In 1966, Leavitt said: Motivation is so much in the spotlight these days that some of us have come to believe motivation is management. This quotation proves that motivation has been a very important notion and has been taken into account by firms for a long time. What does motivation really means? The term motivation derives from the Latin word: movere which means to move. Thus motivation for us refers first to: what energizes human behaviour, what directs or channels such behaviour1 and how this behaviour is maintained or sustained1. Thus there is implicitly the notion of a goal that drives our strengths; indeed their behaviour is oriented towards something. Thus, motivation has been a concern for management in enterprises for a long time. In the first two decades of the twentieth century, motivation concerns were studied by engineers, as the famous Taylor for example. Their theory was that motivation was money driven.
[...] Thanks to his experiences in different companies, Sievers highlights that most theories about organizational behaviour are limited and one-dimensional through the concepts of leadership, motivation and so on. To Sievers, these theories or concerns are only a kind of alibi; they are useful to motivate workers with assurances of reward. With these motivation theories, managers are enabled to be powerful and there is a biased relationship based on power between managers and employees. Sievers considers motivation as a tool of handling, control and intrusion in the private sphere of individuals. [...]
[...] Thus, both motivation and work are very important to individuals, so we can wonder what the context of work motivation in current HRM practices is. First, on the one hand it cannot be denied that motivation remains very important according to many HRM theories and practices. But, on the other hand there is some hypocrisy in these theories that must be underlines. Eventually, we can notice that there is a shift of motivation concerns nowadays. Motivation still remains very important, indeed there are many significant theories about motivation and motivation is all the more important than we live in the context of soft capitalism. [...]
[...] Indeed motivation and self-actualization are very important in the context of soft-capitalism. Soft-capitalism is about culture, identity, values, beliefs and assumptions. It is considered as a response to the problem of work: indeed soft-capitalism's main focus is to bring life back to work, so work is taken as an opportunity to work on oneself and to become more effective as a person. That is why soft-capitalism favours self- actualisation. Self-actualisation is a part of soft-capitalism's mentality. Thus, motivation is a significant aspect of our modern society that is why it is taken into consideration by HRM practices. [...]
[...] In conclusion, the context of work motivation in current HRM practices is not always very clear. Indeed, there are many theories about motivation, and the most famous ones are those of Maslow and Herzberg. Theories about motivation split into two categories: the content theories and the process theories. Besides, in the current context of soft-capitalism motivation is all the more important. That is why motivation has become one of the first concerns of current HRM practices. But, we must emphasize that sometimes there is some hypocrisy in this importance given to motivation. [...]
[...] Chapter 11. - R. Cooper: In the realm of organisation. - Steers: Motivation and work behaviour. Chapter one and chapter 16. Edition: Mc Graw-Hill Book Company. - Gary P. Latham and Christopher T. Ernst in Keys to motivating tomorrow's workforce. Human resource management review 16, 181-198. - Tor Eriksson and Jaime Ortega: The adoption of job rotations: testing the theory. E-journal. - S. Linstead et al. In Management and organisation, a critical text. Edition: Palgrave, McMillan - Paul Heelas in Work [...]
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