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Organizational behavior - Payment as motivation

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  1. Pay has no effect or a negative impact on increasing employee motivation
  2. The vital role of pay in motivation

Motivation, which can be defined as a psychological feature that drives an individual to act toward desirous goals, is a major topic of organizational behavior. With the increasing importance of work efficiency, more managers start to realize the existing issue of employee motivation. According to research, above 70 percent of employees in America are not highly engaged in workplace (Wagner & Harter, 2006). Hence, various motivators are applied by managers to enhance employee performance. Payment, which is a significant work attribute, has been considered as a controversial motivator of employee behavior. Although many people believe payment is not an effective incentive, it is true that it can to some extent motivate employees.

[...] However, in order to maintain a motivated workforce, executives in organizations should deeply consider the technique of compensation and establish variable- pay plans including bonuses, profit sharing and employee stock ownership (Robbins & Judge, 2013). Moreover, as remuneration is not the only motivator, it is recommended that managers should truly understand different needs of employees and focus on employee involvement. Intrinsic rewards such as recognition and responsibility can also be combined with payment to improve the satisfaction of employees and create motivation. References Brooks, I. (2009). Organizational Behavior (4th ed.). London: Personal Education. Deci, E. & Ryan, R. (2002). Handbook of Self-Determination Research. Rochester, NY: University of Rochester Press. [...]


[...] In addition, research on employee behavior demonstrably shows that payment is a significant motivator as it can assist in satisfying other desirable needs (Lawler, 1971). For instance, referring to Maslow's hierarchy of needs (1943), in addition to lower-order needs such as food and safety, higher payment can also contribute to improving life standard and social status, which indirectly helps fulfilling higher-order needs including esteem and self- actualization. It also explains the situation why most employees regard high salary as a part of personal achievement and pay continuous effort on promotion (Trank, Rynes and Bretz, 2002). [...]


[...] A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review 370?396. Nunnally, J. C. & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychometric theory (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Phillipchuk, J. & Whittaker, J. (1996). An Inquiry into the Continuing Relevance of Herzberg's Motivation Theory. Engineering Management Journal 15-20. Robbins, S & Judge, T. (2013). Organizational Behavior (15th ed.). [...]

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