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HR9405 Managing People At Work For Appropriate Theories And Techniques

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  • Course Code: HR9405
  • University: Newcastle University
  • Country: United Kingdom


1)Identify a contemporary management issue, describe, and explore how this poses challenges for managing individuals and organizations. This should draw upon ideas from across the module.

2)Drawing on evidence - show how organizations/managers are actually responding to the challenges and relate these responses to theoretical frameworks and ideas from the literature and your wider reading.

3)Using the real – life examples suggest how organizations and managers should deal with the issue and relate your recommendations to theoretical frameworks and/or ideas from the literature.

(ii): Outline what were the main challenges of managing Task 1 and Task 2 from the seminars and how did you and your team address them in line with your management values and beliefs.




Managing an organisation can be a challenging task for most managers. This is mainly because managers need to take into consideration various factors while managing an organisation. These challenges can be internal as well as external and the abilities of an individual as a manager are tested in these circumstances. For example, in terms of external issue, the managers face challenges from the business environment. The threat that arises from competitors, customers and the Government may cause hindrance to the smooth flow of work (Stoyanov 2017). Hence, these threats need to be mitigated using proper strategies. Similarly, the internal threat that arises results from the employees and the technologies that are used in the organisation.

The assignment provides a comprehensive analysis of one of the contemporary issues that are faced by managers in every organisation. The issue in focus is the motivation of the employees and the method that can be applied to mitigate the threat. The type of challenge that this particular threat poses to the managers is discussed in the assignment. It also provides the use of appropriate theories and techniques that may guide the managers to motivate the employees in a proper manner. The assignment also provides a reflection that focuses on challenges faced while completing the task and the responses of the team based on the values and beliefs. 



Motivation is one of the important factors that drive employees to work in an efficient manner in an organisation. According to Lawler (2013), without proper motivation employees do not feel the urge to work. Motivation can be provided either financially or non-financially. The financial method of providing motivation includes giving bonus and incentives to the employees. The non-financial method includes recognising the talents of the employees and providing them with rewards and promotion. Hence, it is the important duty of a manager to ensure that the employees are motivated in a proper manner. However, there are certain challenges that are often faced by the managers in trying to motivate the employees (Deci and Ryan 2014).

As stated by Healy (2016), in order to motivate a person it is necessary to understand the factors that drive the tastes of the person. These factors are difficult to identify as every employee have different preferences. Apart from this, sometimes it becomes difficult for the managers to gather proper information about the preferences of the employees. Other issues that hinder the motivation of employees are the lack of proper managerial technique. The adoption of the autocratic type of managerial technique can dent the self-confidence of the employees (Kanfer and Chen 2016). This is because the freedom to be creative and innovative is taken away from them and the employees are made to work following traditional style. This proves to be a huge de-motivating factor for the employees.

Hence, such negligence towards the employees may have a negative impact on the organisations and the managers. Elliot, Dweck and Yeager (2017) observed that one of the main reasons for huge employee turnover in organisations is the lack of motivation. The resignation of employees is never considered as a good factor for the success of an organisation. The loss of workforce results in the loss of productivity and profitability. Hence, this may endanger the existence of a company and cause serious problems within the existing members of an organisation. At the same time, employees choosing to stay may not feel motivated due to the lack of competition within the organisation and subsequently, the quality of work may decline (Reeve 2014). Hence, managers need to ensure that motivation is provided to the employees in every context to ensure that such negative effect does not take place in the organisation. To do this the use of theories proposed by scholars can be applied.


Responses of managers

Based on the analysis of the issue it can be said that the managers of the organisations need to follow certain theoretical approach to ensure that proper motivation is provided to the employees. Most managers believe that the perfect response to motivate the employees is by following a systematic process (Pinder 2014). This includes fulfilling the needs of the employees’ one at a time so that the employees continue to work efficiently. For example, the first and foremost form of motivation that the managers can provide is the security of jobs. This is important as most individuals seek a long-term career. Hence, the job security can help these individuals to perform for the organisation and ensure that they prolong their career in their respective field. With a proper job security, individuals can provide the necessities required for survival and continue to develop to achieve higher things.

