Al Nakheek Company: Effective Motivational Strategies

Introduction

Al Nakheel Company has witnessed a drop in its growth, competitiveness, and profitability. The management of the company has viewed this status with alarm and with serious intent attempts to locate the cause or causes that have led to this situation so that corrective measures can be put in place. Initial evaluation has suggested that employee motivation may be at a low level, resulting in reduced employee performance and contributing to the reduced growth, competitiveness, and profitability of the company.

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Enhanced competition in the marketplace is the biggest challenge that business enterprises face in present times. Meeting this challenge to a very large extent means that the human asset within the business organization has to behave in such a manner so that the business enterprise can effectively meet the competitive forces acting in its markets. This situation reinforces the need for a better understanding of the motivation for its effective application to enhance the competitive levels of the business enterprise, through increased productivity, decreased turnover, reduced absenteeism, and better working relations.

Employee performance and morale are to a large extent dependent on motivation. Several motivational theories and theoretical frameworks have emerged in the twentieth century to explain what causes people to enhance their performance. These theories can be classified into two groups. The first group consists of the content theories comprising of the likes of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Model, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, and McClelland’s Theory of Achievement Motivation.

The second group consists of the process theories comprising the likes of Vroom’s Expectancy Theory and Porter and Lawler Expectancy Model.

Research Problem

Are effective motivational strategies being used by the managers of Al Nakheek Company at the work place to have a positive influence on employee performance at Al Nakheek Company ?

Research Objectives

  1. Evaluation of the motivational measures taken by managers at Al Nakheek Company Assessment of employees views on their motivational needs.
  2. Assessment of relationship between motivational measures and employee performance.
  3. Recommendation for motivational strategies to enhance employee performance.

Significance of the Study

The study will show whether managers beliefs on motivational strategies and their current use at Al Nakheek Company is in keeping with the motivational needs of the employees and suggest the ways in which this could be enhanced to provide ABC Ltd., with enhanced growth competitiveness and profits.

Preliminary Literature Review

One of the difficult skills to master for a manager is motivating other people. However, a skilful manager can create a motivating environment where individual and organization’s goal can be met. An individual’s performance is the result of the combination of their ability and motivation. Ability is innate or acquired through learning, and motivation is the willingness and desire to perform work. The classical view is that ability and motivation both affect job performance but that these two determining variables are essentially independent to one another. The fact is the ability has a lot to do with motivation.

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The definite development of interest in employee motivation can be traced back by about a hundred years to the beginning of the twentieth century, when in essence behavioural studied the behaviour and the response to stimuli, with particular emphasis on material benefits derived from work, for the initial studies had led to the belief that workers increased their effort, based on the monetary benefits received. This led to material benefits and its impact on employee motivation becoming the focus of studies and the basis of motivational action within business environments during approximately the first fifty years of history of employee motivation.

The major feature of the subsequent developments in employee motivation is the development of the frameworks and theories that assisted in predicting, explaining and influencing motivation of employees, which form the basis of the enhanced understanding of employee motivation that guides the practice of employee motivation at the workplace in any kind of organization. A significant feature of these developments was the understanding that it was not merely material gains that motivated an employee, but there were other components that were equally important and involved employee needs, recognition and characteristics of the workplace.

Advancement in the understanding of employee motivation had taken place, but had come with the price of increased controversy and lack of agreement on employee motivation. The controversies can be broken up into four areas of differences. The first was the importance of monetary returns of employees in employee motivation. The next was the whether there was any essential need to distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of employees at the workplace. The third was importance of job performance and satisfaction in employee motivation and the final area was the impact that employee participation in the decision making processes in an organization had on employee motivation.

As the study of employee motivation entered the new millennium, it brought with it three new areas of concern to the practitioners of employee motivation. The first was the role of emotion as an added factor in the understanding of recognition at the workplace. The issue of personality was earlier considered unimportant to employee motivation, but the new millennium witnessed its entry as an area to be considered in any understanding of employee motivation. Finally is the issue of the influence of the working of the subconscious mind in addition to the conscious mind.

In just over a hundred years the study of employee of motivation has travelled far. From humble beginnings, which essentially focused on employee behaviour in response to monetary benefits or the use of monetary inducements to increase employee productivity, the study of work motivation has become very complex by the addition of new theories and elements into employee motivation.

Two considerations stand out in these developments in employee motivation. The first is that in spite of these developments, the understanding of employee motivation is still limited, with all the new frameworks and theories having their limitation and not above criticism and hence controversial. This does not mean that study of employee motivation is irrelevant, for in spite of the reservations in any one theory or framework offering a complete understanding of employee motivation it still has provided useful insights into employee motivation for the practitioners of employee motivation.

The second consideration relates to the complexity that has become integral in the practice of work motivation. The field of work motivation has progressed by leaps and bounds over nearly a hundred years, but this progress has not been linear. It has progressed in multiple directions, probably influenced by the different fields like economics, decision making, sociology and psychology that remain interested in the study of work motivation. It is this progress in multiple directions that has enhanced the complexity in the study of work motivation, which has implications on the practice of employee motivation.

