrinsic it becomes apparent that neither is the answer in itself. As with many aspects of leadership there appears to be no one style that works best all the times but rather is situational as to need. Extrinsic reward has been connected strongly with the encouragement of innovative behavior on the part of employees. This however needs to be taken on in moderation as there is a tendency for excessive motivation of an extrinsic nature to actually depress innovative behavior through the erosion of self motivation. Intrinsic motivation through the application of empowerment, development of human capital, recognition of accomplishment, learning and training support has shown to have a strong impact upon the level of employee innovation. When the two approaches are combined in a situation where extrinsic motivation is added to the aforementioned types of intrinsic motivation, the positive effects are amplified. The intrinsic aspects prevent the over-erosion effects often produced by extrinsic motivation. Thus, as with so much of leadership a combination of approaches is stronger than a single approach (Zhou, Zhang, & Montoro-Sanchez, 2011).

A study designed to investigate the motivational factors that were of the greatest importance to faculty members in higher education found that there was a desire for a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Results demonstrated that while employee compensation and the overall benefits package were of significant importance to faculty members there was an expressed need for non-monetary rewards as well. Key were concepts of empowerment, positive and supportive work environment, recognition, training, involvement in the decision making process, and a sense of value from the organization. Crucial to the successful implementation of this is clear and open communication between faculty and those participating in all roles of supervision (Rasheed, Aslam, & Sarwar, 2010).

An additional view of the concept of motivation is through the application of equity theory. Through this lens motivation of individuals is dependent upon how they view their ratio of outcomes to inputs in comparison to their perception of the outcomes and inputs of their peers in the workplace. This then serves as the basis for the individual to judge whether or not they are being treated fairly in the workplace. They may perceive a situation of either under or over reward, with those workers perceiving an under-reward taking action to restore perceived equity....
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