Application of motivation theories in Oracle Direct in Prague. ABSTRACT Motivation is one of the most important factors affecting human behavior and performance. This is the reason why managers attach great importance to motivation in organizational setting. Rensis Likert, has called motivation as “the core of management”. Effective directing of people leads the organization to effectiveness, both at organizational and individual levels. This paper focuses on motivation theories which originate from Maslow thought and applies them to Oracle Direct organization.
The Oracle Direct case study, brought from personal experience, says how people working in this organization can be motivated and encouraged to work more efficient. The theories are applied in Oracle Direct objectives to motivate their employees worldwide. Motivation is the set of forces that leads people to behave in certain ways. It refers to energy and commitment with which an individual or group performs a task or role. It is one of key management elements. Managers attempt to motivate people to behave in ways that are in the organization’s best interest.
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More contemporary thought on motivation has a source in need-based perspectives. Martin ; Fellenz (2010, p. 156) note that need theories address the question of what motivates human behavior in organizations. They emphasize particular aspects of an individual’s need or the goals that they seek to achieve as the basis for motivated behavior. Among major need theories are distinguished Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the Alderfer’s ERG theory and Herzberg’s two-factor theory. In the 1940s psychologist Abraham Maslow developed his theory.
He assumed that people have an innate desire to satisfy their needs. He developed a model of needs to explain purposive behavior (Maslow, 1943, 1987) and arranged them in hierarchy of importance, with basic needs at the bottom of hierarchy. Formed in pyramid, the model consists of five basic categories of needs ranging from physiological or survival to career fulfillment needs. The three bottom sets of needs are termed deficiency needs, because they must to be satisfied for the person to be fundamentally comfortable and to be able to move forward to satisfy higher level needs.
The top two sets of needs are called growth needs because they concentrate on personal growth and development. The physiological needs are the most basic in the hierarchy. They include wide range of needs required to stay alive and function normally like need for food, accommodation, air to breathe. Consecutive are safety needs that provide security for individuals and their families, in organizational context they include the need for job security. The third in hierarchy, social needs focus on social support necessary to life.
Examples would include need for friendship, love, and acceptance by peers and from organizational point of view the need to work as part of team. The fourth level, esteems needs, encompasses concepts of achievement, adequacy, recognition and reputation. In the company it includes the formal recognition by management as well as informal social recognition from peers and others. At the top of hierarchy are self-actualization needs. They are related to the opportunity of the individual to realize their full potential and become what she or he can be.
While scientific support fails to reinforce Maslow’s hierarchy, his theory is very popular, being the introductory motivation theory for many practitioners. To handle issues present in the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Clayton Alderfer devised the ERG theory in 1972. He presented a simplified model consisted of three level hierarchy of needs that imposes more accurately with scientific research. The three needs stands for existence, relatedness and growth needs. All of them are comparable to Maslow’s needs. Alderfer’s ERG theory demonstrates that more than one need may motivate at the same time.
A lower motivator need not be substantially satisfied before one can move onto higher motivators. The ERG theory also accounts for differences in need preferences between cultures better than Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; the order of needs can be different for different people. This flexibility reasons many observed behaviors. The ERG theory acknowledges that if a higher-order need is frustrated, an individual may regress to increase the satisfaction of a lower-order need which appears easier to satisfy: frustration-regression principle.
In contrast to Maslow’s theory, managers have to understand that individual operates with the need to satisfy several motivators simultaneously. Based upon the ERG theory, leadership which focuses exclusively on one need at a time will not motivate employees effectively. Furthermore, the frustration-regression principle has further impact on motivation in the workplace. As an example, if employees are not provided opportunities to grow, an employee might regress to fulfilling relatedness needs, socializing with co-workers more.
Or, the inability of the environment or situation to satisfy a need for social interaction might increase the desire for more money or better working conditions. If manager recognizes these conditions soon enough in the process, they can take steps to satisfy those needs which are frustrated until such time that the worker can again pursue growth. Another need-based theory of motivation, dual-structure theory (originally called the two-factor theory), was formulated by Frederick Herzberg. He published his findings in 1959 in “The Motivation to Work”.
