Course in HR studies in three parts

by torstein @ escenic

Part II:

What motivates a team?

Aren’t you the Linux guy? 🐧

MSc in Human Resource Management

University of Stirling

Alienation & motivation



“Alienation is where the individual feels that work is a necessity imposed upon him or her. Working under such conditions means abandoning one’s control over doing the job or of developing it”

—Rosenfeld & Wilson


“Motivation is where the individual feels that work is sometimes good and sometimes bad, but that it is fulfilling, stasifying and capable of development in all ways”

—Rosenfeld & Wilson

Sounds familiar, techies?


“At the sprint retrospective, the team:

Reflects on the past sprint, identifies and agrees on continuous process improvement actions.”



the most famous motivation model

Abraham says

“Needs which are satisified are no longer motivators”

Abraham says

“This means that managers who constantly provide the same rewards cannot expect increasing levels of motivation from their staff”

Fredrerick Herzberg

Asked people to tell him

2 stories from work:

  • A positive experience from work
  • A negative experience from work

Fredrerick Herzberg

“There are two types of motivators, one type which results in satisfaction with the job (actual motivators), and the other which merely prevents dissatisfaction (called hygiene factors)”


  • Achievement
  • Recognition
  • Work itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement

Hygiene factors

  • Company policy and administration
  • Supervision
  • Inter-personal relations
  • Money
  • Status
  • Security

Two gentlemen extremely influential

on the way we organise work

Fredrick Winslow Taylor

Introduced Scientific management

Henry T. Ford

Mass production of cars

Ford conquered the world

  • Ford is famous implementing scientific management
  • The flip side was alienation
  • Job dissatisfaction

Introduced this thing called teamworking

  • Teamworking first introduced in the early 1980s by Volvo, Toyota and General Foods.
  • Now everyone does it

Teamworking must be understood

  • Understood by the organisation
  • Encouraged
  • Supported


  • If the work is collective (i.e. teamworking), the reward should be too
  • Material and intrinsic:
  • Recognition from the rest of the organisation


  • Output is visible
  • Output has consequences for other people

Continuous development

  • Continuous development of the team
  • not just maintain the status quo

Do people perform better in a better environment?


Western Electric, 1924-1932


  • Improved 💡 → improved performance
  • Cleaner → improved performance
  • Longer breaks → improved performance


  • Worse 💡 → improved performance
  • Dirtier → improved performance
  • Shorter breaks → improved performance

The Hawthorne Effect

That’s it

✏ torstein @ escenic dot com

Next time:

Comparing cultures


→ Hackman, J. Richard (1987). “The design of work teams”

→ Huczynski & Buchanan, “Organizational Behaviour”, 2001

→ Robbins, “Organizational Behavior”, 1998

→ Rosenfeld & Wilson, “Managing Organizations”, 1999

→ Taylor, Frederick Winslow, The Principles of Scientific Management, 1911