Motivating Employees And Job Satisfaction

The work in the modern economies has made an understanding of the psychology of motivation and job satisfaction as a key component of business and management syllabuses. The aim of the study is two-fold: Firstly, literature reviews for the motivation theories and Theories on job satisfaction. Secondly, the relationships between employee motivation and job satisfaction.

Motivation theories clarifying the importance of addressing employees’ needs at work, the attitude of workers towards their jobs, the basis for studying the motivational implications of perceived unfairness and injustice in the workplace, how rewards lead to behavior and relations between reinforcement and behavior.

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Theories on job satisfaction clarifying the aspects that impact directly on levels of job satisfaction, how people are influenced by how satisfied they believe other workers are with the same job, satisfaction is determined by a discrepancy between what one wants in a job and what one has in a job, the innate for dispositions that cause them to have tendencies toward a certain level of satisfaction.

The relationship between employee motivation and job satisfaction has indicated that numerous variables of a personal, job and organizational nature influence the level of motivation and job satisfaction that employees experience in the workplace. This includes people’s needs with regard to their work and the work environment, as well as the nature and content of their jobs, and the working conditions under which they perform their daily tasks.

List of Acronyms
List of Figures

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs Figure 2.1 P4

List of Tables
Table of Contents

Acknowledgement N-

Abstract N-N-

List of Acronyms N-N-N-

List of Figures 6

List of Tables 6

Table of Content 6

1. Chapter 1: Introduction 1

1.1 Research problem 1

1.2 Importance of study 1

1.3 Research questions 1

2. Chapter 2: Motivation and theoretical background x

2.1 Motivation overview x

2.2 Definitions of employee motivation x

2.3 Theories of motivation x

2.3.1 Needs-based theories x

2.3.2 Two-factor theory x

2.3.3Cognitive theories x Equity theory x Expectancy theory x Goal-setting theory x

2.3.4 Reinforcement theories x

2.4 Motivation : Composite summary x

3. Chapter 3: Job satisfaction x

3.1 Job satisfaction overview x

3.2 Definitions of job satisfaction x

3.3Theories on job satisfaction x

3.3.1 Two-factor theory x

3.3.2 Social influence theory x

3.3.3 Affect theory x

3.3.4 Equity theory x

3.3.5 Dispositional theory x

3.3.6 Job characteristics model x

3.4 Creating job satisfaction x

3.4.1 Work environment x

3.4.2 Career development programs x

3.4.3 Employee motivation x

3.5 Measuring job satisfaction x

3.6 Job satisfaction : Composite summary x

4. Chapter 4: The Relationship between Motivating Employees and Job satisfaction x

4.1 The effect of motivating employees on Job satisfaction x

4.2 How can mangers increase employee Job Satisfaction x

5. Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendation x

5.1. Conclusion x

5.2. Recommendation x

References 2

Chapter 1: Introduction
Research Problem

A variety of factors motivate people at work, some of which are tangible, such as money, and some of which are intangible, such as a sense of achievement. Although employees derive satisfaction from their work, or places of work, for different reasons, this study was concerned specifically with the investigation of the relationship between levels of satisfaction and the motivation of employees at work.

The primary point of departure is that the success of any organization is heavily dependent on the inputs of its workforce, and that such inputs are determined to a large extent by personal characteristics, and by those facets of people’s work environments that motivate them to invest more physical and mental energy into their work. In this way the organization’s objectives are pursued and met. Motivation and job satisfaction are therefore regarded as key determinants of organizational success.

Importance of study

This study demonstrated the importance of employee motivation and job satisfaction in organizational capability and effectiveness. Business has come to realize that a motivated and satisfied workforce can deliver powerfully to the bottom line.

It is crucial for any organization, and particularly for those in developing countries with limited skills resources, such as Egypt, to ensure that it develops and retains a loyal, dedicated, committed and able workforce on a consistent basis. Loyal employees who are satisfied with the work that they do and with the culture of the organization they are employed by, and who are consequently motivated to continue their relationship with that organization.

