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Employee Motivation And Organisational Performance Commerce Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Commerce
Wordcount: 5464 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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As the hospitality industry keeps on growing, the competition has turned into a battle now. During this tough time it is very pragmatic to hold on to our loyal guest even though there is a ceaseless change in the organization. To overcome this challenge of holding our loyal customers and to keep on attracting new guests, it is very important that the employees are highly motivated. This research critically analyses the factors affecting the motivation of the employees in an organization, it evaluates the effects on the performance of the organization due to motivated employees. It suggests a relationship between the employee motivation and the organizational performance.

The research was carried out by taking interviews of the employees as well as the executive member of the hotel in order to get hold of perspective of both the sides. The important factors have been acknowledged and critical analysis has been done.

The findings of the research exhibits that the organisation is constantly doing well but there is always a scope of improvement. It also gives the recommendation to improve the organizational performance by motivating the employees.


When we think of the term hospitality, different things come in our mind. The first thing what we can think of is hotels. Many people also think about the famous pineapple which held an important part in history when it came to the term hospitality. Hospitality word comes from Latin language i.e.hospitalitem, hospes, and hostis (“friendliness to guests”) mean to welcome with warmth and care. Hospital also comes from the same source with the concept of caring about human beings who are ill and who want care, support and love. When we speak about hospitality we talk about guests and not customers, as the word guest brings out the full dimension of hospitality and in real terms. The word customer appears less welcoming and it focuses on financial transaction. In hospitality industry we need to greet our guests with a warm and genuine welcome. In order to achieve this we need to create a surrounding which is totally different from outside world. We are talking about warm and hospitable surrounding with a prompt, pragmatic and professionally delivered service which requires employees who are willing to deliver it. Now the word service comes Latin word servitium “meaning act of serving”, demonstrates a creative and incorporating function with many shades and intricacies. The meaning of hospitality and service are almost intertwined, it can also be said that if hospitality is strategy than service is tactics. (Sturman et al., 2011). Now in this ever growing hospitality industry, consumer expectation and demands for quality in increasing and consumer tastes is varying on the other hand. To deliver service in this cut throat competition internationally and nationally is very difficult and it requires highly motivated staff. Customer loyalty is another big issue in today’s hospitality industry, in order to overcome this issue there has to efficient, motivated staff.

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Employee motivation is by far the most serious issues in any of the organisation. It is very important to understand and use the motivation technique for managing the people in hospitality industry. Furthermore, customer satisfaction is highly affected by customer’s perception of employee’s effort. (Mohr and Bitner, 1995 cites in Kusluvan, 2003.p.339) and effort is what motivation is about. There has been tremendous amount of research done for different employee motivational theories which are conducted outside hospitality industry. Many empirical studies which are done in past on motivational theories have somewhat failed to show the direct linkage between employee motivation and organisational performance. It has been always said that employees are the biggest asset for any organisation and there has been efforts to motivate them without knowing the exact factor that is behind the employee dissatisfaction. To improve any organisation’s performance three things are very necessary which are productivity, labour efficiency and staff turnover. This is quite evident that if the employee is happy and motivated then the productivity is going to increase by itself. If the employees are happy then loyalty towards the firm increases and it ensues less staff turnover and higher labour efficiency. This research will review the empirical studies done by other researchers on employee motivation and will integrate all the theories and hypothesis in one discussion. The author will also establish a direct linkage that how employee motivation affects organisation’s performance, how employee motivation helps in increasing loyalty towards the organisation.


The aim of the research is to study the relationship between the motivation of the employees and organizational performance.


To critically analyse the employee motivational factors affecting the growth of an organization.

To study the relationship between the motivation and organizational performance.

To critically evaluate the interpersonal relationship and effects of communication on the level of motivation of employees in West India quay Marriott.

To suggest recommendations based on the research and analysis in order to increase the motivation of employees and hence the productivity of an organisation.


“In order to become good in anything, the only talent you need is motivation”

Charles de Gaulle.

