Motivation, everyone who has a desire to succeed in life and in business usually has some form of it. Motivation represents those psychological processes that cause the arousal, direction, and persistence of voluntary actions that are goal directed (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008, p. 210). But one must ask, what makes a company successful? Is it the products they make? Is it the marketing they use? Or is it the people that work for the organization that makes them successful? After reviewing several Fortune 500 companies I have chosen three to discuss. I discovered what makes them tick, and the motivational techniques they use to keep their companies running strong. The three companies being highlighted are Merck & Co., Inc., Starbucks, and Google. We will begin with Merck. Merck is known worldwide as one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, and ranks 99th on the Fortune 500. It was established in 1891 as the United States subsidiary of the German company Merck KGaA. It is currently one of the seven largest pharmaceutical companies in the world both by capital and revenue (Merck & Co., Inc, 2008, p. 1). Like many pharmaceutical companies in the U.S., the sales force at Merck follows the pay for performance model. Pay for performance is the popular term for monetary incentives linking at least a portion of the paycheck directly to results or accomplishments. Many refer to it simply as incentive pay while others call it variable pay (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008, p. 259). The pharmaceutical sales representatives at Merck call it motivation. Pharmaceutical sales is a very addictive field due to this pay for performance model. So, why is this job so addictive? Perhaps because the excessive profit margins of many brand-name pharmaceutical products can mean enormous commissions (Princeton Review, 2006, p. 1). Merck’s mission statement and culture lies heavily on both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. We recognize that the ability to...
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