Finck, Timmers and Mennes (1998) emphasized that only when employees are excited and motivated by what they do, will business excellence be achieved.

1.3. Research questions

What is employees’ motivation?

Why employees need motivation?

What is job satisfaction?

How to create job satisfaction?

How to measure employees’ job satisfaction?

What is the relationship between employee motivation and job satisfaction?

Chapter 2: Motivation and theoretical background
2.1 Motivation overview

In the current business environment, organizations in all industries are experiencing rapid change, which is accelerating at enormous speed. To be successful in a borderless, competitive global environment, companies must be sure to work hard on especially the people side of their business (Khan, 1997). This view is supported by Finck et al. (1998), who stated that companies must recognize that the human factor is becoming much more important for organizational survival, and that business excellence will only be achieved when employees are excited and motivated by their work. In addition, difficult circumstances, such as violence, tragedy, and fear and job insecurity create severe stress in employees and result in reduced workplace performance.

The issue of what motivates employees has set a practical and theoretical agenda for organizational psychologists since the start of the 20th century. Baron (1991, p.9) described motivation as “one of the most pivotal concerns of modern organizational research”. Van Niekerk (1987) emphasized this point by stating that productivity is a function of both the motivation and the ability of an employee. Therefore, if motivation equals zero, so does productivity. Since employee performance is a joint function of ability and motivation, one of management’s primary tasks, therefore, is to motivate employees to perform to the best of their ability.

In the field of organizational psychology, work motivation is approached from several angles. For example, some researchers feel work motivation study should start with an examination of the values of employees, since their values determine their needs, and their needs ultimately determine their behavior. A crucial problem for others in contemporary organization theory and research is how best to conceptualize and assess individual differences in motivational tendencies (Kanfer & Ackerman, 2000).

Sempane et al. (2002) noted that organizations represent highly complex social structures because of their dynamic nature. Employees, who are role players in them, render them competitive through their involvement and commitment. The relationship between organization and employee is characterized by a high level of mutual interdependence, as both parties impact on the other’s potential for success. Employee motivation and job satisfaction become crucial elements in this relationship. Extensive research has shown that employee motivation and job satisfaction are not brought about in isolation, but rather respond to organizational variables such as structure and working conditions (Schneider & Snyder, 1975).

2.2 Definitions of employee motivation

Walker (1980) stated that studies over the years have shown little relationship between measures of job satisfaction and performance outputs. Highly satisfied workers may be poor performers, whereas highly dissatisfied workers may be good performers. Several variables influence the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance; although no direct causal relationships between these have been identified as yet. However, it appears that motivation might account for much of the link between an employee’s job satisfaction and job performance. Motivation, therefore, closes the satisfaction-performance loop, and has to do with a set of interrelated factors that explain an individual’s behavior, holding constant the variables controlled or influenced by management, as well as by individual skills, abilities and knowledge.

The term motivation is derived from the Latin term ‘movere’, which means ‘to move’. A great many definitions of the motivation construct have been postulated over the several decades during which this multi-faceted concept has been researched. The rich variety in perspectives on the topic of motivation is illustrated below.

Beach (1980) saw motivation as a willingness to expend energy to achieve a goal or reward. This author took somewhat of a behaviorist approach in stating that behavior that is perceived to be rewarding will be repeated, whereas behavior that goes unrewarded or is punished, tends to be extinguished. Beach (1980) did, however, recognize intrinsic motivation as related to the job content and as that which occurs when people perform an activity from which they derive satisfaction from simply engaging in the activity itself.

Van Niekerk (1987) saw work motivation as the creation of work circumstances that influence workers to perform a certain activity or task of their own free will, in order to reach the goals of the organization, and simultaneously satisfy their own needs. Du Toit (1990) added that three groups of variables influence work motivation, namely individual characteristics, such as people’s own interests, values and needs, work characteristics, such as task variety and responsibility, and organizational characteristics, such as its policies, procedures and customs.

