A Case study on Mega Manufacturing

Regardless of where we begin our study of Organisational Psychology, we will sooner or later have to deal with the issue of motivation, as it is central to the treatment of Organisational Behaviour. Motivation or what drives people to perform in their work settings is a subject that has received enormous attention over the centuries. By definition motivation is a set of forces that causes people to work towards attainment of an organisation’s objectives and specific goals, while sustaining the effort expended in reaching those goals.
(Steers and Porter, 1991 Principles of Organisational Behaviour). Both domestic and foreign ventures have led to increased levels of competition in modern industry, meaning that high levels of efficiency and consistency are vital to the success of any business. The importance of motivation should not be underestimated by the management of any company as it is a vital tool in ensuring the highest levels of productivity and quality. Considering the dilemna faced by Mega Manufacturing it is clear that a lack of employee motivation is at the centre of their problem.
Employees are the central resource around which any company operates and are central to determining the overall success and profitability of the organisation. Often employee motivation is the line which seperates good companies from great companies. It is essential that the management at Mega Manufacturing understand the motivational profiles of their workers and implement a strategy that will increase employee satisfaction whilst optimising productivity.

A number of researchers have argued that a unified theoretical analysis of motivation in organisations would be highly desirable, but that it is difficult and perhaps impossible to achieve. Simply put no one theory can be applied to every individual in every situation. Managers of an organisation must be aware of the complexities of human motivation and of the dynamic processes which occur as the person enters into and pursues a career within an organisation.
(Organizational Psychology by Schein) In my opinion, while the theories of Maslow, Herzberg, Hackman, McGregor, Alderfers and McClelland all bear relevance to the problem faced by Mega Manufacturing they are not truly applicable in this case. Of all the intrinsically based theories of motivation I feel that the “Expectancy Theory” is most pertinent in this situation, it was proposed by Victor Vroom in 1964. Professor Vroom is an authority on the psychological analysis of behaviour in organisations, particularly on leadership and decision making.
His 1964 book, Work and Motivation, is regarded as landmark in that field (mba. yale. edu website. ) Porter and Lawler have further developed his theory. Vroom’s Expectancy Model suggests that people choose certain behaviors because they anticipate that these will lead to one or more desired outcomes where as other behaviors will lead to undesirable outcomes. Porter and Lawlers work has developed this theory into it’s current state and it’s scope and complexity have grown considerably.
I feel that this theory best describes the die-cutters resistance to the implementation of the new production method. The traditional frame of mind which was often adopted by managers can be summed up as “Man is primarily motivated by economic incentives and will do that which gets him the greatest economic gain”(Organizational Psychology by Schein). This idea is further iterated by McGregors theory X where he describes man as “… inherently lazy and must therefore be motivated by outside incentives”.
We must also note that aside from financial gain there are several other factors that affect human motivation; McClelland’s theory highlights the need for achievement, power and affiliation, and this is just a sample of the huge range of factors that affect motivation in the workplace. Vroom’s Expectancy Model suggests that people choose certain behaviors because they anticipate that particular behaviors will lead to one or more desired outcomes and that other behaviors will lead to undesirable outcomes.
Its basis centres on the natural human belief that effort will be rewarded, and it highlights the repercussions when hard work does not bring its just fruits. The theory identifies three important expectations that individuals bring to the workplace, “Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence”. The combined effects these factors provides an effective tool in work situations. Expectancy is the first factor, and I think it is largely dependent on the confidence of the individual.
An individual who has a belief in their own skills and ability to complete a task will meet the challenge with enthusiasm if the other determining factors are favourable. It is therefore important that managers assign workers to tasks that are suited to them. However the problem facing Mega Manufacturing is not based at this stage, we already know that the workers at Mega Manufacturing possess the necessary skills to operate the new die-cutter “Look, Mr. Nowall, we know how to make this new die-cut work
The second determinant of motivation is “Instrumentality” which poses the question “If I accomplish a task will I attain the required outcome? ” The doctrine that human nature is rational-economic derives ultimately from the philosophy of hedonism, which argued that people act to maximise their self interest (Organizational Psychology by Schein) Workers must feel that the old saying “You get back what you put in” is a reliable guideline to follow. While this statement portrays a grim image of human nature it is the basis around which motivation revolves. “What’s in it for us? ”

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