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RAP: A critical review of key factors in the motivation of employees in an organization (Topic 6).
Research and Analysis Project
Research report – 7,300 words
A critical review of key factors in the motivation of employees in an organization (Topic 6).
The main purpose of this RAP coincides exactly with the sense and title of the project topic area 6 approved by OBU:
- To critically review key factors in the motivation of employees in an organization.
Special attention was devoted to critical review of internal motivational factors: needs, necessities, desires, which are the focal point of the content theories of motivation. External factors were also actively studied in this work, but they were considered more like financial and non-financial incentives or tools, applied by management from outside (as opposed to internal factors, which act from within the employees).
Sub-objectives of the RAP can be formulated as:
- to analyse popular content theories of motivation and offer changes to needs models in order to make them more practicable;
- to research interactions and combined effect of internal and external motivational factors on human needs.
- to demonstrate the possibility of designing cost-effective motivational policy based on the combined effect of internal and external motivational factors.
Important achievement of this RAP is a new easily applicable needs model, built due to application of process approach (chosen as an overall research approach) to the study of employees’ needs and motivations.
So let us start our journey into the terra incognita of human needs and employee motivations!
1.2. Analysis of the content theories of motivation. Identification of key internal motivational factors to study.
Motivation theories are customary subdivided into content and process groups (Tietze, n.d.).
Content theories, also called needs theories, try to identify what our needs are and relate motivation to the fulfilment of needs. They focus on the importance of determining ‘what’ motivates people. From the viewpoint of the content theories, motivation is a force that works to actuate our behaviour from within our minds. So we could conclude that content theories are good in developing internal (intrinsic) motivational factors like human necessities, desires, etc. Table 1.1 (Gordon et al., 1990, p.428) contains some most popular content theories of motivation with last column added for our conclusions and choices from practical viewpoint.
Comparison of human needs in the content theories of motivation
|Herzberg two-factor theory||McClelland achievement motivation||Alderfer’s ERG theory||Maslow’s needs pyramid||Needs to address from practical viewpoint, in accordance with process approach methodology|
|Growth||Self-actualization||Learning (knowledge acquisition)|
|Esteem||Working (useful application of knowledge)|
|Hygiene||Affiliation||Relatedness||Social relations||Socialising (“social degradation” in many cases)|
It is difficult to use content theories in practice, because most of the needs there are more like final results or emotional states, but not actual work processes to which we should motivate our employees. We can apply deductive approach methodology (Dudovskiy, n.d.), which supposes first a critical review of theories and formulation of hypothesis about the possibility of their practical use, as follows:
- Maslow’s self-actualization and esteem (Maslow, 1943) are related to Alderfer’s growth (Alderfer, 1972), to McClelland’s power and achievement needs (McClelland, 1985), and to Herzberg’s motivators (Herzberg, Mausner and Snyderman, 1959). How can we use such formulated employees’ needs for our organization’s practical purposes? We want to motivate employees to learn how to do the task; then to work enthusiastically. So we would try to organize our motivation system in such a ways, that employees understand: self-actualization, esteem, career growth and power can be achieved through (equal to) the processes of learning and working. Taking into account our chosen process approach methodology, we should research employees’ needs in learning and working processes with the goal to increase them.
- Social relations, relatedness, affiliation are recognized by theorists as the most popular group of social nature needs. We will welcome if employees of the chosen organization are on good terms with each other, but we would not like them to spend too much time on entertainment or social relations instead of work and trainings. For our practical purposes we would try to organize our motivation system in such a ways, that employees understand: it is not good to waste precious working or learning time on useless activities. We want to study this group of needs in order to control them (not necessary to increase). So we identify third group of needs to address – socialising (for practical purposes in many cases it could be also called “social degradation”).
- Perhaps all theorists accept that human has two natures: biological and social. We identify fourth group of employees’ needs to address – biological.
Motivational theorists really study more emotions than needs in working or learning. Perhaps this is because the categories of needs and emotions are not yet clearly differentiated in philosophy. In our researches we will connect human needs with live processes as follows:
Need – a mechanism of self-induction, forcing an organized system to participate in any of the life processes.
Connecting needs with life processes (and consumer products utilized in life processes) is very important for application of needs model in different economic and non-economic sciences.
Having identified employees’ needs to address, process approach allows identification of key internal motivational factors influencing those needs. These factors (or forces) and mechanism of their impact are shown schematically in fig.1.1, a simple model of human needs, built based on the analysis of content theories of motivations and process approach logic.
Fig. 1.1. Factors influencing formation of the needs in the processes of biological and social nature of people. Where Necb, Desb, Nb; Necs, Dess, Ns are necessities, desires and needs of people in the processes, respectively, of biological and social natures.[/caption]
Desire – this factor can have positive or negative (disgust) values. Some people are very much governed by their desires; others have strong willpower. Hence willpower is the second internal motivational factor, or rather coefficient Cv.є[0;1], characterising reflection of desires in human needs.
Necessity – like “desire”, this factor can have positive or negative (harm) values. Necessity influences the need of human if he is aware of it or feels it. Hence awareness of necessity is another factor, or rather coefficient Ci.є[0;1], characterising reflection of necessity in human needs.
While animals are organisms of biological nature, people have two natures: biological and social. Factors influencing needs of social nature are mediated by consciousness.
1.3. Analysis of process theories of motivation. Identification of key external motivational factors to study.
The process theories of motivation are: Skinner’s reinforcement theory (Ferster, Skinner, 1957), Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964), Adam’s equity theory (Adams, 1963), Locke’s goal setting theory (Locke, Latham, 1990), etc. These theories study factors and processes which force people to act in a certain way. Human needs and internal motivational factors (main focus of content theories of motivation) are considered as only one element of decision making, and we can conclude that process theories are good in developing external (extrinsic) motivational factors. These factors are far more numerous than internal, as a result process theories are far more difficult to compare between them. There were many attempts to combine process theories (Porter, Lawler, 1968), but the results were criticized as too complex and limited in practice. Perhaps the only thing that all theorists confirm is that external factors of motivation can be:
- Financial. Mainly monetary in nature, like wages, salaries, bonuses, perquisites, profit sharing. But could also be money equivalents, like shares, share options, retirement benefits, paid vacancies, housing, etc.
