Motivation to Work Well Depends More Than High Wages and on Working Conditions

1) Discuss critically the validity of the contention that the motivation to work
well depends on more than a high salary and good working conditions.

This essay will define what motivation is, the influence and effect that money
and good working conditions have on staff and the other factors and issues that
motivate staff to work in the context of the workplace.

In order to critically discuss and evaluate what motivates staff in the
workplace it is imperitive to firstly define the concept of motivation.
Motivation can be defined as the force or process which impels people to behave
in the way they do; Newcomb (1950) said that an organism is motivated:

"when - and only when - it is characterized both by a state of drive and by a
direction of behaviour towards some goal which is selected in preference to all
other possible goals. Motive, then is a concept which joins together drive and
goal".

This implies that providing the drive for staff to achieve goals that have been
set is a vital and important part of the managerial role.

Although it is apparent that to become or be motivated does not always rely on
drive and goals - it can often arise through voluntary action as well.
McDougall (1908) made this extension of the concept of motivation to \'voluntary
behaviour\' explicit by suggesting that instincts were the \'prime movers\' of all
human activity. McDougall disagrees with the drive theorists arguing that the
instincts of staff in the workplace provide a major source of motivation.

Hebb (1949) also disagrees with the assumptions that directed and persistant
behaviour is always preceeded by \'extra neural bodily irritants\'. Hebb claims
that \'The term motivation then refers to: (1) To the existence of an
organisational phase sequence, (2) to its direction or content, and (3) to its
persistence in a given direction or stability of content. There are obviously
many schools of thought and theories on exactly what is motivation and why
people are motivated, but it seems that the general concensus opinion lies with
Maslow (1970) "Motivation is the force or combination of forces which lead us to
behave as we do". The actual force or forces that motivate will be now be
discussed.

Money is an important factor in the motivation of employees, as profit acts as a
measure of success of a business, so many people judge their own success or
failure and the esteem in which they are held by the employer or the
renumeration received for the job done. It must be mentioned that although a
high salary is not the only motivator, it can act as an incentive to work more
productively;

"Pay buys the goods and services that people want to satisfy other needs. The
more boring the job, and the less its intrinsic interest the greater the
importance of money as a motivator and incentive to effort". Hammond (1988).

An organisation offers both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards to its employees.
It must be realised that pay is only an extinsic reward. Employees derive
intrinsic rewards from the job itself, for example an employee may be motivated
by the degree of authority given at the work place or the sense of achievement
derived from completing their task (achievement motivation). Intrinsic rewards
are usually totally unrelated to an employees pay/salary.

The extrinsic rewards that employees derive are not directly related to the work
itself but are associated with doing the job; they include the salary/pay,
financial incentives, fringe benefits, working conditions and interaction with
other people in the work place. The importance of the different types of
rewards varies according to each individual and the situation that they are in
- their particular stage in life. For example, for an eighteen year old school
leaver eager to rent his or her own flat , money might be the determining factor
in deciding whether or not to do a job (extrinsic reward), whereas a fifty year
old executive with less pressing money worries will probably be search for a
more challenging job (intrinsic reward). These examples can be related to the
work of Maslow (1954) who identified five categories of need which he claimed
could be placed in a hierarchy (FIG 1). By this he meant that at any given
moment an individual will be aiming to satisfy one particular category of need,
but once this has been done that person will be interested in satisfying the
next higher level.

FIGURE 1 - Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (1954)

The previous example can be related to Figure 1 -