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Example research essay topic: Motivation At Hitachi Automotive Products Organizational Behavior Analysis - 1,686 words

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Motivation at Hitachi Automotive Products Hitachi Automotive Products, Los Angeles (HAP-LA) is a major manufacturer of automotive electromechanical parts, including alternators, starters, mass airflow sensors and distributors. HAP-LA follows in the steps of many Japanese-based companies in providing above-average motivational packages through excellent benefits packages, incentive programs, and retention incentives. Through these different motivational packages, HAP-LA is able to meet the needs of the employees based on those established by Clayton Alderfer in the ERG Theory. Hitachi Motivation Process Immediately upon employment at HAP-LA, team members are eligible for enrollment in the 401 k plan and the medical, dental and vision care programs. Additionally, new team members are eligible for the Hitachi Cash Balance Plan, which is a compensation package with input solely from Hitachi based on years of service and salary. New managers are also offered a company vehicle from an impressive line that includes Lexus, Acura, Honda, Nissan, Toyota and Oldsmobile.

Managers are also provided with a company credit card for business expenses during trips to Kentucky, Detroit or Japan. Finally, all new employees are eligible for the starting base of seventeen Paid Time Off (PTO) days. PTO days are a combination of vacation, sick time and personal days. After six months of employment, employees are eligible for the Hitachi Tuition Reimbursement Program, safety and quality incentives and the semiannual bonus. The bonus is based on incoming revenue against the budgeted revenue, with additional added bonus for increased efficiency, production or new customers. The safety incentive program is based on a quarterly system that takes into account the lost time days resulting from a safety violation for each department with awards that are issued such as hats, t-shirts, coffee mugs and pens.

Throughout the employment at HAP-LA, team members are also eligible for the thirteen holidays observed, including a paid eight-day plant shutdown during the Christmas holiday season. Employees are also offered such services as Employee Assistance Program (EAP), training seminars for employee development, discount promotions for amusement parks, vehicle purchases, Hitachi electronics and restaurants, and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA's) for medical and dependent care. Other motivational programs include Pie Day twice a year, a potluck lunch, Christmas caroling from the sponsored elementary school and other assemblies that recognize time of service or outstanding performance in production and efficiency. HAP-LA is currently registered as an ISO- 9002 and QS- 9000 certified Tier I and Tier II supplier to several major automotive manufacturers. Currently, HAP-LA is undergoing the process for qualification and registration to the new TS- 16949 Quality Management System for automotive production and relevant service parts organizations.

Under the new TS- 16949, the organization is required to "have a process to motivate employees to achieve quality objectives" and "create an environment to promote innovation" (ISO/TS 16949, 2002). To prepare for this requirement, the Administration department has created and is prepared to implement a survey process that measures the motivation and morale levels within the organization. This survey process is set be issued during the next month with measurable metrics that allow the Administration department to gauge the current level of morale and determine any motivational needs to meet the requirements of TS- 16949. These needs, as discussed in various meetings, may include increased incentive awards for production and quality, as well as incentives for suggestions that may lead to an increase in efficiency and decrease in quality issues.

Alderfer's ERG Theory Clayton Alderfer's theory is a theory, which recognizes existence, relatedness and growth in regards to needs. It is focused on the primary living requirements. In addition, it touches the developing of the interpersonal relationships, and the desire for personal development and fulfillment. Each of the three needs of Alderfer's theory is relatively related to motivation in individuals. The ERG theory gives emphasis to a unique aggravation -deterioration factor, in motivation. The ERG theory is broken down into three major categories.

Existence of needs, this means there are desires for satisfying ones interpersonal relationships. This could be a factor in almost every type of relationship. Most individuals do have something, which gives some type of aspiration. Once the existence has been established, the process has begun to transpire into the existence stage.

It now has a meaning of becoming a need to an individual. This could be the longing for physiological needs as well the need of wanting of material for well being. Relatedness need, is the craving for satisfying an interpersonal relationship of individuals. Having the relatedness factors can surface as a key motivator for many individuals and can sometimes trigger off a positive effect on relationships. This could also bring about a different motivating process in relationships.