 It can be said that this approach by the managers can be related to the theory proposed by Maslow. According to Maslow (2015), every employee should satisfy their level of needs in a systematic manner so that they can fulfil their ultimate goal in a proper manner. The levels range from gaining the necessities of life to achieving excellence through hard work. It has been seen that successful individuals started their growth from a low level. An example of this is the rise to fame of Steve Jobs can be taken into consideration to understand the growth. Steve Jobs started to provide innovation to the manner in which computers are used in the modern days at a garage. With hard work and dedication, he went on to build one of the greatest and famous companies dealing with modern technologies in the world. This proves the fact that Steve Jobs was a self-motivated person and he had the ability to motivate others in making Apple a success. As stated by Atkinson (2014) it is necessary for managers to be self-motivated before inspiring the employees. 

Hence, it can be said that along with self-motivation, the application of Maslow’s hierarchical theory can be used to describe the success of Steve Jobs. Similarly, managers of organisations need to treat the employees in this manner so that every employee gets their deserved recognition in the organisation (Lepper and Greene 2015). Apart from Maslow’s theory, another theoretical application that can be done is that proposed by Herzberg. According to Hur (2017), certain factors in the workplace cause satisfaction and dissatisfaction among the employees. The managers need to identify these factors and ensure that the dissatisfaction factors are eliminated from the workplace. The factors that provide satisfaction includes achievement, recognition and rewards, whereas the dissatisfaction factors include poor working conditions, lack of support from the co-workers and policies related to perform a job and gain a salary. In this regard, it can be said that the duty of the managers is to ensure that every employee is provided with opportunities to showcase their skills (Goldman 2015).

The talents of the employees need to be used so that an organisation can gain a competitive advantage. The managers can issue the formation of teams so that a sense of cooperation exists within the employees. However, Nuttin (2014) was of the opinion that the managerial technique also needs to improve to ensure that the employees are motivated. Managers need to provide support to the decisions made by the employees and show trust in their judgement in order to inspire the employees. This proves as a satisfying factor that makes employees work hard. The policies adopted in the organisations need to be lenient so that employees have the opportunity to work freely without having to worry about violating rules. Thus, the hygiene and motivator factors proposed by Herzberg can be applied in the organisational context. 

Another way by which, managers can respond to the motivational issue is by identifying the characteristics and personalities of the employees. According to Zagzebski (2016), this analysis can be done by using McClelland’s theory of motivation. The type of individuals working in an organisation can be divided and based on the division the motivator type can be analysed. According to McClelland (2015), individuals normally have three types of dominant motivating factors. These factors include achievement, affiliation and power. Employees having a stronger need to achieve success can be motivated by providing them with challenges and tasks that highlight their talents. Power need drives an individual to take control of the existing situation and guide other employees. These types of people normally end up being leaders in the future. The leadership attribute exists naturally among these individuals. At the same time, individuals that prefer to work in a group can be motivated by providing them with the required affiliation. Hence, the use of McClelland’s theory of motivation can help the organisations and the managers to categorise the employees based on their characteristics. 


Discussion of approach and recommendations

After analysing the issue and the responses that the managers can provide, it can be said that the theoretical concepts related to motivation can be used effectively in order to gain success. An example that has already been provided is that of Steve Jobs and the manner in which he used the theoretical concept of Maslow in order to gain self-motivation and imply it on others. According to Miner (2015), the initial recommendation that the managers need to bring about is installing a sense of belief among the employees. Every employee needs to believe the fact that they can progress in the organisation and achieve great results. This can be done by treating the employees with respect and encouraging them to execute their creative plans. However, boundaries need to be made so that the creative plans are presented to the managers before being implemented. The example of Steve Jobs also highlights leadership and a sense of autocratic style in encouraging the employees to continue with his legacy. In this regard, another example can be given that highlight the importance of job satisfaction and proper workplace behaviour.

After the aftermath of 9/11, most airline organisations wanted to cut back on the number of employees due to lack of customers and subsequently the loss of profitability. However, the CEO of Southwest Airlines, James Parker had other ideas for handling the situation. At the initial stage, during the day of the situation, the management encouraged the employees along with the customers to take a break and enjoy while being stranded in foreign lands. After this, with the idea of employee turnover looming over other airlines, the CEO declared that the employees of Southwest Airlines would be retained. Not only this, it was also announced that a profit sharing programme worth $179.8 million would be spent on the employees. This example can be related to the theory of Herzberg that highlights the motivating and hygiene factors of the employees. The retention of jobs and proper pay structure acted as motivating factors for the employees. Hence, the managers of every organisation need to adopt such method in conditions that may be tough for the organisation. As observed by Shafritz, Ott and Jang (2015) employees expect support from the managers and proper guidance during crisis moments. Hence, it is important for the managers to adopt this technique and make sure that the employees get the required motivation. Hence, the managers need to be self-motivated and act as leaders in situations that require tough decisions to be taken.

