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MBA 616

Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur

Assignment 1 Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management
Submitted By:
Pawan Srivastav (121250333) Nishu Navneet (12125032) Saif Ahmad (12125048) Sushil Panigrahi (12125042)

IIT Kanpur

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Human Resource Management
Motivation can be considered as a driving force that compels individual, organization or any entity to achieve towards the desired goal. Individuals are motivated to align their goals with respect to organization goal and ultimately achieving the desired result. It’s very interesting to visualize that in certain cases individuals channelize their efforts due to motivation and the same efforts turn futile due to demotivation. Both motivation and demotivation are context based and often impact our actions and behavior. To explain this phenomenon in real life scenario we would like to cite the example of one of our team members who had similar experiences in his work-life career and these experiences can be an illustrative case of motivation and demotivation that most of us at some point of time would have experienced in our life.

Scenario- 1:
This incident reflects various stages of motivation and demotivation that happened in Atul’s (name changed) work life. When he joined the company, he was assigned to work in plant engineering department as an electrical design engineer. This department deals with the detailed engineering of the industrial plants of the customers. Their customers were big manufacturing MNCs mainly based out of USA and Europe. When Atul was given this assignment, he was happy and felt motivated as it was a very useful work profile for him and the job description was related to his core engineering domain. He started taking his work enthusiastically. He was very much influenced by the company policies like high growth and performance linked reward system. Atul started focusing on his job and tried to complete the assignment with quality living to the customer satisfaction. Most of the tasks he accomplished were appreciated by his managers and customers. This recognition further actuated Atul to maintain his performance. But certain incidents followed after, that affected his motivation to work. A new project manager and a new team lead were given the responsibility. They did not have much knowledge about the day-to-day activities and the performance of the various team members as well. After some time, Atul felt very uneasy with the team lead. The team lead had developed his own group of team mates which he considered very supportive to himself and he was not very helpful to the team mates who were outside of that group. Initially, Atul tried to remain neutral and avoided being part of any such group. This created tension between him and his team lead because of which their relations worsened. When the time for performance appraisal came, the new project manager asked Atul’s team lead for the inputs about the performance of various team members
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Human Resource Management
including Atul. Atul’s team lead did not support him at that point and he was considered amongst not good performers. When the appraisal letters were given to all the team members, Atul noticed that his performance was not considered at par with other team mates. He went on to meet his project manager and asked about his view about his performance. Atul asked him where he needs to improve. Unfortunately, the manager couldn’t come up with any satisfactory answer. That was the point when Atul felt very demotivated because appraisal was not just about how much money he received. It also reflected how he performed relative to other team mates. Atul was demotivated because he was not given recognition for all the efforts and hard work he put into the project. This is a typical example that shows how an individual can feel motivated and demotivated on the contextual basis. In this case there was a transition in which Atul was initially highly motivated and then demotivated due to lack of recognition and appreciation for his efforts. With advent of stiff competition most of us like to arm ourselves with latest technologies in our related fields to have an edge over others. As seen in this case cutting edge technologies and work profile in core engineering domain was a motivation factor. According to Hertzberg, individual feels motivated due to various factors such as Motivators, hygiene factors and intrinsic as well as extrinsic factors. These Hygiene factors comprise of supervisor, salary, company policies and administration which can be related in our first case. Next is Motivators which consist of achievements, recognition, responsibility and growth. In this service industry where client satisfaction is of utmost importance, this project had challenging work, greater responsibility to prove oneself, better exposure to client group and most importantly huge opportunity to grow and showcase the competencies. Moreover the work environment was cordial as the team leader prior to the new one was very supportive, encouraged Atul to learn the basics and provided him with all the resources required for best results. Other factors are intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Most of the tasks assigned were accomplished on time and these were also reflected in terms of appreciation by my managers and customers. This recognition further motivated Atul to maintain his performance. This realization acted as an intrinsic motivator and he started working irrespective of any supervision. Such can also be seen in ford case where the general manger was motivated by intrinsic motivator as he finds the job challenging and there was recognition that urged him to come back to work.

