December 12, 2006

Final Blog entry for Group Project

We have finished the presentation for our group project and here is a summary of key points from what has been learned.

Our topic was: Factors in Motivation for Employees & Groups.

This was a broad categorization of many things that we have been learning throughout the semester, but will present relative to three primary concepts of social identity,(Ellemers, Tajfel) hygience factors and group motivators and then implications of hygiene factors. These are primarily derived from Herzbergs' principles of motivation and work.

My personal interest was the effect of organizational culture and extrinsic rewards on the motivation of an individual within a group environment. The reward structure that an organization uses can either erode or enhance motivation of the individual that affects group performance. This is especially pertinent now with the increased usage of groups in organizations.

In addition to this, we used this chart that helps explain Herzberg's principles.

From an implications perspective, our presentation discusses hygiene factors as important to be aware of in and HRD or education setting. These include understanding how evaluation methods affect experience and success in group work.

The important concepts here are the understanding of process, communication and collaboration within groups in the workplace. These points also draw on the concepts of learning or personality styles of people working within a work. Utilizing personal inventories and interviews can help with identifying how people may work with each other in a group.

Individuals can broadly be divided into Explorers, Organizers, Controllers and Advisors.

There is generally a linkage of these personalty types through the task at hand. There is also a tendency to have these types overlap.

Creator, Innovator, Explorer, Promoter, Assessor, Developer.

Assessor, Developer, Thruster, Organizer, Concluder, Producer.

Concluder, Producer, Controller, Inspector, Upholder, Maintainer.

Upholder, Maintainer, Reporter, Adviser, Creator, Innovator.

Other concepts explored within the group was
Group identification activities that helped with group formation and maintaining cohesion.

Group efficacy. How group efficacy builds group productivity.

Effect of organizational change on motivation and formation.


This was interesting in that we actually are practicing the dynamics that we are studying!

This project assignment revealed many of the elements we discussed in our presentation. One of the factors that we did not discuss directly in our presentation is the effective use of technology within groups. Specifically the use of various Computer Mediated Communication (CMC) for group task accomplishment. This has become a major way that individuals communicate with each other within the group and also within the organization. In our group initially used CMC sporadically. This could of been for a couple of reasons, but primarily because the formation part of the topic was done face to face in meetings held before class, in transit to class and in meetings outside of class. There was some initial use of e-mail that was probably used mostly for each of to become familiar with each other in cyber-space. Crossing over from the classroom into cyber space may put us into a more personal realm that many people may be uncomfortable with.
One of the aspects that probably changed our perspective was the ability to utilize the course management system WebCT to help with interactivity and documentation of the group activity. As we were going to be individually rewarded and our syllabus calls for this, students became aware of the need to contribute to these areas in order to be potentially rewarded. Is this more of a intrinsic or extrinsic reward? I would say more extrensic as it is required to make entries as an online course would be.
After we divided different aspects that to work on, we then were able to make additions to the group project through methods that we were comfortable with.

What has been interesting from a CMC perspective also is the amount of communication and entries that have been made over the last few days. My thought is that this is because of the distance that members have from each other. Not being physically close prevents the kind of "in the hall" type of communication that can occur within a workplace. On the other hand, people may like the ability to have communication seen in a visual mode that allows for review and possibly creativity? (Amabile)

As we come to closure for this project, I realize the importance of being flexible when it comes to working with groups using CMC. Everyone brings different personalities, strengths and weaknesses to the project. However when we recognize this and collaborate successfully, the result from group work can be very productive relative to learning and results!

November 16, 2006

Post-class Meeting and In transit reflections

In class last night we reviewed progress that our groups where having with their projects. Very interesting topics! Here is a brief summary of the different material that is being covered. These are a summary from my brief notes in our class discussion.

Classmates that are reading this. Please feel free to add perspectives/thoughts/corrections etc, to this. You can add information through the comments tag. I have it set up that I initially have to approve the comment in order to keep spam down. After you make a comment, I'll add you to the list that can make comments without being approved. Thanks!

