Annotated Bibliography Example – Employee Motivation And Retention

Ramlall, S. (2004).  A Review of Employee Motivation Theories and Their Implications For Employee Retention Within Organizations.  Journal of American Academy of Business.  5: 52-63

Ramlall provides an amalgamation of employee motivation paradigms and illustrates how worker motivation affects behaviors within a firm and employee retention. On top of illustrating why it is critical to retain key workers, the author describes the relevant motivation paradigms and illustrates the impact of the motivation theories in developing and deploying practices aimed at worker retention. Lastly, Ramlall provides an explanation on how practices aimed at employee retention can be illustrated by the motivation theories and how these attempts facilitate a framework for increasing the performance of an organization.

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On account of the large investments in efforts to retain employees with a company, it is reasonable to illustrate, examine and critique the motivation paradigms that are fundamental to employee retention in firms. Low levels of unemployment can oblige many companies to re-examine strategies for employee retention as part of the wider effort to enhance and preserve their competitiveness; however, organizations rarely come up with strategies based on prevailing theories. In this regard, Ralmall illustrated the importance of retaining key employees and described how practices aimed at employee retention can be made effective by illustrating, examining, and critiquing the employee motivation paradigms and showing the association between worker retention and worker motivation.

To conduct this study, Ramlall engaged in a literature review of past studies that examined the employee motivation theories. He provides a synthesis of these articles and illustrates how effective they are in enabling employee retention within companies. The application of this methodology enables Ramllal to seek the guidance of past studies to come up with the motivational theories that are applicable in a modern business setting. He is able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each paradigm so that he can determine their relevance in today’s dynamic organizations.

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The results of the study reveal that knowledge management is critical to organizations since the loss of knowledge after the departure of an employee results in significant direct and indirect losses; on top of the financial losses, a company’s secrets and methods may be shared with the competitor. Ramlall describes knowledge management as the process of developing, capturing, and utilizing knowledge to enhance the performance of a firm. On this account, it is key that a company retains its key employees; these are the workers that have extensive knowledge on a firm’s processes. To retain employees, a firm must base its strategy on the motivational paradigms. Ramlall asserts that maintaining the key employees can be a source of competitive advantage for a company.

The greatest limitation of the study is that it does not explore the applicability of the motivational theories in different industries. Ramlall takes a general view; this can be troublesome when applying a given paradigm in a novel industry. It means that further research should focus on the applicability of the motivational theories in different industrial settings.

Passmore, J. (2016). Coaching Psychology– Applied practice in safety critical environments. Business Psychology in Action: Creating flourishing organizations through evidenced based and emerging practice. Matador: Leicestershire.

Passmore explores the development of coaching psychology, which is a discipline that has been distinguished as a branch of psychology in recent decades. Its latest application is in safety key environments. The author begins with a short review of coaching studies to understand how previous studies have created a platform for the application of the discipline in modern environments. Second, Passmore uses the results of this studies to illustrate the usefulness of coaching to safety key environments like the mining and manufacturing sectors.

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To engage in this study, Passmore reviewed four previous studies that examined the applicability of coaching as a learning tool for behavior. The articles applied a qualitative methodology to examine the use of coaching in industrial environments. These coaching sessions included the application of key skills like active listening, affirmations, questioning, reflection and summaries, and other coaching techniques. The review of past studies enabled Passmore to identify the coaching techniques that are most applicable and effective in safety key environments. He was able to identify the methods that workers would adopt with less friction.

The results of the study reveal that safety coaching has a part to play as a constituent of a wider health and safety framework that facilitates a safety culture in industries. In particular, Passmore states that coaching seems to be a useful method to reinforce learning by decreasing the duration of learning and enhancing conformance to behavioral skills acquired during training. Passmore notes that coaching as intervention seems to be endorsed by both managers and workers, who prefer to be given space to think for themselves.

