Journal Review on Human Resources Management


In their journal, Locke and Latham (pgs. 388-403) ideally focus on concepts that are not only the concern of human resources management in the modern context, but as well very influential in the organizational performance and growth. Human resources are among the most important resources in an organization. Its value may not be estimated with precision, but their contribution towards the performance of a firm is of incredible importance. From time immemorial, human resources’ significance cannot be overestimated. History can trace it back to industrialization period to the current century that many topics have been developed with the core objective of giving suggestions on how effective human resources can be managed in an organization. Unlike other resources, it is only the human resources who have the capacity to determine when they are handled well or badly. Their perceptions can determine the trend of activities and events than other resources can, and, hence, their motivation is an area that must be addressed effectively (George 1034).

According to the data reached through essay writing service, motivation is the process of having a firm’s personnel being able to develop synergy of wanting to put more efforts for the well-being of both the firm and themselves. In the presence of motivation, many problems in an organization which include resistance to change by employees and absenteeism can be solved amicably (Richard 22). The basis of organizational growth draws its roots on how best efforts are collaborated towards goal achievement. As a result, theories focusing on motivation of employees lay more emphasis on the identification of those factors that facilitate employee motivation such as compensation, rewards and having clear self driven goals (Richard 23).

The process of mobilizing different individuals who constitute a firm’s employees to work in a team for goal directedness requires proper leadership approaches that ignite in them the urge to pursue organizational goals alongside theirs. Managers should therefore seek to understand the individual’s motivators, be it on the hierarchy of needs as presented by Abraham Maslow, or on satisfiers and dissatisfies by Henry Hertzberg (Tan and Amna 78). It is of infallible benefit to any business organization and its management to address issues that can compromise the spirit of team work among the employees based on factors of lacking motivation (Richard 27).

Overview of Locke and Latham’ Journal on Motivation Theory

In their journal on the topic “What should we do about motivation theory”, Locke and his colleague ideally draw their ideologies on the existing theories of motivation, and subsequently go ahead to present recommendations that can be incorporated in the practice and implementation of employee motivation in the twenty-first century. Their argument draws solid evidence on the fact that individuals continue to experience changes, as a result of evolution in business world and technological advancement, which eventually brings about change even on the fundamental determinants of motivation. From the journal, six recommendations can be identified, where the concept of motivation has been expounded in detail, to help visualize the situation in the twenty-first century. These recommendations form the central discussion of the journal, which are actually the main themes to be reviewed here.

The first of such recommendations is the proposal on systematically combining variety of the theories that still exist so as to form conclusions on the best approach of motivation (389). According to Locke and Latham (390), motivation directly translates to better performance of employees in an organization. Therefore, since management is greatly concerned with performance and output, it is inevitable for them to focus on the employee’s motivation, which can ultimately lead to improved performance. Employees can be motivated by having their needs met and given attention by management as it would rather wish to see organizational goals embraced. The main focus of the recommendation is on how modern management can integrate the many theories so as to give a single approach to this area that has significant influence on performance (Locke and Latham 391).

The second theme is the recommendation of modern management striving to create a work motivation science that has no boundaries (Locke and Latham 392). In their view, motivation theories in most management practices are used in isolation and in limiting nature to performance. The journal advocates for an approach where managers can extend the application of motivation to other areas such as monitoring of team spirit effectiveness and evaluating relationships at work place (p.392). Organizations by their very nature use structures to clearly elaborate on duties and responsibilities, demarcating the roles and amount of control possessed by various members in an organization. According to Locke and his colleague, such approaches can deny the organization opportunities of having the motivation concept which is used in the work place and even outside work, to enhance effective operations rather than the focused performance (394).

Thirdly, “organizations should focus in evaluating the relationship between general variables like personality and how they are moderated by the situations that employees find themselves in” (Locke and Latham 395). This recommendation identifies the probabilities of having the employees of a firm affected directly or indirectly with both internal and external environments. Situations sometimes present challenges and opportunities to individuals that are closely linked to their performance at work. Their managers should not assume the situational influences in shaping how employees behave at work place.

