careers - ProFile 2 UNIT 2 Careers There are many different...

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Unformatted text preview: ProFile 2 UNIT 2 Careers There are many different theories which attempt to explain human motivation in general, and motivation at the workplace in particular. ABR AHAM MASLOW Maslow expresses human motivation as a hierarchy of needs: 1 2 3 4 physiological needs: air, food and drink safety needs the need to belong and for love and affection esteem needs: self-respect and the good opinion of others 5 self-actualization needs. Only once lower-level needs are met, are we concerned about higher-order needs. See especially Maslow’s Motivation and Personality. DOUGLAS McGREGOR McGregor’s Theory X, Theory Y contrasts two opposing views about why people work. Which philosophy is followed will broadly determine an organization’s management style. Theory X suggests that people find work unpleasant, have to be forced to work well, and have to be told what to do. By contrast, a Theory Y philosophy claims that work is as natural as rest or play; that people find it personally rewarding and fun, and that they will come up with imaginative solutions to problems. There are organizations which have become famous for one approach or the other. The Semco corporation of Brazil is an example of an organization where formal management is kept to a minimum and employees are able to make most key decisions themselves. Internet start-ups and high-tech businesses which employ well qualified and motivated staff are famous for their relative freedom and lack of hierarchy. However, it is difficult to see how performing a boring, repetitive task in unpleasant working conditions could ever be turned into a Theory Y activity. It is often only the threat of sanctions or punishment that motivates people to work and See the ProFile Student’s site: www.oup.com/elt/profile necessitates a management style which is essentially Theory-X-informed. These theories appeared in McGregor’s The Human Side of Enterprise. Theory Z is a more recent addition by Ouchi which integrates the Japanese attitude to work which had evolved from the principles of kaizen (William Ouchi, Theory Z). HERZBERG HYGIENE FACTORS Herzberg stressed the importance of satisfying what he called the ‘hygiene factors’ of work. This not only recognized the need to ensure a safe working environment, but included the recognition of the importance of fair wages and supervision in how workers felt about their employers. What is interesting about Hertzberg is that he insists that man is more than simply an economic animal. He emphasizes the importance of job satisfaction, the sense of personal development, and recognition as part of the system of rewards as motivating factors. This helps to explain why some people will remain in poorly paid jobs because they derive personal satisfaction and receive recognition. A more prestigious-sounding job title can be more of a motivator than a pay rise. See especially Herzberg, Mausner, Snyderman, The Motivation to Work. We should remember that no single theory can explain what motivates people at work. In addition, for most of us, motivation is dynamic not static. It changes according to our age and the point we are at in our careers and what material needs we need to satisfy through working. More and more companies now allow employees to choose from among a range of additional benefits to fit their particular circumstances. This could include bonuses, cars, health insurance, childcare, concierge services where the firm arranges for someone to do the shopping and everyday chores for employees. A blend of these different factors will provide the right motivational mix for the employee. Photocopiable © Oxford University Press ...
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