Literature review gives a proper framework to evaluate and critically analyse the various motivational theories and conceptual models which are necessary for the operational functioning of an organization. It relates to various working models of motivational theory used by the organization to keep their employees motivated and increase the productivity of the organization.

It is very necessary to understand that the motivational level of the employees working in a particular organization should be on optimum level because of this ever changing dynamics and structure of the hospitality sector. A detailed critical evaluation of the various motivational theory and many empirical research done recently is been carried out by the author, so that a proper understanding of steps which are necessary to launch a proper motivational program for the employees is fulfilled.


It’s very difficult to give an exact definition of motivation because it varies from individual to individual and culture to culture. The word motivation derives from the Latin verb’ movere’ and means to move (Pintrich & Shunk, 2002, p.5. cited in Lins (2005).According to Pintrich & schunk, the motivation refers to ‘the process whereby goal-directed activity is instigated and sustained’ (2002.p.5).The term motivation is like a force which moves arouse and direct people. Work motivation therefore ‘refers to a personal desire to work hard and work well to the arousal, direction, and persistence of effort in work settings’ (Rainey, 2009, p.248.cites in Vellnagel, 2012).Motivation can be referred to as the willingness to exert maximum level of efforts toward organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts ability to satisfy some individual need (Robbins, 1993, cites in Jang, 2008, p.17).

Motivation is defined as the direction and persistence of actions (Mullins, 1992 cites in Jang, 2008, p.17).Mullins also states that the motivation is the driving force which drives an individual ‘towards certain goals and expectation’. Now the term motivation is explained by various people in the past like Abraham Maslow’s in his motivation hierarchy, Hertzberg’s concept of intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors. Maslow (1943) explains in his theory that every human being has five needs which are in hierarchy. Hertzberg (1966) critically analyses in his motivation hygiene theory that there are two factors affecting the individual’s satisfaction or dissatisfaction with work. Employee motivation research is done by many people to name few of them are Charles and Marshall (1992) and Simon and Enz (1995) but kovach’s instrument is the most comprehensively used for all the employee motivation studies. According to Kovach there are ten factors affecting motivation of the employees when he conducted a study consisting of ten industrial workers in United States, which are as follows:

Good wages.

Tactful obedience.

Job security.

Appreciation and praise for work done.

Feeling of being involved.

Sympathetic help with personal problems and opportunities for growth and advancement.

Good working conditions.

Personal loyalty to employee.

Interesting work.

(Kovach.1980, 1987)

Kovach in his long study between 1946 and 1986, found a very slow changes of industrial workers wants and needs. For example, higher ranked appreciation and praise was replaced by interesting work. Also it was seen that good wages was always ranked 5th among the ten factors which shows that good wages may not be the most important factor what the employees are seeking when it comes to job. The following changes were based upon the general improvement of Americans standards of living and quality of life.

Thereafter Charles and Marshall(1992) simulated Kovach’s study among 255 employees of seven Caribbean hotels and the study showed very different results compare to what Kovach’s result was. The result showed that the two most important factors of job motivation were good wages and good working conditions. These findings were supported by Simon and Enz (1995), who conducted a survey among 278 hotel employees in different hotels located in United States and Canada. Simon and Enz study showed that good wages, job security and growth were the three most highly ranked factors for job motivation among hospitality employees. These studies can be related to Maslow’s hierarchical theory of motivation where it is critically analysed that the human behaviour is affected by five needs system in which the most primitive or the basic one is at the bottom of the pyramid and accordingly promotes itself to the most mature one .The five needs of the human being in the Maslow’s pyramid are as follows

Being needs

Deficit needs

(Created by author Adapted from Maslow 1954)


The definition of employee satisfaction can be either an overall feeling about the job, or as a linked set of approaches about various aspects of the job (Spector, 1997). Locke (1976) defined employee satisfaction “as a satisfying or optimistic emotional state resulting from the appraisal of one’s job or job experience”. Levy -Garboua and Mont Marquette (2004) defined employee satisfaction as “a guide of preference for the experienced job against outside opportunities qualified on information available at time”. A comparison is made in the given definition between the real job experience in the past and the mental experience of outside opportunities available. It also contains the comparison between future expectations of own job and outside opportunities in the future(Levy-Garboua et al.,2007).Employee satisfaction is an important variable which gives a general preview of the employee’s attitude towards their job and workplace. Hence employee satisfaction is the expectations of an employee about workplace and attitude towards his job. As a result, job satisfaction is a function of the extent to which one’s needs are satisfied in a job (Togia et al., 2004).Considering the different definition of employee satisfaction author argues that expectation can vary from employee to employee from monetary gains to career advancement. Depending upon the needs of the employees, organisations carry out the motivational training program. In this modern time various hospitality industry are concentrating more on HRM i.e. Human Resource Management. Different HRM policies consist of various techniques. In one of the similar research carried out in UK comprising of four organisations showed the link between employee’s perception of these high commitment performance management practices by HRM and their commitment towards an organisation. The research carried out in UK consisted of 524 questionnaire responses collected from four organisations. The findings in the research clearly posit that there is a strong relationship between employee perception on HRM practices and their commitment towards the organisation. The performance of the employee is elevated when there is a trust on HRM policies and employee pursue it as fair (Farndale et al., 2011p.16).HCPM (high commitment performance management) practices achieve their goal of higher commitment provided the practices followed are perceived to be fair by the employees which in turn benefits the overall performance of the organisations (Dirk And Ferrin, 2001 cites in Farndale et al., 2011 p.16). HCWPs should therefore include performance management elements which allow employee engagement (Gardner et al., 2001 cites in Farndale et al., 2011 p.16) and prospects for development, but it also needs to be made on procedures and interactions that are considered fair by employees. Now, the author would like to add that since employees make most important aspect of any organisation, so definitely all the HRM practices put forward should be benefiting the employees rather than just profitability of the organisation. Having said that, HRM practices should also be pragmatic enough to avoid overdoing of any procedures or practices. The core Motivational idea related with HRM performance research is simple and intuitive. If the people enjoy the work they are given and they do the work with full of their abilities and work harder, they will be motivated to perform at a higher level when given the opportunity to do challenging and enjoyable work. Employees want challenge and personal growth (Walton, 1972.p.71 cites in White and Bryson, 2011.p.4). McDuffie (1995, p.201 cites in White and Bryson, 2011.p.4) argues that employees will only offer ‘discretionary effort’ if they believe, among other things, that ‘the company will make reciprocal investment in their well-being’. Furthermore, another author Appelbaum et al.(2000.p.46 cites in White and Bryson,2011.p.2) posits ‘Jobs that are challenging and make use of workers skills are intrinsically rewarding. As HRM is designed to provide jobs that are more satisfying and involving for employees it is natural to assume linear increments in motivation as with Appelbaum et al. (2000.p.46).But authors like Becker and Huselid (2006) and McDuffie (1995) put forward views which are contradictory and they said at after certain level of threshold point the motivation of employees follows a non-linear effects. A contrary view adopted by Marxian labour process theorists is that HRM implies labour escalation and that can have negative incremental effects (eg.Ramsay et al.2000 cites in White and Bryson, 2011.p.3).Finally there is the non-linear model of Godard (2001) where HRM initially has positive effects but at later stages turns negative at high levels of implementation due to work strain. Here author argues that although HRM practices are very much necessary for any organisation and in order to reap profitable results it should strongly signal employees. HRM practices should not be confined to only on specific opportunities for employee participation and personal development but also whether the HRM practices helps in total transformative development that conjures employee identification.