Reflecting on values and beliefs

The seminars held on the tasks that need to be performed proved certain challenges for me. Some of the challenges were mitigated using my experience and the experience that my team members have acquired. On most occasions, our values and beliefs helped us in getting through the tough times. One of the biggest challenges that I faced in the seminar while completing the two tasks is to understand the topic. The managerial issue that I had to describe consisted of various theories that had a negative impact on my mind. I was not clear about the course and the method that I need to use to mitigate the challenge.

In this case, my group members aided me and with the help received, I managed to come through with a solution. Another challenge that I faced was the choice of the topic. Issues in management are plenty and to select the biggest issue that exists is a challenging factor. With the help of my group members and after conducting various researches, I managed to choose the appropriate issue fit for my study. The values and beliefs of my group and me were to conduct an ethical search of the issues for the study. The challenges that were faced by us provided us with an opportunity to apply the values that we believed to be true.

Hence, despite finding it difficult to identify the issue we did not use any unethical approach such as visiting restricted sites or company websites to complete the tasks. Thus, it can be said that the strong point of completing the task was the collaboration between the group members and the dedication shown by every member. However, the weakness was the lack of proper research due to lack of time. This is because, with plenty of issues to choose from, it was difficult for us to select an issue instantly. This used up a lot of time and consequently, the time required for conducting a detailed research was limited. In the future, my team and I would like to continue to work in an efficient manner and conduct good research on the topic. Using the strict values and beliefs that I possess I can say that completing this tasks and facing the challenges have helped me to develop as an individual. I am now confident of taking on any tasks and providing a proper solution for a good and prosperous career. 



Thus, it can be concluded that managing organisations can be critical for most managers. It is important that managers take into consideration every factor that poses a threat to the existence of the organisation. The threat posed by the employees need to be considered seriously as the employees are the main assets and an important stakeholder. Hence, it is needed that these employees are motivated properly so that the performance of the employees does not decline. The theoretical approach to motivating employees provides a clear aspect of the methods that can be used.

The examples provided highlight the desire to achieve greater goods and the urge to retain employees for the betterment of the organisations. Hence, managers of every organisation need to benchmark the examples in providing quality support to the employees. It can be said that the use of the theoretical application in the practical context is one of the many ways by which employees can be motivated. However, the managers can innovate new ways to motivate employees if it does not hinder the work progress of the organisations. Thus, the managers need to improve their style of managing the organisations. 



Atkinson, J.W., 2014. An introduction to motivation. Pearson

Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M., 2014. Autonomy and need satisfaction in close relationships: Relationships motivation theory. In Human motivation and interpersonal relationships(pp. 53-73). Springer Netherlands.

Elliot, A.J., Dweck, C.S. and Yeager, D.S. eds., 2017. Handbook of Competence and Motivation: Theory and Application. Guilford Publications.

Goldman, A.I., 2015. Theory of human motivation. Princeton University Press.

Healy, K., 2016. A Theory of Human Motivation by Abraham H. Maslow–reflection. The British Journal of Psychiatry, 208(4), pp.313-313.

Hur, Y., 2017. Testing Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation in the Public Sector: Is it Applicable to Public Managers?. Public Organization Review, pp.1-15.

Kanfer, R. and Chen, G., 2016. Motivation in organizational behavior: History, advances and prospects. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 136, pp.6-19.

Lawler III, E.E., 2013. Motivation in work organizations. John Wiley & Sons

Lepper, M.R. and Greene, D. eds., 2015. The hidden costs of reward: New perspectives on the psychology of human motivation. Psychology Press.

Maslow, A.H., 2015. A theory of human motivation. Classics of Organization Theory, 50, p.142.

McClelland, D.C., 2015. Achievement motivation theory. Organizational behavior, 1, pp.46-60.

Miner, J.B., 2015. Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge.

Nuttin, J., 2014. Future time perspective and motivation: Theory and research method. Psychology Press.

Pinder, C.C., 2014. Work motivation in organizational behavior. Psychology Press.

Reeve, J., 2014. Understanding motivation and emotion. John Wiley & Sons.

Shafritz, J.M., Ott, J.S. and Jang, Y.S., 2015. Classics of organization theory. Cengage Learning.

Stoyanov, S., 2017. A Theory of Human Motivation. CRC Press.

Zagzebski, L., 2016. Divine Motivation Theory and Exemplarism.

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