Once an individual has the relatedness to something, they then have started the process of becoming motivated as an individual, leaving him or her self-vulnerable to the ERG theory. Growth needs, these desires come from wanting to continue personal growth and development as an individual. Having either existence or relatedness or sometimes both needs normally triggers off this need. Many individuals who have the endurance and significance of a motivating factor are more subject to wanting to accomplish the growth needs.

By having the growth needs in place this can sometimes become an important motivating factor for many individuals. Many individuals in their work environments have adopted the ERG theory for use. This theory has also been known to be used by many individuals who recognize they themselves are in relationships, which could use some type of motivation. By knowing, the ERG theory this could then can become a tool for one in relationships. Hitachi Motivation Processes Meeting ERG Theory After a careful evaluation of the motivational processes at Hitachi Automotive Products, the group has decided that they meet the needs of Clayton Alderfer's ERG Theory. The reason being is the, like most companies, HAP-LA appeals to most of their workers by having the option to receive benefits.

Using the different aspects of the ERG theory by Alderfer, an analysis can be made to determine if the individual portions of the motivational process used at HAP-LA meet the requirements of this theory. By breaking down the different aspects of the ERG theory into its individual components, existence, relatedness and growth, the individual components of the HAP-LA motivational process can be labeled and identified. Existence HAP-LA's competitive salary and bonus program allow team members to provide a secure standard of living. With the addition of the medical, dental, vision and prescription care benefits programs, individuals are able to take care of one of the primary needs of the existence portion of the ERG theory, namely that of security and safety.

The offering of the benefits the new employees of the firm the eligibility for immediate enrollment is a hiring motivating factor. Team members are also provided the extra safety and security through the implementation of the safety incentive programs in place, ensuring a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. In addition, HAP also offers the compensation package based on the individual's years of service. If you are a manager material, you also are made aware of the other motivating factors that are available, such as receiving a company vehicle from an impressive list of choices. They have also placed another desire, which most managers wish to have; that is the corporate credit cards for business expenses.

They also give the new employees the paid time off with pay with out using the accrual method. Relatedness HAP-LA has many different committees that bring team members together from different departments. These committees include the Community Action Committee (CAC), the employee events committee, the safety committee and the morale committee. Each committee has the goal of getting a group of individuals to work together, who would not normally see each other at all during the workweek, to oversee different aspects of employee motivation.

The CAC helps create programs that benefit the community outside of HAP-LA using funds and volunteers from the Hitachi staff. The other committees look at and determine different programs or campaigns to improve morale, provide a safe working environment or plan events like the holiday dinner or the summer picnic. Each of these committees fulfills the role of providing relatedness for the employees. Through the interaction with other team members, employees are given the opportunity to learn and provide input into projects that affect the actual motivation process at Hitachi.

Team members come away from the committee meetings with a feeling of having accomplished a goal that benefits the company as a whole. Growth Through the various employee development programs at Hitachi, the growth portion of the ERG theory is fulfilled. The tuition assistance program allows team members to attend classes outside of work with the knowledge that the company will subsidize the cost of education, if the course applies to their position within the organization. Additionally, team members are given the opportunity for growth, both personally and professionally, through the various seminars, conferences and expositions that team members are invited or, in some cases, required to attend. Conclusion Hitachi Automotive Products has proven, through sound business decisions in a competitive market, to be highly successful in establishing themselves as a premier employer with excellent benefits offering a quality product to reliable customers. By offering the different motivational packages, HAP-LA is able to meet the needs of the employees based on those established by Clayton Alderfer in the ERG Theory.

They can only become a better company by implementing the new benefits as part of the package. HAP-LA is very aware of what it takes to keep their employees motivated to remain at the company. HAP-LA, in the footsteps of many other Japanese firms, enjoys the benefits of having employees that remain at the company for long periods of time knowing that the company will provide those needs that are essential for existence, relations and growth. References ISO/TS- 16949 Technical Specification. (2002) Quality management systems - Particular requirements for the application of ISO 9001: 2000 for automotive production and relevant service parts organizations.

International Standards Organization. Switzerland. University of Phoenix (Ed). (2002). Organizational behavior [University of Phoenix Custom Edition e-text]. New York: Wiley.

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