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The greatest limitation of this study was that it explored a limited set of articles that address psychological coaching at the workplace. Due to this, Passmore could not clearly illustrate the coaching techniques that are not applicable in an industrial setting. In addition, the author failed to mention the industries whereby the studies were conducted. It means that the methods endorsed by Passmore may be useful in one industry but not relevant in another. Future research needs to examine the long-term impact of different coaching techniques and their impact on employee behavior.

Trépanier, S. G., Fernet, C., & Austin, S. (2015). A longitudinal investigation of workplace bullying, basic need satisfaction, and employee functioning. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology20(1), 105-116

Trepainer et al use the self-determination paradigm to suggest and test a model that examines the role of primary psychological need satisfaction in regards to bullying at the workplace and how it affects the functioning of workers. The aspects that were studied include worker engagement, intention to quit, and burnout. The authors believe that bullying at the workplace has become a common occurrence and this is negatively affecting the performance of the employees.

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The authors engaged nurses working in a public healthcare institution in a two-wave study. Data was gathered at two-time points over a period of 12 months. For the data sets, the nurses were delivered with a letter at home that illustrated the purpose of the research and requested them to fill an online questionnaire. The questionnaires measured the nurses on the basis of worker engagement, intention to quit, and burnout on a scale of 1 to 10. Trepanier engaged in a quantitative study to get a reliable indication of the effect of bullying at the workplace. Consequently, this helped them to prove their thesis, that is, bullying at the workplace has damaging effects on workers and the organization as a whole since it reduces the functioning and satisfaction of workers.

The results of the study imply the constant exposure to bullying at the workplace decreases the satisfaction of the primary psychological needs of employees and facilitates burn out after one year. Findings also suggest that when the impacts of bullying at the workplace at regulated, the satisfaction of basic needs facilitate greater employee engagement and restrict the intention to quit for an extended duration. These results illustrate the importance of satisfying the needs of employees so that they can function in spite of bullying at the workplace.

A weakness of the study can be found in the application of cross-lagged examination through the use of two-time points. Even though the method facilities numerous advantages in relation to cross-sectional methods, the application of a multi-wave design would enable a complete understanding of the association between workplace bullying, the functioning of employees and satisfaction of needs. The technique would also enable a direct analysis of the role of need satisfaction in the association between workplace bullying and the functioning of employees. Future studies should focus on the psychological factors that lead to bullying at the workplace and how they can be intervened.

Timming, A. R., & Johnstone, S. (2015). Employee silence and the authoritarian personality: A political psychology of workplace democracy. International Journal of Organizational Analysis23(1), 154-171.

Timming and Johnstone applied The Authoritarian Personality ideology as proposed by Ardonet et al to illustrate why some employees do not participate in decision making. These employees prefer to leave the role to management and stay quiet about issues that affect them. The exact reason why some workers chose silence rather than voice even when the framework for participation has been developed has never been understood. Through this study, Timming and Johnstone make a new contribution to the studies that examine worker voice and silence since they analyze the political psychology of oppression in the context of the workplace.

To conduct the study, the researchers conducted a literature review on studies that illustrates worker voice and silence. Upon this review, they develop a conceptual framework to illustrate employee silence in accordance with the structure of personality. These studies measure the characters of employees on the F-scale. Application of this method enables Timming and Johnstone to drawn upon notions of Authoritarian Personality and worker voice and silence to construct an ideology that can apply at the micro-level.

The findings of the study reveal that some workers have structures of personality that make them more vulnerable to thoughts that are anti-democratic. Personalities that are potentially oppressive, in accordance to the F-scale, are anticipated to find pleasure in submission to the desires of management. Timmings and Johnstone believe that such workers suffer from the authoritarian personality syndrome. They favor absolute and total submission to the authority of management and are offended by the notion that workers should be part of the decision-making process. This dislike of democracy at the workplace is constant even in the face of proof that associates employee voice to numerous benefits for the worker.