- Non-financial. Some of them are: status, organisational climate, career opportunity, job enrichment, etc.
We will identify financial and non-financial as two groups of key external factors to study.
Based on the analyses of motivation theories, we could say that content theories focus on WHAT, while process theories focus on HOW human behaviour is motivated. (Krash, Villam, 2013) Or alternatively, content theories focus on the subject of research, while process theories focus on methodology. Following this conclusion, author decided:
- Identify main subject of research: “motivation”,as the influence on human needs and behaviours by motivational factors. We will try to unite internal and external factors in one simple model of needs.
- Identify process approach as an overall research approach.
Process approach methodology considers its subject in continuous movement and development, and views an organisation as a set of interrelated activities that use inputs to deliver an intended result. Other methodologies useful to achieve our main goal are (Winch et al., n.d.):
- Deductive or inductive? Deductive approach is preferred, which begins with existing theories, concepts and formulates hypothesis that are later tested and confirmed.
- Quantitative or qualitative? A qualitative approach is preferred, which means conducting interviews, questionnaires or observing behaviour.
- Analysis or synthesis? Analysis is preferred, which supposes breaking down intellectual or substantial whole into parts and then studying components.
Taking into account humanitarian nature of researches on motivation, the main information gathering technics were questionnaires. Blank copies of questionnaires and summaries of the main points in responses can be found in RAP Appendices.
All questionnaires were completed by the employees of Medical Home Odrex, the leading private clinic, which provides diversified medical services of European standards (Medical Home Odrex, 2017). The consent for the study was obtained from MH Odrex CEO (Appendix 5). The main reason for choosing this organization was that its employees represent great diversity of age, income, ethnicity, educational groups, as it is typical for multiservice medical establishment. Due to this diversified background and the fact that questionnaire participants mostly answered similarly, characterizing their choice of answer as “obvious”, the results should reflect the attitude of the majority of people.
All Odrex employees were informed about the equal opportunity to participate in the voluntary questionnaires, 33 persons decided to take part in it from the total of about 300 employees. So sample size of 11% of the population was achieved that is normal rate for voluntary self-selection sampling technic. Author of the RAP considers that this sample size is representative enough to make conclusions about the population of Odrex employees and it is appropriate for the objectives of this RAP.
There are some limitations of self-selection sampling, like:
- decision to participate in the study may reflect some inherent bias in the characteristics of the participants;
- self-selection could lead to exaggerating some particular finding.
Despite its potential limitations, self-selection sampling is a popular technique when human characteristics are subjects of research. It delivers correct opinion about the population if questionnaires are understandable and ethical issues, like confidentiality, are considered. Sometimes it is the only technique acceptable for employees or management of the subject organization, like it was the case with this research.
Replies to some questions and statements could be potentially detriment to the relations of respondents with employers, colleagues or other parties. So questionnaires were confidential and anonymous to insure frankness of responses and avoid braking moral rules and ethical principles. The choice was offered to respondents whether to identify themselves in person identification questions or not.
Two simple questionnaires were carried out to gather information about employees’ internal motivational factors in MH Odrex:
- Questionnaire 1 “Assessment of influence of desires and necessities on motivation” (Appendix 1), and
- Questionnaire 2 “Assessment of influence of willpower and awareness of necessity on motivation” (Appendix 2).
These two questionnaires together served to construct the practical model of needs of averaged Odrex employee and compare it with the needs models in the most popular content theories of motivation.
Technique of modelling of employee needs was combined with deductive approach methodology:
- First, needs models in content theories were analysed and hypothesis formulated about the possibility of their practical use.
- Then needs model of averaged Odrex employee was built (based on questionnaires results), cross-checked back to theories and its validity This meant that we can use this model for practical recommendations!
- Then it was possible to perform analysis with needs model, like dividing employees in groups depending on dominant needs and offering specific and cost-effective recommendations.
Two questionnaires were carried out to gather information about external motivational factors:
- Questionnaire 3 “Assessment of influence of financial and non-financial incentives on motivation” (Appendix 3). Results of this questionnaire allowed adding external factors to internal and analysing their interaction in one model of needs.
- Questionnaire 4 “Assessment of effectiveness of external motivational factors” (Appendix 4) served for designing motivational policy in the chosen organisation and demonstration of practical applicability of the new process-based model. This questionnaire consists of two parts.
Part 1 was necessary to collect information about the strength of specific available motivational tools (external factors), which can be used by Odrex management to correct employees’ needs and behaviours. Next 10 factors were investigated:
- Fixed salary.
- Performance bonuses.
- Fringe benefits.
- Additional paid leave.
- Career development.
- Continuing training, education.
- Challenging, atypical work.
- Team spirit.
- Sound human relations.
- Entertaining events.
In Part 2, three answers were offered to each of ten questions, each answer was related to one type of dominant process of social nature. Based on the answers, each respondent was assigned to one of the three groups: creative people (learning), workaholics (working) or hedonist (socializing). It was really possible to identify dominant process based on the results of questionnaires 1-2, but author decided to carry out additional researches on Odrex employees’ personality and combine them with the assessment of external motivational factors, because:
- Questionnaires 1-3 were designed to build practical model applicable for averaged Odrex employee, not Averaging large quantity of respondents allowed for lower quantity of questions asked. But additional researches are required to make conclusions about each individual employee’s characteristics.
- Questionnaire 4 respondents were not exactly the same people as for questionnaires 1-3. But it was better if the same employees’ external motivational factors and dominant social needs are assessed together. It allows making conclusions and recommendations about the most appropriate motivational tools that management can apply to each type of employees.
