MASTER THESIS. The role of motivation in Human Resource Management: Importance of motivation factors among future business persons

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1 Aarhus School of Business Aarhus University MASTER THESIS The role of motivation in Human Resource Management: Importance of motivation factors among future business persons Author: Michal Kirstein Supervisor: Frances Jørgensen M.Sc. in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership August 2010

2 Abstract Motivation seems to be one of the most important tools of Human Resource Management. Organizations design motivation systems to encourage employees to perform in the most effective way but also to attract potential candidates. The key to create the efficient motivation system is an answer to the question what really motivate employees. The purpose of this paper is to find which motivation factors are seen as the most important by students considered as future business persons. The aim is to analyze findings in the light of existing motivation theories. The knowledge from the theoretical part of this paper combined with the results of the research can be useful for managers who deal with freshly graduated employees and for HR professionals who prepare recruitment campaigns focused on attracting students. The research was based on the questionnaire distributed to the sample of 152 respondents from Aarhus School of Business, and 148 participants from Management and Marketing Department at University of Gdansk (UG) in Poland. Respondents were asked to rank thirteen motivation factors in the order of their importance. The distribution of ranks was similar in both groups. The findings indicated that Interesting work and Good wages were the most important factors for all students. Students from Aarhus School of Business gave the third position to Feeling of being well informed while students from Gdansk University to Job security. Both groups agreed that Promotion and growth in the organization and Full appreciation of work done were also included in the top five factors according their importance The results suggest that future business persons are motivated by factors from many different categories. Therefore, the most efficient approach to their motivation should not be based solely on intrinsic motivators neither on extrinsic motivators. By being aware of the factors that are the most important for future business persons companies can meet the challenge of attracting, motivating and retaining them. Key words: Motivation factors, Incentives, Job performance, Employee motivation, Rewards

3 Contents 1. Introduction Problem statement and research question Structure of the paper Limitations Theoretical Background The concept of Work Motivation Motivation Theories Content theories Process theories The effects of motivation on employees performance Monetary motivators versus non-monetary motivators Motivation factors employee choices Students motivation Methodology Research method Information gathering Data collection Questionnaire Choosing factors of investigation Sample Data analysis Results ASB students University of Gdansk students Comparison Discussion Conclusion and future research Bibliography Appendix... 64

4 Figures and tables Figure 1: Maslow s hierarchy of needs... 9 Figure 2: Herzberg s theory factors affecting job attitudes Figure 3: The Equity Theory diagram Figure 4: Hypothetical relationships between amount of motivation and a level of performance Figure 5: The Job Characteristic Model Figure 6: Management leadership styles and team dispositions Figure 7: Respondents characteristics Figure 8 : Mean ranks and the order of factors ASB students Figure 9 : Factors that motivate other people by ASB students Figure 10: Mean ranks and the order of factors UG students Figure 11: Factors that motivate other people by UG students Table 1: Mean ranks and overall positions in the ranking of motivation factors by gender (ASB students) Table 2: Mean ranks and overall positions in the ranking of motivation factors by possession of a job (ASB students) Table 3: Mean ranks and overall positions in the ranking of motivation factors by gender (UG students) Table 4: Mean ranks and overall positions in the ranking of motivation factors by possession of a job (UG students) Table 5: Mean Ranks and overall positions in the ranking comparisons

