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Applying Theories from People Work and Organizations to Practice

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Richard Branson

As markets become more global and competition increasingly fierce, and as advances in
technology continue to redefine competitive advantage, management theories and styles have
changed. Theories have evolved making management more suited to the present conditions.
Bartunek (2002) points out, that contemporary theories of management tend to account for and
help interpret the rapidly changing nature of today's organizational environments. This report will
consider the challenges in applying the theory and principles of organizations and the three topics I
have chosen are: "Motivation and Job Satisfaction" "Personality" and "Performance Management
and Appraisal"

Motivation and Job Satisfaction are making people satisfied in and with their jobs generates high

employee performance. This relationship is considered by all successful managers and leaders
who know well hot to direct their subordinates and persuade them how to be willingly loyal to
their job and their company. The unique thought patterns, behaviours and feelings that make an
individual different from the other can be termed as Personality. The personality of every
individual originates out of genetic heritage as well as his immediate surroundings, and remains
constant all through their lives. This results in individual differences. Due to complexity in human
nature arising out of the wide variety of experiences in life, the different personality types affect
individual relationships in an organization, and affect the organizational climate. Developing an
appraisal system that accurately reflects employee performance is a difficult task. Performance
appraisal systems are not generic or easily passed from one company to another; their design
and administration must be tailor-made to match employee and organizational characteristics
and qualities.

Motivation and Job Satisfaction

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow (1954) presented the hierarchy of needs and divided them into two groups;
deficiency and incremental needs. The deficiency needs includes the biological, safety,
belongingness and social needs whereas the incremental needs comprises of the esteem and
self actualization needs. maslow proposed that as an individual develops they work towards
achieving these needs, arranged in a certain hierarchy and unless the deficiency needs are
satisfied the growth needs will have less or no relevance. According to Maslow's Needs
Hierarchy Theory, as the person satisfies a lower-level need, the next higher need in the
hierarchy becomes the primary motivator and remains so even if never satisfied An urge to
satisfy these needs motivates an employee to bring out the best performance in all endeavor of

Although Maslow theory of Motivation received a lot of attention , however most of Maslow's
work has been criticized by people who applied the theory practically for work motivation. Also
there is lack of evidence that the level of hierarchy precedes each other and will increase the
importance of the next one if the latter is satisfied. Finally there is an increasing evidence that
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs are quiet unique and they cannot be applied universally
because an individual's need will vary with location, values and beliefs


Herzberg s (1959) Motivation- Hygiene or two - factor theory suggest that the intrinsic and the
extrinsic aspects of a job are different from each other. The theory breaks job satisfaction into
two factors: Motivation and Hygiene factors. Motivators relates to the intrinsic factors such as
responsibility, recognition, achievement and the work profile. On the other hand hygiene factors
are associated with the extrinsic factors such as remuneration, working environment, policies of
the organization and position. Herzberg(1959) suggest that job satisfaction and dissatisfaction
are two different independent variables. According to the theory job dissatisfaction is an outcome
followed by lack of hygiene factors. However, even their presence doesnt motivate or satisfies
the work force. On the other hand motivation factors acted as elements to enrich an individual's
job. Motivation factors had long term positive effects on the workforce performance whereas
hygiene factors had a short term impact on the attitude and performance of the employees.

However, questions have been raised about the application of Herzberg's theory on diverse
workforce. A few of the motivation factors may lead to dissatisfaction and a few of hygiene factor

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may result in satisfaction (Gardner, 1977, p. 197). It is totally based on individuals or groups

According to Herzberg (1968) only well-designed jobs, challenging tasks and the acknowledging
awareness of management and colleagues will fill employees with enthusiasm for their jobs and
intrinsically motivate them to carry out their tasks. Management is requested not to push
employees towards organisational goals, but to provide sensible and challenging tasks that allow
their subordinates to grow while working towards the organisational goals. Goal fulfilment needs
to be recognised by management in an appropriate manor. Despite Herzbergs emphasise on the
fact that motivation can only be achieved by the motivators, he stresses that a proper
management of the hygiene factors is equally important in order to make work not only a
motivating but pleasant experience
Job Satisfaction is a complex concept and not easy to measure at the same time. Job
satisfaction is different from motivation. It is more of an attitude, an internal state. It could, for
example, be associated with a personal feeling of achievement, either quantitative or qualitative
whereas motivation is more of a process which may lead to job satisfaction as a result. It is not
clear whether job satisfaction consists of a single dimension or a number of separate
dimensions. But there surely seems to be a positive correlation between satisfaction and different
areas of work. But some workers may be satisfied with certain aspects of their work and
dissatisfied with other aspects. Level of job satisfaction gets affected by a wide range of variables
related to individual, social, cultural, organizational and environmental factors. These factors all
influence job satisfaction of individuals in a given set of circumstances, but not necessarily in
It is important that managers know the tremendous discrepancies that seemed to exist in the
past between what they thought workers wanted from their jobs and what workers said they
actually wanted. It is also important that they realize what effect an economic or other change
has on these priorities. One may generalize at this point that individuals' act on the basis of their
perceptions or interpretation and not on the basis of reality itself. One of the main reasons behind
understanding the study of behavioural sciences is that they help in getting our perceptions to
realism. Therefore, by bringing their perceptions closer and closer to reality- what their people
really want- managers can often increase their effectiveness in working with employees.
Managers just cannot make and act on their own self made assumptions. They have to know and
understand the factors that motivate their employees

