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Theories of Motivation and Stress in Organisations

Many organisations are determined to reorganise their traditional hierarchical framework into modern team buildings. Select the key theories in the areas of motivation and stress and link them to the obstacles organisations implementing this kind of change may face.

One of the key factors in creating and keeping an effective business is the ability to adapt to changes in the external environment, whether responding to challengers, customers, or the macro-environment, such as legal, environmental, or political changes, for example. Your choice to reorganize traditional hierarchical buildings into modern team structures is one such exemplory case of adapting to changes in the way companies are run worldwide, and reaping the great things about advancement. However, change, whether in the end for better or worse, can have a primary effect on stress and motivation, particularly for workers if there is change in the workplace.

Traditional hierarchical constructions have certain characteristics and can be represented in Maslow's hierarchy of needs diagram whereby there are many degrees of management and command word. There are extremely obvious divisions of power and job jobs are clearly identified. Communication usually starts from the very best and works it way down via management. On the other hand, modern team structures are seen as a shared goals and responsibility, whereby communication is supposedly more liquid between personnel, as the organizational framework is flatter. Team working, by description, allows more connections between people, and job jobs may also be more fluid depending on what's needed to achieve distributed goals.

It can be argued that the change from one framework to another can be associated with change in one's drive to work. Determination is detailed by Fincham and Rhodes (2005, pp732) as "the degree to which an individual is engaged by the work role she or he occupies. " Maslow's 'hierarchy of needs' is probably one of the very most famous theories found in the study of motivation to analyse human behaviour at the job, although matching to Fincham and Rhodes (2005, pp197) his work wasn't formerly designed to be and reason of motivation at work. Nonetheless, his hierarchy of needs is a founding example of content theory, which is 'established on the assumption that we can attribute an identical set of must all individuals' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp193).

According to Maslow, there are five levels of need innate in every humans, which must be satisfied in turn. After the first need is satisfied, unconsciously 'what then exerts a far more powerful affect on our behavior is the necessity at the next level up the hierarchy' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp193). The five degrees of the hierarchy ascend from very basic Physiological needs such as food, ambiance, clothing and shelter, to Security needs, whereby the individual in question must feel safe and clear of fear, in a comfortable environment. Once these needs are satisfied, the interest is then considered Social needs including the requirement of supportive and fulfilling connections with others. These first three levels graph someone's basic deficit needs and are factors that shape in one's internal growth.

The next levels, Self-esteem needs, and inevitably, Self-actualisation needs, are what Maslow regarded as 'higher-order' needs, and the development of these needs 'signifies the end point of any gradual process of subconscious maturation' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp195). Satisfying Self-esteem needs would involve a requirement of identification, and a accumulating of self idea, whilst rewarding Self-actualisation needs will be the ultimate goal of humans regarding to Maslow. This would encompass all that is required for someone to realize their full probable, and therefore would differ depending on the person.

Herzberg, another famous content theorist, creates upon Maslow's hierarchy, which although is very interesting and a staple in most motivation theory catalogs, is more or less unsubstantiated by empirical research. Herzberg's two-factor theory of determination stemmed from interviews with a number of workers, where two factors emerged, health, and motivators. Hygiene factors are similar to Maslow's first three degrees of need, and 'represent the necessity to avoid pain' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp199). In the sphere of work they represent primary needs we have as family pets, that are lowest requirements that certain must have as a way never to be demotivated at work, but do not actually provide to motivate us. Motivators, on the other hands, represent Maslow's last two levels of need, and reflect the necessity for personal actualization. These would include things such as responsibility, recognition, promotion, achievement and intrinsic aspects of the job, and Herzberg argued that making jobs which designed these types of motivators would indeed increase determination in staff. One could argue that the transition from one type of organizational structure to some other should be made to combine the motivators or more level-needs for staff in order to ease transition. If these factors are being diminished due to changeover, then psychologically, this would have the effect of demotivating staff.

However, the emergence of process theory in desire has arisen out of some criticism of content theory which seems to lump all humans mutually homogeneously, and suppose everyone will and does act just as depending on external factors. If this were the truth then this essay question wouldn't normally exist as you would be able to design the transition so that needs aren't impacted on adversely. However, process theory realizes the 'role that an individual's cognitive processes have in determining his or her level of inspiration' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp202). Theorists such as Adams respect Equity theory as fairly important in process theory as it describes a worker's nervous about fairness and collateral, which is assessed by how much praise is received with regards to work (or inputs such as skill, experience, intellect, seniority) they devote at work, in comparison to others around them, and indeed in comparison to their past work activities.

