In week 6 we examine the issue of privatization of public services and look at criteria for taking the option to privatize versus retaining public control through managers and employees on the government payroll. The principal-agent theory will be examined as a means of framing the privatization process. Trends, problems and how privatization fits within the model of the civil society are examined.
You will also examine group behavior, leadership, and motivation theories.
When this week is complete, you should have a basic understanding of, and the ability to deal with, individual, group, and inter-group behavior, motivation and leadership. Good program management begins with careful attention to goals and objectives for attaining the goals. This week will be an opportunity for you to develop skills, judgment, and understanding for the crucial management task of analyzing, improving, running, and evaluating administrative systems.
Behavior and Motivation
One of the most famous studies in social science theory development is the Hawthorne Study which studied the productivity of its workers. Elton Mayo and fellow researchers wanted to determine whether or not a change in lighting would increase output. (Anteby and Khurana, 2012). The experimenters found that when lighting was increased, output increased. When they decreased the lighting, the output did not decline. Over the next several years, researchers manipulated factors such as temperature, assignments, supervision, and workday length. They found that whenever changes took place, the productivity increased. The final results indicated that belonging to a team and having supervision that paid attention to them were the things that mattered more than the physical setting of the work.
One of the best-known motivation theories comes from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. First noted by Maslow in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation,” this theory noted that people must focus on the most basic (physiological) human needs first, such as food and water, before they could attend to other needs.
Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation is another way to examine motivation. Some people are motivated by intrinsic incentives, which come from feelings of accomplishment and self-development. Others are motivated by extrinsic incentives, which are given by others (Rainey,1997). For example, some workers might feel a strong enough sense of mission and purpose in their work to be somewhat indifferent to pay and working conditions, as long as they are paid enough to meet their basic needs. These workers might even regard obstacles such as leaking roofs, malfunctioning air conditioning, and indifferent bosses as things that make their eventual success even more worthwhile. Other workers might regard the mission as less important than their salary, and might be motivated by the prospect of receiving a salary increase. Still others might be motivated by praise from their boss more than by the mission or the salary.
McGregor introduced the Theory X and Theory Y concepts. He may not have been the first to think about these theories, but he was the first to name them (The Economist (2008b). According to McGregor, Theory X placed the emphasis on productivity and saw employees as lazy while Theory Y saw workers as self-directed because they wanted to satisfy their own needs for achievement.
Mosher was a practitioner of public administration who later became a professor at Syracuse University. Mosher, who originally focused on local governments and public administration, began to explore national public administration after the new Deal. (Plant, 2015) He saw a need for cooperation and unity among academics, researchers, administrators and interested citizens in the field.
Adams thought employees were motivated when they thought they were being treated fairly in the workplace and unmotivated when they thought they were treated unfairly in the workplace (MindTools, n.d.). This was an acknowledgement that there are various subtle factors that influence the perception employees have about their work and employer. When employees feel they are giving more to the organization than they are receiving, they may be de-motivated and become disgruntled.
Most of us have experienced workplaces in which some employees have been held to different standards (either higher or lower) for various inappropriate reasons such as office politics, grudges held by managers, or connections high in the organization. This unfair behavior (whether actual or merely perceived) can cause people to conclude that if they are not being judged on their performance, extra effort to make that performance better (working late, working hard, putting up with personal inconvenience to get the job done) is wasted. It can also cause people to regard work as less pleasant, since it is not enjoyable to watch unfairness. Employees who do not like to be at work are likely to become “clock-watchers,” and to have higher absenteeism, in addition to lower morale.
Consider where you may have seen this in your workplace and how it impacts employees.
Anteby, M. & Khurana, R. (2012) A new vision. Harvard Business School, Baker Library, Historical Collections. Retrieved from http://www.library.hbs.edu/hc/hawthorne/anewvision.html#e
Burton, N. (2012, May 23). Our hierarchy of needs. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/hide-and-seek/201205/our-hierarchy-needs
The Economist. (2008a) Douglas McGregor. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/12366698
The Economist. (2008b) The Hawthorne effect. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/12510632
The Economist. (2008c). Theories X and Y. Retrieved from http://www.economist.com/node/12370445
Kosar, K. R. (2006). Privatization and the Federal Government: An introduction. Retrieved from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/RL33777.pdf
Luthans, F. (1998). Organizational behavior (8th Ed.). Boston: Irwin McGraw-Hill.
Maslow, A. H. (1943) Psychological Review 50(4) 370-96
McGregor, D. (1957) ‘The Human Side of Enterprise’, Management Review, 46 (11). pp. 22-28.
MindTools (n.d.) Adams’ Equity Theory: Balancing Employee Inputs and Outputs. Retrieved from https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_96.htm
Neme, H. (2012, August 30) Hawthorne Studies. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7RHjwmVGhs
Plant, J. F. (2015) Remembering William Mosher: a pioneer of public administration. Public Administration Review 71:1 pp. 13-14.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (2014). Intrinsic vs. extrinsic value. Retrieved from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/value-intrinsic-extrinsic/