Baringa Partners Using Motivational Theories Management

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Introduction

In the current dynamic and sophisticated world of business, organizational motivation plays a very important role. According to Ulrich, in order for an organization to ensure that it stays afloat of the murky waters today’s competitive businesses; all the members of the organization are mandated to effectively play both individual and team roles.1 More importantly, Maslow and Frager assert that the motivation of everyone in the organization (whether you are a manager or a normal worker) is, preliminarily, preceded by having a fitting plan for all the operations that you want to engage in.2 This, according to Ward, is the reason why a majority of the high-flying organizations that exist today make certain that they greatly invest a lot of their time and money in formulating a foolproof plan for their business endeavors.3

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Remarkably, a good number of motivational theories have, over the recent times, been used to further the practical ideals of organization. In this paper, central focus is going to be on justifying the admirably outstanding performance of Baringa Partners—a London-based professional services company—as the best workplace in UK, based on 2011 ratings.4 In doing so, two motivational theories—Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory (as a content approach) and Adams’ Equity Theory (as a process theory)—will be used to further our discussions.

Brief Company Overview: Baringa Partners

According to Baringa Partners’ official website, the company is a small management that mainly specializes in utilities and financial services markets, energy and business partnering utilities. Based on an annual report given by Great Place to Work, Baringa Partners was ranked as the best place to work in UK, for the second time in succession, amidst tough competition from multinational heavyweights like Microsoft and MacDonald’s. According to the company’s managing partner, Mohamed Mansour, the company has been able to grow by 35 % over the past year courtesy of acquiring new exciting clients while intermittently maintain “a cultural energy rooted in a sense of pride, fairness and involvement.”5 The discussions that follow, hereafter, give a succinct—yet representatively inclusive, justification of how the company has been able to ensure that it is successively rated as the best place to work in the whole of UK.

Theoretical analysis of Motivation in Baringa Partners

In essence, the word Motivation, which comes from the Latin word movere meaning “to move,” represents goal-directed processes that occupy the human psychological realm.6 Different human beings and organizations for that matter are motivated differently towards their actions. This, probably, is the reason why there are so many theories of motivation, in existence, which are classified under various categories for easy understanding. For the purposes of this paper, only the two aforementioned theories will be used basing on the classifications given below.

  1. Content-Based Theory: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

In a classic study on motivation done in 1954 by the famous psychologist Abraham Maslow, it is reported that the motivations of human beings can simply be classified based on their needs. Resultantly, Maslow proposed the grading of human needs into a hierarchy of five levels: (a) physiological needs, (b) need for security, (c) need to belong, (d) need for recognition and esteem (separated into two, self-respect and respect from others), and (e) need for self-actualisation. In this theory, physiological needs are classified as the most important and thus should be met first.

Going by the reports on Baringa Partners, there are outright proofs that Maslow’s theory is indeed a vital consideration and its usage can result in a great success. First of all, Baringa Partners emphasizes on a staff satisfaction with reports from the company indicating that they have been satisfied with the way the management treated them. Moreover, based on the Great Place to Work 2011 report, a good percentage of the employees in the company felt that company took good consideration of their professional development and their well-being.7 And, as it is commonly known, once the employees are satisfied, there are chances of them performing to their best, as opposed to the unsatisfied ones who are normally less motivated.8

With regards to handling their customers, Baringa Partners has an active work-based system that ensures that employees get personalised services. To support this, Great Place to Work reports that most of the company workers (approximated to around 170) normally spend their time giving their clients a personalised attention. This fulfils the need for a sense of belonging thus making them to be motivated towards responding positively to whatever services or products are offered to them.

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In the classical times, the most powerful motivational factor was survival.9 However, over the recent times, profiteering is increasingly becoming a more forceful and dominant motivation for business organization.10 This has, therefore, changed the outlook that businesses have today towards the strategies they should employ in order to succeed. Many organizations have, resultantly, engaged in some negative activities such as environmental pollution which threaten our basic physiological life which, in effect, have led to complaints by staffs and clients. However, Baringa Partners have been able to operate devoid of such negative endeavors. In fact, they have reportedly engaged in significant positive corporate social responsibility (CSR) endeavors—which has been a great boos t for their reputation. For example, Baringa Partners’ official website reports that 16 people from the company volunteered, on 5th of June this year, to help create an Italian garden at Chesterton Primary School in Battersea, London.11

Finally, reports from the company, as well as from various independent scholarly reviews, indicate that the company plans to expand its CSR practices. This not only shows their concern for the staff but it also underscores their commitment towards benefiting all the hierarchical needs put forward by Maslow. Their prestigious ranking in UK is therefore utterly deserved.

