Home » Goal setting theory

Paragraph on Goal setting theory

In order to motivate co-operative member, six alternatives are discussed such as Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, theory X and theory Y, ERG theory, McClelland’s theory of needs, Goal setting theory, Reward system in the previous section. However the author pointed out that co-operatives organisation’s motivation methods are in align with the Maslow’s hierarchy need theory, Clayton Alderfer’s ERG theory and Locke’s goal setting theory. According to Maslow, employees have five levels of needs (Maslow, 1943 cited in Robbins 2003): physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self actualizing.

Maslow argued that lower level needs had to be satisfied before the next higher level need would motivate employees. Thus a co-operative organisation can offer with standard salary scheme which fulfil their physiological needs. In terms of safety needs, co-operative organisation can provide its employees a safe working environment, which aligns with a strong organizational culture. Thirdly, to meet the social needs of the employees, co-operative organisation can arrange events such as travelling program.

Next in terms of the esteem needs of the employees co-operative organisation can arrange recognition programs in order to make employees feel appreciated. Employees are also given importance of their position. Finally, in terms of self-actualization, employees are provided with proper training and promotion to reach their career potential. However, there are some drawbacks of Maslow’s hierarchy need theory. According to this theory lower level needs had to be satisfied before the next higher level need would motivate employees. Hence some employees might feel the social needs before the safety needs.

Also not all employees are motivated to satisfy only one need level at a time. In this current competitive workplace, employees aim to satisfy several need level at once. To overcome the limitation of Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, Clayton Alderfer expanded on Maslow’s hierarchical theory. He proposed three need categories and suggested that movement between the need levels is not necessarily straightforward. These ERG theory categories are existence needs, which includes physiological and safety needs; relatedness needs, which includes affiliation and esteem needs; and growth needs, which includes self-actualization and self esteem needs.

Therefore at co-operative organisation, it is seen that management satisfies the employee needs simultaneously. Employees are offered with training which is the fifth level of Maslow’s need theory, before the other needs to make the employees competitive. In addition, employees are offered with wages to fulfil the basic needs but also at the same time they are provided with subsidy and not worked benefits which satisfy the safety needs. Thus co-operative organisation meets its employees multiple needs simultaneously in order to increase productivity.

Another theory discussed in the literature review is the goal setting theory developed by Locke. It uses many principles of information processing approaches and of reinforcement, most specifically social learning theory, to explain how goals motivate people. This relates to motivation system of co-operative organisation as all the stakeholders has target and by achieving them they are rewarded with commission, bonuses, salary increment or promotion. (Wendy et al. 2003). 1. 6 Final Thoughts Motivated, hard-working employees are crucial to the co-operative organisation’s success.

When people lose their motivation, however, their job performance suffers hence they become less productive, less creative, less of an asset to the company. There are several factors that have been identified in the data analysis in order to motivate the co-operative members to minimize organisation conflict. Firstly it is important to create a positive environment. An office atmosphere that makes all employees feel worthwhile and important can increase productivity. Secondly it is critical to help employees improve their professional skills by providing on the job training.

Employees will feel the company is investing in them, and this will translate into an improved job performance. In addition it is also important strategy to acknowledge the contribution. It makes a huge difference in employee morale simply by taking the time to recognise each employee’s contributions and accomplishments. Offering incentives to the sales people is also critical to increase sales performance. Performance based bonus and salaries can effectively motivate employees and it can impressively increase sales performance.

For example co-operative organisation provides with salary increase and special commission to its salespeople in term of target achievement. It would also be good strategy to help employees reach the next level professionally by providing onsite coaching. Individual counselling can help people learn how to overcome personal or professional obstacles on their career paths. For example at co-operative organisation, when sales people failed to perform the managers arrange to talk with the employee and find out the reason why the employee does not perform well.

If the employees lack professional knowledge, the company will arrange the professional training for them. In summary, the motivating strategies mentioned above can maximize salespeople’s productivity, which can lead to effective increase organisational performance.


Borgen S. O. (2003), Rethinking incentive problems in co-operative organisation, working paer-2003, Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute Mullins Laurie J. (2007), Management and organisation behaviour, 8th Edition, Pearson Education, Prentice Hall Nos (2009), Co-operative Society, http://www. nos. org/Secbuscour/cc09. pdf (Accessed 13-08-2009) Michels, R.(1992), Political Parties, Basle 1915 reproduced with an introduction by Seymour Martin Lipset, The Free Press, New York/Collier Macmillan Ltd.

London, Davis P. (1995), Co-operative Management and Co-operative Purpose: Values, Principles and Objectives for Co-operatives into the 21st Century, Buchanan D. and Huczynski A. (2004), Organizational Behaviour: An Introductory Text, 6th edition, Prentice Hall Davis, P and Donaldson, J. (1997), Co-operative Management, A Philosophy of Business, New Harmony Press, Cheltenham Wendy, B. and Curtis, W. C. and Phillip, L. H. (2003), Management and Organizational Behavior, McGraw Hill Education