SECTION TWOEMPLOYEE MOTIVATION2.1 History of Motivation within the FirmEven before the word “motivation” was coined, business people were already aware of the importance of swaying or influencing workers to accomplish their assigned tasks for the organization. In the absence of systematic techniques of motivating workers, the early businessmen clung to carrot-and-stick method (Andrews, 2004, p. 341). To entice workers to work harder, economic “carrots” were regularly offered. To physically, socially and financially punish the workers, “sticks” were brandished on them (Govindarajan & Natarajan, 2005, p. 102). With the progress of the discipline of psychology, business people were afforded an opportunity to look for new ways to motivate people (Statt, 2000).
What began was the departure by the management think tanks from the thinking that employees were just cog of the machine and an input into the production of goods and services. Although Sigmund Freud and his input on motivation arising from his psychoanalysis school were initially rejected by the business people of his age (McCalley, 2002, p. 166), Elton Mayo was able to show the inadequacy and ineffectiveness of the pure carrot-and-stick method of motivating employees (Mackay, 2007, p.
41). Mayo and the Hawthorne Studies that he spearheaded gave birth to the human relations approach to management, which taught the managers to primarily focus on the needs and motivation of employees (Bedeian, 1993). 2.1.1Defining MotivationObservably, there is an absence of consensus on the definition of motivation among scholars and researchers. This is evidenced by the many definitions and theories that have been advanced on the subject (Cuirrie, 2007, p. 2-3). But, just to have a point of departure in defining motivation, its etymology may be mentioned.
Motivation is derivative of the Latin word movare (Rainey, 2009; Gunkel, 2005, p. 21) – i. e., to move, to disturb, to set in motion, to dislodge, or to change (Collins Latin Dictionary, 1996). Consistent to this, Webster’s II New College Dictionary (2001) defines motivation as “an impulse … emotion, desire or psychological need, acting as incitement to action … causing or able to cause motion”. The scholars’ comprehension of human motivation does not deviate significantly from these etymological and lexical definitions. Weiner (1992) argues that motivation is about why humans think and behave as they do.
And, this is accordingly phrased differently as: determinants of human activity; causes of specific human actions; and, the principles that help us understand why people initiate, choose or persist in specific actions in specific circumstances. Likewise, “(motivation) has to do with why behavior gets started, is energized, is sustained, is directed, is stopped and what kind of subjective reaction is present in the organism when all this going on” (Weiner, 1992, p. 1-2). Bedeian (1993) says it is about the will to achieve.
Kleinginna & Kleinginna (1981) holds that it is the energy or driving force that initiates or directs behavior. Higgins (1994) completely agrees by calling motivation as an internal energy, while Huitt (2001) equates it to an internal condition. Peters & Boshier (1976) present motivation as the movement to lose an identified gap. Burgess (1971) makes use of the words “interest” or “felt need” as synonymous to motivation. Now, motivation is physically manifested as it prompts a person to adopt certain, prescribed behaviors in view of satisfying or meeting specific needs (Buford, Bedeian & Lindner, 1995).