Jul 7, 2010

McClelland's Theory of Needs

In his acquired-needs theory, David McClelland proposed that an individual's specific needs are acquired over time and are shaped by one's life experiences. Most of these needs can be classed as either achievement, affiliation, or power. A person's motivation and effectiveness in certain job functions are influenced by these three needs. McClelland's theory sometimes is referred to as the three need theory or as the learned needs theory.

Achievement

People with a high need for achievement (nAch) seek to excel and thus tend to avoid both low-risk and high-risk situations. Achievers avoid low-risk situations because the easily attained success is not a genuine achievement. In high-risk projects, achievers see the outcome as one of chance rather than one's own effort. High nAch individuals prefer work that has a moderate probability of success, ideally a 50% chance. Achievers need regular feedback in order to monitor the progress of their acheivements. They prefer either to work alone or with other high achievers.

Affiliation

Those with a high need for affiliation (nAff) need harmonious relationships with other people and need to feel accepted by other people. They tend to conform to the norms of their work group. High nAff individuals prefer work that provides significant personal interaction. They perform well in customer service and client interaction situations.

Power

A person's need for power (nPow) can be one of two types - personal and institutional. Those who need personal power want to direct others, and this need often is perceived as undesirable. Persons who need institutional power (also known as social power) want to organize the efforts of others to further the goals of the organization. Managers with a high need for institutional power tend to be more effective than those with a high need for personal power.

Thematic Apperception Test

McClelland used the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) as a tool to measure the individual needs of different people. The TAT is a test of imagination that presents the subject with a series of ambiguous pictures, and the subject is asked to develop a spontaneous story for each picture. The assumption is that the subject will project his or her own needs into the story.

Psychologists have developed fairly reliable scoring techniques for the Thematic Apperception Test. The test determines the individual's score for each of the needs of achievement, affiliation, and power. This score can be used to suggest the types of jobs for which the person might be well suited.
Implications for Management
People with different needs are motivated differently.

* High need for achievement - High achievers should be given challenging projects with reachable goals. They should be provided frequent feedback. While money is not an important motivator, it is an effective form of feedback.
* High need for affiliation - Employees with a high affiliation need perform best in a cooperative environment.
* High need for power - Management should provide power seekers the opportunity to manage others.

Note that McClelland's theory allows for the shaping of a person's needs; training programs can be used to modify one's need profile.

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Two Factor Theory-Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory

To better understand employee attitudes and motivation, Frederick Herzberg performed studies to determine which factors in an employee's work environment caused satisfaction or dissatisfaction. He published his findings in the 1959 book The Motivation to Work.

The studies included interviews in which employees where asked what pleased and displeased them about their work. Herzberg found that the factors causing job satisfaction (and presumably motivation) were different from those causing job dissatisfaction. He developed the motivation-hygiene theory to explain these results. He called the satisfiers motivators and the dissatisfiers hygiene factors, using the term "hygiene" in the sense that they are considered maintenance factors that are necessary to avoid dissatisfaction but that by themselves do not provide satisfaction.

The following table presents the top six factors causing dissatisfaction and the top six factors causing satisfaction, listed in the order of higher to lower importance.

Factors Affecting Job Attitudes

Leading to

Dissatisfaction

Leading to

Satisfaction

  • Company policy

  • Supervision

  • Relationship w/Boss

  • Work conditions

  • Salary

  • Relationship w/Peers

  • Achievement

  • Recognition

  • Work itself

  • Responsibility

  • Advancement

  • Growth

Herzberg reasoned that because the factors causing satisfaction are different from those causing dissatisfaction, the two feelings cannot simply be treated as opposites of one another. The opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, but rather, no satisfaction. Similarly, the opposite of dissatisfaction is no dissatisfaction.

While at first glance this distinction between the two opposites may sound like a play on words, Herzberg argued that there are two distinct human needs portrayed. First, there are physiological needs that can be fulfilled by money, for example, to purchase food and shelter. Second, there is the psychological need to achieve and grow, and this need is fulfilled by activities that cause one to grow.

