Essay Sample on Organizational Behaviour: Most Appropriate Motivational Theory for UK Work Context

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1594 Words
Date:  2022-11-30


The nightmare of a very manager in a company is how to motivate his or her employees. Motivation is the main determinant of employee performance (Waiyaki, 2017, p. 1). In fact, research shows that it is "easier for an organisation to achieve its goals when its employees are motivated towards their personal, professional and organizational objectives" (Waiyaki, 2017, p. 1). However, establishing motivational programs for employees would be difficult without certain frameworks to follow. It is for this reason that motivational theories such as McGregor theory x and y, Mayo's moral theory, and Maslow's hierarchy of human needs theory. Each of these theories proposes a pathway that can be followed by the managers to achieve a team of highly motivated employees, but still, none of the theories can be effective in all work contexts. The main problem is that employees in different regions of the world have varying preferences meaning that no one way of management can satisfy their needs. In the UK, employees area characterized by hardworking nature with less control and anxiety over losing their jobs (Felstead, Gallie, Green & Henseke, 2017). In such context, McGregor's theory y is most suitable because it allows the employer to embrace participative management which provides room for employees to own their hard work hence leading to self-motivation.

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Theory y is a participative and decentralised management style. The managers are optimistic and have positive opinions of their employees. The manager using theory y seeks to encourage a collaborative and trust-based relationship with the employees. The manager assumes that employees should be more involved in decision making and they are happy to work on their initiatives (MacGregor, 1960, p.34). The employee is self-motivated to undertake and accomplish assigned tasks. Also, theory y managers assume that employees seek and accept responsibility, and need life direction. Employees view work as fulfilling and challenging, and they solve problems imaginatively and creatively. Theory y states that management is responsible for organising productive elements of the enterprise which include people, equipment and materials in the interest of economic ends. People possess the potential for development, motivation, and the readiness to direct behaviour towards organisational goals (MacGregor, 1960, p.34). It is, therefore, the responsibility of the management to enable people to recognize and develop those human characteristics they possess for themselves as they help in enhancing performance at the workplace. The indispensable task of management is to arrange organisational methods and conditions of operation so that people can attain their goals by directing their efforts towards organisational objectives (MacGregor, 1960, p.34).

The participative approach to management proposed by theory y is a positive attribute that does not only further encourage the employee but is also suitable for a workforce that needs less control. According to Felstead, Gallie Green and Henseke (2017), the UK employees have since the 1970s demonstrated hard work under less control. Participative management is a style associated with a high level of job satisfaction. It is based on the involvement of employees in problem-solving in the company and decision making. It is a style that encourages managers to empower employees by supporting their high autonomy, creativity, and initiative Rolkova and Farkasova, 2015). UK employees have proven to work under less control signifying a high level of autonomy, and the most effective way to motivate them is to involve them in decision making as well as supporting their creativity and initiative through participative management. MacGregor (1960) shows that provided proper conditions, participative management encourages people to direct their creative energies towards organisational objectives, offer them a voice in decisions that directly affect them, and provide vital opportunities for the satisfaction of egoistic and social needs. Participative management, therefore, promotes employee's spirit of working autonomously and encourages them to direct efforts towards organisational performance.

Moreover, participative management establishes a framework whereby employees are part planning and goal setting leading to ownership of their work. According to Mohammad and Yarmohammadian (2006), participative management creates an integrated systematic process of running an organisation where employees together with managers set the goals, make decisions, solve problems and participate in the transformation to attain organisational goals. In light of this, the employees are taken through the entire process of planning, executing a plan and obtaining the results. The employees are most likely to own the results of their entire work. They will work hard to improve the organisational outcomes because they own the results. Therefore, the employee will be highly motivated to work because his or her input will be reflected in the results of their company.

