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The Three Important Pillars of Job Performance


Discuss about the Individual Attribute in Work Setting.

Individual attribute in work setting is a more complex phenomenon than it sounds. Various other factors are directly related to it for representing its outcome. The other directly related factors to it are work effort or motivation and organizational support. Attribute with combination of these two, results in job performance. Each supplements the other for achieving the best possible outcome. Again, these three factors are not constant. There is no exact formula achieving the desired outcome, as every individual is different form the other. Hence, different approaches in the equation need to be considering for different individuals. This essay is contribute to the explanation of various theories related to the three factors of job performances that are individual attribute, motivation and organizational contribution and how a proper combination of these can deliver the desired performance for any given organization. The theories in the essay are supported by various examples for better understanding of the situations. In short, the study will be exploring the extent of individual attribute, work motivation and organizational support for identifying individual differences in job performance of the workers and how this experiences can facilitate into positioning a employee to his or her best suited role.

Individual attribute, work motivation and organizational support are the three important pillars of job performance. Lack in on aspect down grads the overall job performance of the individual. Hence, it can be stated that these factors are inter related to one another and change in one aspect effects the other two. A sequential analysis of the theories will explain the effects of the factors in job settings.

Work motivation is a major contributor in job performance. Various theories are proposed by scholars over time.

The theory is one on the pioneer in the field. The theory is based on the human needs that he classified in a hierarchical format (Pinder 2014). Maslow put physiological need at the bottom of the hierarchy pyramid followed by safety, social esteem needs placing the self-actualisation at the top of it. Physiological needs are the basic human needs that are food, clothing and shelter. Whereas, the safety needs are the economic and physical safety and security. Satisfaction of these needs require more monetary investment. The next one is the social needs that incorporate the social comfort. It is achieved by the socializing and belongingness. The good work environment of an organization can satisfy this particular need. Esteem needs include respect, confidence, strength, competence knowledge and many more. Last need in the Maslow’s hierarchy model is the self-actualization that represents the culmination of all the other needs of the lower levels. It can be seen as the individual’s motivation for transforming perception of oneself into reality. According to Maslow, human tends to give priority in the following order and fulfilment of these needs will result into the better performance of the individual. Hence, if an organization give priority and fulfils the needs of the employees according to this hierarchy model they will be able to extract the most of the performance out of their employees (Niemela and Kim 2014) For example, if a person spends a long time without food will show inaccuracy in their work. It is seen that fresher tends to seek the lower level of needs. Whereas, a person in service for a longer time wants to meet the higher level of needs.

Motivation Theories

He further extended Maslow’s work and proposed two factors that are motivators and hygiene. He put job satisfiers under the motivators and job dissatisfies in hygiene. Herzberg categorised achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, growth, work itself as the motivators and put company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, salary, status and security in the hygiene factor. According to him, the hygiene is not directly opposite to satisfaction, rather variable that can be turned into motivators. Also, these two factors are varied for person to person. The motivator for one can be hygiene for another and vice versa (Alston 2017). Example can be sited to explain the thought where a person might get adequate recognition that is a motivator but may not be satisfied with the responsibility come along. Internal motivational value of the individual comes into question in the case. Similarly, different individual may show different set of results.

This is yet another need based theory that identifies three needs, achievement, power and affiliation. The achievement need of a person is the behaviour that drives the individual to compete and achieve a standard of excellence. The need for power on the other hand is the desire of a person to supervise direct, control and lead the group. These individual consider of ordering people instead of taking them. The final need is the affiliation is believed to be the desire of an individual to establish and maintain a friendly and warm relation with the co-workers in the work place. It is observed that those who acquired any of it as per his/her desire perform differently than who has not (Chen et al. 2015). For example, if an employee receives acceptance and approval by the others in the work place can achieve the need for affiliation.

McGregor on the other hand developed his theory that identifies two distinct view based on participation of the workers. He put the negative view points towards the work into X theory, whereas, putting the positive ones in the Y. By the theory, he tried to draw the extremity outlines within which all the employees work. He stated that no man under any organization stays in either of the extremities and shows the traits of both. Men tend to swing from one trait to another based on the motivation gained from the environment. The variables that compose the X and Y theory are directly regulated by the organizational support (Lawter, Kopelman and Prottas 2015). For example, if the organization shows positive support and provide a homely environment to its employees, the employees will also consider their responsibilities and want their organization to succeed.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Organizational support is another important element that contributes towards individual attribute.  This theory finds organizational support necessary for achieving the benefits of increased work effort. The employees of the organization are concerned about the extent to which the organization values their contribution and actually cares for their well being. Different scholars viewed organizational support theory differently maintaining the core essence of its importance.

