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Employee Motivation: Fred Maiorino’s Case Essay

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Updated: Jul 18th, 2020


The case of Fred Maiorino as presented is mainly an issue of poor employee motivation and an inappropriate management style. Fred had once been the top sale person for his company but through a series of events, he found himself without an income or a job. Fred had joined Schering-Plough in 1956. He made his way to the top by completing a variety of successful assignments mainly in western New Jersey. In 1984, Fred was assigned a new area in South Jersey responsible for promoting the company’s asthmatic products.

Fred succeeded in this area also. A medical profession noted that unlike other salesmen, Fred was able to quite effective in his job “he could enter an office and conclude his business in minutes while other sales rep would be sitting in the waiting room for hours on end” (Buller & Schuler, 2003, p. 237). Despite the dynamic nature of the drug industry’s environment, Fred was not only effective but very successful. In 1987, Fred was the best sales representative in his district and was quite successful until he was assigned James Reed as his manager some months later.

Reed instituted various management tools that were meant to improve the overall effectiveness of the sales representative. He implemented a new performance rating system and a coaching system that was meant to motivate the employees. This management changes, however, hurt Fred’s ability to produce results.

Major Issues

The major issue, in this case, is Fred’s lack of motivation which was as a result of several issues that include: Reid’s poor coaching attempts, inappropriate techniques of motivation older workers, the impacts of instituting a performance evaluation system, resistance to change, negative response to pressure, the issue of equity and procedural justice and finally the violation of the psychological contract.

Poor Performance Appraisal System and incentives

After Reed was made the general sales manager in Fred District, his first order of business was to institute a new performance appraisal system quota system previously used. This new system used two different measures to evaluate the employees’ performance. The first measure was quantitatively objective while the second utilized critical incidents of the sales representative actions as behavioral benchmarks (Buller & Schuler, 2003, p. 241).

The company’s rationale for using the behavior anchored rating system was that it was more accurate in evaluating the employee’s performance. It was argued that the bottom line approach of using only the sales results did not take full consideration of other factors important to performance. The BARS system was meant to provide feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the employees.

Under the new system, Fred performance on job competency was high but on the behavioral component, he received a lower rating of good. During the application of this new performance rating system, Fred appeared to be performing very poorly. Under reeds new system, performance goals were set based on historical records.

One main problem of the BARS system is that the system is more activity-oriented rather than result-oriented. A sales representative following all the required activities in sales may be ranked higher than the one who shows results. In Fred’s case, he was a top sale person with one of the highest turnover in his district. Under the new system, he was ranked among the lowest in his district.

Fred used connections that were developed over time. He had knowledge of his company’s drugs and knowledge about the weaknesses of the competitor’s products. He did not use visual aids and presentations as the company required. This plus other small company requirements made him fail in the new rating system. We can thus see that the new system was not fully objective as it failed to consider other behavioral factors that made Fred competent in his work.

The development of a new appraisal system must follow a given sequence of steps to be effective. In the case of the BARS system, the steps involve; choosing the critical factors, conversion of critical incidents into performance dimensions, retranslation of the behavioral examples into physical dimensions by experts in the job, use of experts to rate the behaviors and finally developing the final rating document. Reed in his quest to introduce a new system did not follow these regulations.

While the critical factors chosen were good, Reed did not involve the employees in the process of developing the document. The Fred had no idea how he was being rated and what exactly was expected from him. According to Roberts (2003), an effective appraisal system should involve the employees in every step of the. He argues that employees have intimate knowledge of appropriate performance measures that the rater may not have. Reed took upon himself to develop the document and impose it on the employees. Reed also did not offer feedbacks to Fred instead he took the results to his bosses who did not bother talking with Fred but gave him an ultimatum.

Employee involvement and feedback is very important in the appraisal system. The lack of these two factors may cause the employees to view the appraisal system negatively and thus reject it as an unwelcome intrusion (Locke & Latham, 1984). When Reed tries to offer Fred advice about his analysis of his performance, Fred politely declines his suggestions and assures him he has always done well before.