As we saw in research done by Kovach, Charles and Marshall, Simon and Enz that there are many factors which affect employee motivation and satisfaction. These factors keep on changing depending upon the needs of the employees at different time. As Maslow in his famous theory said that the human needs are divided into five basic needs. Then Herzberg came up with dual factor theory stating that man has two sets of needs one of an animal to avoid pain and another of a human to grow psychologically. During all these after much empirical research it has been found that there are many factors which affect employee motivation. In order to measure job satisfaction and motivation of an employee, it’s very important to measure different facets of the job which is generating employee motivation. Now, Facets of job satisfaction can involve any aspect of the job such as pay, colleagues, supervisors, organisational factors and work conditions (Coomber and Barriball, 2007 cites in Akman et al., 2011 p.677). Pearson (1991 cites in Akman et al., suggests that the employees wait for their job to provide a combination of features (e.g. pay, promotion and autonomy) for which the employee has certain favourable values. Furthermore, while discussing the factors Luthans (1992 cites in Akman, 2011.p.677) posits five factors which affects the employee motivation. These factors are pay, job characteristics, working conditions, management politics and working colleagues. While pay was considered as external factor by Luthans (1992) other factors like job characteristics have been defined as internal factors (Rose, 2003 cites in Akman, 2011.p.677). Mcafee et al., (1995 cites in Akman 2011.p.677) investigated effects of discretion, result feedback and process feedback on employee job motivation. It was found that only discretion and result outcome doesn’t affect employee job motivation but it is very necessary to give them process outcome also. Drummond and Stoddard (1991 cites in Akman 2011.p.678) add to the discussion that employee satisfaction contains an evaluation of various features of the job. These characteristics are working conditions, pay, and

relationships with colleagues and supervisor, organisational policies and nature of the work itself. When talking about characteristics of job like working hours, It has been proven in the research that employees who get flexible working hours are more happier and content and they give back more to the organisation. Berg et al., and Dockery (2004,2005 respectively cites in Atkinson and Hall,2011.p.101) posits that flexible working hours helps to promote active states such as being pleased and cheerful because they feel that they are treated well. It also helps to generate passive state which reflects in feelings like contentment and calm, since there is reduction of work-life stress and this all was possible because of flexible hours provided to the employees. Furthermore author adds to the discussion that if the employees are happy, it shows in the overall productivity of an organisation. Basically it is a two way effect if the employee feels that they are taken care of by the organisation, employees tend to reciprocate this gesture by generating revenue or profit. Management has to create trust among the employees which is another factor that is important for employee motivation. Various people investigated about employee motivation and job satisfaction and among one of them were Kazemzadeh and Bashiri (2005 cited in Akman et al., 2011.p.678) who identified ten main groups which are as follows:

Management and personnel relationship.

Relation between employees.

Employees job satisfaction.


Wage and salary.

Other welfare facilities.

Employee’s commitment.

Job promotion.


Organisation’s systems and processes.

Another author named Bodur (2002 cites in Akman et al., 2011.p.678) suggested that work content, age, gender, educational level, working conditions, location (rural or urban), co-workers, salary and working hours are some of the factors related to job motivation and satisfaction.Kuo et al.,(2010) cites in Akman et al., (2011,p.678) that both job characteristics and employee empowerment are important factor in order to maintain high employee commitment and loyalty towards the organisation. Taking the research even further Jun et al., (2006) investigated direct and indirect relationships among top management commitment, HR-focused TQM practices, and employee satisfaction and employee loyalty. They found a strong relationship between TQM practices and job satisfaction loyalty. Author would like to add further that factors affecting employee motivation can differ from employee to employee depending upon their needs and desires. For e.g. one employee is looking for monetary gains then money will be motivating factor for him and if another employee who is looking for career advancement then promotion and rewards, recognition will be motivating factor for him.

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Loyalty is an emotional state it signifies the relationship of an employee with the organisation for which they work and that has implications for their decision to remain with the organisation (Allen and Grisaffe, 2001 cites in Akman et al., 2011.p.682).According to another definition loyalty means as attachment to the organisation specially when one is having strong believes in organisational goals and values and has a strong desire to maintain membership of the organisation. Furthermore Becker et al., (1995) defined loyalty in Akman et al., (2011.p.682) as a strong desire to be a part of the organisation and put high levels of effort for the sake of an organisation and definite belief in the goals and values of the organisation. Thus, loyalty is strong belief in goals and values and a desire to be a part of the organisation.

