Technocraft: Managing Motivation

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Case Study: Managing motivation at Technocraft

I. Symptoms
a) High labour turnover.
b) Difficulty in recruiting new employees.
c) Poor productivity performance.

II. Identifying and analysing the problems
We postulate that the first problem relates to the employees’ resentment towards the management team. A useful starting point for understanding this first problem is Abraham Maslow’s theory of individual development and motivation. Marlow puts forward the argument that people are wanting beings, they always want more, and what they want depends on what they already have. He suggests that human needs are arranged in a series of levels forming progressive hierarchy of importance (1). By adopting Marlow’s theory, it can be clearly discerned that the ‘Affiliation” need, which refers to the intrinsic need for a sense of belonging to the work team, was not satisfied in this case given that Robert Houlden forcefully stopped all the informal working practices that contributed to create a good team spirit and feeling of belonginess. Another contributory factor to the problem of resentment is the lack of employment security, which Maslow identified as one of the main ‘Security’ needs in his theory. Indeed, George Newell’s refusal to admit to the mistaken and heavy-handed termination of contract of two senior employees, despite Maggie Francis’ warning (2), led directly to a feeling of lack of employment security by other members of the team. The second problem we have identified is the element of job dissatisfaction. It is pertinent to explore this second problem by applying Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation. Herzberg postulates that there are two sets of factors affecting motivation at work. One set of factors are those which, if absent, causes dissatisfaction. These factors are related to job context, they are concerned with...
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