The study is limited since it needs further empirical examination and inquiry for it to be regarded as a theoretical foundation. The researchers should have conducted an empirical examination to test the integrity of the paradigm they propose in this study. Such a research would shed light on the range of authoritarian personality and its impacts. A further area of research is to examine the effect of the authoritarian personality on proposals for a more diverse workplace. This study will help to determine the effect of discrimination on employee silence.

Inceoglu, I., & Warr, P. (2011). Personality and job engagement. Journal of Personnel Psychology.

Inceoglu and Warr engaged in this study to establish the link between the personal attributes of workers and the motivational state of work engagement in accordance with the characteristics of the job. The authors believe that theoretical frameworks should stretch to personality characteristics on top of covering the characteristics of a job. If done so, the practical advantages can build from the engagement of relevant staff development and selection, along with job designs that are appropriate.

To conduct the quantitative study, Inceoglu and Warr tested the predictions via three research on an international website that offers free advice to people regarding the examination processes for staff enrollment and development. The subjects were from several countries with the largest population originating from India, the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom. To ensure a uniform comprehension of the questionnaire responses and items, the examination was limited to the employees who stated that English was their first language.  The responses were measured on a 6-item scale of work engagement that analyzed subjective engagement by interweaving absorption and energy that is related to the job. This method was used since the scale has a clear concept and validity of content that is similar to other instruments of engagement. Past studies have indicated that the method has positive criterion validities and construct in regards to job motivation, self-assessed performance, and work satisfaction.

The results of the study reveal that shorter-term work engagement is, in fact, a substantial factor of longer-term characteristics of personality, and highlight certain factors and traits related to personality that either more or less important on that account. Out of the main factors, conscientiousness and emotional stability account for the most pf the differences in work engagement. Additionally, the most important subfactor could found within conscientiousness and extraversion. Employees who are engaged in their work tend to be socially proactive, geared towards achievement, and emotionally stable. This pattern was showcased in several hundred employees and this has significant implications for organizational practice and research. Inceoglu and Warr emphasize that engagement within a firm is partly a function of the traits of the workers chosen for membership.

The greatest weakness of the study the large population of subjects used in the research. Inceoglu and Warr used hundreds of thousands of subjects spread over different continents. This means that the results may not realistically indicate the personality of a worker and its relation to the work setting since different regions have different organizational practices. Further research should explore the effect of personality traits and the level of job engagement, satisfaction, and retention.

Barrick, M. R., & Mount, M. K. (1991). The big five personality dimensions and job performance: a metaanalysis. Personnel Psychology44(1), 1-26.

Barrick and Mount conducted this study to investigate the association between the “Big Five” personality traits (Emotional Stability, Openness to Experience, Agreeableness, Extraversion, and Conscientiousness) to three criteria of job performance (proficiency of training, proficiency of job, and personnel data). They applied this examination to five groups of occupation (police, managers, professionals, sales, managers, and skilled/semi-skilled). The authors believe that the findings of such a research have several implications for practice and research in personnel psychology, particularly in the sub-sections of personnel recruitment, training, and development, appraisal of performance.

The methodology involved a literature review in establishing the studies of personality for the period ranging from 1952 to 1988. Barrick and Mount applied three strategies to achieve this. First, the conducted a computer search of databases to locate all references to personality in regards to the occupation. Second, they conducted a manual search to check the sources listed in the reference section of the literature. Lastly, they used the assistance of professionals to find validation studies. The search yielded a total of 117 studies that were applicable; 162 samples were obtained from these studies. The sizes of the sample varied from 13 to 1401, and the total sample size was 23,994. These were categorized into the occupational groups. After this, categorization the researchers applied meta-analysis to arrive at the results. The methodology applied by Barrick and Mount is suitable since its comprehensive nature enables them to identify past studies that examine the Big Five personality traits. Through meta-analysis, they are able to quantify the results of the past studies for statistical examination.

