Essay title: Is it true that extrinsic motivation is the key to improving employee performance? Explain your answer using theory and examples. In order to answer that question, it’s important to analyse what is meant by “extrinsic motivation”. Motivation can be divided into two types: intrinsic (internal) and extrinsic (external) motivations. The main difference is that extrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from outside an individual and is rewarded by grades or money, where in intrinsic motivation individual himself/herself is inspired to do and complete certain task/work, rather than relying on a desire for a reward.
Extrinsic motivation is relying on a certain reward, which in business world is mostly money. Furthermore the individual is not enjoying the task, or the way of reaching this reward. Competition is in an extrinsic motivator because it encourages the performer to win and to beat others, not simply to enjoy the intrinsic reward of the activity. Based on this knowledge about the extrinsic motivation, it can be partially linked with similar sort of ideas from the motivation theories published earlier in 20th century and our modern application motivation theories of the begging of the 21st century.
In his essay I will show the similarities between extrinsic motivation and motivation theories like “Scientific Management” and “Theory X and Theory V. The essay will include what role does extrinsic motivation play in our current time and answer the main question of whether it is the key to improving employee performance. In the early 20th was published a motivation theory called “Scientific Management” or “Taylorism” by Frederick Winslow Taylor.
It than became very popular and was commonly used in the business to manage their employees and was based on ‘better pay would compensate for the imposition of narrowly drawn and repetitive asks’ (Knights, 2012, pg. 309). The message here is that workers must have simple, same, boring tasks; they have to be rewarded with money, in order to stay motivated. That is very similar with the idea of extrinsic motivation, where ‘reward’ is main motivation factor, and individuals are not getting satisfied from doing their Job, possibly even hating what they are doing.
In business companies so called ‘reward’ is money thus based on extrinsic motivation, the only reason employees are completing their task is to get this money by end, and using “Taylorism” theory, as long as mployees are well paid, they will stay motivated at their workplace. Taylor’s assumption about work and industrial workers’ purely economic interest in wages is universally correct or merely a ‘self-fulfilling prophecy in the sense that money is likely to become the major concern of workers are denied any alternative set of meanings at work (Knights, 2012, pg. 309).
Basically Taylor believed that money is the key figure and that it also is the main motivator. This can be disagreed by many in our time, as this classic motivation and modern motivations are more based on the heory of Y workers. However extrinsic motivation is similar in this context with motivation is not about the employees only doing simple tasks, which have to be supervised, as in the Taylor’s theory. Scientific management is about business where there is an autocratic leader, and his workers doing simple, repetitive tasks with money as a reward by the end of the day.
It’s far bigger than extrinsic management, although they have same key motivation points. Extrinsic motivation individuals are mostly interested in the reward, that’s why they complete their task, however it oesn’t obligate them to do simple tasks or to be monitored in order to complete their Job. In extrinsic motivation individuals don’t have to be working under autocratic leadership. Furthermore they can complete important task that require good activity thus be important and smart however don’t actually enjoy accomplishing the Job.
During 20th another motivation theory was published so called “Theory X and Theory V, developed by Douglas McGregor in his book “The Human Side of Enterprise”. This theory splits workers into two categories of ‘X’ and Y employees, where the ‘X’ types mployees are very lazy, have to be coerced into productive activity, have negative attitude and are supervised, and on the other hand Y type of employees which are highly self-motivated, like responsibility, give intrinsic support to enable learning. X’ employees are mostly motivated by money and Y workers are mostly motivated by responsibility. In his book he said that ‘successful management depends-not alone, but significantly-upon the ability to predict and control human behavior’ (McGregor, 1960, pg. 4). Douglas was trying to say that it’s firstly important to identify which ategory does the worker goes to, and than how to treat/manage them depending on their type.
I think that intrinsic and extrinsic motivations fit very well with the Douglas X and Y theory, as X type of workers have similar motivations with the extrinsic motivation, where theory Y employees have similar motivation factors with the intrinsic motivation. ‘The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if he can’ (McGregor, 1960, pg. 33) stated Douglas, which is similar with the extrinsic management idea, where individual is not concerned about the work, as his only interest lies in the reward.
Here the employee will try to do as little work as possible, Just to make sure that its complete, extra work is out of his range of importance. Those are the kind of workers, that Douglas classify as X type of worker, and based on his theory, they have to be supervised and directed, as well as their work has to be split into simple tasks, in order to increase their productivity and efficiency. However extrinsic management doesn’t oblige manager to supervise the individual, in order for the employee to complete his task.
Although workers that are extrinsic motivated are not motivated or enjoying completing given Job. Despite that main motivation for the theory X workers is money, which is also the main motivator in extrinsic motivation. Therefore while theory X have some similarities; it also is different from the extrinsic motivation. They share the same sort of idea, that employees are not interested or enjoying their work thus all extra movements to improve their task or to put themselves in this field and develop new skills or knowledge is abandoned.
Also they are believed be mainly motivated by reward (money). However it’s not exactly what extrinsic motivation is about, as individual has o be competitive thus his finished task/Job might be on the same sort of “quality’ that individual in the case of extrinsic motivation, complete his task at a high level and has spent a lot of time on his activity to do this task, possibly reading extra information, to make sure that he/she has best possible reward.
The impact upon the task is different from the McGregor’s theory X worker, where employee will try to do as little as possible, however both employees in theory X and extrinsic motivation have same “reward” motivator. ‘The average human being does not inherently dislike work. Depending upon controllable conditions, work may be a source of satisfactory (McGregor, 1960, pg. 47) stated Douglas on the pages of his book about Y theory workers.
He wanted to convey that in some cases employees are enjoying their task thus obtain Joy from the process of achieving certain task, and he categories those workers into Y type. This is very similar with intrinsic motivation, where individuals enjoy the process of reaching the goal, and reward is not main motivation factor. Intrinsic motivation encourages individuals to owe control over their task thus not to be supervised in the way they do it. Now that’s the other similar factor that theory Y employee have, and it encourages workers to do tasks by themselves, possible in their own way.
Those employees are interested in mastering their knowledge in this area. However even though intrinsic management and theory Y workers have similarities they are diverse in core. Theory Y is based on motivation of certain group of individuals which are classified into one type and treated the same under those conditions which are stated in the theory, whereas intrinsic motivation is a function of the Y theory and obliges classification to that particular group.