Does a Successful Internal Communication System Result in a Motivated Workforce?

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Research Pages: 7 (2002 words) Published: May 13, 2007
Research Question:
Does a successful internal communication system result in a motivated workforce?

As little as a few decades ago, managers believed that the behind the scenes dealings of their companies were of no concern to employees. Thus, information that may have motivated employees or inspired their job interest was not available to them as they were merely considered ‘another cog in the organisational wheel'. Since that time, management science has formed a basis for analysing management style and its influence on communication and motivation. Described by Phillip V. Lewis, "…basically, motivation is any influence that causes behaviour…"

As an undergraduate at Leeds Metropolitan University, studying for BA Honours Public Relations degree, the author has studied the Organisational Behaviour module, which focused on behavioural studies within a work place environment. One major component of the module was motivation, and identified was Maslow's Motivational Theory, used as a tool in helping to better understand employee behaviour in organisational settings. The aim of this study will be to observe this theory with reference to a chosen case study of an organisation, and establish whether there is a connection by which internal communications contributes to helping create a motivated workforce.

The inclusion of a case study in the dissertation will provide an opportunity to study in-depth, certain aspects of communication within an organisation, within a limited timescale. If possible more than one organisation will be approached with the hope of gaining a broader analysis and understanding of the link between internal communication and motivation of employees.

The main case study organisation will be Eurostar International, within the human resources and public relations departments based at Waterloo, London. The author has close contacts with this organisation and has previously carried out a work placement within the company. Eurostar have a high regard for their employees, and being such a large organisation with numerous sites and sectors of the company, the author felt this was an ideal choice to investigate.

Background Research
"Of many who have sought to identify the conditions which create a satisfied workforce, none has yet produced a definite answer to the question of whether internal communication specifically contributes to creating a satisfied workforce. Research to date has simply looked at the general conditions which create a satisfied workforce." (Fincham and Rhodes, 1992).

Philip V. Lewis looked at the effect a person's attitudes and values have over influencing behaviour. He discussed how attitudes are represented by feelings and emotions, and described them as ‘affective, cognitive and conative'. Values are beliefs, which guide behaviour, telling an individual what is right and wrong. Although a person may have thousands of beliefs, generally they only have a few values. Lewis comprised a list outlining categories of values, these being; theoretical, economic, aesthetic, social, political and religious. He estimated that each individual would fit loosely into one of the categories.

It is generally accepted that attitudes and values influence an individual's behaviour; however, a common view of motivation is that it is a process of satisfying needs as people move towards their primary goal of well-being. A framework was devised for studying human needs, designed by Maslow, 1954. He suggested that all needs could be grouped into a five-step hierarchy, once a person had satisfied a need at one level; their motivation is attracted by the thought of achieving the need at the next level of the hierarchical system. This progression ultimately leads to behaviour motivated principally by the need to realise one's full potential, which Maslow termed ‘self-actualisation'- a need that he believed will motivate behaviour throughout a person's...
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