Human Resource Management: Theory Of Purposeful Work Behavior Essay


Discuss about the Human Resource Management for Theory of Purposeful Work Behavior.


Motivational Theory
Motivational theory states the discovery about the individuals drive to work towards a goal. Motivated individuals are more productive and are high performers that lead to more economic use of resources. Most motivational theories differentiate between intrinsic and extrinsic factors: the former are concerned with an individual's interest, enjoyment and willingness to partake in an activity. People with higher self-confidence and beliefs that their own abilities will lead to success are more likely to have high levels of intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivations focus on the outcome of the activity i.e. individuals are driven by the outcome rather than the activity itself.

Frequently-cited motivational theories include the escape-seeking dichotomy model, drive-reduction theory, cognitive dissonance theory, and motivations driven by Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Mono-motivational theories reduce the aspects that drive individuals to act into one term. Evolutionary psychology and economics both provide mono-motivational theories – survival and self-interest respectively. Some theories break down motivational drive into conscious and unconscious factors, which both influence behaviour. Self-interest, for example, could be the unconscious factor influencing the desire to work, with duty to family the conscious factor.

Hertzberg's two factor theory – The two factor theory by Frederick Hertzberg also known as motivation – hygiene theory. Hertzberg states that the factors that lead to satisfaction in the job are separate and easily distinguishable from those that leads to dissatisfaction in the job. The satisfying factors are known as motivation factors or intrinsic factors and the dissatisfying factors are known as hygiene factors or extrinsic factors. The two factors are described below in brief (Yusoff et al. 2013).

Motivational factors – Job satisfaction is involved when an individual’s higher level needs are fulfilled like advancement, recognition, responsibility, achievement and opportunity for growth in the job. If the above mentioned factors are not present in the job then there will be NO SATISFACTION. If present there is SATISFACTION (Pegler 2012).

Hygiene factors – The hygiene factors include the administration and the policy in the company, supervision, relation with supervisor and peers, conditions in the work place and salary when exist adequately in a job leads to NO DISSATISFACTION. If not present adequately in a job it will cause DISSATISFACTION (Sheth et al. 2014).

Wells Fargo Financial is taken as an example and how the two-factor is applicable in this firm is explained. In this company, money and bonus are the most motivating factor for the employees. Some employees considered a pat on their back, recognition, etc. It actually depends on the employee’s attitude.

By comparing with the Herzberg theory, salary is one of the factors that effect the dissatisfaction one feels whereas the recognition which is the second best motivator effects the satisfaction. Another important thing is that employees are working hard for promotion. This firm encourages the people for reaching to the top level and an employee working for more than two years have the knowledge, skills to become a branch manager in this firm which is very encouraging by this company. (Carpenter and Charon 2014).

Process theory – The process theory of motivation describes the working procedure of the process that is the behavior of an individual and strengthen over time that determines how much effort is applied, the continuity of the effort and the whether the effort is modified or not (Miner 2015)

Goal setting theory – This theory states that specific and tough goals with constructive feedback leads to better performance in the job. Edwin Locke states that the intent to do the task to achieve a goal is the main source of motivation at work. A goal helps the employee what type of work the employee has to perform and how much effort is required to complete the task. The tougher the goal, the better will be the performance as the goals which are challenging helps to keep us focus in our work. The tough goals will inspire us to work more hard in a strategic way to get it accomplished. Employees will perform better if they receive feedback as it will help for introspection of the work of the employees and can work in a methodical way to get the task done. Some factors like commitment to your goal, traits of the work and the culture in the workplace influences the goals – performance relation (Pervin 2015).

Equity theory – The theory explains that the wages or salaries and the work culture are not the main cause for motivation. Rather employees want to maintain equilibrium between the inputs such as time, effort, loyalty, adaptability in the workplace, tolerance, commitment, trusting the superiors, etc they bring to the work place and the results they get from the workplace like perks, salary, social recognition, self-esteem, security and responsibility. Some ways to maintain equity are: An employee getting his or her inputs as well as the outputs altered, distorting both the inputs and the outputs in a cognitive way and leaving the job (Greenberg and Cohen 2014).

