Motivation Techniques - Paper Critique Example

7 pages
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Sewanee University of the South
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The fact that the human effort is the most critical aspect in any individual or enterprise makes the subject of the article very relevant and a resourceful material for any manager or aspiring one. The human effort is fully maximized when the individual is motivated. When they are motivated, the output by an individual is infinity and that is what every business owner targets. Getting the maximum out of each worker or the input he /she invests on.

The main thesis of this article suggests that the efficacy of a given motivation technique is solely dependent on the traits of the individual worker, and that for a manager to fully maximize the workers input, they must study them closely. To the content of the article, I agree on some points and disagree with others.

Undisputedly, the working environment is dynamic and globally, the organizations are experiencing major transformations and advancements majorly through technology. However, one factor remains and which this article recognizes is that the managers have a critical role in ensuring these changes do not result to negatives amidst these changes. According to the authors of the article, the efficacy of the motivation technique adopted is highly determined by the workers perception towards it. This is very true considering that human beings in nature have differing perceptions towards things and what may be of great importance to one, it might turn out to be just a trivial thing for another (Vining et al., 2008;pg 2)

Considering that the article recognizes that motivation subject is a very dynamic is what puts the article at the cross hair of scrutiny. The accuracy of their conclusion depends on a range of factors, from the definition of the variables themselves to the sampling, data collection to the analysis methods used.

This article has taken efficiency as a mirroring factor to show the level of motivation one has. Efficiency is a great tool to measure the success rates of managers efforts to motivate their workers makes it is measurable. When workers are motivated, there are fewer problems in the workflow and production process leading to even more production in a given organization. However, this tool requires a lot care if its results is to be a true reflection of the current motivation situation in an organization. This is because, as technological advancement is continuing to unveil, distinctively identifying the actual change of human effort in a process is becoming difficult everyday. This is a very important factor that the article has omitted and which should be emphasized considering that the organizations production processes are being automated everyday. There is a need to identify new methods of measuring workers motivation in the ever-changing technological changes.

Although I agree with the thesis that indeed perceptions vary with various categories of workers, there are some research findings I dont not agree with. Based on the research finding of the study in the article, these are my stands and arguments;Education statuses of the workers determine their perception on the motivation but this is limited to the working environment. On the findings of the study, the authors found out that the level of education attained by the employees brought about a different perception towards motivation. For instance, among the workers with low education status, motivation process was not major concern to them as compared to those possessing higher education status. Well, under the study conditions and generally in an ideal environment, this is expected because, the higher the education, the more aware the worker is of their rights of compensation and in need to payback the investment they made to acquire that education. However, the study fails to recognize the dynamics that can overturn these findings. For instance in countries or environments where the workers have the same academic qualification or where there is lack of jobs and the jobs available do not even require the higher education levels. According to Schroeder (2008; p12) motivation or lack thereof is highly influenced by the working environment where if a worker is being given a job that requires their skills and they are not properly compensated, they can end up losing motivation.

Monetary income acts as a motivation to those who are not fully remunerated. Another finding of the study regarding the monthly income, it was discovered that across the economic tool motivation level, the low income segment was likely to be more motivated by an increase in the monthly income as compared to the higher income segment. This is a good confirmation of the study by Rynes et al.(2004;pg 338) that suggests the higher earning income workers are likely to be motivated much by income rise. It also supports the social theory that the low-income earners are vulnerable and proposing an income rise would automatically boost their motivation.

Marital status has a huge impact on the motivation perception. The research findings show that the motivation perception does not vary across the income categories. According to Ryu & Kol (2002;pg 6) the workers with providing for a family in the low-income category is likely to have different perception on motivation. For instance, if the employer decides to offer school fee grant for the low income, it is likely to motivate them more than it would to the higher income category workers. The same case is with a single worker who is approached with an exclusive family package for their family. He or She will not be motivated and this makes marital status a very critical aspect to look at when applying the motivation technique.

