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The paper focuses on Siemens as a corporation that has made significant contributions to global development through the design of innovative goods for the global economy. The study's primary focus is on studying the innovative culture that has propelled the organization to the top of the performance ranking since its inception. Various sections in the report explain various issues of interest in depth to the public stakeholders as well as scholars who might wish to understand the trade secrets of such an innovative institution, arguably, Siemens spearheads the world of innovation and engineering through products that have revolutionized human existence on earth.
Engineers as innovative people have changed the way the world exists today. As such, it is imperative to credit their efforts for some of the innovations we enjoy today. As a company established in the 19th century, Siemens has been at the forefront of transforming the world through its innovative abilities not to mention its capacity to create employment opportunities not just in the UK but to the rest of the world as well. The paper addresses the concern of motivation within a creative environment and focuses on Siemens as a company. The first section looks at the organization's chief determinants of success. The second section looks at the hierarchy of need in motivating employees. Followed by the comparisons of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs vs. the alternative need theory as the last question answers the relevance of the main principles described in the case study as shown in the highlighted points.
Why is the organization successful?
First, the success of the organization is attributed to the aspect of identity that the workforce associates with during their hours of work. In truth, Siemens as an institution has a long, rich history built in one of the most prosperous nations in the world. The sense of identity is one of the key determinants as to why the organization has a golden touch in products it unveils into the market. Studies suggest that when you feel a part of something much greater than you, any individual is bound to improve not just their input in the workplace, but their performance as well. At Siemens, their internship program instills a level of discipline and a sense of belonging for their engineers. A company with the ability to absorb engineers straight from college and giving them a platform to gain experience in a reputable firm not only becomes a success over time but also inculcates a sense of loyalty, which is instrumental in the growth and success of any institution as witnessed in the case of Siemens (Business Case Studies 2015).
Motivation as an aspect lies at the heart of the organization. Notably, all employees need basic needs to meet their daily needs in life. However, this alone is not enough despite being awarded huge paychecks for their input (Lăzăroiu 2015, p.97). Engineers at this company thrive because of the creative environment the organization provides. In a research conducted by various scholars, a serene, creative environment was found to be the key ingredient in motivating an organization's employee to reach their full potential. Conversely, this creative environment has been fruitful in stimulating the engineers to come up with plans that have been effective in tackling most of the problems faced by millions of people in the world today. Likewise, problem-solving aspect of the engineers at this institution has been another motivational factor as the employees feel the need to rise and give value to their employers for the monetary benefits and allowances they receive. Lastly, according to (Lăzăroiu 2015, p.99) the varying type of work has been another source of motivation as employees get the opportunity to try new roles thus expanding their knowledge and skills as they attend to their work wholeheartedly.
Scientific management has proved over time that dealing with facts is instrumental in bringing the much-desired results. Currently, most of the technological advancement we enjoy today is because of scientific management. Without proper management, it is nearly impossible to have any task completed within the stipulated timeframes. As such, the success of this institution is widely attributed to Taylor’s theory of management. That firmly holds that for employees to accomplish tasks more seamlessly with relative ease, it is best if the management team takes the time to observe them while they are at work, and then subdivide the work into smaller portions then assign persons specialized in such task. At Siemens, Job specialization has enabled them to accomplish numerous tasks without much difficulty. Notably, the organization has different specialists and goes further on to offer in-house training to potentiated individuals with the hope of nurturing them to better engineers for future generations. Naturally, the specialization of jobs comes with the benefits of salary increments not to mention allowances that make it easier for the management team to handle its employees scientifically according to Taylor's theory explained earlier.
Success in most institutions is because of the innovative culture in many institutions. For example, Apple as an institution has pioneered a wide range of products in the new age of the smart phones. Because of their input, today, millions of users can enjoy their products in making their lives much better and easier to handle through their various applications. Siemens as an organization is successful because of the innovative culture instituted in hundreds of its engineers upon orientation into the institution. Siemens is successful because it encourages its employees to be more directly involved in their work and request for funds should they have research ideas that can be developed to change people’s lives. Similarly, their engineers are encouraged to enroll in schools. As a means of furthering their studies to make them more conversant, with the changing trends in technological advancements. Nonetheless, by constantly encouraging its employees to being creative and innovative in their thinking; also, in finding alternative solutions to people’s problems, the organization has proved to be one of the best because of its dedicated team of engineers.
‘Hierarchy of needs’
Human beings have different needs that have to be met for them to function optimally. As such, the engineering team at Siemens is not an exception to this rule. According to Maslow, the most basic of needs have to meet for any individual to achieve any meaningful achievement in their lives. Siemens as an institution understands this principle at their heart and their operations values the well-being of their engineers. Markedly, their payment mechanism ensures that all their employees get their wages on time to meet their basic needs such as food, shelter, and clothing (Mazzei, Flynn and Haynie 2016, p.53). These workers are better placed in having an innovative mindset because of having met their most basic, yet crucial and fundamental needs in life, after which they are now able to focus on other needs, which might appear as non-essential but relatively still important.
Hierarchy of needs calls for security as well as safety. Due to the demands of the services offered by Siemens as an organization, the employees are offered safety and security in the following forms; first, there is the issue of occupational safety at their workplaces. The organization does its best in ensuring that the workers have a conducive work environment in which their lives are not endangered by having personal protective equipment not to mention training forums in which specialists conduct audits aimed at establishing any chemical exposures that may affect their lives in continuous exposure. Second, the employees have job security, which is motivating enough for them to give their best, as this alone is indicative of them being able to get benefits and allowances associated with their contracts thus assuring them of a better life in the near and distant future. Additionally, there is financial security that is one of the most significant forms of security as it guarantees not only the employees a better future but also the ability to meet their obligations to their immediate and larger families. Financial security is instrumental in keeping an employee motivated for a long period. After all, it is not easy to bite the hand that feeds you, and as a fact, the various forms of securities accorded motivate most of the employees in this institution.
The organization understands that more work and no socialization makes their employees dull and robs them of their zeal to be productive. According to the hierarchy of needs, social needs are essential in making workers more committed to their duties. As such, employees at Siemens are treated to different team building activities. During these exercises, the management team ensures that they arrange for different activities that aim at fostering social bonds within their employees thereby making them feel like an integral part of the organization. Due to the strenuous nature of the engineers’ work, the rewards they get for their inputs are instrumental in meeting their self-esteem needs. As an employee is rewarded more for his efforts, his desire to achieve greatness is also inspired by such kind acts by an employer. At the top of the hierarchy of needs is self-fulfilment. Hard work from the employee’s results to them getting rewarded thus increasing their self-esteem and ultimately granting them a personal fulfillment as their contributions change people’s lives as the world in general. The arguments regarding the hierarchy of needs are instrumental in showing how easily a motivated individual can reach their full potential.
Theories of needs
The theory of needs by Maslow and Aldefers all aim at explaining how humanity has to survive based on their psychological desires. Scholars have argued for a long time as to the similarities as well as their differences. Nonetheless, these two theories share many similarities in addressing humanity’s needs, with their difference only arising in one theory correcting the other, by providing an alternative to what one theory already postulates.
According to the Hierarchy of needs, most, if not all, human beings have their needs divided into five categories. As per the findings of the theorist behind this idea, he believed that any person’s needs were broadly categorized into Physiological, safety, love, esteem and finally self-actualization needs (Shareef, Dwivedi, Kumar and Kumar 2016, p256). In truth, these were then arranged in the pyramid, and anyone has to meet their most basic of needs to meet all the others. For example, Physiological needs such as food shelter and clothing are most fundamental to any person, and this is the first ones to be met. If you are paid, you have to meet your house bill, buy food, ensure you have to clothe. Ideally, this needs aim at making a person as comfortable as possible in their mind and riding them from any distractions. After that, a person has to meet their security needs and ensure that their future is assured whereby they can afford insurance cover among other conventional security requirements. After this have been fulfilled, individuals then sort issues such as love and the feeling of belonging to either a family or starting their families and continuing their bloodlines. As the pyramid narrows, self-actualization is the ultimate need in which an individual is now better placed to mentoring another person to self-actualize since they are now one with themselves.
On the other hand, the alternative theory of needs concerns itself with existence, relatedness, and growth. The theorist argued that while the Hierarchy of needs was evidently correct in depicting the needs of the different individual, it failed in addressing critical components by not answering questions related to existence and growth. Arguably, research has found that this theory has a number of the following advantages. Primarily, all the needs it addresses can be measured by the satisfaction an individual is likely to express upon being questioned. Additionally, it shows that a combination of the three factors is important in motivating humans to achieve greater success in their lives. Contrary to these pros, the cons associated with this theory are problematic in the application as it heavily relies on a lot of generalization. Also, it is quite difficult to test with any of the available research methods and lacks the motivational value of each needs a person has to meet, thus rendering the alternative theory null and void as compared to the hierarchy of needs theory.
Compare the relevance of both main theories as described in the case
Both theories are relevant to the growth of any individual. However, the hierarchy of needs as a theory is more applicable in motivating an individual as compared to the alternative theory of needs. In truth, everyone heavily relies on meeting one's needs before moving on to something else, therefore, offering humanity some forms of motivation in their need to self-actualize. Siemens as an institution has shown how it can motivate its employees to be the best engineers in the world. Taormina and Gao (2013) suggests that by using different concepts, their management team has been able to create an innovative environment in which great minds thrive to reach greater heights thus offer creative ideas that result in products that have transformed the world as we know today,
All in all, the success of Siemens as a company heavily relies on the management approach taken by the HR in understanding the needs of the workers and creating the right conditions to bringing out their best as innovative individuals. Conversely, the application of different theories of needs has been instrumental in shaping the success of the organization through the motivational tactics implemented in ensuring the ultimate growth of Siemens as one of the best engineering firms that the world prides its self in embracing and using its products.
Business Case Studies. 2015. Motivation within a creative environment – A case study of Siemens. [ONLINE] Available at: http://businesscasestudies.co.uk/siemens/motivation-within-a-creative-environment/introduction.html [Accessed 8 July 2015].
Lăzăroiu, G., 2015. Employee Motivation and Job Performance. Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations, (14), pp.97-102.
Mazzei, M.J., Flynn, C.B. and Haynie, J.J., 2016. Moving beyond initial success: Promoting innovation in small businesses through high-performance work practices. Business Horizons, 59(1), pp.51-60.
Shareef, M.A., Dwivedi, Y.K., Kumar, V. and Kumar, U., 2016. Reformation of public service to meet citizens’ needs as customers: Evaluating SMS as an alternative service delivery channel. Computers in Human Behavior, 61, pp.255-270.
Taormina, R.J. and Gao, J.H., 2013. Maslow and the motivation hierarchy: Measuring satisfaction of the needs. The American journal of psychology, 126(2), pp.155-177.
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