Reed’s Poor Coaching Attempts

Coaching is one way of employee motivation that has been proven to be effective and produce results. Due to the dynamic nature of many businesses, coaching is very important as a form of employee development and training. Reed’s attempts to coaching Fred did not yield any results. Reed at one time laments that despite all he has done to improve Fred’s performance he was hurt to see that Fred was not making any effort (Buller & Schuler, 2003, p.244). Several factors may have led to the bad reception of Reed’s coaching methods.

According to Lindborn (2007), to get the required results, coaching should be linked with the core competencies of the organization. The core competencies are a set of principles meant to guide decisions and shape behavior past just the bottom line center of attention (Lindborn, 2007). Fred’s only focus was that he applies his best to sell as many products as possible. It can be seen that Fred was very good in the sales of some product but he was very weak in the promotion of other products such as Proventil in which he was among the last in the country. Reed was however not concerned with the number of products moved but on what products and how they were moved.

Reed coaching style involved giving Fred medical journals to improve his understanding of his products, written encouragements and increasing the number of runs they made together. One of the first errors Reeds made was that he did not discuss with Fred about the process and no specific targets were set. Gabris & Simo (1995) note that during the initial application of a coaching regime, it is important that the manager and employee discuss the main areas of weaknesses to be covered and agreement on the coaching regime be made between the two.

Reed’s boss at one time commented that according to him it was not clear as to what precise goals had to be achieved and the time frame with which these goals were to be achieved was also vague (Buller & Schuler, 2003, pg 244). Lindbon (2007) observes that for a company to institute an effective coaching program, it should lay down specific standards for how the process should be conducted. The program should also include the precise behaviors and expected results from the process. Reed’s coaching method did not do anything to improve Fred’s abilities rather they involved a ride-along that was mainly meant to evaluate how Fred carries out his job. Coaching involves a transfer of skills from one member to another. Reed was mainly in the office and had very little field experience. Reed was therefore not qualified as a coach as he could not offer Fred any new skills.

Another important aspect of coaching lies with the provision of regular feedback during the process (Stone, Russell & Patterson, 2004). During the period Fred was having difficulties, he got very little feedback on his progress and reed made no efforts at discussing with him areas in which he showed weaknesses. When Reed observed that Fred had not targeted the big prescribers “sharks”, he reprimanded Fred through a memo instead of explaining to him face to face why it was necessary to target all the sharks in the area.

Coaching is a one-on-one activity whereby a coach tries to identify the main areas of weakness of an employee and take the appropriate actions to direct the employee on the right path (Lindborn, 2007). Reeds technique of coaching can be described best as negative psychological KITA. Herzberg (1987) explains that negative psychological KITA is the process whereby a manager uses psychological violence as a means to motivate an employee. This involves verbal and written reprimands meant to put the employee in fear or at unease. While Fred defends himself that he did apply most of the Reeds’ suggestions, it can be seen that Reed did not notice the effort and was quick to point out how Fred had failed in identifying the sharks.

Proper coaching involves good communication between the parties involved, active participation by the parties and setting appropriate behavioral targets and process goals. Reed failed in all these activities and for that reason was unable to effectively motivate Fred.

Motivating older workers

In the court case, the company was accused of discriminating against older employees. The company had instituted an enhanced retirement program meant for employees older than 55 years of age. The company then went ahead and hired over 75 younger sales representatives before the retirement program was successful in eliminating the older sales rep. This move was not only mean spirited but also affected the morale of the older generation. At one time Fred was told he was a fool for not taking this deal and after this Fred felt that Reed began his witch hunt to get rid of him (Buller & Schuller, 2003, pg. 245)

Motivating older workers is much more complicated than motivating young workers. The monetary incentives given by the company were not effective in eliciting the appropriate response. According to Kanfer & Ackerman (2004), older workers are usually more hesitant to engage in new skills training than younger workers. The duo observed that older workers also preferred collaborative tasks rather than competitive task. Reed main management technique was based on fostering competition between the workers to improve output. Reed explains that “I have the right, in my judgment, to motivate representatives, to coach, to teach, to counsel, and 1 find that competition is a very strong motivating force” (Buller & Schuller, 2003, pg. 246).

