The primary focus of the task is to explore topics and themes within Organisational Behaviour (OB) and Human Resource Management (HRM) and critically analyse their emergence in published academic articles from highly- ranked journals within the ABS rankings.
- Decision making
- Organizational leadership
- Change Management
- Diversity and performance
- Organisational/National Culture
- Emotional Intelligence
- Groups and teams
- Communication in Organization
- Perception and attitudes
- Motivation and performance
Human resource management and organisational behaviour
Human resource management and organisational behaviour
Human resource management is a concept that aims at optimising the performance levels of individuals that are working in a company. To achieve the objectives of human resource management, human resource managers use various core functions, such as career development, recruitment and selection, training and development, etc. and non-core functions, such as employee motivation, retention and attraction, etc. to improve work relations between employers and employees and to improve the overall work conditions for the employees (Bailey, et al., 2018).
Organisational behaviour is a study that is aimed at understanding the way in which people interact within groups and behave in certain situations. The main idea behind the study of organisational behaviour is to apply a scientific approach towards the management of human resources. Using different theories suggested by pioneers of organisational behaviour, human resource managers are able to maximise the output from individuals and from groups (Bloisi, et al., 2007).
Employee motivation is defined as the energy and commitment with which employees of an organisation work to achieve their targets, goals and objectives. Motivating employees has always been a concern for business organisations because of the positive impact that it can have on employee work attributes. Employee motivation is one of the most important non-core functions in human resource management and human resource managers are always finding out new ways to keep their workforce motivated. Lack of employee motivation can have a whole lot of negative impacts, such as job dissatisfaction, failure to meet expected performance levels, absenteeism, high employee turnover rates, etc on a business organisation, irrespective of its size (Nohria, et al., 2008).
Employee motivation is generally divided into two categories i.e. extrinsic motivation and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is said to occur in employees when they are motivated to perform in order to earn a reward or to avoid being punished (Bård, et al., 2017). On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is said to occur in employees when they think that the work would be personally rewarding, essential or just for the sake of doing it because it needs to be done. The difference between the two types of motivation is that intrinsic motivation arises from within a person whereas extrinsic motivation arises from outside a person. For example, fulfilling the needs of one’s family is intrinsic motivation while the need to earn appreciation at workplace is extrinsic motivation (Gerhart & Fang, 2015).
Employee performance is the degree or the extent to which an employee is able to achieve his or her goals and objectives. At times, it is also defined as the efforts that an employee puts in the achievement of an organisation’s goals and objectives. Business organisations are investing heavy amounts of resources in the management of their human resources, which makes it important that the performance of employees is assessed in order to identify the gaps between expected performance levels and actual performance levels.
In the contemporary business world , human resource managers are working hard to optimise the performance of their workforce because it is the performance of their human resources that can help them in achieving market competencies. Human resource managers are looking for strategies that will enable them to ensure optimum performance levels. In such a scenario, employee motivation has been found to be very effective in boosting performance levels amongst employees. Therefore, in this report, we will conduct a literature review to establish the relationship between employee motivation and employee performance and check whether employee motivation actually has an impact on employee performance. Through this literature review, we will also try to gain a better understanding of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation and how the two types of motivations impact employee performance levels.
This report is aimed at getting a deeper insight into the topic of motivation and employee performance by conducting a literature review of four articles that have been published in or after 2010. The four articles selected for this report are:
As discussed above, motivation is one of the most important employee attributes that the contemporary human resource managers use to improve the overall performance of their company. The four articles selected for this report analyse the concept of motivation and its implications differently.
The research by Junbang Lan, Zhenyao Cai, Yuanyuan Huo, Raymond Chiu Ming Law and Song Chang was aimed at studying the effect that prosocial motivation can have on the employees and on their behaviours. In their research, data from over 185 subordinates and their supervisors was collected and it was found that prosocial motivation is directly related to taking charge amongst employees (Lan, et al., 2016). In order to understand the relationship between motivation and performance, the authors made use of the trait theory, the concept of job autonomy and prosocial motivation. Trait activation theory is one of the pioneer theories in the subject of personality that relates performance with different traits of employees. This theory is used by human resource managers to analyse the personality of their employees in order to predict their thinking patters and emotions, which would have a direct impact on their behaviour in an organisational setup. Trait theory is also used by human resource managers to find the right people for the right kind of job (Cherry, 2018). The traits that are used to assess the personality of an employee can vary from one human resource manager to another and also on the type of business in which the employee wants to work. Job autonomy is another trait that is observed in some of the employees at work. Job autonomy is defined as the degree of freedom that the employees have while working in an organisation. Connected to the trait theory, job autonomy can be considered to be a trait which defines the freedom that an employee demands while working. The authors also took prosocial behaviour into account, which is defined as the feeling of an employee to help other people or co-workers.
