Motivational Factor at Tesco

Table of contents


The Statement

The dissertation investigates approaches to staff motivation used by the TK Maxx store in Uxbridge and the significant relation between the applied in T. K.

Max staff motivation management and its connection to staff loyalty. This dissertation investigates what important role staffs has in the organisation and highlights peculiarities in staff loyalty and work attitude development. The researcher believes that staff plays as an essential role in any industry therefore good staff management ensures ones commitment and input to the organisation. To find a good talent as an employee is a difficult task however to keep this talent, improve and develop is much more complicated. Nevertheless in order to sustain competitive advantage companies and particularly T. K. Max have to concentrate on the staff management approaches it uses and be eager to improve and develop the strategy at all times.

 The Research Background

The global business environment constantly changes. It is becoming more evident today that the key element of the business environment today is its employees. Motivation has been a subject of several studies. The main researches are the following: Maslow’s hierarchy of need, Alderfer’s ERG theory, McClelland’s theory of socially required needs and Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory.

These theories concentrate of the benefits and importance of motivation, however researcher found it necessary for this research to consider that as it is mentioned by Vercueil, 2001 incorrectly implemented motivation management causes a harmful affect on the employees. Watt, 1998 refers to Anon saying that in the past motivation could be identifies as a way to make people want what we want and differs it from manipulation that makes individuals do what we want. However today as it mentioned by Bruce and Pepitone, 1999 modern employees are much more sophisticated and are in search for a greater satisfaction from the job they are doing.

Artificial reward or money alone are nor enough. Therefore modern organisations need to learn and understand human nature as it indicates why people in these case employees behave in a particular manner. Managers need to motivate the employee leading to a grater working performances and mainly managers have to understand their employees needs and their life organization in order to meet the employees expectations and motivate ones performance more efficiently. Staff retention is a significant element of every successful business.

It is characterized by the employees desire to sustain in the organization and continuing contribution to the business. In times of economic crisis more and more individuals have to stay at their jobs even if conditions are not favorable due to a risk of being unable to provide for a family. However more and more individuals are raising the importance of staff motivation management. Organizations today have realized that a modern employee needs to be rightly motivated and encouraged, not only money wise, to ensure staff retention.

Motivation is a force that stimulates people to perform an action. Therefore motivation is a force which compel people go to their work every day and that is why people bring improvement in themselves to satisfy the desire of becoming or accomplishing what they have set out to become or accomplish in their life. More over with motivation any complicated situation can be converted into a simple and learning experience. In his research Watt, 2003 also states that managers must understand that individuals want to be treated fairly and have equal opportunities to advance.

He highlights the problem of motivation today. Often organizations do not recognize that the motivation management requires different approaches depending on the industry sectors. The problem of motivation and staff performance as it is stated by Green et al, 1999 might stay undetected, hidden and unresolved by the managers. Therefore managers often don’t realize that it is important not only to appeal to the individual’s intellect but to their hearts as well. Green et all, 1999 also identifies three main problems for motivation: – Lack of confidence – Lack of trust Lack of satisfaction Well designed and implemented motivation strategy leads to employee’s retention therefore employee’s loyalty. Loyalty is a significant and vital part of any organization. As it is mentioned by Daft and Marcic, 2011 management should learn to allow all it s employees make a contribution and use its talents and potential in order to progress and improve their skills. This sort of motivation creates employees retention and ensures ones constant grow and contribution to the company. TK MAXX has a well developed reward and development management.

Organization believes that its people should be growing as well as the business. From the first time the employee joins the company organization provides a comprehensive induction programs and ensures that whether it is about moving up the career ladder, learning and development of new skills or gaining experience working in different countries there are plenty of available opportunities for the employees. Company has a strong rewards and benefits system, pension scheme, holidays, private healthcare and voluntary benefits as a part of its employee motivation and ensures of employees happiness and satisfaction.

All this provides companies growth and efficient performances with a high rate of employee’s retention. Researcher believes that T. K. Max is a real example of a right motivation management. Organization aims at ensuring satisfaction of its employees and at the same time ensures a solid growth and development for the business. Therefore the researcher wanted to examine the motivation strategies used by T. K. Max and analyze its effect on the employees.

The Company Background

The organization that we have chosen for our research is one of the most successful retailers in the market today. T. K. Max management in the Uxbridge branch were excited and happy to participate in our research and granted us with a permission to use the organization’s name in this investigation. T-K Maxx is a chain of clothing and accessories stores. The company was launched in 1994. It is a subsidiary of TJX Companies Inc. (TJXtra, JUNE 2010) TK MAXX always aimed to deliver frequently changing and best quality products at a price which is 20-60% less than other department and specialty stores regular prices. TK MAXX has label of “Always up to 60% less” and has target customers who is middle to upper-middle income shopper.