In this case, Fred had been working for a long time using the same techniques that had granted him recognition in the past. Although the drug industry was changing and new technological tools that could help in his promotion had been developed, he was unwilling to change his techniques and adopt the new ones. According to various studies, it was noted that older employees have a gradual decline of fluid intellectual abilities that include attention, abstract reasoning, working memory, and processing new information (Wechsler, 1944).

Giving Fred medical Journals did not help him rather it might have added to his growing frustration. According to Kanfer and Ackerman (2004), older employees are less active and less inclined to new experiences. They are also less sociable, less anxious but are highly conscientious. Reed’s warnings about dismissing Fred from his job may have only added more stress t him but did nothing to motivate him to improve his job. The older generation needs to be motivated concerning their abilities and not in competition with the younger employees.

Kanfer and Ackerman (2004) noted that in jobs that require higher cognitive powers, the older generation with compensate for the loss of cognitive abilities with higher effort. This can be seen in Fred’s case whereby although he could not attract the younger prescribers (sharks) he applied all his efforts on the clients he already had and performed very well in some of the drugs he sold.

Fred’s resistance to change

In this case, Fred had been a model employee for over 32 years before Reed was posted as his manager. He had applied techniques that had worked and given him several awards, big commissions, and respect in his field of work. When Reed was brought in, he instituted changes that did not make a lot of sense to Fred and on top of that his new performance appraisal techniques revealed that Fred’s performance was below par.

Although Fred moved a lot of drugs, his performance on the most important drugs that the company was producing was very low. Reed also discovered that Fred had not identified the big prescribers of the most important drugs as he usually stuck with those clients he had gotten used to (Buller & Schuler, 2003, pg 243). Reed intended to help Fred achieve better results and thus took to coaching him. Reed provided Fred with medical journals went with him in some of his sales runs and gave him several pieces of advice on how he can improve his sales. However, Fred responded with a letter that said “I have opted not to do this at this time, but would like to make the following statement instead: I have always, during my long career with Schering, strived to do the best that I can do, be the best that I can be, and that is all anyone can expect of me. Of course, this is nothing new as I will, as in the past, continue to do the same” (Buller & Schuler, 2003, pg.244).

This response was Fred’s attitude towards the change that was being imposed on him. According to Washington and Hacker (2005), several factors may cause resistance to change. These factors include fear of the change, lack of understanding about the changes being instituted, negative feelings about the change and how the change might affect a person’s career. Resistance to change is usually a healthy reaction brought about by fear of the unknown (Coghlan, 1993). Resistance to change may also be brought about by poor communication in which the employee’s fear of reduced job security, reduced recognition and changes in economic stabilities might be amplified (Caruth et al., 1985).

Fred was an older worker in an organization that required results from its workers. Fred had for a long time been able to yield these results. When Reed first instituted the new management system, Fred was told that he was not performing as per what was expected of him. This sudden change, “from Hero to Zero”, might have made shocked Fred making him insecure about his position in the firm. Fred was also old and thus was not willing to let go of the techniques that he had used for so long. Older workers have difficulty adapting to change within an organization. Due to the volatility of the situation the company was in, Fred could not risk trying to learn a new method and then fail.

Reed did not handle this situation well as he did not have a meaningful conversation with Fred in all of this time. He did not meet with Fred face to face to explain why he thought that Fred should at least try his methods. In doing this, he did not give Fred a chance to voice his concerns about the new system and why he felt that he had to refuse to change.

