This investigation into the motivation of the Careers Centre staff at the University of Xxx not only directly researches their preferred motivational factors but also analyses the possible effects on this motivation from external factors such as the political environment, which is shown to have created a positive climate for enterprising and motivated careers services to exploit, and internal factors such as the organisation of the university whose similarity with professional bureaucracies could possibly be stifling innovation.
After an analysis of different models of motivation the eventual research results are compared against the Alderfer model of motivation and are shown to have some consistency with this model.
The research results and conclusions have provided some clarification of why certain staff have been unwilling to consider change and innovation, the importance of whichÂ Â is explained within the context of the political environment.
One of the main recommendations will be to share the quantitative results with the staff and explain the significance of the findings. However the greater effect of this work will be to improve the understanding of staff motivation and how that needs to be managed in order for an organisation to have productive and content workers.
Introduction and Rationale
As the manager of the Careers Centre, which comprises about 20 members of staff, there has been over the last 4 years from the more professionally qualified staff an unwillingness to propose or discuss new ideas, and a clear reluctance to participate in the consultation process during the formation of operational and strategic plans. A successful Careers Centre needs enthusiastic and innovative staff, particularly among its more professionally qualified members the Careers Counsellors (Advisers), in order for it to deliver attractive and effective services. This encourages students to use the service and therefore help ensure that students enter successful outcomes after leaving the University of Xxx, which is important for one of the universityâs key performance indicators, the Employment Performance Indicator, and fulfils the main reason why people choose to do higher education. A survey published in March 2006 revealed that students regard a university education as the route to a good career. The survey, based on a poll of 2,172 students at 112 UK universities, discovered that over 72% went to university in order to enhance their job opportunities. (The Sodexho University Lifestyle Survey 2006)
Despite the opportunity for Careers Centre staff in the last 10 years to exploit external factors such as government legislation and reports which have strengthened the importance of Careers Education Information and Guidance (CEIG) within higher education, a range of internal factors have negated a flow of ideas and new approaches which are encouraged by the management of the university, and also by the staffâs professional body the Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS). To understand this reluctance it is important to understand the factors that motivate staff and from this adopt a more appropriate management style to obtain more participation.
- To understand the political environment within which the Careers Centre and all higher education careers services operate and what effect relevant legislation and recommendations from key reports such as Dearing 1997 have had upon the work and impact of the services.
- To describe internal organisational factors that impact upon the Careers Centre at the University of Xxx and consider what possible effects they have upon the attitudes and motivation of the Careers Centre staff.
- To get a better understanding of the factors which motivate and de-motivate staff within the Careers Centre at the University Of Xxx through a study of motivational theories, a quantitative research of the staff, and qualitative research of any related experiences from other managers of university careers services.
- To provide an analysis of the research and how the findings may contribute to future management action and style, taking into consideration also the contextual factors of the external and internal environments.
The main part of the investigation will be to analyse the staff motivational factors within the Careers Centre and from this draw up recommendations to encourage staff, and in particular the Careers Counsellors to be more motivated to involve themselves in innovative service development.
However such investigation needs to take into account how external factors such as the political environment have shaped the university based careers guidance profession, and what influence internal factors such as the university organisation have upon the staff. Therefore the investigation will include a study of the political environment and organisational behaviour.
To better understand motivation there will be an analysis of different motivation theories culminating with a selection of a model to draw comparisons against the eventual results of the survey.
The analysis of motivational factors within the staff of the Careers Centre will focus primarily on the professionally qualified staff, the Careers Counsellors. The team also includes information and volunteering staff but they have shown recent examples of being innovative, and it is the professionally qualified Careers Counsellors who should be equally committed to change and innovation.
As the Careers Counsellors have formed a significant group another approach could have been to evaluate the nature and effectiveness of the group, and its culture. The Careers Counsellors generally work as individuals within the university Schools, which form part of their caseload. However they come together as a group to share expertise on complex tasks, stimulate creativity and generate new ideas, and as observed when attending meetings provide mutual support and friendship. Conversely however as described within Mullins (2007), a strong, cohesive group can also provide negative effects within an organisation. He purports that a group that is fully developed and has established its own culture can be critical or even hostile towards an outsider to non-members like their manager.