Among the strengths concerning the thesis of this article are that, the authors have to great detail expounded on efficiency, which is very important to understand before the actual study. They have recognized that the efficiency in any enterprise is a factor of many elements but the core is the work force or the employees. Categorizing these factors into extra and intra-business factors where the intra-business include the internal conditions of the organization such as its structure, equipment and machines among others while extra-business involve factors such as management approach, energy and technology among others, breaks the concept of efficiency for easier understanding by the reader.

On the motivation techniques, the authors appreciate the fact that motivation principally is a physiological process. This therefore makes the relationship between the manager and the worker even more paramount. They suggest that for their efforts to be efficient in motivating the worker, they have to observe and familiarize themselves well with them. Mentioning the motivation theories such as Maslows Theory of Hierarchy, Alderfers Erg Theory, Herzbergs Two factor Theory Adams Equity Theory and other theories briefed gives very critical information about motivation and the nature of human being.

In my opinion perhaps this was one of the most informative section of the article that was inadequately addressed. Highlighting the theories was not good enough. They could have further shown how and where they have been applied these theories in real life organizations. By expounding more on these, a manager or an aspiring manager would have been able to gather a wealth of information that could have helped them improve of their motivating strategies. Rather that concentrating more on definitions of efficiency, stating the strengths and weakness of these theories would have provided the reader with more insights on motivation physiological aspects of people.

On the research method and approach, the authors are very systematical in that, their survey is well organized. For instance, in their survey form, the have a section where each of the respondents is able to indicate their job specification and this is very important in the analysis of the data collected. On the second section of the study, their opinion has been captured through a 5-point Likert scale where they opinion are scaled. One issue with this method of survey is that, it assumes that every participant is literate, that is, they are able to read and right with intellectual capacity to gauge their level of satisfaction and relate to the points in the scale. This assumption has however not been mentioned and neither has it been accounted in the outcome of the study. It would be erroneous to assume that everyone in the study population has the ability to carry out these judgments. Using the survey questionnaire as the only method of data collection may conceal some information that is critical for the final conclusion of the study. Perhaps combining it with other methods such as oral interviews by a trained interviewer would be reach out to the illiterate participants and guide them through expressing their opinions.

On the sample population, though they have mentioned that that the population was too large and therefore had to use sample group, they have not mentioned the method of sampling. Method of sampling is very important because it determines the viability and accuracy of the data collected. If the 299 participants were randomly selected, they should have indicated and accounted for the limitation or otherwise mention in the list of study assumptions which the paper has omitted.

In conclusion, the article addresses a very important issue to any enterprise that wants to the most out of its human resources. As seen from the article, the study findings have confirmed indeed the perceptions on various motivation techniques, which is inline with the accepted theories. However, some of the conclusions derived from study as shown by this paper omit some views hence reducing the accuracy of their findings. The papers has also shown the strengths and weakness in the approaches such as theoretical research in that it does not adequately address theories of human motivation and perceptions. This paper has also highlighted some of the weaknesses in the data collection methods that could have resulted in downplay of real facts. Therefore, this article is a very informative piece from which managers can borrow information on motivating their workers if the above-identified issues are considered.



Rynes, S.L., Gerhart, B. and Minette, K.A., 2004. The importance of pay in employee motivation: Discrepancies between what people say and what they do. Human resource management, 43(4), pp.381-394.

Ryu, S.M. and Kol, M., 2002. An analysis of the relationship between marital status and family structure and on-the-job productivity. NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA.

Schroeder, A., Miles, A., Savage, M., Halford, S. and Tampubolon, G., 2008. Mobility, careers and inequalities: a study of work-life mobility and the returns from education. Equality and Human Rights Commission Research report, 8.

Vining, J., Merrick, M.S. and Price, E.A., 2008. The distinction between humans and nature: Human perceptions of connectedness to nature and elements of the natural and unnatural. Human Ecology Review, pp.1-11.

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