But simultaneously who are fashion and value conscious. T. K. MAXX is now 7th largest fashion retailer in the U. K. It introduced the off price concept in the UK and it is now the only major off-price retailer in Europe. It was operating in UK and Ireland. Later on T. K. Maxx opened first stores in Germany in 2007 and also entered in Poland in 2009 (TJXtra, JUNE 2010) The reason why we the researcher choose TK-Maxx as an organization is its market share and the enormous global scale that it’s operate. Having its unique position in UK market T. K.

Maxx have chosen efficient strategies in order to keep its staff motivated and have introduced several ways to make it an awesome place to work. The T. K. Maxx’s management believe that the staff motivation in the blood life line of any organization so they treat their employees fairly and have implemented many strategies in order to make their jobs more interesting and satisfying by providing different opportunities and support.

Research Purpose

Motivation is considered to be one of the major factors in employees retention The researcher believes that employee’s loyalty is a direct link to motivation.

Therefore this research is aimed at identifying the significance of employee’s motivation and its relation to employee’s loyalty; in order to help TK Maxx to continue its successful business operation and maintain high level of staff retention.

Research Objectives

  • Critically evaluate the use and the effectiveness of the current policies used by management at T. K. Maxx towards staff motivation.
  • Critically analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of staff motivation and its connection with staff retention.
  •  Construct and suggest recommendations to T. K. Maxx managers on how to increase effectiveness in staff management and motivation in order to achieve staff retention.

Research Questions

  •  How understanding of importance in employees motivation help business growth and development; and what strategies in staff motivation T. K. Maxx utilizes to ensure company’s progress in a competitive business environment?
  •  What are the leading motivating factors used by T. K. Max management; from employees perspective how these factors impact of employee’s retention?
  • What recommendations can be made to T. K. Max management policies to improve staff morale and ensure employee’s continuing performance efficiency?

Research Nature

To conduct this investigation researcher will apply the existing theoretical and academic theories and models to a practical research. We are aiming at examining the results of the T. K. Max management and employees interviews. The analysis will be performed based on the available academic references. However we are not only looking to agree or disagree with the existed theories on staff motivation and retention, but to find new, important and practical information for the organization.

We are to highlight new approaches in staff motivation that will help T. K. Max to ensure its successful sustainability in the market. 1. 8. Rationale The researcher believes that the main issue in today’s working environment is primarily to find a new and unique talent, motivate and encourage this talent to perform well for the benefit of the organization; but also to keep this talent in the competitive market by increasing staff retention. Being a leader in the apparel and accessory market T. K. Maxx has a reputation of a strong competitor not only business wise but in the way the company values its employees.

We believe that in today’s competitive market environment the key element of a success is the talent the organization has. With newly hired talents new ideas and therefore competitive advantage comes. However to help every talent perform well and work for the benefit of organization it is necessary to motivate and encourage ones needs. Today employees are not only searching for money, individuals are keen to have better working conditions and have equal opportunities for learning and development. Therefore organizations need not only to have a motivation plan but to ensure that they actually know what their employees needs are.

In other words we believe that motivation help to maintain healthy and positive working environment for both management and employees. Happy employees are eager to work harder and to contribute more efficiently to the organization. Therefore we believe that this research has a significant importance for T. K. Max because it will help organization learn more about their employee’s attitudes towards staff management and motivation in the company. Our research will assist organization to discover new approaches to staff management.

Through the research interview employee will have an opportunity to recommend or advise organization on how to improve the existing motivation model and increase employee’s retention. Although employee motivation is a well known topic among the academics, we believe that this research brings a new development to these existing models. The academic significance of this research is based on the fact that we are not only aiming at analyzing the existing motivation approaches in T. K. Max but we also are to investigate its importance and connection with employee retention.

We are to understand how significant staff motivation is and believe that we can fill in the existing gap in the modern concept of employees’ retention and motivation. The significance of this research for the researcher is based on the fact that researcher has been a customer in the organization for a while. The approach and attitudes of the staff had positively impressed the researcher. The researcher believes that this research will help him in his future career experiences in the retail business.



Before going to detail discussion on specifically TK MAXX staff motivation, we need to understand what motivation is and how it is developed in individuals. This chapter defines motivation in general and specifically employee motivation. Chapter discusses wide range of areas of motivations. It includes existing theories of motivation that discusses the needs of the individuals, problems that organizations faces and what factors that should be accounted for to motivate staff. It also discusses staff retention, its implications for the organizations and how this can be countered.

These all are considered to be the key element to remain competitive for an organization like TK MAXX as it is operating in a highly volatile industry and is subject to low morale of workforce and staff turnover due to continuously changing environment.


The word motivation has been derived from the Latin word ‘Movere’ which means to move (Kretiner, 1998). Motivation is the force which moves humans to achieve their goals and objectives in their lives or in their jobs (Bruce and Pepitone, 1998). It pushes human mind to do an activity that gives him or her satisfaction.

This pushing force could be money to get wealthy or it could be appreciation from other to become more respected in the society. It may include basic needs such as eating and resting. Essentially, motivation can be defined as a need to maximize happiness as all above means are likely to enhance happiness of an individual either that is money or recognition in the society. It is obvious fact that people work because they obtain something that they need, from work. The something obtained from work fulfills needs of the people and have a great impacts on their morale and the quality of life.

