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Motivation and Conflicts Sonja Cooper, Philippe Elie, Nichole Fields, Jon Gulbrandson, Dawn Lawson, Casey Stump University of Phoenix MGT 307: Organizational Behavior and Group Dynamics Terrence Elfers

Motivation Motivation and Conflicts Motivation has been misunderstood for centuries as an art or talent possessed only by a select few. Charismatic and alluring speakers, lecturers, and politicians have used their motivational powers to appeal to the masses and instill change. Although motivation is a seemingly daunting task, research has helped understand and make this phenomenon a powerful

tool for any organization or manager to use on a daily basis. Motivation theories shed light on the mystery of this alluring power and prove how many organizations are capable of motivating for increased performance. Organizational performance, however, could never peak without successful conflict management. Several methods exist for managing conflict, each tailored for various situations, organizational structures, and optimal resolutions. Conflict management is a necessary tool for successful performance and motivation. Motivation comes in different forms and theories the first theory is the cognitive evaluation theory, which states that person becomes less motivated when they receive money or some sort of extrinsic reward for a task that was intrinsically valued (Robbins & Judge, 2009). This theory does not apply to all people because some people strive for extrinsic rewards, but some believe that people who strive for rewards focus the rewards more than the task. The second theory is goal setting and this works because when a person has a certain goal that is given to them they will strive to reach. When the goal is hard it energizes the person and he or she know they have to work hard to accomplish the goal. The final theory is reinforcement theory, which states that a persons behavior is based on consequences. This means that people will be motivated to get their task done so he or she is not in trouble with management.

Motivation With the cognitive evaluation theory organizations are offering both extrinsic incentives

and intrinsic rewards. Managers are helping their employees move up within their organizations, keeping their employees jobs challenging, and acknowledging their subordinates accomplishments (Schermenhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2008). With the goal setting theory organizations help their employees set goals that are aligned with the organizational goals. Employee involvement is important when setting goals to motivate them to obtain their goals. The best way managers are able to increase the performance of their employees is through setting detailed and challenging goals that the employees feel are important and want to obtain (Schermenhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2008). For example, setting a goal for accuracy to be as high as possible is not specific enough; setting a goal for 95% accuracy is specific. With the reinforcement theory organizations are able to use rewards to help motivate their employees. As long as employees believe that the organizations rewards system for their employees performance is beneficial to them then they will continue to improve their performance to receive these rewards (Schermenhorn, Hunt, Osborn, 2008). For example, if the reward is thanks from a supervisor this may not motivate some employees but, a reward of a bonus would motivate most employees. Using indirect conflict management approaches allow for avoiding direct dealings with personalities. These approaches would include interdependence, appeals to common goals, hierarchical referral, and alterations in the use of mythology and scripts (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). Managers can adjust the level of interdependency among units or individuals when conflicts arise in workflow. Decoupling is one option that is available for management to use which eliminates or reduces the contact between the conflicting parties. Decoupling can reduce

Motivation conflict but it can result in duplication as well a poor allocation of valued resources

(Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). Another approach that management can use is known as the buffering technique. Buffering is used when the inputs of one group is the output of another. This technique does reduce conflict; however, it increases inventory costs (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). Another conflict management technique can be facilitated by assigning people to serve as formal linking pins between groups where conflict is more common. The person responsible in the linking role is expected to know and understand the operations, members, needs, and norms of the group they are in responsible for. They are to use their knowledge to aid in their groups ability to work better with other groups (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). An appeal to common goals is an approach that focuses the attention on a conflicting party to one with a positive outcome. The approach creates a common framework within a group so that they can recognize their interdependence in achieving goals which can put minor disputes into perspective. This approach is not always easy to achieve especially when disputes can arise in how to improve performance. A way managers can aid in this approach is assuring that personal parties take responsibility for improving the situation. (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). Hierarchical referral approach sends the problems up throughs management to get resolved. This approach has some limitation whereas constant use may not result to true resolution. Managers who are not familiar with a conflict due to misdiagnosis or lack of day to day contact is why this particular approach is limited in its results (Schermerhorn, Hunt, & Osborn, 2008). Conflicts can also be handled through the meetings where members can vent.

Motivation When evaluating the different conflict management approaches appeal to common goals is an approach that works best. This approach allows the company to recognize the interdependence in achieving the goals. This approach can help put minor conflict into

perspective. Many companies can depend on this approach because it also allows the manager to aid in assuring that personal parties take responsibilities for the appropriate actions. In conclusion, motivation is an acquired skill, and though sometimes conflict arises from motivation, it usually stems from and individual or group not understanding the reason for accomplishing the goal(s). Through the ages motivating others has refined itself from a primitive instinct to a desired skill for management and is taught and studied globally. Motivation is unique for each individual as organizations are more diversified than ever, different cultures and beliefs must be overcome by the motivator. Conflicts are a part of life, its what makes us think outside the box and helps to envision multiple viewpoints of a particular situation. A good manager will strive for a positive outcome for both parties in conflict. Motivation and conflict management will always be around; these skills are a major part of successful management. These subjects has been theorized, studied, and modified throughout the human existence and will likely continue as long as theres a need for them.

Motivation References: Robbins, S., & Judge, T. (2009). Organizational Behavior (13th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ : Pearson. Schermerhorn,J.R., Hunt, J.G., Osborn, R.N. (2008) Organizational Behavior (10th ed.). New York, NY: Wiley