Tsaia (2015) described organization support works as the antecedent to the positive feeling of the workers. A positive support will facilitate in bringing positive attitude of the worker toward their work. Another popular view held by the scholars that cooperative work culture is the core of organization support and facilitates in positive results.

According to Chow et al. (2010) managerial patronages is important for employee perceptions and behaviour. Their view includes non-financial and financial support, organizational structure and task and relates them with the employee satisfaction and work performance (Alizadeh and Cheraghalizadeh 2015; Eisenberger and Stinglhamber 2011). The hotels are facing constant pressure to change according to the market need. The authority is hence constantly encouraging their employees to perform their best and fulfil their role as citizens (Chiang and Hsieh 2012)

No two person is alike every individual has unique attributes. It obviously affects the individual’s and organizational overall performance. It includes internal motivation, gender, ethnic, ethical and class identity, religious, ethical and moral values, emotional, intellectual, physical and creative abilities and previous work experience. In short, individual attributes are embedded deeply into our personality that is hard to alter. On contrary, we can develop skills to overcome the situation. For example, it is hard to raise the IQ level of an individual, but one can always become more educated that will make up for the low IQ (Meyer et al. 2012). The characters of individual attributes can be as follows.

Achievement attitude – It is the degree of motivation in an individual. It often grows at the age of 25 – 30 and different external factors plays active role in altering the motivation. It can range from persistent to unmotivated attitude.

Emotional temperament – Emotions such as confidence, stable, insecure impatient are the ruler of our lives.

Energy level – It refers to the pace of our daily life. Some can be active and other can be slow in work that is directly reflected in the job performance.

Intellectual factors – It is the characteristics of our mind. It defines how we can understand things. A human mind can be alert, intelligent dull-witted. It is the capacity of our brain and hard to alter.

Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory

Material attitudes – It defines how we perceive our environment.

Philosophical attitudes – It is our way of thinking. It can be optimistic, pessimistic and many more.

Maturity – It is the level of one’s wisdom and experience.

Physical attitude – The physical condition of our body has direct reflection in our work. Performance of a healthy person has considerable difference than a weak or sick person.

Risk attitude – It is the degree of concern one perceive and the necessary actions he or she takes to avoid the risk.

Task performance – It is the attitude towards problem and the method chosen for solving it. It can range from organized to careless (Guillaume, Brodbeck and Riketta 2012).

Individual relation, work motivation and organizational support play active role in the job performance. These three factors are inter related in such a manner that change in one can alter the other factors in relation. Individual attribute is the primary factor that ultimately affect in job performance (Eisenberger and Stinglhamber 2011). The other two factors can be considered as the regulators of individual attribute. Some of the characteristics in individual attribute cannot be alter such as intellectual factors and material attitudes. Whereas, the other characteristics can considerable be alter with proper use of organizational support and work motivation (Robinson 2012). For example, an insecure person can be motivated using the Maslow’s theory of need hierarchy. The satisfaction of security need will contribute in building confidence in one individual. This motivation can only be provided using the organizational support. Motivation can only be create if the organization is supportive enough to consider the requirement of motivation in a particular field and support its employees to develop their attitude towards the work. Again, every individual shows different attributes in the work setting which needs to be dealt with different approach by the organization. Example can be cited in the approaches to motivate a lethargic individual to perform their task that will be different from dealing with physically weak person. The first problem can easily be solved with the achievement motivation approach proposed by McClelland. It will be the best way to motivate a lethargic person is to show them the achievable points in the organization. Whereas, satisfying the physiological needs is necessary for the organization to get the most of a weak person. It will motivate them to work for satisfying their own physiological needs.

McClelland's Need Theory

A study conducted by Dr. Katuwal (2007) on 372 textile workers showed significant result. Different personal attributes were taken into consideration such as monthly additional income, experience, nature of employment skill level, educational attainment, marital status and number of dependants. The result showed positive results in the attributes of skill, age permanent employment status, experience and additional income. Whereas, negative result was noted in the individual attribute of marital status and the number of dependants of the worker.

A case study conducted by Saragih (2015) on the Indonesian state owned Railway Company. The railway company, PT Kereta Api Indonesia was known for its low performance until 2009 that changed due to the leadership of Ignatius Jonan which is a significant example of individual attribute. The most common attributes that were found among the 47 individual under study were spiritual, hope, continuance, extraversion, altruism, courageous, contingent reward that facilitated in bringing change in the organization. The transformational leadership of Jonan is attributed for the change in the individual attribute. It is the direct result of organizational support and motivation provided by Jonan for developing the individual attributes which had shown direct impact on job performance.