5 1. Introduction A great amount of worldwide wealth occurs in a form of human capital. Therefore managing human resources plays a crucial role in a process of increasing companies effectiveness. The one of the most important functions of HRM is motivation. The importance of motivating people at work is noticeable at all levels of organization. Starting from managers who need to be aware of factors that motivate their subordinates to make them perform well, through employees who need to think through what expectations they have of work, ending up with HR professionals who have to understand motivation to effectively design and implement reward structure and systems. It seems to be obvious that companies need motivated employees and without any doubts motivation is an important aspect of HRM. However, because of a complex nature of human behavior, motivation is not easy to understand and to use. Despite many studies on that topic managers today are no closer to understand employees motivation than their counterparts more than a half of century ago (Kovach, 1980). Although, some of research suggested that money is not as potent as it seemed to be, many companies tried to implement monetary incentives as their main tool to motivate employees. Performance related pay became the new mantra that was used unquestionably by plenty of companies (Frey & Osterloch, 2002). Recently, as a result of a financial crisis, many large and small organizations had to cut costs through reduction of employees salaries and bonuses. The question that has arisen is if there are other options of motivating employees that would be equally effective but more costs efficient. The literature on a subject of motivation shows that there are several other ways to motivate employees. The most well know and often cited theories can be divided into two categories: content theories and process theories. The first group is focused on what motivate people. It is represented by authors such as Maslow, McClelland and Herzberg who are known by almost everyone who ever read anything about motivation. The second category process theories, try to find out how motivation occurs. Vroom, Adams, Locke and Latham created the most influential process theories. The points of view presented by authors of those theories in some aspects are complementary but in others are 1

6 totally opposite. That possibly was the reason for other researchers inspiration to conduct own studies on motivation. It resulted in a number of possible suggestions about motivators that could play a crucial role in increasing employees performance. Some authors (Oldham & Hackman, 2010; Lawyer, 1969) indicate that job design plays important role in shaping employees behavior while others (Roche & MacKinnon, 1970; Allender & Allender, 1998; Lu, 1999; Tharenou, 1993; Mayfield, Mayfield, & Kopf, 1998) suggest that leadership style and freedom given to employees are crucial in motivating employees. Another group of researchers (Luthans & Stajkovic, 2000; Armstrong & Murlis, 2004) try to prove that recognition can be used to motivate people to perform well. In fact, there are many more examples of possible motivators in the literature on a subject of motivation. In this multitude of possible options it is not easy to answer the question what in fact motivates employees. The easiest way to find out is simply to ask them. There is a long history of researches which ask employees to rank the importance of motivating factors. Some researchers spent a great part of their lives studying employees responses. In their studies they compared answers from employees coming from different cultures, age groups, levels of organization and even from different points of time in a history. Their results showed that importance of motivating factors might vary among particular groups of people. However, there are several motivating factors that are very often ranked high positions. Interesting work, Full appreciation of work done, Feeling of being well informed and involved and Good wages are those factors that received high rates in many research (Lindahl, 1949 as cited in Sonawane, 2008; Harpaz, 1990; Kovach, 1980, 1987, 1995; Linder, 1998; Fischer and Yuan 1998; Kinnear and Sutherland, 2000). The majority of studies analyzed the importance of motivating factors among people who already worked. There are not many researches that investigate factors that motivate students who will join workforce in the future. Krau (1989, as cited in Lim, Srivastava & Sin Sng, 2008) found that pre-existing work attitudes developed before entering workforce may serve as basis for individuals attitudes in their future work. Therefore, asking students about 2

7 factors that will motivate them at work in the future makes sense and will be the subject of investigation in the empirical part of this paper. 1.1 Problem statement and research question Nowadays, there is a strong competition on the market of employees. Companies start to search and recruit candidates before they finish their education. The aim of this paper is find out which factors will be motivating for students when they start their career. The answer to this question might be interesting for HR professionals who prepare recruitment campaigns for students at universities or campuses. The knowledge gained from this paper might be useful in creating attractive offers for candidates. It can be used in job advertisements or during events at universities such as company dating or company presentations. If companies have knowledge about job factors that students value the most, they will be able to attract more people. It will result in a larger number of applications and better choice of candidates. As was already mentioned, students attitudes towards motivating factors might be predictors of their attitudes at work in future. It means that not only recruiters can take an advantage of results coming from the research presented in this paper but also managers who deal with freshly graduated employees. This study will search for the answer to the question if monetary incentives are as important as they are said to be and if they can be exchanged by other, more cost efficient and equally effective motivators. Managers who know the answer will be able to use the most efficient strategy to motivate their employees and possibly to avoid unnecessary costs. Finally, the research conducted for the aim of this thesis might inspire students who will begin their work careers soon, to think through what their work expectations are. Self-reflection about factors that will be motivating for them at work will positively influence the choice of a company and a position they apply for. The right match between students expectations about motivators and a motivation strategy used by company may result in better performance and satisfaction of students when they will make their first step in the career. 3

