Obu Acca Project

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CHAPTER ONE

1. Introduction

My research is an analysis of the key factors that influence the levels of motivation of employees within Kenya Medical Research Institute/Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (KEMRI/CDC) Program.

Changes in the business environment have made many organizations to respond by evaluating their employee motivational methods. This is in cognizance of the fact that employees differ in their involvement in task performance. It has thus been hypothesized that differences in performance among people doing the same kind of work reflect differences in their motivational levels and that at one time, people vary in the extent to which they are willing to direct their energies towards the attainment of organizational objectives. Why do we need motivated employees? The answer is survival (Smith, 1994). Motivated employees are needed in our rapidly changing workplaces. Motivated employees help organizations survive. Motivated employees are more productive. To be effective, managers need to understand what motivates employees within the context of the roles they perform. Of all the functions a manager performs, motivating employees is arguably the most complex. This is due, in part, to the fact that what motivates employees changes constantly (Bowen & Radhakrishna, 1991). For example, research suggests that as employees' income increases, money becomes less of a motivator (Kovach, 1987). Also, as employees get older, interesting work becomes more of a motivator Management can de-motivate with activities that include: Making employee feel unimportant, ineffective addressing employee concerns and questions, fostering a threatening environment, promoting a blaming culture, not acknowledging employee efforts and not following through on commitments

01. Background

KEMRI/CDC Program is a collaborative research program between Kenyan Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) and the United States of American Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). KEMRI was established in 1979 under the Science and Technology (Amendment) Act of 1979 while CDC is a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services in the USA. Scientists from the two organizations started collaborating in 1979. The mission of the Program is “To promote public health in Kenya and East Africa through Collaborative research, training, Control and Prevention”. The Program has four major research and program branches, namely; Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID), Global Aids Program (GAP), HIV Research (HIVR) and Malarial Research. There is a central Administrative & Support unit and Demographic Surveillance Systems (DSS), which serves the projects. The program has a work force of about 900 employees spread across Kenya. The Program’s administrative office is located at Kisian, 15 Kilometers West of Kisumu City. The program’s employees comprise of a wide range of professionals notably Human Health Scientists, Lab technologists, Data & ICT experts, Administrative and Finance officers and Auxiliary staff. The program has five categories of staff. The first is the CDC Direct Hires. These are mostly American nationals employed by the US Government and are seconded to the program to provide technical and expertise assistance. They are mostly the Branch Chiefs and run the projects undertaken by the program. The second category is the CDC Contractors. These are foreign experts who are hired by CDC to perform specific duties. The next Category is the Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs). These are Non Americans hired by the Regional American Embassy and are seconded to the Program; they are mostly technical advisors and departmental heads. The other Category is the KEMRI Seconded Staff. They are KEMRI’s permanent and pensionable employees seconded to the program. They are mostly senior scientists, Data & ICT experts and Finance and administrative offices seconded to the program to provide technical and expertise...
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