Employee Motivation in Low Income Earning Jobs: a Case Study of Subway

4631 Words Dec 5th, 2012 19 Pages
Chapter 1
Background to the study
A motivated employee works hard and effectively because of the satisfactory feeling of fulfillment. In business management, motivation is an important research field. Over the years, there have been many motivation theories developed. One of the most famous theories is on the basis of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Maslow (1954) argued that individuals have a hierarchy of needs, and true motivation is achieved by fulfilling higher level of needs. Emphasized by various motivation theories, income (money) has been an essential factor which can affect motivation. Someone who has low income jobs tends to have low motivation. Consequently, low motivation will result in low effectiveness
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A person who can’t understand the meaning and the importance of motivation will not become a leader. Also, to stay as a leader, he/she also needs to utilize motivation in the work place. Employee motivation is the psychological feature that arouses an employee to work in an effective level, to accomplish organizational goals. It is necessary for organization to enhance motivation level of the employees to bring out the best performances from them.

Major Motivation Theories
Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
One of the most influential authors in the area of motivation is Abraham Maslow (1954). Abraham Maslow (1954) integrated various research related to human motivation. Prior to Maslow, researchers just focused on motivational factors separately, such as biology, achievement, or power to explain what energizes, directs, and sustains human behavior. Maslow proposed a hierarchy of human needs on the basis of two groupings: deficiency needs and growth needs (Maslow, 1954). Within the deficiency needs, every lower need must be met before moving to the next higher level (Maslow, 1954). The first four levels are: 1) Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.; 2) Safety/Security: out of danger; 3) Belongingness and Love: affiliate with others, be accepted; and 4) Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition (Maslow, 1954).

According to Maslow (1954), an individual is ready

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