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By John W. Mulcahy
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2009 John W. Mulcahy, Ph.D., LL.D.
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Motivation to Work F. Herzberg
All managers have a philosophy of why people work, whether they know it or not. This influences our own behavior and attitude, the way we manage people, and how to help people manage themselves. In order to examine this subject, let's look at some widely accepted views and not so accepting views.
People work for money. They say, "Money isn't everything, but it's way ahead of whatever is in second place." There are many reasons why people work:
A. People work for security.
B. People work for fringe benefits, a corollary of wages.
C. People work for other "surround" items, such as short hours, vacations, holidays-in short, no work at all-good human relations, good supervision, good employee magazines, suggestion boxes, Christmas parties, anniversary ceremonies, etc.
D. People work because other people work and it would be boring not to be with them. Indeed, the bond of "barn raising" is recorded in history. This aspect of the motivation toward work is rediscovered periodically in business. The defect from this temporary excitement is it cannot maintain the performance of simple, repetitive tasks. The virtues of "shared objective," a current concept in favor, suffers from the limitation of being a gimmick when the tasks are overly simple.
E. People work for the social status, prestige, authority, or influence which the job gives in such professions as college professor, division manager, or senior engineer.
F. People work because of the threat of deprivation of money, status, security, fringe benefits, etc.
When we analyze the reasons why people work, it becomes clear that there is a view of people underlying these reasons which is not very flattering. It seems to say we work because we must, not because we find work itself rewarding.
On the face of the issue, the view that people work because we have to fails to describe all of the people you and I know. The view covers nicely the loafers we know. It also includes those who subscribe to the money goals, the Cadillac and the wall-to-wall carpeting goals of our allegedly materialistic society, who are willing to work contentedly on a "this for that" basis.
This view does not include those who dread retirement because it means the end of the work they love. Still other spend endless hours at a kind of intensive work which we label as hobbies, often to find relief from their place of employment where, we suspect, they find their work meaningless. Community ventures and projects would soon stall if it were true that all people worked only for money, benefits, or any of the other views listed above.
So far, we have been emphasizing the individual factor in productivity. We have been talking as though we were endowed with an internal mechanism that makes us run or fail. Such a view is incomplete because it does not include the fact that our individual personalities can be shaped or changed. For example, the organization itself can cause a person's internal mechanism to stop producing. In many organizations, this drop in output occurs at ages 40-55, when we often learn we have achieved our terminal title and are in our terminal salary range. The employee and the organization have made a final deal, it seems, and an equilibrium has been reached, so the employee relaxes. This is a consequence of the person's acceptance of the view that we work for money, benefits, status, and similar output items. The corporation may have unwittingly fostered this view over the many years of service.
Fortunately, there is another view which describes the work motivation of many people more accurately than does the above characterization.
A New View
A different view suggests that people work to meet two kinds of parallel needs. The parallel needs are labeled maintenance needs and hygiene needs. We need food, shelter, clothing, security, nice human relations, nice boss, nice everything. We need these in almost endless amounts, and we are almost never satisfied. In an affluent society, these types of needs arise often unexpectedly from invention and scientific discoveries. When a certain need has been met, any dissatisfaction we may have felt because we felt deprived temporarily disappears. Eventually, however, we will need more food, more clothing, etc. maintenance needs help the human animal avoid discomfort and maintain the human organism.
The other major need is not a by-product of working, but the work itself. Why do we need to work? We are beginning to see that people need to be productive in order to grow. We are somewhat peculiar, persisting at our work and enjoying it, perhaps achieving long after we have enough food, shelter, and clothing. When quizzed as to why a person persists in working when the immediate need has been filled, the answer is often, "Because I enjoy it," "It interests me," or "I wanted to see if I could do it."
While we are talking here as if this need to grow and continue achieving is true of all people, it certainly is not a universally held ideal. There are the "loafers" in society and those who simply get by by making a "this for that" deal. Some settle for this type of existence because they have not yet learned that work itself can be a source of great satisfaction (some go as far as to call this type of person a "crippled animal"). Crippling can arise from economic depression; illness, either physical or mental; insufficient education, preparation, or motivation; or poor understanding by a company as to what achievements are possible for their employees.
This view of the motivation to work is a post World War II development springing primarily from a report by Frederick Herzberg entitled The Motivation to Work (Herzberg, Mausner, and Snyderman; John Wiley and Sons, Inc.; 1959). The following is based on Herzberg's study and findings.
Herzberg was searching for the answers to three questions:
1. What factors cause job attitudes to change?
2. Are those factors which bring about high job satisfaction different from those that cause dissatisfaction or low job satisfaction?
3. What happens to people on the job as a result of changed job attitudes?
The study used a sample of approximately 200 middle management engineering and accounting people from nine companies in western Pennsylvania. (tote: this study has been repeated elsewhere on other sample population with very similar results.)
The data was obtained through detailed personal interviews. The person being interviewed usually talked about the job, its good and bad points, using specific incidents, for several hours. The interview data was then analyzed and classified and, concerning the first of the above questions, Herzberg found ten major factors, defined below, that have the most significant effect in causing attitudes to change.
Achievement-Stories involving some specific mention of success were put into this category. These stories include successful completion of a job, solutions to problems, vindication, and seeing the results of one's work. The definition also includes failure and absence of achievement.
Recognition-The major criterion in this category is some act of recognition. The source of recognition could be almost anyone: supervisor, another individual in management, management as an impersonal force, a client, peer subordinate, professional colleague, or the general public. Some act of notice, praise, or blame (negative recognition) was involved.
Work Itself-This category involves the actual doing of the job or the tasks of the job as a source of good or bad feeling. Events described were related to the nature of the work and were rewarding in themselves, with or without specific achievement or recognition (i.e., creative or challenging work, varied work, or an opportunity to work on a particular job from beginning to end).
Responsibility-Factors covered in this category included events in which the individual reported satisfaction from working without supervision, being responsible for his or her own efforts, being given responsibility for the work of others, and being given a new type of job with new responsibilities but no formal advancement. This category also included reports in which there was a loss of satisfaction (negative attitude) toward the job stemming from lack of responsibility.
Advancement-This category applied only when there was an actual change in the status or position of the person in the company-the employee was promoted. In situations in which an individual transferred from orie part of the company to another without any change in status, but with increased opportunities for responsible work, the change was considered an increased responsibility (see Responsibility above), but not a formal advancement. Failure to get an anticipated advancement described most of the situations in which advancement related to low job attitudes.
Company Policy and Administration-This category describes those events where some overall aspect of the company was a factor. There were two kinds of characteristics: The first involved the adequacy or inadequacy of company organization and management. For example, there might exist a situation in which a person had lines of communication crossing in such a way that he did not really know for whom he was working and had inadequate authority for satisfactory completion of his organization of the work. These types of reports revolve around company inefficacy, produced by inefficiency, waste, duplication of effort, or a struggle for power. The second kind of characteristic involves the harmful or beneficial effects of company policies. These include personnel and other policies which are viewed as unfair or in some way detrimental to the employees or coworkers.
Supervision (technical)-This category identifies those events in which the supervisor's competence and fairness are critical. While statements about the supervisor's willingness or unwillingness to teach are also classified under this category, the principal consideration was how well equipped the supervisor is to answer technical questions about the job.
Interpersonal (relations supervisor-This category involves the personal relationships (human relations) which arise through the interaction of employees and their supervisors during the actual performance of the job. Statements such as the supervisor was friendly or unfriendly, honest or dishonest, willing or unwilling to listen to suggestions, and gave or withheld credit for work done fall in this category.
Salary-This category includes all events in which compensation plays a role. Surprisingly enough, most of these involve wage or salary increases or unfulfilled expectation of wage increases. When salary occurs as a factor in low job attitudes, it centers around the perceived unfairness in the wage system's administration rather than the absolute levels; a system in which wage increases were given grudgingly or given too late, or in which the differentials between newly hired employees and those with years of experience on the job were too small. Occasionally, advancements not accompanied by salary increases were mentioned.
Working Conditions-Physical conditions of work and the facilities available for working were mentioned in this category. Adequacy of lighting, ventilation, tools, space, and other such environmental characteristics would also be included here. Complaints included inconvenience of the location of the plant, the inadequacy of the facilities, and the amount of work required on the job. Interestingly, workers complained of too little work more often than of too much.
Now, we turn our attention to the second of Herzberg's questions, "Are the factors which bring about high job satisfaction different from those that cause dissatisfaction or low job satisfaction?"
The results of Herzberg's findings are shown in Figure 1. The length of each bar represents the frequency with which each factor appeared in the events presented, and the width of the bar represents the duration of time the good or bad job attitudes lasted, in terms of a classification of short duration and long duration. A short duration was usually no longer than two weeks, while a long duration attitude change may have lasted for years.
Bars to the left of the center line (0%)represented the frequency with which items were mentioned by people during periods of low attitudes; bars to the right of the center fine represented the frequency with which items were mentioned during periods of high job satisfaction.