8 1.2 Structure of the paper The structure of this thesis can be broken down into four general parts. The first part is an introduction. It contains basic information about theoretical foundations of the thesis and the importance of the topic of motivation. It presents research question and explains what the aim of the paper is. Finally, it suggests for whom the results of this study might be useful. The limitations of the study are concerned at the end of the introductory part. The second part is a theoretical background of the thesis. It is based on findings from the literature and previous research on motivation. This part contains author s theoretical analysis in which he synthesize and ex-pound ideas upon the subject area in question. It consists of six subchapters which are organized in a deductive way, from the most general to the most specific one. Firstly, the concept of motivation is presented and clarified. Secondly, the most important content and process theories of motivation are introduced. In the third part existing research on the effects of motivation on employees are analyzed. Forth subchapter contains a comparison of research and theories on monetary and non-monetary motivators. Fifth presents findings from researches on employees choices of motivating factors. The last part of the theoretical chapter is focused on students and their motivation. The third part of this thesis is based on author s own research. It starts with description of used methodology. The research method and the ways of gathering information, collecting data and preparing the questionnaire are presented. In the next step author justify the choice of thirteen factors used in the questionnaire. At the end of this part choice of the sample and characteristic of respondent are described. The last subchapter contains information about the way data was analyzed. The final part of the paper presents results of the research for both groups of students. They are followed by discussion and summary of findings. The paper is ended by a conclusion which summarizes the thesis. The last part lists the literature used during the process of writing this thesis and is followed by appendix that contain questionnaire. 4

9 1.3 Limitations Due to the scope of this research there are several limitations that need to be addressed. First, it has to be noted that although there are some evidence in the literature on existing relation between pre-employment attitudes and future behavior of employed people, it should be not taken as granted that the factors chosen as the most motivating by students, will be also so important for them when they start their career. The main question in the survey asked about students expectations of factors that will be motivating for them in their future job. It is possible that an experience in a real work environment will change individuals attitudes towards motivating factors. Second, the present study limited its sample to a group of students from Aarhus School of Business and from Management and Marketing Department at University of Gdansk (UG). This may hinder the generalizability of the results. In other words, results should be generalized only to the population of students from those two particular educational institutions. However, it is possible that students from other business schools in Poland and Denmark would give similar answers. Third, the list of thirteen factors used in the questionnaire was made on the basis of previous researches on that topic. The motivation factors chosen to be ranked seem to cover the most important aspects of motivation. However, a disadvantage of choosing this particular form of questioning is a risk to miss some factors that are important but are not listed. To avoid this bias an openended question was added. The response rate for this question was low. It might mean that the list contained all the most important motivators. On the other hand, it is possible that there are still some other important factors but respondents just did not want to answer the open-ended question. Finally, the questionnaire used in the research was designed in English and then translated to Polish. Although, author is a Polish native speaker some minor changes between questionnaires occurred. To minimize the difference the questionnaire was translated back to English by other person for a comparison and adjustment. 5

