Case Study: Motivation or Abdication?
The case under analysis suggests that Midshires University and the Engineering Department need a real professional for a senior management position, who is able to work overtime and is interested in research studies. Anne Henderson is one of the best applicants for this position since she has an excellent experience in this field. Several motivation theories will be applied to the analysis of her professional traits and personal needs. Incor porating the content theory of motivation is Maslow’s need hierarchy theory and the process theories of motivation, which distinguish individual differences, one can get the most objective evaluation of Anne Henderson’s personality. Speaking of the process theories, one must single out the Equity theory, which suggests that each person is motivated by his/her own unique personal need and perceives managerial rewards in his/her won unique way. Therefore, the manager must examine the individual’s perceptions and needs in order to offer a prediction of behavior.
In terms of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Anne Henderson will not be able to satisfy the need of self-actualization. Since motivation problems often manifest themselves in very cohesive teams allowing greater productivity (Mullins, 2004), Anne is most likely to lose her own way to a better career. When out of motivation, she might not be suitable for the job in question. Anne Henderson is often referred to as the manager that holds the productive work team together. The tighter the team is, the more productively the team works. To improve the cohesiveness of the work team, the effective manager should do many things. Similarly to team formation, team conflict was believed to be of no benefit whatsoever to an organization and was to be prevented at any cost. In terms of this theory, Anne Henderson’s desire to change the job is the abdication rather than the motivation to try something new (Bloisi et al., 2007).
Equity theory offered by John Stacey Adams suggests that Anne Henderson feelings depend upon how ethically and morally she was treated in comparison to other employees. It is possible to say that Anne Henderson is expected to be treated as a top manager who lacks responsibility and depends upon supervisors and team members. For Anne Henderson, it is hard to get accustomed to the way employees are treated in the company in comparison to her, which allows to suggest that the core problem here is the equity of exchange. It can be suggested that the tolerant attitude that Anne maintains makes the core of the problem. While tolerance can trigger unexpected outbursts of negative emotions, in formational environments encourage self-determination. Therefore, it is evident that better cooperation and cohesion with the rest of the employees is required for Anne to get accustomed to her job. Since the top-down approach is not working, and the old union-management contracts are no longer efficient, the conflict within the company is brewing, which creates a strain within Anne. High-organizations are more clearly focused on goals to produce positive results. It is essential that the entire organization could function as a single body, which demands agreement on the company’s core values (Mullins, 2004). What makes Anne’s case complicated is that the job offered opens new opportunities and benefits allowing Anne to apply her professional knowledge and skills, but it does not reflect Anne’s life expectations. Anne Henderson’s motivation does not change for quite a long time, yet she needs personal development and achievements in different spheres of life (Crowther and Green, 2004), which creates the conflict between Anne Handerson’s actual goals and the aims that she is going to pursue in her new workplace.
Applied to Anne Henderson, Edwin A. Locke’s goal-setting theory allows to say that autonomy and excellent working conditions will help her to achieve goals and be creative. Since the situation often dictates what an effective manager should do, a skilful professional is an individual who can accurately assess the demands contingent on the situation and act accordingly by planning potential actions and forecasting the results that could solve a critical situation. Since a human resource professional is responsible for the training and development within the organization, it is important that one considers different situations, designing leadership workshops (Crowther and Green, 2004).
If I were the head of Engineering Department, I would not appoint Anne for the position. She is a real professional in her filed with excellent knowledge and skills, but she can resort to working for rival firms if they propose more interesting projects and opportunities. There were several reasons to mention two specific examples of managerial and technical talent selection. First, studies were conducted to demonstrate the importance of the specific demands for the given profession. The exercise instructions directed each subject to assume that (s)he was seeking a new position while a number of jobs were available. All of these jobs were essentially alike in pay, benefits, location, and so on, differing only in the degree to which the three key activities were involved. The University needs a person for a long-term cooperation, as (s)he will be involved in long-term research projects and will coordinate activities of many people (Bloisi et al., 2007).
If I appointed Anna to this position, I would propose her the most challenging projects and tasks she could solve. I would also offer her to participate in conferences abroad and spend several weeks in other countries. It is necessary to mark that Anne has serious health problems, which is why she is highly likely to change the job in the nearest future. In terms of expectancy theory, easier access and better support will motivate Anna and inspire her. It is expected that she will invest in the latest sophisticated technology to improve her business relationships with the help of various coordinators, task forces and matrix designs, together with the use of rules and programs, hierarchy and goal setting. These means altogether offer a range of possibilities that can help to reduce uncertainties generated by the environment (Collins and Porras, 2004).
A year later, Anne is likely to be dissatisfied with her position and might expect additional benefits and bonuses for her work. For Anne, the whole goal-setting process inherent in any strategic plan integrates the principle of the information-based structure (Campbell, 1987). The objectives that were established in the strategy formulation stage of the working process are used to measure organizational performance once the strategies have been implemented. Goals and objectives serve as the touchstone for in formation management in organizations. In order to retain such professional employee as Anne, it would be necessary to propose her a higher post at the University. Positive support is associated with hope of success which Anne will feel once she starts developing her informational manager skills. However, if improved in formation management is the goal, there must be a system to transmit it – the communication system. Since the central value system already mentioned above is imbedded in the strategic plan, it is critical to know what Anne is driven by to improve her organizational performance. For Anne motivation is the main driving force of performance and productivity. The main motivational strategies required for effective training program implementation are competency, willingness, collaboration, Motivation is the main factor that helps companies attract and retain top talents. The task of the head of Engineering Department is to prevent the threats of motivation loss in advance, for him to be able to avoid them, or at least minimize their negative impact upon well-being. The main methods used by managers will be goal setting method and the leadership. If too much stress is put on completing the work, human motivation will suffer. The main strategies applied to the program will be motivation and inspiring employees, cooperation and support initiatives. If the emphasis is placed on workers satisfaction, productivity will suffer. Furthermore, an HR manager can share this expertise with other managers and employees, so that the organization could expand and articulate its vision of the company future, providing the ideas to achieve top success.
Bloisi, Wendi C. et al. (2007) Management and organizational behaviour. 2nd edition. Maidenhead, UK, McGraw Hill.
Campbell, David J. (1987) Organizations and the business environment. Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.
Collins, J., and Porras Jerry I. (2004) Built to last: Successful habits of visionary companies. New York NY, Collins.
Crowther, D., and Green M. (2004) Organizational theory. London: CIPD. Mullins, Laurie J. (2004) Management and organizational behavior. 7th edition. New York NY, Prentice Hall.