They have worked together for over eight years with very little turn over, and so they have undoubtedly developed a culture of concepts, beliefs, attitudes and values within their role that are meaningful for them.
Investigating the culture related issues would be important because a manager needs to understand why people perform in a certain way and establishing a âgoodâ culture is key for improving performance and getting people to unite behind strategic goals. Similarly, as well functioning groups are an essential feature of any organisation it would be interesting to analyse the nature of the Careers Counsellor group and consider how to change their shared values and outlook if these are discovered to be factors in preventing them to consider change. However as stated in Mullins (2005) it would be very difficult to change the attitudes of a fully developed group.
Therefore it was decided to examine motivation within the Careers Centre. It was felt that studying the theories of motivation, and synthesising these with factors of motivation which are favoured by the Careers Centre staff, would help create an understanding of the appropriate managerial actions required to get everyone, including the Careers Counsellors thinking more positively about innovation and service development.
It was agreed to conduct two pieces of research; firstly quantitative research into the preferred motivational factors of the Careers Centre staff (see appendix 1), and secondly qualitative research into issues related to motivation experienced by managers of other university careers services (see appendix 2). The first research would actually clarify the level of importance applied by staff to factors of motivation while the second may provide some advice and guidance from peers.
- The Political Environment
The origins of university careers services as reported by Deer and Mayhew (2007) can be traced back to 1892 when a University Appointments Board was created at Oxford to provide advisory interviews and placement into jobs though selection interviews with employers arranged on campus. Gradually by 1960 all 25 universities in the UK had such a board in place staffed by advisors who had been drawn from professions on which they were likely to be asked advice. Few had received any training in imparting information, advice and guidance and for many students the service was just about providing vacancy information.
All this was to change with the publication of the Robbins Report in 1963, and the Dearing Report of 1997. Firstly the Robbins Report recommended the creation of new universities to accommodate the increased numbers of young people who wished to study at higher education level. Furthermore this would increase the number of people skilled at degree level that was needed for Britainâs economy to compete internationally. As a result the numbers studying full time first degrees in the UK rose from 92,000 in 1960-61, to 1.1million by 1995-96.
University Appointment Boards now had to change to meet the needs of a mass system of university intake coming from more varied backgrounds, and leaving university to wider areas of the labour market than previously. As described by Watts (2007) giving information was no longer enough; non directive careers counselling for the undecided complemented by careers education programmes and group-works to accommodate the large numbers emerged. Now the boards were being replaced by university careers services, staffed by an increased number of careers advisers who had received professional training. This change was supported by the creation in 1967 of a professional body; Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services (AGCAS) which was committed to providing continuous professional development for its members who have needed to keep abreast of the ever changing vagaries of the labour market, and receive ongoing training in the methods and technologies to impart information advice and guidance.
However the expansion in numbers entering higher education was not supported by a parallel increase in funding for the universities or indeed for students to support their living costs. At the beginning of the 1980s at a time of heavily constrained public expenditure, Kogan and Kogan (1983) reported that universities had to make cuts of 18% leading to huge losses of academic jobs. While the Labour Government of the 1970s and the Conservative governments of the 80s and 90s, had recognised the importance of producing more graduates for Britain to compete economically, and furthermore by trying to influence course provision to meet economic needs, it would seem they were doing so âon the cheapâ.
Eventually the Conservative Government recognised that a long-term review of the sector was required which was the objective of the Dearing Report, which was published in 1997. The essential purpose of the report was to make recommendationsÂ Â on increasing further the numbers applying to higher education and in a particular from less represented groups, with options on raising sufficient finance so universities could provides appropriate facilities. However the Dearing Report also recommended that âinstitutions over the medium term should integrate their careers services more fully into academic affairs, andâ¦the provision of careers education and guidance should be reviewed periodically by the Quality Assurance Agency.â (Dearing 1997 â Recommendation 11)
Over the last ten years since Dearing, AGCAS has provided considerable support and training for managers and staff, enabling good practice to be shared across the sector and above all instigate a quality assurance scheme called âMatrixâ which enables services to follow a framework relevant to the delivery and management of information and guidance services.