The fourth recommendation is based on analyzing the relationship that exists between “subconscious and conscious motivations” (Locke and Latham 395). This is the approach that allows management to study the awareness that exist among the firm’s employees on their motivation. It involves the realization or failure to recognize that one is motivated. The subconscious motivation exists beyond one’s imagination, although it is important in the individual’s performance.

Locke and Latham also recommended that managers should learn to differentiate between “motivation and knowledge by using introspection methods of studying the motives and explicit traits of their employees and the effects of the attitudes they develop” (397). This implies that managers should perceive motivation wholly as a major determinant of many areas of human behavior rather than the impact it has on performance.

Lastly, they developed a recommendation on the managers embracing recognition of the employees’ willingness, participation and freedom while formulating organizational policies (Locke and Latham 400). This, therefore, implies that managers should not be static but rather flexible while formulating principles. Better still, they should have employees involved in decision making process since this motivates them and gives them a sense of belonging to an organization. Once employees are able to identify themselves with a company, it becomes absolutely easy to integrate company goals with theirs and hence promoting goal realization (Stevens 523).

My Developed Argument on the Themes

Based on the journal’s recommendations, I absolutely agree with the fundamental concepts emanating in the authors’ arguments. For instance, it is true to appreciate the fact that motivation as an important area has many theories describing how to manage it. However, it is fallacious to believe that managers can apply all those theories in promoting the motivation of their workers. I strongly believe that unifying the theories and coming up with a single model can help greatly in enhancing a modernized approach to management of human resources of a firm. Alternatively, managers should be open in their perceptions about motivation that goes beyond performance to other significant areas like personal development and social matters of employees. Individuals should be assessed on their personalities and preferences while positioning them at work and identification of how their traits can impact others as well. At the core of managing motivation, strategies and forums of assisting employees to recognize their motivational factors should be implemented so as to improve on the effects of subconscious motivation. Generally, freedom of expression should not only be a matter reflected on papers but practically implemented and supported so as to enhance teamwork in an organization.

The Developed Conceptual Framework

A conceptual framework is a well structured representation of the principles or thoughts that strongly support or hold together a basic premise or concept. In my review of Locke and Latham’s journal, many ideas that seem to be relevant on the topic of human resources management become clear and very evident. The linkage that exists between human resources management and motivation has a lot to do with the employee performance and output. A conceptual framework, therefore, is very important because it promotes easy and quick identification of the relationship that exists among variables, and, hence, making it appropriate to capture the objectives or themes.

In this section, I will identify two forms of variables; dependent variable and independent variable based on the thesis developed and review. The independent variables in this case can be focused to be the themes identified in the journal while the dependent variable is the effective human resource management, and moderating factor being motivation levels of the employees represented diagrammatically as follows.

Explanation of the Relationship of Variables in the Conceptual Framework

The variables clearly represent factors that can be formulated from the review in connecting them to effective human resources management course. The extent to which the human resources can be satisfied to have been managed effectively will depend on a number of factors. Some of these factors include the nature of leadership approach applied by executives and supervisors, the theories of motivation applicable in the organization, employees’ personal character traits and expectations, and the level of participation allowed during the formulation of policies in the organization.

The integration of theories allows management to concentrate on the most important areas rather than addressing a few while ignoring other areas if some of the theories are not used (Locke and Latham 389). On the other hand, leadership forms the baseline from which point the employees will be satisfied and ready to take responsibilities in order to achieve desired organizational goals. Appropriate leadership is one that can create boundaryless work environment that can facilitate application of motivation theories to other areas as opposed to performance alone (Locke and Latham 392). Employees’ personal character traits also depend largely on their effectiveness at work. Management should seek to understand the diverse traits among its employees so as to offer unique approach and leadership (Locke and Latham 395). While concentrating on those areas, it is important to take into consideration the role of volition, especially, in the process of formulating policies, so as to involve employees in designing policies that they can easily adapt with. However, these factors are moderated by the level of motivation the employees derive. Sometimes factors which are thought to be motivating may negatively impact the motivational level. Hence, trainings and opportunities for personal development and goal setting can help employees to realize their individual motivating factors and strive towards satisfying them.

