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Discuss about the Motivation and Empowerment Theories in context of Sony.


The main objective of this literature review is to critically analyse the best practices of motivation and empowerment theories. For this literature review, the company selects is Sony to analyse different motivation and empowerment theories and proposed the best model that is suitable for Sony. Sony is one of the largest manufacturers of electronic items in the world. It has more than 120,000 employees and keeps motivating them is a big challenge for the organisation. This study will help the Sony to identify best practise model to keep motivating all the workforce and help to increase their productivity.

Literature Review

Sony is the Japanese based electronic manufacturer company, which has more than 120,000 workforces around the world. This offers a wide range of electronic products such as audio, computing, cell phones, camera, entertainment and medical equipment. Sony has diversified and skilled workforce that contributes to organisation development. There are different motivations and empowerment theories are given by different authors (About Sony, 2016).

Best motivational practice ensures organization to sustain in a long-term (Cicolini, 2014). Sony, one of the renowned electronic companies follows the best motivational practices so that the employees remain motivated towards their tasks. Management of the company satisfies all the needs of the employees so that they will have motivation. Motivation means there is a powerful attribution within the human being that affects internal or external forces and leads to attaining a specific objective or goals. Mok et al., (2013) define that empowerment is the practice adopted by organizations to give authority, rewards, and confidential data to employees. So that they can take initiatives and decisions to solve problems and achieve desired results.      

Sony adopts a Maslow model to motivate and empowers their employees. They follow safe, efficient and healthy work environment that increase motivation in employees. Al-Dajani and Marlow (2013) stated that non-discrimination between employees can reduce demotivation. Sony treats their employees equally. At Maslow's safety Stage Company pays money to its employees according to their performance. It gives time to employees so that they can spend their time with families. The company empowers employees according to their achievements in tasks. And employee would work more effectively when they meet the need of safety. Taylor (2013) defined Expectancy theory that it stated that motivation depends on the perception of the employee’s to do a particular job, the appreciation and rewards associated with the accomplishment of the task and the value of the employee he or she may get from the company. 

Company’s management listen the problems and issues of the employee’s that motivate highly because employees feel that they belong to the organization. Furthermore, a company involved employees in important decisions that create a sense of belongings. Alderman (2013) argues that each and every employee motivated through different things. A reward which is important for one person is not necessary that it is equally important for another person also. So that company’s management set different rewards according to the performance. The company trains and develop their employees to get better opportunities in their career. It gives career development which helps employees to more empowerment.


Similarly, Yan et al., (2013) argue that training and development motivate employees to perform well, give them empowerment and trust on them. Sony’s executives and senior managers trained from own company’s universities so that they can create a good environment. This can be a motivating approach by the company to its employee’s who eager to learn and grow. Phipps et al., (2013) defines Herzberg theory, he stated that there are two important factors that create motivation and de-motivation in employees i.e. job enrichment and hygiene factors.

The company has special awards honour for an employee who has achieved the good performance that creates a motivation and high empowerment. Hygiene factors are company’s policies, working style and relations with employees these are the demotivating factors for e.g. at the difficult time employee completed the task with the instructions of other but it is not rewarded due to policies and protocols of the organization that demotivates the employees. Sony’s management policies are flexible and its structure is framed according to the employee’s perspective.

In the views of Phipps et al., (2013) equity theory is the comparison of employees in their work, values and attitudes internally and externally that influence the motivation. A comparison leads to job turnover in the company when employees perceived that they are not treated equally. Barkema et al., (2015) explain expectancy theory of motivation that the employee’s efforts will result in the desired results and those results or outcomes will be rewarded. It means that the employees should be appreciated to their efforts if it is not appreciated the employees will not be motivated to perform a certain job.

Fomenky (2015) asserted that goal setting theory motivates employees of the company to increase its productivity. In goal setting theory, specific tasks or objective results the increase in productivity and difficult goals increase the motivation that leads to high productivity. Sony’s management set their goals and objectives according to authority level. It helps and supports employees to all levels of management.                                    

In the view of Albrecht et al., (2015) the company is facing the challenge of its ability to survive in a dynamic environment without sacrificing the resources of its employees. To survive in tough competition companies adopt cost cutting methods such as job cut, low incentive structure and reduce employee benefits.

