How can the motivation of Jeannie Savaria be explained?
One way to think about motivation is to think of it as a catalyst. Some objects or benefits can propel people to act in a motivated way. Another way to think about motivation is to think of the way people analyze their situations. Some situations can be seen as beneficial by some (and detrimental by others). Those who perceive the benefits in a situation will likely be motivated by that situation.
Either way, motivated people are “moving” (literally or figuratively) toward the objects of their motivation.
In this assignment, students should read the Magic Eye, Inc. case study and prepare a Word document (saved as a .doc) that answers the following question.
1. How can the motivation of Jeannie Savaria be explained?
Work motivation can be analyzed using the following theories: Maslow’s hierarchy of need, McGregor’s theories X and Y, Herzberg’s two-factor theory, McClelland’s theory of needs, Locke’s goal-setting theory, Bandura’s self-efficacy theory, Skinner’s reinforcement theory, Adam’s equity theory, and Vroom’s expectancy theory.
Students should choose one of those theories to analyze Jeannine Savaria’s work motivation. Each analysis should be theoretically justified (the theory behind it should be presented, described, and explained) and illustrated with information from the case (either talking about what is going on in the case or quoting the case directly).
2. Given the theory chosen to analyze Jeanie Savaria’s motivation, what can her supervisor do to improve her motivation?
MAGIC EYE, INC.(1)
Paul Reed (2) is vice president of Magic Eye, a company specializing in computerized special effects. Paul is a 35-year-old engineer. He has worked all his life with computers, building them and designing with them. The company is mostly made up of programmers. There are three teams of programmers, five individuals per team plus their supervisors. In the beginning, all programmers were under Paul’s supervision. The supervisors came aboard a year or two after the foundation of the company to accommodate the growth of the company. They all have been hired by Paul and share similar backgrounds. Each team is similarly balanced in terms of members’ seniority, educational background and expertise. Paul works closely with the supervisors. Lately, he has been working with a group of young programmers developing new applications for special clients.
The company is a rather “flat” organization: there are not a lot of hierarchical levels. Turnover is very low. However, Paul is convinced that his programmers are not giving the company more than a very basic eight hours of work. According to him, not one has reached his or her potential. Paul is rather annoyed by this situation especially since he believes that the programmers are the soul of the company and that their performance determines the company’s. Even if he exercises a tight control over operations and costs, the overall performance of the company will not increase if the programmers do not pitch in.
Paul has a short meeting with Muriel Tremblay who is responsible for the personnel. “What is happening with our employees?” he asks “We offer them just about the best salaries in the metropolitan area, we have excellent work conditions, and our benefits are the best by much. Yet, it is obvious that our programmers are not motivated. What can we do?” Back in her office, Muriel pulls the file of a young programmer with which she has had several conversations. She believes that Jeannine Savaria is a very typical employee and decides to interview her further.
Jeannine Savaria has worked for Magic Eye for over a year. This is her first job after graduating Magna Cum Laude in Information Systems at the École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales(3). Jeannine knows that she possesses some exceptional technical abilities for someone just out of school. She believes that the experience she acquired during each of the summer semesters since her CEGEP (4) years has helped her tremendously.
Indeed, not only is she very good at conceptualizing computer programs but she has worked so much with software and hardware from a lot of different companies that she is also very good at applying her thinking and at making her finished products accessible to the potential users.
However, despite her great abilities, her performance is nowhere near her potential nor her competencies. According to her, her supervisor spends the best part of his time organizing her work and verifying it later on. At the very beginning, that tight supervision turned out to be very useful as a means to grasp the norms of the company. It was never a very useful way of understanding what the job
entailed. Jeannine does not believe that she ever needed help to figure out what she had to do and how to do it. She yearns to make a difference and leave her mark.
Jeannine does not like to be treated like a kindergartner. A few months ago, she got so irritated by her supervisor that she decided to answer his requests word for word. During a two-week period, she did only and strictly what he told her to do. Her results went down the drain but, except for a few chuckles at the beginning, she really had no fun doing this, and her supervisor did not seem to get the point anyway, so she quickly returned to her usual ways.
The work conditions are very good at Magic Eye. The company is located on the south shore of the St Lawrence River(5). A lot of the young programmer live downtown Montreal (where all the action is located), so their transit to their place of work is very easy since they go against the rush hour traffic. Their hours are very flexible. The company understands the way computer programmers may work in bursts, pulling all nighters when working intensively on a project. Programmers log their time and with the approval of their supervisor will take time off to balance out their week. The company does not pay overtime nor does it give bonuses. All programmers are paid the same with small differences to account for seniority and level of expertise upon hiring.