As an analysis of the changes within higher education over the last forty years and its effect upon the university careers services, one can see that the expansion in numbers and the greater diversity, which has meant careers services having to respond to the needs of very different target groups such as disabled and international students, has meant greater challenges for careers services and in particular their managers, but also as argued by Watts (2007) greater opportunities.
Careers Services have always had to justify their place within an institution because careers education and guidance are not mandated in higher education as they are in schools and further education colleges. Furthermore parallel resources have not matched the expansion in student numbers. However the more proactive and motivated services have strengthened their position and increased their funding by taking advantage of the fact that issues relating to studentsâ employability are high on the policy agenda, and so they have synthesised their objectives with those of their institution and national policies relating to higher education, to win funding from internal university budgets, and external sources such as regional development agencies. At the University of Xxx the careers service manager has received internal funding to develop and promote Personal Development Planning, and external money to fund research into the effect of employability teaching within Partner Colleges. However larger sums have been won by other university careers services to develop huge projects such as Graduate Yorkshire and Go Wales! which enable greater levels of support for students and graduates to access employers and vacancies.
Â Â Â Â
The success of attracting such funding hinges very much on the ability of the manager to identify sources of finance but more importantly recognise where the service can link its objectives with those of other stakeholders, internal within the institution but also outside. However another important factor is for the manager to be surrounded by professional staff who are equally motivated to develop the service, and ensure that it meets the needs of its clients, and the targets of the institution, through the provision of attractive and accessible services.
- An examination of internal factors which bear upon the Careers Centre at the University of XxxÂ Â
While this study focuses on aspect of human personality i.e. motivation in an effort to improve team and service performance, it is also important to look at the universityâs organisational structure to consider what influence this has upon the attitude and work of the Careers Centre staff. Mullins (2007) makes the point that behaviour is affected by the impact of organisation structure and design and goes on to say âIt is the task of management to integrate the individual and the organisation and to provide a working environment that permits the satisfaction of individual needs as well as the attainment of organisational goalsâ. (Mullins 2007 p6) The personality aspects will be covered in depth in the next section, but it is necessary therefore to understand the organisational environment of the Careers Centre and how this could influence individual behaviour and motivation.
In general the university is very supportive of the Careers Centreâs remit of helping students make informed choices of where to go after leaving university, and develop the right attitudes and skills in order for them to make a successful transition to employment or further study for the short and long term (employability). The previous Vice Chancellor Sir David Watson helped to establish the Career Planning Agreement in the mid 1990s that provides a framework for Careers Counsellors and academic staff to map together the provision of employability on all courses, and jointly plan and provide activities that they do on a regular basis
Therefore the professional staff of the Careers Centre are very much part of the universityâs fabric and could potentially be influenced by its organisational structure and behaviour. The structure of the university follows the principles of the bureaucratic model, which is found in many large-scale organisations (Mullins 2005). Although the term bureaucracy is often used negatively to describe inefficient organisations, the German sociologist Weber (1864-1920), a leading proponent of this model considered bureaucracy as the most logical and rational structure for large organisations(class notes Sorensen â Bentham 2007). The universityâs hierarchical structure of reporting through School, Faculty and central committees, with a multitude of rules and procedures carried out by people on the basis of their technical expertise fits with the key principles of bureaucracies.
It could be argued that this is the right structure for the university. It is a large organisation employing over 2000 people (University of Xxx Annual Report 2005-6), and through its bureaucratic approach enables a standardisation of work and service provision, and ensures work by huge numbers of staff is controlled and regulated Furthermore as recognised by Horton and Farnham (1999) the rules and procedures as in all public authorities are there to ensure equal treatment.