Korzynski (2013) state due to increasing competition in the market, companies are focusing on performance management system. The biggest challenge for Sony is performance management system, which includes setting performance goals, feedback and recognition, managing development and creating trust empowerment. This affects employee behaviour and engagement in the organisation. The employee motivation depends on employee engagement that includes job demands and resources.

Muogbo (2013) explain that leadership is a big challenge for the employee motivation and empowerment. The leaders construct and address the objectives mostly affect the motivation of the employees. It plays an important role in motivating the employees. Asim (2013) argue that the challenge in employee motivation and empowerment is changing the proportion of older workforce with new generation workforce. There is a psychological contrast between new generation and old generation.

Buciuniene and Skudiene (2015) state employee resistance is a major challenge of motivation. The employee has restricted themselves in a comfort zone and does not accept challenges. For example sales employees are ready to take the new challenge that is motivated by financial benefits. Sony breaks this employee resistance by creating a strong belief in organisation values in employees. The company provides psychological support to the employees to restrict the negative attitude and behaviour. This develops trust and belief in employees and they are motivated to work more.

Best Practice Model of Motivation and empowerment for Sony
Model of Motivation and empowerment for Sony

(Source: Nordgren, 2013)

The best suitable practise model for Sony needs to be select among different theories of motivation and empowerment. Sony gives a chance to their employees to motivate themselves. As per Sony HR philosophy the company cannot motivate employees but can empower them. The company provides the best work environment that motivates and empowers employees (CSR reporting, 2016). This includes Job satisfaction and works enthusiasm that motivates the employees.

Nordgren (2013) explain the best practice model of motivation and empowerment is the one, which can influence the perception of employees. This practice model can help Sony to overcome the challenges like sustainability, talent management, offshoring and change in skill requirement. Currently, Sony facing many challenges likes dynamic environment, performance system, psychological differences and employee resistance.

Motivation and productivity are related to each other (Muogbo, 2013). High motivation in employees leads to high productivity. The decrease in one factor leads to decrease in other. Money is the important element that motivates employees to enhance their productivity. Sony offers good pay scale to fresher’s that he or she motivates from the very beginning in their career. Employees treated equally so that there is no discrimination has created.

Company appreciated the employees regarding complex projects so that they motivates towards their tasks and responsibilities. Financial and non-financial benefits motivate employees that lead to increase and decrease in productivity. Financial benefits like good salaries and perks, yearly increments and appraisals keep employees motivated and engaged in their tasks and non-financial benefits likes good work culture, good relations with employees and decent facilities like leaves and special allowances. These are the factors impacts highly on the productivity of the organization.

Pink (in Sylvester, 2012) explains the intrinsic motivation model. This motivation model can be argued to be best suited for today’s employee motivation challenges in comparison to old motivational theories like Herzberg, Maslow’s, Winslow, McGuire, and Drucker. Pink’s theory is based on three factors such as Autonomy, Purpose, and Mastery. Autonomy focuses on the output instead of time (Sylvester, 2012). This allows open source for the employee to tackle the work in their own way. It helps the employee to clear its goals and develop an interest for the task.

According to Pink, the mastery focuses on learning and development in which work environment is created where mastery is possible. The purpose focuses on the desire of the employee to complete the task. The employee wants to know the purpose that should be communicated by the organisation (Malik et al., 2016). The traditional theories of motivation are concerned with productivity and not focusing on the lifelong learning process. This model integrates employees and organisation. It empowers the employee by individual belief and self-determination that improves productivity. Further, it can contribute in sustainable model development that supports the company in dynamic environment.


The study concludes that financial benefits are not the only factors that motivate the employee there are non-financial benefits also that empowers them. Sony shall adopt Pink’s intrinsic model for the best practices of motivation and empowerment. This is a modern approach to motivation that considers both financial and non-financial factors. It is best suitable for the Sony’s size, structure, diversified workforce, work culture and industry. This will help Sony to keep motivating large workforce around the world and increase in their productivity. It also increases job satisfaction that further helps Sony to retain the best talent in the organisation. Pink’s theory is a best practice because this resolves and considers all challenges faced by the 21st-century organisation.


