Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Essay Example

Published: 2023-08-23
Industrial-Organizational Psychology. Essay Example
Essay type:  Problem solution essays
Categories:  Human resources Job Motivation Social psychology
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1568 words
14 min read

Human capital is the most critical consideration in the strategic management of organizations since they initiate, inspire, and execute changes that result in efficiency as well as competitiveness. While other drivers of organizational performance, such as financial capital, unique branding, and supply chains, can be successfully replicated across rival firms, human resources cannot be entirely copied hence its criticality in organizational management. Imperatively, the strategic human resources management within the corporate setting must employ mechanisms for assessing individual employees, their motivation, orientation, commitment, welfare needs, and reservations to consolidate their optimal performance. One approach predominantly used to inculcate efficiency in human resource orientation is establishing an endearing organizational culture. However, this in itself, does not contribute to the full realization of individual employee performance and addressing their unique challenges. Lydia's case typifies the dynamic nature of organizational human resource management, which requires cross-cutting considerations in responding to each employee's situation. While her sterling performance and dedication were used as indications of her ability to perform better at higher levels culminating in her promotions, the outcome of this decision starkly contrasted the expectations. The tenets of the two-factor motivation theory best explain Lydia's situation and set forth the conceptualization of unique employee dispositions that determine their performance.

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Two-Factor Motivation Theory

The two-factor motivation theory reconciles the individuality of an employee with the work itself. It draws a nexus to how personal dispositions and the nature of work contribute to employee motivation hence performance in their roles (Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl & Maude, 2017). In essence, motivation is a product of dual factors, those arising from the nature of the job and the perianal motivations. The aspects of a job that influence individual motivation are hygiene factors. Those that emanate from the growing needs of the employee are motivator factors (Spector, 2011). The symmetry of the two leads to high motivation, while asymmetry contributes to demotivation and low performance. Some of the hygiene factors pertinent to employee motivation include payment and organizational policies.

On the other hand, the motivator factors include achievement, responsibility, and the nature of the work itself (Alshmemri, Shahwan-Akl & Maude, 2017). Even though the work-specific conditions can be favorable to the employee, it is not automatic that they will have an overriding influence on job satisfaction. On the other hand, when the hygiene factors reinforce motivator factors, an employee is highly predisposed to be motivated and perform optimally.

Application of the Two-Factor Motivation Theory to Lydia’s Case

Lydia has personal issues to contend with. She has insurance to pay and lacks first-hand experience with her new assignments. Transitioning from assistant to the head of personnel to being in charge of a group of five accountants was sudden. She had no personal inclination to working with high-level employees in the accounts section compared to her previous position as an assistant. While it may be argued that her improved salary would be ideal to fulfill her motivation to meet the insurance, her inclination to work was predominantly hiring and recruitment, not the management of employees. This undermined her level of motivation at the current placement. On the other hand, the job-specific requirements, such as working the same number of hours despite being at a higher level compounded with the highly specialized team she had to manage, were incompatible with her previous designation.

Norman Electronics, where Lydia works, operates similarly to well-structured organizations that provide room for career development. Due to her commitment to work, it was imperative that being assigned higher responsibility would contribute to personal as well as career development. Climbing the career ladder typically boosts employee morale and reinvigorates their commitment to corporate goals and mission (Spector, 2011). Various approaches are always used to advance career growth. One method is through the deliberate training of an employee to orient them towards the new assignments. The other way is to allow them to undergo voluntary self-sponsored training and hitherto get promotions. Even though there was a drastic shift on assignment to Lydia in the new position, she was only subjected to a brief training. Training is implicitly necessary for orienting new employees to new responsibilities. Still, it needs to be followed by a competency assessment to determine the extent to which they have overcome their limitations as well as their readiness to deliver in the new assignments.

A critical approach that would have enabled Fred Norman Sr to determine Lydia's potential to deliver is job assessment. This ability to deliver fundamentally influences motivation. However, the promotion was clearly as a result of a performance appraisal that focused majorly on the former assignment. Fundamentally, a criterion development, determining the significant components of job performance to be evaluated, is one of the significant uses of job analysis information (Cucina, Byle, Martin, Peyton & Gast, 2018). A job-oriented analysis provides a list of the vital components of a job, which can be used as dimensions for performance evaluation. From this, it is possible to identify the existing personal limitations, reservations, and inabilities, and deliberately focus on improving them. Promotion and redeployment purely based on the previous employment without taking into consideration the unique aspects of the new role to be taken are likely to be misleading.

