Motivation Theories and Benefits
Milliken & Dunn-Jensen (2005) observed that the technological innovations introduced at the workplace have blurred the boundaries between the work and private life. As people becomes highly dependent on the Internet, mobile phones, fax machines and other gadgets, the “any time-any place” paradigm that hardly makes any separation between work and family, slowly encroaches into domains considered as private. The employee’s already limited time with his/her family is further reduced because work has intruded into the private lives of the employees.
The technological revolution did not reduce the workload as they first were envisioned to do. Instead, they only fueled the appetite of employers for more results. The 24/7, “on call” nature of work has added more pressures to the employees to perform better (Milliken & Dunn-Jensen 2005, p. 45). Whether it is due to greed or necessity, companies in their effort to get ahead of their competitors tried to squeeze in as much activities as they can into the time allocated for work productivity. Primeaux and Stieber (1994) defined profit maximization in two ways – technically and behaviourally.
Technically, profit maximization is a “set of conditions where the marginal revenue of the firm is equal to its marginal cost (MR – MC)3 and the marginal cost curve must intersect the marginal revenue curve from below” (p. 289). This simply means that as long as the firm’s output exceeds its input, it will continue to produce the products. On the behavioural aspect, profit maximization is defined as “the act of producing the right kind and the right amount of goods and services that the consumer wants at the lowest possible cost (within the legal and ethical mores of the community) (p. 290).
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“When businesses can properly appropriate and allocate its resources in order to produce positive products and outcomes, the profit maximization is considered good”. This would also mean that consumers of the products are able to avail of the goods at the right price and quality. When businesses do not profit maximize their resources, people have less than what they would want. This would be negative if the ‘wants’ include food, health care, and other necessities.
Applying the context of profit maximization to work-life balance, both the management and the employees need to maximize the allocations of their resources in order to attain positive outcomes. Without the proper allocation of time and human resources, the company cannot produce products that would meet the needs of the consumers. On the other hand, if the company can maximize its resources, including its human components, then the company is able to deliver the goods at a profit.
When the company does not recognize the needs of its employees, the employees would be less motivated to deliver thereby costing the company more. The company has failed to maximize its resources. The same goes with the employees. If they fail to maximize their resources (talents) to fulfill their duties in the company, this would translate to lesser earnings and incentives. Profit maximization is not all about the money earned. It is how a company is able to manage its resources equitably. Motivation has been defined as:
a) “the psychological process that gives behavior purpose and direction” (Kreitner, 1995); b) “a predisposition to behave in a purposeful manner to achieve specific, unmet needs” (Buford, Bedeian & Lindner, 1995); c) “an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need” (Higgins, 1994); and d) “the will to achieve” (Bedeian,1993) (qtd in Lindner 1998). Motivations could either be intrinsic or extrinsic. Extrinsically motivated behaviors are “actions that result in the attainment of externally administered rewards, including pay, material possessions, prestige, and positive evaluations from others.
” (qtd. in Bateman n. d. ) Intrinsic motivation on the other hand occurs when human behaviour is a consequence of voluntary action where a specific task is performed rather than to gain some “material or social reinforcers. The concept of intrinsic motivation was an important challenge to behaviorism, and has roots in “White’s (1959) competence or effectance motivation. Maslow (1943) and Alderfer (1969) addressed similar needs. ” (qtd. In Bateman n. d. )