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An Overview Of the Work Done By Maslow, Herzberg and McGregor Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 28th, 2019

Introduction

In operations management (OM), Herzberg, McGregor and Maslow works provide insight on harnessing effectiveness and efficiency in business operations. This implies using few resources to accomplish business operations such as controlling, overseeing and redesigning the production process (Stevenson, 2009). Evidently, their works focus on employee motivation, a core component in harnessing efficiency and effectiveness in business operations.

Maslow’s Work

In 1954, Maslow came up with a hierarchy of needs, basic needs, which include safety, esteem, love and physiological needs, and growth needs such as self-actualization, aesthetics and cognitive to culminate his researches on human motivation. Workers who lack basic needs tend to focus on making ends meet. On the other hand, workers whose basic needs are already satisfied concentrate on meeting growth needs.

These are needs oriented towards working hard towards career goals, organizational goals and attaining focus. In this regard, operations managers can optimize Maslow’s theory by providing incentives that help workers meet basic needs and helping workers obtain knowledge and skills that make them realize their growth needs.

For example, a manager can come up with attractive remuneration packages to help workers meet basic needs and career counseling services to help them realize their growth needs. This will help workers harness their skills and attain focus thus increasing effectiveness and efficiency in business operations (Chary, 2009).

Herzberg’s Work

Herzberg’s 1996 work is summarized in Hygiene and motivational factors theory that focus on nurturing a suitable working environment. The Hygiene factors as stated by Herzberg aim at mitigating workplace unpleasantness. They include working conditions, supervision quality, administrative practices and policy, salaries, wages and other financial related compensation, and job security among others. If employees consider them inadequate, work dissatisfaction becomes eminent.

Motivational factors aim at harnessing personal growth, job satisfaction at the workplace and include aspects such as job challenge. To nurture a suitable working environment, the presence of hygiene factors must be guaranteed at the workplace before motivational factors can be introduced to stimulate workers. In OM, managers can focus on job enrichment to maximize on this theory. They can do this by redesigning work to create hygiene and motivational factors.

For example, they can increase job tasks to make work challenging and allow them to have control over the tasks to harness personal growth. This will make workers work hard and attentively thus harnessing effectiveness and efficiency in operations management (Tulsian, 2002).

McGregor’s Work

McGregor’s work culminates to the 1957 theories, X and Y that focus on perceptions on organizational life and work. Theory X posits that people intrinsically dislike working. Hence, managers must direct or control them to achieve workplace objectives. In Theory X-driven organizations, people prefer commands, avoid responsibility and have no ambition. Hence, Theory X-driven organizations focus on controlling and forcing employees to connect effectiveness and efficiency.

Theory Y posits that just as rest and play, work is natural. Hence, people self-direct their selves towards achieving organizational objectives, and seek and accept responsibility. Hence, theory-Y-driven organizations focus on developing and releasing employees’ potential towards common operation management goals.

Using force does not create a motivating environment as it makes employees aggressive or resistant; tapping on intrinsic motivation, passion does (Byrnes, 2008).In this case, operations managers can maximize on theory Y only to instill motivation. Managers can do this by providing incentives needed to explore ones creativity to harness efficiency and effectiveness in business operations.

Analysis

All works exhibit major shortcoming in reference to harnessing efficiency and effectiveness in business operations. Different individuals have different motivational factors. This implies that when one employee may be motivated by pay, another is motivated by career growth.

This will require managers to understand the motivational need of each employee. Addressing each employee needs may result to inconsistency or inequality at the workplace in terms of benefits/motivational incentives offered to employees thus de-motivating the employees.

In reference to theory X, McGregor’s motivation mechanism is ineffective as it culminates to aggression at the workplace. Herzberg’s theory identifies specific job satisfaction factors, which in today’s workplace cannot address the motivational needs of all workers. Evidently, pay could motivate some employees but not all.

However, unlike other works, Herberg’s work identifies general factors that motivate and de-motivate employees, as well. Hence, Herzberg approach is best suitable to mitigating and addressing issues that employees face. Putting into consideration that operations managers deal with massive number of employees from different departments, Herzberg’s approach would best collectively solve employee motivational issues thus harnessing effectiveness and effectiveness at the workplace (Pardee, 1990).

Conclusion

Herzberg, McGregor and Maslow works provide insight in operations management. This is in reference to how operations managers can harness efficacy and efficiency in business operations by focusing on human capital, different motivational mechanisms. For instance, operations managers can assess employees’ level of needs and provide resources that satisfy unsatisfied needs in the Maslow hierarchy.

References

Byrnes, W. J. (2008). Management and the arts. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Chary. (2009). Production and operations management. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill Education.

Pardee, R. L. (1990). Motivation theories of Maslow, Herzberg, McGregor & McClelland. A literature review of selected theories dealing with job satisfaction and motivation. Web.

Stevenson, W. J. (2009). Operations management. London: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Tulsian. (2002). Business organization and management. New Delhi: Pearson Education India.

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