Motivation as a Tool for productivity in Edo State Civil Service

Term Paper (Advanced seminar), 2010

53 Pages



The study examined motivation as a tool for productivity in the Nigerian civil service: A case study of Edo State Civil Service. It also identified the motivational strategies that exist in Edo State Civil Service. In addition, the degree of implementation of these motivational strategies in Edo State Civil Service was examined as well as the effectiveness of the identified motivational strategies on the productivity of the Civil Servants in Edo State.

The study used both primary and secondary data. The study revealed that the civil service in Edo State enjoys some motivational incentives from the State Government, although the motivational incentives are rarely implemented in the State Civil Service. They study revealed that increase in remuneration among others like reward for loyalty, availability of opportunity and provision of working tools are motivational mechanisms adopted by the Edo State Civil Service towards increase in employees’ productivity.

The finding of the study revealed that job satisfaction level of staffs of Edo State civil Service is affected or determined by a number of factors which include wages and salary, pension and gratuity, promotion work environment and the work condition. The study also revealed that the Edo State Civil Service motivational strategies like prompt payment of salary and granting of housing and car loans are poorly implemented. The study posits that the morale and initiatives of the Edo State Civil Servants is dampened due to the improper implementation of these motivational strategies which may not at all times be disconnected from politics of favouritism and nepotism.

The study concluded that employers should be able to help employees see that the organization can help them satisfy their needs and utilize their potentials to contribute to the achievement of the organizational goal. Workers are affected by different needs at different times; this means that individual worker is motivated differently. Also, those human needs could be interdependent and overlapping. The government should endeavour to integrate goals of the organization with those of its employees and continuer to adopt the supportive management technique.


1.1 Introduction

Civil Service arrangements have emerged as important institution which interfaces between the state and its citizens. Traditionally these were monolithic, centralized, powerful structures with immense power over the management of the affairs of a nation, and often not very responsive to the changing needs of governance and public management. However, in recent times, many governments have realized the importance of greater efficiency (both economic and functional) in the delivery of services to their citizens. Thus, governments in different parts of the world have initiated large-scale reform in their civil services to achieve greater efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness (DeGraff, 2003).

A lot of research has been done in the area of motivation in relation to the area of organizational management. Researchers and authors agree that motivation is very crucial to the issue of productivity but they differ with regard to the things that motivate.

Vroom (1964) sees motivation as a process governing choices made by persons or lower organisms among alternative forms of voluntary activity. This implies that motivation propels an individual to prefer one job to another.

Some researchers assumed that variables such as amount of reward are motivational variables that directly influence the strength of incentive motivation.

The effective performance of a civil service depends on sound recruitment, selection and retention practices. Low morale, high turnover, extreme civil service wages bills and poor service quality are endemic to government administrations that fail to attract, retain and motivate high quality civil servants (Nunberg, 1995). Civil service in developing countries face the major problems of professional incompetence and lack of motivation among their employees (Vijayaragavan and Singh, 2004). Furthermore, civil service of these countries do not have a well-defined system of human resource management. Proper planning and management of human resources within the civil service is essential to increase the capabilities, motivation and effectiveness of civil servants.

A close review of all theories of human motivation reveal a common driving principle that people do what they are rewarded for doing. In general, the theories on motivation can be classified as: employee needs motivation through goal-setting, employee reward/incentives and reinforcement.

1.2 The Concept of Motivation

The word motivation was derived from the Latin word “mouveree” meaning to move. It implies that motivation is how behaviour get started, energized, sustained, directed, stopped and other kind of subjective reactions present in the organism while all these are going on.

Motivation is “the set of processes that determine the choices people make about their behaviours”. Motivation is an abstract term. It imparts incentives that require a response on part of someone else to achieve a defined goal. In business, motivation is synonymous with salaries; money is a means for accommodating the economic needs of workers. Motivation means an inner wholesome desire to exert effort without the external stimulus of money. Motivating is the ability of indoctrinating the personnel with a unity of purpose and maintaining a continuing, harmonious relationship among all people. It is a force which encourages and promotes a willingness of every employee to cooperate with every member of the team. To maintain is to create and perpetuate the climate which brings harmony and equilibrium into the entire work group for the benefit of all who are involved – the company as a whole (Shinba & Sinba, 1977). Since effective motivation comes from within, by motivating others, the manager can do more than create proper conditions that cause people to do their work willingly.

