Review of Engstrom Case Study - Essay Sample

4 pages
925 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

The case of Engstrom Auto Mirror contains numerous human behavior issues that have led to a lack of motivation among workers and as a result low productivity. The essay aims to stipulate the importance of the review of the Engstrom to ensure that the particular issues identified and addressed do not occur in the future through the application of a positive approach.

The major contributing factor to the organizational issues facing Engstrom was the failure of the bonus plan known as the Scanlon Bonus Plan. The primary goal of the bonus initiative entailed motivation of workers to exceed set goals within Engstrom Mirror Plant. However, the bonus system was not sustainable, and it failed to lead to the development of doubt among employees and their employers (Carter, 2013). The consequence included reduction of factors that resulted in a favorable work conditions such as the general work culture, trust among colleagues, friendship, and motivation of employees (Zipf, 2016).

The workers performed below their standard expectation on a daily basis which compromised the rate of production by the plant. During the introduction of the bonus plan, the aim was to ensure the performance of workers above the standard expectation. It was a system put in place to encourage extra work by the employees. However, as time went by, the reward system shifted to the regular system for compensation as employees expected remuneration for working the bare minimum (Carter, 2013). The new routine entailed every employee expecting additional pay on their regular paychecks. According to Newsome, the Per Behavior modification ideology asserts that the behavior of an employee would change in the event they get rewarded for their efforts since the expected performance level would increase compared to the standard. However, the law of effects states that reinforcements dictate a particular behavior. The employee will, therefore, show a repeated action for a long duration when it results in a favorable outcome (Newsome, 2015). The case under study reveals that the employees portrayed negative behavior as a consequence of the removal of the bonus plan which indicates that their motivation had disappeared.

The trust in the workplace also became non-existent. The explanation for lack of confidence is due to failure by the plant managers to factor in the feeling of employees through feedback, complaints, and suggestions issued (Zipf, 2016). The problem arising then entailed the integrity of employers at Engstrom since it had become a norm for an employee to receive the incentive during payment and not as a result of exceeding set demands. Therefore, when the incentive system got removed, employees blamed employers as they were the reason for its cause (Newsome, 2015). However, the fault in the query can be argued to have been caused by both parties through the creation of a "psychological distance." The blame game involves employers accusing employees of minimal production at the workplace while the workers blame employers for lack of incentives. The outcome of blaming each other include loss of trust among the employee and employers of Engstrom Auto Mirror.

Eventually, the incentive plan set by the company resulted in a dysfunctional effect on the productivity of workers (Newsome, 2015). The culture of an organization is a major factor in steering productivity as it entails assumptions, values, norms and beliefs treasured by the firm. When the dysfunctional effect trickles in then, the organizational culture gets compromised.

Human Behavior Theories and Lessons for Engstrom

Several approaches can get utilized in arriving at solutions for problems in the work environment. The occurrence of workplace challenge requires proper analysis of the situation and an attempt should be made in providing a solution. There exist two theories that can be used after the alteration to help in solving the issues surrounding Engstrom. The two theories relevant to address the organizational issues entail the expectancy theory and the equity theory (Newsome, 2015).

The theory of equity and expectancy looks at the reward system through three concepts. The concepts are the no reward, the under-reward, and over-reward. The no reward idea is important as it provides the foundation medium of the theory of equity. In this theory, the employer issues one of the three concepts to the employees. When the employee gets to perform and is over-rewarded, the employee will try to restore the balance at the workplace while working harder to reinstate the equilibrium of equity (Carter, 2013). If a worker gets under-rewarded, they will get offended and reduce their level of productivity. However, the state of no reward will provoke the employee to just work normally as before.

In the case of Engstrom, employees were initially over-rewarded during the onset of the Scanlon Bonus Plan. As time went by, the workers assumed to have hit the balance of equity. Therefore, the over-reward turned to a regular payment, and the stage can become viewed over time as a no-reward scenario. When Engstrom stopped the bonus system, the employees saw that their effort was now under-rewarded by the employers hence they reacted negatively just as the theory asserts.

Therefore, the two approaches as discussed above were not appropriately aligned or practiced by the Engstrom Auto Mirror since the productivity of employees, the profit margins of the company and the general motivation of the employees were falling. If the theories got adhered to with accuracy, then the consequence would be a positive outcome.



Carter, I. (2013). Human behavior in the social environment. AldineTransaction.

Newsome, J. (2015). Organizational Behavior: Human behavior at work (14th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.

Zipf, G. K. (2016). Human behavior and the principle of least effort: An introduction to human ecology. Ravenio Books.


Have the same topic and dont`t know what to write?
We can write a custom paper on any topic you need.

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the website, please click below to request its removal: