Written/case analysis paper

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Students will submit a case analysis a Public Sector Human Resource Management Issue on motivation at work. A major grading criterion will be the demonstrated integration of the course concepts in the textbook and chapters. A minimum of eight (8) pages, maximum ten (10) pages, and five scholarly references are required, APA format, double-spaced, cover page, reference page, with Microsoft Word to include the following:

  • History and background of the Public Service Human Resource Management issue.
  • Description of central issue(s) and its impacts.
  • Identification of key stakeholders groups and their respective positions.
  • Integration of issues to core course concepts in textbooks discussed in class.
  • Propose alternative solutions to issues and discuss how each alternative contributes to good public policy.
  • Critical review and conclusion about accountability for policy makers and administrators.

"A" range: Outstanding achievement, significantly exceeds standards.

  • Unique topic or unique treatment of topic, takes risks with content; fresh approach.
  • Sophisticated/exceptional use of examples.
  • Original and "fluid" organization; all sentences and paragraphs contribute; sophisticated transitions between paragraphs.
  • Integration of quotations and citations is sophisticated and highlights the author's argument.
  • Confidence in use of Standard English, language reflects a practiced and/or refined understanding of syntax and usage.
  • Sentences vary in structure, very few if any mechanical errors (no serious mechanical errors).

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From the book Text Berman, Bowman, Van Wart, and West. (2015). Human Resources Management in Public Service - Paradoxes, Processes, and Problems. (5th ed). Sage Publications. ISBN-13: 978-1483340036 Chapter 6 Employee engagement has become an important topic in recent years. If human resource management is about the development of policies for effective utilization of human resources in organizations, it should be doubly concerned with employee engagement, which is a key to performance—engaged workers are more committed, conscientious, and concerned with achieving outcomes, and they have less turnover, too. Leaders, managers, and psychologists alike have often pondered how they can better harness and direct people’s “psychic energy” toward work objectives to increase workplace performance. Employees are also concerned about their engagement and motivation, as these often make spending time in the workplace a more attractive experience, by increasing enjoyment, learning, and effectiveness. Employee engagement is a concept that is relatively recent, and it is not yet wellestablished in academia. Definitions of employee engagement typically emphasize individuals’ being psychologically present and applying themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally when performing their organizational roles (e.g., Gruman & Saks, 2011; Saks, 2006). An employee who is engaged can be characterized as enthusiastic, energetic, motivated, and passionate about his or her work, whereas a disengaged worker is one who is apathetic and withdrawn from her or his job. The concept of engagement builds strongly on motivation, which can be defined as the drive or energy that compels people to act, with energy and persistence, toward some goal. To say that someone “has motivation” is to say that the person has substantial energy and drive in pursuit of something. The concept of employee engagement bridges internal states of motivationwith observable behaviors in the workplace. Employee engagement and motivation are central to the work of human resource management. First, the field cannot ignore the broad impacts that classification, compensation, promotion, training, and other policies have on employee engagement. Directly or indirectly, human resource management provides employers and employees with tools for managing engagement, as discussed in this chapter. Second, in a world of tightly constrained budgets and ever-growing demands, employee engagement is increasingly relevant to human resource management as an important strategy for improving productivity and performance. Pull, Push, or Drive? The concept of employee engagement is relatively new, but it is closely linked with the concept of motivation, which is well established. An engaged employee is one who is motivated and committed to achieving results that advance organizational goals and work group objectives in meaningful ways. The study of motivation is a large field with a long tradition, and the purpose in this brief space is not to summarizemotivation theories—an entire book alone would scarcely do justice to such a rich topic. Rather, the goal in this section is to consider some dominant insights that lead to an appropriate appreciation of motivation for managers, and to extend this with insights about employee engagement. A basic insight is that strategies that treat employees in a one-size-fits-all way, or that assume all employees are similarly motivated, are apt to be ineffective; a bit more sophistication is needed. Motivation theories differ according to what is emphasized. While there is general agreement