Motivating is the work managers perform to inspire, encourage and impel people to take action. To motivate the employee, the employee must be reached; to reach him there must be a complete understanding of the complexity in his make-up (Stajkovic & Luthans (2003). Motivation efforts must be directed towards improving company operations. To be effective, however, they must also be designed to show benefits to the employee. In fact, motivation can best be accomplished when workers are able to merge their personal ambitions with those of the company. According to Skinner, B.F. (1969), motivation is defined thus, “the willingness to exert high level of effort to teach Organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need. Dainty, Lingard, and Loosemore (2002), define motivation as a set of independent and dependant relationships that explains the direction, amplitude and persistence of an individual’s behaviour holding constant the effects of aptitude, skills, understanding of a task and the constraints operating in the work environment. Deci & Ryan (1985), define motivation as the contemporary immediate influence on the direction, vigor, and persistence of action.

The relationship between the employer and employee must be one of understanding in order for the employee to identify himself with his work and with the business he is working for. Lack of motivation in return affects productivity. A number of symptoms may point to low morale: declining productivity; high employee turnover; increasing number of grievances; higher incidence of absenteeism and tardiness; increasing number of defective products; higher number of accidents or a higher level of waste materials and scrap (Fashoyin, 2004). A motivated employee is a loyal employee and to be loyal implies that the employee supports the actions and objectives of the firm. Vroom (1964) defined motivation as a process governing choice made by persons or lower organism among alternative forms of voluntary activities.

Motivation as a concept attracted psychologists’ attention in 1930s. motivation in contemporary psychology encompasses three main issues. These include drive, goal or purpose pleasure and pain of nature of re-enforcer. The first attempts to explain what activate man to action and why he engages in some activities at certain times. The second assert that the behaviour of man tends to be directed towards a particular end or goal; it seeks to discover how to make behaviour to be goal directed and whether this goal direction can be objectively described or measured. The third view the nature of re-enforcer and the properties that account for positive reinforcement (pleasure) in certain events and negative reinforcement (pain) in other men tend to repeat actvioties that lead to positive consequences (reward) and stop doing what leads to negative consequences – punishment (Nwachukwu, 2008).

Motivation is a complex concept widely used in every major field of endeavour such as industry, commerce, politics, and religion and so on. Hence, it has been defined differently by various industrial and behavioural psychologists as each tries to emphasize the aspect of the concept that appeal to him. All these definitions show that motivation is a factor that triggers action and energises and directs such action towards a goal. These descriptions and definitions of motivation process which managers should take cognizance of the effective labour management. These include knowing:

(a) What energises human behaviour?
(b) How this behaviour is directed or channeled and how the behaviour can be sustained, (Nwachuckwu, ibid).

Similarly, Koontz and O’Donnel, (1980) distinguished between motivation and satisfaction. He said that motivation implies a drive towards outcome while satisfaction involves outcome already experienced. He explains further that motivation refers to the drive and effort to satisfy a want or a goal while satisfaction refers to the commitment experienced when a want is satisfied. From what has been said so far, it is clear that motivation is an important tool for achieving organization objectives. In view of this, a number of theories have been propounded to help managers have a better understanding of the subject. Some of the theories provide the basis for the design of reward systems which in turn are means by which an organization attempt to influence and control the behaviour of its members.

Motivation can be referred to as those wishes, desires, and drives etc that stimulate and activate man to do certain things. Man is said to be motivated if his latent energy is directed towards certain goal. It is also a perceived reward or incentive that sharpens the drive to satisfy needs. Why man behaves in a particular manner depends on his needs. Man is very rational, he does anything only to satisfy his needs and at a particular point of time he does that activity which satisfies his most important need. A man is motivated to do those things which satisfy his needs. The management is interested in getting the activities of workers diverted in the fulfillment of those things which are helpful in the attainment of the goal of the organization.

Motivation towards better performance depends on the satisfaction of needs for responsibility, achievement, recognition and growth. Needs are felt, and their intensity varies from one person to another and from time to time, and so does the extent to which they are motivated. Behaviour is learned and reward encourages even better performance, thus, reinforcing desired behaviour. It is what one does not have that one wants, one works to achieve that which one needs. Hence, if we know what people need and want, then we know what they will work for, and like working for, and so work well to achieve.

Attaining goals lead to feelings of self-respect, strength and confidence. Few people are able to continue a pattern of achievement and success without the added encouragement provided by others recognizing their achievements. Continued failure and frustration and defeat can result in feelings of inadequacy and a withdrawal form competitive situations. Persistent lack of rewards leads to a view of society as being hostile and unrewarding (Davidmann, 2001).