From the above table of results, one observes that the factors that determine whether there is dissatisfaction or no dissatisfaction are not part of the work itself, but rather, are external factors. Herzberg often referred to these hygiene factors as "KITA" factors, where KITA is an acronym for Kick In The A..., the process of providing incentives or a threat of punishment to cause someone to do something. Herzberg argues that these provide only short-run success because the motivator factors that determine whether there is satisfaction or no satisfaction are intrinsic to the job itself, and do not result from carrot and stick incentives.

Implications for Management
If the motivation-hygiene theory holds, management not only must provide hygiene factors to avoid employee dissatisfaction, but also must provide factors intrinsic to the work itself in order for employees to be satisfied with their jobs.

Herzberg argued that job enrichment is required for intrinsic motivation, and that it is a continuous management process. According to Herzberg:

*The job should have sufficient challenge to utilize the full ability of the employee.
* Employees who demonstrate increasing levels of ability should be given increasing levels of responsibility.
*If a job cannot be designed to use an employee's full abilities, then the firm should consider automating the task or replacing the employee with one who has a lower level of skill. If a person cannot be fully utilized, then there will be a motivation problem.

Critics of Herzberg's theory argue that the two-factor result is observed because it is natural for people to take credit for satisfaction and to blame dissatisfaction on external factors. Furthermore, job satisfaction does not necessarily imply a high level of motivation or productivity.

Herzberg's theory has been broadly read and despite its weaknesses its enduring value is that it recognizes that true motivation comes from within a person and not from KITA factors.

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ERG Theory

To address some of the limitations of Maslow's hierarchy as a theory of motivation, Clayton Alderfer proposed the ERG theory, which like Maslow's theory, describes needs as a hierarchy. The letters ERG stand for three levels of needs: Existence, Relatedness, and Growth. The ERG theory is based on the work of Maslow, so it has much in common with it but also differs in some important aspects.
Similarities to Maslow's Hierarchy
Studies had shown that the middle levels of Maslow's hierarchy have some overlap; Alderfer addressed this issue by reducing the number of levels to three. The ERG needs can be mapped to those of Maslow's theory as follows:

* Existence: Physiological and safety needs
* Relatedness: Social and external esteem needs
* Growth: Self-actualization and internal esteem needs

Like Maslow's model, the ERG theory is hierarchical - existence needs have priority over relatedness needs, which have priority over growth.

Differences from Maslow's Hierarchy

In addition to the reduction in the number of levels, the ERG theory differs from Maslow's in the following three ways:

*Unlike Maslow's hierarchy, the ERG theory allows for different levels of needs to be pursued simultaneously.
*The ERG theory allows the order of the needs be different for different people.
*The ERG theory acknowledges that if a higher level need remains unfulfilled, the person may regress to lower level needs that appear easier to satisfy. This is known as the frustration-regression principle.

Thus, while the ERG theory presents a model of progressive needs, the hierarchical aspect is not rigid. This flexibility allows the ERG theory to account for a wider range of observed behaviors. For example, it can explain the "starving artist" who may place growth needs above existence ones.

Implications for Management
If the ERG theory holds, then unlike with Maslow's theory, managers must recognize that an employee has multiple needs to satisfy simultaneously. Furthermore, if growth opportunities are not provided to employees, they may regress to relatedness needs. If the manager is able to recognize this situation, then steps can be taken to concentrate on relatedness needs until the subordinate is able to pursue growth again.

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Taylor's 4 Principles of Scientific Management

Taylor's 4 Principles of Scientific Management
After years of various experiments to determine optimal work methods, Taylor proposed the following four principles of scientific management:

1. Replace rule-of-thumb work methods with methods based on a scientific study of the tasks.

2. Scientifically select, train, and develop each worker rather than passively leaving them to train themselves.


3. Cooperate with the workers to ensure that the scientifically developed methods are being followed.


4. Divide work nearly equally between managers and workers, so that the managers apply scientific management principles to planning the work and the workers actually perform the tasks.