Replies to part 2 of questionnaire 4 also helped to understand current working practices and employees’ feelings at work.
This RAP emerged due to coincidence of two ideas sourced by popular theories of motivation and three ideas conceived by RAP author.
The idea of identifying motivation as the influence on employee’s needs emerged mainly due to content theories of motivation, especially Maslow’s needs pyramid (Maslow, 1943), Alderfer’s ERG theory (Alderfer, 1972). The idea to apply process approach to the study of employee’s needs and motivations was influenced by process theories of motivation, especially Skinner’s reinforcement theory (Ferster, Skinner, 1957).
For correct application of process approach to the study of human needs, author of this RAP conceived idea to identify category of need as it was stated in this RAP; and then created a new process-based model of human needs and motivations. The idea to classify needs as was proposed in this new model and the idea to explain processes of formation, realization and manipulation of needs by the influence of internal motivational factors (like Desires, Necessities, Willpower) emerged due to this RAP author’s own reflections, analyses and observations.
Newly offered process-based needs model caused several other important ideas and discoveries, presented in the first RAP attempt. But they surpassed purely motivational topic and were not presented in the next attempts.
Averaging arithmetically responses to questionnaire 1: “Assessment of influence of desires and necessities on motivation” (Appendix 1), we obtain:
- Needs in the processes of social nature of people:
- Processes of knowledge acquisition (learning). Very hateful processes for most of respondents. Hence, a-priori human desire to participate in these processes takes average value of Desl.=–0.4u (utils). However Necs.l.=0.4u as of all the processes of social nature the learning process is most useful.
- Processes of useful application of knowledge (working). Less hateful processes. Accordingly, a-priori desire to participate in them is Desw.=–0.2u. Similarly, their usefulness on average is Ness.w.=0.2u.
- Processes of socialising (or “social degradation”– entertainment, waste of time, etc.). At the time when person does not acquire knowledge and does not apply them usefully, his social life is not only empty and meaningless, but frankly harmful – person at this time is losing knowledge and squandering resources. Social degradation is anti-process that is damaging to the social nature of human. The necessity for this process is negative and depends on its intensity. It could even be calculated as: Nesd.= –(Ness.l.+Ness.w.)/2= –(0.4+0.2)/2= –0.3u The desire to participate in this process is formed a-priori by laziness and feeling of pleasure Dess.d.=0.3u.
Economy, like other social sciences, is interested first of all in the processes of social nature of people. Maybe the proposed list of these processes is incomplete and it is necessary to make changes there? But looks like these three types of processes fully encompass social life of people. Person belongs to a social nature at any time when he either acquires knowledge, or uses them for some useful purposes, or is wasting time on entertainments. By acquiring knowledge the person creates social nature inside himself. By usefully applying knowledge the man creates this nature around himself. By participating in the processes of social degradation – the person is destroying the social nature. All other processes in human life are of biological nature.
- Needs in the processes of biological nature of people. The necessity for these processes depends on their intensity. In this paper, necessity is assessed on the basis of their “unitary importance” as 1 or –1:
- The process of satiation of the body with water (the thirst quenching). It is all-important biological process. When organism necessitates water (Nec=1u), it intuitively feels thirsty (Desb.=1u).
- The process of satiation of the body with energy and chemical elements (the food consumption). It is also a very important process in the life of organism, Nec=1u. At the same time human feels hunger, Desb.=1u.
- The process of sleep. With the necessity of this process, human feels sleepiness: Nec=Desb.=1u.
- The process of ensuring security of continued existence. The desire in this process is formed intuitively by the sense of fear, Nec=Desb.=1u.
- The disease process. It is an anti-process that impacts destructively on the biological nature of organism, Nes=–1u. The desire to participate in this process is formed by the sense of discomfort, pain, Desb.=–1u.
The presented list of biological processes is incomplete. These data, however, are enough to make a number of conclusions:
- biological needs are characterized by instinctive nature of their origin, flow and satisfaction;
- biological nature of people is perfect in the sense of coincidence of the necessity and the desire to participate in the biological life process;
- social nature of people is not perfect (maybe even opposite), since a-priori desire to participate in the process of social nature is opposite to its necessity.
Arranging in tabular form in lines – the life processes, and in columns – the factors, which determine employees’ needs for these processes, and filling in the values that characterize the contribution of these factors to the formation of the needs in these processes, we get Table 3.1 for a theoretically modelled averaged Odrex employee. We disregard for some time the influence of willpower and information on the formation of needs of the social nature of this “balanced person” (i.e. Ci.=Cv.=α), the biological needs (instincts) are not satisfied.
Influence of internal motivational factors of desires and necessities on the averaged MH Odrex employee
|Nature of processes||Processes||Nec||Des||Needs (with calculation)|
|Processes of social nature||Knowledge acquisition (learning)||0.4||–0.4||Ns.l.= Ci.×Ness.l+ Cv.×Dess.l.= 0.4α–0.4α=0|
|Useful application of knowledge (working)||0.2||–0.2||Ns.w.= Ci.×Ness.w+ Cv.×Dess.w.= 0.2α–0.2α=0|
|Socialising (social degradation)||–0.3||0.3||Ns.d.= Ci.×Ness.d+ Cv.×Dess.d.= –0.3α+0.3α=0|
|Processes of biological nature||Thirst quenching||1||1||Nb=Nesb×Ci.×Cv.=1|
If we add to Table 3.1 the results of questionnaire 2 “Assessment of influence of willpower and awareness of necessity on motivation” (Appendix 2), where Ci.=0.5 (awareness about the necessity is in the middle level for people) and Cv.=0.7 (the needs to a large extent are formed by desires, – a man of weak willpower), we obtain Table 3.2 with:
- The need for a process of knowledge acquisition: Nl.=0.5×0.4+0.7×(–0.4) =–0.08;
- The need for a process of useful application of knowledge: Nw.=0.5×0.2+0.7×(–0.2)=–0,04;
- The need for a process of social degradation: Nd.=0.5×(–0.3)+0.7×0.3=0.06.