There are many theories of motivation that employers can use to improve their understanding of why people behave as they do. None provides a universally accepted explanation of human behaviour. People are far too complex. The two most discussed groups of theories are content theories and process theories. Content theories are concerned with identifying what is within an individual or the work environment that energizes and sustains behaviour. On the other hand, process theories try to explain and describe the process of how behaviour is energized, directed, sustained, and finally stopped. However for the content theories, Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, Herberg’s two-factor theory, and McClelland’s Achievement Motivation theory shall be examined. While for the process theories, the Carrot and the Stick, Expectancy theory (Vroom), and McGregor theory X and Y shall be examined.

1.2.1 Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow was a psychologist, who developed theory of human motivation, and classified human needs into five categories in a hierarchical manner, that is movement from one to another after a need has been satisfied.

Maslow’s need hierarchy theory has enjoyed widespread acceptance, since it was introduced around 1943. His theory of motivation stresses two fundamental premises:

i. Man is a wanting animal whose needs depend on what he already has only needs not yet satisfied can influence behaviour. In other words, a satisfied need is not a motivator.
ii. Man’s needs are arranged in a hierarchy of importance. Once one need is satisfied, another emerges and demands satisfaction.

Maslow hypothesized five levels of needs. These needs are: Physiological Needs

This category consists of the human body’s primary needs, such as food, water, and sex. As Maslow states “a person who is lacking food, safety, love and esteem probably would hunger for food more strongly than for anything else”. Safety Needs

When physiological needs are adequately met, the next higher level assumes importance. Safety needs include protection form physical harm, ill health, economic disaster, and the unexpected. Social Needs

These needs are related to social nature of people and their need for companionship. Here, the hierarchy departs from the physical or quasi-physical needs of the two previous levels. Non-satisfaction of this level may affect the mental health of the individual. Esteem Needs

The need for both awareness of importance to others (self-esteem) and actual esteem from others is included. Satisfaction of these needs lead to feeling of self-confidence and prestige. Self- Actualization Needs

Maslow defines these needs as the “desire to become more and more what one is to become everything one is capable of becoming. This means that the individual will realize fully the potentialities of talents and capabilities.

The need hierarchy theory is widely accepted and referred to by practising employers, although, it does not provide a complete understanding of human motivation or the means to motivate people. The hierarchy is easy to comprehend, as a great deal of common sense validity, and point out some of the factors that motivate people.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 2.1: Source: Nwachukwu, 1988

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy

1.2.2 Herberg’s Theory of Motivation

In the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg considered by many to be a pioneer in motivation theory, interviewed a group of employees to find out what made them satisfied and dissatisfied on the job. Frederick Herzberg went to the extent of asking people to describe in detail the different situation which caused them high or low morale. According to Herzberg, people felt happy when they experience job satisfaction and also motivated and happy through recognition, achievement, responsibility, advancement and work itself.

All these are considered as intrinsic factor (built in) or job satisfier or motivator. On the other hand, people’s unhappiness about their work of experience, lack of job satisfaction is connected with play, company policy, supervision, administration, and relationship with peers or subordinate. Herzberg referred to the conditions as extrinsic factor or dissatisfier. Dissatisfier reduces effort to work; their absence can result in acts which are hostile to the organization. Dissatisfier will into induce harder effort on the part of the employee but can result in more or less neutral reaction. Herzberg contended that the main causes of job dissatisfaction are deficiencies in the hygienic factors where as the main cause of job satisfaction are the provision of satisfiers.

The implication of this theory is that the employer of labour should be concerned with two views of their workers:

(a) What makes the workers happy and motivate them?
(b) What makes them unhappy and causes job dissatisfaction?

From the interviews, Herzberg went on to develop his theory that there are two dimensions to job satisfaction: motivation and hygiene. Hygiene issues, according to Herzberg, can not motivate employees but can minimize dissatisfaction, if handled properly. In other words, they can only dissatisfy if they are absent or mishandled. Hygiene topics include company policies, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations and working conditions. They are issues related to the employee’s environment (Nwachukwu, 1988).

Motivators, on the other hand, create satisfaction by fulfilling individuals’ needs for personal growth. They are issues such as achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility and advancement. Once hygiene areas are addressed, said Herzberg, motivators will promote job satisfaction and encourage production. Although hygiene issues are not the source of satisfaction, these issues must be dealt with first to create an environment in which employee’s satisfaction and motivation are even possible. Company and Administrative Policies

An organization’s policy can be a great source of frustration for employees, if the policies are unclear or unnecessary. Printed copies of the company’s policies and procedures should be made accessible to all members of staff. If there is not a written manual, create one, soliciting staff input along the way. If there is one, consider updating it. Supervision

