Motivation Is a Central Principle Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Overall it is evident from this discussion that the prevention vs. promotion focus has an important affect on how individuals act and interact with each other. The above discussion looked at the general application of such systems reflect individual behavior, however, a much more specific look at the effects of such actions within the workplace must be reviewed before a test study can be conducted to answer our hypothesis.

Promotion vs. Prevention: Application within the Workplace

The full implication of promotion vs. prevention focused mentalities is on the explicit strategy decisions individuals make within this framework. The impact on strategy decisions within employee-employer relations is extremely important. In this section, we will look at how strategy decisions are different between promotion and prevention mindsets.

One area that has specific application to workplace environment is the consideration of alternatives and new ideas. Promotion focused individuals tend to be much more eager and accepting of alternatives. Under this mindset individuals are much more open to many possibilities and thereby set lower thresholds for accepting possibly important and relevant information. Thus, using such a strategy, an individual can have a significantly better change of identifying correct methodologies and avoid the error of omission in decision making. For management who take this strategy, risk taking is a significant part of the decision making matrix. Which means that management wants individuals to endorse a method that "might" be correct, and risk being wrong, rather than not forwarding a method and miss the opportunity to succeed. In contrast, management that takes the prevention focused strategy will look at alternatives through a vary narrowly defined window. Which means that they have a very strict criteria for acceptance and a higher threshold for potentially relevant information. This strategy can be taken by management in order to increase the chance of rejecting incorrect decisions, and avoiding risky commitments that cause severe losses. The obvious conflict that could arise within this instance is if employees and employers use contrasting strategies within the workplace. The tension that is inevitable could result in the breakdown of relationships between the two parties. Recent research conducted by Molden and Higgins in 2004 demonstrated that individuals with promotion focus tend to endorse more explanation for their performance than those with prevention concerns, and as a result form less certain impressions than those with prevention concerns as well. The tension that results when these two systems come in conflict can result in psychological stress and general reduction in workplace productivity.

Another important problem that arises within conflicting systems in the workplace is there effect on insight and creative thought. Management with a promotion focus generally tend to facilitate an exploratory approach to boost creativity. Whereas prevention focused management would narrowly consider alternatives and have a general inhibition for creativity. This management style difference is not necessarily wrong however. Those with a very strict method to achieve corporate goals tend to be more efficient, because less time is wasted on exploring ideas that become irrelevant later. Little research has been done into whether working within a prevention strategy management system are more or less satisfied.

In general promotion or prevention motivators cause people to behave and think differently about the consequences of their actions. People overestimate the probability of conjunctive events when they have a promotion focused mindset. This is because positivity in relations to business methods may result in people believeing that the likelihood of any one individual event would correlate in their joint occurrence. In contrast prevention focused people tend to take all possible steps to ensure that all necessary staeps have been taken to eliminate the possibility of loses, which means that prevention focused individuals have a much better grasp of how events can fit together.

In general it is evident that the prevention vs. promotion model within the workplace can cause tension, and that either management style has their individual strengths and weaknesses. The key question that needs to be answered in this study however, is how conflict between employee-employers can occur when they have different systems emphasizing prevention and promotion. The next step will be a methodical research study on this subject.

Promotion vs. Prevention within the Workplace: Test

In order to accurately test the relationship between such circumstances, the best applied methodology would be use psychological methods to induce both employees and employers to place themselves within promotion vs. prevention frameworks and measure their responsivesness. Care however must be taken to ensure that the measurements focus on only a single common endstate rather than a general one that could be applied through both mindsets.

To conduct this test the most important factor to consider is how to isolate corporate strategies that side with either the promotion or prevention strategy focus. In order to be the most accurate, this study will filter companies within two industries: investment banking and internet technology. In the first industry, general corporate focus is conservative in nature, and asset management strategies generally favor prevention focused. This is because wealth attainment and accruement is reflected through compound gains through years of investing rather than instantaneous wealth. By selecting from the investment banking corporations to study management behavior, we will select 200 managers from highly respected and prevention strategy-based corporations. Conversely the technology sector will be significantly focused on individuals who act in a manner conducive to promotion strategy, because taking risks and intensive innovation is the key strategy towards success. Managers and employees taken from this sector would be significantly more promotion focused than prevention focused.

The next step is to induce individuals from these two environments to think within circumstances and articulate their thought process. Managers from the investment banking sector will be asked to consider how they would react to suggestions from employees to take a highly risky position and to explore investment opportunities in a very unpredictable environments and industries. At the same time, they will also be induced to think about an environment where employees work within the framework of already popular or common trends to create "safe investments" and to judge the merits of such actions. At the same time, employees from the investment banking industry will be asked to place themselves within a situation where management created a tiered system of earnings, where high profit quotas result in fast promotion and career advancement, and mediocre quotas result in less but steady advancement. Similarly they will be asked about a work environment where corporate advancement is only performed through cyclical reviews and not based on performance at all. Individuals within the high technology sector will be asked a similar set of questions relating to the above standard. The purpose would be establish a correlation between how these individuals behave and to identify them as either promotion focused and prevention focused individuals. Once managers and employees provide responses to these scenarios, detailed descriptions and mapping of their thought process will begin. The fundamental question that they will have to answer is whether or not working within such a system would induce, conflict, stress, and eroding of relationships. The thought process mapping would only occur, after we can determine whether these individuals are promotion or prevention focused. Thus, we can monitor and record how their actions can be reflected across the scenarios established within this debate.


The results of this study shows that there is a strong correlation towards both conflict and unity when conflicts between promotion and prevention occur. Date shows that the effects on employee-employer relations may very well be much more impacted from the employee perspective rather than the employer perspective. Employees who are promotion focused that encounter a prevention focused management, are extremely frustrated because goal achievement does not reflect rewards. Several factors appear to come into play, first employees feel that they have less of an ability to work independently and that supervision is much stricter. Second, they perceive a rise of hostility between themselves and managers because they are restricted in their ability to assess situations. However, employees with promotion focus in such a circumstance does not feel demotivation to work less or decrease their productivity. The converse is true because they must expand more energy to apply management specific directives into action rather than pursue their independent vision. When prevention focused employees confront promotion focused employers, they feel a much greater burden to excel within the framework of they are provided. They feel greater tension with management because they are forced to think within a unstructured system, and feel that management demands greatly exceed what should be expected of them. However, in terms of production and motivation, they also do not feel a severe lack of either concentration because they are significantly more motivated to retain their employment and be within the good graces of management. However, the effect on management appears to be minimal in that they perceive employees with both promotion and prevention focused mentalities as hard workers and highly productive. They appear to have…

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