10 2. Theoretical Background 2.1 The concept of Work Motivation The term motive usually is explained as desires, needs, emotions or impulses that make someone do something Following this definition, motivation is the state of being incited to action. When we take into consideration work environment it becomes clear that work motivation refers to motivation within a work setting. Typically, it refers to employees motivation to perform, stay and commit in a company, cooperate, lead or support a leader, help customers and so forth. Obviously, this definition from International Encyclopedia of Organizational Studies (ed. Bailey & Clegg, 2008) is just an example from a mass of work motivation definitions which can be found in almost every paper about this topic. Some authors define what motivation is by explaining where it comes from. In this approach work motivation has been defined as a psychological process resulting from the reciprocal interaction between the individual and the environment that affects a person s choices, effort, and persistence (Latham & Ernst, 2006). In other definitions work motivation is associated with the goal attainment. People are motivated to do something if they believe it is likely that it will bring desired result. People who are well motivated take action that they expect will achieve their clearly defined goals (Armstrong, 2007). Kanfer (1990, as cited in Bjorklund, 2001) stressed that motivation is a phenomenon which cannot be directly observed. The only way to infer motivational processes is to analyze streams of behavior caused by environmental or inherited factors which can be observed through their effects on abilities, beliefs, knowledge and personality. There are probably as many definitions of motivation as researchers working on this topic. However, there are some features of motivation that are common for most definitions. It can be observed from the examples presented above that when authors describe motivation they mention an action or behavior that is directed and sustained as a result of motivation. In other words motivation is usually described as an invisible force that pushes people to behave in a certain way. For the purpose of this thesis definition by Pinder (1998) will be used as it seems to define motivation both in a comprehensive and explicit way. Pinder 6

11 used work of Jones (1995), Locke, Shaw, Saari, and Latham (1981), Steers and Porter (1979), and Vroom (1964) to formulate following definition (1998, p.11) : Work motivation is a set of energetic forces that originate both within as beyond an individual s being, to initiate work-related behavior, and to determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration. Pinder (1998) believes that presented definition has some features that make it better than others. Firstly, it is not general as many other definitions, it presents motivation in a close relation to work and careers. His definition is intended to apply behavior such as joining or leaving company, being punctual, respecting or not supervisor s orders, inventing better ways to performing a job and accepting relocation to another place. According to Pinder one of the key elements that are important in defining motivation is a concept of force. It not only makes the definition consistent with other authors work but also allows motivation level to be weak or strong depending on circumstances. The idea of force suggests that motivation is related to an effort. Pinder believes that effort is a consequence and indicator of motivation rather than the same phenomena. He points out that his definition does not present hedonism as a primary force in work motivation. However, it does not exclude it either. There are three more important elements of Pinder s work motivation definition: intensity, direction and duration. Author describes the intensity dimension using two terms created by Brehm and Self (1989) potential motivation and potential arousal. The first of those two terms is created by expectations that performance of behavior will affect final outcome. The second term is dependent on magnitude of potential motivation and occurs only to the extent that particular behavior is difficult. In Pinder s opinion intensity is not affected by the potential available and is defined as the transient size of motivational arousal in a particular point of time. The direction can be understood by considering towards which goals the energy of motivation is directed. Finally, the duration suggests that goal achieving might be a possible outcome of on job behavior. As the last but also very important feature of the definition Pinder mentions the fact that motivation is presented as a hypothetical construct which cannot be measured or seen directly but is treated as an existing psychological process. 7

12 2.2 Motivation Theories The subject of motivation has been present in the literature from the early beginning of 20 th Century. Although, many theories have been developed and a plenty of research has been conducted, factors that motivates people to perform well at work are still a controversial topic. Many researchers as a starting point for their work in the field of motivation used the most known theories and models of motivation. Armstrong (2007) in his book about employee reward management summarized those theories in a clear and useful way. According to him, Taylor s theory of motivation to work is related to rewards and penalties which are directly connected to performance. Maslow s concept of hierarchy of needs is less instrumental approach. It defines motivation as a result of peoples unsatisfied needs. Herzberg focused on a distinction between extrinsic and intrinsic motivators. Those old theories are definitely important, however they are not perfect. Analysis showed that they are characterized by some significant weaknesses. Armstrong presents modern, process theories which approach motivation from different perspective. As an example, Vroom s expectancy theory explains that motivation exists only when relationship between performance and outcome is clear and usable. Goal theory emphasizes the role of a feedback and setting goals in relation to motivation and performance. Finally, Equity theory says that people are more motivated if they are treated equally. In the previous part of this paper a number of motivation definitions have been presented. Each of existing definitions has some strengths and weaknesses. Exactly the same can be said about motivational theories. As one can observe from the short overview presented above there are many different theoretical approaches to the topic of motivation. Motivation for a group of authors is strictly related to human needs, while point of view of other authors is much more focused on cognitive processes that influence peoples behavior. In the literature of the subject those differences between theories resulted in a division in two categories: content and process theories. In the next part of this paper the most important theories from each category will be presented and analyzed. 8