Vroom's expectancy theory builds upon this idea by suggesting that the hyperlink between work and reward could be looked at 'as a process in which individuals computed first whether there was connection between effort and their performance (expectancy), then the probability that valued rewards (valences) would follow form powerful (instrumentality)' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp208). In studies, Vroom was able to produce an instrumentality index from students who possessed rated the significance of various job goals, and subsequently how well certain organizations would fulfill these goals. This index was used to forecast which job each university student should apply for. This type of theory features how differently individuals can perceive job satisfaction, and organizational framework transitions should be supervised to be able to see how each staff member could be affected by such change, and make an effort to do something to ensure employees will see rewards in changing into self-managed groups. Will they feel that extra work is needed, with little incentive, or will the idea of building human relationships with fellow staff and taking more responsibility for their work empower them? This will likely seemingly change a lot from worker to worker predicated on process theory. Several characteristics of self-managed teams seem to add motivators such as responsibility, shared goals and cultural cohesion, which would preferably overcome initial concern with change.

Whilst inspiration must be retained by the organization during a changeover, the idea of stress, especially during durations of perceived instability (a by-product of change) by employees and could impact negatively. There are a number of meanings for stress such as Edwards' (cited in Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp62) who suggests that it originates from an inability to cope with the demands the surroundings makes a person, and is also caused by a lack of match the environment. This could certainly be the situation in regards to to changing job roles, or indeed changing the structure within which you work, as the truth would be in considering this essay question. A survey by the Confederation of Uk Industry in the UK discovered that stress was the next most prevalent cause of sickness absenteeism, charging industry around 4 billion (cited in Fincham and Rhodes 2005, pp80). Therefore making work in restricting the sorts of causes of stress talked about later will make the changeover from traditional hierarchical structures into modern team structures will be very beneficial for businesses.

Given that a transition into self-managed clubs, will mainly entail an alteration in job role, it is useful to check out the 'role stressors' that have an impact on stress levels. The first type of stressor would be 'role ambiguity' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp63) and this is most likely a essential one to start out with it could be prevalent among matrix structure organisations and self-managed groups. It is argued that information writing is increased within modern teams, however, this can be an ideal, and is not always the case. Information insufficiency, and an doubt in what your role includes can cause unrest and stress. If an employee is unable to evidently understand their place within the structure this has been found in studies to obtain repercussions in conditions of lowering job satisfaction and increasing anxiousness.

It is probable that a few of this could also be the effect of a move from another structure or role. If, in the case of this question, the role (in a team) is recently created, of which there's a one in three chance corresponding to Western world et al 1987 (cited in Fincham and Rhodes 2005, pp66), then your worker won't have a spot of guide, or a predecessor to turn to, nor any advice from co-workers. It is very important that a person is able to draw comfort using their social peers and not be remaining to 'muddle along'. It could be argued that everyone will be in the same position if this were to occur to a whole organisation, and senior managers should try to invoke exercises such as team-building consultations to solidify the team and stop alienation and therefore stress from employees, where possible.

Single role, and multiple role turmoil are another set of factors that can effect on stress levels phenomenally for a number of workers. Single role conflict will happen when there a number of elements to one's role and these elements cause discord and paradoxes, and are therefore difficult to reconcile. Supervisors have a tendency to have problems with this conflict particularly if they have to be command expert, yet maintain a public cohesion with work peers. The need to discipline a worker they have a public affinity with could become difficult and cause upset.

Multiple role issue is an extension to the, but is more comparable to conflict between jobs at the job and roles outside of work such as spouse, mother, child, housewife etc. Cooper (2001) talks about the restrictions between work and home becoming blurred by technology (cited in Fincham and Rhodes, 2005), with the explosion in mobile communication and laptop computers rendering it all too easy to bring work home. Women, who are moms and also work, can find that looking to juggle one role with another can lead them to feel more consumed with stress and can result in disregard of both functions and thoughts of personal failure because of this.

Some form of stress seems to be inescapable with change of any sort, whether it is good or bad. However if the organisation making change is able to design clubs and jobs with worker's health and wellness in mind, then this can be limited. Motivators are key components of functions that provide job satisfaction, although these may vary form employee to worker. A working mother could visit a motivator, as versatile working hours within a team, to be able to assist her role as carer. Ensuring there are functions in spot to both address individual staff' stressors, and to counteract these with appropriate method of motivation, even if it means having more casual meetings, and opening up lines of communication, will limit stress. However, it is important to keep in mind that traditional hierarchical set ups are also known to characteristically cause stress to employees. They tend to be bureaucratic in structure and may offer workers limited hope of changing unsatisfactory careers or becoming more progressive within their roles. This is referred to as 'burnout and entrapment' (Fincham and Rhodes, 2005, pp71) and shows the reasons when a business would choose to improve the structure of your company into self-managed teams to begin with. Therefore, organisations should keep in brain that stress is endemic to work, but must be placed at manageable levels through the process of increasing worker's drive.


Fincham & Rhodes, 2005, Fourth Release, Principles of Organisational behaviour, Oxford University or college Press, New York

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