that motivation is about the drive or energy (an inner state) that compels people to act with energy and persistence toward goals, the question is which factors affect this energy. Some theories focus on factors inherent to individuals, such as their basic needs for survival, achievement, appreciation/belonging, or development, as well as their energy level and mental state (e.g., their energy to pursue different tasks). This “needs perspective” of motivation is associated with the work of Abraham Maslow (1954), who developed a hierarchy of needs of basic drives around (1) survival, (2) safety, (3) belonging, (4) self-esteem, and (5) self-actualization.2 Other theories examine components relating to the external circumstances in which people find themselves, such as the effects of job goals, salary, work obstructions, supervision, and leadership, which also influence motivation. HRM is involved in shaping many of these, not only through compensation but also through job design and even through selection that addresses factors inherent to individuals (U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board, 2012). A key principle of motivation is that people are motivated to pursue their goals and satisfy their needs. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower put it, “Motivation is the art of getting people to do what you want them to do because they want to do it.” Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation (1964) is a general theory that encompasses a variety of factors. Vroom’s basic premise is that while people are motivated to satisfy their needs, they do so in ways that result in the greatest benefits/pleasure and minimal costs/pain. Specifically, people show effort in the expectation that this will produce performance results, which will lead to rewards that they can use to satisfy their needs; hence, efforts → performance → rewards → need attainment. This basic causal chain of events is based in three key (and obvious) assumptions: 1. The more value a person places on an outcome, the more effort he or she will put forward (valence of outcomes). 2. The more someone believes that he or she has the ability to achieve an outcome, the more effort that person is likely to put forward (expectancy of efforts). 3. The more an individual believes that rewards will be forthcoming as a result of his or her performance, the more effort the individual will put forward (instrumentality of performance). These assumptions provide useful levers for managing motivation in others. Vroom’s theory points to the need for managers to ensure that employees are committed to certain outcomes and that workers feel confident that they will be successful given their abilities and existing conditions (e.g., adequate training and resources) and the need for organizations to be reliable (e.g., not withholding rewards or creating false expectations). Research findings generally validate Vroom’s assumptions and also provide useful, overarching starting points for administrators. For example, the first assumption points to managers giving employees compelling reasons to be motivated to pursue certain outcomes, helping them to achieve high valence. Employees may experience having to choose among competing outcomes—personal circumstances and nonwork motivations also affect the valuation of outcomes and efforts—and a manager’s job is to help employees make effective choices. The second assumption points to supervisors providing encouraging and supportive feedback that helps employees to apply and develop themselves in pursuit of outcomes. Context The “big picture” of theory presented above surely raises questions and issues regarding applicability in practice. Continuing interest in the use of rewards and incentives has inspired a vast stream of research. Rewards and incentives surely induce motivation, but they should be used with caution. First, people who are motivated by rewards can quickly become dependent on those rewards: Once they have received rewards, they expect “their” rewards again, or they sharply lose motivation. In experiments, people who have had previous rewards for performing a task taken away have been found to work less hard than those who were never given rewards. Second, while rewards can put fun into work for routine tasks, rewards take the fun out of work that is intrinsically motivated. People who are creatively busy often enjoy their tasks and regard these as fun (Csikszentmihalyi, 2008). But when the goal is changed to maximizing extrinsic rewards (e.g., billable hours), intrinsic motivations are quickly “crowded out,” and work becomes “just work” and is at risk of becoming dreary (Pink, 2009). Third, excessive or exclusive reliance on rewards is associated with adverse incentives, causing problems such as ethical lapses, which have been well documented in some areas (e.g., in the financial industry; Sorkin, 2009). In short, motivating by rewards is not a substitute for ensuring employee engagement. These findings are also present in compensation. When people perceive that they lack sufficient salary (e.g., to support the lifestyle they desire), the prospect of making more money motivates. Jobs that do not bring enough salary to satisfy very basic needs fail to motivate (“Why work?”), and employee turnover in low-paying jobs is indeed very high. However, once people are able to satisfy a broad range of their needs (basic comfort and security needs), money no longer motivates quite as much.4 While prospects of a significant pay increase will again spark motivation (allowing for meeting previously unmet needs), once a higher pay level is reached, motivation soon returns to where it was before. Thus, the motivational boost of prospective money is only temporary. Further, for some people an emphasis on pay may drive out intrinsic motivation and pleasure. In short, (1) the lack of money demotivates, (2) the prospect of making more money motivates, but (3) permanent higher salaries are not associated with permanent higher motivation. A paradox of employee engagement is that while the public sector lacks financial inducements comparable to those available in the private sector, research suggests that money alone is not sufficient to ensure higher levels of engagement and motivation. Rather, managing engagement in the public sector requires following the models discussed above, using a mix of selection, feedback, achievement, recognition, and growth opportunity. Of course, money and incentives are important. Surely it is difficult to attract good workers with below-market pay rates, and it is difficult to keep good workers if one cannot offer them advancement opportunities. All personnel, regardless of motivation, also need to be told what the limits are to their behavior. Rewards have their place—including nonfinancial inducements for performance, such as conference travel or new office equipment—but a different and broader approach is also needed. As the importance of intrinsic and nonfinancial motivation has come to be recognized, in recent years some effort has gone into better measuring public service motivation (PSM), defined as a service ethic of civil servants that explains their intrinsic motivation to serve. Key dimensions of this ethic are assumed to be attraction to policy making, commitment to furthering the public interest, commitment to social justice, commitment to civic duty, compassion about the welfare of others, and commitment to self-sacrifice for public causes (Perry, 1996, 2000; Wright, Moynihan, & Pandey, 2012). The findings of the many studies of PSM in the past decade suggest to practitioners specific levers they can use to increase mission valance for employees (such as by encouraging participation in policy processes, appealing to employees’ sense of social justice or interest in social welfare, and providing opportunities to further the public interest). Researchers also note that autonomy and control should be contingent on tasks and people; some situations may in fact be suitable for a stronger emphasis on rewards. Some jobs really are monotonous and repetitive, offering workers little room for creativity or exploring their own intrinsic needs. Under such conditions, rewards can turn boring work into a gamelike activity (e.g., how to finish sooner) and thereby increase motivation, as can more autonomy where appropriate (e.g., flextime, relaxed dress code). Also, not everyone has abundant inner drive, and some people like to be told in great detail which procedures they should follow. Greater freedom is not always welcomed. Again, extrinsic factors such as money, instrumental power, and status (McClelland, 1985) provide clear “rules of the game” and conditions that give people an incentive and a bigger and better future to fight for. The contingency perspective acknowledges that theory needs to be applied with consideration given to specific contexts and outcomes. For example, while management control and worker autonomy are easily posited as theoretical opposites, in some jobs, such as emergency management, both are strongly present. Theory Y is preferred for employee engagement, but Theory X must at times be used. Human Resource Management and the Climate for Engagement HRM affects employee engagement largely through the strategies, tools, and conditions that it provides for supervisors and employees, as well as through the specific management and supervisory processes that it champions and supports. HRM provides a broad range of strategies, tools, and conditions that employees and supervisors can apply in the pursuit of employee engagement. The workplace climate for engagement consists of the opportunities employees have to be engaged at work, which, in part, are determined by the range of human resource management policies and practices. An analogy would be to view human resource management practices as a cafeteria or buffet in which each employee values the selections differently. People differ in their goals and needs and what they seek and what they are willing to accommodate. Most employees, employers hope, will be satisfied by whatever selections they have made (even if some are mandatory). This section looks at the “HRM menu,” while the next examines two specific strategies that supervisors can use to increase employee motivation and engagement. From the perspective of managers and their organizations, the elements listed below constitute a general climate for engagement. Motivation is furthered when individuals have the opportunity to meet their needs, and engagement is furthered when motivation is combined