Jackson Mills Group: This group is gathering information about the Jackson Mills conference, which took place in the early 1980’s of 21 professional educators who were brought together to synthesize trends of the future of industrial arts. They will be dividing this into a historical piece, international context and what is happening now.
A part of their presentation will include an interview of one of the original participants of this event.

Drucker Group: The focus of this group will be the contributions of Peter Drucker to the history and philosophy of work. They will be reviewing Drucker’s contribution to the concept of the knowledge worker and are reviewing a videotape of Drucker and Peter Senge.

Internationals: I was a bit fuzzy on taking notes for this group, so I will update this after their presentation. I believe they will be looking at WHRE from a international context, with focus on the use of guilds and mentors through different cultural dynamics.

Softies: They will be studying soft skills and the history of liberal education. Feel free to put in additional thoughts on this.

UHCAT: The group topic is a timeline of relating to legislation that has affected vocational education over the last 150 years. They will be breaking things such as the Smith-Hughes Act, Nation at Risk, GI bill, Land Grant legislation for higher education. Dr. Lewis suggested discussion on paradigm shifts relating to the legislative changes. i.e., major transforming changes in the U.S., quality issues from an international context. Is the footprint big enough to keep in the world.

Eagles: This is our group. We are looking at motivation changes in the workplace. A specific area of concentration will be the changes of individual motivation as it relates to groups. How individual extrinsic financial benefits affect the contribution and motivation within a group. Some concepts of organizational citizenship and the concept of sacrificial group performance will be reviewed. Along with this, the idea of “social loafing? that can occur within a group performance. Dr. L., discussed a good paper topic: “Will Motivation Hygiene factors shift if focus is from the Individual to the Group.?
Some suggested people to review:Sessions may cancel out if you are not logged in.
Ellemers-Social identity, leadership and group performance.
Barker-Control and motivation.
Amabile-Motivation as it relates to Creativity.
Knippenberg-Social identity.
Tajfel- Social categorization as it relates to intergroup behavior. Motivation as it relates to elements.

Discussion/Reflection on Class from 11/15/2006

We had an interesting follow-up discussion regarding class topics on the ride home yesterday evening.

We reflected on the idea of motivation and creativity that Amabile has written about and shared experiences where co-workers have used creativity to avoid work! One example were the workers in paper mills in eastern Wisconsin who 15 years ago would control new workers on the amount of output they were doing (telling them to do less) because they didn’t want management to expect more from them in the future. Currently with the sporadic amount of work they are doing due to outsourcing of work, they work very hard to maintain their jobs.

Another example was when I worked in a chrome-plating factory in Chicago on the graveyard shift . This was my first labor intensive/factory job and I learned some things about the antithesis to the Protestant work ethic that I was raised on. A small group of people basically shut the plant down for 3 hours (100 workers) at a time, in order to sleep, play card games and basically get paid for doing nothing. When my team (4 of us) started producing more and didn’t stop the work, I was approached by one of the leaders and threatened bodily harm if we continued to work too much. The pay was good, but I only lasted 8 weeks. Thinking back to this event made me realize how workers can be just as creative in avoiding work as they can with doing the work. In both of these cases, the workers controlled the output and the management was at their mercy. Many factors probably contributed to this and longevity of work/pay was probably a significant motivator for both of them. Both groups knew that the work was there for them for the short run and if they stretched it out over time, they knew they were going to get paid longer. Probably, they would also have longer term job stability because they knew future contracts would be signed that would assure another 1-2 year work cycle. However, this changed when outside environmental influences caused them to look at potentially losing their jobs for the long run.

We are probably seeing some of these similar influences in many industries in the US today. A couple that come to mind are the auto and airline industries.

I was also intrigued with Amabile's (via Einstein) concept of "combinational play". This is when you are in the brainstorming phase of a project and you meet to discuss ideas for the project. From Amabile's research of pressure and creative thinking, a suggestion is to do this in small groups (2-3 people) and juggle balls into a pproverbial cognitive place and see what comes up. The discussion relative to time as a resource for creativity was also intriguing.