The writers were able to find a relation between job autonomy and prosocial motivation. In the research it was discovered that job autonomy made the employees to take a charge at the workplace, which promoted prosocial motivation amongst them. Ultimately, the effect of job autonomy and prosocial motivation, which brought about intrinsic motivation amongst the employees, was observed on the performance levels of the employees, which increased to a higher level. Overall, the article uses personality traits of employees to check whether motivation is related to performance or not. On the other hand, the article or the research carried out by Jochen I. Menges, Danielle V. Tussing, Andreas Wihler and Adam M. Grant discuss other motivational factors that have an impact on the performance levels of the employees. According to Jochen I. Menges, Danielle V. Tussing, Andreas Wihler and Adam M. Grant, the prime reason that motivates the employees to work is their family. Drawing on this fact, they decided to discover the impact that family motivation can have on performance levels of employees because not much research had been carried out in the field. In their research, intrinsic motivation was used to reach to a conclusion (Menges, et al., 2016). Intrinsic motivation occurs when an employee enjoys his work, which leads him to work harder, smarter, longer and with an increased productivity (Cherry, 2018). In the previous article, the concept of prosocial motivation was limited to co-workers while this article considers family as a beneficiary that received the benefit of prosocial behaviour. The prosocial behaviour of a person is likely to increase when he or she has dependants in his or her family. It is widely seen that achieving the needs of one’s family members is a prime need and can become a reason for motivation amongst the employees. A major difference between this research and the research work done by other authors in the same field is that this article focuses on factors of intrinsic motivation outside the workplace (Vigoda-Gadot, et al., 2004). Jochen I. Menges, Danielle V. Tussing, Andreas Wihler and Adam M. Grant conducted their study on a Mexican company that had a speciality in processing coupons. The company was operating under a tax-free agreement with the United States and was supposed to provide cheap labour. The employees working in this company were supposed to scan coupons that were sent by US companies to them for accounting. In such a simple workplace setup, the authors were able to understand the effect of family motivation, intrinsic motivation and external motivation on job performance by conducting a survey using 151 employees. From the results, it was found that family motivation can actually have an impact on the overall feelings of employees. The employees can keep themselves intrinsically motivated by thinking about their families and how their work could help their family members, which makes them perform better at their work.
The research carried out by Jihae Shin and Adam M. Grant was different from other researches because most of the researched had been focusing on the impact of intrinsic motivation on employee performance while they carried out a research to check whether intrinsic motivation in one task could have an impact on performance levels of other tasks. The hypothesis developed by the researchers was that intrinsic motivation in one task reduces performance levels in other tasks. In this research, two separate experiments were carried out. The first experiment was carried out using respondents from a Korean departmental store while the second experiment was carried out using respondents from an American laboratory (Shin & Grant, 2018). The researchers had it in their mind that the level of intrinsic motivation in employees could not be the same for all of their tasks. For example, the intrinsic motivation experienced by a teacher was different while performing different tasks, such as class preparation, teaching, evaluating students, classroom management, committee activities, etc. The employees in the Korean facility were rated on the basis of their performance and intrinsic motivation by their supervisors on all of their 6 tasks and it was found that higher intrinsic motivation in one task could increase performance in that particular task and not necessarily in other tasks that were less intrinsically motivating. In the second study, intrinsic motivation was manipulated by changing the contents of the task while the structure remained the same. Intrinsic motivation and the tasks in the second study were modified to eliminate the limitations that existed in the first study. The second study, which was carried out in an American laboratory, also rendered similar results and it was found that being lesser or highly intrinsically motivated in one task could reduce performance in less interesting tasks.
On the contrary, the research carried out by John T. Delaney and Mark A. Huselid was aimed at finding out the impact of human resource management practices on the performance of employees by linking them with employee motivation. This article basically deals with factors that are responsible for extrinsic motivation amongst employees. The researchers obtained data from the National Organizations Survey and over 590 profit and non-profit organisations were included in the test (Delaney & Huselid, 2017). A number of human resource practices were selected for this research, such as training and development, recruitment and selection, etc. and the effect of these practices was calculated on the overall performance level of an organisation. A point to be noted from the research is that the financial performance of the organisation was not taken into consideration. The performance of an organisation was judged on the basis of customer satisfaction, product quality, development of new products, etc. The research was able to conclude a number of important facts about human resource practices, employee motivation and performance. According to the authors, an organisation is able to influence the skills and competencies of an employee by strengthening its recruitment process. Another human resource management practice that was found to have a considerable impact on the motivation levels of the employees was compensation and benefits. Using competitive compensation and benefit programs, business organisations were able to enhance the performance levels of their employees. According to this article, certain human resource management practices used by human resource managers do have an impact on the performance levels of the employees. The practices that had an effect on the performance levels of the employees were the ones that had an effect on employee motivation levels, such as training and development, compensation and benefits, labour union management, etc.
Intrinsic Motivation, Extrinsic Motivation and Employee Performance
The findings of this article can also be reinforced using data and theories available to us from the past. Herzberg was one of the pioneers in the subject of human resource management and was the person who developed the Two Factor Theory. According to Herzberg, there are two types of factors that either motivate the employees and bring job satisfaction or the ones that decreases the level of job satisfaction amongst employees. The first type of factors were hygiene factors, such as salary, working conditions, workplace environment, safety measures, etc. Herzberg suggested that the absence of these factors could make employees dissatisfied with their jobs or unhappy with the workplace (Tan & Waheed, 2011). The second type of factors were the motivating factors, such as recognition, appreciation, autonomy, etc. that could increase job satisfaction amongst employees. On the basis of his study, Herzberg concluded that the absence of hygiene factors could make employees unhappy and dissatisfied but the presence of motivating factors could help managers in motivating the employees, which had an impact on their performance levels. The theory implies that the happier employees are the more productive ones and happiness amongst the employees could be achieved by ensuring motivation amongst them (Alshmemri, et al., 2017).
