Organisational Behaviour & Management

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Organisational Behaviour & Management

Organizational Behavior & Management


On a group, or organizational level, leadership is important for sustainability and long-term success; leadership contributes to innovative thinking and new ways of operating and thriving in an ever-changing and complex world. On a larger, societal level, leadership is needed for creating a better, more just world. Leadership goes beyond serving one's needs, and its service-oriented nature lends it to creating positive change, which is needed for the sustain-ability of humanity and the environment. Leadership relates to these three contexts (individual, group, societal), which are, in fact nested and interconnected, whereby what happens on an individual level influences the group and societal levels, what happens on a group level influences the individuals and the larger society, and leadership and change in a societal level influences individuals and groups.

Motivation Theories

Definitions, examples and theories surrounding motivation, management and leadership, from a range of sources

There is a large body of research on the topic of employee motivation. Maslow's research suggests that a hierarchy of needs exists in all human beings. Levels in the hierarchy from lowest level needs to highest-level needs are physiological, safety, belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization. Maslow's studies suggest that human beings are motivated to meet each level of needs sequentially. That is to say, those individuals who cannot meet their basic survival (physiological) needs will not be motivated to meet self-actualization needs until all levels in between are sufficiently met .

Benson and Dundis describe the role of organizations in meeting each level of employee needs. Employers provide a comfortable work environment and sufficient pay to meet employee physiological needs. Safety needs are met by work environments that are safe, free of threats (such as layoffs), and offer insurance benefits. Interpersonal work relationships and a social atmosphere feed belongingness needs. Achievement, recognition, and respect fulfil esteem needs. Achieving one's full potential satisfies the highest-level need of self-actualization.

Maslow's need hierarchy theory lays the groundwork for subsequent work conducted on the topic of employee motivation. Some researchers challenge his theory, however, as overly simplistic. Benson and Dundis describe some criticisms. First, some individuals do not seek to fulfil higher levels of needs, but stop at some point in the hierarchy. Second, individuals may also seek to fulfil multiple levels of needs at the same time. Third, the five levels do not adequately describe all individual needs. Although these criticisms may be valid, many believe in the general concepts of Maslow's work. Subsequent research on the topic of motivation consistently references Maslow's research (Benson and Dundis, 2003, pp. 315).

Herzberg followed Maslow in further developing understanding of employee motivation. He conducted studies in the 1950's and 1960's on the topic of motivation and job satisfaction. His findings reveal sources of job satisfaction that result in high motivation as well as sources of job dissatisfaction that have no effect on motivation. His work suggests that organizations should focus specific attention on sources of job satisfaction to increase motivation, thereby increasing organizational ...
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