Northern Essex Community College Organizational KPMG Motivation & Meaning Case Study

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Northern Essex Community College


For this organizational case study you'll need to visit the page below that tells the story of motivation, purpose, and job satisfaction at KPMG - a global audit, tax, and advisory firm.

Organizational Case Study #2: KPMG - motivation and meaning (attached in the PDF below)

After reading through the case study carefully (a few times) you are to respond to the following question:

Prompt Questions:

  1. Using concepts from course materials, explain why KPMG employees believing in the purpose of their work increases (1) job satisfaction, (2) performance, and (3) retention.

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KPMG - motivation and meaning KPMG, the audit, tax, and advisory firm, has enjoyed high employee morale for the last several years— about 80% of its 29,000 professionals say it is a great place to work. But the firm wanted to understand what was driving this sentiment. Analysis of its annual employee survey revealed one item as a particularly strong driver of employee engagement, retention, and pride: “I feel like my job has special meaning and is not just a job.” This finding prompted leadership to explore the value of purposedriven work (e.g., research shows workers who believe they’re having a social impact are twice as satisfied with their jobs as those who don’t hold such beliefs) and make it an integral part of how they talk to employees. They wanted to get people talking about purpose to create a central narrative to connect employees with the firm’s history of purposeful work. To do so, they began collecting employee stories, highlighting the impactful work already being done, and teaching leaders how to talk about purpose with their people. As outlined in a Harvard Business Review article, KPMG conducted hundreds of employee interviews asking questions like, “How does KPMG operate when we are at our best?” and “What is unique about our firm’s culture?” The firm’s leadership team then analyzed the qualitative data from these interviews through an extensive comment coding process. A few themes emerged, which resulted in a new purpose statement: “Inspire Confidence. Empower Change.” But KPMG’s leaders knew they needed to do more than simply announce the new purpose statement; they wanted employees to experience it for themselves. So in 2014, leadership unveiled the Higher Purpose initiative, an effort to strengthen people’s pride, engagement, and emotional connection to the firm by encouraging them to recognize and celebrate the meaning and positive impact of the work they do. The initiative started at the top, with corporate posters and a "We Shape History!" video, all of which addressed the question, “What do you do at KPMG?” But soon the firm also invited employees everywhere to share their own stories of purpose-driven work. The results exceeded all expectations: The firm set out to collect at least 10,000 stories and ended up with more than 40,000 from their 29,000 employees. These stories were then featured in the campaign across a variety of channels, including print, digital, and live communications. Having leaders talk about purposeful work had a significant impact on their employees’ sense of company pride and work satisfaction. KPMG’s research revealed that employees whose leaders talked about purpose scored significantly higher on retention, brand, and purpose-related items than those whose leaders did not. Among employees who reported that their leaders discussed purpose, 94% said KPMG is a great place to work and also said they were proud to work for KPMG. By comparison, among those whose leaders didn’t discuss purpose, only 66% agreed KPMG is a great place to work and just 68% were proud to work there. Those whose leaders did not talk about purpose were also three times more likely to report they were thinking about looking for another job. Not surprisingly, turnover in these two groups was dramatically different: there was a 5.6% attrition rate for those individuals whose leaders talked about purpose, versus 9.1% among those who leaders did not. What’s more, employees whose leaders communicated about purpose were significantly more motivated to strive for continuous improvement and high performance than colleagues whose leaders failed to discuss this important topic. And these differences hold steady across generations. KPMG: Motivating Employees Through a Deeper Sense of Purpose. Retrieved February 2, 2020 from MGMT 3720 VOCABULARY WORDS CHAPTER 1 Anthropology - the study of societies to learn about human beings and their activities Conceptual Skills - the mental ability to analyze and diagnose complex situations Controlling - monitoring activities to ensure they are being accomplished as planned and correcting any significant deviations Human Skills - the ability to work with, understand, and motivate other people Inputs - variables that lead to outputs, such as resources like labor, money, materials, and energy. Leading - a function that includes motivating employees, directing others, selecting the most effective communication channels, and resolving conflicts Manager - an individual who achieves goals through other people, using organizational power. Organization - a consciously coordinated social unit, composed of two or more people, that functions on a relatively continuous basis to achieve a common goal or set of goals Organizational Behavior - a field of study that investigates the impact that individual, groups, and structures on behavior within organizations for the purpose of such knowledge toward the organization's effectiveness. Organizational Citizenship Behavior - discretionary behavior that contributes to the psychological and social environment of the workplace Organizing - determining what tasks are to be done, who