Motivation at Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Dell Pages: 7 (2125 words) Published: June 20, 2005
Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify motivational techniques that are being used in different organizations. The three organizations that will be analyzed are Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Motorola that are named in the top Fortune 500 companies. These companies build on the principle that individuals act in ways to take full advantage of the value of exchange with the organization. Research and theory building in goal setting, reward systems, leadership, and job design have advanced our understanding of organizational behavior.

Introduction

Motivating employees to excel in any business is a topic of great practical concern to employers, and of great theoretical concern to researchers. Education and continued training on the topic appear with increasing frequency and relevant research is proliferating at a rapid rate. Corporations are beginning to provide assistance to employees, especially new ones, to develop skills. One of the greatest challenges and opportunities of the 21st century will be for businesses at all levels to focus more on helping employees to become motivated so they can succeed in the corporate world today. In this paper, these three organizations will be analyzed as how they utilize this theories and models along with the motivational methods they use.

Theories and Models

First, while there are many specific forms of motivational theories, those that are most appropriate in discussing Dell are the expectancy theory, need theory and the equality theory. It appears that they may attribute a significant part of the success of Dell to their unique motivational strategy. The following example from Park and Burrows (2003) states Michael Dell's philosophy, "He believes that if Dell is to last, it must learn to value more than just the machine-like execution for which it is famous. He has a set of guiding principles, including behaving ethically and maintaining a meritocracy." Another example is from Business Week (2001) where they asked Dell, "How do you motivate employees at this time?" He expanded, "People appreciate being employed. They appreciate the fact that they have salary and benefits and incentive compensation plans that actually pay, and bonus plans and profit-sharing plans that are funded based on the success of the business." As far as goal setting, Hummel (2004) quotes from an interview with one of Dell's employees, "The company is team focused and extremely goal-oriented, as in the military, Archer (interviewee) said. It is a tough life on the floor," Archer said. "It's very important that the leadership is known by the men and women."

Secondly, Hewlett-Packard's aspiration is that every employee makes diversity and inclusion a conscious part of how a global business is run. They too use the expectancy theory, need theory and the equality theory as methods of their successful business. Packard's corporate objectives are all about being a team. Packard (2005) states, "It is necessary that people work together in unison toward common objectives and avoid working at cross purposes at all levels if the ultimate in efficiency and achievement is to be obtained." His expectancy is "to provide people with employment opportunities based on performance; to create with them a safe, exciting and inclusive work environment that values their diversity and recognizes individual contributions; and to help them gain a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment from their work." He understands that each of his employees has different needs and is committed to developing work/life skills that will provide tools, resources and a supportive environment for all. As far as his ethical standard it states, "We trust our employees to do the right thing and to make a difference." However he states the following need that, "It is important to measure people on the results they achieve against goals they helped to create."

Lastly, one key issue that surfaces when one analyzes...

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