Essay: Motivation

Motivation has different types of theories. Two theories of motivation are explained in this paper, Aldefer’s ERG theory and Goal-setting theory both are associated with Tata steel knowledge management program case study with suggestions for getting better outcomes by using motivation.
“Motivation is the force that energizes ,directs and sustains behavior” [Armstrong 2012].Motivation is the main force of an organization to run its operations; motivated workforce itself is a indicator of success in an organization. Major things which leads to motivation of the organization as a whole to get superior and recognized intellectual assets was Tata steel Knowledge management scheme on its own.”Motivation is a broad concept which includes preferences for particular outcomes, strength of effort [half-hearted or enthusiastic], and persistence [in the face of problems and barriers]”[buchanan and huczynski,2010,p.267].
“Early theories of motivation are rigid they are focused on emotions and unconscious drives, whereas it became more focused on expectations, self beliefs and interpretations of events by mid of 20th century”[Dornyei and ushioda,2011]. Motivation is goal, goals fluctuate from personality to personality, goals can be linked with their interests, personal hobbies, or it might be linked with external factor such as monetary growth or recognition in an organization. Goals are the main objective that an individual try to achieve through their work efforts. Motivation theories are basically designed to enlighten the behavior of an employee. There are number of theories which comes under Motivation classified according to their content and process of working. Content and Process theories differs from each other, content theories focused on desires that motivates us hence process theories focuses on decision processes that cause the persons choice of goals. The goal can be related to anything it may be related to personal gains or may be external factors like money, although the process depends on goal. In the case of Tata steel KM program , main aim of the company is to profuse the existing knowledge present in the organization, which was lying unused in the mind of employees within the organization. In the whole process there are several type of motivation techniques which came into existence from establishing the knowledge repository to encouraging people to contribute and share to Tata steel being chosen as one of Asia’s most admired knowledge enterprise [MAKE]. To meet the terms main aim of improving the quality of knowledge and to persuade habit of browsing in employees so that they can make out the best results from knowledge which is stored in repository. Main aim of introducing the KM index by Tata steel is to calculate the performance of the system and reward initiative taken by any employee. System of scorecard was introduced in which each employee of the company was expected to score as a minimum 130 points on KM index, points are distributed according to tasks each task is entitled with different points. Scoring system was not fixed it keeps changing time to time, main reason of introducing balance scorecard is to monitor performance of employees and their contribution and also rewards were given accordingly. This whole process became successful by applying some theories one of them is, Alderfer’s ERG theory. Alderfer acknowledged three group of core needs: existence, relatedness and growth [hence ERG theory][John Martin 2001]. Existence needs relates to desire for physiological wellbeing; relatedness needs represents desire for satisfying interpersonal relationship and growth needs shows the desire of individual for continuous personal growth and development.[John R. Schermerhorn, James G. Hunt and Richard N. Osborn 2008 pg.162].ERG theory is basically a concept which helps to understand, predict and explaining the satisfaction and desire properties of human needs. Each of basic needs explained in ERG theory is a target for which work is done to obtain satisfaction.[Clayton P. Alderfer, Robert E. Kaplan and Ken K. Smith].Alderger’s theory can be observed in Tata steel case in many ways. It can be seen in terms of relatedness as well in terms of growth needs. KM was directly focused in growth of the employees working in Tata steel because KM was all about knowledge and information and communities was also formed to practice and to attain expert knowledge so that quality of work can be improved in all 21 areas like maintenance, rolling, management, steel making etc. this would help employees in attaining better skills of their work; and relatedness can be seen in knowledge communities which are formed in company in which all like-minded people meet and share their knowledge and experiences. these communities are divided in different groups which meets and share their knowledge and learn from others experience , they also take problems and solve them by brainstorming. Both the components help employees to gain knowledge, feel motivated and it also helps to enhance relations in the organization. Growth needs of employees are satisfied because they get chance to participate in different topics from different field, they read and research about them and also ask questions regarding the topic. also employees get a chance to represent their views and skills from which they get feeling of relatedness and identification, and employees also get a chance they are meeting people with same attitude and interest they discuss ideas with each other and also work together. With all this there is also an overall growth which is very beneficial for the company by these contents employees get motivated and give their 100 percent efforts towards organization.
The other theory that can be seen in Tata steel case is Goal setting theory. Goal setting theory is both a process theory and a motivational technique.” Goal setting is treated as a theory now a days, in ancient times, it was been using as a motivational technique. This technique helps us to predict and explain the work behavior of employees so now it is labeled as theory.[Andrzej Huczynski and David Buchanan 2001 pg:252].Goals have a pervasive power on employees performance and behavior and management practice”.[Locke and Latham 2002].” After 100 of research and studies are done it was proved that an individual with specific and possible goal always perform better than an individual with unspecified goals, easy or with no goals”.[Latham, 2003].As observed in Tata steel case Goal setting theory is applied in very appropriate way as all the employees of company were provided with specific goal, all tasks are mentioned on KM index, that was a point based system and only achievement of all 3 division will lead to 130 points ,130 points was just the minimum. Company keeps changing its scoring system time to time and formal award and recognition was introduced for best performance of teams, individual, communities; full process was monitored carefully so that the task can be more challenging. “Commitment is enhanced when people believe that achieving the goal is possible, and achieving the goal is important.[Klein,2001]. Participation is compulsory for all the employees at their level as decided by company. Participation helped the organization people to understand the goals in better way, and to see that goals are not unreasonable, and helps them to achieve goals[Lunenberg,2011]. ” some individual may reject imposed goals, but employees with high self efficiency may maintain high personal goal to accomplish the imposed goals.[Bandura 1997]. In goal setting theory feedback is very essential and performance evaluation are also important factor of process; Tata steel used both the aspect in very effective way in their motivation process, there was regular feedback on individuals posting a KP as well as feedback on each employees performance, which motivate people to perform better. In 2002, Tata steel made 2 major changes to increase the effectiveness of KM, One of which was performance evaluation of employees was linked to KM and senior executives started the use of balance scorecard to maintain performance of employees which was example of very positive change that would help to make employees performance more effective and efficient. Goal setting theory is applied in Tata steel case to fulfill four main assumption that is challenging goal, specific challenging goals, and feedback, employee participation. At last Tata steel successfully achieve their goal by using Goal setting theory and that also led to use of existing knowledge and create new knowledge very effectively.
No doubt that Tata steel did achieved desired goals as there was no time limit for this. This goal can also be achieved in a particular time period more efficiently and that will also lead to saving of resources’ and time. This could be possible with better application of Goal setting theory. Expectancy theory can be a enhanced option to execute KM program for achieving higher number of participation. In this theory vroom projected that work motivation is not only for individual needs or value it is also for individual beliefs.; theory assumes that part of motivation is individual’s desire to satisfy personal needs.[Parboteeah and Cullen,2011,p.409]. Expectancy theory admits that individuals can have different needs and goals and that individual may perceive different connection between action and achievement of their goals.[Fiona Wilson 2010 pg.133.]. Expectancy theory proposes that motivation and work related

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