  1. Process-based Theory: Adams’ Equity Theory

In Adams’ equity theory, three cognitive processes of motivation are duly identified. These processes are equity, expectancy and goal setting. This theory, which was developed by Stacy J. Adams, proposes that people are usually motivated to seek social equity in rewards they expect from performance. Adams’ theory further explains how people strive for fairness and justice in social exchanges or give-and- take relationships.

To motivate workers, this theory therefore encourages companies to encourage issues like equity and rewards.12 In Baringa Partners, elements of equity can be found in the company. For instance, the report by Great Place to Work indicates that 26% of the company employees are female. Considering the fact that this is a small consultancy company (with approximately 170 employees), the gender equity in the company is significantly remarkable. On top of this, the company plans to employ more people as it continually expands. Chances of more women being selected, going by the company’s good recruitment and human resource management practices, are presumably high.

Moreover, very few companies can manage getting a turnover of 20.7 million (£) and a 35% growth, in a span of one year, with a meager number of employees as 170.13 Taking into account the two other factors, expectancy and goal setting, much more can therefore be expected from the company.

Another key factor worth mentioning in this process-based theory analysis is the democratic style of leadership present in Baringa Partners. According to their official website, every employee is regarded as a leader and is therefore free to make decisions based on his/her professionalism. The company’s management and supervisors therefore only play the role of guiding the rest of the workers. This style of leadership enhances the motivation of the followers because it makes them feel like they are also contributing to the formulation of the organizations’ goals as well as making decisions on how to achieve these goals or visions. Additionally, this style of leadership also enables the personalities and talents of the followers to develop because it allows for their ideas to be put into action as opposed to a leadership style like autocracy in which the leaders are the only people who formulate the ideas to be followed. Being given a chance to try out the ides therefore motivates them greatly.

Finally, it is worth stating that Baringa Partners is also reported to have good reward and punishment policies where good workers are duly rewarded while the ineffective ones are also punished accordingly. Bratton and Gold support this practice by saying that, by rewarding good performers and punishing the non-performers, workers are motivated towards bettering themselves or avoiding punishments.14 In effect, the management, workers and clients all end up being satisfied.

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Conclusion

From the discussions above, it is inherently clear that motivation plays a crucial role in any given company. Numerous positive lessons can be learnt from the way Baringa Partners conducts its practices so as to not only motivate the clients but also to better organizations. Nonetheless, success, like they say, is a journey and not an ending in itself. Baringa Partners should therefore not just sit back celebrating their success. Instead, they should continually work towards strengthening their strong-points while intermittently solving their challenges and weaknesses. It is only by doing that they can be able to sustain their present success.

Bibliography

  1. Baringa, Reputation built on results. Baringa, 2011.
  2. Bratton, J., & Gold, J., Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007.
  3. Maslow, A. H., & Frager, R., Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper & Row, 1987.
  4. “UK’s Best work Places”, Great Place to Work, 2011.
  5. Ulrich,., ‘Human Resource Roles: Creating Value, Not Rhetoric.’, Human Resource Planning, 2011.
  6. Ward, B., ‘Planning as doing: Accelerating the business planning process.’, ManagerWise, 2003.

Footnotes

  1. Dave, Ulrich., ‘Human Resource Roles: Creating Value, Not Rhetoric.’, Human Resource Planning.
  2. Abraham. Maslow. H., & Robert. Frager,, Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), 20-30.
  3. Brian. Ward, ‘Planning as doing: Accelerating the business planning process.’, ManagerWise.
  4. ‘UK’s Best work Places.”, Great Place to Work.
  5. ,,UK’s Best work Places.”, Great Place to Work.
  6. Abraham. Maslow. H., & Robert. Frager,, Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), 25-40.
  7. UK’s Best work Places.”, Great Place to Work.
  8. John, Bratton., & Jeffrey. Gold, Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 15-25.
  9. Abraham. Maslow. H., & Robert. Frager,, Motivation and Personality (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), 89-99.
  10. Dave, Ulrich., ‘Human Resource Roles: Creating Value, Not Rhetoric.’, Human Resource Planning.
  11. Baringa Partners official Website.
  12. Dave, Ulrich., ‘Human Resource Roles: Creating Value, Not Rhetoric.’, Human Resource Planning.
  13. UK’s Best work Places.”, Great Place to Work.
  14. John, Bratton., & Jeffrey. Gold, Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2007), 25-35.

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