is to do them, how the tasks are to be grouped, who reports to whom, and where decisions are to be made Outcomes - key factors that are affected by some other variables, the product of a process. Planning - a process that includes defining goals, establishing strategy, and developing plans to coordinate activities Processes - actions that individuals, groups, and organizations engage in as a result of inputs and that lead to certain outcomes Psychology - The science that seeks to measure, explain, and sometimes change the behavior of humans and other animals. Social Psychology - an area of psychology that blends concepts from psychology and sociology and that focuses on the influence of people on one another Sociology - the study of people in relation to their social environment or culture Technical Skills - the ability to apply specialized knowledge or expertise CRP and CoP boundary - a reified line that marks the end of an organization; determines what is inside and outside of an organization. Complex Responsive Processes - A theory of human thought and communication, which emphasizes human existence as mutating patterns of social engagement that are simultaneously dynamic and persistent. explicit knowledge - the more objective, rational, and technical types of knowledge; knowledge that can be easily recorded and disseminated en masse. Negotiation of Meaning - A constantly ongoing social process involving participation and reification, through which people come to understand, classify, and value the world around them. organizational identity - The perception of the organization as created by the habitual actions of the people within the organization. It communicates to members and others what they organization is and what they can expect it to do. participation - A process of taking part in some activity or enterprise with other people. practice - A meaning driven engagement with others in the context of everyday life. Practice is a process of habitually doing meaningful things with others. reification - Giving an abstract concept a name and then treating it as though it were a concrete, tangible object. To reify is to make something real which is not otherwise tangible. social animals - Beings that are always and only engaged in acts of relating to the world around them. tacit knowledge - Knowledge that cannot be codified because it is embodied. It concerns knowing how to do a certain task and can be acquired only through active participation in that task Whorf Hypothesis - the hypothesis that the words and structures of a language can affect how the speakers of that language conceptualize or think about the world CHAPTER 3 Affective Component - An intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something. Attitudes - evaluative statements or judgments concerning objects, people, or events Behavioral Component - an intention to behave in a certain way toward someone or something Cognitive Component - the opinion or belief segment of an attitude Employee Engagement - an individual's involvement with, satisfaction with, and enthusiasm for the work he or she does Exit - dissatisfaction expressed through behavior directed toward leaving the organization Four Employee Responses to Dissatisfaction - exit, voice, loyalty, neglect Job Involvement - the degree to which a person identifies with a job, actively participates in it, and considers performance important to self-worth Job Satisfaction - a positive feeling about one's job resulting from an evaluation of its characteristics Loyalty - dissatisfaction expressed by passively waiting for conditions to improve Neglect - dissatisfaction expressed through allowing conditions to worsen Organizational Commitment - the degree to which an employee identifies with a particular organization and its goals and wishes to maintain membership in the organization Psychological Empowerment - employees' belief in the degree to which they affect their work environment, their competence, the meaningfulness of their job, and their perceived autonomy in their work Voice - dissatisfaction expressed through active and constructive attempts to improve conditions CHAPTER 4 Affect - a broad range of feelings that people experience Affective Events Theory (AET) - A model suggesting that workplace events cause emotional reactions on the part of employee, which then influence workplace attitudes and behaviors. Emotional Dissonance - Inconsistencies between the emotions people feel and the emotions they project. Emotional Intelligence (EI) - the ability to detect and to manage emotional cues and information Emotions - Intense, discrete, and short-lived feelings experiences that are often caused by a specific event. Moods - Feelings that tend to be longer-lived and less intense than emotions and that lack a contextual stimulus. Negative Affect - a mood dimension that consists of emotions such as nervousness, stress, and anxiety at the high end and relaxation, tranquility, and poise at the low end Positive Affect - a mood dimension that consists of specific positive emotions such as excitement, self-assurance, and cheerfulness at the high end and boredom, sluggishness, and tiredness at the low end CHAPTER 5 Collectivism - a national culture attribute that describes a tight social framework in which people expect others in groups of which they are a part to look after them and protect them Core-Self Evaluations - bottom-line conclusions individuals have about their capabilities, competence, and worth as a person Femininity - A national culture attribute that indicates little differentiation between male and female roles; a high rating indicates that women are treated as the equals of men in all aspects of the society. Heredity - factors determined at conception; one's biological, physiological, and inherent psychological makeup Individualism - a national culture attribute that describes the degree to which people prefer to act as individuals rather than as members of groups Long-Term Orientation - a national culture attribute that emphasizes the future, thrift, and persistence Masculinity - A national culture attribute that describes the extent to which the culture favors traditional masculine work roles of achievement, power, and control. Societal values are characterized by assertiveness and materialism. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) - a personality test that taps four characteristics and classifies people into 1 of 16 personality types Personality - The sum of ways in which an individual reacts to and interacts with others Personality Traits - enduring characteristics that describe an individual's behavior Personality-Job Fit Theory - a theory that identifies six personality types and proposes that the fit between personality type and occupational environment determines satisfaction and turnover Power Distance - The degree to which people in a country accept that power in institutions and organizations is distributed unequally. Self-Monitoring - A personality trait that measures an individual's ability to adjust his or her behavior to external, situational factors. Short-Term Orientation - a national culture attribute that emphasizes the present and accepts change Uncertainty Avoidance - A national culture attribute that describes the extent to which a society feels threatened by uncertain and ambiguous situations and tries to avoid them. Value System - a hierarchy based on a ranking of an individual's values in terms of their intensity CHAPTER 6 Attribution Theory - An attempt to explain the ways we judge people differently, depending on the meaning we attribute to a behavior, such as determining whether an individual's behavior is internally or externally caused. Bounded Rationality - a process of making decisions by constructing simplified models that extract the essential features from problems without capturing all their complexity Creativity - the ability to produce novel and valuable ideas Decisions - choices made from among two or more alternatives Halo Effect - the tendency to draw a general impression about an individual on the basis of a single characteristic Horns Effect - the tendency to form an overall negative impression of a person on the basis of one negative characteristic Idea Generation - the process of creative behavior that involves developing possible solutions to a problem from relevant information and knowledge Information Gathering - the stage of creative behavior when possible solutions to a problem incubate in an individual's mind Intuitive Decision Making - an unconscious process created out of distilled experience Perception - a process by which individuals organize and interpret their sensory impressions in order to give meaning to their environment Problem - a discrepancy between the current state of affairs and some desired state Problem Formulation - the stage of creative behavior that involves identifying a problem or opportunity requiring a solution that is as yet unknown Rational - characterized by making consistent, value-maximizing choices within specified constraints Rational Decision-Making Model - a decision-making model that describes how individuals should behave in order to maximize some outcome Selective Perception - the tendency to choose to interpret what one sees based on one's own interests, experience, background, or attitudes CHAPTER 2 Ability - an individual's capacity to perform the various tasks in a job Biographical Characteristics - personal characteristics - such as age, gender, race, and length of tenure - that are objective and easily obtained from personnel records. these characteristics are representative of surface-level diversity deep-level diversity - differences in values, personality, and work preferences that become progressively more important for determining similarity as people get to know one another better Discrimination - Noting of a difference between things; often we refer to unfair discrimination, which means making judgments about individuals based on stereotypes regarding their demographic group. Diversity Management - the process and programs by which managers make everyone more aware of and sensitive to the needs and differences of others General Mental Ability (GMA) - an overall factor of intelligence, as suggested by the positive correlations among specific intellectual ability dimensions Intellectual Abilities - the capacity to do mental activities- thinking, reasoning, and problem solving physical ability - the capacity to do tasks that demand stamina, dexterity, strength, and similar characteristics positive diversity climate - In an organization, an environment of inclusiveness and acceptance of diversity Stereotype Threat - the degree to which we internally agree with the generally negative stereotyped perceptions of our groups Stereotyping - Judging someone based on one's perception of the group to which that person belongs surface-level diversity - differences in easily perceived characteristics, such as gender, race, ethnicity, age, or disability, that do not necessarily reflect the ways people think or feel but that may activate certain stereotypes CHAPTER 7 Cognitive Evaluation Theory - A version of self-determination theory in which allocating extrinsic rewards for behavior that had been previously intrinsically rewarding tends to decrease the overall level of motivation if the rewards are seen as controlling. Distributive Justice - perceived fairness of the amount and allocation of rewards among individuals Equity Theory - A theory stating that individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with those of others and then respond to eliminate any inequities. Hierarchy of Needs - Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of five needs - physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization - in which, as