Chapter 7


Motivation:  From Concept to Applications


Job Characteristics Model

A model that proposes that any job can be described in terms of five core job dimensions:


1) Skill variety

2) Task identity

3) Task significance

4) Autonomy

5) Feedback

The bottom line: people who work on jobs with high-core job dimensions are generally more motivated, satisfied and productive than those who do not.   And the core job dimensions lead to personal and work outcomes through critical psychological states and employee growth-need strength and not directly.

How Can Jobs Be Redesigned?

1) Job rotation - the periodic shifting of an employee from one task to another (note: often called "cross-training")

2) Job enlargement - increasing the number and variety of tasks that an individual performs results in jobs with more diversity (note: the job actually changes)

3) Job enrichment - the vertical expansion of jobs, increasing the degree to which the worker controls the planning, execution, and evaluation of the work.

Alternative Work Arrangements

The typical "9-5" job is slowly becoming a thing of the past.  Instead, many organizations are utilizing:


Flextime (i.e. flexible work hours) options are becoming very popular.  Workers must be at their jobs during core hours but can either start early and leave early or start late and leave late as long as they are present during the core hours. This system usually decreases absenteeism, improves productivity, reduces overtime expenses, lessens hostility towards management, reduces lateness, traffic on the roads, and increases feelings of autonomy, responsibility, and satisfaction. However, this system may not work for all jobs.

Job Sharing (i.e. having 2 or more employees split a traditional 40 hour work week).  This can be done by splitting each day (i.e. working from 8am-12noon and another employee works 1pm to 5pm ) or by splitting the week (i.e. working Monday thru Wed and another employee works Wed thru Friday).   This is often tough for upper management as the coordination between the two must be very productive for this to work.

Telecommuting   - working from home/remotely at least 2 days a week via a computer linked to the office.  This is often associated with a virtual office.   Many types of jobs can be done this way and with new technologies and reduced costs of telecommunication equipment, this option is extremely popular. However, some employees say they miss out on important information gathered both formally and informally while at work in the office.


                      Don't Forget Ability and Opportunity (So important, it shows up again :)

Performance = f (Ability X Motivation X Opportunity ) Don't assume people are "simply not motivated" to work.  Be sure to check all three dimensions before making a decision about what to do next...


Employee Involvement Programs


 Examples of Employee Involvement


*Note: these strategies use concepts found in Theory X and Y, the two-factor theory, and needs (i.e. N achievement) and ERG. These approaches are popular around the world.


Rewarding Employees

What should we pay our employees?

Consider internal and external equity (p. 237-238)

Variable-Pay Programs

What are they? A program where a portion of an employee’s pay is based on some individual and/or organizational measure of performance.


Rewarding Individual Employees Through Skill-Based Pay Plans




Flexible Benefits: Developing a Benefits Package



Intrinsic Rewards: Employee Recognition Programs





SPECIAL ISSUES IN MOTIVATION (an added bonus for your reading pleasure)

Motivating Professionals:  How are “Professionals” different?



How might we motivate professionals?

Motivating Contingent Workers



Motivating a Diversified Work Force

Not all employees are motivated by money!

Flexibility is the key to maximizing your employees’ motivation by understanding and responding to the diversity of needs.



How might we motivate an (often low-skilled) service worker?


Motivating People Doing Highly Repetitive Tasks

Motivating individuals in these jobs can be made through careful selection:

clean and attractive work surroundings, ample work breaks and opportunity to socialize during breaks, and empathetic supervisors.