Mary has been working at Albury Design Group in Australia for the last ten years. It is an advertising firm. She has gained a lot of knowledge, skills and knows the work place better who is a new entrant in this company. John, a new employee has been teamed with Mary to do a research project. They spend long nights for researching. She noticed that John as a new employee have settled in this firm very quickly decorating with memorabilia from his college years and fraternity house. She got information that John earns more salary with little work experience. While discussing about this matter with her supervisor Mark, she noticed that in Mark’s office it has similar memorabilia and fraternity d?cor and she learned that John and Mark were from the same colleges and John knew Mark a long time ago. She got frustrated and tensed as she has high work ethics, more experience and knowledgeable. By applying the equity theory she should stop comparing with John and have spoken to John about his work ethics so that John doesn’t distract employees from their work. By removing the ego, she should have cooperated with John in a friendly way and have a discussion to sort this issue which will be beneficial to both of them. She needs to change her way of attitude and thinking style when comparing with others. The worst thing she can do is to leave the job ( Faludi 2013).

Characteristics of positive work environment:

Motivation – The top management like the CEO, Directors, Vice-president, etc are basically the mentors and the role models for their juniors. The leaders who have a strong expertise in their fields should help the employees by sharing the knowledge and the information to improve the performance of the employees. By listening to their problems and cooperating with their ideas, a positive work environment will flourish. Open –minded and trusted leaders can create the trust factor among the employees (Pinder 2014).

Work life balance – Having a balanced work life culture helps to have a productive environment in the office as the employees can fulfill the demands of both house work and office work. Flexible timings are an asset for the employees who can juggle both the professional and the personal work in peace. Gym membership, rest rooms, frees nutritious foods, spa facilities to foster a good work life balance. As a boss you need to describe to the juniors by balancing the professional and the personal work with ease (Chan et al. 2015).

Work climate – The work climate can be defined as the atmosphere present in the workplace as experienced by the people working in the office. The climate depicts about the sense of satisfaction or dissatisfaction while working with others. The working climate is influenced by an enterprise’s successes, failures and the reputation it have among others. The work ethics, values, traditions also depicts a working climate. The structure and the strategy of the management, specific roles and responsibilities of the employees, hr policies for promotion and the rewards also influence a work climate. The external environment like the political, social, economic, cultural, the skills of the workforce is also related to work climate. If the employees have the energy, empowered, full of excitement, inspired, passionate, eagerly waiting to work next day then, these are the indicators for a positive working climate (Schneider et al. 2013).

Training and development based – A work environment which is inclusive requires one’s awareness skills about diversity and organizational structures that are efficient that support diversity as well as inclusion. Diversity training is one of the techniques to make the employees aware and increase their knowledge and become sensitive to issues related to diversity. It helps the workers with a certain skills that help them to tackle the issues related to diversity in the workplace. The areas that describe how the differences in culture impact the working and the interaction of the employees with one another are the time concept, the way of communicating with one another, one’s self identity, how one deal with conflict, etc.

Mentoring is a very vital step for integrating, developing and retaining the employees. Mentoring is the collaboration of an employee who is more skilled or experienced with a new trainee where ideas and information are shared. This program will be more help to the foreign skilled workers to understand the norms, traditions, values of a workplace. The mentors are benefitted by sharing the skills and the knowledge with others which can help them to improve their interpersonal as well as analytical skills, get to understand the issues from other people, the differences in the culture, values related to professional as well as personal affecting the work environment (Craig et al. 2013).

Recognition – The various wins and the milestones achieved by an employee should be recognized by the management to show that they care for their employees as each employee is important for the success of a company. The employee’s contributions to the company should be honored and celebrated with other employees. Work anniversary, birthday, marriage anniversary should be celebrated so they feel important in the company as most of the life they spent is in the office only. When the employees are recognized they have a sense of satisfaction and will strive to work harder and feel more motivated and engaged. Promotions, awards, increase in salary, providing tickets for a holiday destination are some ways employees can be appreciated at the workplace (Maslach and Jackson 2013).

Hackman and Oldham job characteristics model - There are total five characteristics of this job model. They are variety in the skills, identification of the task and significance of the task, independence and feedback from the employer.

In the workplace, every team needs to be identified for doing a specific task and can manage independently. Next is the attitude and the behaviors which describe asking for information, providing suggestions to other, listening to others and helping others. Manager’s task is to regroup for optimum performance and consultation with others. There should be some systems for rewarding the top performers in an effective manner like developing transparent ways where performance is measured, training the supervisors for appraisal of the performance, the goals should be much higher to perform, etc (Barrick et al. 2013).