All four articles selected for the literature review were related to the topic of motivation and performance and each article had its own importance. Where three articles were mainly focused on intrinsic motivation, the article by John T. Delaney and Mark A. Huselid was focused on extrinsic form of motivation. All the articles were helpful in discovering that motivation, irrespective of its type i.e. intrinsic or extrinsic, is important in the business world for encouraging better performance levels amongst employees. Extrinsic motivation is a result of human resource management practices and can have an impact on the performance levels of the employees only when the practices are efficient. Human resource practices, such as compensation and benefits, training and development, managing labour unions, etc. can become a reason for extrinsic motivation amongst employees. On the other hand, intrinsic motivation has been related to prosocial behaviour and the effect of family on intrinsic motivation level has also been discussed. Using the trait theory, researchers have identified that it is in personality of some individuals to demonstrate prosocial behaviour, which results in autonomy and higher performance levels while at work. Further, researchers have also concluded that family acts as a reason for intrinsic motivation and can motivate employees to perform better in their jobs. The findings from the research carried out by Jihae Shin and Adam M Grant conclude that intrinsic motivation can be job specific or task specific and it is not necessary that an employee performing well in one task because of intrinsic motivation will also perform well in subsequent tasks. On the other hand, it is observed in John T. Delaney and Mark A. Huselid’s research that extrinsic motivation usually occurs because of the work environment and can be long lasting i.e. an employee who is extrinsically motivated would be more likely to perform better in multiple tasks.
The findings from the above articles can be really helpful for a managerial level employees and even for someone who wants to establish himself or herself as a leader in the business world. Not only do these articles provide an insight into the two types of motivation i.e. intrinsic and extrinsic but also provide information about the impact of each type of motivation on the performance levels of employees.
It also becomes clear that motivation, irrespective of its type, can help business organisations in achieving higher performance standards. As a result, it is important for business organisations to keep their employees motivated. Leaders of an organisation or the human resource managers can make use of intrinsic as well as extrinsic motivation by assessing the needs and the personality of an employee with whom they are dealing (Achievers, 2015). Human resource managers can differentiate between the people who require intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation by assessing their behaviour and job attributes. The employees who have a greater inclination towards their jobs and take pride in what they do, irrespective of their salaries and incentives, are the ones that require intrinsic motivation (Xaxx, 2017). On the other hand, the employees who crave attention, appreciation, rewards and work hard to establish themselves at higher levels in the organisation are the ones that require extrinsic motivation. Another strategy that can be used to differentiate between an extrinsically driven employee and an intrinsically driven employee is to use Maslow’s need hierarchy theory. Maslow’s need hierarchy theory distinguishes needs of a person on the basis of five different categories, i.e. physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs and self-realisation needs, and suggests that the fulfilment of one sets of need can motivate a person to work harder for the achievement of the next set of needs. By assessing the needs of an employee on the basis of Maslow’s need hierarchy, it can become easier to identify the motivation type that would suit him or her (Cherry, 2018). For example, a person who wants to fulfil his physiological needs would be more intrinsically driven. As a result, it would be better to motivate this person intrinsically rather than extrinsically.
Once the human resource managers are able to correctly identify the type of motivation required for an employee, they can use different strategies to motivate them. Strategies that can be used for intrinsically motivating an employee to perform better can be:
- By adding new challenge and responsibilities to an employee’s job and allowing them to take decisions in the business process (Thomas, 2009)
- By offering them training and development programs that would increase their skills and competencies (McQuerrey, n.d.)
- By offering them a better chance to maintain a healthy work-life balance
- By offering them the advantage of flexible working hours
- Offering them career development opportunities and advices, etc.
On the other hand, employees can be extrinsically motivated to perform better using the following strategies:
- Designing a compensation and reward system that helps them in fulfilling their needs
- By offering them promotions and increments at regular intervals
- Implementing performance measurement systems
- Setting up individual as well as team goals (Davoren, 2017)
- Offering monetary as well as non-monetary incentives
- By recognizing their work, etc. (Gendelman, 2016)
Human resource management is a concept that aims at optimising the performance levels of a workforce by offering them a better environment to work in and by establishing better relations between employers and employees. Human resource managers are the people who are held responsible for the well-being of employees and for optimising the performance of the workforce by implementing efficient human resource management practices.
To optimise the performance levels of individuals, it is important for human resource managers to keep the workforce motivated, which can only be done when the managers have the ability to identify whether an employee is intrinsically motivated or extrinsically motivated. Only a manager with such a capability will be able to implement the right motivational techniques and enhance the performance levels of the employees by targeting the right needs of the employees.
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