In addition to this discussion, the review of Csikszentmihalyi (pronounced "CHICK-sent-me-high-ee" )and Howard Gardner was interesting.
Here is an interview with Csikszentmihalyi and a website speaking to his concepts of flow.
I would like to explore these more, so again feel free to add any references or material that would be valuable.

November 10, 2006

Meetings from Nov. 5, Driving Discussions and Post Class Mtg. Nov. 8

Well we have been covering a lot of ground the last few weeks in our group project. We have all been gathering different information on motivation as it pertains to individuals, collectivism, intrinsic motivators, extrinsic motivators, etc,. Whew!!! I think with the help of Dr. Lewis suggestion on looking at the Ellemers article on Motivating Individuals and Groups at Work., we are beginning to frame individual topics that we may be able to research and present.

This article divides this topic into the following areas:

>Individuals and Groups at Work.
Self-Categorization and Social Identity.
Social Identification and Work Motivation.
Leadership and social identity approach to Work Motivation.

It also summarizes and proposes four different aspects of Collective Identification and Work Motivation
When do people define the self as part of a particular collective?
-Comparative distinctiveness
-Relative inclusiveness
-Current success and future expectations

Situational Influences
How does the situation induce a particular motivational focus?
-Compatibility of internal and external definitions of self.
-Expression of individual vs. collective identity.

Acceptance of Leadership
Who can mobilize the motivation to direct individual efforts toward collective goals?
-social identity-based expectations.
-embodiment of group distinctiveness.
-shared social identity.

Performance Consequences
How does collective motivation impact group performance?
-salience of shared social identity.
-distinctive group norms.
-future prospects.

The authors use social identity as an analytical tool for deciphering process of motivation within groups and individuals.
Social identification is defined as; "the process by which information about social groups is related to the self."

Some examples?
Your church group- How would this affect identification with a group that you are involved with outside of church? i.e., members at work that you are doing a project with from different religious backgrounds.

A social group-Friends that you have through some social functions. How would you identify yourself with people you meet through a business/work function?

Some other areas that we have touched on that is of interest and I would like to learn more about, would be the concept of reciprocity in motivation.
I would also like to visit the Milgram (1974) electric shock study and the Darley and Batson's (1973) Good Samaritan study that researched seminarions who passed a person in distress on their way to give a practice sermon on the Good Samaritan! 90% of the seminarians who thought they were late passed the actor pretending that he was in distress. This is called the Fundamental Attribution Error, which refers to the tendency when looking at behavior to overestimate the influence of internal, personal attributes and to underestimate the influence of external, situational factors. What about the 10% who stopped? Where they inspired by internal values and morals? Where they caught at the right moment of inspiration? How and are they different then the others? How would this be measured empirically?

It has been really helpful to discuss with classmates in our groups their experiences and interests. Discussions regarding the history of nursing and how nurses have been subjugated by physicians for years. The growth needs of the health profession and the changing force of technology on physician responsiblities.
The similarities of this with the library science and informatics field. Specialists in informatics oftentimes do not give credit to librarians and library science professionals when it comes to helping them find information they need for their research.

October 14, 2006

After Class Meeting 10/11 and Saturday Meeting

Here is an update on topics that we have been talking about in our meetings for our Group Project:

We are now in WebCt and can share within our group, individual work, articles, thoughts, etc,. There have been some postings from our meeting after class this week and from Saturday's meeting. There are also articles and thoughts from our Sat. meeting on the presentation and on the material that we have been reviewing.

What is nice about getting this set up is that WebCT is a Course Management System (CMS) that allows files to be uploaded to the actual course. Thanks T for suggesting to Dr. L. to have this set up for our class.

From my perspective, it is a very interesting topic. Some questions that we have been working on:

Is work its own reward?

How have modern trends in organizational change affected the worker motivation? i.e., Do younger workers have other priorities that reduce loyalty to the organization? What is a good work-life balance?

How can Learning Communities enhance the motivation of an individual?

Anyways, I'm not really looking for any answers, maybe just some thoughts on these questions.

October 5, 2006

After Class Meeting 10/4/2006

We met after class last night to outline the different aspects of Motivation that we would like to study. The consensus was to divide between Intrinsic Motivators and Extrinsic Motivators in a Historical and Individual context. We had some deliberation on the Organization vs Individual context, but decided to mostly come at the topic from an individuals perspective.

