What Motivates Employees to Achieve Better Performance at Work?’

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Topics: Motivation, Ethics
Exercise 1 The research problem I intend to address in my thesis is, ‘What motivates employees to achieve better performance at work?’ The question of motivation has long been a central concern in organizational psychology, while performance itself remains elusive to measure and improve. As the world enters the second year of the most challenging recession since 1929, the time is ideal to consider ways in which productivity can be ramped up as a way of expanding GDP. Frederick Herzberg’s Two Factor theory has been particularly influential in its claim that job satisfaction is directly related to a class of motivators that includes recognition, advancement, and growth. Herzberg’s theory, read in conjunction with Maslow’s notion of a hierarchy of needs, represented a fundamental shift in motivation theory, which had previously posited that factors such as salary and working conditions were more important determinants of job satisfaction and, thereby, improved performance. In the wake of Herzberg, some HR managers and managers consider their job done if they have added a few motivational factors into a job enrichment plan. However, I plan to test for a different hypothesis: that there is a difference between a partial job enrichment plan and a conventional one. I hypothesize that a comprehensive job enrichment approach will result in better motivation, and therefore better performances, than a partial approach. The problem is suitable for research on a doctoral level because it will contribute nuance to the current academic understanding of both motivation and performance theory, and it will benefit business managers by proving that job enrichment delivers maximum ROI only if it is approached comprehensively. The research’s distinctive and original contribution will consist not only of proof of the greater efficacy of comprehensive job enrichment but also in providing a formal model of job enrichment for use by other researchers and also


References: Alderfer, C.P. (1969). An empirical test of a new theory of human needs. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance 4, 142-175 Alderfer, C.P. (1972). Existence, relatedness, and growth: Human needs in organizational settings Hamper, B. (1992). Rivethead: tales from the assembly line. Detroit: Grand Central Publishing. Herzberg, F. (1966). Work and the nature of man. New York: World Publishing Herzberg, F Raz, A. (2002). Emotions at work. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Asia Center Sherwood, T

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