Chen (2006) cites in Akman et al., 2011.p.682) that while job motivation represents an effective response to specific features of the job with proper attitude, employee loyalty is in effective response to the whole organisation. Furthermore, empirical evidence suggests that employee motivation and satisfaction are precursor to organisational loyalty of employees. This suggests that organisational loyalty of employees develop from job satisfaction and motivation and which nullifies the effects of staff turnover.

Also, author will like to add to the discussion that loyal employees help in organisations growth as they believe in goals and values of the organisation. This also reduces the staff turnover issue leading to high profitability by saving money on recruitment and training of staff.


For any organisation its employees are the major assets to look for. Employees are the people who help the organisation grow in terms of profitability and revenue. In order to keep the employees motivated HR has a major part to play. One of the first empirical studies carried out to show the linkage between Employee motivation by HR and organisational performance was done by Arthur (1994). Arthur in his study posits that the explicit sets of HR policies, practices and systems that were designed to enhance the employee commitment (e.g. empowerment, due process, high wages and benefits, etc.) was linked to three proficiency measures of firm performance (i.e. productivity, labour efficiency and staff turnover).A similar study was carried out by Huselid (1995) a year later which showed a similar sets of 13 of HR practices known as “high performance work system”, was related to both efficiency (i.e. employee turnover) and financial measures (i.e. sales, profit, and market value) of firm performance. There were many studies which were carried out after that which highlighted the important relationship between employee motivation by HR and firms performance. Furthermore author adds to the discussion that although initially efforts broadened the understanding of about this important relationship, a number of scholars challenged the authenticity of the research. One of the most commonly voiced concerns was that most of the research till date used cross sectional research design (Gerhart et al., 2000 cites in Tracey, 2012. p.910). But research has proved that the relationship between employee motivation and firm’s performance can’t be denied. As one the studies carried out by White and Bryson (2011) posits that if the employees believe in the HR policies and practices they feel motivated and it reflects in their work which leads to higher productivity.


There are several motivational theories which are used in hospitality sector to improve the employee motivation. Author has briefly evaluated few of them in the below tree diagram.

(Created by author adapted from Vellnagel 2012)

Furthermore, the difference between the content theory and the process theory is that content theories focuses on factors which leads the individual feel motivated within inside whereas process theories concentrates on the dynamics of motivation and how it takes place.

Content theory consists of:

Maslow’s needs of hierarchy theory.

Hertzberg’s two factor theory.

Achievement motivation theory.

ERG theory.

Process theory consists of:

Vroom’s Expectancy theory.

Goal setting theory.

Adam’s Equity theory.

Porter’s Performance Satisfaction Model.

As the concept of motivation is very broad and since it would go beyond his scope of work author has liked to discuss and analyse only selected theories of motivation in the research.


The content theories supposed that all the individuals have same sets of needs (Fincham, Rhodes: 2005 cited in Vellnagel 2012).They gave importance to the reasons for motivated behaviour (Tosi, Mero, Rizzo: 2000, p.129) of individuals. The most famous of all the content theories are Maslow’s hierarchy of needs(1943),Hertzberg two factor theory(1959),the job characteristics approach(Hackman,Oldham:1980) and McClelland’s achievement power theory(1961).

1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory

The most simple and well known motivational theory was put forth by Humanistically oriented psychologist Abraham Maslow (Arnold et al, 2005.cited in Vellnagel 2012).In 1943 Maslow put proposed a theory of humans function namely according to the “sequential hierarchical order of the development of five basic needs” (Latham, 2007. cited in Vellnagel 2012).According to Maslow if any of these needs are fulfilled then the individual goes on to fulfil the other needs. If the all the needs are satisfied then the level of motivation goes down.