with opportunities for applying that motivation in the workplace. The discussion below builds on the preceding, considering both drivers of engagement and consideration of rewards, public service motivation, and more. When all of the following efforts and conditions are present, employees, while drawn toward each to differing degrees, will likely find a combination that provides them with adequate motivation and opportunity for engagement: • • • • • • • • • • Competitive salaries and relevant benefits Meaningful rewards and recognition (that are fairly distributed) Friendly and cooperative workplace relations Assignments that allow workers to make meaningful contributions to society Feedback that provides recognition Opportunities for challenge and development Meaningful control over the work environment Minimization of the demotivating effect of rules and regulations that impede job performance and satisfaction Reduction of negative supervisory relationships Selection of the right people for the job Chapter Six: Engagement Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. “An employee's motivation is a direct result of the sum of interactions with his or her manager” - Bob Nelson Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Introduction ▪ Employee engagement has become an important topic in the last decade. ▪ Employee engagement: individuals’ being psychologically present and applying themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally when performing their organizational roles ▪ Motivation: the drive or energy that compels people to act toward some goal ▪ Engagement vs. motivation: employee engagement bridges internal states of motivation with observable behaviors in the workplace. Engagement builds on previous concerns with increasing motivation. ▪ A survey of nearly 90,000 employees found that only 21% feel fully engaged at work ▪ HRM Factors that impact engagement and motivation ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Classification Compensation Promotion Training Other policies Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Introduction ▪ Engagement is one of several strong influences on performance ▪ Berman and West’s study on public sector managers ▪ In jurisdictions in which managers have a strong commitment, 77.8% of respondents also agree or strongly agree that “employee productivity is high,” compared with only 44.1% in which most managers only have mediocre levels of commitment ▪ 25-50-25 rule: ▪ 25% of employees are highly motivated ▪ 50% are fence sitters ▪ 25% are withdrawn or cynical Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Pull, Push , or Drive? ▪ Strategies that treat employees in a one-sizefits-all way are apt to be ineffective ▪ Motivation theories differ in what is emphasized ▪ inherent to individuals – focus on the need for appreciation and achievement, and on individuals’ mental health ▪ external circumstances – the effects of work goals, salary, work obstructions, supervision, and leadership Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Pull, Push , or Drive? ▪ A key principle of motivation is that people are motivated to pursue and satisfy their needs ▪ Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation ▪ A general theory that encompasses a variety of factors ▪ People are motivated to experience pleasure and avoid pain ▪ People show effort in the expectation that it will produce performance results which will lead to rewards Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Pull, Push , or Drive? ▪ Maslow’s “Hierarchy of needs” ▪ People are motivated to pursue and satisfy their needs ▪ The hierarchy of needs: ▪ Basic drives around existence such as the ability to pay for food and housing ▪ Physical and psychological safety such as job security ▪ Belonging such as friendship with peers and supervisors ▪ Self-esteem such as recognition for a job well done ▪ Self-actualization such as the innate pleasures of doing what one likes and finds fulfilling Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Pull, Push , or Drive? ▪ Maslow sought to go beyond assertions of earlier controloriented theories that are known as “Theory X”-type motivation McGregor’s scheme ▪ “Theory X” holds that people do not have adequate intrinsic motivations related to work and need an approach aimed at modifying external rewards and punishment to increase motivation ▪ “Theory Y” assumes that people are inherently motivated to learn and grow, and therefore the manager’s job is to help workers channel and support these drives in appropriate ways Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Pull, Push , or Drive? ▪ The job of the manager is to lay out clear and doable goals and to provide a clear path ▪ Management by objectives (MBO) ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ ▪ Tell me what is expected of me in advance Give me the resources to do the job Leave me alone as much as possible to do my job Let me know how well I am doing in my work Reward my accomplishments Berman, Human Resource Management in Public Service, Fifth Edition. © 2015, SAGE Publication. Pull, Push , or Drive? Cultural Roots of Motivation Theory ▪ Motivational drive depends on culture ▪ In the U.S. a motivational basis for worki ...
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