each need is substantially satisfied, the next need becomes dominant Job Engagement - the investment of an employee's physical, cognitive, and emotional energies into job performance Motivation - the processes that account for an individual's intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal Self-Concordance - the degree to which peoples' reasons for pursuing goals are consistent with their interests and core values Self-Determination Theory - A theory of motivation that is concerned with the beneficial effects of intrinsic motivation and the harmful effects of extrinsic motivation. Self-Efficacy Theory - An individual's belief that he or she is capable of performing a task. CHAPTER 8 Autonomy - the degree to which a job provides substantial freedom, independence, and discretion to the individual in scheduling work and determining the procedures to be used in carrying it out Employee Recognition Program - a plan to encourage specific employee behaviors by formally appreciating specific employee contributions Feedback - the degree to which carrying out the work activities required by a job results in the individual obtaining direct and clear information about the effectiveness of his or her performance Flexible Benefits - a benefits plan that allows each employee to put together a benefits package individually tailored to his or her own needs and situation Flextime - flexible work hours Job Characteristics Model (JCM) - A model proposing that any job can be described in terms of five core job dimensions: skill variety, task identity, task significance, autonomy, and feedback. Job Enrichment - Adding high-level responsibilities to a job to increase intrinsic motivation. Job Rotation - the periodic shifting of an employee from one task to another Participative Management - a process in which subordinates share a significant degree of decision-making power with their immediate superiors Representative Participation - a system in which workers participate in organizational decision making through a small group of representative employees Skill Variety - The degree to which a job requires a variety of different activities. Task Identity - the degree to which a job requires completion of a whole and identifiable piece of work Task Significance - The degree to which a job has substantial impact on the lives or work of other people CHAPTER 9 Cohesiveness - the degree to which group members are attracted to each other and are motivated to stay in the group Formal Group - a designated work group defined by an organization's structure Group - two or more individuals, interacting and interdependent, who have come together to achieve particular objectives Informal Group - A group that is neither formally structured nor organizationally determined; such a group appears in response to the need for social contact. Norms - Acceptable standards of behavior within a group that are shared by the group's members. Punctuated-Equilibrium Model - a set of phases that temporary groups go through that involves transitions between inertia and activity Role Perception - an individual's view of how he or she is supposed to act in a given situation Status - a socially defined position or rank given to groups or group members by others Status Characteristics Theory - A theory stating that differences in status characteristics create status hierarchies within groups CHAPTER 10 Cross-functional teams - employees from about the same hierarchical level, but from different work areas, who come together to accomplish a task Problem-solving Teams - groups of 5 to 12 employees from the same department who meet for a few hours each week to discuss ways of improving quality, efficiency, and the work environment reflexivity - a team characteristic of reflecting on and adjusting the master plan when necessary social loafing - the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually team cohesion - a situation when team members are emotionally attached to one another and motivated toward the team because of their attachment. team efficacy - a team's collective belief that they can succeed at their tasks team identity - a team member's affinity for an sense of belongingness to his or her team. Work Group - a group that interacts primarily to share information and make decisions to help each member perform within his or her area of responsibility Work Team - a group whose individual efforts result in performance that is greater than the sum of the individual inputs CHAPTER 15 Cost-Minimization Strategy - a strategy that emphasizes tight cost controls, avoidance of unnecessary innovation or marketing expenses, and price cutting Innovation Strategy - a strategy that emphasizes the introduction of major new products and services Mechanistic Model - a structure characterized by extensive departmentalization, high formalization, a limited information network, and centralization Organic Model - a structure that is flat, uses cross-hierarchical and cross-functional teams, has low formalization, possesses a comprehensive information network, and relies on participative decision making Organizational Structure - the way in which job tasks are formally divided, grouped, and coordinated Simple Structure - an organizational structure characterized by a low degree of departmentalization, wide spans of control, authority centralized in a single person, and little formalization Virtual Structure - a small, core organization that outsources major business functions Work Specialization - The degree to which tasks in an organization are subdivided into separate jobs. CHAPTER 16 Adaptability - the degree to which employees are encouraged to be innovative and flexible as well as take risks Collaboration/Team Orientation - the degree to which work activities are organized around teams rather than individuals core values - The primary or dominant values accepted throughout the organization Detail