Last Updated 08 May 2020

Punishment as a motivational concept

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According to B. F. Skinner, positive reinforcement is the solution to producing desired behaviors in individuals. Skinner believed that persons work harder and learn faster when they are rewarded for doing a task correctly rather than when they are punished for doing something incorrectly. According to the principles of behavior modification and operant conditioning an individual will be motivated to look for reinforcement and avoid punishment.

In this sense punishment becomes an essentially unfavorable type of motivation, where a particular situation is introduced into the setting in order to remove behaviors that are not desired within the workplace. The intensity of the punishment being given is ascribed in accordance to the degree of behavior modification and improvement that is sought. The resulting deeds created by punishment will most certainly de-motivate the repetitiveness of such actions.

Aggression as a motivational concept The utilization of aggression as a motivational concept has become quite rampant most especially in the field of military service where one core value is law and order. This kind of order is often attributed to superiors being highly aggressive and strict to their constituents in order to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Stress as a motivational concept Seemingly odd as it is, stress is considered to be one motivational factor that exists.

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Taken in the context of reverse psychology, when an individual is put under a considerable amount of stress, there is a inert need to either excel and or achieve a goal or break under the pressure. This can result in providing further motivation in order to work harder to "recompense" for the emotional distress. The next motivational concept of secondary goals Social researcher Abraham Maslow’s working model the Heirarchy of Needs can clearly explain this concept.

According to Maslow, human beings are motivated by needs which are not satisfied, and that specific factors that are lower require satisfaction before needs of higher level can be satisfied. He stated that needs fall into a general type of "deficiency needs" namely: physiological, survival, safety, love, and esteem. All these must be satisfied before an individual can act without thinking of him. So long as we have the urge to satisfy these desires, we are moving in the direction of growth, en route for self-actualization.

The satisfaction of needs can be healthy, while the prevention of gratification makes persons unwell or cause them to act in an untoward way. Accordingly, for sufficient motivation in an environment of work, it is essential that leaders understand which needs are effective for the motivation of employees. By the way of the hierarchical diagram of Maslow it can be seen that once a need is satisfied it can no longer serve to motivate thus the next need which is higher takes place. In this sense, we can understand better why individuals constantly seek to achieve more and excel better in their organizations.

The external motivation: Coercion External motivation is the most widespread type of motivation used not only in workplaces or in school but throughout the world ( Erwin, J. C. , 2004). This can be seen when people try to get others to do what they want them to do. In the work environment we could visualize this as a superior attempting to make employees work harder or produce better services. Here there is an avoidance of pain and other negative consequences; No doubt that because of this there is an immediate effect. However, when such coercion becomes permanent, it is considered slavery.

This kind of motivational force is detrimental to an organization. The motivational concept of self control Self-control as a from of motivation can be taken as a branch under emotional intelligence. This would be better understood concretely. In the case of an individual with a noticeably high Intelligence Quotient who is an underachiever; the individual may not for instance a case where there is a considerably intelligent person but on the other hand would not aspire to contribute his/her knowledge to certain tasks that may gain from his or her knowledge.

Karate & Stockmen (2006) argue that the major challenge for hospitality managers is to recognize the factors that help to mold positive and negative motivation drives. Mullins (2002) contends that the vital role of motivation springs from the primary issue of organizational management. Motivation levels that are elevated among employees is the result of a job well done by the right person, who works for a superior who in himself is competent, under the standard of a constructive philosophy held by the company.

Consequently, motivational levels which are seemingly depleted are not problems in themselves, but rather signs of a shortfall in one or more of the dimensions mentioned. Meyer et al. (2002) professes that the hotel industry has one of the highest turnover rates among the service sector. Lewis & Entwisted (1990) recognized a significant relationship between measures of employee service performance and their level of motivation. They implied the existence of a strong relationship between the motivation, quality of service provided by an employee and low employee turnover rates.

The introduction of new working practices or service procedures might lead to natural resistance of the employees who have already grown accustomed to the “traditional” job practice. Senior (1997) believes that people require substantial time to adapt to new working practices; and their learning capabilities highly depend factors such as their academic background, age, emotional status and various personality features. Unless they are able to cope with handling new systems and recognizing the advantages that it brings, they will feel alienated to new concepts and learning practices.

New concepts and learning practices have turned the attention of many to the shifting trend in world trade. This continues to change as the world market continues to be influenced by innovative technologies and intensified cut throat competition that demands not only efficiency in out but excellence as well. A study in the service quality in the Northern Ireland Hospitality Industry has showed that while a number of British companies hold a record for quality and dependability, many others do not (O’Neil, M., Watson, H. , Mckenna, M. 1994).

In order to address this situation a different approach has been adopted by a number of British companies: Total Quality Management (TQM) . A management strategy focused on quality, rooted in the involvement of all its members and aimed at continuing achievement by way of customer satisfaction and having all its members and members of society benefit (International Organization for Standardization (ISO)).

It has been tagged as Total since it encompasses three major aspects: Quality of return to gratify the desire of the investors, Quality of products and services to gratify a number of particular needs of the end user or customer and Quality of life – both inside and outside of work- to gratify the needs of the individuals in the organization. This is accomplished with the facilitation of upstream and downstream associates of the venture. In addition to this, we incorporate the corporate citizenship- the accountability of the enterprise connected with its people and partners, and the community.

As a result, total quality management goes past pleasing the consumer, or simply putting forward goods of top quality (Wikipedia, 2007). It extends towards all of the organization’s activities. It has become a system of business existence providing a culture and structure for the fulfillment of corporate objectives and ensuring that all employees to some extent, whatever level they may be in, become part of the problem solving and decision making process of the enterprise (O’Neil, M. , Watson, H. , Mckenna, M. 1994).