This something can be called Motivation; it moves people to do their job. Usually, motivation could be intrinsic and/or extrinsic (Deci, 1976). Intrinsic motivation is the internal temptation to perform a task. This could be due to reason that it gives workers pleasure from having a chance to develop skills in them. Whereas, extrinsic motivation includes external factors and it is unrelated to the tasks, people are performing. Extrinsic motivation can be achieved by money and other rewards (Bruce and Pepitone, 1999). It was previously thought that good salary is a best motivator and is ufficient to get the highest level of performance from them (Taylor, 1903). However, workers are not just motivated with money but could be better motivated if their social needs are met (Cole, 2003). Therefore managers should take more interest in treating employees as people who have worthwhile opinions. There is a point worth noting that workers enjoy, interacting each other and by understanding this behavior they can be motivated, which would let them to be better aware of the status of the company and know what are expected of them (Cole, 2003).

Human Resource Management

Human Resource Management (HRM) is the function that operates mostly within the organization, whose purpose is to deal with issues such as recruitment, performance management, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training of the individuals (Schuler and Jackson 1998). In simple words, Human resource management is the management of an organization’s employee who performs different task and responsibilities in order to make sure the human resources are well utilised for the benefit of the organization (Schuler and Jackson 1998).

Human resource management plays an important role in order to motivate lower level staff, improve their work life and enables employees to use them as an organization’s competitive advantage (Schuler and Jackson, 1998). If the HRM is working effectively it lead to accomplishment of overall organization’s goals and objectives and will enable employees to effectively contribute to the success of the organization and improve their productivity in a changing environment (Yeung and Ulrich 1990). In present era, the world of work has been totally changed. Treating people fairly is no longer an option; it is necessity (Lawler, 2003).

In this business era, the organizations cannot easily replace them because human resources are the intellectual property for the organization. And this intellectual property has become more important than company’s financial capital. This perspective will be discussed in the theories given in this chapter. An important task of the HR management is to hire and retain appropriate staff in order to keep competitive advantage (De young, 2000). T-K Maxx HR management therefore, has onus to retain and motivate its employee for the purpose of reducing its staff turnover, increasing productivity and maintain its competitiveness.

Theories of Motivation

The concept of motivation has been discussed earlier in this chapter. This section of the chapter includes different theories by different psychologists. These theories have been categorized as the content theories and the process theories. Content Theories These explain the needs of the individual and how different people can be motivated. These theories also discuss the difference between needs of different people living in different environment (Thompson, 1996). This is really important as to determine and evaluate the TK MAXX staff motivation.

Researcher needs to assess the overall needs of the individuals working there and that of the people in that particular environment have. Process Theories These explain the mechanism by which the human behavior initiated, sustained and extinguished (Thompson, 1996). In other words these theories explain how human needs changes and what managers need to focus on when motivating their employees. These theories include the Victor vroom expectancy theory and Hertzberg two factor theory.

Content Theories

Maslow’s Need Theory

Abraham Maslow proposed his theory in 1943 which is known as Theory of Human development. His theory focused on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is explained as a pyramid, with the most basic or fundamental needs at the bottom, and the needs of high desires of superiority at the top. Maslow’s theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met. Fulfillment of these needs will move individuals to desire the secondary level of needs. For example a starving person may only think of creativity when his hunger is extricated.

Physiological needs are the obvious requirements for human survival. If these needs are not met, the human body cannot function (Taylor and Houthakker 2009). Whereas safety needs is the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy. Safety and Security needs include personal and financial security. Once the safety needs are met, Humans need to love and be loved by others. They need to feel a sense of belongingness with others, whether it comes from a large social group, such as office culture, religious groups, professional organizations, social connections e. g. family members, close colleagues.

Esteem represents the human desire to be accepted by others and getting importance from others. High self esteem people engage themselves in activities which give them recognition and let them feel self-valued. Low self esteem can lead to an inferiority complex and helplessness in individuals (Jillian and Powell, 2005). Whereas Self actualization is a desire to actualize everything that a man is capable of. To achieve this level of need a man must realize its potential and capability. Without realizing potential a man can not desire to become everything, since he is unaware of what he is capable of (Goldstein’s, 1939).

Validity and Criticism of Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Maslow’s theory is presented as a rigid hierarchy. However this is not in real life as rigid as it is presented. It has been noted that the order may vary from standard as people do not follow the same order as used in pyramid to fulfill their needs (Wahba and Bridgewell, 1976). For example, for some individuals the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for love. Whereas, for others the need for creative fulfillment may be of high importance then even most basic needs. Hofstede criticized Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy by saying that it ignores the ocial and intellectual needs of different societies. He believed that Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy is based on a individualistic society as Maslow belonged to United States which is considered to be highly individualistic society. The needs of humans in an individualistic society tend to be more self-centered than those in a collectivist society, where the people are more concerned about the needs of acceptance and community (Cianci and Gambrel, 2003). Therefore self actualization at the top is not the true representative of every society rather it is only from the perspective of an individualist.