Orientation - the degree to which employees are expected to exhibit precision, analysis, and attention to detail dominant culture - a culture that expresses the core values that are shared by a majority of the organization's members ethical culture - the shared concept of right and wrong behavior in the workplace that reflects the true values of the organization and shapes the ethical decision making of the members Integrity - the degree to which people exhibit integrity and high ethical standards in their work. material symbols - what conveys to employees who is important, the degree of egalitarianism top management desires, and the kinds of behavior that are appropriate organizational climate - the shared perceptions organizational members have about their organization and work environment Organizational Culture - a system of shared meaning held by members that distinguishes the organization from other organizations People/Customer Orientation - the degree to which management decisions consider the effect of outcomes on people within and outside the organization positive organizational culture - a culture that emphasizes building on employee strengths, rewards more than punishes, and emphasizes individual vitality and growth Results/Outcome Orientation - the degree to which management focuses on results or outcomes rather than on the techniques and processes used to achieve them rituals - repetitive sequences of activities that express and reinforce the key values of the organization, which goals are most important, which people are important, and which are expendable Six primary characteristics of culture - adaptability, detail orientation, results/outcome orientation, people customer orientation, collaboration/team orientation, integrity strong culture - a culture in which the core values are intensely held and widely shared subcultures - minicultures within an organization, typically defined by department designations and geographical separation 1. Using concepts from course materials, explain why KPMG employees believing in the purpose of their work increases (1) job satisfaction (pg 118), (2) performance (pg 124), and (3) retention. ● ● ● ● ● ● Employees who feel empowered by their leaders experience higher job satisfaction, one study of a large Hong Kong telecommunications corporation found. Research in Israel suggested that a manager’s attentiveness, responsiveness, and support increase the employee’s job satisfaction. (121) Giving people performance feedback—whether real or fake—influences their mood, which then influences their motivation.A cycle can be created in which positive moods cause people to be more creative, leading to positive feedback from those observing their work. The feedback further reinforces the positive mood, which makes people perform even better, and so on. Overall, the findings suggest a manager may enhance employee motivation—and performance—by encouraging good moods.(160) , intrinsic factors such as advancement, recognition, responsibility, and achievement seem related to job satisfaction. Respondents who felt good about their work tended to attribute these factors to their situations, while dissatisfied respondents tended to cite extrinsic factors, such as supervision, pay, company policies, and work conditions.(249) A more recent outgrowth of self-determination theory is self-concordance, which considers how strongly people’s reasons for pursuing goals are consistent with their interests and core values. (253) Across cultures, if individuals pursue goals because of intrinsic interest, they are more likely to attain goals, are happier when they do, and are happy even if they do not.20 Why? Because the process of striving toward goals is fun whether or not the goal is achieved. Recent research reveals that when people do not enjoy their work for intrinsic reasons, those who work because they feel obligated to do so can still perform acceptably, though they experience higher levels of strain as a result. (253) Self-efficacy can create a positive spiral in which those with high efficacy become more engaged in their tasks and then, in turn, increase performance, which increases efficacy further.51 One recent study introduced a further explanation, in that self-efficacy was associated with a higher level of focused attention, which led to increased task performance. (258)
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Explanation & Answer

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KPMG - Motivation And Meaning
Institution Affiliation

1. A purpose-driven mission like the one applied by KPMG is essential in creating a
competitive edge in organizations that makes social purpose an end-goal. Job satisfaction
among the employees, in this case, is high because KPMG has incorporated corporate
social responsibility in their engagement with the employees, which in turn has
connected their personal values to the work they are doing. This has been achieved by
the company's desire to get employees to talk about their purpose, which the aim of
creating a central narrative in connecting the employees with the company's history for
purposeful work. Therefore, by developing a connection between the worker and the
firm's values, KPMG was able to come up with a collective, socialized dynamic
environment that makes employees part of something bigger than themselves through
emotional attachment, affective commitment, and shared meaning (Robbins, 2019).
Purpose-driven mission increases employees' performance in KPMG as per humanistic
psychologists and motivation theorists in the sense that people have an inherent need for
meaningful work (Robbins, 2019). When employees see more humanistic organizational
values and find opportunities for meaning in the process, they become happier, healthier,
and engage more collaboratively. Consequently, it is evident that KPMG...

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