It is interesting to note that the concept of organizational commitment has come to partly replace that of motivation within the field of organizational behavior (Lewicki, 1981). While the concept of motivation is linked to individualistic and task-centered reward systems, commitment seems to be linked to the identification of employees with a collective, that is, in terms of corporate values and norms. As such, management is concerned with cultivating motivation towards realizing the mission and goals of the organization, which are far above the ambitions and goals of any individual in it.

2.3 Theories of motivation

Motivation research draws on a large number of theoretical perspectives. Although some of these appear to be less influential than when they were originally postulated, such as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory (Wicker & Wiehe, 1999), their contributions as foundation layers and inspirations for subsequent theories are still evident and acknowledged.

According to Petri (1996) the vast array of motivation theories are based, in essence, on differing approaches to the origins or sources of motivation, e.g. energy, heredity, learning, social interaction, cognitive processes, activation of motivation, homeostasis, hedonism or growth motivation. Depending on the particular approach adopted, motivation theories are generally classified into three categories, namely needs-based, cognitive, and drive and reinforcement theories (Baron et al., 2002).

2.3.1 Needs-based theories

One of the most often-quoted motivation theories is that of Abraham Maslow, which he introduced in 1943 (Van Niekerk, 1987). The basic tenet of the theory is that people are motivated by their quest to satisfy their needs, or deficiencies, which may be grouped in five categories, and that these needs occur in a specific hierarchy, where lower order needs have to be satisfied before those of a higher order nature (Gouws, 1995). Maslow (1968, p.153) asserted that “gratification of one basic need opens consciousness to domination by another”. Maslow’s need hierarchy is portrayed in Figure 2.1.


Figure 2.1: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Needs hierarchy theory has had a positive impact on organizations, as it has focused attention on the importance of addressing employees’ needs at work (Spector, 2003). In addition, one of its main constructs, the self-actualization concept, has become very popular with especially managers and executives who have accepted this high-level need as a potent motivator (Schultz & Schultz, 1998).

2.3.2 Two – factor theory

Frederick Herzberg’s well-known and controversial theory of motivation was postulated in 1954, and developed from his work to determine the attitude of workers towards their jobs (Gouws, 1995). As such, it was originally intended to be a job satisfaction theory, but over time it was its motivational aspects that attracted most attention (Baron et al., 2002). Beach (1980) was of the opinion that this theory constitutes more of a work motivation than general human motivation theory.

The basic assumption of Herzberg’s theory is that motivation originates from the job itself, and not from other external characteristics, and that those factors leading to job satisfaction (‘motivators’) are separate and distinct from those leading to job dissatisfaction (‘hygiene/maintenance’ factors) (Herzberg, 1966).

The hygiene factors, which may be equated with Maslow’s lower order needs, are placed along a continuum, from a state of dissatisfaction, to no dissatisfaction. These factors involve circumstances surrounding the task which do not lead to job satisfaction, but prevent dissatisfaction, if maintained adequately. Examples of these maintenance factors include the level of supervision, job status, work circumstances, service conditions, remuneration and interpersonal relationships (Herzberg, 1966).

Motivators, on the other hand, have a direct positive effect on the work situation, and lead to improved productivity. They may be equated with Maslow’s higher order needs, and are also placed along a continuum – from a highly motivated to a highly unmotivated state. Aspects of the job itself, e.g. level of recognition, pleasure of performance, increased responsibility, and opportunities for advancement and promotion, serve as motivators (Herzberg, 1966).

2.3.3 Cognitive theories Equity theory

Equity theory was first introduced by Stacy Adams in 1965. Its basic tenet is that people are motivated to achieve a condition of equity / fairness in their dealings with other people, and with the organizations they work for.