The programmers’ space is made up of “offices” divided by half walls. Each office can be set up at the programmer’s request. That includes equipment preferences, decorations, and furniture. People work with laptops while laying on couches. People work with full size screens. People work on bean bags and hard chairs. People work with ergonomic keyboards and ergonomic chairs. They also have access to an almost fully equipped kitchen and a series a fully equipped individual bathrooms (many people bike to work and shower at work).
Usually, a client will ask the company to customize a particular product but some of the time a client will ask for a brand new application or a brand new product. The good programmers, regardless of their seniority, will work on those special projects. In a conference with their supervisors and the client, those programmers will be told of the client’s needs and together, they will work out a schedule. Those jobs are challenging but, even though programmers work alone, colleagues are never far away, and everyone shares problems and solutions on an informal basis.
Once the client is gone, most supervisors will establish for the programmers a framework of options from which the programmers are asked not to stray too much. Following the supervisors’ options limit the programmers severely. Jeannine can tell many stories of ingenious ways of solving problems for clients that would have saved on programming and might have been more “elegant” solutions that have remained shelved because of the supervisors’ lack of interests. Jeannine sometimes wishes that she could have a direct access to the client while working on a given project.
Jeannine knows that she is a good programmer, but she does not believe that the company knows it despite the fact that she was hired on the basis of her competencies in programming. She does not believe that her supervisor trusts her to do the right thing given the guidelines established with the client. She likes her job very much but sometimes she wonders why she was hired.
This assignment will be graded on content and context. If students present a final answer that contains all the requirements and that is free of errors, each member whose name appears in the group answer will earn 60 points.
This assignment requires a minimum of eight paragraphs (See Framework for answer below).
Note that a standard paragraph contains a minimum of three sentences.
The context of the assignment (formatting, grammar, spelling, proper citation techniques, etc.) will be assessed, and points will be subtracted at 0.2 points per mistake with a maximum deduction of 2 points.
The presence of the proper file extension and identification header will always be verified. The absence of either will cost students 2 points. (See Syllabus for an example).
• Improper file extension = -2 points
• Absence of a proper identification header at the top of the page = -2 points
• Less than three sentences in a paragraph=-1 point
Framework for Answer
First paragraph = Students should introduce the case (What is this case all about?) Students should do the following: 1- summarize the situation (2 point), 2– theoretically introduce the topic of motivation: this is to say, students should explain what “motivation” is according to the textbook (4 points), and 3- introduce the task at hand: this is to say, students should announce what they will do in the paper (2 point).
In the next set of paragraphs (minimum three paragraphs), students should answer the first question: How can the motivation of Jeannine Savaria be explained? Students should choose ONE theory of motivation and proceed as follow: 1-write an introductory paragraph presenting (and explaining) the theory they will use to explain Savaria’s motivation (8 points), 2-write a middle paragraph applying the theory to Jeannine Savaria (8 points), 3-write a concluding paragraph summarizing what motivates Jeannine Savaria according to that theory (8 points). These analyses should be justified by the theory chosen and illustrated with information from the case.
In the next set of paragraphs (minimum three paragraphs), students should answer the second question:
Given the theory chosen to analyze Jeannine Savaria’s motivation, what can her supervisor do to improve her motivation? Students should proceed as follow: 1-write an introductory paragraph suggesting what her supervisor should do (8 points), 2-write a middle paragraph justifying the suggestion using the theory described earlier (8 points), 3-and write a concluding paragraph summarizing her supervisor’s actions (8 points). These analyses should be justified by the theory chosen and illustrated with information from the
Eighth paragraph = Students should conclude the motivational analysis of Jeannine Savaria. Students should do the following: wrap up their analysis with a brief summary of what they have discovered or inferred about Jeannine Savaria’s motivation at work (4 points).
1. Case written by Nicole DANSEREAU, modified and translated by Evelyn PITRE (1997) and updated by E3P3 (2012).
2. The names of the people have been changed to protect their identity. The company is a Montreal-based company responsible for the special effects seen in many highly acclaimed films. The company has since been bought by Industrial Light & Magic.
3. HEC is an independent Business School affiliated with the University of Montreal.
4. A CEGEP is a type of Junior College attended for two years after high school. Undergraduate programs at the University level provide three years of specialized courses after those first two general ones. With some exceptions, one cannot enter an Undergraduate program without a CEGEP diploma. Most engineering programs last four years.
5. Montreal is an island. There are four bridges and a tunnel linking the south shore to the island. The north shore has remained more agricultural although some big manufacturing plants are established there ( e.g. General Motors). The south shore is where the suburbs are, but it is also where a lot of smaller, tertiary companies have established themselves.
The material used in this class is proprietary. It is NOT available for distribution or dispersion of any kind without the express written consent of the owner / instructor, Ms. Evelyn Pitre. ©2012 E3P3 Evelyn Pitre Communication Consultant firstname.lastname@example.org