Self-Efficacy Motivation

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929779 Submission Title: Self-efficacy, Motivation and Employee Engagement: Empowering Workers Using Forum Theatre

Author: Richard Carter MGSM, Macquarie University

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Title Footnote: Richard Carter, Doctoral Student MGSM, Macquarie University, New South Wales 2109 Australia

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929779 Self-efficacy, Motivation and Employee Engagement: Empowering Workers Using Forum Theatre

Self-efficacy is a social psychological construct that is conceptualized from an agentic perspective and refers to the motivation to perceive oneself as a causal agent. A recent work place intervention within a division of a large Australian retail organization was designed to empower workers through the 4 sources of selfefficacy information: enactive attainment, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and emotional arousal. This information was delivered via a Forum Theatre setting, a technique traditionally used as a catalyst for political action amongst oppressed groups. Preliminary results suggest the intervention’s format has lead to an increase in employee self-efficacy, empowerment and engagement as well as improved organizational performance. This paper describes the theoretical nexus between self-efficacy, work motivation and employee engagement and outlines a research program utilizing Forum Theatre as a vehicle to shift power to workers while concurrently meeting organizational objectives. The use of Forum Theatre suggests that another world is indeed possible for disengaged and alienated workers, a world where they are empowered.

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929779 Self-efficacy, Motivation and Employee Engagement: Empowering Workers Using Forum Theatre

Why do people work? Sociologists have long been concerned with developing a deeper understanding of the relationship between work and society (Arendt 1958; Marx and Bottomore 1963; Wolff and Durkheim 1960). How do people develop beliefs about the value of working in one’s life? What social standards or norms are concerned with creating an obligation of the individual to society? Conversely, what social standards or norms underlie the rights of the person and the obligation of society to the individual? What outcomes do people gain from working? How would society function if people didn’t work? On the other hand, how would people function if they didn’t have to work? These issues are increasingly important as technological advances and globalization continue to change the very nature of work. Given that work (defined as paid employment and not including other forms of work such as school, volunteer or house work) has been characterized as providing the very foundation of moral order in society (MOW_International_Research_Team 1987), understanding how social influences affect the meaning people attach to work is critical. Historically, religion has played a key role in providing a socially constructed frame of reference for people to attach meaning to the work they perform. Indeed, the role of religion in creating a nexus between work and society was of primary concern to Marx who argued that religion (or at least Christianity) had provided the ideological superstructure for capitalism (Livingston and Fiorenza 1997). Marx argued that individuals sought self-determination, intentionality and creativity through ‘praxis’. However, Marx believed that workers were alienated from nature as well as the product

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929779 of their labor because it was not an expression of themselves but simply a means to prolong their physical existence. As a result, the individual is alienated from their human essence and from their fellow human beings with the crucial problem being that alienated individuals lack the practical power to take meaningful action. The theme of Marx’s view that individuals seek self-determination, intentionality and creativity through work has effectively been picked up by the humanistic psychology movement of the 20th Century. Starting with the famous Hawthorne experiments of...
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