2. Hertzberg’s two factor theory

In 1959, Hertzberg proposed a theory on his findings that the man has two set of needs, one of an animal to avoid pain and the other of a human to grow psychologically. These findings led him to put forth a dual theory of motivation which is being used for management training and work motivation program worldwide. This theory critically analyses the factors which makes the employee feel happy at work and leads to job motivation and these factors were called motivators for obvious reason. These motivators are intrinsic factors which are directly affecting the inner feelings and self-esteem of the employees (e.g. Career advancement, achievement, work itself, responsibility, job growth).On the other hand factors which lead to job dissatisfaction are extrinsic factors and are related to external working conditions, relationship with colleagues and supervisors, wages, personal life and these are called hygiene factors.

(House, R.Wigdor, L.2006)


The process theory aims at the identification of relationships among dynamic variables which make up motivation (Mullins, 2001.p.237).They look at mental processes which cause the motivation in an individual. The process theory is all about how behaviour is being created. There are various classical process theory like Adam’s Equity theory (1963), Expectancy theory by Vroom (1964), Latham’s and Locke’s goal setting theory (1984).

1. Adam’s equity theory

An American behavioural psychologist named John Stacey Adams, proposed the Equity Theory in 1963 which is possibly the most readily understandable psychological process(Riley,2000.p.26 cited in Vellnagel,2012).Equity theory aims at an individual feelings of how fairly he has been treated in comparison to others. According to this theory people develop a belief of what is fair reward for one’s job contribution that is an exchange. Most exchanges involve a number of inputs and outcomes. People compare the exchanges with their employer to exchanges with other insiders and outsiders. If an employee then believes that he is unfairly treated then he will seek justice.

2. Vroom expectancy theory

A sophisticated theory of motivation was put forth by Victor Vroom in 1964 and it focuses on the concept of ‘expectancy’ (Van der Wagen, Davies.1998, p.31 cited in Vellnagel.2012).Instead of aiming on the factors of work which maintain and energize behaviour (Latham, 2007.p.44 cited in Vellnagel, 2012).The theory was inspired on thoughts that a individuals activity leads to a certain behaviour and then this behaviour leads to a certain result.

Vroom’s theory consist of three variables which are expectancy(E),instrumentality(I) and valence(V) due to which it is also called as the valence-instrumentality-expectancy theory. Both expectancy and instrumentality are possibilities or probabilities. It is about what the individual’s estimates to be the likelihood of good performance leading to valued rewards, and of effort leading to good performance. The product of the three variables equals the force (F) of an individual’s motivation to perform.

Therefore F=E*I*V


In order to find the research study satisfactory an overall practical approach of all the four motivational theories should be considered.

Maslow’s theory was one of the basic motivational theories but it was also one of the most criticised theories. The reason was because it was vague and didn’t predict behaviour; also it was based upon the socio-philosophical approach reflecting only middle class of white Americans from mid twentieth century (Buchanan,H,2010.p.269).It should also be noted that even though Maslow’s theory was criticised but this theory has huge influence on today’s management practice. The two factors theory put forth by Hertzberg was another motivational theory which was not spared from criticism. It’s believed that there might be a gap between what people think motivates them and what actually motivates them. People could relate their success to their personal efforts and blame people or the organization for the failure. However, the two factors theory describes the employee’s needs and also the rise in motivational level after the redesigned job (Fincham, R.2005.p.200). The two process theory are good but not good enough. The best Adam’s equity theory is best when comparing salaries. As it is well known fact that money can be measured but education. Knowledge, training and effort are not measurable. Same can be said about the Vroom’s theory of expectancy, after a critical analysis it’s been found that Vroom theory is a nice mathematical approach but when it comes to identifying and quantifying the expectancy of a certain motivation to a task, it is becomes very complicated and also the practical approach is very low (Fincham,R.2005.p.209 et seq.)


3.1 Introduction

This part of the research concentrates on the methods that need to be adopted in order to conduct the research. Research can be defined as the systematic approach of seeking solutions towards a problem. Research comprises of investigation, recording and analysis of evidence for the sole purpose of gaining knowledge. Every research has this issue of choosing the most appropriate method so that the objectives


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