However a bureaucratic structure like the university can be characterised as having features of the 1970s public services which led to the emergence of ânew public managerialismâ, designed to make public service managers more efficient and accountable. Horton and Farnham (1999) assert that many public services were criticised for being inefficient, ineffective and dominated by professionals who moved resources into activities that they choose rather than policy outputs that are in the public interest.
It would be unfair to criticise the University of Xxx in the same way particularly as the latest annual report suggests that the university is financially very healthy (University of Xxx Annual Report 2005-6). However it could be argued by Mintzberg (1989) that the university contains features of a âprofessional bureaucracyâ, where individual professionals work autonomously. The professionals, i.e. the lecturers use skills standardised by formal training co-ordinated and monitored by professional bodies. The organisation then relies upon standards originated from outside its own structure and thus the professional bureaucracy is managed by expertise as opposed to a machine bureaucracy which relies on the power of office, the âline managerâ to exercise authority.
For an organisation like the university it means motivated, competent professionals can serve their clients, the students, using considerable professional autonomy. Yet relying upon, rather than ensuring, the skills and knowledge of the operating professionals function, means the organisation cannot easily challenge questionable work or outputs when discretion is focussed in the hands of single professionals. Its also asserted by Mintzberg (1989) that an additional characteristic in such organisations is a reluctance to innovate as this would require the professionals to break away from old routines and standards.
In many ways one can recognise during team meetings and in staff supervision how the behaviour of the Careers Counsellors, âthe professionalsâ of the Careers Centre, replicates the behaviour of professionals within a professional bureaucracy as described by Mintzberg (1989). They very much value their independence and are very proud of the skills they were taught during their training. These are used primarily to conduct individual interviews and workshops, for which they receive direct feedback, usually very positive. To get them to consider more innovative ways of working, particularly those ways adopted by other university careers services that have been very beneficial for students, and have helped those services raise their profile and impact within their institution, has been met with resistance based on professional expertise.
To conclude the analysis of the internal and external factors one can see that at Xxx efforts to encourage or even motivate the Careers Counsellors to exploit the external environment that has provided rewards for careers services that have been strategically enterprising have not succeeded.
- An analysis of motivational theories and the selection of an appropriate model for the research of motivational factors of staff at the Careers Centre
Rollinson (2006 p187 ) states that âby understanding what motivates people, managers hope to be able to control their work performance so that they work harder and more willinglyâ
Managers are advised to be aware of motivational theory as it provides a basis for study and discussion, and helps to decide how it might effectively be applied in work situations. To understand what motivates people is extremely important for managers as Mullins (2007) points out; the success of an organisation depends on the contribution of the people within it.
However while there are similarities in the definitions of motivation given by academics:
- ââ¦as a set of processes that arouse, direct, and maintain human behaviour towards attaining some goalâ Greenberg and Baron (lecture notes, Sorenson- Bentham 2007)
- â the processes that account for an individualâs intensity, direction and persistence of effort towards attaining a goalâ Robbins (lecture notes, Sorenson- Bentham, 2007)
there are differences between the main theories of work motivation. As explained by Mullins (2007) content theories attempt to explain the specific things that actually motivate people at work and so focus on peopleâs needs, their relative strengths and the goals they pursue to satisfy those needs. However process theories while acknowledging satisfying needs as a motivational driver, are more concerned with how a variety of personal factors interact and influence the strength of the motivational forces.
Of this set of theories including Maslowâs Hierarchy of Needs, Herzbergâs Motivation-Hygiene Factor Theory, McGregorâs X and Y Theory, and C.Alderferâs Modified Needs Hierarchy â ERG Theory, they all in some way provide relevance and applicability to the addressing of motivation within the Careers Centre.