13 2.2.1 Content theories The content theories are characterized by emphasis on what motivates people. They concern with individual goals and needs which are said to be the same for every person. Although, they assume that all people posses a similar set of needs, they differ in defining what those needs are. The most well known and very often cited author of motivational theory is Maslow with his hierarchy of human needs (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). In Maslow s point of view human behavior is driven by the existence of unsatisfied needs. His hierarchy starts from psychological needs and lead through security needs, social needs, self- esteem needs and self-actualization needs on the top position (see Figure 1). Figure 1: Maslow s hierarchy of needs Selfactualization needs Self-esteem needs High-order needs Deficiency needs Social needs Security needs Physiological needs According to Maslow, higher needs are not felt until lower needs are not fulfilled. Additionally, when the need is satisfied it does not influence human behavior anymore and as a result the focus is moved into a need which is higher in the 9

14 hierarchy. Maslow divided needs into two categories: deficiency needs and high-order needs. Deficiency needs include basic needs such as hunger or thirst and a need for shelter and protection. When these needs are satisfied people become motivated by high order needs such as the need for supportive and satisfactory relationships with others, needs for freedom, independence, recognition and achievement and finally the need to develop one s potential. The self actualization which is the highest step in Maslow s pyramid can be described as the ending point of gradual psychological maturation process. This final level is achieved by few people and unlike other needs is never fully satisfied (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). Maslow s work on the theory of needs has been followed by other authors who took an attempt to improve it. One of modifications was presented in 1973 by Alderfer, who developed and tested model with fewer needs levels (Pinder, 1998). His study, unlike Maslow s, was based on empirical research in organizational settings. The theory suggests three general categories of human needs which are partly based on Maslow s model but are not the same. Alderfer s model is named ERG and consists of existence needs, relatedness needs and growth needs. The first group is closely related to Maslow s physiological needs and partly to security needs (only physical security). Existence needs are concrete in nature and are usually limited. A good example of them in organization setting is a salary. If money has to be divided between two groups - the more money receives one group, the less gets the other group. Relatedness needs basically consist of the interpersonal security needs, the need for prestige and esteem from others. Satisfying relatedness needs requires development of relations and interactions with other people. The last group of needs in Alderfer s theory contains growth needs. Although, growth needs are corresponding to Maslow s self esteem and self actualization needs there are some major differences in a point of view of those two authors. Maslow suggested that self-actualization consist of a fulfillment of unique, innate potential, whereas Alderfer s growth needs contain desire to interact with environment by investigating, exploring and mastering it. In Alderfer s model growth needs change if one s environment changes (Pinder, 1998). 10

15 The next important contributor to the field of content theories is McClelland whose model became a starting point for many other authors research. McClelland s theory focuses on three motives that are relevant in an organizational context (Miner, 2006). Maslow differentiated between any certain transitions among the needs, whereas McClelland indicates that some people have higher needs than others. Moreover, needs in McClelland s point of view change over a life as they are shaped by peoples experience. That is why in some sources his theory is called acquired needs theory. McClelland (1990) suggested that most of acquired needs can be classified to one of three groups: achievement needs, power needs or affiliation needs. In his opinion some people have a strong need for achievement others for power and finally there is a group that desire affiliation. High achievers tend to perform better for the intrinsic satisfaction for doing something better or just to show that they are more capable of doing something. They prefer to work with tasks which are moderately challenging and they actually perform better with those kinds of tasks. In one of their papers McClelland s and Burnham (1976) deliberate on what makes people good managers. They suggest that high achievement is an important factor that leads to the personal success but it does not necessarily make someone a good manager. High achievers work on their own success by doing everything personally and by receiving feedback that is crucial for them. Managers are not able to do everything by themselves so they have to put some responsibility on others. As well as that, the feedback that they receive comes with a delay, so they are not able to find out immediately how well they performed. Regarding those facts McClelland s and Burnham stated opinion that the factor that has a great influence on being a successful manager is something else than a need for achievement. They suggested that it is the need for power that is characterized by a desire to influence people. McClelland (1990) found that people who desire to have some serious influence on other have some special traits. The high need for power usually comes with features such as competitiveness, assertiveness and aggressiveness which result in a negative self-image. The socially acceptable way to fulfill the need for power is the search for prestige by collecting symbols of power. People characterized by a high need for power tend to act in a way that makes them recognized in a group. Finally, they are more willing to take a risk. The last group of needs 11

