Case Study – Motivation at the Bradley Clothing Company
The personnel manager of the Bradley Clothing Company, Alice Johnson thinks the theories of Maslow and Herzberg are very suitable for the management; therefore, she put the theory into practice. The outcome is not what she expected, so this is the main discussion point about the relationship between theory and reality. The theories of Maslow and Herzberg are surely worthy to be the reference for implementation, but there are still some theories which assist and support these two theories to make it more complete, and it is also very important to take this into consideration. In the following, I am going to discuss the combination of those theories and the practical method for execution.
Content Theories of Motivation
The theory was developed by Abraham Maslow (1943, 1954, 1971), and his main argument was on the resolution between drives and motives and he claimed we have nine intrinsic needs. During the nine needs, from the basic biological requirements to the highest hierarchy self actualization and it really pointed out the progress of needs from human beings. However, the process could be stopped by any levels, and besides, maybe it is too vague for the Mrs. Johnson to predict the behaviour from the employees of the company because there are different positions of jobs which have different working content. Although the Marlow’s theory still offers the correct concept, the situation nowadays may need some adjustment. The theory is was more of a social philosophy which reflected white American middle-class value, so it cannot cover all the conditions. Clayton Alderfer (1972) claimed the ERG theory which included existence, relatedness and growth needs. Alderfer’s theory could be linked to the Maslow’s theory which is biological and safety needs, affiliation needs, and self-actualization and self-esteem needs. It simplified the process of the Maslow’s theory and directed at organizational settings because Maslow was not intentionally concerned with work motivation. Actually, if Alice can take this as her basic idea for the different levels of needs, it will be easier to categorise. Although Alice took the idea from Maslow, it is newer to adapt the ERG theory, besides it also related to the original Marlow’s theory. This is the fundamental part of staff’s needs, and only figure out the source of the needs, it is possible to continue the following steps. Then, here is two quotes which was from Sheila Ritchie and Peter Martin (1999) that ‘the task of the manager is to find out what it is that motivates people’ and ‘make them smile more and carp less’. There are twelve motivational drivers and for the Bradley Clothing Company, clothing designers need to be self-development, social contact and relationships. It is because the clothing designers are satisfied with the status quo and they feel happy about the current achievement, and this could be a concern afterwards. If they just think they do not have to make in progress, the ability of competence must be going down and it will be very easy to lose to the other competitors, so they have to have the kind of self-awareness which is similar to self-development and remind themselves to keep improved continuously and the manager could show the work from other companies to motivate the designers to have better performance. For the other employees such as cutters, seamsters, pressers, and packagers, it should focus on recognition, variety and change and money and tangible rewards. The jobs they are responsible for is replaceable, but as a good company, it should take care of all the employees and that is why they are the partners in the company. Besides, although it is hard to let them feel their job full of variety, the company still can educate them that try to take every different piece of clothes as the new work and maybe they just do not appreciate what they do. In this way,...
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