The dual-structure theory is based upon the belief that motivation can be splitted into hygiene factors and motivation factors. Herzberg concluded that there were two types of motivation: * Hygiene Factors which can cause lack of motivation when are not present. They affect the level of dissatisfaction, but are rarely quoted as creators of job satisfaction. These include: level and quality of supervision, interpersonal relations, physical working conditions, salary, job security, company policies and administrative procedures. Motivation Factors, such as sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility, nature of work itself, growth, advancement; which will motivate when present. Job dissatisfaction isn’t usually blamed on Motivation Factors, but they are cited as the cause of job satisfaction. These two separate ‘needs’ are the need to avoid unpleasantness and discomfort and, at the other end of the motivational scale, the need for personal development. A shortage of the factors that positively encourage employees (the motivating factors) will cause employees to focus on other, non-job related ‘hygiene’ factors.
According to Kozlowski (2011, p. 44) the model assumes a simple approach to the problem of needs and their satisfying by employees by bringing everyone to the same pattern of needs, which means that all employees strive to meet the higher needs what cannot be always true. The model assumes too large simplification of the organizational reality and personality of individual employee. There is the main discrepancy regarding the interpretation of the employees’ salaries, whether it is a hygiene factor or motivator connected to recognition for the performed job.
In their book, Martin and Fellenz (2010, p. 165) emphasis that need theories of motivation can be highly useful by providing frameworks for understanding humans, but not necessarily for providing predictive tools for specific behaviors. In other words, they help to explain human behavior after the fact, but rarely allow for detailed predictions about specific human actions. Similarly, they are not usually very helpful as frameworks for developing managerial and organizational interventions aimed at influencing work motivation.
However they can serve managers best as element of more complex attempts to understand, predict and ultimately influence motivation at work. Process-based perspectives are concerned with how motivation occurs; they change the focus from needs to the goals and processes by which workers are motivated. They emphasis why people choose certain behavior to satisfy their needs and how they evaluate their satisfaction the goal is attained. The major process perspectives on motivation are the equity, expectancy, and goal-setting theories.
The foundation of the equity theory developed by J. S. Adams in 1963 is a thesis that employees seek to maintain equity between the inputs that they bring to a job and the outcomes that they receive from it against the perceived inputs and outcomes of others (Adams, 1965). People have a strong desire about the relative fairness of treatment that they receive at work. When people believe that they have been treated unfairly in comparison to others, they try to eliminate the discomfort and restore a perceived sense of equity to the situation. Fudge and Schlacter (1999, p. 96) define Expectancy Theory as a process theory of motivation, according to which motivation is a function of individuals’ perceptions of their environment and the expectations they form based on these perceptions. Expectancy theory was developed by Victor Vroom in 1964. The basic expectancy model identifies major components that play a significant role in motivation: effort (the result of motivated behavior), performance and outcomes. Expectancy theory also focuses on the linkages among these elements, which are described in terms of expectancies and valences.
The expectancy theory defines three factors which are effort-to-performance expectancy, performance-to-outcome expectancy or instrumentality, and valence. Effort-to-performance expectancy is based on the individual’s perception that effort is correlated to successful performance. This means that an individual believes he or she can improve performance simply by putting more effort into that performance. This individual is said to have a high expectancy theory rather than a low expectancy theory.
Performance-to-outcome expectancy is also called instrumentality. This deals with a person’s perception that the rewards he or she will receive are closely tied to his or her level of performance. An example of one who would probably have high instrumentality is a salesman who is paid solely on commission. Since the amount of reward is based on the outcome of performance, this individual should be motivated to perform at higher levels. Valance is the degree to which an individual values a particular outcome.
This indicates that the more one find attractive the reward received for specific effort, the more motivated one will be to perform the effort necessary to receive that reward. Therefore, if the reward has higher value to an individual, that reward will be more motivating to that individual. Expectancy Theory has become widely accepted in terms of validity. Goal Theory is concerned with the perception and pursuit of goals not only with immediate objectives but with larger concepts of what it means to succeed in school.