These principles were implemented in many factories, often increasing productivity by a factor of three or more. Henry Ford applied Taylor's principles in his automobile factories, and families even began to perform their household tasks based on the results of time and motion studies.
Drawbacks of Scientific Management
While scientific management principles improved productivity and had a substantial impact on industry, they also increased the monotony of work. The core job dimensions of skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback all were missing from the picture of scientific management.

While in many cases the new ways of working were accepted by the workers, in some cases they were not. The use of stopwatches often was a protested issue and led to a strike at one factory where "Taylorism" was being tested. Complaints that Taylorism was dehumanizing led to an investigation by the United States Congress. Despite its controversy, scientific management changed the way that work was done, and forms of it continue to be used today.

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Frederick Taylor and Scientific Management

In 1911, Frederick Winslow Taylor published his work, The Principles of Scientific Management, in which he described how the application of the scientific method to the management of workers greatly could improve productivity. Scientific management methods called for optimizing the way that tasks were performed and simplifying the jobs enough so that workers could be trained to perform their specialized sequence of motions in the one "best" way.

Prior to scientific management, work was performed by skilled craftsmen who had learned their jobs in lengthy apprenticeships. They made their own decisions about how their job was to be performed. Scientific management took away much of this autonomy and converted skilled crafts into a series of simplified jobs that could be performed by unskilled workers who easily could be trained for the tasks.

Taylor became interested in improving worker productivity early in his career when he observed gross inefficiencies during his contact with steel workers.

Soldiering
Working in the steel industry, Taylor had observed the phenomenon of workers' purposely operating well below their capacity, that is, soldiering. He attributed soldiering to three causes:

1. The almost universally held belief among workers that if they became more productive, fewer of them would be needed and jobs would be eliminated.

2. Non-incentive wage systems encourage low productivity if the employee will receive the same pay regardless of how much is produced, assuming the employee can convince the employer that the slow pace really is a good pace for the job. Employees take great care never to work at a good pace for fear that this faster pace would become the new standard. If employees are paid by the quantity they produce, they fear that management will decrease their per-unit pay if the quantity increases.

3. Workers waste much of their effort by relying on rule-of-thumb methods rather than on optimal work methods that can be determined by scientific study of the task.

To counter soldiering and to improve efficiency, Taylor began to conduct experiments to determine the best level of performance for certain jobs, and what was necessary to achieve this performance.

Time Studies
Taylor argued that even the most basic, mindless tasks could be planned in a way that dramatically would increase productivity, and that scientific management of the work was more effective than the "initiative and incentive" method of motivating workers. The initiative and incentive method offered an incentive to increase productivity but placed the responsibility on the worker to figure out how to do it.

To scientifically determine the optimal way to perform a job, Taylor performed experiments that he called time studies, (also known as time and motion studies). These studies were characterized by the use of a stopwatch to time a worker's sequence of motions, with the goal of determining the one best way to perform a job.

The following are examples of some of the time-and-motion studies that were performed by Taylor and others in the era of scientific management.

Pig Iron
If workers were moving 12 1/2 tons of pig iron per day and they could be incentivized to try to move 47 1/2 tons per day, left to their own wits they probably would become exhausted after a few hours and fail to reach their goal. However, by first conducting experiments to determine the amount of resting that was necessary, the worker's manager could determine the optimal timing of lifting and resting so that the worker could move the 47 1/2 tons per day without tiring.

Not all workers were physically capable of moving 47 1/2 tons per day; perhaps only 1/8 of the pig iron handlers were capable of doing so. While these 1/8 were not extraordinary people who were highly prized by society, their physical capabilities were well-suited to moving pig iron. This example suggests that workers should be selected according to how well they are suited for a particular job.

The Science of Shoveling
In another study of the "science of shoveling", Taylor ran time studies to determine that the optimal weight that a worker should lift in a shovel was 21 pounds. Since there is a wide range of densities of materials, the shovel should be sized so that it would hold 21 pounds of the substance being shoveled. The firm provided the workers with optimal shovels. The result was a three to four fold increase in productivity and workers were rewarded with pay increases. Prior to scientific management, workers used their own shovels and rarely had the optimal one for the job.

Source: www.netmba.com

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