Maslowâs hierarchy of needs, as described by Cooper (1974) devised in 1943 suggesting that human needs can be arranged into a series of levels beginning with physiological needs, then safety needs, belonging, esteem and finally self actualisation, provide a useful framework for considering the different needs and expectations of staff and where they are positioned in the hierarchy. This last point is important because the theory stipulates that the levels of needs are sequential and so as each of the needs becomes fulfilled the next step becomes dominant. However this theory received several criticisms including the point that not all workers strive to have higher needs met; either that they meet these needs outside the workplace, or they value other needs higher such as belonging or social as observed in Careers Counsellorsâ group meetings
Alderfer also put forward a hierarchy of needs in 1969 but with only three levels including existence which relates to Maslowâs levels one and two, relatedness which correspond to Maslowâs level three and four and finally growth similar to Maslows level four and five. Unlike Maslow however as described by Mullins (2007) lower level needs do not have to be met before addressing other needs, so there is more of a continuum with individuals seeking to satisfy more than one level of needs at the same time. Furthermore, if an individualâs needs are blocked in any way, e.g. cannot achieve promotion, then they will address other needs such as relatedness so they may regress down the continuum. Even workers in more senior positions whose motivation may be positioned within Maslowâs higher levels, have to simultaneously address their own lower level needs such as job security and good working conditions to maintain their own motivation.
Cooper (1974) described how Herzberg in 1959 asked 200 American workers about the times they felt good or bad about their job and to provide reasons, the research from which showed that there are two sets of factors affecting motivation at work. One set of factors, which he labelled as hygiene factors, relate to the environment in which the job is performed such as pay and fair supervision, which if absent cause dissatisfaction and are extrinsic to the job. The other set relate to the job itself i.e. the complexity, sense of achievement, recognition, personal growth and if present lead to feelings of satisfaction and which Herzberg labelled as Motivators. The important point about Herzbergâs theory is that the two sets of factors have to be viewed and treated separately. Eliminating deficiencies around the hygiene factors will not improve motivation; only reduce dissatisfaction. Instead to improve motivation managers have to ensure that work is interesting, challenging and that successful work is recognised and appreciated. Although this theory is criticised for not being applicable too well in an organisation dominated by unskilled work and workers, certainly within the Careers Centre where there is an abundance of interesting and challenging tasks, this theory highlights the necessity of not being complacent about the hygiene factors being largely met, and ensuring that the staff are provided with a fair share of interesting work and afterwards are properly rewarded with recognition.
The most influential process theory according to Rollinson (2006) is âexpectancy theoryâ, the underlying basis of which is that people are influenced by the expected results of their actions. In Mullins (2007) it is explained that within expectancy theory performance will depend upon the perceived expectation regarding effort expended and achieving the desired outcome. Vroom was the first person to propose an expectancy theory aimed at work motivation (Mullins, 2007). His theory was based on three variables;
- valence which is the anticipated satisfaction from an outcome,
- instrumentality which is the personâs perception of the probability that first level outcomes of performance will lead to second level outcomes e.g. high productivity leading to praise or promotion.
- Expectancy a personâs expectation that their choice of action will lead to the desired outcome.
A personâs motivation, or motivational force, for a course of action will therefore be a combination of valence and expectancy and can be illustrated by the equation M=VxE. Â Â Â
Although expectancy theory helps to explain the nature of behaviour and motivation in the work place, the requirement that managers give a lot of attention to the procedures of evaluation of performance, address any factors which can affect performance and then establish fair and equitable allocations of rewards can be very difficult, particularly in a public sector environment like a university where the availability of rewards is limited except praise and recognition, and measurement of performance can be arbitrary.
Alderferâs ERG theory is the theory of motivation that was chosen to be applied against the findings of staff motivational factors at the Careers Centre. The hierarchy of needs provides a helpful reference, but unlike Maslow there is a recognition that needs are on a continuum and where it is not always possible to address higher level needs then attempts should be made to help staff satisfy other needs such as relatedness which can still be motivators.
4.Â Â Â Â Â Findings and analysis of the research
As described in the methodology quantitative research was carried out to find out the preferred motivational factors of the staff, and qualitative research was undertaken of managers of careers services from local universities.