The five factors in the upper half of the chart were mentioned most frequently when people spoke of satisfaction on the job. These are achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, and advancement. The last three have more impact for lasting change in attitudes that the first two, as indicated by the width of the bars. These five factors also appeared very infrequently when the respondents described events that paralleled job dissatisfaction. Recognition attained 18 percent; work itself, 14 percent; and, advancement, 11 percent.
When recognition appeared in a high sequence of events, it referred to recognition for a task rather than recognition as a human relation tool, divorced from any accomplishment.
The five factors in the lower half of the chart were those producing poor job attitudes and were rarely involved in events leading to positive job attitudes. These were company policy and administration, supervision (technical), salary, interpersonal (relations supervisor), and working conditions.
Herzberg referred to the five factors in the upper part of the chart as "satisfier," and the lower five as "dissatisfiers." He further called our attention to a fundamental distinction between these two sets of factors. The satisfiers all refer to the job content or task: achievement of a task and professional growth or advancement in task capability. In contrast, the dissatisfiers referred to job context or environment: the nature of the company's policies and administrative practices under which the job was performed, the type of supervision received when performing the quality of working conditions, and the salary received for doing the job.
Since the dissatisfier factors essentially describe the environment and serve primarily to prevent job dissatisfaction while having little effect on positive attitudes, Herzberg sometimes refers to these as maintenance factors. The satisfier factors are termed motivators, since other findings suggest they are effective in motivating the individual to superior performance and effort.
The salary factor is unique because it appears almost equally on both sides of the zero line. When the duration of feelings or attitudes is considered, it is almost three times as wide on the dissatisfiers side as on the satisfiers side. As an affecfor of job attitude, salary seems to have more potency as a job dissatisfier than as a satisfier does.
Herzberg also found when salary occurs as a dissatisfier factor, it revolved around the unfairness of the wage system within the company and this usually referred to increases in salaries rather than absolute levels. In contrast, salary was mentioned on the satisfier side as something that went along with a person's achievement on the job. It was a form of recognition; it meant more than money, it meant a job well done and the individual was progressing in her or his work. Viewed within this context, salary belongs in the group that defines job situation and is primarily a dissatisfier.
In summary, there are two essential findings in answer to Herzberg's second question. First, the factors which make people happy on the job are not the same factors which cause job dissatisfaction. The distinguishing characteristic of these two sets of factors is whether they describe the job content or the job context. Second, the effects of maintenance factors on the job attitudes are of a relatively short duration in contrast with the motivator factors, at least three of which (work itself, responsibility, and advancement) have long-lasting effects.
Excerpted from Leadership Analytics by John W. Mulcahy Copyright © 2009 by John W. Mulcahy, Ph.D., LL.D.. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
ContentsThe Motivation to Work, F. Herzberg....................1
Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Content Theory....................4
Maslow's Motivational Content Theory....................5
Minnesota Satisfaction Questionnaire....................10
The Social System Theory and Contingency (Beyond) Theory "Y"....................15
Leader Decision Making Perspectives....................16
The Human Side of Enterprise, Douglas Murry McGregor....................19
Effects of Management Beliefs on Organizational Communication....................25
Leadership Practices Inventory....................32
Leadership Practices Inventory-Score Sheet....................35
Continuum of Leadership Behavior....................36
Instructions for Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) Scale....................38
Least Preferred Coworker (LPC) Scale....................39
Fiedler's Correlation Between Leaders' LPC Scores and Group Effectiveness....................40
Fiedler's Changes in Leadership Situation Expressed in Terms of Task and Relationship....................41
Likert's Table of Organizational and Performance Characteristics of Different Management Styles....................42
"The Power of Ethical Management"....................44
Fiedler's Leadership Factors....................45
Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire-LBDQ-LF....................49
Ideal Leader Behavior Questionnaire, What You Expect of Yourself as a Leader....................55
Ohio State Leadership Quadrants Resulting from the Leadership Behavior Description Questionnaire-LDBQ....................58
Blake andMouton's Managerial Grid Leadership Styles....................59
Answer Sheet for Leadership Styles Questionnaire (Your Own Results)....................60
Summary of Consequences of Leadership Styles....................66
Summary Profiles of Leadership Styles....................67
Tri-Dimensional Leader Effectiveness Model....................73
The Desert Survival Situation....................76
Types of Management Decision Methods V. Vroom....................78
Definitions of the Problem Attributes....................81
Available Decision Making Methods....................93
Decision Process Flow Chart (Model A)....................94
Decision Process Flow Chart for Both Individual and Group Problems....................95
Participation Flow Chart....................96
Synthesis of Analytical and Theory "Tannenbaum Revisited"....................97
General Bibliography, John W. Mulcahy....................98
Bibliography Leadership and Decision Making, V. Vroom....................105