The key of the philosophy rests in the simultaneous achievement of corporate goals and customer satisfaction. The success of Japanese in the area of business can be attributed not to culture but rather to the wide set of principles, concepts, and policies that they hold tight when it comes to management. In a review by Linklow of 20 companies practicing TQM seven core values were identified: Customer Focus – quality may differ in the views of each individual consumer and what they require of the final external customer can satisfied only when the necessary conditions of all external and internal users are fulfilled.

Employee Focus – organizations can serve their consumers as well as they serve those who work within their enterprise. They therefore work towards recruiting, developing and maintaining workforces that are of the highest quality and fit for world-class use. Team Work – collective wisdom is favored over individual wisdom since it is almost always superior. Individuals and teams are rewarded and acknowledged equally. Safety – organizations make sure that there is safety in all facets, beginning from their employees, surrounding communities and the customers who use their end products and services.

Candor – all those who work within an enterprise must strive to speak truthfully since quality will not be attained when employees have apprehensions for their straightforwardness. Total Involvement – Quality does not simply imply the responsibility of quality assurance in an organization, but rather of all people involved. Each employee from all levels must take the initiative towards quality. They must also take an active role in identifying and solving problems which present themselves.

Those who see or experience the problem are most qualified to solve or help find a solution to the problem. Process Focus – There is emphasis on the continuous improvement of the work process. Literally an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure; there is more focus on prevention than damage control or repair. The above mentioned principles are not so intricate so as not be learned on the contrary they present themselves to be teachable and easily learned (Schonberger, R.J. 1986).

Moreover, these have been witnessed as effective in Western companies such as Hewlett Packard, Dupoint, British Airways, Apple and many others (O’Neil, M. , Watson, H. , Mckenna, M. 1994). Organizations which desire to adopt the TQM philosophy and improve quality must realize that dedication, determination, open appraisal and matchless teamwork are vital to be able to compete against those who have already moved ahead in the rat race for superiority.

In a research in 1991 to determine the how the undertaking of total quality management in hospitals in Northern Ireland could facilitate the better delivery of health care in terms of food service and domestic services shows that several areas could be improved. Considerable reductions in cost, relationships between management and staff would be improved, morale would improve as a result of increase in responsibility, motivation and involvement in the quality process, most important of all, the quality of service being given to patients would improve greatly, addressing a need that has been present for some time.

The population of Northern Ireland has always had a superior standard in health care; the annual increase in the admissions of patients has been significant. Such standing would not have been reached without the dedication and service given by the staff; however, there are still areas where improvement could be used such as in the promptness of service and efficiency of resources.

A program was modeled to address these issues was created with the objective of giving patients, where they live, better services and options and produce greater satisfaction in the service staff. To be able to achieve these, seven key features were suggested: the delegation of responsibility to local levels, self governing hospitals, new funding plans, additional consultants, budget handling by general practitioners, better auditing arrangements and a reform in management bodies.

To test the validity of adopting total quality management in to the system, the existing system first had to be evaluated, taking note of what its strengths and weaknesses are and making a side note of how TQM would enhance the quality of service and the quality of the employees’ working lives. The method used to gather the data was an attitudinal survey given to the management, auxiliary, and supervisory levels concerning domestic services, laundry, portering and maintenance. Those in the managerial level of organizations encounter challenges such as the quick change in technology, social values in the work place, practices, etc.

A research by Comen (1989) showed some common barriers to achieving success in terms of quality within the industry of service: deficiency of commitment from management, not having enough financial and or human resources, taking too long in problem solving, lack of awareness among the members, absences, wear and tear, and outside hindrances and those that come from the make up of the service industry. On the whole the related studies in the field of the impact of change on the motivation of service employees can thus be summed up as:

Products are composed of two things: goods and services. Through out time, the concept on service has changed. It has moved from being merely something that people pay for. Along with current changing trends in the service industry there is a need for a change in the services offered. With the number of service businesses that have sprouted up today and the cut throat competition, service must exceed standards set before. Services that were once considered as specialties are now emerging as commodities that are available to consumers anytime and anywhere.

To stay cut above the rest and to give a service enterprise a winning edge, a service must be able to sustain good customer relationships which should be taken in the view of the customer. In order to do this processing model methods were presented. The three most common of which are: > Blue printing > Flowchart > structured design analysis (SADT) These have however proven to be flawed in different aspects. Achieving the best results from these models would entail five changes in the way they put together the information. An ideal processing model method should be carrying out the following:

1. Focus on the customer 2 Take the customer's point of view 3. be diagrammatic 4. be functional, behavioral, organizational and informational 5. Identify and rationalize bottlenecks All this facilitate the planning of change alternatives. Another factor that may help out is change motivators such as capacity control, safety and security, assets and capitals, new technology and new management. Change motivators when put together with HRM practices add to the achievement of an organizations competitive edge through the strategic completion of a highly committed and competent workforce.

In turn, good human resource management will result in job satisfaction. When employees are satisfied with their work, they are able to perform better and contribute to building trust in the organization. Organizational trust brings competitive advantage through the support, co-operation, and improvement of systems built within the organization. This touches and affects service motivation which creates and maintains an organizational culture that encourages others to present services which are vital for outstanding performance.

Allowing others to acquire the skills and support required for a performance that is above the rest. Motivation may take on different forms. Three of the more popular theories are discussed: Victor Vroom’s Expectancy theory, B. F. Skinner’s positive reinforcement theory and Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Additionally motivation aids in total quality management. TQM is quality, that lies within the participation of all its members and intended at achieving continuously through customer satisfaction and having all its members and members of society benefit from it.

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