The performance of any organization depends on its employees’ input. Sokro (2012) emphasizes that motivation should be an integral part of organizational culture as this will ensure sustainable implementation of strategies aimed at improving employees’ performance. It is noteworthy that researchers tend to focus on the correlation between motivation and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB).
Thus, Ajgaonkar, Baul, and Phadke (2012) claim that motivation contributes greatly to OCB, which, in its turn, is associated with employees’ increased job satisfaction, efficiency, contribution, and improved performance. The outcomes of efficient motivation are reduced losses, customer loyalty, and satisfaction as well as a good share in the market. It has also been acknowledged that motivation favorably affects the organizational climate and the way employees interact with the organization (Sunaryo & Suyono, 2013). Importantly, it plays a crucial role in the ineffectiveness of the leadership in the organization.
Many theories, as well as particular strategies aimed at increasing motivation, exist and leaders may choose the one that most fits their organization. It is possible to identify several factors that are of particular importance for motivating employees. These are job design, employees’ involvement, and rewards. Leaders have to take into account these aspects when shaping their motivation strategies.
To consider efficient motivation strategies and their outcomes, it is necessary to define the concept of motivation. Different definitions of motivation exist, as researchers tend to utilize different approaches and theories to define it. At present, many researchers focus on the relationship between motivation and organizational behavior and leadership (Koontz, 2013). These approaches focus on the interaction of people within the organization. At the same time, many researchers focus on the personal aspect of motivation. Thus, Phillips and Gully (2013, p. 208) state that motivation is “the intensity of a person’s desire to begin or to continue engaging in the pursuit of a goal”. This definition is universal, as it touches upon the basis of employees’ behavior that affects the organizational climate.
As has been mentioned above, different approaches and theories concerning motivation exist. Some of the most famous and applicable theories are personality theory, achievement motivation theory, job characteristics theory, expectancy theories operant behavior theory, goal-setting theory (Miner, 2015). These approaches focus on different aspects including personal, managerial, organizational characteristics.
For instance, in the 1960s, practitioners and researchers utilized Theory X and Theory Y (Phillips & Gully, 2013). It focused on personal characteristics and managerial behavior. In terms of Theory X, employees generally do not like working and do not try to pursue the organization’s goal. Therefore, according to this theory, the most effective motivation is the use of threats and sanctions. On the contrary, Theory Y can be regarded as a belief that employees like taking responsibility and focus on organizational goals. Given this approach, managers try to use positive reinforcement to motivate people. These two theories seem too straight-forward and rather limited. However, they have become the basis of other theories and they can still be applied in certain settings.
The most recent research shows that modern theorists and practitioners tend to meld theories of motivation and leadership. Such approaches also involve specific attention to organizational climate. According to these theories, leaders should “design a system” based on analysis of employees’ expectancies as well as their motives, roles within the organization, interpersonal relationships, types of reinforcement, and situational factors (Koontz, 2013, p. 15). This is a holistic approach that enables leaders to come up with efficient motivation strategies.
Interestingly, researchers also start paying more attention to the technological aspect of the issue. Of course, it has been acknowledged that technology plays an important role in shaping organizational behavior as well as employees’ motivation. However, recent research focuses on particular ways technology affects motivation (Koontz, 2013).
OB & Motivation Relationship
To identify the relationship between motivation and organizational behavior, it is possible to use the mix of leadership and motivation theories that provide insights into personal characteristics as well as social interactions. Thus, highly motivated employees contribute to the creation of a specific organizational climate where people follow certain behavioral patterns (Phillips & Gully, 2013). Leaders use motivation strategies that are clear and transparent, which positively affects motivation as well as the atmosphere with the organization. These strategies have a considerable impact on employees’ behavior.
For instance, positive reinforcement (that presupposes various types of rewards) encourages employees to go the extra mile and contribute to the development of the organization. At the same time, researchers also stress that inefficient motivation strategies as well as leadership styles employed often have negative effects on the organizational climate and organizational behavior (Phillips & Gully, 2013).
For example, increased competitiveness within the organization is associated with employees’ focus on personal needs and goals that often differ from organizational goals. Employees may be reluctant to collaborate (or even communicate) with their colleagues effectively. Of course, in this case, organizational behavior is shaped and it is associated with unfavorable organizational climate and poor performance of the entire company.
Notably, Sokro (2012) emphasizes that organizational culture plays an essential role in employee motivation and OB. The research shows that employees are motivated to work harder and focus on organizational goals if such behaviors are an integral part of the organizational culture. Employees feel more comfortable and motivated when they have certain pillars to refer to and certain rules to follow to achieve high results. Therefore, leaders should make sure that organizational culture is properly developed and is based on specific principles that contribute to a favorable organizational climate and increases employees’ motivation.
Ajgaonkar, M., Baul, U., & Phadke, S.M. (2012). Relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and job characteristics model of motivation: An empirical study. NMIMS Management Review, XXII, 51-72.
Koontz, H. (2013). The management theory jungle revisited. In J.W. Gibson & R.M. Hodgetts (Eds.), Readings and exercises in organizational behavior (pp. 3-17). New York, NY: Routledge.
Miner, J.B. (2015). Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. New York, NY: Routledge.
Phillips, J., & Gully, S. (2013). Organizational behavior: Tools for success. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Sokro, E. (2012). Analysis of the relationship that exists between organisational culture, motivation and performance. Problems of Management in the 21th Century, 3, 106-119.
Sunaryo, S., & Suyono, J. (2013). A test of model of the relationship between public service motivation, job satisfaction and organization citizenship behavior. Review of Integrative Business & Economics Research, 2(1), 384-398.