Furthermore, theory y guides managers to allow the employees freedom to work on self-initiative which triggers self-motivation. For employees to work under less control, it means that they possess self-driving forces that keep them working even when no one is watching. An appropriate management skill in such a case would be one that appreciates employee freedom to further the self-motivation. According to Campbell (2000), respect for employee independent decision making and personal initiatives in problem-solving leads to a higher level of job satisfaction and self-motivation. The UK is one of the industrialized countries where organisations are moving towards high use of technology such that some employees perform their tasks from home. Employees who can achieve performance under such working conditions are those that have been trained to embrace personal initiatives when solving problems. Theory y would undoubtedly be vital for managers to prepare the employees to act independently and inoculate personal initiatives in their undertaking to trigger self-motivation that drives them to attain their performance goals.

Other motivational theories such as Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Mayo's moral theory can be said to be useful in guiding management approaches employed in different scenarios. For example, the Maslow hierarchy of needs categorizes human wanted into five levels. The lowest level comprises of physiological needs that include food, shelter, sleep, water, and sex. Primarily, an employee will be motivated to work to satisfy these needs, and once met will focus on higher level needs that include safety, social, esteem, and self-actualisation (Maslow, 1943). On the other hand, Mayo's theory states that employee productivity has a psychological element in it. The way an employee is treated and the environment in which he or she works is essential to productivity. Mayo reasoned that an employee who is being supervised or is under the watch of a supervisor tends to be more productive than one that is not under direct supervision. In a nutshell, Mayo argued that a manager or s supervisor acts as a motivator to an employee to work hard and be productive (Elton, 1946).

Although Maslow and Mayo's theories of motivation potentially provide a management approach that can be used to enhance productivity among the employees of an organisation, they are not suited to the work context in the UK. Maslow's hierarchy of needs emphasises the needs of satisfying primary needs as a motivation for people to work. The UK is a developed country where majority of the people have access to food and water, and they are less likely to be motivated to work to meet such needs. Moreover, Maslow argues that once employees attain their primary needs, they will be concerned with aspects of a job such as security. However, survey results show that there is a sharp decrease in the number of people fearing they can lose their jobs in the UK since the 1970s (Felstead, Gallie, Green & Henseke, 2017). This means that the second level of needs, security, as articulated by Maslow is less relevant to UK employees. As a result, Maslow's theory becomes less effective in directing motivation for employees in the UK. Similarly, Mayo's theory cannot be relied upon the context of UK since the theory emphasises the need of the manager as a motivator to the employee whereas the reality is that employees work hard under less control. Furthermore, the shift towards the use of technology and working from home invalidates Mayo's theory since no supervisor will be physically watching the employee to enhance productivity.


In conclusion, McGregor's theory y is the most suitable framework for management in UK context as it guides towards participative management that sets a foundation for employee autonomy, personal initiative, independent decision making and participation in problem-solving all of which encourage the worker to own the work and be self-motivated. UK people are hardworking and are productive under less control. This implies that management should select an approach that is in line with the employee behaviours. Employees who are hardworking would be better managed through participative management where their personal initiatives and creativities are encouraged in a collaborative working manner. Participative management helps employees own their work and take responsibility. Theory y also sets a foundation for supporting employee's autonomy and respect for them leading to self-motivation.


Campbell, D.J., 2000. The proactive employee: Managing workplace initiative. Academy of Management Perspectives, 14(3), pp.52-66.

Elton, M., 1946. The Human Problems of an Industrial Civilization.. Boston.

Felstead, A., Gallie, D., Green, F. and Henseke, G., 2017. Insecurity at Work in Britain: First findings from the skills and employment survey 2017.

MacGregor, D., 1960. The human side of enterprise (Vol. 21, No. 166-171). McGrawHill: New York.

Maslow, A.H., 1943. A theory of human motivation. Psychological review, 50(4), p.370.

Mohammad, A. and Yarmohammadian, M., 2006. A study of relationship between managers' leadership style and employees' job satisfaction. Leadership in Health Services, 19(2), pp.11-28.

Rolkova, M. and Farkasova, V., 2015. The features of participative management style. Procedia economics and finance, 23, pp.1383-1387.

Waiyaki, E.W., 2017. Effect Of Motivation On Employee Performance: A Case Of Pam Golding Properties Limited, Nairobi (Doctoral dissertation, United States International University-Africa).

Cite this page

Essay Sample on Organizational Behaviour: Most Appropriate Motivational Theory for UK Work Context. (2022, Nov 30). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience and 25% off!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism