Theories of Motivation
The knowledge worker is a notion that applies to “the new worker, who worked primarily not physically with his body doing physical labor, but with his mind” (Cohen, 2008, p. 215).
Knowledge workers add value to labor.
Labor is the greatest resource that any organization could possess (Cohen, 2008).
The emergence of knowledge workers requires reconsidering the tasks assigned to managers.Managers lead people, rather than “manage” them (Cohen, 2008).
Effective leading of knowledge workers involves motivating them.
Motivated workers increase the company’s sustainability, as they are less likely to leave it.
Feel secure and respected.
See the end results of their work.
Receive high pat and good benefits.
Motivations perform different functions, but they all are interrelated.
For knowledge workers a permissive form of Theory Y is more effective than Theory X.
Theory X and Theory Y were introduced by McGregor (1960) in The Human Side of Enterprise.
The theories describe two common categories of employees and suggest strategies to motivate them.
Theory X suggests that the average employee:
Attempts to avoid work.Does not want to take responsibility.
Does not care about the company’s strategic development.
Resists changes.According to Theory X, employees are motivated through:
Theory Y views an average worker as:
Committed to organizational objectives.
Theory Y suggests that workers are motivated through:
Participatory workplace (Cohen, 2008).
Individual motivation that is appropriate for a particular situation.
In companies, Theory Y is implemented through:
Decentralization and delegation.
The main difference between Theory Y and Theory X is that the latter does not consider employees’ higher needs (belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization), thus does not apply to creating sustainable working environment.
Theory Y best meets the needs of Total Quality Management (TQM), “a management approach to long-term success through customer satisfaction” (American Society for Quality). TQM rests on the principles of employee involvement, accurate strategic vision, continual improvement, process-centered approach, and communications (American Society for Quality).
Employee involvement assumes that employees are committed to the achievement of the company’s strategic objectives.
Accurate strategic vision means that employees have a clear idea of what should be done to achieve strategic objectives, and take responsibility to implement them.
Continual improvement improves the company’s competiveness through driving it to be both analytical and creative (American Society for Quality). Continual improvement is impossible without committed and creative workers.
Process-centered approach assumes a focus on process thinking. Committed employees facilitate the process through investing their knowledge and efforts in it.
Communication involves free flow of ideas and information to maintain employee morale and motivation at all organizational levels (American Society for Quality). Communication is hindered if employees lack team working skills.
Theory Y provides instruments to address the primary elements of TQM.
Customer satisfaction with the company’s performance is achieved when:
Workers are committed to creating products or delivering services that distinguish their company from competitors.
Employees welcome changes, …