Organizational Behavior class, Analyzing and comparing three cases to identify key similarities.

Motivation and Rewards Analysis Paper
Purpose: This assignment will give students insight about what motivates employees to work, and why motivation differs based on job and personal factors. Applying motivation models can guide manager’s interventions to improve employee motivation. This knowledge will increase students awareness of employee attitudes and behaviors associated with motivation, and frameworks for more motivating work arrangements. Such insights can be helpful for understanding job performance – one’s own, co-workers, and subordinates. It is especially beneficial for managers to recognize and understand the dynamics of motivation.

Understanding how motivation shapes employee performance
Applying basic motivation models to real-world examples which may not exactly match textbook cases
Analyzing and comparing three cases to identify key similarities and differences

This assignment will also help you become familiar with important management knowledge, such as:

Recognizing employee attitudes
Designing and implementing interventions to improve motivation
Understanding the performance feedback process and how performance feedback influences employees

Interview three employees working in a single organization. This can be your workplace or another to which you have access.
Apply ideas and concepts from job attitudes and satisfaction, personality, and motivation to explain the different attitudes and levels of motivation you saw. Compare the employees’ responses and offer rationale for differences among your three employees that links to their personal (age, sex) and contextual (job title, industry) situations.
Ask about the organization’s performance evaluation system, and evaluate its effectiveness based on the information you’ve learned from your interviews. Consider the alignment between the organization’s reward system and its goals.
What recommendations would you make to improve the motivation of the employees you interviewed, and/or to improve the performance management system?
Analyze and evaluate your findings in a paper, not to exceed 12 double-spaced pages, in Times New Roman with 1-inch margins. The formatting requirements for this paper are flexible; use your judgement to make a professionally formatted paper. There is no minimum page limit, as long as you address the assignment.
Do not include your ‘field notes’, i.e., the notes or transcripts of your interviews.
To protect confidentiality, please do not identify the company or use real names. You may disguise names or refer to people by role or title.
Submit to Canvas by October 24 at 11:59PM.


Select individuals who vary in interesting ways that may be relevant for understanding the factors that motivate people – for example, people at different organizational levels, career stages, job roles, sex, marital and parental status. Good variation in your sample makes it easier to identify differences among participants, and also highlights the contours of the performance management system (e.g., maybe it works well for senior level employees who get bonuses, but not for lower level employees who don’t).
Review the OB concepts before you have your interviews so you can prepare questions that focus on specific aspects of the theories. Have a list of prepared questions that you can use, and be flexible so that you can pursue interesting responses.
Ask each participant about the performance evaluation process since their answers may vary.
Use your judgement to present the most interesting and salient comparisons among your participants.

Criteria for Success
Below is an outline of the rubric for this assignment. Sample motivation papers are available on Canvas.

Data collection and variation Student interviewed 3 employees of the same organization, with thoughtful variation among employees.

Description and comparison Student describes and compares the three employees, highlighting themes and relevant differences; demonstrates how differences in each person’s situation contributes to their motivational situation.

Performance management system Student describes the organization’s performance management system (performance appraisal, bonuses, raises, formal and informal feedback?)

OB concepts applied Student accurately applies concepts and/or models (e.g., motivation, satisfaction, commitment)

Professional writing quality Student demonstrates professional writing skills, including typos, grammar, formatting, and flow.

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