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One major theorist is Fredrick Winslow Taylor; in 1917 he deduced the idea that workers are purely motivated by money. Within his theory he argued that workers do not naturally find it exciting to have a job and therefore require close supervision and control, he expressed that managers should bread down production into a series of small tasks where workers should then be given appropriate training and tools to enable them to work as efficiently as possible on any given task. Furthermore his theory suggests that workers who are paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time (piece rate pay) will be more motivated to produce a higher number of products. This shows that his theory is correct as those who get paid per item produced have higher levels of motivation.

As a result workers are encouraged to maximise their productivity and carry out as much work as possible. Taylor’s methods are widely adopted as businesses saw the benefits of increased productivity levels and unit costs. Taylor’s approach has close links with the concept of an autocratic management style and McGregor’s Theory X approach to workers (workers who are viewed as lazy and wish to avoid responsibility). However workers soon came to dislike Taylor’s approach as they were only given boring, repetitive tasks to carry out and where being treated like machines.

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This theory therefore does lack in certain aspects however the main concept is valid as many people are hugely driven by money and that is the only reason why they work. This is not necessarily one of the methods that ASDA use as they are more of a standardized way to motivate their employees, however this is a commonly used technique to inspire and encourage employees. This is one of the techniques that I feel ASDA may not include within their co-operation.

Piece pay rate is mainly used in factory based work where a person can increase the amount of production dependant on motivation and pay. There is no easy way in which ASDA employees would be able to produce a higher level of production as people only go to ASDA to get their necessities and food, you cannot carry out customer service to make customers buy extra products. However, within various areas of the business such as the electronic department it may be an area in which the workers can be paid commission. This will increase the work ethic of the employees as they will feel the need to sell supplementary products with the electronics and this will in turn generate a higher income for the company and will also motivate employees to want to sell more as they will get paid an extra amount. However overall this is not one of the methods of motivation that ASDA carry out as they are a highly established business.

Elton Mayo

Elton Mayo was a follower of Taylor, his experiments led him to believe that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivated by having their social needs met whilst at work, and this is one of the factors that Taylor excluded from his theory. Mayo focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating then as people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together. In his experiment he found that whatever the change in lighting or working conditions, the production levels of the workers improved or remained the same.

From this research Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by: better communication, greater manager involvement and working in groups of teams. Overall he believed that along with money a person’s social needs also need to be fulfilled. ASDA is a supermarket which employees hundreds of workers, therefore communication and social interaction is a huge aspect of the job. Elton Mayo’s theory is one that applies with ASDA as they ensure that all employees’ social needs are met, they carry out seasonal parties for the entire workforce to attend. Firstly they carry out ‘internal parties’ usually for Christmas and large events.

This allows the workers to converse with one and other and feel extremely motivated as their social needs are both being acknowledged and met. Along with this, they organise an external party which has a maximum charge of £5.00, this gives all of the workers an opportunity to make new friends and meet their social needs at work. These events allow the staff to become more comfortable with each other; once they become friends this will make the workforce a happier place. As everybody will be friends this will act as a natural motivator, in turn a higher amount of work will be carried out by employees. This is a great way to motivate staff, as very little or no effort from ASDA’s behalf.


Abraham Maslow introduced a theory that there are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work. All of these needs are structures into a hierarchy and only one a lower level of need has been fulfilled can a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up the hierarchy satisfied. For examples a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food before working about having a secure job contract or the respect of others. Maslow identified a range of needs that individuals seek to be met in life and at work.

Basic needs

These are for reasonable standards of food, shelter and clothing in order to survive. This level will typically be met in a workplace by the money given in exchange for the work done, therefore allowing the employee to buy basic necessities. Security needs There are also concerned with physical survival. In the workplace these security needs could include physical safety, security of employment, adequate rest period and pension and sick/pregnancy schemes.

Group needs This is when an individual’s need for affection and low comes in to action. Most people want to belong to a group. As organisations grow, individuals can lose their identify becoming just another employee within the crowd. Organisations and businesses must therefore find ways of building individuals into groups and teams. Self- esteem needs This is based on an individual’s desire for self-respect and the respect of others. Employees have a need to be recognised as individuals and to feel important. This is where giving status to individuals and recognising their achievements is important.


At the top of his hierarchy of needs is self-actualisation. Here Maslow was concerned with personal development of individual creativity. In order to meet these needs, it is important for individuals to exercise their abilities fully in the workplace. This is another theorist whom ASDA take into account; within any civilised workplace all of these general needs should be met. ASDA ensure that all of these needs have been met, for example the staff room allows all the employees to have free tea, biscuits and other snacks for whenever they are hungry and on their break, along with this they are provided shelter and also warmth.

This shows that their basic needs are being accommodated. Furthermore, through the use of security guards and CCTV cameras all the staff are protected from any harm and will feel as though they have a high amount of security which will allow them to feel safe within their job and in turn acting as a motivator. The third point of group work is also emphasised in ASDA as all the staff work with at least a team of 10 or more.

This allows them to have high levels of communication with each other and also they can set goals and competitions together which will motivate them to work harder. This use of staff and social interactions will also enable them to increase self esteem and social needs along with love and a sense of belonging within a team, this need of achievements also meets the forth level which is self esteem as working within a group will make the individual feel more wanted and if they accomplish certain tasks, their self-esteem will increase. Finally ASDA successfully meet all of the levels of the hierarchy and the final, this shows that, as an organisation they successfully convene Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in order to motivate their staff.

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