Influence of internal motivational factors on MH Odrex employees
|Learning (knowledge acquisition)||0.4||-0.4||0.5||0.7||-0.08|
|Working (useful application of knowledge)||0.2||-0.2||0.5||0.7||-0.04|
|Socialising (social degradation)||-0.3||0.3||0.5||0.7||0.06|
|Processes of biological nature||1||1||1||1||1|
Comparison of the model of averaged Odrex employee with content theories of motivation is depicted in Fig. 3.1 (Gordon et al., 1990, p.428). In Table 3.3 we critically review mentioned in Fig. 3.1 and Table 1.1 motivational theories of Herzberg (1976), McClelland (1985), Alderfer (1972), Maslow (1943) and newly constructed process-based needs model in relation to the research results of key internal motivational factors influencing Odrex employees.
Fig. 3.1. Comparison of the needs of the averaged MH Odrex employee with content theories of motivation
Critical review of popular content theories of motivation based on the results of research among MH Odrex employees
Two-factor theory (Herzberg, 1976)
Achievement motivation (McClelland, 1985)
ERG theory (Alderfer, 1972)
Needs pyramid (Maslow, 1943)
|Model contains needs or factors influencing needs||Factors||Needs||Needs||Needs||Both|
|Notion of needs (or factors)||Hygiene factors recognize basic necessities; motivators identify desires, emotional desires||More like emotional states||More like processes||More like emotional states||Processes|
|Research findings confirm or contradict theory||Existence of factors is confirmed generally, but Herzberg studied their influence on satisfaction/dissatisfaction (not on needs). Model describes averaged employee, but factors act very differently on Odrex individuals||Differences between individuals are confirmed. Change of needs over time or change of employee’s personality are not sufficiently reflected in the model (lack of factors influencing needs)||Differences between individuals are confirmed. But difference in intensity of needs depending on their “level” is confirmed only for averaged Odrex employee. Model lacks flexibility of needs over time (no factors)||Confirm for averaged Odrex employee. Contradict for many individuals, who first prioritize higher level needs (learning, working)||Confirm|
|Conclusion and recommendations about practical application||Complicated and limited applicability. Lack of the needs complicates specific motivations for different individuals and utilization in other sciences||Complicated applicability. Convince employees that learning and working will result in “Affiliation”, “Power” or “Achievement”||Complicated applicability. Convince employees that learning and working will result in “Growth” and “Relatedness”||Limited. Easily applicable for averaged employee; controversial for motivating individuals.||Easily applicable. Recommended.|
Thus, critical review of key internal motivational factors in MH Odrex and comparison of results with popular content theories of motivation in Table 3.3 and Fig.3.1 confirms relevance of content theories, especially for averaged Odrex employee. These theories have many similarities between themselves and with results of our process-based researches. They correctly emphasize great influence of human emotions, biological (physiological) and higher level needs on motivation to work and training processes. But researches of American psychologists lacked something methodological:
- Lack of clearly defined category of need (subject) resulted in unclear notion of need. It complicates practical applicability.
- Lack of clearly defined overall approach (methodology) resulted in incompleteness of models: no factors influencing needs or no mechanism of needs formation (no needs) if factors are present. It limits practical applicability.
Application of process approach to the study of needs, as it was done in this RAP, allows identification of influencing factors and resolves perhaps all the criticisms of content theories. For example, these theories are criticized for failing to reflect differences between individuals. But Table 3.4 presents a model of man, whose needs are dictated solely by his a-priori desires (Ci.=0, Cv.=1, biological instincts are completely satisfied).
Model of needs of a person with Ci.=0, Cv.=1, whose biological instincts are satisfied
|Nature of processes||Processes||Nec||Des||Needs|
|Processes of social nature||Knowledge acquisition||0.4||–0.4||Ns.l.=0.4×0+(–0.4)×1=–0.4|
|Useful application of knowledge||0.2||–0.2||Ns.w.=0.2×0+(–0.2)×1=–0.2|
|Processes of biological nature||Processes of biological nature (instincts)||0||0||Nb=Nes=Des=0|
Conclusion can be drawn from Table 3.4 about the hedonistic character of the needs of social nature for this person. He does not want to recognize his social role and is looking for the maximum satisfaction of his a-priori desires (Petri, Govern, 2013, p.206).
On the other hand, Table 3.5 presents a person, whose needs of social nature are dictated solely by the necessities (Ci.=1, Cv.=0, instincts are satisfied). This man completely controls his a-priori desires (has exceptional willpower) and is fully aware of the necessity of various processes of social nature.
Model of needs of a person with Ci.=1, Cv.=0, whose biological instincts are satisfied
|Nature of processes||Processes||Nec||Des||Needs|
|Processes of social nature||Knowledge acquisition||0.4||–0.4||Ns.l.=0.4×1+(–0.4)×0=0.4|
|Useful application of knowledge||0.2||–0.2||Ns.w.=0.2×1+(–0.2)×0=0.2|
|Processes of biological nature||Processes of biological nature (instincts)||0||0||Nb.=Nes=Des=0|
We can draw conclusion from Table 3.5 about the high level of social development of this person. He demonstrates the need to acquire and to usefully apply knowledge.
Main criticisms of content theories, resolved due to application of process approach to the study of needs, are reflected in Table 3.6 (Sydney TAFE, n.d.).
Major criticisms of the content theories of motivation.