Management by Objective (MBO) is probably the most recognized motivation technique dealing with goal theory. MBO incorporates a five-phase process involving finding the objective, setting the objective, validating the objective, implementing the objective, and controlling and reporting the status of the objective. Areas of concern and potential flaws include the effects of environmental interference, goal conflicts, reward systems, and goal selection. Environmental interference addresses the practice of confining goal setting to managerial staff rather than allowing those involved in the daily processes to participate.
Goal conflict speaks to the concern that arises when the objectives of the organization, the personal goals, and the professional goals do not coincide with each other. Reward system refers to the degree to which the system of rewards can be manipulated to provide additional incentive to improve. Goal selection deals with the tendency to work only with goals that are not so complex as to prove difficult to quantify. Kowalski (1984) concludes by indicating that although MBO may appear simple, one should approach a decision to use the system cautiously.
Description of Oracle Direct case study Oracle was founded 1977 by Larry Ellison in Santa Claus, in California. Ellison took inspiration from IBM research work on relational software and created a successful business. Next to Microsoft and IBM, Oracle is ranked among the biggest players in IT world. During last over 30 years the corporation has grown and developed. Through significant acquisitions, Oracle has in the portfolio numerous software and hardware products. Nowadays the company employs about 110 000 people around the world, majority of them in EMEA.
A decade ago the company decided to set up a new organization named Oracle Direct (OD) with the main objective of sales and marketing support over the phone to help out the operational teams based in countries. The centers of Oracle Direct are based in five localizations in EMEA and serve to the whole region. Each of the organization agglomerate people from various countries. OD employee has an opportunity to work in multilingual, international environment where English is common used language.
Oracle Direct is structured into following departments: sales, business development group, support, marketing, profiling, and technical consultants. All of them share the same goal – to increase Oracle market share. The organization focus on both Enterprise and General Business accounts taking care of building good relationship with both customer and internally. Complexity of sales process influences workload which needs to be wisely and timely managed. Setting up priorities and increasing sales motivation belong to major challenges within OD organization.
Oracle Direct is evaluated based on tangible key performance indicators connected mainly to revenue. There are just few other factors of performance evaluation of Oracle Direct. Each of them is discussed in details with the management and the appropriate line of business of the employee. Maintaining high level of customer satisfaction is one of the priorities. Because people do not have direct contact with their internal as well as external customers, motivation became key issue. Theory in practice. Oracle needs highly motivated people therefore few motivation theories were addressed.
Company makes people aware of the benefits of high levels of performance, and the consequences of poor performance. Herzberg’s theory shows that managers need to attend to the motivation factors and personal development aspects to improve employee performance. They also need to ensure that hygiene factors are met and managed in order to avoid dissatisfaction in the workplace. This rewards people who achieve their targets. Oracle offers performance related pay. Apart from salary the company offers many non-financial benefits and incentives. Five weeks of holidays, vouchers for sport and food, additional pension plan.
Management of OD believes that the large number of present hygiene factors will build employee loyalty and prevent staff turnover. Oracle Direct developed a number of motivating factors based upon Herzberg motivators (sometimes called satisfiers). For example the organization recognizes employees coming up with the new innovative ideas, managers are expected to ensure people are aware of implications of goals achievement; also they need to encourage employees to identify personal development targets. Oracle Direct cares not only how to satisfy wants of employees but also how to motivate people to take the expected action.
The great usage of process theories in daily motivation practice can be observed. Oracle perceives its employees as the thinking and reasoning individuals who do not act impulsively. It treats them as important contributors to the success of the organization. There is a need for a complex model which values human dignity and enables people to develop. Therefore the expectancy theory is the most applied in Oracle Direct. First, Oracle Direct managers made a commitment to increasing expectancy levels so that employees are capable of performing the job successfully.
New employees have three weeks of Foundation training in Dublin where they are taught about Oracle technology, sales soft skills, as well as how to use Oracle tools important for the day to day job duties. Then they have an opportunity to further hone their communication skills by attending Sandler training path. After successfully conclusion of all required assignments the employee receives professional diploma of Dublin Institute of Technology recognized by many universities. Also plenty of trainings organized to deepen technological and sales knowledge.