It has also been criticized that the hierarchy fails to take into account the acts such as bravery, charity, heroism etc. It has been argued that there is no evidence to support Maslow’s ideas and only a few people were observed before coming up with this theory (Greenhaus and Badin, 1977). Maslow has ignored people’s spiritual dimensions (Clemmer, 1992). Personally, I believe that Maslow Hierarchy is a useful tool in motivating staff however; it would be difficult for the management to decide which employee stands at which level of need.

In the same way organizations are sometimes unable to provide needs such as Belongingness and Love needs. Application of Maslow’s theory in TK MAXX TK MAXX is operating in a environment where there are individuals demanding high from their employers. There are quite a lot of Job opportunities in the market and it is important to retain skilled employees. By this theory the researcher would able to determine the staff needs, which can lead to determine whether these are adequate.

ERG Theory of Clayton Paul Alderfer

Clayton Paul Alderfer is an American psychologist who further addressed the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs issue in 1969 in his psychological review of human needs by reducing the number of levels to as existence, relatedness and growth. Alderfer categorized the lower order needs, which are described as Physiological and Safety needs in Maslow’s pyramid into the Existence category. Maslow’s interpersonal love and esteem needs were categorized into the Relatedness category. The Growth category contained the self actualization and self esteem needs.

Like Maslow’s model, the ERG motivation is also hierarchical. Existence needs are more important at fundamental level than relatedness needs. And growth needs are more important than the growth needs. |Growth | |Self-Actualization | |[pic] | | | | | |External Esteem Needs | |[pic] | | | Relatedness | |Internal Esteem Needs | |[pic] | | | | | |Social Needs | |[pic] | | | Existence | |Safety Needs | |[pic] | | | | | |Physiological Needs | |[pic] | | Alderfer’s ERG theory differs from Maslow’s hierarchy in some ways. It explains that at a same time more than one needs can motivate employees at a time (Griffin and Moorhead, 2009). It also suggests that a man do not need to satisfy substantially the lower motivator if he or she wants to move onto the next level. For example, “starving artist” may place growth or self actualization needs above those of existence or physiological needs.

The ERG theory also accounts for differences in needs in different cultures, which were not considered by the Maslow’s as he only focused on the individualistic societies. The order of needs can also be different for different people in different societies. Managers need to understand that each employee operates with different needs at the same time. Leadership which focuses exclusively on one need at a time will not motivate their people effectively. Furthermore, the frustration-regression principle has been discussed by the Alderfer.

This means that if individual’s higher needs are not satisfied than the he will put double efforts to fulfill the lower needs (Griffin and Moorhead, 2009). This has additional impact on motivation in the workplace. As an example, if employees are not provided opportunities to grow, an employee might redouble the efforts to fulfill relatedness needs, socializing with their co-workers more. Unlike Maslow, Alderfer did not emphasized that lower-level needs must be fulfilled before higher level needs.

ERG theory contains some of the strong points of previous theories such as Maslow’s however it is not very limiting and restrictive however still it lacks the explanation about the complexities in motivation and tend to be more general like other motivational theories (Jain, 2005). ERG theory is the continuation of the Maslow’s theory and it also describe the needs of the human in different manner. It is helpful in the case of TK MAXX as it describes the needs of a collectivist cultures.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

These theories are based on human motivation and presented by Douglas McGregor in 1954.

In theory X management assumes that their employees are lazy and dislike work (Fisher, 2000). This theory lead to management believing that there should be close supervision of workers and there should be proper systems of controls to restrict employees avoiding work. Close supervision implies that there should be narrow p of control at each level. Therefore, a tall hierarchical structure is needed. Tayler (1903) called this style of management a scientific management. If the organizational goals are to be met, theory X managers rely heavily on threat to gain their employee’s compliance.

Usually these managers feel that there is only purpose of the employees doing job is money. They will blame their workers without first analyzing, whether it may be the system, policy problem. The theory Y managers assume that employees enjoy their work and possess ambitions, abilities to solve problems and may exercise self-control (Rothwell et el, 2009). But their abilities are underused in most organizations. According to McGregor (1954), Employees will seek and accept responsibility and exercise self-control in achieving objectives and goals of organization, if they are given proper conditions.

In Theory Y, managers believe that the satisfaction obtained from doing good job by employees is a strong motivation.

 Validity and criticism of Theory X and Y

There is a criticism of these theories an that is, theory X managers are mean or harsh as compared to theory Y managers who believe that subordinates have desire to achieve and then finally hold them accountable for that and become more toughest and angriest (Fisher, 2000). However, McGregor argued that Theory Y accompany more possibilities than Theory X to develop the environment of trust at workplace.

This includes open communication with subordinates, minimizing the difference between senior-subordinate relationships, creating a comfortable climate in which workers can develop their abilities. This climate would include subordinated being involved in decision making so that they can put their view on decisions that affect them. Secondly, this theory is difficult to apply in real world as it represents unrealistic extremes. Few people or usually no one falls within these extremes but tend to be somewhere between these two extremes (Stevens, 2008).

