Title

An Analysis of Job Task and Organizational Environment in Relationship to Human Needs

Date of Award

5-1-1977

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Teaching & Learning

Abstract

Problem: Work for many individuals is a necessity. Most organizations must employ individuals to perform services and tasks so that the organization's purpose is fulfilled. When an individual and an organization are brought together to do a job, a relationship is initiated. How this relationship affects the individual in terms of productivity, attitude, life style and so on, is the subject of a good deal of motivational research. The Contingency Theory of Motivation stresses the importance of a possible congruent relationship betxveen three worksite factors: the individual, his task and the organizational environment. It is hypothesized that if one were aware of the congruent relationships that may exist between these variables, one could construct an environment which might foster motivation.

The problem is that little information is available regarding the composition of congruent worksite factors. This study was undertaken to search for and to isolate congruency in certain of these worksite variables.

Procedure: The variables used were human needs, task factors and organizational factors. Maslow's hierarchy of human needs model became the base for categorizing the needs of the individual. Task and organizational factors were limited to economic benefits, career development possibilities, working conditions and interpersonal relations.

A questionnaire was developed that categorized the respondent's replies by a numerical comparison procedure into profiles of human needs, which were compared to the "desired" task-organizational factors.

The data were collected from a sample consisting of 222 teachers employed in public schools throughout the northwestern portion of Minnesota and in the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota.

Results: The statistical analyses revealed the existence of several significant relationships among the tested variables. For example, it was found that respondents who indicated a high esteem need also showed a desire for promotional, educational and advancement opportunities. Isolated congruent variables, such as this, were used to construct "Organizational Triads."

Five triads were constructed in all. One for each of the five human needs: physical, safety, social, esteem and self-realization. Each triad diagrams the task and organizational factors desired by an individual whose responses showed a particular high human need.

Conclusion: The data generated by this research indicate that certain taskorganizational worksite factors are desired by certain need trait individuals. If these factors are present at the worksite or can be introduced, the job performed may be perceived as being need fulfilling.

This research points out that motivation is a very individualistic phenomenon. An individual who has unfulfilled needs will attempt to fill those needs and if those needs can be filled on the job, perhaps motivation will occur.

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