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Motivation and Organizational Behavior

By troydeezie Mar 24, 2012 732 Words
“Organizational Behavior is the study of human behavior in organizational settings, of the interface between human behavior and the organization and of the organization itself (OB pg# 3).” The study of the contemporary corporation and the evolution of management innovation are the keys to the development and success of business in the future. In order to fully benefit from this, one must examine multiple company structures, how they compare and contrast, and how these specific organizational traits can be transferred into other companies. Reflection on the concepts in the field of organizational behavior, the future of management, the cases discussed in class, and their application in the business world is key. This paper will discuss the essential areas of organizational behavior: motivation, leadership, organizational culture, organizational structure, reward systems, the job characteristics theory, and talk about some of the most important things in organizational behavior. Motivation:

Motivation is an essential component of any successful business. Keeping your workforce engaged is one a vital aspect of modern management. Two companies that have done this remarkably well are Whole Foods and W.L. Gore. The best way to describe the motivation at Whole Foods is by using the Porter-Lawler model of motivation. This model argues that performance drives satisfaction through the use of both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards (OB pg# 101). The intrinsic rewards at Whole Foods include ownership over department inventory, and the ability to influence hiring decisions. The external awards include influence over department bonuses, stock options, and a generous wage. A key aspect of this particular model of motivation is the importance of the perceived equity of rewards (OB pg# 101). This is achieved through an open-pay system in which each employee is entitled to know what the others make, and a cap on the CEO’s salary. The perceived equity of rewards, as demonstrated by Whole Foods, show that if employees see that their efforts will be rewarded with something of value to them, they will perform. Ultimately this performance will lead to higher job satisfaction and a highly engaged workforce. The motivation principles that are in place at Whole Foods are working. In 2007 it was voted the fifth best place to work in the country (FoM pg# 81). There are also other factors that motivate and engage employees in the workplace. One description suggests that motivation is equal to performance plus ability plus environment (OB pg# 83). This simple equation for motivation can be seen in action at W.L. Gore, an engineering firm with a unique approach to company structure. This company has avoided using the traditional form of top down management and has instead adopted a self-described lattice approach to management (FoM pg# 87). The lattice as used at W.L. Gore connects each member of the firm and allows for more autonomy and innovation. This creates a powerful environment that dramatically impacts the motivation of the employees. The method of selecting teams for projects is a good example of how the environment can directly effect motivation. At the beginning of each project the team members are hired by the group that is leading the directive. This method of project distribution accomplishes two goals. First, team members will chose initiatives in which they are interested, and second the team will select members with the best abilities to help the team reach its goals. This company provides their employees with the right environment, allows them to match their abilities to their work, and gives them the organizational structure to perform. This is the ideal equation for generating highly motivated employees, and a key reason W.L. Gore has maintained its competitive edge over the last 60 years. Whole Foods and W.L. Gore motivate their employees slightly different, but also share some commonalities. Both companies give their employees ownership over their specific area in the firm, allow employees to choose their coworkers, and encourage their employees to innovate new methods of success. Yet there are substantial differences in how the companies are structured and in their goals. Regardless of the differences, both W.L. Gore and Whole Foods have used powerful methods of motivation to change the nature of business. Even though the two companies have vastly different products and services, they demonstrate the importance of instituting specific organizational structures and motivational tools to create a substantially more successful and motivated work force.

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