IIT Kanpur

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Human Resource Management
When a new manager was hired in Atul project he had very little understanding of dayto-day activities of team members and their performances. He formed his own group of team members which he considered to be very supportive and framed a very unsupportive notion about outside group. This group formation due to which there was a set-up-to-fail syndrome as evident in case of nut island effect and caused alienation from work. Like in Nut Island effect when managers were not hearing to the requirement of employees which made them alienated from rest of the organization and they feel isolated .Similarly in Atul’s case management was not hearing the complaints and providing appropriate resources. Even after constant complaints to management about the difficulties, they didn’t try to understand why it is happening. They were more concerned about the end result. This resulted in demotivation of employee. Tension keeps on mounting and after certain instant even a small mistake was treated as blunder. Once manger made up his perception that the employee is not competitive enough, then he tried to supervise every action of his subordinate and tried to pin point even small mistakes and made fuss over his performance which further demotivated Atul. This can be seen in case of changing cage where increased supervision finally resulted in demotivation. This in turn effected in demotivation for team members like Atul. The group was based on various social, ethnic or performance backgrounds with intention to dominate others. If a person tries to be neutral then also he was considered as an outcast. This exerts additional pressure and the person tries to showcase himself as a member of some group because he perceives that the involvement with some group act as a substitute to performance. We can see this in raft case where there was unintentional group formation based on gender and performance due to which member of one group lost confidence on other as a result the overall team failed. As per Adam’s equity theory; motivation is relative deprivation i.e. what motivates individual depends on what he gets and also what others get. In Atul’s case when appraisal was completed he was happy given the salary hike offered to him but when he noticed that others were given better hike despite of accomplishments and good client feedback he was demotivated.

Scenario- 2:

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Human Resource Management
In Atul’s department, a new project was assigned. It needed more skilled resources as the amount of work to be accomplished was very huge within stipulated time frame. Atul was also shifted to that project. When the teams were formed, their managers had to decide about the coordinator who had to deal with team mates and get the work done maintaining the quality and stiff dead line. Atul requested his manager to give that responsibility to him as he felt that he will be able to take up that job. But here also Atul’s managers had some presumptions and they decided to take another guy from other team for that job. Atul did not feel good with the decision and felt demotivated. He used to work whatever was assigned to him and get back home not taking much interest in the project. After 2 months, the project was going in full swing and they had started getting feedback about quality from the customer end. At that time, their coordinator had some personal problems and decided to switch his job. When he resigned, managers had to find out someone who could take up the responsibility. At that point of time, they recalled Atul and asked him to take up the job under that pressure condition. This job gave Atul a sort of challenge and provided him with the opportunity to prove his potential before the management. He started understanding the project in all dimensions which he used to neglect earlier. This sense of challenge of taking up the project under those pressure conditions gave him a desire to work with full dedication. As a result, in few time he understood the nitty-gritty of the work and started focusing on giving quality deliverables as per the feedback from the customers. It also helped him to develop his personnel management skills and negotiation with the customers. Their team took many initiatives which proved very crucial for the successful execution of the project. In the end, they were able to complete the project with proper quality and in the stipulated dead line with little variance. Atul was very happy to finish his job successfully. It had boosted his self-confidence and the subsequent recognition that followed made him feel motivated. In this case, Atul gets motivated to work when he is selected among the available resources to take up the responsibility under the critical circumstances. He takes up the job as it gives him a chance to prove his potential and comes out of the ability conundrum. These are the human variables that positively affect the productivity. A similar phenomenon is observed in the famous Hawthorne experiment in which the productivity of the employees is measured in respect to the intensity of the light. Thorough understanding of the results of the experiment revealed that the employees took the change as a challenge and they started performing well. In the case,
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when the employee was recognized as best among available options by the management, the employee felt as if he has been appreciated and he took up the job and completed it successfully despite the challenging aspects of the job. Similar scenario is observed in the case of “Modern Times” movie in which the actor was very happy after getting the appreciation from the customers in the restaurant and he did well even after the job of singing was very challenging for him. It also explains the importance of rewards, appreciation in this case, for the performance of the employee. Here the process of motivation is important as the employees are doing the same job again and again and often money alone is considered as the single most factor which caters to the need of being motivated but money alone is not enough. As explained by the Hertzberg’s theory, the hygiene actors like money alone is not enough for the people to get motivated. Hygiene factors are necessary conditions for getting motivated but it is not sufficient condition. In this case, the willingness of recognition and appreciation was the key factor for getting motivated by the employee. It clearly reflects the need of motivators in Hertzberg’s theory. In the case, this responsibility helped the employee in developing his interpersonal skills. It also helped him in boosting his self confidence. Every person has a skill set which provides him with the ability to perform in a work environment. But this ability to perform is not alone capable enough to make him give his best shot. In such situations, motivation plays an important role. In the above case, the character had the required skill sets but he was not performing well because he was demotivated as he was not trusted by his superiors for the given assignment. In this case, the superiors had certain assumptions about the ability of the character and the skill sets actually required to get the work done. These assumptions were acting as the limiting factors. Under such circumstances, the employee feels demotivated. He considers whole system as standing in opposition to himself. In our case, Atul starts limiting himself to his assigned job rather than involving in other interesting aspects of the job. He starts enjoying in the other aspects which are other than the job. We have seen similar scenario in “ in the sanding booth at ford” case in which the employee become frustrated because of the management attitude and the monotony of the job and later on start enjoying in sabotaging their job. The management usually makes certain assumptions and designs a system in which the human beings are not allowed to conceptualize the work and use their consciousness. In the case, Atul wants to take up the responsibility and accomplish the job but the management does not permit him to take up the responsibility and thus forcing him to
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limit his capabilities and do the assigned job only. Systems like assembly lines are also based on similar assumptions. In the “Modern Times” movie, the employees were made to work on the assembly lines and the employees were expected to do their assigned job only rather conceptualizing their work. In the reading “Plums and the lash”, a similar assumption was taken by the management about mentally sluggish type of people. They designed a system in which people were not allowed to use their consciousness and more reward was given to the person with less rational approach. Learning from HRM: We can observe that how people thrive to achieve more than Hygiene factor to get motivated. Motivation is achieved if person is aware that his performance will result into certain kind of reward which is meaningful to him. If this reward is not significant to the person then he will not be motivated. This can be seen in ford case where in one case the salary was there for assembly line workers even then they were not motivated. On the other hand, narrator (general manager) was motivated as the reward in terms of recognition and challenging work he is getting was aligned to effort and performance. Sometimes, people try to substitute performance by direct achieving measurement so that they can gain reward. Therefore it should be kept in mind that effort, performance and reward should be aligned. Demotivation can come to any person if he suffers deprivation in terms of the reward compared to his reference peer. To come out of this, people some time create illusion in mind to justify their deprivation or else they change their reference point. People need support and trust to gain motivation. But some time extra supervision may result into feeling of distrust and demotivation. There is a very thin line between supporting and encouraging someone and condescending, as seen in the raft case where the encouragement of men lead to demotivation of women. Being a part or belonging to certain kind of group is considered as confirmation of having certain kind of skills. This leads to formation of group and feeling of superiority over other groups. This may lead to disagreement and distrust resulting in failure as a whole. Thus we should not focus on categorizing people but try to develop their potential. This can be seen in raft case where men presumed that they are better than women in certain kind of jobs.

IIT Kanpur

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Human Resource Management
Even when people are demotivated they are sometimes encouraged to do work in a group. As they consider a work as a challenge and feel happy to spend their time with their peers and not to let them down. As in cage case we saw how people were working in bad condition then also they are motivated to come to work as they get to spend some quality time with their peers where there is no supervision and they can be their selves. It is easy to say that employee are not capable and inefficient to perform but we never think why he was not able to perform is it the failure of an individual or the failure of the manager who was unable to motivate the employee enough. For expecting output from other we should understand that they are also individual with same need as ours and they should be treated in same way as we want to be treated. Everyone has same need as others and the things that motivate you also motivate others.

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