The most important finding of the study is related to the dimension of conscientiousness. Barrick and Mount found that it was a consistent and valid predictor for all groups of occupation. Therefore, this personality trait appears to contain characteristics that are key to the accomplishment of tasks in all occupations. As such, people who showcase traits related to obligation, a strong sense of purpose, and endurance generally register better performance than those who do not. The same findings have been recorded in the educational setting whereby the aforementioned traits drive educational achievement.

The main weakness of the study is the methodology since it resulted in lower correlations. It means that the findings for each of the five criteria are based on the average of correlations between the job performance criteria and scales of personality. Future studies should examine how the different traits of conscientiousness contribute to job satisfaction and performance.

Seaman, Claire, McQuaid, R., and Pearson, M. (2014). Networks in the family business: a multi-rational approach. (Seaman, Claire, and McQuaid, R and Pearson, M (2014) Networks in the family business: a multi-rational approach. International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal. ISSN 15547191 (In Press).

Seaman and her colleagues conducted this study to assert that multi-rational techniques, which consider the overlap and interaction of the three groups of the network, facilitates an informative alternate viewpoint. The authors believe that present research on networks related to family business has tackled the topic from non-rational viewpoint where business, social networks, and the family are examined discreetly. The authors acknowledge the association between the different networks in a family business. They present evidence from past studies as a foundation for further examination through the use of empirical techniques.

To come up with the multi-rational technique, Seaman et al examined past studies related to family business. In particular, they investigate the studies related to the three network groups in family business. They conduct a separate analysis of articles related business, social networks, and the family so as to locate the associations between the categories. Upon finding the associations, the researchers expand on them to develop the multi-rational technique of evaluating a family business. Seaman et al used this method so that they could come up with a comprehensive method of analyzing the networks that feature in family-run businesses. This comprehensive approach enables further insight into this type of organizations.

Upon application of the multi-rational technique, Seaman et al is able to come up with several useful findings. Friendship and business networks play a critical role in family businesses but facilitate different rationales, knowledge, and perspectives. In addition, the members of the family within the firm will probably network with different individuals at different periods using different methods and for different purposes. The authors assert that these different conditions may have an influence in the way the networks develop and thus influence the availability of network capital to the business. This is key since networks have a profound impact on the development of ideas, strategies and, the actual business. From a multi-rational perspective, if the networks of a family business act for the benefit of the firm, then future studies could facilitate a greater comprehension of processes and the chance to develop specific strategies that support family businesses. The knowledge from this study can help to distinguish research related to family business and that associated with the general business. This would enable researchers to unveil new findings regarding the aspects of the family business.

The greatest weakness of the study is that the researchers did not apply the findings in an actual setting. In this regard, the multi-rationale approach is not empirically proven. Future studies should use the multi-rationale approach to distinguish between the traits of networks found in family businesses and those of general businesses.

`                       Schulze, W. S., Lubatkin, M. H., Dino, R. N., and Buchholtz, A. K. (2001). Agency Relationships in Family Firms: Theory and Evidence. Organization Science, 12, 2, 99-116.

Schulze et al build upon the economic paradigm of the household and agency studies to prove that owner management and private ownership expose private businesses that are managed by the owner to agency threats that were ignored in a previous study by Jensen and Meckling (1976). They assert that owner management and private ownership not only decrease the success of external control techniques, they also expose a business to the conundrum of self-control. The problem is created by motivations that make owners take actions that harm every stakeholder of the business. They apply this thesis in the family business setting.

To test their hypothesis, Schulze et al used data from a 1995 survey that examined family businesses in the United States. The survey, conducted by The Arthur Andersen Center for Family Business is one of the most comprehensive and largest conducted on family-run firms. The data from the survey suited this study since the survey was developed to obtain consistent benchmarks regarding American family businesses. The method selected by the researchers is suitable since reliable data on family businesses is hard to obtain. Public information is not reliable since most family companies are privately held thus have no legal obligation to reveal information. Further, government data is not useful since family businesses are not listed as a spate group of business.

