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Psychology 2990A/B Study Guide - Final Guide: Job Satisfaction, Perceived Organizational Support, Job Enrichment

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Doug Hazlewood
Study Guide

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Chapter 6: Psychology and the Workplace
The study of motivation is important for 2 reasons:
1) As a consumer, you are often the victim of dissatisfied workers who produce faulty
products and who process your requests improperly
2) You will likely spend one third to one half of your waking hours at work for 40 to 45
Content Theories of Motivation
Focus on the importance of the work itself and the challenges, growth opportunities, and
responsibilities work provides for employees
They deal with the content of motivation, the specific needs that motivate and direct
human behaviour
Achievement Motivation Theory
People who have a high degree of the need for achievement derive a great satisfaction
from working to accomplish some goal, and they are motivated to excel in whatever task
they undertake
Regardless of culture, successful business managers display a high need to achieve
The economic growth of organizations and societies can be related to the level of the
achievement need among employees and citizens (McClelland)
McClelland’s research identified three major characteristics of people who have a high
need to achieve:
1) They favour a work environment to which they are able to assume responsibility for
solving problems
2) They tend to take calculated risks and to set moderate, attainable goals
3) They need continuing recognition and feedback about their progress so that they know
how well they are doing
Studies have shown a high positive correlation between the achievement motivation
scores of executives and the financial success of their companies
Managers high in the need to achieve also display more respect for their subordinates
Also related to subsequent promotions
Entrepreneurs score higher in the need to achieve
Study: significant positive relationship between the need for achievement and job
Two types of goals can satisfy the need for achievement:
1) Mastery – refers to developing competence and self-satisfaction through acquiring
knowledge and skills
2) Performance – refers to developing competence by performing better than other
people, such as co-workers, who are in the same situation
Study: 2/3 of college students in the Netherlands preferred mastery of knowledge and
skills over the attainment of performance goals
Study: employees with a strong mastery orientation were more effective on the job than
were those with a strong performance orientation
those with a high mastery orientation established higher quality leader-member
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exchanges with their supervisor, which was linked with higher job satisfaction and
intrinsic motivation
Three dimensions of achievement motivation: perseverance, competition, and level of
difficulty in controlling task – all instrumental in satisfying the need to achieve
Overall, achievement motivation theory provides a plausible explanation for the
motivation of some employees and is considered to have a widespread application in the
Needs Hierarchy Theory
People always want what they don’t yet have
The needs that are already satisfied (lower level) no longer provide any motivation for
behaviour and new needs (higher level) must rise to prominence
The needs from lowest to highest:
1) Physiological
2) Safety
3) Belonging and Love
4) Esteem
5) Self Actualization
They should be satisfied in the order presented
The belonging needs can be important motivating forces on the job
workers can develop a social support network and a sense of belonging through
interactions with co-workers
Esteem needs can be satisfied by buying a bigger house or car, which contributes to the
feeling of success, and through on-the-job rewards
Self Actualization needs
employees should be provided with opportunities for growth and responsibility so that
they can exercise their abilities to the utmost
Low scientific validity and applicability
But self actualization concept has become accepted as a potent motivating force
Motivator-Hygiene (Two Factor) Theory
There are two sets of needs:
1) Motivator Needs – which produce job satisfaction
without it, not necessarily issatisfaction (just absence of satisfaction)
2) Hygiene Needs – which produce job dissatisfaction
with it, not necessarily job satisfaction (just absence of dissatisfaction)
The motivator needs (the higher needs) are internal to the work itself and motivate
employees to high job performance
include the nature of the individual job tasks and the worker’s level of responsibility,
achievement, recognition, advancement, and career development and growth
similar to self-actualization in Maslow’s hierarchy
Job dissatisfaction is produced by the hygiene needs (the lower needs)
the word hygiene relates to the promotion and maintenance of health
they’re external to the tasks of a particular job and involve features of the work
environment, such as company policy, supervision, interpersonal relations, working
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conditions, and salary and benefits
similar to Maslow’s physiological, safety, and belonging needs
these lower needs must be satisfied before a person can be motivated by higher needs
The motivator needs play a more important role in the job performance of employees
Job Enrichment expands jobs to give employees a greater role in planning, performing,
and evaluating their work, thus providing the chance to satisfy their motivator needs
4 suggested ways to enrich a job:
1) Increase employee accountability and responsibility
2) Allow employees to produce a whole unit instead of one component of that unit
3) Provide feedback directly to employees
4) Encourage employees to take on new tasks and to become experts in areas
all of these have the same goals of increasing personal growth, fulfilling the needs for
achievement and responsibility, and providing recognition
Job-Characteristics Theory
Hackman and Oldham
People with a high growth need were found to be more affected by changes in job
characteristics than were people with a low growth need
Also, changes in these job characteristics did not seem to influence employee attitudes
and behaviour directly but were filtered by the employees’ cognitive processes (their
perceptions of the changes)
Specific job characteristics lead to psychological conditions that lead, in turn, to higher
motivation performance and satisfaction – if employees have a high growth need to begin
The core job characteristics are as follows:
1) Skill Variety
2) Task Identity
3) Task Significance
4) Autonomy
5) Feedback
Jobs can be redesigned to maximize these characteristics (5 suggestions – p.165)
Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) measures: (1) employees’ perceptions of the job
characteristics, (2) employees’ level of growth need, (3) employees’ job satisfaction
revised version (positive items only) has been found to be more valid
All content theories of motivation share a core concept: they all focus on enlarging,
enriching, or redefining jobs to provide greater employee responsibility
Process Theories of Motivation
Focus on the cognitive processes that are part of decision making
Valence-Instrumentality-Expectancy (VIE) Theory
People make choices based on their perceived expectancy that certain rewards will follow
if they behave in a certain way
The psychological value, or valence, varies with the individual
An outcome may not be as satisfying as expected, but it is the level of expectancy that
determines whether a person will work hard to obtain that outcome
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