Still the theory is a good guideline in order to understand the principles of motivation. In today’s world where more autonomy is given to the workers and there is more emphasis on self-management, Theory Y is becoming more useful and is consistent with this approach. There would be a need in TK MAXX to determine the inclination of the managers towards the two extremes provided by the McGregor. Either Theory X or Y both are valid, but this depends on the environment conditions. It is found that only 21% workers prefer authoritarian style of leadership (Sadler, 1966).

However, with ever growing organizations, rapidly changing technology and environment and demand for new ideas, Theory Y is likely to be more favorable (Vaske and Grantham, 1990). According to theory X managers deal with the workers as if they are general purpose machines which are operated by them (Vaske and Grantham, 1990). It can be said that people shape their own environment but sometimes environment also shapes the behavior of humans. The workers will behave according to theory X if they are provided such work environment that is consistent with theory X (Argyris, 1957).

Process theories

Victor vroom theory of expectancy

Victor H. Vroom developed the Expectancy theory through his study of the motivations behind decision making. Victor Vroom theory deals with motivation and management. As per vroom, the motivation at any situation is dependant upon individual’s desire for outcome, perception that his or her performance is related to other outcomes and the assessed probability that his or her struggle would lead to required performance level (Borkowski, 2010). Employee’s performance is based on factors such as skills, knowledge, and experience of an individual.

The individuals have different sets of goals and can be motivated if there are desirable rewards which will satisfy their needs for their favorable performance. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory is described as an equation. The key elements of the equation are Expectancy, Valence and Instrumentality. Motivation = Valance ? Expectancy (Instrumentality) Valence refers to negative or positive behavior of individual towards outcomes (Koontz, and Weihrich, 2006). This represents individuals’ preferences. Motivating without having knowledge of what the staff value would be useless.

Whereas Expectancy means that employees have different expectations about what they are capable of doing. This is due to the fact that they carry different level of confidence (Kinicki, 2009). Instrumentality represents a person belief that the outcome is dependant upon certain level of performance. There are some factors linked with the individual’s instrumentality for outcomes. These are trust, control and policies of management. Management must ensure that promises of rewards are fulfilled and there is proper communication of these to the employees.

Validity of Expectancy theory This theory is more realistic than the Maslow’s and McGregor (Koontz, and Weihrich, 2006). Victor Vroom suggested that Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence inter act each other to create a motivational force. The individual will take into his consideration the reward associated with different performance levels and choose the level that brings the greatest reward for him or her. A task for which the employees have high expectancy but have insufficient rewards associated with it would not result into high motivational force.

Similarly a high rewards linked to a task, for which employees have low expectancy, would not result in motivation for employees as they are more motivated when they develop skills from difficult tasks given to them. Some critics suggest that only a few individuals clearly correlate between performance-reward and performance-effort, so the theory is of limited use. We can see that individuals are not rewarded according to their performance rather they are rewarded according to their seniority, skill level and job difficulty (Stephen P. Robbins 2009).

However this theory may be useful in explaining why some individuals put low efforts in their jobs. The measurement, criterion and methodological complications complicate the validation of this theory (Robbins, 2009). Overall the theory has been criticized on the grounds that the three variables it suggests are too vague and the theory is complex to measure and applies. Nevertheless, the theory has helped managers to motivate their employees in a better way and see what conditions must be met in order to keep the employees satisfied (Rae, 2008).

Application of Victor Vroom theory for the TK MAXX TK MAXX has been competitive in providing their staff good salary. Due the reason that the its operating in a highly volatile industry which is related to fashion clothes, there could be a chance of low staff expectancy. This theory is helpful for the researcher in providing an overall view of affects of change in any variable such as reward system that could affect Valence and finally the staff motivation.

Hertzberg Two Factor Theory

To better understand employee attitudes and motivation, Frederick Hertzberg performed studies to determine which factors in an employee’s work environment caused satisfaction or dissatisfaction. He presented his theory in the 1959 in “The Motivation to Work”. Unlike Maslow and Herzberg’s theories, two factor theories are capable of handling individual differences (Hackman and Oldham, 1976). Secondly, the focus is on present and future, in contrast to Maslow and Hertzberg, which are based on past. Hertzberg found that the factors causing job satisfaction are different from those that cause job dissatisfaction and both affect motivation of ndividuals (Davies, 2007). Hertzberg developed the motivation-hygiene theory to explain these results. Motivators In Hertzberg theory, satisfiers are motivators and these include achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility (Davies, 2007). Hygiene Factors The factors that remove dissatisfaction are Company policy, Supervision, Relationship with boss, Work conditions, Salary, Relationship with peers (Davies, 2007). However, these do not provide satisfaction as hygiene factors. Validity and application of the theory for the TK MAXX

According to Hertzberg, individuals do not get motivated with the satisfaction of hygiene factors at work such as minimum salary levels or safe and pleasant working conditions (classified as existence by Alderfer). Individuals actually look to achieve of motivators such as achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, and the nature of the work itself (classified as growth by Alderfer). Hertzberg found that dissatisfaction actually results from job-related characteristics such as company policies, supervision, technical problems, salary, interpersonal relations on the job, and working conditions.

Therefore, if management of the TK MAXX wishes to increase satisfaction on the job, it should be concerned with the nature of the work itself. Which provides individuals the opportunities for gaining status, assuming responsibility, and for achieving self-realization. If, on the other hand, management wishes to reduce dissatisfaction, then the focus should be placed on the job environment, for example policies, procedures and working conditions of work place. Usually some management are concerned with both discussed characteristics to have satisfaction in workers.

If this is the case in TK MAXX, the attention of managers should be given to both the factors equally. Hertzberg argued that for intrinsic motivation a continuous job improvement process is required. According to Hertzberg the managers, when designing jobs should consider that the job have sufficient challenges so that workers utilize their full abilities and skills. If a person’s skills cannot be fully utilized, then this may lead to a motivation problem. Employees who demonstrate high level performance should be given high level of responsibilities.

Criticism of Hertzberg Two-Factor Theory The theory has been criticized on the basis that there is only a narrow range for job investigation, the job attitude is measured using only one measure, there is lack of reliability and validity of critical incident methodology and absence of measure of overall satisfaction. When the employees are satisfied they consider themselves responsible for this and in contrast to that when they are dissatisfied they put there own failures on someone else’s shoulders (Mukherjee, 1985).

Some researchers have given harsh judgments on the validity of this theory saying up to this extent that the theory should be “Buried peacefully” and that the theory does not provide support to the managers (Agarwal, 1983). It has also been suggested that Hertzberg ignored the individual differences such as self-confidence and skills. For instance, an individual with higher skills might find a job less difficult as compared to an individual with lesser skills but with same intelligence.

Still, Herzberg’s theory has been of great use for the managers in providing guideline and helping in designing jobs and is widely used by practicing managers (Tosi et el, 2000).

Equity Theory

Equity theory is widely applied in the businesses. In equity theory as per Adam’s, employees demands equity between inputs and output. Inputs can be defined as the employee’s contributions to the organization (e. g. time, effort, loyalty, hard work, commitment). Outputs on the other hand side are the consequences of the inputs (e. g. alary, employment benefits, recognition etc. ). A senior person should receive higher returns, since the input by him in form of experience is higher than others. Adam’s claimed that employees motivate, when they are fairly treated. If employees are over or under rewarded in respect of pay, it can cause distress which leads to demotivation for employees (Carr and McLoughlin 1996). For example, if an employee feels that he is underpaid, it will result into anger in him or her for the organization. This would result in the employee not performing well at work place.

Salary is the main concern of the employees as we discussed in Maslow’s Hierarchy and therefore in most cases it causes equity or inequity. However the equity can not be measured only with the salary or monetary rewards. It is also important that for the feeling of equity, an act of thanking the employee by the managers for their work will cause a feeling of satisfaction and therefore help the employee feel being fair treated. There is another perspective which Adam’s theory introduces is the social comparison. That is, employees compare themselves with others (Kinicki, 2009).

An employee will be dissatisfied with the work if he feels that another person is getting more recognition and rewards for their inputs when both have done same quality of work. These phenomena however contrast with the equity theory where the rewards are to be matched with the input and employees comparing each other are not accounted for. The equity relationship can be illustrated by the following equation: [pic] Criticism on the Equity Theory The critics have suggested that the theory does not differentiate between the feeling of satisfaction and perception of fairness (Jacobson and Koch, 1977).

Some critics have also said that the theory is too general and fails to deal with complexities of decision-making (Crosby, 1982). Critics have also claimed this theory as the theory of injustice and believed that the model is incomplete as it would be unjust for an individual to have unfavorable outcomes when compared with other’s ratio (Cropanzano, 2001). However the theory is useful for managers as a guideline for motivating staff. Therefore it will be unjust to use this theory in isolation to evaluate the staff motivation in TK MAXX. However, in conjunction with other theories his provides a useful understanding of the fairness for the staff.

Implication for Management of Motivational Theories

There are several implications for the management of the alleged theories. These are as below: • First problem with motivating employees is that all individuals do not get motivated by the same reward. So, the managers may have to determine and apply motivators on an individual basis rather than implementing single criteria which is assumed to account all the employees needs (DuBrin, 2008). This is to be accounted for in the TK MAXX. The employees working in the TK MAXX are from the diverse cultural background.

Individual living in UK give preference to flexible working hours over salary (Price, 2007). This may not be the case for employees who are from the different cultural background. The Maslow’s theory based on the individualistic culture would not be applicable here and the employees needs can be determined through ERG theory. However, this can be very difficult or even impossible in larger organizations. • As per the Maslow’s and ERG theory, at a basic level there is one common motivator that applies to all employees and that is money. Remuneration is the primary reason why people work.