People make judgments or comparisons between their own inputs at work, e.g. their qualifications, experience and effort, and the outcomes they receive, e.g. pay and fringe benefits, status and working conditions. They then assign weights to these inputs and outputs according to their relevance and importance to themselves. The summed total produces an output / input ratio, which is the key issue in terms of motivation. If a person’s output / input ratio is equal to that of another person, equity exists. A state of inequity leads to tension, which the individual tries to reduce by changing one or more elements of the ratio, e.g. increase or reduce his effort. Perceived inequity by the person is therefore the basis for motivation (Baron et al., 2002).

This theory helped to provide the basis for studying the motivational implications of perceived unfairness and injustice in the workplace. It also laid the foundation for more recent theories on distributive (how much is allocated to each person) and procedural justice (how rewards and job requirements are determined) (Cropanzano & Folger, 1996). In a meta-analysis of many of these theories, Expectancy theory

The original thinking behind what has come to be known as expectancy theory, or Vroom’s Expectancy-Valence-Instrumentality (VIE) theory, can be traced back to the theorizing of Tolman and Levin in 1932 and 1938 respectively (Petri, 1996). Vroom was, however, the first scholar to elaborate on this thinking in a motivational context in 1964 (Gouws, 1995). Since its origins in the psychological theorizing of some 60 years ago, the expectancy theory has been presented in many variations. Common to all versions is the basic tenet that people base their behavior on their beliefs and expectations regarding future events, namely those maximally advantageous to them (Baron et al., 2002).

Essentially, the theory explains how rewards lead to behavior, through focusing on internal cognitive states that lead to motivation. In other words, people are motivated to action if they believe those behaviors will lead to the outcomes they want. The said cognitive states are termed ‘expectancy’, ‘valence’ and ‘instrumentality’ (Spector, 2003). Goal-setting theory

Goal-setting theory was first proposed by Edwin Locke in 1968. Spector (2003) described this perspective on motivation as the assumption that people’s behavior is motivated by their internal intentions, objectives or goals; in other words, by what people consciously want to achieve.

According to Locke and Henne (1986) goals affect behavior in four ways:

– They direct attention and action to those behaviors which a person believes will achieve a particular goal;

– They mobilize effort towards reaching the goal;

– They increase the person’s persistence, which results in more time spent on the behaviors necessary to attain the desired goal;

– They motivate the person’s search for effective strategies for goal attainment.

This theory has an intuitive appeal because of its clear relevance to the workplace (Schultz & Schultz, 1998). It is currently one of the most popular theories informing organizational approaches to employee motivation (Spector, 2003).

2.3.4 Reinforcement theories

Reinforcement theories, which assume that people’s behavior is determined by its perceived positive or negative consequences (Baron et al., 2002) are based on the ‘Law of Effect’ Hull’s drive theory elaborated on this idea and suggested that effort was the mathematical product of drive, multiplied by habit, and that habit were derived from behavior reinforcement.

The consequences of behavior may be tangible, such as money, or intangible, such as praise (Spector, 2003). In this regard, reinforcement theory was highly influential in firmly establishing the ideas relating to incentive and reward systems that are applied in most organizations today. As such, it provided the basis for the notion that rewards should be contingent with individual units of productivity (Schultz & Schultz, 1998).

As a motivation theory, reinforcement theory has fallen somewhat out of favor, as it merely describes relations between reinforcement and behavior, but gives little insight into motivational processes, e.g. whether or not a person wanted a specific reward, or why. Nevertheless, its relative popularity in the workplace is maintained by research that has shown that rewards can be highly effective in the enhancement of job performance (Spector, 2003).

2.4 Motivation: Composite summary

Each of the theories covered has contributed substantially towards current perspectives on and understanding of the concept of motivation in the workplace. The needs theories, for example, are largely responsible for organizations’ recognition that people’s behavior at work is motivated by highly individualized innate needs and desires (Van Niekerk, 1987). Achievement-orientated people are, for example, driven by a much stronger need for power, affiliation and achievement than most other people (Schultz & Schultz, 1998). For this reason, employers need to ensure that they invest the necessary time and effort to assess the personal needs of individual employees, and customize their jobs and working environments accordingly (Walker, 1980). Due to their innate need to produce good work and develop themselves, most employees do not need constant supervision and direction and may, in fact, find such actions very demotivating. In addition, people need to experience their work as meaningful and challenging, and therefore require considerable input on the part of management to ensure a high degree of job enrichment on a continual basis (Beach, 1980).