Fred Unethical Response to Pressure

Fred’s unethical response to pressure was mainly because he felt he was being singled out. Considering the events, it was purely reasonable for Fred to be on edge. The company had hired more workers than they could handle and needed to lay off some workers. The retirement program they instituted was a failure and therefore, they had to find another way to get rid of the older employees. This was what Fred might have been thinking and when Reed gave him a negative review on his performance assessment, Fred might saw it as a means to discredit him so as he can lose his job.

McShulskis (1997) noted that the main cause of unethical behavior in most organizations is the pressure to meet unrealistic goals or deadlines. The study noted that in most corporations, employees who may have never indulged in unethical behaviors may turn to them due to the pressure imposed on them. Hosmer (1987) added that competition for position or power might also lead to employees acting unethically.

In this case, Fred was being pressured to improve his performance. Their environment was competitive and Fred was not particularly strong in some areas. When confronted about it, Fred became defensive and angry. Hosmer (1987) notes that when employees are insecure about their job position, they become defensive and may engage in unethical behavior in an attempt to impress their superiors. Although Fred did not wish to impress his superiors, he felt as if he was on trial and thus any mistake on his part would be considered sufficient justification to fire him. He thus reported that he worked full days, refused help as it showed he was weak and had emotional outbursts because he felt cornered and that Reed was out to get him. This was mainly due to the poor condition in which the whole issue was handled.

Psychological contract Violation

The contract sets the dynamics on what is expected from the employee and what obligations the employer has to the employee. According to Robinson and Morrison (1995), perceptions that a breach of the psychological contract has occurred usually result in; reduced trust by the employee, reduced sense of obligation, reduced job satisfaction and in-role performance.

Robinson and Morrison (2000) argue that the two main causes of perceived contract breach might be due to Incongruence and reneging. Reneging occurs when managers and other company agents recognize that there exists a contract but deliberately fail to meet that obligation. Varying views on an obligation expressed by the employee and the agent results in incongruence.

In Fred’s case, there seems to be feelings of a breach in the psychological contract at several times. When Fred was hired, he expected to be able to work until he was seventy-five. But before he got to this age, the company instituted an advanced retirement program meant for employees over 55 years old and without waiting to see how many employees will accept the program, they went ahead and hired replacements for the older employees.

When Fred was told about this program, he refused to partake and was called a fool. It was at this moment that Fred started to notice that they were after him. This is one of the cases were perceptions of breach of contract exist. Fred expected to be allowed to work until he was unable to do so. The company knew that they had an obligation to Fred and other older employees. However, reneged on this obligation when they hired the younger workers to replace the older ones without the older ones having accepted the retirement package.

Another case was when Fred felt that the actions of Reed constituted spying. At one particular time, Reed had told his employees that they had to be flexible about their work habits. He explained that the sales reps had complete freedom to plan their call schedule and all was expected was that they complete a full workday (Buller & Schuler, 2003, pg.246). When Reed reports that he had seen Fred’s car in the driveway during work hours, he was going back on his deal since he neither confronted Fred to find out if there was an explanation and he also did not know when Fred finished his workday. This is also reneging of the psychological contract by Schering.

According to Robinson and Morrison (1995), reengaging may occur when the company has is unable to carry out its obligation or when it is unwilling due to limited resources. Feelings of contract breach may arise either because the company has been performing lower than expected or when the employee performance has been lower than expected. The employee interprets this contract breach on not only the outcomes but also the situation in which it occurred (Wong & Weiner, 1981). If the perceived breach is as a result of reneging, the employees will be more emotionally affected than if it was due to incongruence.

Breach of the psychological contract affects the ability of the employee to trust the organization and thus will not be ready to offer his best performance to the organization. In some cases, breach of the performance contract may lead to feelings of violation in which the employee may react unfavorably. Fred felt violated when he learned that Reed was checking upon him. He felt his right to privacy violated has the company had given them leeway to set up their schedule hence it was unthinkable that he was being checked at home. He was thus distracted, angry and harbored negative feelings against Reed and the company in general. His performance was being affected by the emotional pressure he was under and thus he could not yield good results.

