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Draft Essay


The assignment required us to identify a specific job and examine possible ways of improving work motivation to lead to an increase in job satisfaction and work performance.

Motivation is an important aspect in the performance of the workers within an organisation. It generally refers to the morale and enthusiasm of a worker with which a worker performs his task and the satisfaction he derives from it. A highly motivated worker leads to better performance in terms of output and efficiency. Hence, it is imperative for an organisation to keep their employees motivated.

We chose to examine the job of a factory operator, beginning with a brief description of the job, the context in which it is takes place and the desired outcome of performance we sought to improve by addressing the motivational issues. We then proceeded to the motivational theories central to the discussion and analysis of work motivation. We specifically focus on Maslow, Herzberg and the Job Characteristics Model to identify issues of work motivation. Using these theories we analyse the job of the factory worker and produced actions and initiatives the company could implement to address the issue of motivation. We systematically evaluate these initiatives on three criteria - ability, opportunity and return on investment, select the most effective and suitable initiatives for the company to implement and support the selected initiatives with the motivational theories discussed.

The final section consists of a description of the expected consequences of the change for the factory operators and the organization and we outline an implementation plan to discuss overcoming the potential resistors to change.

Company Profile:

S-Cubed Ltd is a machining company based in the West Midlands, UK. The company has been involved in machining quality automotive parts for market leaders like JLR and Ford. The company machines Ladder Frames, Sprockets, Hubs, Flanges and other specialized high precision products using CNC machines, ABB robots and Lathes. The company's operations are organized around different product platforms in a flat organizational structure. There are cell managers who have supervisors for each cell overseeing a battery of factory operators. This gives cell managers and supervisors a wide span of control thereby improving decision making and flexibility for the company. These factory operators are trained technicians on a particular type of machine and have less scope of moving around cells because of the uniqueness of each cell.


Within the factory, labour turnover has been high. The factory workers are demotivated due to repetitive nature of their tasks and a lack of autonomy. Motivation is seen as a very important aspect of an organisation as it contributes to how well it performs. This ultimately has an effect on the organisations corporate objectives which may include attainment of higher market share, profit maximization etc. To resolve this issue we look at some theories of motivation to explain the causes of motivation and attempt to improve motivation through various techniques.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg's Two Factor theory are examples of Need theories which focus on workers' needs as the sources of motivation. These theories attempt to explain what motivates workers. For instance in The Hierarchy of Needs, Maslow (1970) argues that there exist two levels of needs - Lower and Higher. The Lower Level needs consisted of Physiological (food, clothing, shelter) and Safety needs while the Higher Level needs were described as Social needs, Esteem needs and Self Actualization where full potential is achieved. According to Maslow, unless the lower order of needs are met, individuals cannot move on to the higher order of needs.

Fredrick Herzberg's Two Factors Theory is another classical need theory of motivation, he proposed that the states of satisfaction or dissatisfaction were caused by two different conditions; Intrinsic Factors known as 'motivators' such as feelings in terms of work significance and personal growth and Extrinsic Factors known as 'hygiene factors' such as salary or pay, job security, working condition and so on (Cooper 1981). Herzberg discovered that when the hygiene factors were satisfied this did not necessarily increase motivation, however the absence of these factors would cause a fall in motivational levels. He realised that the real motivation comes through addressing intrinsic factors thereby suggesting that people were more likely to be motivated when they felt appreciated and valorized like a professional in the organization they worked.

Increasingly, research on motivation now focuses on approaches that link motivational concepts to changes in the way work is structured. The job characteristics model, designed by Hackman and Oldham (1980), is based on the idea that the task itself is key to employee motivation. It states that there are five core job characteristics (skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback) which impact three critical psychological states (experienced meaningfulness of the work, experienced responsibility for outcomes of the work, and knowledge of the actual results of the work activities), in turn influencing work outcomes (job satisfaction, absenteeism, work motivation, etc.). Furthermore, skill variety, task identity and task significance combine to form Meaningful Work. According to Robbins et al. (2010, p174) "the more these three psychological states are present, the greater will be employee's motivation...". Autonomy is influenced by responsibility and Feedback is derived from the knowledge of outcomes. These five core job characteristics can then be combined to form a motivating potential score (MPS) for a job, which can be used as an index of how likely a job is to affect an employee's attitudes and behaviors. (Hackman & Oldham, 1980)


We used a JSI (Job Satisfaction Index) questionnaire to elicit information on factors affecting the factory workers motivation. The results and analysis rated on a scale from 1 -7 are presented below:

1. Skill Variety: The graph informs us that the skill variety of the factory operator is very low, achieving a score of 1. The main reason for the low score is because the factory operator is assigned to only one particular task in the manufacturing process, the work then becomes repetitive and monotonous which causes motivational



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