The cognitive theories of motivation have helped employers to understand that, apart from their motivation being driven by innate needs, employees also apply deliberate conscious thought to their behavior at work. Organizations are aware that people evaluate their inputs on the job against what they receive in return, and that they should therefore pay attention to the equitability between employee delivery and reward (Cropanzano & Folger, 1996). It is also prudent for organizations to offer a range of benefits, which may be acquired through different levels of performance, to allow employees to set themselves challenging goals that they may attain via differing means they may perceive as instrumental towards those goals (Spector, 2003).

Once employees have met the requirements of their own jobs, and attained certain goals, they expect certain rewards to follow. In this regard, reinforcement theories have contributed much towards the establishment of a wide array of reward and performance incentives systems applied in organizations all over the world today (Beach, 1980).

Clearly, the theorizing of many an author and researcher over the years has resulted in the increased ability of organizations to transform these theories into practical and effective measures to address a highly complicated aspect of organizational psychology, namely the motivation of human behavior at work, and to ensure organizational success and profitability in the process.

Chapter 3: Job satisfaction

3.1 Job satisfaction overview

The concept of job satisfaction enjoys increasing attention from organizations these days, since its importance and pervasiveness in terms of organizational effectiveness has been firmly established quite some time ago. Managers now feel morally responsible for maintaining high levels of job satisfaction among their staff, most probably primarily for its impact on productivity, absenteeism and staff turnover, as well as on union activity (Arnold & Feldman, 1986). Organizations recognize that having a workforce that derives satisfaction from their work contributes hugely towards organizational effectiveness and ultimate survival. Job satisfaction is regarded as related to important employee and organizational outcomes, ranging from job performance to health and longevity (Spector, 2003).

The importance of job satisfaction in the workplace is underscored by its inextricable connection to a person’s entire life. Since a person’s job is an all-important part of his life, it follows that job satisfaction is part of life satisfaction. The nature of the environment outside of the job directly influences a person’s feelings and behavior on the job . Schultz and Schultz (1998) emphasized that people spend one third to one half of their waking hours at work, for a period of 40 to 45 years, and that this is a very long time to be frustrated, dissatisfied and unhappy, especially since these feelings carry over to family and social life, and affect physical and emotional health. A concept with such tremendous effect on personal and organizational life clearly deserves a corresponding amount of attention.

3.2 Definitions of job satisfaction

A great many definitions of the concept of job satisfaction have been formulated over time. Arnold and Feldman (1986) described job satisfaction as “the amount of overall affect that individuals have toward their job”. Since a job has many characteristics, job satisfaction is necessarily a summation of worker attitudes regarding all these. The good features are balanced against the bad, so that the overall job satisfaction is perceived as high or low. It appears that job satisfaction may be studied from two slightly different perspectives. Firstly, job satisfaction may be treated as a single, overall feeling towards a person’s job. Alternatively, researchers may focus on the different aspects that impact upon a job, e.g. its rewards and social environment, and even characteristics of the job itself, such as its content. It is believed that this latter view permits a more comprehensive picture of job satisfaction, as an individual typically experiences different levels of satisfaction across different job aspects (Spector, 2003).

3.3 Theories on job satisfaction

3.3.1 Two-factor theory

Two-factor theory relates to job satisfaction as well as it does to motivation, and posits that the things that provide employees with satisfaction at work are not the same as those that bring about dissatisfaction. This is Herzberg’s theory of satisfiers and dissatisfiers, or the positive and negative aspects of the job. Dissatisfiers do not lead to job satisfaction, but prevent dissatisfaction if properly maintained, for example, acceptable service conditions. Satisfiers, on the other hand, impact directly on job satisfaction, for example, positive promotion aspects elevate levels of job satisfaction (Gouws, 1995).