To design the questionnaire for the quantitative research, Cresswell (1994) advised to set questions based on proposition deduced from theory. Therefore the staff were asked to score out of ten, with a ten mark being highest, their rating of a motivational factor based on a set of higher and lower needs as identified by Maslow, Herzberg and Alderfer, although of course Herzberg saw the lower needs as not motivators but âsatisfiersâ.
At first it was considered to ask the respondents to rank the motivational factors by priority because it was thought it could avoid people scoring all factors high (or low) with no real differentiation. With a ranking system people would have to give real thought as to what is important to their motivation and presumably the results could show a clear indication of the favoured factors. However in the end it was decided to ask people to give a score out of ten, because it was advised in Hussey and Hussey (1997) that when people are asked to rank more than five or six factors then they lose interest and even ignore the final few factors either out of disinterest or lack of time.
It was decided not to ask the staff members about the current level of their motivation for two main reasons. Firstly this was a study to find out what motivates them at any given time in their working life in general and not at a specific time. Furthermore the manager was keen to discover the importance of certain motivational factors for staff, which would hopefully provide useful guidance throughout a managerial career and not just for tackling current issues. Asking staff to rate motivational factors in the context of their current motivational level may have distorted the results. Secondly the manager has observed staff in staff supervision feeling very uncomfortable when asked directly about their level of motivation, and it was thought probable that asking a similar question in a questionnaire may have reduced the response rate.
For the qualitative research three managers, who also manage similar size teams within university careers services, and who have extensive experience of management and working within careers services were asked questions based on motivation and how they addressed these issues.. These managers were also chosen because they have a strong record of collaborating within the professional network and their teams at the universities of Reading, Westminster and Sussex have received a reputation for developing new and attractive services.
Results from quantitative research
The results were amalgamated into two tables (see appendix 3) â one for the whole team and one for the Careers Counsellors only, as their reluctance to participate in fostering new ideas for service development is particularly obvious. It would also be interesting to compare the outcomes of the two tables. Out of 17 questionnaires distributed 12 were returned but two were not completed correctly so the analysis was based on 10 returns â response rate of 59%.
Before comparing the results against any motivational theory and the assignment hypothesis, the most striking result for the manager was to see that the factor âGood prospect for advancementâ scored extremely low on both tables. One could conclude that staff are not interested in gaining promotion. This view is also strengthened by the fact âgood salaryâ was positioned fairly low on both tables, more so on the Careers Counsellors table.
However the factor âMeaningful workâ scored highest on both tables suggesting that staff are more motivated by the content of work suggesting there is the potential to draw them away from their traditional core work as long as they can see the worthiness of a new project or service. Their traditional work brings them immediate feedback (usually positive) from students and staff, and so they may not appreciate that although working on new approaches may not bring immediate and direct feedback or effects, but could produce benefits in the long term.
To compare the results against a motivational model in a large way the results endorsed the support for adopting Alderfer. Of the higher ranked factors in the overall table the majority were âhigher needsâ or âmotivatorsâ as described by Maslow and Herzberg respectively, such as meaningful work, sense of achievement, job autonomy and being regularly consulted, with similar results in the Careers Counsellor table, except they scored lower on being regularly consulted. However within the top six factors of both tables two or three âlower needsâ (Maslow) or âsatisfiersâ (Herzberg) such as friendly colleagues and good working conditions had a presence. In line with Alderferâs continuum, rather than satisfy needs on a hierarchical basis, many staff are focussing more on relatedness needs by wanting friendly colleagues than progressing onto growth needs such as promotion and self-development. Alderferâs continuum provides guidance for managers who need to support individuals whose growth needs are blocked by a lack of opportunities, recommending that managers ensure other needs such as relatedness and existence are met (Mullins 2007). Similarly such guidance is helpful for managers of staff who do not want to progress.
Results from qualitative research
The findings from the qualitative survey cannot be applied to a motivational model in the same way, but did provide the following points.
In the answer to the first question all three managers had experienced periods of low motivation, not necessarily to the extent of affecting team objectives, but two interestingly both said how much it had consumed management thinking and planning time. Furthermore one respondent felt that he experienced low motivation when he tried to introduce new initiatives and planning which contrasted considerably with his predecessor who as a slightly âcomical figureâ (as quoted in the response) was very popular with staff but did little to move the service forward.
