Friday, June 21, 2013


1.0.0 Introduction Motivation of workers in commercial organizations is one of the most important undertakings by managers in the modern day. There are many reasons why supervisors and managers in organizations all over the world endevor to motivate their employees. Motivated workers tend to be more productive and enthusiastic to work; this is due to the fact that such workers accomplish their tasks because their like their jobs and want to succeed in attaining the set organizational objectives. One of the greatest benefits of motivated workers for managers is the fact that such workers do not have to be constantly supervised and managed; motivated workers contribute more to an organization with less supervision. There are, however, a number of factors that may reduce or erode on the morale of workers to work. When managers realize that their employees lack the motivation to work, they should discover the underlying causes and redress the situation. By making use of the Kimston Mart case study, this essay describes the manner in which the human resource manager in the case study responded to the lack of motivation to work demonstrated by the firm’s employees. 2.0.0 Case Study: Kimston Mart Kimston Mart, a regional player in the Chinese retail clothing industry, owns 150 stores. Owing to the global economic recession witnessed in the last couple of years, the management of Kimston Mart has experienced a sharp financial crisis. This has caused the management to shut down 20 of Kimston Mart’s stores. As is to be expected, most of the workers in the closed stores have been laid off and the company has halted all of its expansion plans until the company recovers from the current financial setback (MacDonald, 1996, p. 19). As a consequence of the transformations that have been occuring in Kimston Mart, most of the firm’s employees are demoralized and unenthusiastic to work; as a matter of fact, many of them are in constant fear that they will be next to lose their jobs. The motivation of the firm’s workers, as well as Kimston Mart’s reputation and image, has been further eroded by angry blogs created in opposition to the firm by the laid off workers. The human resource manager in Kimston Mart, Chumong Kim, quickly realised that he had to urgently address this issue od worker demoralization. 3.0.0 Manager’s Response The first thing that Kimston Mart’s human resource manager, Chumong Kim, did was to organise for a meeting with all the employees of the firm. Mr. Kim began by informing all the workers that the firm would not close any more stores and that the process of laying down workers had been indefinitiely suspended. Nevertheless, Mr. Kim realized that it was important for the management to communicate the financial and social challenges faced by the firm to the employees. By presenting the employees with factual information regarding the current state of affairs in the company, the management instigated a process of brainstorming on the most effective way to address the issues in the firm. Mr. Kim also made it clear that the management understood the major reason for the lack of motivation by the workers is the fear that the workers had about losing their jobs. In addition to this, Kimston Mart’s human resouce manager announced that the company would instigate evaluation and appraisal procedures in Kimston Mart stores to ensure that the workers who attain or surpass their targets in terms of production and quality of performance are recognized and rewarded. Mr. Kim stated that, in spite of the financial difficulties that the firm was going through, the management would do everything possible to ensure that the work conditions in all the stores affiliated to Kimston Mart are improved and that the workers are given effective, and timely feedback, on their performance (Hattie and Timperley, 2007, p. 81). 4.0.0 Explanation of Manager’s Actions Using Theories of Motivation Although there are numerous descriptions of motivation that have been forwarded by scholars affiliated to different areas of study, the phenomenon of motivation may be simply described as the force or drive that causes people to behave in the manner that they do (Evans,1986, p. 203). There are many theories that have been formulated to explain the behavior of workers in organizations as well as techniques that the management can utilize to increase the morale of workers to perform and be productive (Clark, 1998, p. 37). There are a number of motivation theories that guided the actions by Kimston Mart’s human resource manager. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a theory of motivation that was formulated by Abraham Maslow (1943) to explain the behavior of people and the drives that cause them to behave in the manner that they do. Maslow (1943, p. 370) arranged the human needs in a pyramid of five fundamental human needs, with the most basic being at the base of the pyramid. These Maslow needs, from the base to the top, are: The physiological needs, safety needs, need for belongingness and love, esteem needs and self actualization. By assuring the workers that no more Kimston Mart stores would be shut down and that the company had suspended any further process of laying off workers, Mr. Kim was responding to the workers’ need for safety as described by Maslow. This need implies that in order for workers to be motivated to work they have to have a sense of job security. The firm’s commitment to recognizing and rewarding the best performance in the firm is in accordance with Fredrick Herzberg’s Hygiene Theory of motivation. Herzberg (1964, p. 3), in his Motivation Hygiene And Dual Factor Theory pointed out the presence of certain factors in commercial organizations that cause job satisfaction in workers, and another set of factors that cause dissatisfaction. Herzberg (1964) believed that the behavior of workers is impacted by psychological forces. By acknowledging the needs of Kimston Mart’s workers and formulating a reward system, Mr. Kim was reviving the employees’ morale to work. Thirdly, by recognizing the feelings of the workers and the fear of being laid off that they harbored, Mr. Kim was applying the concepts of the Instinct Theory of motivation. Instinct Theory of motivation was formulated by Williams James. According to James (1890), workers behave the way they do because they are evolutionary set to do so. It is only normal that the workers fear and become anxious when they have an instinct that they will be laid off and lose their jobs soon. 5.0.0 Evaluation of Effectiveness The effectiveness of the manager and the validation of the assessment made can be described by use of the Cognitive Evaluation Theory that was formulated by Deci (1975). This theory claims that workers can be either intrinsically or extrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation are in the working environment and indicated by factors such as increased pay, better working conditions and feedback. Intrinsic motivation emanates from the performance of an actual task by the worker, for instance, a sense of accomplishment and competence (Ryan & Deci, 2000, p. 68). The actions taken by Kimston Mart’s human resource manager were very effective since they served to put the workers back into action. By motivating the workers, Mr. Kim had ensured that the workers would from that day forward utilize their physical, intellectual and technologcal resources in the attainment of organizational objectives (Clark, 1998, p. 40). 6.0.0 Conclusion The phenomenon of motivation may be simply described as the force or drives that causes people to behave in the manner that they do. There are many theories formulated to explain the behavior of workers in organizations as well as techniques that the management can use to increase the morale of employees to work. As indicated in this case study, the motivation of workers in commercial organizations is of utmost importance in order for an organization to successfully attain its organizational objectives. No single motivation theory is self sufficient and more often than not, human resource managers, such as Mr. Chumong Kim discussed in this case study, have to apply a number of different motivation theories to attain the desired outcome. 7.0.0 Work Cited Clark, R.E., (1998), “Motivating Performance”, Performance Improvement, 37(8), 39-47 Deci, E. L., (1975), “Intrinsic Motivation”, New York: Plenum Evans, M.G. (1986), “Organisational Behaviour: The Central Role of Motivation”, Journal of Management 12 (2), 203 Hattie, J. and Timperley, H., (2007), “The Power of Feedback”, Review of Educational Research, 77 (1), pp. 81-112 Herzberg, F., (1964), “The Motivation-Hygiene Concept and Problem of Manpower”, Personnel Administrator, (27), pp. 3-7 James, W., (1890), “Principles of Psychology”, Harvard University Press MacDonald, R. (1996), “Labours of love: Voluntary Working in a Depressed Economy”, Journal of Social Policy 25 (1), 19-38 Maslow, A., (1943), “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Psychological Review, 50 (4), pp. 370- 396 Ryan, R. M. & Deci, E. L. (2000), “Self-determination Theory And The Facilitation Of Intrinsic Motivation, Social Development, And Well-Being”, American Psychologist, 55, pp. 68-78