Age, Financial Situation, and Test For Work Motivation and Attitudes

Age is a factor which, though not prominently, affects individual motivation at work. At 58 years old, Lydia is still physically productive; hence no clear indication that her age is a determinant of her performance. However, her age is slightly above the theoretical midlife crisis, which means she can still be suffering from its effects. It is challenging for people to attain a perfect balance between family needs, job requirements, and personal changes in midlife (Teli & Shah, 2020). At this age, people tend to focus on assessing their progress against many expectations, which potentially affects their performance. Financial needs also influence employees' motivation at work, but this cannot be immediately determined in Lydia's case. The promotion to a new role had financial incentives, which means she would have increased earnings to take care of the untidy insurance left by the deceased husband. Failure of financial incentives to boost Lydia's performance in the new role underscores the fact that monetary incentives and promotion may not be the most effective interventions in employee motivation (Bakar et al., 2017).

Job satisfaction is a significant predictor of how well an employee performs tasks assigned as well as experience fulfillment from them. Various factors, including job-specific, incentives, and personal goals, contribute to job satisfaction. Negative attitudes and job dissatisfaction among employees result in organizational failure. To understand Lydia's job satisfaction and approach in her new position, her delivery, absence, and disposition are critical indicators. Conventionally, absence from work, especially for an employee with a history of not being absent, is an indicator of job dissatisfaction. In addition, the output at work, too, indicates employee withdrawal from work. In Lydia's case, elements such as inaccuracies and inability to meet timelines should be assessed to determine the causations. Even though employee absence from work may be as a result of various proximate reasons, it is necessary to assess the specific causes. The repeated excuse about personal health issues as the cause for absence from work is a leads for job dissatisfaction (Spector, 2011).

Emotions or attitudes that may have influenced her job satisfaction in both positions

Counterproductive behavior impedes job satisfaction and the optimal delivery of roles assigned within an organization. While some of the self-defeating behavior may be highly aggressive, Lydia's case is not. Hers is associated with Job Characteristics and Task Performance. Job characteristics theory explains that the intrinsic nature of the job is a motivator for employees. For instance, she enjoyed her previous roles despite the comparatively lower salary than the new one. Being in charge of recruitment was interesting and enjoyable to her. However, the change to managing employees in the finance section undermined this motivation and, thus, performance. She was more fulfilled handling the many recruitments than dealing with fewer employees in a more specialized segment of the organization. The skill variety, task identity, and task significance in the new assignment did not match hence her withdrawal.


The performance of employees in their designations depends on their motivation to do their work. Motivation is both intrinsic and extrinsic, which necessitates close monitoring. While motivation can be improved through interventions such as proper reward systems, promotions, and better payment, it is necessary to do a holistic evaluation of an individual employee, understand their personality, goals, reservations, and limits then match them with the assignment at hand for better outcomes. Lydia failed in her roles due to a combination of personal limitations as well as environmental conditions at work.


Alshmemri, M., Shahwan-Akl, L., & Maude, P. (2017). Herzberg’s two-factor theory. Life Science Journal, 14(5), 12-16. doi:10.7537/marslsj140517.03.

Bakar, A., Nazierah, N. F., Kamil, M., Akmal, B., Abd Hamid, S. N., Rani, A., & Huda, S. (2017). Non-Monetary Incentives to Improve Job Performance: A Study at Property Company in Penang.

Cucina, J. M., Byle, K. A., Martin, N. R., Peyton, S. T., & Gast, I. F. (2018). Generational differences in workplace attitudes and job satisfaction. Journal of Managerial Psychology.

Teli, J. A., & Shah, S. M. A. (2020). Impact of Mid-Life on Work-Family Balance. Studies in Indian Place Names, 40(3), 7462-7468.

Paul E. Spector (2011). Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Research and Practice, 6th Edition: Research and Practice. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 978-0-470-94976-4.

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