All these trainings not only boost employees’ skills and capabilities but also their confidence and expectancy levels. Each newcomer is supported by mentor, who is experienced Oracle employee able to share their knowledge, skills, to encourage new person to get to know Oracle better and in shorter period of time. Oracle provides its staff with numerous resources to ensure smooth sales process. Each sales person has technical consultant in place, which speaks their language and actively supports by organizing online presentations, materials and helping to solve technical issues with clients.
There is also marketing team responsible for preparing telemarketing campaigns tailored customer target groups and sharing best practices. Direct managers are also involved by arranging coaching session with their subordinates in order to encourage their sales efforts, increase their self-confidence and identify potential problems. Second, the Oracle Direct management took steps to boost instrumentality by increasing the employees’ belief that good performance will result in desired outcomes.
Every employee has to accept the plan which is the same for all team members. It is reviewed on the quarterly basis. Well designed key performance indicators allow to measure employees job performance accurately. Every employee has their own compensation plan and knows that part of their salary depends on performance. Third, management ensures to increase the expected value of outcomes resulting from desired performance. Apart from the financial incentives Oracle looks after the fulfillment of recognition needs.
Traditionally quarterly event is organized to inform the team about results in comparison to expectations, strategy, and plans and to honor in public the best achievers for their achievements. Every year the excellence club initiative is announced. The best Oracle sales people from all over the world are invited by the company to celebrate their success in some special place in the world. Annually employees are encouraged to sign development plans valid for one year. It enables to identify both employee’s goals and expectations. Based on this knowledge is easier to individualize rewards.
Very often sales people are satisfied with other than financial rewards. The regular individual sessions manager – subordinate allow minimizing the presence of counter-valent outcomes. Oracle view is that the company’s objectives and employee’s objectives have a win-win relationship in daily basis task performing. Conclusion The initial intent of this essay was to develop an understanding of motivation and explain the different theories revolving around the concept of motivation. It was not until after a thorough review of the topic that I began to realize and appreciate the complexity and vastness of this topic.
It was then that I decided to attempt to develop a framework that would organize the many aspects of motivation into a concise piece that briefly explains each facet. An attempt was made to define and explain motivation and introduce the theories involved. These theories include how motivation theory was developed over the time, what historical perspectives have influenced it, Expectancy Theory, Goal Theory, For me, this became a “learning paper” and it is my hope that it can provide helpful insight into the complexity of motivation as well as a brief summary of each of the many areas of motivation.
This case study looks at how Oracle Direct motivate their employees by increasing their knowledge, skills and job satisfaction through training and development and providing relevant and timely reward and recognition. Oracle recognizes that employee motivation is important for the continued growth of the company. Motivating people helps to make them more committed to the workplace. Reference List / Bibliography Martin, J. and Fellenz, M. (2010) Organizational Behaviour & Management. 4th Edition. Cengage Learning EMEA Moorhead, G. nd Griffin, R. W. (2008) Managing Organizational Behavior. 10th Edition. South-Western Cengage Learning Kozlowski, W. (2011) Zarzadzanie motywacja pracownikow. 1st Edition. CeDeWu Sp. Z o. o. Aswathappa, K. , (2010) Organisational Behaviour. Publisher: Global Media , Location: Mumbai, IND , Available at: http://site. ebrary. com/lib/pcollege/docDetail. action? docID=10415272&p00=organizational+behaviour (Accessed: 11 December 2011) Miner, J. B. (02/2006) Organizational Behavior 1 : Essential Theories of Motivation and Leadership.
Publisher: M. E. Sharpe, Inc. Location: Armonk, NY, USA , Available at: http://site. ebrary. com/lib/pcollege/docDetail. action? docID=10178132&p00=Organizational+Behavior+1+%3A+Essential+Theories+of+Motivation+and+Leadership (Accessed: 12 December http://managementconsultingcourses. com/Lesson20Motivation&ItsTheories. pdf Fudge R. S. and Schlacter, (1999) Motivating Employees to Act Ethically: An Expectancy Theory Approach, Journal of Business Ethics 18 (3):295 – 304 19. 12. 2011 available at