To decrease dissatisfaction in this area, you must begin by making wise decisions when you appoint someone to the role of supervisor. Be aware that good employees do not make good supervisors. The role of supervisor is extremely difficult. It requires leadership skills and the ability to treat all employees fairly. Supervisors should be taught to use positive feedback whenever possible and should establish a set means of employee evaluation and feedback so that no one feels singled out. Salary

The old adage “you get what you pay for” tends to be true when it comes to staff members. Salary is not a motivator for employees, but they do not want to be paid fairly. If individuals believe they are not compensated well, they will be unhappy working for you. Make sure there is a clear policy related to salaries, raises and bonuses. Interpersonal Relations

Part of the satisfaction of being employed is the social contact it brings, so allow employees a reasonable amount of time for socialization. This will help them develop a sense of team work. At the same time, inappropriate behaviour, offensive comments and rudeness should be creaked down on. If an individual continues to be disruptive, take care of the situation, perhaps by dismissing him or her from the practice. Working Conditions

The environment in which people work has a tremendous effect on their level of pride for themselves and for the work they are doing. Do everything you can to keep your equipment and facilities up to date. Even a nice chair can make a world of difference to an individual’s psyche. Also, if possible, avoid overcrowding and allow each employee his or her own personal space, whether it is desk, or even a drawer. Work Itself

What is most important to employee motivation is helping individuals believe that the work they are doing is important and that their tasks are meaningful. Emphasize that their contributions to the practices result in positive outcomes and good health care for your patients. Share stories of success about how an employee’s action made a real difference in the life of a patient, or in making a process better. You may find certain tasks that are truly unnecessary and can be eliminated or streamlined, resulting in greater efficiency and satisfaction. Achievement

One premise inherent in Herzberg’s theory is that most individuals sincerely want to do a good job. To help them, make sure you have placed them in positions that use their talents and are not set up for failure. Set clear, achievable goals and standards for each position, and make sure employees know what those goals and standards are individuals should also receive regular, timely feedback on how they are doing and should feel they are being adequately challenged in their jobs. Do not overload individuals with challenges that are too difficult or impossible, as it can be paralyzing. Recognition

Individuals at all levels of the organization want to be recognized for their achievements on the job. Their successes do not have to be monumental before they deserve recognition, but you praise should be sincere. If you notice employees doing something well, take the time to acknowledge their good work immediately, publicly thank them for handling a situation particularly well. Write a kind note of praise, or give them a bonus if appropriate. A formal recognition program could be established such as “employee of the month”. Responsibility

Employees will be more motivated to do their jobs well if they have ownership of their work. This requires giving employees enough freedom and power to carry out their tasks so that they feel they “own” the result. As individuals mature in their jobs, provide opportunities for added responsibility. Be careful, however, that you do not simply add more work, instead, find ways to add challenging and meaningful work, perhaps giving the employee greater freedom and authority as well. Advancement

Reward loyalty and performance with advancement. If you do not have an open position to which to promote a valuable employee, consider giving him or her a new title that reflects the level of work he or she has achieved. When feasible, support employees by allowing them to pursue further education, which will make them more valuable to your practice and more fulfilled professionally (Syptak, Marsland and Ulmer, 2002).

1.2.3 David McClelland Theory of Motivation

David McClelland contributed to the understanding of motivation by identifying three types of basic motivating needs. He classified them as the need for power (n/PWR), need for affiliation (n/AFF), and need for achievement (n/ACH). Need for Power

McClelland and other researchers have found that people with a high need for power have a great concern for exercising influence and control. Such individuals generally are seeking positions of leadership; they are frequently good conversationalists, though often argumentative; they are forceful, outspoken, hard-headed, and demanding; and they enjoy teaching and public speaking. Need for Affiliation

People with a high need for affiliation usually derive pleasure from being loved and tend to avoid the pain of being rejected by a social group. As individuals, they are likely to be concerned with maintaining pleasant social relationships, to enjoy a sense of intimacy and understanding, to be ready to console and help others in trouble, and to enjoy friendly interaction with others. Need for Achievement

People with a high need for achievement have an intense desire for success and an equally intense fear of failure. They want to be challenged, and they set moderately difficult (but not impossible) goals for themselves. They taker a realistic approach to risk; they are not likely to be gamblers but, rather prefer to analyze and assess problems, assume personal responsibility for getting the job done, and like specific and prompt feedback on how they are doing. They tend to be restless, like to work long hours, do not worry unduly about failure if it does occur, and tend to like to run their own shows.


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Motivation as a Tool for productivity in Edo State Civil Service
University of Nigeria
introduction to personnel management (PAD 635)
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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motivation, tool, state, civil, service
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adeola ajayi (Author), 2010, Motivation as a Tool for productivity in Edo State Civil Service, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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