Criticism of content theories
Resolution due to process approach
|Rigidity, failing to recognise that individual needs change constantly.||Factors “Necessity” and “Desire”, which change over time, add flexibility.|
|Describing majority, but not individual persons’ differences.||Factors “willpower” and “awareness of necessity” (C v., Ci.), which do not change so often, characterise individuality of person.|
|Theories were many times tested, but results were inconclusive, because too many biases and difficulties emerged.||Process approach offers practicable model and identifies factors. It is easier to test.|
|Ignoring the process that connects human needs with behaviour is criticized as “far too simplistic”.||Connection between factors and human behaviour is straightforward with process approach.|
|Focus on work-related needs: ignoring other aspects of human lives, little influence on other disciplines.||Life processes connect needs with products. Process-based needs model will greatly influence many economic and non-economic sciences.|
One of our RAP sub-objectives was to research interactions between internal and external motivational factors. To achieve this sub-objective, we will add to Fig.1.1 (our simple model of human needs) two groups of key external factors identified in Part 1: (1) financial and then (2) non-financial incentives. Results of questionnaire 3: “Assessment of influence of financial and non-financial incentives on motivation” (Appendix 3) will be used as raw data of this analysis.
(1) Financial incentives are based on the influence of the needs for processes of biological nature (PBN) on the needs for processes of social nature (PSN):
Needs for the processes of biological nature of human have a subjective, mediated by consciousness, indirect impact on the needs for processes of social nature.
Schematically, this dependence is shown in Fig. 3.2.
Fig. 3.2. The influence of the needs of human biological nature on the formation of needs for the processes of social nature. Where Necb., Desb., Nb., Necs., Dess., Ns.– the necessities, desires and the needs of people for, respectively, PBN and PSN; dotted lines denote indirect (through the consciousness) impact of the needs for PBN on the needs for PSN.
Financial incentives have the greater effect when biological needs of person are less satisfied. Maximum satisfaction of the needs for PBN of people in the long term supposes the use of the maximum amount of knowledge, i.e. Nb affects both the need for application of knowledge and the need for their acquisition. However, from the results of questionnaire 3: “Assessment of influence of financial and non-financial incentives on motivation” (Appendix 3), we can make conclusion that because of high urgency of instincts satisfaction, biological needs of human more often influence the need for urgent work (application of already accumulated volume of knowledge), that is:
Ns.w.motivated =Ns.w.+Nb (3.1)
where Ns.w.motivated – the need for useful application of knowledge influenced by the needs of biological nature (Nb);
Ns.w.– the need for the application of knowledge without urgent influence of Nb.
(2) Non-financial incentives are based on the influence of emotions (Dese.) on the needs for processes of social nature (PSN):
Emotions have a mediated by consciousness motivational impact on the need for the processes of social nature of human.
Schematically, this dependence is shown in Fig. 3.3.
Fig. 3.3. Subjective influence of the needs in the processes of biological nature (basis of financial incentives) and emotional desires (basis of non-financial incentives) through the consciousness of person onto the needs for the processes of social nature. Where Necb., Desb., Nb., Necs., Dess., Ns.– the necessities, desires and needs for, respectively, PBN and PSN of human; dotted lines denote indirect (through consciousness) influence of the needs for PBN and emotional desires (Dese) on the needs for PSN.
The impact of person’s emotional and spiritual realms, his moral and cultural values on PSN is indisputable. Except for the person himself, it is influenced by other people (Lee, 2015). From the results of the questionnaire 3 also follows that while the needs for processes of biological nature (Nb) mainly influence human need for urgent useful application of knowledge (Ns.w.) and only in positive direction, emotions can have an active influence on the needs for any of the processes of social nature and in any direction.
The influence of emotions and the needs for PBN onto the needs for PSN can be combined in the formulas:
Ns.motivated =Ns.+Nb.+Dese. (3.2)
External Motivation=∆Ns.motivated =Nb.+Dese. (3.3)
where Ns.motivated – total need for PSN;
Nb., Ns.– needs for the processes of biological and social natures;
Dese.– human emotional desire to participate in PSN;
∆Ns.motivated.– change of the need in PSN under the influence of financial and non-financial incentives.
Influence of motivation on the averaged Odrex employee (Ci.=0.5; Cv.=0.7) is displayed in Table 3.7.
Influence of motivation on the averaged MH Odrex employee (Ci.=0.5; Cv.=0.7) 
|Learning (knowledge acquisition)||
|Working (useful application of knowledge)||
|Socialising (social degradation)||
|Processes of biological nature||
Conclusion can be drawn about the high level of motivational influence on the correction of needs and behaviour of Odrex employees. Especially strong effect is achieved by combination of financial incentives and internal factors, influencing the needs in working processes (Ns.w.total=0.91u). This analysis of Table 3.7 data can be used for designing cost-effective motivational policy. If we want to increase employees’ needs in the processes of acquisition and useful application of knowledge, and we have found that financial incentives mostly influence the needs of Odrex employees in the process of work, then motivational strategy should be:
- Connect financial incentives (like fixed salary, performance bonuses, etc.) with work activities and work results.
- Non-financial external motivational factors (like career development, team spirit, etc.) influence working and learning processes equally. But we will connect non-financial incentives more with employees’ learning activities, as work processes will be well influenced by financial tools.
Averaging arithmetically responses to questionnaire 4: “Assessment of effectiveness of external motivational factors” (Appendix 4), we obtain Table 3.8, which reflects current influence of available to Odrex management financial and non-financial incentives on different types of employees.
Influence of external motivational factors on MH Odrex employees.
|External motivational factors||Average influence on all employees||Average for employees with dominant learning needs (creative people)||Average for employees with dominant working needs (workaholics)||Average for employees with dominant socialising needs (hedonists)|
|Fringe benefits (insurance coverage, transportation to work, etc.)||0.82||0.75||0.85||0.83|
|Additional paid leave||0.79||0.81||0.50||0.97|
|Continuing training, education||0.52||0.88||0.65||0.23|
|Challenging, atypical work||0.42||0.81||0.35||0.27|
|Sound human relations||0.67||0.63||0.40||0.87|
Analysing Table 3.8 data, we can make next recommendations for designing cost-effective motivational policy in MH Odrex.