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The child hood personality of an individual affects the future career and job satisfaction of
individuals. It has been found out that, behaviors of individuals in the organizational climate are
the result of their individual personalities. There are certain traits of personality that are essential
for employee behavior, which may be desirable for an organization to run its operations

The Big Five

Openness: People who are high on openness, are imaginative as well as conservative, and
possess a down-to-earth kind of nature. They like emotions, adventure, art, unusual ideas,
possess curiosity and imagination, and like variety. They perform well in settings involving
training, and usually are capable of blooming in situations that require acquiring new skills and
flexibility. Their personality trait gets them quickly adjusted to a new job setting.
Conscientiousness: This personality trait refers to how much organized, achievement-driven,
dependable, punctual, and systematic a person is. It is this trait of an individual that sets him/her
apart and gives out the prediction about his /her level of performance in a wide assortment of
occupation that he or she gets involved into.
Extraversion: This refers to a person's outgoing, sociable and talkative nature, and ability to build
up quick and strong interactions. They are found to be successful at jobs involving sales, as well
as jobs involving managerial responsibilities. They display inspirational behaviors in leadership
roles. They usually are happy in work environment as they enjoy the relationships that they build
up there.
Agreeableness: This refers to the personality traits of compassion, cooperation in a person on
one hand while suspicion and antagonism on the other. They are friendly, helpful, optimistic, and
possess the willingness to sacrifice for the benefit of others. People with a high degree of
agreeableness, are liked by others and create a strong bonding with others. They do not retaliate
much when treated unfairly by others, and have the potential of being an effective leader as well
as a valuable asset for a team as they are able to create a fair environment in a team.
Neuroticism or Emotional Stability: This personality trait refers to a person's emotionality,
temperaments, irritability, anxiousness, moodiness. It points towards the individual's ability to
remain calm and stable, and ability to handle stress. They generally get angry quickly, and
succumb to anxiety and depression, resulting in their inability to think clearly and handle a
complicated situation. People that are high on Neuroticism are usually low in achievements as

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this trait acts negatively against a successful career. They repeatedly get unsatisfied with their
job and depict intentions of leaving, though they actually do not leave.

There are some criticisms raised. First, it is a non-explainable descriptive model, it cannot be
said that there is only 5 factors to identify human personality traits. Second, the Big Five's
advocates assumed that the five variables are independent to each other; however the situation
is not always so. And finally, the Big Five Personality Traits is not capable and suitable for all
cultural backgrounds; apart from the United States, researchers should carry out their own local

The role of personality is vital in the development of organizational commitment. It gives a scope
of relationship between personality job attitudes and organizational commitment. This theoretical
implication gives further scope of study pertaining to the factors of other dimensions of the job
attitudes such as job involvement, job embeddedness etc.
Managerial implications of the study are primarily in the personnel selection. Since different
components of organizational commitment are correlated with personality traits, organizations
need to judge personality traits at the time of selection and foresee the impact on the candidates'
commitment. It has been found in meta-analysis that employees with low level of commitment
are more likely to leave their organizations. The Big Five personality traits are the most
commonly accepted taxonomy of personality in current personality literature. Of these five global
traits, conscientiousness has shown the strongest positive relationship to overall work
performance like able to make ethical decision and strongest negative relationship to
counterproductive workplace behaviours.

Performance Management and Appraisal

There are several theories of Performance Management, and we will focus on The principles of
Total Quality Management (TQM)
The principles of Total Quality Management (TQM) is attributed to Dr. W. Edwards Deming, who
taught that by adopting appropriate principles of management, organizations can increase quality
and simultaneously reduce costs through reducing waste, rework, staff turnover and litigation
while increasing customer loyalty. This performance management theory aims to reduce errors
during the service or manufacturing process through the constant improvement of systems of

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production and service by improving quality and productivity. Total Quality Management is also
set up to provide the means for self-education and self-improvement, as well as the long-term
planning of allocation of resources, research and design of products and services. Total Quality
Management can also be interpreted as a cultural initiative focused on establishing an
environment of collaboration among various functional departments within the organization that
is concerned with perpetually improving overall quality.

Quality indeed provides companies with a competitive edge. Total quality management looks at a
companys operations holistically and determines best practice quality initiatives. Though there
are pitfalls to the strategic implication of TQM, compilation of proper initiatives can reduce the
occurrence of such pitfalls. TQM initiatives can also result in customer satisfaction, thereby
resulting in customer loyalty. Companies may push quality for its own sake, and shift too much
responsibility down to the shop floor. In addition TQM is incompatible with more radical
improvement approaches such as business process reengineering (BPR). TQM may also imply
empowerment and liberal attitude toward shop floor staff; however it is argued that this is merely
a further example of management exploiting workers. Critics have been known to define TQM as
management by stress.
People can be better managed to embrace TQM by institutionalizing TQM organizational culture
in the employees, so as to be able to deliver quality products and services to customers,
Collinson et al, (2003). Human resource management can play a crucial role in the
implementation of TQM strategy. HR managers or practitioners are responsible for recruiting and
selecting high-quality employees, the continuous training and development of these employees,
and the creation and sustenance of reward systems. Therefore, TQM sees to the control of
processes that are pivotal to the accomplishment of cultural changes often required for TQM to
be successfully implemented, Haigh and Morris, (2002). Directing the TQM cultural development
initiatives to the organisations conditions is important in subduing opposition
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Richard Branson

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