With reference to the case given in the image, analyze how the two sets of views, (Bob Nelson's and Susan Heathfield's) can be applied to the work of Herzberg, Vroom and McClelland.

1 Answer | Add Yours

akannan's profile pic

Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I think that the views put forth by Nelson and Heathfield can find much in way of convergence with the thinking of Herzberg, Vroom and McClelland.  There is not much in way of disagreement because of all of them suggest that there has to be a wider analysis of the worker in the workplace in order for them to feel validated.  This did not happen in the case study and each of them would be able to suggest that this absence was critical in the case study having resolved itself in the way that it did.

In Herzberg's thinking, there are distinct motivating factors and hygiene factors whose presence can cause a sense of dissatisfaction in the workplace.  Herzberg believes that both factors create an impact on the employee in recognition of their validation of voice in the workplace setting:

The factors on the right that led to satisfaction (achievement, intrinsic interest in the work, responsibility, and advancement) are mostly unipolar; that is, they contribute very little to job dissatisfaction. Conversely, the dis-satisfiers (company policy and administrative practices, supervision, interpersonal relationships, working conditions, and salary) contribute very little to job satisfaction.

Herzberg's ideas connect to the thinking of Nelson and Heathfield in the case study.  The factors that lead to "satisfaction" in Herzberg's analysis are very similar to the wants that Nelson believes individuals seek in their work place.  Self- control of work is similar to Herzberg's language of "intrinsic interest" and "responsibility," a term that Nelson himself appropriates.  At the same time, Herzberg's notion of dissatifiers such as the lack of leadership and appropriate interpersonal relationships are evident in how Nelson defines individuals who are detached from the workplace setting in the absence of these attributes.  Nelson's articulations of what employees need is very similar to Herzberg's understanding of what individuals want from the workplace setting.  At the same time, when Heathfield speaks of how individuals seek "other things" from work than simply money, it is reflective of Herzberg's ideas that dissatisfiers can play a large role if individuals fail to find these "other things" in the workplace setting.  When these elements are absent, the dissatisfiers, as seen in the case study with the absence of voice and absence of validation of healthy interpersonal relationships, becomes very large in the mind of the worker.  This is seen in the closing comments of the lecturer who argues that they "would not do it [help the President of the University] if asked."

When Vroom constructs his management structure diagrams, he develops the ideas that management assumes different positions in how information is shared and how decisions are made in the workplace setting.  The problem comes when management says one thing and does another.  For example, in asking the lecturers to help him develop initiatives regarding issues such as calendar dates and student enrollment, the structure that Vroom would see embraced is a Group Based Type II structure.  The committee of lecturers were given a task from the President and told that their decisions would carry weight and merit.  The result from this became an Autocratic Type I decision because he discarded the voices of those whom he consulted.  This is where Heathfield's ideas of how employees "look for other things" when they are seeking to find that which bring them happiness and voice in the workplace setting.  Vroom would concur that the structure of management that is collaborative in its Group Based Type II form helps these employees to find "other things."  Yet, this search goes away when there was a switch in management structure and style.  At the same time, the Group Based Type II structure echoed Nelson's idea of gaining "some control of their work."  The switch of management structure also illuminates the opposite of what Nelson sees as "leadership" and "providing clear expectations."

McClelleand's needs theory can also be seen in the case study and in the words of Heathfield and Nelson.  The needs theory argues that employees require the satisfaction of achievement, affiliation, and power.  The need for achievement is seen in how employees desire situations where their effort can be showcased, while the need for affiliation is evident in the working of groups that are designed for a central purpose.  Finally, when discussing the needs of power, McClelland's work argues that there is a reciprocity in that what the employee does will be acknowledged as a part of a management structure, validating voice and status within the organization.  These ideas mirror what Heathfield sees as those "other things" that define where worker satisfaction lies and similar to Nelson's idea of the need for "the opportunity for growth and development" in terms of "team working."  It is here in which there is a clear understanding of Heathfield's and Nelson's ideas being mirrored in McClelland's theoretical understanding about worker satisfaction.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,957 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question