In the answer to the second question about how they addressed low motivation, again there was a similarity with two responses by stating that low motivation had been picked up in staff appraisals but none of the respondents had done anything systematic to identify causes. In response to the third question the respondents âaddressedâ low motivation by reportedly buying cake, allocating people to different rooms and arranging team, away-days. These âquick fixâ methods may have had some positive effect, but without the research into academic theory or some research into preferred motivational factors of staff, itâs unlikely that these managers will grasp an understanding of cause and effect of motivational levels.
The most interesting answer to the final question, on whether there are factors causing low motivation that are prevalent to careers services, were that the respondent felt that
in his extensive experience of several services, staff had became de-motivated by the fact numerous other university departments or public service organisations had been given the responsibility to undertake new initiatives related to employability, and careers services had been overlooked. Therefore it was possible that âexternal factorsâ discussed in the section on Political Environment, which were seen as the instigators for motivated careers staff to exploit, were actually the catalyst for causing de-motivation for services.
Conclusions and Recommendations
The analysis of the political environment supported the hypothesis that external factors have provided a basis for motivated and aspirational university careers services to prosper. The second part of the hypothesis that internal factors are stifling such potential could only be partly supported by the research and analysis. The analysis of organisational behaviour made a strong claim that the Careers Counsellors have exhibited the characteristics of professional autonomy which can stifle change, and are commonly found in a university as described by Mintzberg (1989). However to be totally objective this would need to be confirmed through probably an investigation into culture issues.
The other aspect of internal factors concerned the study into academic motivational theories and the research into what motivates staff. For the manager of the Careers Centre this was enormously useful and interesting and knowledge of theory will provide bedrock for future management work. The adoption of the Alderfer model and the subsequent research into staff motivational factors supported the hypothesis that there are internal factors preventing the implementation of new ideas and approaches. Not necessarily low motivation but the important fact that many staff are not interested in advancing themselves. It will be important for the manager to gain full participation of the staff by focussing on their desire for meaningful work and ensure that other needs such as relatedness are not denied so that dissatisfaction does not set in.
The qualitative research did not produce any guidance from peers but there was an interesting comment that some careers staff could feel low motivation from having other organisations and professionals âencroachingâ upon their territory of developing employability and exploiting the development opportunities that this offers. This âthreat âcould be a way within the Careers Centre at Xxx to push the necessity of embracing change and innovation.
Share the results of the survey into staff motivational factors and involve the staff into discussion on the significance of this (February 08).
Encourage staff to take on projects and service development by appealing to their desire for meaningful work. Stress that project work will not bring immediate benefits or feedback but should produce longer term and perhaps more substantial benefits for the service and of course the students.(ongoing)
In the light of the survey results, explain to staff the definition and significance of lower needs or extrinsic rewards and ensure that these are being met, or explain clearly why they canât meet certain expectations. (February 08)
Attempt to understand the predominant culture among the Careers Counsellors and in view of the political environment explain to them how some of it could be preventing improved services for students.
Cooper, R. Job Design and Motivation (1974) Institute of Personnel Management. London
Dearing Report UK 1997 (Higher Education in the Learning Society) SOURCE: BBC Politics 97BBC Politics 97 http://www.hi.is/~joner/eaps/dearing2.htm
Deer, C., Mayhew,K. Higher Education (2007) In Butler, T. Dane, M. eds. Reflections on Change 1967-2007. AGCAS. Sheffield, England
Horton, S, Farnham, D. (1999), Public Management in Britain, Macmillan, Basingstoke,
Hussey,J. and Hussey, R (1997) Business Research. Macmillan Press Ltd, Basingstoke Hampshire England
Kogan, M., Kogan, D. (1983 ), The Attack on Higher Education, Kogan Page, London, .