Core job characteristics -

Physiological state – This state describes the work which has some meaning or value, a sense of responsibility and what will be the outcome related to knowledge. The work which we are performing has some value which is a fundamental rule for intrinsic motivation. A sense of responsibility should be there while performing the tasks which include the capacity to make some changes in the work routine and to get the task accomplished while learning something from the task. The outcome related to knowledge is very vital as to get an idea about the performance of the work he has completed and can help him to learn from the errors he has done (Piccolo et al. 2012).

Outcome – After completion of the task, feedback is received from the boss whether the performance is optimum or not. By receiving constructive feedback, one can judge one’s work performance and he can improve by not doing the errors again or if his performance is good then he should aspire for higher goals to be achieved.

How it helps to design the job

Job specialization – Specialization in a job refers to perform a task which a person have a strong expertise on a particular field. By doing the task several times his work will be efficient and it will save a lot of time as he has become expert and know all the tricks of the work. For a specialized worker, there will reduction in the cost of production and the work will be accurate as he is doing it on a daily basis.

Job rotation - It is a management procedure where an employee is trained in different departments to get accustomed about the working style in every department over the years. The job rotation helps the employees to not get bored by doing one kind of work. It helps the employees to apply their knowledge, abilities and the interests in every department they are working.

Job enlargement - It refers to the increase in the tasks and responsibilities performed in the job. The tasks are added in the same position only. It involves the loading of the job in a horizontal way. Due to job enlargement, one’s skills related to physical and mental are better utilized for performing the task.

Job enrichment - This technique is used for the reduction of the same type of work done by the employees so that employees can be more satisfied and improve the productivity in the work place. The task should be challenging and they are motivated to do the work (DeVaro and Morita 2013).

Application of this model in several firms – Automobile firms like Volvo for higher productivity and employee and customer satisfaction through job enrichment believes in power of autonomy and getting feedback from employees and customers. Volvo focuses a little bit less on variety of skills, task identity and significance of the task. The executives in the Torslanda and Kalmar, A Sweden car assembly plants found it easier t provide individuals with greater responsibility for the total task and encourages feedback rather to change the essential nature of the task itself.

Another example taken is Squeaky Clean. The firm is a manufacture of cleaning supplies. They try to match individuals with a job that corresponds to their overall work personality. Certain jobs are best suited for individuals with specific personality traits, values and beliefs. Since good job design is dependent on understanding a person's fit for the position, Squeaky Clean has decided to revamp their job design process. They have chosen to adopt the Hackman & Oldham job characteristic model. First one is the skill variety. At Squeaky Clean, workers who have personalities that enjoy variety and challenge find work with high skill variety meaningful. For example, marketing managers have to enjoy diverse skills, such as designing, promoting, selling and presenting. The end result of this type of job is high internal work motivation. Next is the task identity. Squeaky Clean allows their advertising and design department to work on all steps of the creative process. Workers start with an idea and are able to complete the process until the final results of a new package, ad or commercial. Third one is task significance. Squeaky Clean's legal department hires individuals who care about social responsibility and producing products that are good for the environment. The individuals are motivated to help protect the company, customers and the environment. This also provides high-quality performance.

Maslow hierarchy of needs -

  • Physiological – At the workplace physiological needs are related to financial compensation, heat, air-conditioning and cafeteria facilities
  • Safety and security – Job security and fringe benefits are related to safety and security needs in the work environment.
  • Love and belongingness – This describes the amount of liking and respect from the boss, peers and customers.
  • Self- Esteem – This is related to the job title, responsibility, recognition and promotion.
  • Self-Actualization – It depicts the challenging job, creativity and achievement in work.


In an organization, motivation is required for the employees to give their best performance and to sustain in the work place. There are some motivational factors that is required for an individual to be successful at the work place. Here some motivational theories are discussed that are applicable in any organization. The first one is the Hertzberg's two factor theory. Next is the process theory. To be successful, a positive work environment is required where a proper work life balance, the organizational climate, proper recognition, training and development are required to enhance productivity. Hackman and Oldham is another job characteristic model which is very important model for the employees. The last one is the Maslow's theory which is one of the most important factors in an organization that determine the physiological needs, safety and security needs, love and belongingness, self-esteem and self- actualization.


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