About Sony (2016). Corporate info. Retrieved from:

Albrecht, S.L., Bakker, A.B., Gruman, J.A., Macey, W.H. and Saks, A.M. (2015). ‘Employee engagement, human resource management practices and competitive advantage: An integrated approach’, Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 2(1), pp. 7-35. Retrieved from

Al-Dajani, H., and Marlow, S. (2013). ‘Empowerment and entrepreneurship: A theoretical framework’, International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behaviour & Research, 19(5). Retrieved from

Alderman, M. K. (2013). Motivation for achievement: Possibilities for teaching and learning. UK: Routledge.

Korzynski, P. (2013). ‘Employee motivation in new working environment’, International journal of academic research, 5(5), pp. 184-188. Retrieved from

Barkema, H. G., Chen, X. P., George, G., Luo, Y., and Tsui, A. S. (2015). ‘West meets East: New concepts and theories’, Academy of Management Journal, 58(2). Retrieved from

Muogbo, U.S. (2013). ‘The Impact of Employee Motivation On Organisational Performance (A Study Of Some Selected Firms In Anambra State Nigeria)’, The International Journal of Engineering and Science, 2(7), pp.70-80. Retrieved from

Buciuniene, I. and Skudiene, V. (2015). ‘Factors Influencing Salespeople Motivation and Relationship with the Organization in b2b Sector’, Engineering Economics, pp. 64(4). Retrieved from

Cicolini, G., Comparcini, D. and Simonetti, V. (2014). ‘Workplace empowerment and nurses' job satisfaction: A systematic literature review’, Journal of nursing management, 7. Retrieved from

CSR reporting (2016). Human resource. Retrieved from:

Dobre, O. I. (2013). Employee motivation and organizational performance, Tabel of Contents. Retrieved from

Malik, W.U., Afzal, Q. and Mirza, H.U. (2016). ‘A Source of Employee Inspiration through perceived Corporate Social Responsibility, Motivation & Commitment: Evidence from NGO Sector of Pakistan (AFAQ| Association for Academic Quality)’, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 6(2), pp.57-79. Retrieved from,_Motivation_Commitment_Evidence_from_NGO_Sector_of_Pakistan.pdf

Fomenky, N. F. (2015). ‘The impact of motivation on employee performance’. In Global conference on business & finance proceedings.10(1). Retrieved from

Asim, M. (2013). ‘Impact of Motivation on Employee Performance with effect of training: Specific to Education Sector of Pakistan’, International Journal of Scientific and Research Publications, 3(9), pp. 1-9. Retrieved from

Mok, C., Sparks, B., and Kadampully, J. (2013). Service quality management in hospitality, tourism, and leisure. UK: Routledge.

Muogbo, U. S. (2013). The Impact of Employee Motivation On Organisational Performance (A Study Of Some Selected Firms In Anambra State Nigeria), The International Journal of Engineering and Science, 2(7). Retrieved from 

Nordgren, R.D. (2013). ‘Pink’s ‘Motivation 3.0’and Student Centered Schooling: Creating Life-Long Learners for the 21st Century’, Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching, 6(1), pp. 2. Retrieved from

Phipps, S. T., Prieto, L. C., and Ndinguri, E. N. (2013). Understanding the impact of employee involvement on organizational productivity: The moderating role of organizational commitment. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 17(2). Retrieved from

Raub, S., and Robert, C. (2013). Empowerment, organizational commitment, and voice behavior in the hospitality industry evidence from a multinational sample. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 1(2). Retrieved from

Sylvester, J. (2012). Pink’s theory set to drive up employee motivation and engagement. Retrieved from:

Taylor, J. (2013). Goal setting in the Australian public service: Effects on psychological empowerment and organizational citizenship behavior. Public Administration Review, 73(3). Retrieved from

Yan, Y., Qian, Y., Sharif, H., and Tipper, D. (2013). A survey on smart grid communication infrastructures: Motivations, requirements and challenges. IEEE communications surveys & tutorials, 15(1).Retrieved from

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