Organizational Behavior and Motivation Term Paper

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Motivation

Organizational behavior has long been a subject of discussion for both private and public organizations. In addition, the concept of motivation in the workplace has also been the topic of a great deal of debate. The purpose of this discourse is to examine motivation as it applies to Organizational behavior. Let us begin our discussion by describing the theory of motivation.

The theory of motivation was first made popular by Maslow, who asserted that human beings have a hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, this hierarchy of needs is composed of five needs: "physiological needs, safety needs, belonging and love, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. These needs are further categorized as de-cit needs and being needs (Kermally, 2005, pg 26)."

Maslow's assertion was that physiological needs such as food and water must be fulfilled before a human being could be concerned with any other need in the hierarchy.

With these things being understood Maslow asserted that human beings had the capacity to be motivated and that motivation is actually a primitive function of humanity. Although the theory motivation began in the realm of psychological study, it soon became a theory associated with organizational behavior, and this is the context in which it will be discussed for the purposes of this investigation.

Motivation and Organizational Behavior

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Within the context of organizational behavior, motivation is most often discussed as it relates to such factors as job performance, job satisfaction, and the meeting of organizational goals. Although most agree that Maslow's hierarchy is a good starting point for understanding motivation in general, there are other explanations and theories that are more informative as it relates to motivation in the context of organizational behavior.

TOPIC: Term Paper on Organizational Behavior and Motivation Assignment

One of the most important aspects of motivation as it relates to organizational behavior is job satisfaction. Job satisfaction is defined as "a pleasurable or positive emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one's job or job experiences (Brief & Weiss, 2003)." Job satisfaction is an important factor in ensuring that employees stay motivated. When individuals feel pleasure or experience pride in their job, they are more likely to work hard so that they can continue to feel such satisfaction. With this being understood organizations that make a concerted effort to ensure the satisfaction of employees will probably be successful.

Job performance is also positively impacted by job satisfaction. People who are happy and secure in their job positions are likely to perform well when carrying out their job related duties or responsibilities. When Job performance is at optimal levels, both the individual and the organization benefits because more is accomplished and customer satisfaction is greater.

In addition to job satisfaction and job performance, the overall goals of the organization are likely to be met. The motivation that is derived from job satisfaction and job performance assist employees in understanding their value and worth. With this being understood the overall goals of the organization are more likely to be met because employees are aware of the roles that they play in ensuring that the organization succeeds at meeting such goals.

Overall it is apparent that the motivation associated with job satisfaction and job performances are responsible for guaranteeing that the overall goals of an organization are met. As such motivation is an important part of organizational behavior and therefore managers must make every effort to make certain that employees are motivated in a manner that promotes job satisfaction. In doing so, managers will be able to improve job performance and therefore improve profitability.

Rewards, Incentives and Benefits

In many cases when motivation is a topic of discussion the terms rewards, incentives, and benefits arise. Some organizations believe that rewards can be used to motivate employees to perform their best and to complete tasks on time. Rewards and incentives can include everything from monetary gifts to plaques or trophies (Cameron & Pierce, 2002). In some cases employees are aware that ad reward or incentive will be given for a job well done. In such cases the reward or incentive is used to motivate employees an immediate task that is to be completed.

In other cases the reward or incentive is only made known after the task has been completed. When this occurs the purpose of the reward or incentive is to show appreciation for a task that has been completed and to provide some motivation for the completion of future tasks. There exists a great deal of controversy concerning which method should be utilized. Controversy also exists concerning whether or not rewards and incentives should be utilized at all.

The controversy over rewards exists because there are some who argue that rewards only offer temporal satisfaction and therefore do not have a positive impact on an organization over time. Those that oppose the use of rewards argue that they decrease intrinsic motivation (Pierce et al. 2003). Intrinsic motivation allows an individual to perform or behave in a certain way because they have an internal motivation to do so. In other words, people who are intrinsically motivated are not driven by outside forces such as incentives or benefits; instead they perform tasks because they have pride in their work and want to put forth their best effort. Most organizations want their employees to be intrinsically motivated as opposed to having some type of extrinsic motivation in which case they constantly require stimulation or incentives to complete tasks. Intrinsically motivated do not require constant supervision and are much more autonomous than those that are extrinsically motivated. In most cases employees that are intrinsically motivated experience more promotions and greater overall job satisfaction when compared to workers that are extrinsically motivated.

In addition to rewards and incentives, benefits are also used to attract and motivate employees. Benefits include vacation time, sick leave, and insurance coverage. Benefits assist employees in feeling more secure on the job. When people have benefits such as healthcare they have less anxiety and as such they are able to perform better. Also, benefits such as vacation time may motivate employees to perform well because they know that they will have time away for the organization to relax and get rejuvenated. Benefits are also important as it pertains to job satisfaction and ensuring that employees are comfortable and therefore motivated to perform well.

Overall rewards, incentives and benefits are all used to promote employee motivation. Rewards and incentives present employees with something to reach for as it pertains to carrying out job responsibilities. Benefits offer the security needed to ensure that employees have less anxiety and are able to perform the tasks assigned to them knowing that insurance and retirement benefits. Some companies offer greater rewards and benefits than others. However, most companies that are extremely successful are quite generous with the rewards and the benefits that they offer employees because they recognize the manner in which employees are motivated by rewards, incentives and benefits.

Feedback

Feedback is also used as a form of motivation. Feedback is important because it allows communication between managers and employees or between team members. Feedback allows employees to understand the areas of their job performance that they do well and it also emphasizes the areas in which improvements need to be made. According to a book entitled Job Feedback: Giving, Seeking, and Using Feedback for Performance Improvement

Giving feedback is "the activity of providing information to staff members about their performance on job expectations." The recipient of feedback judges its value and determines whether to accept and act on the feedback, reject it, or ignore it. Feedback has different purposes at different career stages. It helps newcomers learn the ropes, midcareer employees to improve performance and consider opportunities for development, and late career employees to maintain their productivity. Managers are an important source of feedback because they establish performance objectives and provide rewards for attaining those objectives. Other sources of feedback are coworkers, subordinates, and customers (London, 2003, pg 11)."

The author explains that presenting workers with feedback can be difficult for some managers because they may feel that they are being critical of the employee (London, 2003,. However, it is important for organizations and managers to understand the role that feedback plays as it pertains to motivation and overall job performance. Feedback allows the employee to review the outcome of his or her work through the eyes of the individual that is responsible for setting certain organizational goals and ensuring these goals are carried out.

Once feedback is received the employee then has the tools needed to improve his or her performance so that organizational goals can be met in a more efficient manner. This leads to better job performance and ultimately greater job satisfaction. All in all, feedback can be an excellent tool as it relates to motivating employees because it gives them an idea of what needs to be improved and it also provides employees with the opportunity and motivation to improve.

Feedback can be given in several ways, one of the primary ways in which feedback is given is performance… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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