My personal attribute reflects some positive and negative aspects as mentioned in the above discussion. Some of my attributes plays positive role in work settings where as some reflects negative or unproductive results. My persistent attitude, confidence, energetic attitude and alert mind will show competence in performing tasks. Whereas my carelessness, immature, impulsive attitude can become hurdles for me in achieving the optimum performance in the organizational setting. With proper organizational support in motivation and coordination can help me overcoming them and provide my maximum effort towards my work. Organization can use the McGregor’s participation theory of motivation for solving the issues and place me in the right position in the organization with giving the right authority to get the maximum performance of me. Judging from my negative attribute, I can tell the managerial post will be a fail if the organization hires me as a leader of the organization. I will perform much better in the ground level acknowledging my positive attitudes. On the other hand, my positive attributes also shows competitiveness for the leadership role. In this point, the company needs to offer me the support and motivation required to overcome my flaws and deliver the desired outcome as a leader.


McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y

Different individual shows different combination of attributes in the personality. These variables attributes needs to be considered while hiring an individual for a specific role in the organizations. Different individual with different attributes can prove to perform better than others in particular role. Moreover, motivation and organizational support can direct the individual for providing better performance in the work setting. However, these motivational and organizational supports will vary from individual to individual as their personal attribute varies considerably. The organization needs to take different approach while dealing with individual. It is because the motivation and support required for one may not work on the other as discussed in the essay. There are different motivational theories as mentioned in the above essay and different need theories have been presented. Each individual shows specific motivation support and with proper approach these needs can be meet. Another conclusion can be drawn from the above discussion that individual though attribute is more of a stable factor, but a considerable change can be achieved with the help of motivational support. Hence, the individual attribute, work motivation and organizational support are tightly interrelated to one another. These three factors together can deliver the best job performance. On contrary, lacking on one can fail in job performance and also job satisfaction.


Alizadeh, R.C. and Cheraghalizadeh, R., 2015. THE EFFECT OF ORGANIZATIONAL SUPPORTS ON JOB PERFORMANCE IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS. Ejovoc (Electronic Journal of Vocational Colleges), 5(6), pp.86-91.

Alston, J.K., 2017. Causes of Satisfaction and Disatisfaction for Diversity Resident Librarians-A Mixed Methods Study Using Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Doctoral dissertation, University of South Carolina).

Bahadur Katuwal, S. and Randhawa, G., 2007. Some Personal Attributes in Association With Job Satisfaction of Industrial Workers of Nepal. Paradigm, 11(1), pp.28-36.

Chen, B., Vansteenkiste, M., Beyers, W., Boone, L., Deci, E.L., Van der Kaap-Deeder, J., Duriez, B., Lens, W., Matos, L., Mouratidis, A. and Ryan, R.M., 2015. Basic psychological need satisfaction, need frustration, and need strength across four cultures. Motivation and Emotion, 39(2), pp.216-236.

Chiang, C.F. and Hsieh, T.S., 2012. The impacts of perceived organizational support and psychological empowerment on job performance: The mediating effects of organizational citizenship behavior. International journal of hospitality management, 31(1), pp.180-190.

Chow, I.H.S., Lo, T.W.C., Sha, Z. and Hong, J., 2006. The impact of developmental experience, empowerment, and organizational support on catering service staff performance. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 25(3), pp.478-495.

Eisenberger, R. and Stinglhamber, F., 2011. Perceived organizational support: Fostering enthusiastic and productive employees. American Psychological Association.

Guillaume, Y.R., Brodbeck, F.C. and Riketta, M., 2012. Surface?and deep?level dissimilarity effects on social integration and individual effectiveness related outcomes in work groups: A meta?analytic integration. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 85(1), pp.80-115.

Lawter, L., Kopelman, R.E. and Prottas, D.J., 2015. McGregor's theory X/Y and job performance: A multilevel, multi-source analysis. Journal of Managerial Issues, 27(1-4), p.84.

Meyer, P.J., Lovic, V., Saunders, B.T., Yager, L.M., Flagel, S.B., Morrow, J.D. and Robinson, T.E., 2012. Quantifying individual variation in the propensity to attribute incentive salience to reward cues. PloS one, 7(6), p.e38987.

Niemela, P. and Kim, S., 2014. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. In Encyclopedia of Quality of Life and Well-Being Research (pp. 3843-3846). Springer Netherlands.

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

Saragih, E.H., 2015. Individual Attributes of Change Readiness: A Case Study at Indonesia State-owned Railway Company. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 172, pp.34-41.

Tsai, C.Y., Horng, J.S., Liu, C.H. and Hu, D.C., 2015. Work environment and atmosphere: The role of organizational support in the creativity performance of tourism and hospitality organizations. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 46, pp.26-35.

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