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Assignment Purposes/Learning Outcomes:
After completion of Assignment-3 students will able to understand the
LO 2. Recognize the functions of planning, organizing and controlling and how they
interrelate (Lo2.1)
LO 4. Apply knowledge and techniques of strategic planning and decision making.
(Lo2.1)
Assignment-3
• Please read the case “Motivational Challenges in the Fast Food World”
on Page number 498, Chapter 12 “Motivating Employees” available in your
textbook/e-textbook “Management: A Practical Approach” 9th edition by
Kinicki, A., & Williams, B., and answer the following questions:
Assignment Question(s):
(Marks 5)
1. What is the underlying problem in this case from Fast Food industry’s
perspective? (1mark)
2. What are the causes of this problem? (1 mark)
3. What are the major motivational issues at play in the fast food industry
according to the major needs- based theories of motivation (Maslow’s
hierarchy, McClellands’s acquired needs) (1.5 marks)
4. What would Herzberg’s theory say about the hygiene and motivational factors
present in fast food industry jobs? (1.5 marks)
Answers:
1.
2.
3.
4.
•
In using punishment, managers should punish only
undesirable behavior, give reprimands or
disciplinary actions as soon as possible, be clear
about what behavior is undesirable, administer
punishment in private, and combine punishment
and positive reinforcement.
•
12.6 Using Compensation and Other
Rewards to Motivate
•
•
Compensation is only one form of motivator. For
incentive compensation plans for work, rewards
must be linked to performance and be measurable;
they must satisfy individual needs; they must be
agreed on by manager and employee; and they
must be perceived as being equitable, believable,
and achievable by employees.
Popular incentive compensation plans are the
following. (1) Pay for performance bases pay on
one’s results. One kind is payment according to
piece rate, in which employees are paid according
to how much output they produce. Another is the
sales commission, in which sales representatives
are paid a percentage of the earnings the company
made from their sales. (2) Bonuses are cash awards
given to employees who achieve specific
performance objectives. (3) Profit sharing is the
distribution to employees of a percentage of the
company’s profits. (4) Gainsharing is the distribution
of savings or “gains” to groups of employees who
reduced costs and increased measurable
•
productivity. (5) Stock options allow certain
employees to buy stock at a future date for a
discounted price. (6) Pay for knowledge ties
employee pay to the number of job-relevant skills
or academic degrees they earn.
There are also nonmonetary ways of compensating
employees. Some employees will leave because
they feel the need for work–life balance, the need
to expand their skills, and the need to matter. To
retain such employees, nonmonetary incentives
have been introduced, such as the flexible
workplace.
Other incentives that keep employees from leaving
are thoughtfulness by employees’ managers,
work–life benefits such as day care, attractive
surroundings, skill-building and educational
opportunities, and work sabbaticals.
12.7 Career Corner: Managing Your Career
Readiness
•
•
Self-motivation is increased by applying six steps of
self-management.
The six steps of self-management include the
following: (1) Identify your wildly important longterm goal. (2) Break your wildly important goal into
short-term goals. (3) Create a “to do” list for
accomplishing your short-term goals. (4) Prioritize
the tasks you need to complete. (5) Create a time
schedule for completing tasks. (6) Work the plan,
reward yourself, and adjust as needed.
Understanding the Chapter: What Do I Know?
1. What is motivation, and how does it work?
2. What are the four major perspectives on motivation?
3. Briefly describe the four content perspectives
discussed in this chapter: hierarchy of needs theory,
acquired needs theory, self-determination theory,
and two-factor theory.
4. What are the principal elements of the three process
perspectives: equity theory, expectancy theory, and
goal-setting theory?
5. What is the definition of job design, and what are
two techniques of job design?
6. Describe the five job attributes of the job
characteristics model.
7. What are the four types of reinforcement?
8. What are six incentive compensation plans?
9. Discuss some nonmonetary ways of motivating
employees.
10. Explain a process for using self-management to
enhance the career readiness competency of selfmotivation.
Management in Action
Motivation Challenges in the Fast-Food World
Fast-food jobs—frying potatoes and flipping burgers in
hot, cramped spaces for troves of impatient customers—
are generally viewed as temporary gigs filled primarily
by teenagers wanting extra spending money. In turn,
fast-food companies needn’t worry about paying living
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wages, making work meaningful, or providing opportunities for growth because workers won’t stick around
long enough for these things to matter. This was true as
recently as the 1980s, when the majority of fast-food
workers were teenagers. But today, 75 percent of workers are at least 20 years old, and one-third have their
own children.202 Industry employees now describe “unbearable” work environments that include low pay,
harsh physical and emotional conditions, and rapidly
changing technology, combined with insufficient staff
levels and training.203 Evidence suggests the fast-food
industry hasn’t done much to change its approach to
motivating workers, despite its changing landscape and
consistent revenue growth in the last 15 years.204
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A
FAST-FOOD WORKER
There are four key reasons fast-food work doesn’t motivate employees. First, these jobs are designed with few
motivating characteristics, with one study describing
them as “low-skilled, alienating, standardized, and highly
routinized.”205 Some tasks are so repetitive that restaurants are exploring whether robots can do them.206 There
are also few opportunities for advancement.207 Data indicate about 90 percent of fast-food workers occupy frontline jobs (cook, cashier), with most of the remaining 10
percent in low-level supervisory positions. Only 2 percent
of fast-food jobs are upper-level managerial, professional,
or technical roles, compared with 31 percent of the jobs
in the United States.208 One former fast-food worker says,
“I spent four years working at McDonald’s . . . I never
advanced up the rungs, never was a manager, never
achieved anything of significance in my time there.”209
Industry spokespersons tout opportunities for hard-working employees to become top managers and even franchisees, but most workers’ lifetime earnings would barely
cover the $750,000+ required to open a franchise.210
Second, fast-food workers perceive strong pay inequity. Most earn minimum wage, and restaurants keep
the majority of their workforce part-time to avoid paying
benefits. Over half of fast-food workers rely on some
form of governmental assistance, and many earn extra
hours by splitting their time across multiple restaurants.211 Terrence Wise told a reporter about the intricate bus-hopping route he’d devised to travel between
his jobs at a Burger King and a McDonald’s in Kansas
City, adding that he was sometimes lucky enough to get
two 8-hour shifts in a single day. Wise still earned $8 per
hour after 11 years with Burger King.212 U.S. fast-food
workers earn an average hourly wage of $9.09, meaning
that even 40 hours a week wouldn’t put a family of three
above the poverty line. While fast-food CEOs have
earned increasingly higher pay over the years, employees’ wages have remained stagnant.213 Recently, workers
at restaurants including Papa John’s, McDonald’s,
Jimmy John’s, Chipotle, Taco Bell, and Carl’s Jr. have
filed wage-theft suits. These suits allege that employers
intentionally underpaid them by failing to pay overtime,
taking illegal deductions, forcing people to work off the
clock, or paying below-minimum wages.214
Third, people often mistreat fast-food employees.
According to one former worker, “Customers always
wait in the wings, ready to scream, throw drinks and
use racial slurs over a lack of ketchup.”215 A Starbucks’
barista described her job as “incredibly tiresome”
because “we’re getting screamed at by customers for
not being fast enough, so we try to go fast, and we mess
up the money, or we mess up the drinks, and then we
get yelled at for messing up the money and messing up
the drinks.”216 Shantel Walker, a 30+ year Papa John’s
veteran, said “customers . . . don’t see the retaliatory
measures happening behind that counter . . . they don’t
see your hours getting cut and cut. They don’t see your
boss talking to you like you’re worthless.”217
Fourth, high-pressure fast-food environments present
physical safety hazards for workers. In 2015, employees
filed federal complaints against McDonald’s for unsafe
work environments, saying understaffing meant employees were pressured to cook food too quickly and without
adequate time to mop up messes or to allow fryers to
cool before changing oil. The employees said this led to
falls and burn injuries and that restaurants didn’t provide even basic first-aid supplies, often instructing them
to treat burns with condiments.218
INDUSTRY OUTCOMES
Employees and organizations in this industry have experienced two key outcomes. First, workers suffer
stress-related health problems. Studies show fast-food
workers experience more stress than others in equally
demanding careers because of their jobs’ characteristic
absence of both job security and control.219 Further,
the emotional labor of constantly pretending to be
happy and engaged with customers, regardless of what’s
happening behind the counter, leads to job dissatisfaction, burnout, and even substance abuse. One long-time
worker says she uses illicit drugs to decrease the stress
she experiences from the “fake feelings” she has to exhibit on the job. National surveys indicate over 17 percent of food service workers use illegal substances—a
higher rate of drug abuse than any other industry.220
Second, the industry is facing record-high turnover
rates. Recent data indicate a 150 percent turnover rate
in fast food—the highest ever recorded in the industry’s
history.221 Some blame restaurants’ rapid introduction
of new technologies (delivery services, self-ordering
kiosks, mobile ordering). Adapting to new technologies
takes time, and many restaurants aren’t providing the
necessary training resources to ensure workers feel they
can use the tools proficiently.222 McDonald’s CEO
Steve Easterbrook said, “It’s going to get increasingly
challenging to attract the talent you want into your
business . . . and then you’ve got to work really hard
through training and development to retain them.”223
SMALL IMPROVEMENTS
Recent grassroots campaigns and nonprofits such as
Fight for $15 and Fast Food Justice have had at least
Motivating Employees
CHAPTER 12
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small positive impacts on the industry. For example,
although fast-food workers still can’t unionize, new
laws in cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and New
York are helping workers organize, and some cities
have enacted wage protections and scheduling requirements to give employees more job stability and predictability.224 New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer
sees the improvements as part of a larger movement of
“economic justice” that he hopes will spread to fastfood organizations across the country.225
FOR DISCUSSION
Problem-Solving Perspective
1. What is the underlying problem in this case from the
fast-food industry’s perspective?
2. What are the causes of this problem?
3. If you were a consultant to a food industry CEO,
what recommendations would you make for fixing
this problem?
Application of Chapter Content
1. What are the major motivation issues at play in the
fast-food industry according to the major needs-based
theories of motivation (Maslow’s hierarchy,
McClellands’s acquired needs, and Deci and Ryan’s
self-determination)?
2. What would Herzberg’s theory say about hygiene and
motivating factors present in fast-food industry jobs?
3. What do you think are the major drivers of the equity
issues faced by fast food employees?
4. How might expectancy theory alleviate some of the
problems related to high turnover rates in the fastfood industry?
5. Use the job characteristics model to assess fast-food
jobs and suggest how they might be improved to increase their motivating potential.
Legal/Ethical Challenge
Are Workplace Wellness Programs Using
Proper Motivational Tools?
Workplace wellness programs (WWPs) aim to motivate employees to live healthier lifestyles. Companies
encourage participation by offering insurance premium discounts, cash prizes, health club memberships, and other rewards to employees who (1)
participate in the programs and (2) reach certain
health goals, including smoking cessation, weight loss,
and blood glucose and blood pressure reduction.226
More than two-thirds of U.S. employers currently offer
wellness programs.227 Proponents believe WWPs ultimately save companies money by making employees
healthier, thereby reducing the likelihood that employees will file costly medical claims.228 This challenge
looks at the use of health outcome-based rewards in
voluntary WWPs.
Employees who choose to participate in voluntary
WWPs provide personal medical data and undergo
periodic health assessments to track their progress.
One popular tool is the health risk appraisal, a questionnaire that gathers information about personal medical history, lifestyle choices, physiological metrics
(weight, height), and family disease history, all of which
are used to create a risk profile and plan of recommendations for the employee to address their health risks.
Another commonly used tool, biometric screening,
benchmarks and tracks employee data such as weight,
body mass index (BMI), blood pressure, cardiovascular
fitness, cholesterol, and blood glucose.229
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One concern with WWPs is the risk of exposing
workers’ private medical data. Employers are typically
prohibited from basing employment decisions on medical information. The Americans with Disabilities Act
and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act
regulate how much personal medical data, if any, an
employer is allowed to ask for, and the Health Insurance
Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets strict
standards for storage and access to individual health
data. But wellness program vendors are often exempt
from these provisions because many are not considered
health care providers. Vendors may even sell health
data to third parties and thus expose employees to the
risk of unlawful disclosure and use of their data.
Another concern is that WWPs tie employee
rewards to metrics that can be (1) inaccurate and/or
(2) uncontrollable. For example, many WWPs use fitness trackers to monitor employees’ daily step counts
and exercise frequency. But studies show that fitness
trackers provide highly inaccurate and unreliable
data.230 Other popular incentives include weight loss
and blood pressure/blood glucose reduction, but these
metrics can fluctuate drastically in a single day and
also depend on the reliability of the specific instruments used to measure them. Rewards tied to reductions in body mass index (BMI) are problematic
because this measurement fails to account for factors
such as muscle mass, body frame, and pregnancy, leaving otherwise highly fit employees at risk of being categorized as overweight or obese.231

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