What is money? Money is nothing but what you see- printed coins and paper, yet looking at society today it is plain to see money plays a vital part. There is no question that we live in a very materialistic world today. In this kind of society, it is projected that the only true motivation is that of “making the most money.” We, the affirmative team believe this to be true, especially in the context of the workplace. The driving force that ultimately guides work-related behaviour is money, money and only money. That is “only money motivates.”
According to the Collins Dictionary the term motivate is defined as “to give incentive to”. It is regarded as the “internal drive” that compels an individual to portray distinct behaviour (Kreitner, 1995). In defining the word money on the other hand, we look beyond the general concept of money only being notes and coins, seeing that we believe money in the circumstances of the workplace can exist in various forms. Examples of which include profit sharing, commissions and share issues as well as objects with a high monetary value. The following paragraphs will attempt to prove the statement "only money motivates" by illustrating various examples that have perceived to confirm this statement true.
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You only have to take one look at society today to acknowledge that only money motivates. The lottery for instance, there is no other reason behind a person’s motive in buying a lottery ticket other than that person being motivated by the idea they could win a bucket load of money. Even reality TV and radio today entice people with an amount of money to exploit themselves in every way imaginable. Lets face it, would you hunt down the 2day FM fugitive for the fun of it? Would you eat a bull’s testicle out of your own free will? Significant past events have also occurred motivated by money. In 1923 the event known infamously as the gold rush created turmoil in Australia. Australia’s population tripled in the next 9 years as people rushed from overseas to try their luck in increasing their wealth, motivated purely by their hopes of discovering of gold.
In the workplace today, we are also finding a similar trend occurring. Money is the reason behind the choice made by countless men and women today to farewell their love ones and colleagues to seek better paid job opportunities overseas. Engineers like Mitch Querickiol are being lured overseas by wages that allow them to enjoy the greater comforts in life, and jobs that provide them enough opportunities to advance in their fields. "I think in the end, it’s money," says Arthur Young, president and CEO of PSi Technologies (Buenconsejo, 2001). There is no doubt that this case is just one of many. An article with the heading ‘Growing crisis for our hospitals as 5,500 a year join the brain drain in search of better pay’ (Browne, 2001) says it all. Not only are engineers making the move overseas, nurses are shifting their focus beyond their national borders to seek better wages. Motivated purely by the concept of higher salaries.
The motivating powers of money are also drawing the attentions of professional sport stars. Soccer and rugby players are a good example, where they grasp every opportunity to play for the ‘highest bidder’, which unfortunately sees a lot of great talent leaving the country. Have they forgone the opportunity to pridefully play for their own country just for the sake of more money? It appears so. In addition, it has also been noted that professional tennis players have refused to play at Wimbledon the ‘Mecca” of lawn tennis, because the rewards were not attractive (Accel-Team.com).
Workers and professional athletes are not the only ones crossing waters to seek better financial opportunities. Companies have also started to focus their efforts in a more globalised-context by becoming promising multinational companies. There is only one motive behind big multinational companies- to make billions. What motivates a multinational company to hire labour from poor countries? Obviously, the ability for greater profits. Seeing as people in poorer countries will work for less, multinational companies have realised the way to save big on wages and further increase their profits is to utilise this ‘cheap labour’. In this case, it is obvious to see that what motivates a company to move towards globalisation is money and only money.
There are a numerous amount of jobs out there today, some which most people are less than willing to perform. Yet there are so many people who are willing to perform these jobs every single day. A garbage collector who collects foul smelling trash daily stands by their work because they know they are getting paid enough for their efforts. This is the only reason why they choose to do what they do. You could say, to them “only money motivates” in this instance. These jobs have nothing to offer in terms of working conditions and other job benefits, all they have to offer is money.
This is one of the reasons we disagree with theorists like Fredrick Herzberg that dispel the idea that money does not motivate, “..so for Herzberg money was not a motivator” (Wood, Wallace, Zeffane, Schermerhorn, Hunt, Osborn 2001). Thomas A Stewart a writer for Business 2.0 magazines claims "Money is not a motivator — is nonsense. Money motivates me to do lots of things, as it does you, and a lot of money would motivate me to do things that I wouldn’t do for less. Money motivates.”