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Mullins, L.J. (2007) Management and Organisational Behaviour. 8th edition. The Financial Times/ Prentice Hall. Harlow, England
Rollinson, D. (2006) Organisational Behaviour and Analysis; an integrated approach 3rd edition. Financial Times/ Prentice Hall. Harlow, England
Sodexho University Lifestyle Survey (2006) published by Sodexho in association with The Times Higher Education supplement, available at www.sodexho.co.uk/uken/Images/ULS06-summary_tcm15-3101.pdf accessed date March 2006)
Sorensen-Bentham, T, (2007-8) Lecture Notes âManagementl Theoriesâ MBA Public Service Management
Sorensen-Bentham, T, (2007-8) Lecture Notes âMotivational Theoriesâ MBA Public Service Management
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Watts,T. Higher Education Careers Services (2007) In Butler, T. Dane, M. eds. Reflections on Change 1967-2007. AGCAS. Sheffield, England
Questionnaire given to Staff at the University of Xxx Careers Centre, Dec 07
Staff Motivation Survey
- Which team are you a member of? Please tick
- @ctive Student
- Careers Counsellors
- Information Team
- Please give a score out of 10, (10 being high) to mark how important the presence of each of the following factors is in order to motivate you to do your work within the Careers Centre,
Good working conditions
|Good prospects for advancement|
|Quality of Management|
|Recognition from management|
|Sense of achievement|
|Support for personal problems from organisation|
Questions sent to managers of careers services at the universities of XYX, XYZ and ABC Dec 07
âI’mÂ undertakingÂ the first assignment of the MBA courseÂ I started this SeptemberÂ andÂ I have to choose a topic that we’ve studied in this first term and relate it to an issue at work. I’ve decided to go for “motivation” because my hypothesis will beÂ thatÂ this is an issue within my team that needs addressing.
I shall be doingÂ some quantitativeÂ research of all the members of my team (18), but I was hoping to do some qualitative research of fellow managers to see if there are common issues and causes, andÂ I was wondering if you could spend a few moments thinking over the questions below and respond before Christmas either in writing, or giveÂ me a time whenÂ I can ring you and you can discuss instead. If this is simply not an issue that you’ve had experienceÂ of please say, and I won’t bother you. Happy to share my finished work if it is something that interests you. And you never know we may pick up on some good practice to share.
- In yourÂ work as a manager have you ever experienced periods of high and low motivation among the staff to the extent that team objectives were affected?
- How did you go about identifying the factors that were causing this motivation?
- How did you address low motivation?
- Do you think there are factors that cause low motivation that are prevalent to Careers Services?
Table Showing Motivational Factors of Careers Centre Staff
Scores of Preference, 1-10, 10=high
|Â Â||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1||Total of scores||Rank|
|Sense of achievement||5||2||3||92||2|
|Quality of management||2||3||2||3||84||3|
|Job autonomy||Â 1||2||6||1||83||=4|
|Recognition from management||2||2||1||4||1||80||=7|
|Good working conditions||3||1||2||2||1||1||70||8|
|Good prospects for advancement||2||1||4||1||Â 1||1||64||9|
|Support for personal problems||3||2||1||2||1||Â 1||60||10|
Table Showing Motivational Factors of Careers Counsellors
Â Â Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Scores of Preference, 1-10, 10=high
|Â Â||10||9||8||7||6||5||4||3||2||1||Total of scores||Rank|
|Meaningful work||4||1||49||Â 1|
|Sense of achievement||3||2||48||Â 2|
|Good working conditions||2||1||1||1||44||Â =3|
|Job autonomy||Â 1||2||2||44||Â =3|
|Quality of management||2||1||1||1||44||Â =3|
|Friendly colleagues||2||1||1||1||42||Â 4|
|Job security||2||1||2||41||Â =5|
|Regularly consulted||2||1||1||1||41||Â =5|
|Good salary||Â 1||1||1||1||1||40||Â 6|
|Recognition from management||Â 1||1||2||1||39||Â 7|
|Good prospects for advancement||1||1||1||Â 1||1||29||Â 8|
|Support for personal problems||1||1||1||1||Â 1||24||Â 9|