In organization like TK MAXX long hours, high pressure and stresses in employment during the peak hours are the factor that causes decrease in employee motivation and may lead to staff turnover or decrease in loyalty. So, to reduce this company needs to pay their employees well. In addition, employees also want performance related pay. Performance related pay means that employees, who under perform, should be subject fine or penalties. • Apart from above, employees often feel that they are like mindless machines. This could lead to employees loosing their morale. To avoid this employees like to have control over their work.

If employees are involved in decision making this will contribute overcome this phenomena and it will also enhance their motivation (Kinicki, 2009). This is described as the hygiene factor by in the two factor theory. There are lots of individuals who work voluntarily to improve their skills and expertise. Learning new skills and developing present ones is also a prime motivator and provides workers an opportunity for personal development. Education and training allow an individual to discover its potential that increases their personal satisfaction and causes motivation of the seeker (Holton and Baldwin, 2003). To put their whole brain power employees require a clearly defined structure of job and their responsibilities. The absence of this would result in employees being uninformed which would cause low productivity. A clearly defined job description gives them a framework that can increase their performance. This structure of work is provided by inclusion of workforce in decision making and effective communication of the structure from managers to workforce as suggested by the Hertzberg two factor theory.

Advantages of staff motivation

A positive motivation practice helps to bring synergy in operations. Motivated employees work more efficiently, producing better products or services in less time then unmotivated employees, who waste time in non productive activities such as surfing the Web and instant messaging for their personal benefit. They take longer time to complete tasks assigned to them. When employees are motivated, they put extra efforts and brain power to produce the best products or services. This can bring to a company a better name in the market simply by producing a superior product.

Improved productivity and higher quality services and products consequently result into high profitability for a company. This improves cash position that can be used for improvements in the company or can be used for the benefits of employees. Unlike motivated employees, unmotivated employees rarely put efforts, which results in poor customer service, and low-quality products and can result into bad publicity of the company they work in. If employees are motivated, they can be retained for longer term.

This would reduce the training and recruiting cost for the company as each time an individual is hired, time and money has to be invested to get that person up to speed on the job requirements, integrating new employees into the workforce could be difficult. Existing employees have experience and knowledge about company and how operations work. They are also already familiar to working with the other employees at your facility. Motivation also helps people in achieving their goals and objectives in life. Motivated people may build self-esteem and positive energy and manage their development.

Staff retention

Staff retention has a direct relationship with employee’s motivation. Managers must align company’s and staff objectives and goals to reduce staff turnover and retain employees for longer term. The rewards should be matched with the needs of the employees. By doing this, managers will be able to determine the proper reward system that is offered to employees to increase job satisfaction of employees, which finally result into motivation. Inversely, if the rewards are not aligned to the needs, it can lead to low job satisfaction, increase in turnover and consequently increase cash outlay of the company.

Conclusion and Validity of Theoretical background for TK MAXX

|Research Objectives |Literature |Link between literature and research | | | |objectives | |Critical analysis of the effectiveness |Maslow’s Theory |Both Maslow’s need theory and ERG theory | |of staff motivation and its connection |ERG Theory |elaborate different level of needs of | |with staff retention. |employees. It will be useful to explain | | | |overall motivation of employees of TK MAXX and| | | |finally the effectiveness of the staff | | | |motivation by determining the needs of the | | | |employees.

This is research objective 1. This | | | |will however to some extent would also | | | |contribute to recommend that how staff can be | | | |retained. | | | | | | | | | | | | |Critically evaluate the use and the |Hertzberg Two Factor Theory | This theory is important to analyze the | |effectiveness of the current policies | |current policies of the staff motivation in TK| |used by management at T. K. Maxx towards| |MAXX. This would help researcher analyze that | |staff motivation. | |whether the management has established | | | |motivators that motivates employees e. g. | | | |recognition or just hygiene factor that are | | | |unlikely to build up staff motivation.

Instead| | | |these will reduce dissatisfaction such as good| | | |salary. | |Construct and suggest recommendations |Victor Vroom Expectancy Theory |This is a useful tool for the researcher to | |to T. K. Maxx managers on how to |Adam’s Equity theory |both critically evaluate the staff motivation | |increase effectiveness in staff | |and design the recommendation and the | |management and motivation in order to | |conclusion.

From the Equity theory the | |achieve staff retention. | |researcher would be able to assess whether the| | | |inputs from the employees were equal to the | | | |outputs by the management. | |


Research Methodology

Research methodology is a systematic way of solving problems that arise in research.

Research method on the other hand, is different methods and techniques used in the research. Research methods are part of research methodology and the scope of research methodology is wider than research methods (Rajendar Kumar 2008). There are different methodologies for research e. g. descriptive, analytical, qualitative and quantitative etc. The methodology used by the researcher is a mix of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. The research would focus on the both qualitative aspects of the TK MAXX policies on staff motivation and will also quantitatively analyze staff satisfaction with the

Research philosophy

Research philosophy refers to how the researcher thinks of the development of knowledge (Saunders, 2003).