The reoccurring incidences of wages disputes and industrial strikes that have loomed society also prove why only money motivates. Qantas baggage handlers and freight workers were recently involved in a protracted dispute with the company about wages. More significant recently were the strikes of nearly 4000 Sydney bus drivers, which affected most of us in some way. This big fuss was caused all by one major issue- pay. Bus drivers of Sydney had called for a 27% increase in their base wage over three years. Claiming that their pay had fallen far behind other public sector jobs in recent years (Kerr, 2002).
Everywhere in the media we hear about unhappy workers calling upon pay rises. Never do you hear workers striking over other workplace related issues. It almost sounds silly for a group of staff if they were receiving high pay packets, to strike over their belief that they feel unappreciated in the workplace and because they feel their achievement have gone unrecognised by managers at work.
This subject matter then compels us to ask where non-monetary factors fit in all this? Our belief is that non-monetary factors such as working conditions, interpersonal relationships and organisational policies and procedures are not motivators but merely hygiene factors that only serve to keep people from being dissatisfied, so here we indeed agree with Herzberg’s theory of motivation. We believe the factors that provide job satisfaction only cause and strengthen organisational commitment, but not motivation or work performance. Many people these days would rather work overtime than call it a day if they knew they were in return receiving a bonus from their supervisor.
As mentioned before monetary rewards such as share options can also be regarded as money. Many companies grant share options to their employees to motivate them towards achieving the organisational goals of higher work productivity and performance. Last year, Vodafone granted share options to more than 42000 employees around the world. Each employee receiving an option to buy Vodafone shares with a face value equal to 50% of their annual salary (Vodafone, 2001). Proposed plans like these have been a success as a survey conducted in 1997 discovered that broad-based stock option companies had 31% more productivity than all public companies (NECO, 2002). Share schemes are improving productivity because employees are realising that the more profit the business makes the greater the dividend they receive. Thereby securely aligning the employee’s individual goals of making money with the organisational’s overall objective of profitability.
Money is also the only reason behind employees staying with a company. Offering bonuses have seen to help employee retention. Jim Moran of the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship maintains if you want to keep and retain employees you must:
1. pay employees higher than market rates; ‘employees stay happier and work harder if they are paid higher than the market rates.’
2. establish a signing or continuation bonus. One local entrepreneur offered a key receptionist a $5,000 bonus if she stayed three more years. If she left before the three years, then she was legally responsible for the prorated share of the bonus not earned. We believe that bonuses that tie employees to the company over a three to four year time period are excellent investments.
3. have an incentive system in place.
It is plain to see that more money will motivate an employee to stay with their firm and therefore insure the long-term viability of the business. Would having flexible hours and challenging work entice an employee to stay, if they are not receiving an appealing pay package? It is highly unlikely.
On a different note yet still on the context of the workplace, money has also motivated a minority group of individuals to the extreme point of corruption. Most recently, Sneza Suteski, an accounts clerk, was found guilty of murder for arranging the death of her boss. What was her motive? Money. Suteski devised an "elaborate and complex" scheme by changing bank numbers in the automatic payments system for invoices she got approval for, that would have seen $500,000 flow into the bank accounts of herself, her brother and her ex-boyfriend (McNamara, 2002). This case serves to prove the extreme motivational power of money in the workplace, even if it involved carrying out something horrendous like murder. Emphasising the point once again, that people are purely driven by money.
Embezzlement is another workplace related crime purely motivated by money. It involves the act of an employee stealing company funds from their employers. This month, Citizen Times has posted an article about a Candler woman who was charged with 20 counts of embezzlement and accused of stealing more than $250,000 from her employer over about four years (O’Brien, 2002). This is just one of many cases of embezzlement that is going on in workplaces today. Employees that carry out these unethical and dishonest acts are driven by the thought of getting their hands on one thing only- money.
Famous sayings like “money makes the world go around”, “money makes the mare go” and “show me the money” successfully serve as testaments to our argument but reflecting on the previous examples, money as we have defined it, is clearly the sole motivator in work and many other environments. In fact, it is such a powerful motivator that it enables people to consistently work under conditions that the majority wouldn’t wish to encounter for a day. On the other hand, if people don’t have enough, workers and unions are happy to disrupt the lives of the public to get more money and where this is not possible, many sporting and other individuals are happy to leave the country in search of it. In the unfortunate cases, money as the sole motivator in the workplace, ranges from exploitation of people for cheap labour in some countries, to more publicly-known crimes such as murder and embezzlement. Ultimately, there is no doubt in our minds that ‘only money motivates’.
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