Equity and Procedural Justice

Greenberg (1987) described organizational justice as the perception and reactions of an employee to fairness within an organization. An employee’s reaction to organizational justice can influence his or her performance and attitudes. The main premise behind organizational justice is derived from the equity theory which holds that judgments of equity are as a consequence of contrasts between one’s self and others based on work efforts and results (Adams, 1965)

Organizational justice exists as distributive justice, procedural justice or interactional justice where distributive justice refers to the fair distribution of resources and the making of decisions. Barsky, et al. (2011) found out that emotions and effects are usually the responses of perceived injustice. Studies have proved that the more an employee feels that there is injustice towards him/her, the more negative emotion he or she experiences. A person’s perception of justice can be weighed by the trait level (Barsky & Kaplan, 2007). The causes of perceived organizational justices have been listed as employee participation in decision making and other company processes, effective communication with employees and influence in the organization environment.

In the case of Fred, the first evaluation that Fred got was poor as compared to other younger employees. Although Fred had much more sales than the other, the performance evaluation carried out by Reed resulted in him being given a lower salary raise than the other employees (pg. 238). This might have been the source of Fred’s feelings of Injustice.

The suspensions that Fred was given might also have fostered his perception of injustice. Reed directly reported Fred to the head office without giving him a chance to explain. Fred later explained that he requested the specific dates of his alleged tardiness but Reed refused to give him the information. Fred also claims he was following Reeds advice to be flexible and set his schedule. The suspension was thus against procedural justice and might have led Fred to perceive that the company was being unjust to him.

Fred probationary program might also have causes perceptions of injustice. According to Fred, Reed never informed him that he was on probation until it was almost over and during all this time he had no idea what was expected of him. When he realized what was going one, it was too late to effectively turn around his performance to meet the expected results. The lack of communication between Reed and Fred might have been the precursor to these feelings of organizational injustice.

The perceptions of organizational justice might result in a lack of trust. According to DeConick (2010), most employees’ feelings of trust are based on the fact that since the organization is acting fairly at the moment, future decisions and processes might also be fair. Perceptions of trust affect the employee’s performance, job satisfaction, and commitment according to Hubbell & Chory-Assad (2005). The inability of Fred to perform better might have resulted from his perceived feeling of injustice. A pharmacist observed that Fred’s attitude had changed and commented that “Fred was an outgoing, happy-go-lucky guy, but you could see he was getting upset. The problem, he said, was his boss” (Buller & Schuler, 2003, pg 246).

Alternative Methods

There are several steps that Reed and the management team at Schering could have taken to motivate Fred and avoid the unfortunate events that occurred later. These options are Leader behavior, proper incentives, coaching, managing resistance to change and avoiding the violation of the psychological contract.

Leader Behavior and Appropriate coaching techniques

One of the main reasons that resulted in the unfortunate conditions was Reed’s poor leadership behavior. There are several good leadership models that Reed could have adopted for the dynamic drug industry especially when dealing with sales representatives. Two of the most appropriate leadership models are transformational leadership and servant leadership. Servant leadership is a management philosophy which involves a complete examination of employee’s quality, work, and community spirit. A servant leader is the one who can be able to consider the needs of his employees and also be able to challenge himself to provide solutions and encourage personal development. A servant leader’s main focus is the people since only satisfied and motivated employees can fulfill the specified objectives and targets.

When Reed first began working as Fred’s boss, he intended to improve Schering’s sales. To do this, he instituted a new performance evaluation system that was to boost competition in the hopes of improving sales. This methodology mainly failed because he did not consider the people working there. Servant leadership exceeds employee-related behavior and requires a reconfiguration of the hierarchical relationship between subordinates and their leaders. The responsibilities of the managers are mainly employee satisfaction and performance promotion. By understanding and supporting employees, a servant leader can get the full picture of why an employee’s performance is low and together they can find a solution to improve performance.