Financial incentives are very strong motivational factors for all types of Odrex employees. We have decided earlier to connect them with work activities.
- Fixed salary is the strongest external motivational factor. There is no ground for conclusion that employees of any group want to be paid more or less than others. When setting salary scales it is recommended to emphasize such work-related criteria as:
- quantity of work (working hours) and shift schedule;
- difficulty and stressfulness of work;
- scope of work responsibilities;
- qualification, education and skills requirement.
Fixed salary dominates considerably over such motivational factors in MH Odrex as team spirit and sound human relations. Therefore equalisation of wages is not recommended, rather the opposite. But fair and clear fixed salary scales and policies should be established to avoid disappointment of employees in this factor.
- Performance bonuses have special impact on employees with dominant needs in working and learning processes, though hedonists are not much motivated by this tool. It is better to attach bonuses not only to working, but also to learning activities. This will additionally motivate people with learning needs; encourage more creativity; and offers choice for hedonists to develop themselves either in knowledge acquisition, or in work processes. Working and learning criteria in bonuses system can be:
- quantity of work activities performed at satisfactory, good, and excellent levels;
- clients’ satisfaction by the medical services provided;
- offering of innovative practices to colleagues and management, reflected in the quantity and especially quality of job instructions and procedure manuals prepared about:
- new effective methods of patients treatment;
- efficient ways of performing tasks;
- economic ways to use scarce resources (Brewer, 2010)
Health professionals’ motivation to work has a significant influence on the quality of services and image of medical establishment. Odrex competitive strategy is based on the high quality and innovative methods of medical treatments (Medical Home Odrex, 2017). Considerable bonuses and active promotion of bonus program should be beneficial for company, even if it is an expensive motivational tool.
- Fringe benefits (insurance coverage, transportation to work, etc.) is a very strong factor. Its impact is similar to fixed salary. Maybe additional researches would give interesting results if employees are grouped based on age, social status, marital status, and other personal characteristics. But such research is outside the scope of this RAP, because it would require different approach to sampling, very different analysis and modelling technics, questionnaires would not be strictly anonymous with many questions related to personality of respondent and hence special analysis of biases can be required, etc. Based on the results of our limited research of this motivational factor, it is recommended to allocate fringe benefits to Odrex employees according to the same work-related criteria, as for fixed salary. Difference between these two factors is that fringe benefits are more flexible and less expensive than fixed salary, but some employees can become demotivated when payments are terminated. Besides, strict controls are required over fringe benefits to avoid fraud and unfair allocation.
- Additional paid leave is a strong but expensive motivational tool. It impacts employees differently. Organization can gain from giving additional leave to creative people, especially if they need to prepare themselves for challenging, atypical work. Contrariwise, hedonists are unlikely to spend additional time on continuing education or preparation for challenging tasks. It is recommended to offer additional leave based on anticipated challenging tasks (not on past work results).
Non-financial incentives are quite strong motivational factors for all types of Odrex employees. We have decided earlier to use non-financial incentives mainly for motivation to knowledge acquisition processes.
- Career development is the strongest non-financial motivational factor, equally important for all groups of employees. This tool should have considerable influence on willpower (C), comprehension of necessity (Ci.), and need for knowledge acquisition if career development in MH Odrex is based on such criteria as:
- advanced education;
- good track record of resolving atypical tasks;
- knowledge of related work activities;
- knowledge of other disciplines useful for career, like management, information technologies, foreign languages.
- Continuing training, education strongly influence creative people and workaholics, but does not motivate hedonists. It is recommended to offer different types of trainings and education possibilities to different groups:
- Offer access to databases, professional newspapers and magazines for people with dominant learning processes. Self-education is the best way of education for such employees.
- Offer on-the-work trainings, work mentoring programs and experience sharing for employees with dominant working processes. Such people want to understand work activities, like to perform well-defined tasks, and confused if work instructions are controversial.
- Organize additional controls and supervision over hedonists. It is difficult to motivate such people to learning activities. But if patients’ lives depend on adequate trainings and education of these employees, then it will be more effective to instruct exactly: what should be learned, when training results will be checked, and what actions can follow if results are satisfactory/ non-satisfactory.
- Challenging, atypical work is a weak factor, influencing only employees with dominant learning processes. Next procedures could be used for motivation and successful completion of atypical tasks:
- Professional managers should first analyse adequate resources and correct scope of authority and responsibility allocated to new work, effective performance management systems should be in place. Then try to find duly motivated creative people to perform atypical task.
- When challenge is successfully resolved, organize sharing of experience with other employees; prepare written instructions.
- Reward creative people who resolved the task.
- Team spirit influences strongly hedonists. It is recommended to reassess the principles of performance measurement and reward allocation in order to increase the interest of creative people and workaholics in team work. Organization can also benefit if teams are formed from people of the same type. This can add harmony and increase teams’ effectiveness.
- Sound human relations influence considerably creative people and hedonists, but have little impact on workaholics. It is advised to avoid disturbing workaholics from work activities, but encourage sound relations, sharing of knowledge and experiences among employees of other groups.
- Entertaining events is the weakest motivational factor. If not required by traditions, avoid events or allow employees a choice of visiting them.
The main purpose of the RAP, “to critically review key factors in the motivation of employees in an organization”, has led to the analysis of both internal and external motivational factors and to practical recommendations about designing cost-effective motivational policy in the chosen organisation. Several important research findings were made during preparation of the RAP, which are also replies to sub-objectives formulated in the first chapter of this research report:
- To analyse popular content theories of motivation and offer changes to needs models in order to make them more practicable.
Special attention was devoted to critical review of the content theories of motivation. Conclusion was made that the major problems with these theories are the lack of clearly defined category of need (subject) or the lack of clearly defined overall research approach (methodology). Process approach was offered in this RAP to the construction of needs models that resulted in making content theories more practicable.