3.3.2 Social influence theory

Social influence theory holds that people are influenced by how satisfied they believe other workers are with the same job (Van Vuuren, 1990). New employees may, for example, change their initial misgivings about their job when they discover that others performing the same tasks are satisfied with their work. In this sense social influence theory may share certain common features with equity theory.

3.3.3 Affect theory

Edwin A. Locke’s Range of Affect Theory (1976) is arguably the most famous job satisfaction model. The main premise of this theory is that satisfaction is determined by a discrepancy between what one wants in a job and what one has in a job. Further, the theory states that how much one values a given facet of work (e.g. the degree of autonomy in a position) moderates how satisfied/dissatisfied one becomes when expectations are/aren’t met. When a person values a particular facet of a job, his satisfaction is more greatly impacted both positively (when expectations are met) and negatively (when expectations are not met), compared to one who doesn’t value that facet. To illustrate, if Employee A values autonomy in the workplace and Employee B is indifferent about autonomy, then Employee A would be more satisfied in a position that offers a high degree of autonomy and less satisfied in a position with little or no autonomy compared to Employee B.

3.3.4 Equity theory

Equity theory stipulates that people generally want to receive what they consider a fair or equitable return for their efforts at work. Greater satisfaction is experienced if they perceive the return or reward they receive as equitable. These perceptions may be based on previous or vicarious experience, or on people’s observations of other employees, for example (Van Vuuren, 1990). Job satisfaction in this regard is related to the motivation to achieve a condition of equity or fairness in people’s dealings with others.

3.3.5 Dispositional theory

Another well-known job satisfaction theory is the Dispositional Theory. It is a very general theory that suggests that people have innate dispositions that cause them to have tendencies toward a certain level of satisfaction, regardless of one’s job. This approach became a notable explanation of job satisfaction in light of evidence that job satisfaction tends to be stable over time and across careers and jobs. Research also indicates that identical twins have similar levels of job satisfaction. A significant model that narrowed the scope of the Dispositional Theory was the Core Self-evaluations Model, proposed by Timothy A. Judge, Edwin A. Locke, and Cathy C. Durham in 1997. Judge et al. argued that there are four Core Self-evaluations that determine one’s disposition towards job satisfaction: self-esteem, general self-efficacy, locus of control, and neuroticism. This model states that higher levels of self-esteem (the value one places on his/her self) and general self-efficacy (the belief in one’s own competence) lead to higher work satisfaction. Having an internal locus of control (believing one has control over herhis own life, as opposed to outside forces having control) leads to higher job satisfaction. Finally, lower levels of neuroticism lead to higher job satisfaction (T.A, & E.A & C.C, 1997).

3.3.6 Job characteristics model

Hackman & Oldham proposed the Job Characteristics Model, which is widely used as a framework to study how particular job characteristics impact on job outcomes, including job satisfaction. The model 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, experienced responsibility for outcomes, and knowledge of the actual results), in turn influencing work outcomes (job satisfaction, absenteeism, work motivation, etc.). The five core job characteristics can 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. A meta-analysis of studies that assess the framework of the model provides some support for the validity of the JCM ( J.R & G,R, 1976).

3.4 Creating job satisfaction

3.4.1 Work environment

A positive work environment is not only important for our physical, mental and emotional health, but is also important for the results that we produce for the company. The better we feel at work, the more likely we will take pride in our job activities and be loyal towards our place of employment

Ways to create a positive working environment:

Accept the right position

Be a positive person

Take responsibility

Communicate with your manager

Be social

3.4.2 Career development programs

In organizational development (or OD), the study of career development looks at:

How individuals manage their careers within and between organizations and, how organizations structure the career progress of their members, it can also be tied into succession planning within some organizations.

“… the lifelong psychological and behavioral processes as well as contextual influences shaping one’s career over the life span. As such, career development involves the person’s creation of a career pattern, decision-making st

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