A servant leader should possess certain qualities. First, He should be a good listener. He should have good communication skills and be able to listen to the problem his employees have and in the process help them in decision identification. Second, a servant leader should have empathy. He should be able to put himself in other’s shoes to understand their situation and help them achieve clarity. Third, a servant leader should have foresight.

He should be able to foresee the possible outcomes of a given situation. Finally, a servant leader should be committed to people. A servant leader is the one who believes that employees have an intrinsic value that exceeds their work contributions. Transformational leadership, on the other hand, is a management philosophy that aims at instilling changes in social systems and individuals. Its main aim is to generate change in the subordinates with the main goal of turning followers into leaders. When applied correctly, transformational leadership boosts morale, motivation and overall performance of subordinates.

The mechanisms used in transformation leadership include: uniting the subordinate’s sense of identity to the organization and the mission at hand, taking the role of a role model with the ability to inspire, understanding the weaknesses and strengths of the subordinates and challenging the subordinates to take on greater ownership for their work. Transformational leaders are not only intelligent but are also charismatic. They can create a vision and to push their subordinates to question the status quo and share the vision of the future (Tatum & Eberlin, 2007).

For transformation leadership to be effective the employees must be able to copy the beliefs and personal values of the leader (Humphreys & Einstein 2003). Tatum and Eberlin (2007) propose that a transformational leader should be fair, able to promote respect, make decisions based on the needs of their subordinates and the society and able to foster a culture of trust. Reeds should, therefore, have tried to emulate either servant leadership or transformational leadership in his management style. In this case, he imposed rules and conditions, gave orders and ultimatums without any consideration of his employees such as Fred. He was mainly unable to motivate Fred since his leadership style did not have any motivational aspects.

Managing Resistance to Change

When Reed requested that Fred take a different approach, Fred was not only reluctant but blatantly refused Reeds proposals. Reeds approach to induce the change was faulty at best. He used an impersonal means to notify Fred about the changes needed. Upon discovering that Fred was reluctant to change his techniques in favor of those he proposed, Reed reported him to the head office where Fred was punished through a two-day non-payable suspension.

According to Caruth et al. (1985), some of how managers might foster change is through proper communication, listening to the employee’s opinions, setting a good example and offering incentives to facilitate the change. If Reed could have explained his rationale for the need for change to Fred, they might have a discussion and come up with an amicable solution. Geller (2002) noted that educating an employee before training or coaching is a powerful cure for resistance to change. In a research, Washington and Hacker (2005) observed that individuals who knew all the details about the change were more likely to support the change and had less fear that the change might fail or make them look bad.

Palmer (2004) argues that the leader and his subordinate must first communicate about the change before it is put into action so that they can look at different alternatives for the employee depending on the situation or environment. Accordingly, Caruth, et al. (1985) notes that incorporating employees in the discussions about change creates a feeling of involvement, provides the manager with insight about the true capabilities of his employee and provides the manager with a full perspective of the issue or problem. Heifetz and Halle (1996) also add that employees require time and multiple opportunities to struggle with important changes.

Avoiding violation of the psychological contract

The company together with Reed should have taken care not to violate Fred’s psychological contract. Zhao et al. (2007) noted that breach of the psychological contract can be linked to several job outcomes that include effects, job behaviors and attitudes. The above outcomes have are related to the social exchange theory and affective events theory. The social exchange theory holds that people interact with each other because they are motivated by expectations of receiving incentives from the other party (Blau, 1960). In the work environment, if employees perceive that their contributions are not being reciprocated, they respond emotionally through frustration or anger.

Reed did not consider that for a long time Fred was the best sales representative in his district. By instituting an evaluation system that labeled Fred as incompetent though he still had the best sale, he broke the psychological contract between Fred and the company. Fred missed out on the salary raise he deserves and thus began getting frustrated. Reed should have discussed with Fred explaining the new system after which he should have used the previous rating system until the years end after Fred had performed knowing that a new evaluation system had been installed.