- To research interactions and combined effect of internal and external motivational factors on human needs.
Application of process approach allowed enriching needs model with two groups of external motivational factors: financial and non-financial incentives. This enabled analysis of interaction between internal and external factors and their combined effect on human needs. The fact of uniting all the factors in one simple and practicable model is very interesting, important and recommended for further study. Previously content theories analyzed internal motivational factors, process theories – external, and attempts to unite all the factors resulted in complicated models with limited practicability.
- To demonstrate the possibility of designing cost-effective motivational policy based on the combined effect of internal and external motivational factors.
Cost-effective recommendations by each motivational tool available to management of the subject organisation were offered in this RAP due to uniting internal and external motivational factors in one simple model. Such approach to designing motivational policy is recommended for practical implementation in other companies, because it considers all the factors, allowing calculation of the strength of these factors and their combinations.
Important achievement of this RAP is a simple and easily applicable process-based model of needs, which is effectively a synthesis of content and process motivational theories. Clear connection between needs and life processes (and products, consumed in life processes) opens door for application of this new model in many sciences. For example, human needs and motivations are basic elements in economics (there would have been no economy as such if people had no needs and motivations). However analysis of demand for consumer products (which directly influences demand for raw materials, crises of overproductions, etc.) currently starts with products’ utility, instead of consumer needs. But utility of consumer products is simply a derivative of needs satisfaction! Until now there was just no suitable model of needs that could be accepted in economics. Process-based model of needs and motivations is long waited to boost development of economic sciences.
Part 4. Application of research findings for revolutionary changes in different sciences (further reading).
This part is devoted to great influences of our RAP findings on the progress of different economic and non-economic sciences. It is very useful for humanity and for your personal professional development, but including it into the main part of the Research Report can lead to exceeding words limit and diversion from pure motivational topic.
Models of motivation constructed till now lacked development in other than “Motivation” sections of science. To create the model of needs, applicable for all people (or at least for the overwhelming majority), proceeding from which it is possible not only to analyse, foresee and correct (motivate) people’s behaviour, but suitable for all the sciences! And to make this model easy and convenient in use – till now it seemed to be an irresolvable task in science.
But author of this paper point out that created by him model of needs results in formulation of objective laws, those laws can be used to reconstruct basic functions (like demand function, labour supply, etc.); then it is easy to identify and correct number of mistakes in different economic and non-economic sciences, committed because of incorrect notion about the needs and motivating factors of people. Unfortunately, volume limits does not allow demonstrating full importance of the performed research. We will confine ourselves to only formulation of laws related to formation and realization of human needs, then quick construction of new demand function, and finally we will glance at the potential of this research to make revolutionary changes in different sciences!
4.1. The laws of formation and realization of needs for the processes of biological and social nature of people.
Based on the conclusions from the analysis of questionnaire results about employees’ internal motivational factors, presented in Part 3.1 and in Tables 3.1, let us formulate a string of laws:
- For the processes of biological nature of people:
- The law of coincidence of the necessity and desire of people to participate in the processes of biological nature (the law of formation of the biological nature needs):
- The law of instincts satisfaction (the law of realization of biological nature needs):
For a balanced organism the desire to participate in the process of biological nature is equal in magnitude and direction (sign) with the necessity of this process for this organism.
The need of organism for instinctive process decreases with the participation of the organism in this process.
The functioning of the laws of formation and realization of the needs of organism in the process of biological nature are explained by the physiology of instinctive processes.
- For the processes of social nature of people:
- The law of opposites of necessities and desires of people to participate in the process of social nature (the law of formation of the needs of social nature):
- From the demonstrated in Tables 3.1 model of formation of social needs of people and from the presented above reasoning within the process approach to the study of the needs, the functioning of the law of satisfaction of human needs in the processes of social nature is not found!
For a balanced organism a-priori desire to participate in a process of social nature is equal in magnitude and opposite in direction (sign) with the objective necessity of this process for this organism.
For the construction of demand functions we will apply widely accepted marginalism algorithm (Hyman, David, 1994).
Fig. 4.1(A) reflects the relationship between the quantity of consumed product and volume of realised needs in the processes of biological nature. The derivative of this function is a function of demand, shown in Fig. 4.1(B). The demand curve for products that realise human need for processes of biological nature (products PBN) is primarily determined by the law of instincts satisfaction, according to which each additional unit of goods satisfies less need for processes of biological nature.
Fig. 4.1. Construction of the demand function for products PBN. Where A) total utility function of a hypothetical product PBN; B) marginal utility function of the product PBN.
For the processes of social nature the law of needs satisfaction does not work. The utility of each additional unit of product-service that realises human need for PSN (product PSN) does not depend on the consumed quantity of products of this group. It depends on people’s consciousness. The relationship between the quantity of consumed product PSN and the volume of realised need is shown in Fig. 4.2(A). The derivative of this function is the demand curve for product PSN, whose graph is shown in Fig. 4.2(B).
Fig. 4.2. Construction of the demand function for products PSN. Where A) total utility function of a hypothetical product PSN; B) marginal utility function of the product PSN.
As for the averaged statically person the need for the processes PSN does not change with the volume of their realisation (the law of needs satisfaction does not work for products PSN), then marginal utility of the product PSN does not diminish with additional quantity consumed and its price does not change. However, the increase in sales of products at the same price is only possible to a certain natural limit, called a point of market saturation (Qs). At this volume of production the effect of the temporary satiation starts to appear, when for some period of time there are just no more available consumers on the market, who are taking part in this particular PSN.
In reality, because consumer behaviour and motivations are influenced by both rationality and irrationality (emotionality, Dese), the demand curve for products PSN would look like shown in Fig. 4.3.
Fig. 4.3. The graph of demand function for product PSN. Where Pg.=MU – “market growth” price, equal to marginal utility of product PSN for averaged person; Qs.– “saturation point” of the market.
