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Takeaways from Application Readings


Subject Article Analysis Pages 2 Style APA


Kerr acknowledges that every living organism has a motivation for engaging in any given activity (771). This motivation could be negative or positive depending on the expected input and outcome. These sentiments are seconded by the other authors who highlight the need for motivation in the workplace. A critical analysis of the articles highlights various interesting topics. First, it is essential for an organization to motivate its employees. Second, the goal setting theory is one of the best the best contemporary theories of motivation (Latham 333). Third, the equity theory is the most contested motivation theory since fairness is a subjective concept that is dependent on the personal feelings and emotions (Brockner 123). Regardless, organizations are encouraged to strive to be just in their decisions and operations.

The readings mirror my personal experiences with leadership and management. As a leader, I consistently noted that it is important to motivate employees either by providing financial incentives or non-financial benefits such as recognition and appreciation for one’s efforts (Amabile & Steven, 75). It is important that the motivation is accompanied by goal setting where the leader formulates difficult yet clear and achievable goals to push the employees into being productive (Robbins & Tim 98). Despite the usefulness of the goal setting theory, it fails to address issues of high turnover, low satisfaction, and absenteeism. Through practice, I can attest that the equity theory or organizational justice can effectively address these issues and enhance productivity.

Guided by this analysis therefore, my reaction is that the motivational theories can best work together in the sense that the manager should master the key concepts advocated by each of the theories. These concepts can then be applied in addressing the different challenges facing the organization. Besides, the managers must ensure that the motivation programs recognize and accommodate the individual differences between employees. In such a case, the manager can use goals and feedback to maximize the effectiveness of the motivation programs.




Amabile, Teresa M., and Steven J. Kramer. “The power of small wins.” Harvard Business Review 89.5 (2011): 70-80.

Brockner, Joel. “It’s so hard to be fair.” Harvard business review 84.3 (2006): 122-9.

Kerr, Steven. “On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B.” Academy of Management journal 18.4 (1975): 769-783.

Latham, Gary P., and Edwin A. Locke. “Enhancing the benefits and overcoming the pitfalls of goal setting.” Organizational dynamics 35.4 (2006): 332-340.

Robbins, Stephen P., and Tim Judge. Essentials of organizational behavior. New York: Pearson Press, 2014.

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