Some questions I have? (these are more rhetorical, but I thought I would put them down)
How do we separate the Individual from the Environment/Organization when it comes to Motivation?

How far back should we go with a literature review for this? This can get pretty philosophical when we speak to the motivation of a person. Plato's concept of dualism, mind and spirit, etc,.

One of the interests I have is motivation within financial literacy. In working with families that are in continual crisis financially, I have found that is hard to break the cycle of spending, taking on debt and dependency upon others/systems for support. What is the impact of the environment that we are in when it comes to motivation?
Some of the articles that Angie gave us should be interesting to read relative to this. All of the articles that our group has provided too date should be helpful. I wonder if we can put these into one consolidated spot for retrieval as we go through this? Possibly RefWorks or another area?

Some other points/thoughts on the project.

We will be using the U's Web CT for a Small Group Space for interfacing with each other.
This will be informative and interesting relative to sharing with each other and the other groups. I hope we will be able to informally discuss with the other groups, some of their topics?

We also discussed the concept of "Groupthink" that Janis outlines in his work with small groups. Janis (1982) defined this as a “mode of thinking that people engage in when they are deeply involved in a cohesive group:
when the members’ striving for unanimity overrides their motivation to realistically
appraise alternative courses of action."
Although this work is a warning of the dangers of working too close together, especially in a crisis situation, it gives an interesting perspective on the idea of motivation within groups.

Here is the citation, I wasn't able to pull up or link the article:

Janis, Irving. (1973) Groupthink and Group Dynamics: A Social Psychological Analysis of Defective Policy Decisions. Policy Studies Journal: Autumn 73, Vol. 2, 1. p19-25.


September 29, 2006

My articles

Hello everyone,

Hodson, R. (2004). Work life and social fulfillment: Does social affiliation at work reflect a carrot or a stick? Social Science Quarterly. 85 (2), p221-239.

Strickler, J. (2006). What really motivates people? Journal for Quality & Participation. 29 (1). p26-28.

I will try to upload the file but I haven't figured that out yet. Everytime I try to attach the link, it says it is does not exsist. Otherwise, I will bring a summary of my articles to class.


September 24, 2006

Organizational Frames of Motivation

Here is an interpretation of the process of motivation through various organizational frames or lenses. I know this may take more of an organizational position, but doesn't the organizational process affect the individual and vice versa?
Not sure if we need to use it, but it helps me to have somewhat of a frame around the task. (Lev Vygotsky)

Bolman & Deal: Four Interpretations of the Organizational Process of Motivation.

Structural Frame
Economic incentives

Human Resource Frame
Growth & self actualization

Political Frame
Coercion, manipulation and seduction

Symbolic Frame
Symbols and celebrations

September 21, 2006

Motivation Articles/Links

Here are some of the articles/info I found on Motivation and the Individual

Mitchell, T., (1982) Motivation: New Directions for Theory, Research and Practice. Academy of
Management Review, 7 (1). p 80-88¤tResult=03637425%2bap010025%2b01a00090%2b0%2cFF03&backcontext=page&backurl=/cgi-bin/jstor/viewitem/03637425/ap010025/01a00090/0%3fsearchUrl%3dhttp%253a//

Vallerand, R., Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory: A View From the Hierarchical Model
of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation.(2000) Psychological Inquiry. 11 (4). p. 312-318

Mathieu, J, Tannenbaum, S. Influences of Individual Situational Characteristics on Measures of
Training Effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal (1992) 35 (4). p. 828-847.

Michalski, J. (2003) Financial Altruism or Unilateral Resource Exchanges? Toward a Pure
Sociology of Welfare*. Sociological Theory 21:4

Gorard, S., Selwyn, N., Williams, S., (2000) Must Try Harder! Problems Facing Technological
Solutions to Non-Participation in Adult Learning. British Educational Research Journal
26 (4)¤tResult=01411926%2bap050080%2b05a00070%2b0%2cFFFF&


We are looking up 2-3 articles on "What Motivates People to Work?"