The graph shows that an inverse relationship exists between the demand volume and the price of products PSN – the law of demand works. Let’s briefly discuss each of the intervals of the curve ABCDE.
AB phase – the stage of “know-how”. Rare, often new product evokes an emotional effect (Dese) in some consumers and is sold at inflated prices. The need that this product realises is considerably influenced by human emotions (Ns.total=Ns.+Dese.).
BC phase – market growth. Demand at this stage is extremely elastic. Until market of product PSN is not saturated, there is little competition within the product group (group of substitute products that realise the same need). Consumers, who are not satisfied with the existing parity of prices for this group of products, refuse to realise the need for this process of social nature in favour of other PSN. Thus, the competition for people’s preferences occurs between different product groups. For manufacturer, whose product is at the stage of market growth, it is recommended to actively expand production and inform the consumers about their unfulfilled need in the PSN (advertising higher quality of particular product is more appropriate for CD phase).
To determine the price of the market growth stage and the market saturation point it is enough to find the derivative of total utility function TU’ and perform basic calculations (Fig. 4.4):
Fig. 4.4. Determining the market growth price (Рg) and market saturation point (Qs) of the product PSN
where Pg.– market grows price;
TU – total utility (total need realised by the product);
MU – marginal utility of product;
Ns.avg– need of the average person in the life process (where the product is involved in by providing services);
n – number of consumers in the market.
CD phase – stage of saturation of market PSN. It is characterized by the fierce competition within the product group. Demand at this stage is extremely inelastic. The “collapse” of the market is possible if a product with fundamentally new technology of production emerges, that is capable to realise much more need for this PSN. If, in addition, old product took up a large share of the population’s budget, had a variety of complementary products, mobilised many branches of economy for its production and service, the “collapse” of this product’s market could lead to an economic crisis!
DE phase – the stage of non-standard use of product. Since the price of the product is extremely low, additional quantity will be purchased because of its possible additional properties or for emotional reasons.
People involved in marketing, who are closer to the market realities than economic theorists, have long noticed all four described above phases of demand function for products PSN. Thus, similar market analyses and recommendations were offered by the Boston Consulting Group in their well-known market growth-share matrix with four stages of product development (Carl W. Stern, Michael S. Deimler (eds.), 2006). It should also be noted that overwhelming majority of contemporary products and services are created for realization of people needs mainly in processes of social nature (products PSN), for realization of needs in PSN and emotional desires (products PSN+Dese) or for realisation of both PSN and PBN (products PSN+PBN), and they have demand function with market grows and market saturation point, as displayed in Table 4.1. Only tiny part of products that are used for satisfaction of people needs exclusively in PBN are categorized by smoothly declining form of demand curve (without market grows and saturation) widely applied in contemporary economic theory to all markets and products.
Classification of products-services depending on the needs realised due to them
The ability of markets to be satiated is very important and it is necessary to study not only with the purpose to develop marketing, but also for the analysis of the mechanisms of anti-crises regulation of the economy. During studying all these schools of anti-crises regulation, the opinion is formed that goods become overproduced over money (banknotes, papers, figures), but not over needs of people. Moreover, mechanisms of managing overproduction crises are proposed, which in majority of cases lead to such negative consequences as inflation, public debt, etc. In the author’s opinion, in-depth study of human needs, emotions and motivations will lead to reconsidering many sections of economics and to change of paradigm.
To summarize, human needs and motivations are something very basic in economic sciences (perhaps there would have been no economy as such if people had no needs and motivations). Study of human behaviour has revolutionary potential, for example:
- In management – new look on the theory of motivation is offered, combining process and content theories, etc.
- In marketing – new classification of consumer goods and services, depending on their demand functions, is proposes, etc.
- In microeconomics – the law of diminishing marginal utility for most goods and services is questioned, “income effect” should be questioned, instead new “marketing effects” (market saturation, rationality, irrationality) should be studied in microeconomics. Functions of supply and demand for various goods and services could be rebuilt or interpreted anew, etc.
- In macroeconomics – based on the new knowledge about human behaviour and particularities of demand, crises of overproduction should be reanalysed as lack of population needs for overproduced goods (not lack of money, banknotes, figures), etc.
Motivational model of needs offered in this paper is not limited to economic sciences. It is not even limited to humanitarian sciences. Needs are something very basic to life. As of today, there is still no generally accepted philosophical category of “life” in science but let us formulate it as follow:
Life – is organized in some way system, which possesses such set of needs that ensures its prolonged independent existence.
So life processes are directed by needs. Organism is dead when nothing directs it from “within”! By pressing some key, a man directs not life but a robot! System that has no needs can only be a machine. If man wants to create new forms of life, he should know as much as possible about the laws of needs – the thing that “inspires” life. The study of needs should be separated into independent field of knowledge. It should also be noted that scenarios and laws, according to which the human needs are formed, realized, influenced (motivated) or developed are not uniform and unchangeable. It is quite possible that the needs of machine organisms or maybe artificial intelligence would be formed and realised according to some other laws.
Needs and motivations must be actively studied for the accelerated development of science and technology!
Hope that reading this Research Report added great value to your personal and professional development. I allow and encourage giving this RAP in any form to any person.
 These conclusions lead to identification of laws related to formation and realization of needs, to reconstruction of basic functions (like demand function), and many other important discoveries formulated in Part 4 of this Research Report.
 Hedonism – is a school of thought, according to which the meaning of life is to maximize net pleasure (Bruton, 2016).
 Calculations for Table 3.7 are in spreadsheet Appendix 10.
 Calculations for Table 3.8 are in spreadsheet Appendix 9.
 Balanced organism means that for it Ci.=Cv.
 To avoid diversion from the “motivation” topic, author only offers here a glance at the profound differences between microeconomics and marketing. But he could propose another work with more detailed analysis of needs and their influence on economy.