The hiring of new younger sales representatives should also have occurred after the company was sure that the older generation had received the retirement program positively. By hiring new employees, the company had informed the older sales representatives that their services were not required anymore. The older sales representatives, therefore, worked in frustration as they were not confident about keeping their jobs. Robinson (1996) argues that the obligations of the employers take precedence over his fulfillment. This is because contract breach might have future ramifications on the work environment. The employees will work under frustration, anger, and indifference affecting productivity in future times.

The manager should be able to foster positive feelings in hi employees and thus should strive to understand the employee’s perception of the psychological contract. In some cases, there is a misunderstanding of what constitutes the psychological contract in the organization. It is, therefore, the responsibility of the employer to ensure that there is no confusion on what the obligations of both sides are.

Ensuring Organizational Justice

Organizational justice involves both equity and procedural justice. Fred was given a lower raise that the younger sales representative because of an evaluation that was not truly objective. Fred was also subjected to a different performance standard that others did not have to meet. These disparities are against the principle of equity in an organization.

Before Reed had instituted the new evaluation system, he should have made sure that everyone understood what it implied and only after that, should have the next sales been evaluated with this system. In Fred’s prohibitory period, his standards should have been set according to the best sales representative in his district and not the market share gains. Subjecting Fred to his standards greater than what others are subjected to, is also not fair and would lead to perceptions of injustice which would then trigger emotional responses such as anger, frustration, and complacency (Cohen-Charash & Spector, 2001).

Employees will try to restore justice by changing their output in a given task. DeConick (2010) added that an employees’ commitment to the organization is greatly affected by perceptions of procedural justice. The commitment to the organization diminishes rapidly the greater the perceptions of injustice prevail. Employers should, therefore, ensure that employees perceive the environment as just. According to Johns (2001), absenteeism is also a likely result of perceived injustice.

However, if this feeling is not fostered, employees feel that they do not have to put the same effort since the organization does not care about them rather, it is too concerned about the bottom line. Reed did not seek to find out the reasons of Fred’s tardiness. He should have communicated with Fred to find out what was going on before deciding to report him. Organizational justice is fostered through the development of an organizational culture based on trust, understanding and effective communication. The processes in this organization have to be open and all the employees should be subjected to the same standards. These steps should have been applied to Schering before Fred was subjected to the difficult situation he was in.


The issue of employee motivation has been researched extensively. There are several issues connected to employee motivation that should be taken into consideration. Motivation is not purely through monetary incentives or promotions. It exists in almost every facet of the organizational processes. One of the ways to motivate employees is through proper management techniques. Two techniques that have been identified to be very motivational are servant and transformational leadership. This leadership methods are not concerned only with the bottom line but are mostly linked with understanding and improving the people.

Another method of motivation is through ensuring that organizational justice is fostered. Organizational justice includes equity and procedural justice. An environment where employees perceive injustice has very little motivation to contribute to the overall well being of the unjust organization. Organizational justice can be preserved by instilling a culture that is based on trust and understanding and also through effective communication between the employees and the leaders.

Motivating older workers is usually a challenge as they are not driven by the same goals as younger workers. Monetary incentives may not attract the required response from older workers. It is therefore important to understand what exactly the older workers want and how it can be used to motivate them. Older workers cannot effectively navigate a competitive task. They usually like to engage in collaborative task and thus motivation has to be in the form of teamwork or other collaborative efforts. Older workers usually compensate for the declining cognitive abilities with hard work and dedication. Motivation activities should, therefore, be directed at giving them tasks that do not require a lot of learning and adaptation but require previous knowledge and a lot of attention.

Schering approached the situation with Fred in many bad ways. They should have considered Fred not only as an important human resource but also they should have realized that he was an older worker, good in his job and very loyal to the company. By dismissing him without much thought they destroyed his sense of purpose resulting in a case suit that might cost the company a lot of money.


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