There are normally three views with which the knowledge produced is viewed by the researcher. These are positivism, realism and interpretivism. Positivism is the natural scientific view with the philosophical stance on the development of the data (Remenyi, 1998). In other words, this view implies that the knowledge which is based on sense, experience and positive verification is authentic only. Interpretivism is the critical to positivism and is also known as the antipositivism. This implies that it is necessary to understand the subjective reality of the matter that they are studying in order to make sense (Saunders, 2003). Simply this means finding out the details of the situation to understand the reality (Remenyi, 1998).

Realism recognizes that people sharing their interpretations and this is based on the idea that reality exist beyond the human though (Saunders, 2003). Researchers claim that there is no single methodology to adopt while carrying out the research. They believe that a combination of methodologies must be used to carry out research effectively (Kaplan and Duchon, 1988). However, the complexity and dynamism of the reality should be kept in mind to choose best suited methodology (Benbasat, 1984). In order to understand the motivation level of employees in TKMAXX and how they are motivated, research philosophies adopted by the researcher are interpretivism and Positivism.

The researcher has adopted positivism due to the reason that it examines the casual and deterministic relationships (Meel, 2000) and most of the data collected would be statically analyzed. On the other hand, Interpretivism is of main focus in this research as the research is exploratory in nature, where the researcher would be examining the behavior and perception of the staff about their managers and supervisors. This requires the researcher’s subjective interpretation of the phenomena and includes proper understanding and interpretation of the data collected (Meel, 2000). However, to some extent the research philosophy would also include realism.

This philosophy bypasses the individuals’ thoughts and beliefs, of their organizational and suggests that there are lots of other issues that influence people in different way which they might not aware of (Saunders, 2003). This approach will be useful for the researcher in drawing his conclusion of the research.

Research Approach

The second step in the research process is the research approach. Research approach means that how the research in design and the conclusion is drawn to make explicit. There are two approaches of the research, deductive and inductive. In a deductive approach the researcher develop a theory or hypothesis and then design the research strategy to test the research hypothesis. Whereas in a inductive approach the researcher collect data from the respondents and then develop theory from the analysis of the data collected.

The researcher approach in this research will be inductive as deductive reasoning is usually used for arguments based on rules, laws and principles whereas this research is tended to be based on observations. Inductive reasoning works from specific to more general informally its called “bottom up” approach. In inductive reasoning we start from specific measures and observation and start to develop some patterns and regularities with the help of these. Once it is done a hypothesis is formulated and finally a conclusion or general theory is drawn up. In addition to this the conductive approach provides a rigid conclusion which does not allow alternative explanation (Saunders, 2003).

The researcher has to collect data from TK MAXX staff and analyze to examine the behavior and motivation level and this is important that alternative explanations are also brought into consideration. This approach is also useful as developing own ideas and then proving it from the tests could result into the researcher being biased towards either more favorable or unfavorable for TK MAXX. I have expanded the research strategy and added justification of research methodology chosen

Research Strategy

There are several strategies with which the research can be carried out. These mainly include the explanatory studies, survey, case study, grounded theory e. t. c . The strategy adopted by the researcher in TK MAXX are both the case study and survey strategy. survey includes careful designing of questionnaire.

The questionnaire will be standard for all interviewees and therefore the results can be compared. The strategy will help to interpret the quantitative data gathered in interviews. Secondly, case study includes investigation of a phenomenon using multiple sources of information. This approach is relevant to the TK MAXX research as the researcher will be interviewing individuals to determine the motivation in staff. In addition researcher would be evaluating the staff motivation policies through reviewing the documents available on websites and other publicly available documents. The other approaches like explanatory strategy is unlikely to be ruitful as these include detailed explanation of the data collection and could be vague for the quantitative analysis to be carried out. Grounded theory is kind of theory building. It is classic example of the inductive approach. The researcher would also be, to some extent, using the grounded theory strategy. This is due the reason that researcher will be taking cross sectional view due to time limitation.

Time horizon

The researcher had to decide the time required to carry out the research. The research is embedded with the time constraint and therefore the researcher has taken a cross sectional approach in this regard. This approach employs usually the surveys where a particular phenomenon is observed (Saunders, 2003).

The researcher has ignored the longitudinal approach, which includes observing the phenomena over a long period of time (Earl Babbie, 2010). It is obviously not possible for the TK MAXX research project due to time constraints. The researcher is going to conduct the interviews of the staff and will have (what Saunders call) snapshot of inside TK MAXX motivation which helped to save considerable amount of time. There could be some limitations of the approach as it is the observation of particular phenomena at one point of time. The researcher has countered the issue by increasing its sample size. Increasing the sample size will help to determine different individuals’ view of TK MAXX staff motivation.

It can be expected that most the interviewees have developed their views over a long period of time and therefore they will contribute constructive ideas.

Data collecting

Techniques The researcher has used different methods of collecting data. It has already been discussed that the researcher will be analyzing the qualitative and quantitative data. The methods mainly include the qualitative interviews, questionnaire and secondary data will be access through E-journals and different websites. There are different methods for data collection such as through telephone, postal, electronic or self-administered. For questionnaire, researcher has used the self administer technique.

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