Psychology 2990A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 6: Job Satisfaction, Job Enrichment, Equity Theory

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Chapter 6: Psychology and the Workplace
The study of motivation is important to you for 2 reasons:
1. As a consumer we are victims of dissatisfied workers who produce faulty products or process
our requests improperly
2. You will sped between a third and half your waking hours at work for 40-45 years
Content Theories of Motivation
The theories discussed below discuss deal with the content of motivation (the specific needs
that motivate human behaviour)
There are 4 content models:
1. Achievement Motivation Theory
Achievement motivation (need for achievement) is a characteristic of successful executives
but typifies many other people too
People with high degree of need for achievement get satisfaction from working to accomplish
a goal and are motivated to excel in whatever task they undertake
David McClelland studies (since 1950s) show that successful business managers always
display high need to achieve (regardless of culture)
oIn Poland (communist at time) level of concern for achievement close to U.S.
oEconomic growth of organizations/societies can be related to level of achievement
need among employees/citizens
o3 major characteristics of people who have high need to achieve:
1. Like work environment where they can assume responsibility for solving problems
2. Take calculated risks and set moderate, attainable goals
3. Need recognition/feedback on their progress so they know how they are doing
High positive correlation between achievement motivation scores of employees/executives
and job performance/companies financial success
High need to achieve managers show more respect to subordinates, open to ideas, and
accepting of participative management programs
Entrepreneurs score high in the need to achieve
2 types of goals can satisfy need for achievement: mastery and performance
oMastery – developing competence and self-satisfaction through knowledge/skill
oPerformance goals – developing competence by performing better than others
Netherlands college student study showed 2/3 preferred mastery of knowledge and skills
Strong mastery orientation = more effective on job, better quality leader-member exchanges
(which links to higher job satisfaction and intrinsic motivation)
3 dimensions of achievement motivation that were important in high-tech jobs: perseverance,
competition, and level of difficulty of controlling the task (all 3 essential in satisfying need to
2. Needs Hierarchy Theory
Needs Hierarchy Theory of motivation – human needs are arranged in a hierarchy of
importance as people always want what they don't yet have and so needs that are already
satisfied are no longer motivating (once lowest level needs satisfied attend to higher level)
oPhysiological needs – basic human needs: air, food water, sleep, sex/activity drives
oSafety needs – physical shelter, psychological security/stability
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oBelonging and Love needs – social needs for love, affection, friendship, affiliation
oEsteem needs – needs for self-esteem and esteem, admiration, respect from others
oSelf-Actualization need – need for self-fulfillment, for achieving our full potential and
realizing our capabilities
Belonging needs sometimes important motivating forces on the job (social support network
and interaction of co-workers)
Maslow’s theory little research support and has low scientific validity/applicability
Self-actualization concept popular among managers/executives (see it as motivating force)
3. Motivator-Hygiene (Two-Factor) Theory
Motivator-Hygiene (two-factor) Theory – Frederick Herzberg: two sets of needs, motivator
needs and hygiene needs
oMotivator needs – produce job satisfaction and motivate high job performance
Needs are internal to the work itself
Include the nature of individuals job and level of responsibility, achievement,
recognition, advancement, career development and growth
Can be satisfied by stimulating, challenging, and absorbing work (similar to
self-actualization needs)
If conditions met = job satisfaction; if not met result is not necessarily job
oHygiene needs – produce job dissatisfaction
Needs are external to tasks of particular job
Involve features of work environment e.g. company policy, supervision,
interpersonal relations, working conditions, salary and benefits
If needs satisfied = job dissatisfaction; if satisfied result is not necessarily job
Both Maslow and Herzberg agree these lower needs must be satisfied before
person is motivated by higher needs (similar to Maslow’s
physiological/safety/belonging needs)
Survey of workers showed factors like money/recognition not primary sources of motivation
(motivator needs more important for job performance of these employees)
Emphasizes importance of internal job factors as motivation for employees
Job Enrichment – expands jobs to give employees a greater role in planning, performing, and
evaluating their work (to satisfy their motivator needs)
4 ways of enriching a job:
1. Remove some management control, increases accountability/responsibility, autonomy,
authority, freedom
2. Create complete units where possible, increases meaningfulness of work to employees
3. Give feedback on productivity/performance directly to employees not supervisors
4. Encourage employees to take on new challenging tasks and become experts in
particular task or operation
oJob enrichment involves more than giving workers extra tasks, it means expanding the
level of knowledge and skills needs to perform the job
4. Job-Characteristics Theory
Job-Characteristic Theory of motivation (J. Richard Hackman, G. R. Oldham) – objective
measures of job factors tat correlated with employee satisfaction and attendance
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Certain characteristics influence behaviour/attitudes at work but not in the same way to all
employees, and influence was not direct as it was filtered by workers cognitive processes
(their perception of the changes)
oE.g. high growth need workers more influenced by changes in job characteristics
Specific job characteristics lead to psychological conditions that lead, in turn, to higher
motivation, performance, and satisfaction (if employees have high growth need to begin with)
Core job characteristics:
1. Skill Variety: the extent workers use various skills/abilities on the job (the more
challenging the job, the more meaningful it will be)
2. Task Identity: the unity of a job (whether its doing a whole unit or just one part on
assembly line)
3. Task Significance: importance of a job to the lives and well-being of co-
4. Autonomy: amount of independence employees have in scheduling/organizing their work
5. Feedback: amount of information employees receive about the effectiveness and quality
of their job performance
Jobs can be redesigned to maximize these core characteristics in a similar way that Herzberg
oCombine small specialized tasks to form larger work units (enhances skill variety and
task identity
oArrange task in natural/meaningful work units to make worker responsible for
identifiable unit (enhances task identity and task significance)
oGive workers responsibility for direct contact with clients (enhances skill variety,
autonomy, and feedback)
oArrange for workers to learn regularly how well they are performing (increases
Hackman and Oldham developed Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS)
oMeasures 3 aspects of the theory:
1. Employees perceptions of the job characteristics
2. Employees level of growth need
3. Employees job satisfaction
oSelf report inventory
oRevised version using positively wording items only more valid than original
Adding challenge, complexity, and responsibility to some jobs result in greater employee
satisfaction, self-efficacy, and motivation
Content Theories of Motivation Conclusion:
All share central concept: they focus on enlarging, enriching, or redefining jobs to provide
greater employee responsibility
Importance of opportunities for growth, self actualization, personal achievement, and
increased motivation through increasing the amount of accountability, challenge, control, and
autonomy at work
Enlarging scope of job can provide greater motivation for performing well, boring routine
jobs can decrease satisfaction and motivation
Process Theories of Motivation
Focus on cognitive processes that are part of decision making
3 process models
Valence-Instrumentality-Expectancy (VIE) Theory
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