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Thus several changes in the perception of motivation has occurred, which has a strong influence on the manner of in which organizations, hire, retain and motivate employees. With all these advances there remains a lacking in a true model of motivation that the employee motivation practitioners believe in and accept, in their managerial behaviour in the modern workplace.  Such a perception supports the argument of Kovach 2004, p.54 that “today’s manager is no closer to understanding employee “motivation” than his counterpart 50 years ago”. Such a situation on the knowledge and skills of the practitioners of work motivation, namely the managers at the workplaces raises questions on the role and practice of work motivation at the workplace.

Research Design

This study will use an inductive and deductive framework to find answers to the questions that the study explores. The reason for the combination of inductive and deductive frameworks lies in making use of the advantages of both. Many of the problems that management research explores are done more effectively through the combination of inductive and deductive methods. The inductive method is better suited for the use and interpretation of qualitative data, while the deductive method has more emphasis on measurement and therefore is better suited for use in quantitative data and the interpretation of quantitative data.

The qualitative data will be secondary data as compiled through a literature review compiled from books, journals and published reports. The quantitative data will be from primary sources employing questionnaires.

The study will be conducted at Al Nakheek Company, involving managers and employees, who volunteer without any form of coercion to be part of the study. Fifty percent of the managers (twenty) and ten percent of the employees (thirty) will make up the sample size. Random sampling will be used to arrive at the samples that will participate in the study. By this it is meant that every manager and employee willing to participate in the study and meeting the inclusion criteria was given an even chance in the sample selection process, without any influence from the top management of Al Nakheek Company, or the research team. The chief objective in using random selection is to avoid bias, which tends to provide a misleading picture of the targeted population.

Two sets of questionnaires will constitute the quantitative data collection sheets. One open ended questionnaire will be developed on the basis of the literature review and applied to the sample managers. The second questionnaire will be a close ended questionnaire developed on the basis of literature review and applied to the sample employees. The study has chosen to use the questionnaire method to acquire the required quantitative data for the purposes of the study. Questionnaire are one of the effective means to get quantitative data and is popularly used in many research studies, because of the limited constraints it puts the research team in and the utility of the data received through it. Questionnaires can be used to generate factual data like age and sex or it can be used to generate opinions as is required in this research study.

Data received from the two questionnaires will be collated for data analysis. For data analysis the appropriate statistical tools from classification, tabulation, averages, percentages, standard deviation, correlation and regression analysis will be selected and made use of to provide the findings of the study.

Organization of the Report

Chapter -1 : Introduction

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Chapter -2 : Literature Review

Chapter -3 : Research Design and Methods

Chapter -4 : Data Collection and Analysis

Chapter -5 : Results

Chapter -6 : Discussion

Chapter -7 : Conclusion

Chapter -8 : Ethical Considerations, Limitations and Acknowledgement

Ethical Considerations

  1. Administrative sanction from the institution and permission from the organizations will be received before starting the study and applying the questionnaire respectively.
  2. The business organization, managers and employees will be clearly informed about the nature and purpose of the study, while taking the permission and recruitment of volunteers.
  3. Professional ethics as a researcher will be maintained at all times during the study.
  4. Data collected will be for academic purposes only.
  5. Data will be collected in such a manner as to ensure confidentiality (Data sheets will be coded).
  6. At the end of the study the data sheets will be handed over to the administrative authorities for safe keeping or destruction.

Works Cited

  1. Herzberg, F., Mausner, B. & Snyderman, B. B. The Motivation to Work. New Jersey: Transaction Books, 2008.
  2. Latham, P. Gary. Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research and Practice. California: Sage, 2006.
  3. Grant, C. Phillip. The Law of Escalating Marginal Sacrifice: Explaining a Plethora of Heretofore Unresolved Motivation Phenomena. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2004.
  4. Locke, E. A. & Latham, G. P. WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT MOTIVATION THEORY? SIX RECCOMMENDATIONS FOR THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY. Academy of Management Review 29.3 (2004): 388-403.
  5. Steers, R. M., Mowday, R. T. & Shapiro, D. L. THE FUTURE OF MOTIVATION THEORY. Academy of Management Review 29.3 (2004): 379-87.
  6. Kovach, K. A. Why Motivational Theories Don’t Work? Advanced Management Journal 45.2 (1980): 54-59.
  7. Lancaster, G. Research Methods in Management: A Concise Introduction to Research in Management and Business Consultancy. Oxford: Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann, 2005.
  8. Nichols, P. Social Survey Methods; A Field Guide for Development Workers. London: Oxfam, 2002.
  9. Easterby, Smith, M., Thorpe, R. & Lowe, A. Management Research: An Introduction. California: Sage, 2004.
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