16 described by McClelland s model is the group of needs for affiliation. The term affiliation was described by Atkinson, Hens, & Verify (1954), as the concern over establishing, maintaining, or restoring a positive, affective relationship with another person or persons (as cited in McClelland, 1990, p.347). People with a strong need for affiliation perform better in tasks which are related to affiliative incentives. In other words, they prefer if their work require maintaining contacts with other people. High affiliated individuals avoid conflict and prefer to solve problems by cooperative and confirmative behavior. The reason for that is the fear for rejection. McClelland s findings suggested that the need for affiliation is not a factor that supports management. Managers high in affiliation try to spend more time with employees and make good relations with them, but it is not a crucial part of being a manager, who sometimes has to make hard decisions (McClelland, 1990). The last content theory that will be presented in this chapter is Herzberg s twofactor theory. The theory brought a lot of interest from academics and from managers who were looking for ways of motivating their employees. The reason for so much interest in Herzberg s results comes from a dual character of his work. His theory not only describes employees needs but also goes further and presents how to enrich jobs and make workforce more motivated (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). Herzberg indicates that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are not opposite phenomena (Herzberg, 1968). According to him the opposite of satisfaction is rather no satisfaction and the opposite of dissatisfaction is no dissatisfaction. Herzberg suggests that satisfaction and dissatisfaction are produced by different factors. People are satisfied at their work by factors related to content of that work. Those factors are called intrinsic motivators and contain achievement, recognition, interesting work, responsibility, advancement and growth. Factors that make people unhappy with their work are called dissatisfiers or hygiene factors. Herzberg found following dissatisfiers: company policy, supervision, working conditions, interpersonal relationships, salary, status, security. What makes them different from motivators is the fact that they are not related to the content of the work but to the context of the job (Herzberg, 1974). Figure 2 presents a frequency of each factor in Herzberg s research and their division into hygiene factors and intrinsic motivators. 12

17 Figure 2: Herzberg s theory factors affecting job attitudes Source: Herzberg, F. (1968). One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review. Jan2003, Vol. 81 Issue 1, p90. In Herzberg s research the most frequently chosen factors which led to satisfaction were achievement and recognition, while the most frequently chosen factors which led to dissatisfaction were company policy and administration and good relations with supervisor. Each of presented here content theories has some strengths and weaknesses. It might have happened that authors of those theories focused strongly on a one side of the problem but they missed other important side. Motivation of employees is really important topic, so every research in this subject is observed and evaluated by other researchers. As a result some researchers agree with and support original theories and others disagree and criticize them. In other words, the most well known theories in motivation bring some serious 13