Abraham Maslow’s theory on needs

Abraham Maslow, developed a theory in which the needs of human beings are represented in a pyramid manner, meaning that needs come in order, and therefore one needs to satisfy specific needs before others (Avneet 1062). According to various theories on motivation, human beings are believed to strive towards working hard and behaving the way they behave because there are specific driving forces and needs they want to satisfy (Fred 4). Maslow specifically heighted the different classification on needs starting with the basic or physiological needs and climbing up to self-actualization needs (Avneet 1063).

Expectancy theory of motivation by Victor Vroom

Vroom’s theory of motivation is generally developed from the aspects of the perceptions that human resources have in an organization set up. According to Victor Vroom, individuals’ level of motivation depends on the perceptions they attach to certain rewards and the specific efforts they put in such a case. According to the study conducted by Stefanie on expectancy value theory, workers are motivated depending on how they are oriented to perceive rewards, and accept recognition foe effective efforts integration (Stefanie 20). Generally, the theory is applicable in assessing the employees’ traits and also levels of participation as efforts depend on their expectations.

Situational and Contingency theories of leadership

A contingency theory of leadership is a theory that tries to explain the appropriate styles of leadership in management. The theory developed by Fred Fiedler, proposes that there is no single approach or style of leadership, but leaders should rather act based on the situations and circumstances (Peretomode 15). Generally, the theory makes prepositions that different situations will demand different approaches by leaders in solving the matters at that moment. It is a theory that specifically needs managers to access situations and traits of their employees before acting, and determining in advance the effects of their decisions on employee motivation.

Reviewing Scholarly Literatures on the Themes

A survey study conducted by Gopal and Rima in Indian oil sector entitled “Leadership styles and employee motivation” that was set to determine the relationship between employee motivation and leadership styles found out that leadership styles determined greatly the approaches that managers took in appreciating their employees (Gopal and Rima 8). Essentially, employees are motivated by elements such as rewards, performance appraisals, promotions and recognition. But managers tend to have different perceptions about these variables depending on the nature of their leadership styles. For instance democratic leaders will tend to be generous in motivating their employees and involving them in decision making, a fact that fosters employee motivation (Gopal and Rima 9).

In another research on “employees’ personality traits, work motivation and innovative behavior in marine tourism industry” by Chen and his colleagues, the study’s findings concluded that personality traits greatly determined how innovative an employee is Chen, Wu and Chun 204). They found out that employee traits are determined by the intrinsic motivation in an individual. According to their findings, intrinsic motivation provokes creativity and innovativeness that extrinsic motivation (page 205).

Workers in any organization will always want to be identified and recognized by management. One best way of achieving this is that management should involve in setting goals and policies. In this regard, employees are able to accept the decision and use them effectively without objections in achieving the desires outcomes (Roseline and Ademola 98).

Relating Themes to Experiences

Especially on leadership, in most cases it becomes an easy task for individuals to be flexible; in adjusting to change that they have been involved in designing. In situations where they are ignored, they often become difficult to change and, hence, this brings friction in operations within organizations. Motivation is far much beyond incentives, it cuts across mechanisms in place in tools of management, leadership, and recognition (Roseline and Ademola 98).

Counterarguments to This Position

In conclusion, contrary to this argument, a research conducted by Robert, David and Cameron on “the effects of reward on intrinsic motivation” found out that there is no positive relationship between motivation and performance as a result or rewarding (Robert, David and Cameron 686). Their argument is that performance is only tied to intrinsic motivation which cannot be achieved by the use of external means.

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