The results of the study reveal that conflicts of interests among and within the owners of family businesses, along with the impact of external market failures threaten the performance of privately held firms that is managed by the owner. Schulz et al assert that it is necessary for a family business to incur agency costs; that is, they have to invest in the varieties of internal control techniques that are determined to be necessary for firms with multiple owners.

Since all of the companies were under private ownership and the data are proprietary, the scholars were unable to establish the reliability of the data. Therefore, the results may not realistically depict the agency relationship in family businesses. Further study should be conducted to investigate the performance of family businesses that take into account agency costs.

Hülsheger, U. R., Alberts, H. J., Feinholdt, A., & Lang, J. W. (2013). Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology98(2), 310.

The authors define mindfulness as a state o consciousness where people consider ongoing experiences and events in a non-judgmental and receptive manner. On this account, they conduct this study to investigate the notion that mindfulness decreases exhaustion in the emotional sense and enhances job satisfaction. They conduct two studies in an organizational setting.

The methodology applied in the first study involved the distribution of diary booklets to workers in the service sector. The participants filled the diary twice a day or five consecutive working days. Following this, statistical measures were used to examine the data on the different criteria. The second study was conducted so as to measure the results of the first experiment with a control group. It applied the same methodology as the first, the only difference being the study stretched over ten working days rather than five. The methodology applied by the authors is suitable for the use of a control group facilitates baseline data that is reliable that can be used to compare results; this is necessary since a researcher can only investigate one variable at a time.

The results of the studies suggest that people employed in jobs that are emotionally demanding, mindfulness enhances job satisfaction and assists to prevent emotional exhaustion. Findings illustrate that trait and state mindfulness are indirectly related to emotional exhaustion of workers and positively associated with job satisfaction. Therefore, mindfulness may reduce emotional exhaustion and enhance job satisfaction. In turn, this will create a positive environment in an organization.

The weakness of the study was that the results were limited to workers employed in the service sector. The subjects were considered since they held jobs that were emotionally demanding. Future research should focus on the effect of mindfulness on jobs that are emotionally intensive using the same parameters applied in this study.

Mathieu, C., Neumann, C. S., Hare, R. D., & Babiak, P. (2014). A dark side of leadership: Corporate psychopathy and its influence on employee well-being and job satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences59, 83-88. 

Mathieu et al conducted this research to determine the role of psychopathy in organizational leadership. They sate that even though psychopathy is typically regarded as the most toxic variety of the dark personality traits (the others are Machiavellianism and narcissism), it has rarely been explored in a business setting. Through the use of the B-Scan 360, Mathieu was able to measure corporate psychopathy. In particular, they examined the associations between viewpoints of employees on psychopathic characteristics in their supervisors, family-work conflict, job satisfaction and psychological distress of the workers.

The researchers engaged two separate studies for the purpose of comparison. Their subjects were all of the employees from a subsidiary of a large Canadian financial company. The subjects completed a series of examinations that determined their level of education, the hours they worked per week, and duration with the firm. A second sample was collected using the same constructs, the only difference being the employees were from a public organization. The results were examined with the B-Scan 360 to determine the level of corporate psychopathy. Mathieu et al applied this method to determine the prevalence of psychopathy in different types of organization, that is, public and private. The use of a single form of measurement enabled the researchers to come up with reliable data for inferencing.

The study’s findings reveal that there was a substantial positive association between the ratings of workers of the psychopathy characteristics in their managers and the worker’s self-reported psychological agony and job satisfaction. Mathieu et al imply that the perceived psychopathic traits in managers had a minimal impact on the psychological distress of workers in the private sector in comparison to the public sector. Their results are in-line with the findings of past studies.

The weakness of the study can be found in the sample sizes that were used. Sample 1 was much smaller than sample 2 and this might affect the statistical analysis. Further studies should focus on the discrete effect of corporate psychopathy on men and women.

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