18 controversies. As an example, Maslow theory became popular despite a little evidence for its validity. As well as that, very often it seems to be presented in an oversimplified way (Pinder, 1998). Moreover, Maslow s originally did not intend to create a theory that will be used to explain organizational behavior. Finally, his hierarchy does not appear in some circumstances, so it cannot be generalized to the whole population (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). The validity was taken in consideration in evaluation of Alderfer s theory. Also McClelland s theory was followed by many others researchers who tried to check if author was right (Rauch & Freese, 2000; Aditya, House & Kerr, 2000; Shane, Locke, & Collins, 2003; Vecchio, 2003; as cited in Miner, 2005). In fact their results were not always completely supportive for McClelland s model. Herzberg s two-factor theory was criticized for biases caused by selection of just two occupational groups. Another reason for skepticism is the fact that people tend to explain their success by internal factors and their failure by external reasons. That could influence their choices of intrinsic motivators in relation to satisfaction and of external, organizational factors in relation to dissatisfaction (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). Herzberg results were also attacked because he did not try to measure relationship between performance and satisfaction (Armstrong, 2007). As can be seen from this short overview of controversies and overlaps on content theories not every theory managed to defend itself during decades. However most of them influenced the growth of interest in the topic of work motivation. In the next part of this paper more recently developed theories will be described and analyzed Process theories Process theories are characterized by a dynamic character, not static as content theories. The main concern is not what motivates people but how motivation occurs. Process theories try to explain how and why peoples behavior is directed to certain choices. The focus of all process theories is put on the role of individual s cognitive processes in determining his or her level of motivation (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005, p.202). The process theory which seems to be the core one is the Expectancy Theory. This model was originally 14

19 presented by Vroom (1968), however many other later researchers tried to adapt and develop it. Vrom s Expectancy theory compromises three factors: valence, instrumentality and expectancy. Vroom describes valence in a relation to peoples affecting preferences toward particular outcomes. The valence of outcome is positive if a person prefers attaining it instead of not attaining. Oppositely, the negative valence of outcomes characterize situation when a person prefers not attaining it instead of attaining. The third possibility is zero valence of outcome, which means that a person is indifferent between attaining outcome or not. The instrumentality is a belief that one action lead to another. Finally, the expectancy is defined as a belief about likelihood that a particular behavior will be followed by a particular outcome (Vroom, 1964). Values of those three factors can be used to calculate the motivational force of the job,. Summarizing, Vroom s theory suggests that a job is motivating for employees when they can see a relation between performance and outcome, if they have abilities to do the job and if they see outcome as satisfying their needs. Vroom s theory can be a suggestion for managers to focus on main aspects of their subordinates perceptions. As well as that, it is helpful in explaining occupational choices and in predicting tasks that people will work most and least hard at (Fincham & Rhodes, 2005). Another group of process theories - equity theories, are related to the distribution of resources. There are three main aspects that are common for all equity theories. Firstly, they suggest that employee perceive a fair return for his contribution at work. Secondly, they imply that employees compare the return they received to the return received by other for the same job. Finally, they assume that employees who are in inequitable position comparing to others will try to do something to reduce the difference (Carrell & Dittrich, 1978). The most influential and often cited in the literature of motivation is the Equity Theory, which was put forward in 1963 by Adams. The theory distinguishes between employee s inputs and outputs. Inputs are understood as the number and value of contributions that person make to his or her work. Outputs are described as the nature and quantity of received rewards for doing the job (Pinder, 1998). Examples of inputs and outputs are presented in Figure 3. 15

20 Figure 3: The Equity Theory diagram EQUITY LIBRA time seniority pay satisfaction experience training status perks abilities education fringe benefits advancement INPUTS OUTPUTS According to Adam s theory different employees stress different inputs and outcomes as the most important for them. However, all people evaluate their outcomes in a relation to their inputs and judge a fairness of this relation. What is suggested by the theory is the fact that people not only evaluate the equity by comparing the amount of their inputs and outputs but additionally they make social comparisons with other people. They feel that they are not treated fairly if other people receive better outputs for the same job. As was stated before, employees who encounter inequity try to do something to reduce it. The equity theory presents the most common consequences of perceived inequity. The first and the most common behavior is changing employee s own effort to increase or reduce performance. If it is not possible to solve the problem of unfairness by changing effort then employee try to cognitively reevaluate outcomes and inputs. That means for example reconsideration of own credentials or effort in a comparison to credentials or effort of a person who was chosen as a referent. The inequity may lead to some dysfunctional reactions such as stealing from employer. Finally, employee may simply decide to withdraw from a company (Pinder, 1998). 16

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