Topic Name Description
Course Syllabus Page Course Syllabus
Unit 1: Motivation Page The Puzzle of Motivation

Watch this video featuring business analyst Dan Pink, who examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers do not: Traditional rewards are not always as effective as we think. Listen carefully to the illuminating stories Pink shares. This lecture serves as a foundation for all the material you will encounter in this unit.

1.1: Case Study: Zappos Creates a Motivating Place to Work URL Motivating Employees

Read the introduction and section 14.1, which provide an excellent glimpse into the concept of motivation by examining the company Zappos and the methods Zappos uses to identify and motivate effective contributors to the company's organizational success. Once an employee's initial training is complete, Zappos offers that employee a significant financial payment to quit his or her new job. That's right – after training is complete, Zappos will pay an employee to leave the company if he or she so chooses. By implementing this unusual practice, Zappos attempts to create a strategic motivational environment in which all the people who work for the company have a strong desire to be there.

URL Delivering Happiness

Read this article and consider the following questions: What makes you, as an employee, truly happy? Does money alone provide you happiness at work? How might applying Tony Hsieh's four components to building happiness at work affect your own work happiness? Does the organization you currently work for, or one you are familiar with, incorporate Hsieh's four components? If yes, how so? If not, how could you consider implementing these components in your own organization?

URL Subunit 1.1 Discussion

Reflect on the article that you just read on workplace happiness. Consider the following questions: Are you happy at your job? If not, what is preventing you from finding work that is more satisfying? Share your thoughts on these questions in the course discussion forum by clicking on the link above and creating a free Saylor Foundation School account (if you have not already done so). Read the responses that other students have posted and post your own comments on the forum. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity to connect with your peers and to receive meaningful feedback of your own.

1.2: Need-Based Theories of Motivation in Management URL Need-Based Theories of Motivation

Read this section, which discusses several theories that will broaden your understanding of motivation as a management concept. While there are indeed some similarities among these theories, each will have distinct characteristics that will allow you to better understand this valuable management tool. Be sure that you pay careful attention to each of these theories on motivation and that you are able to distinguish each from the others in terms of application. Each of these theories of motivation has a foundation in the identification of an individual need or desire that may be a perceived or a real deficiency.

1.3: Process-Based Theories of Motivation in Management URL Process-Based Theories

Read this section, which discusses a management approach that focuses on how the design of a job impacts the motivation of an employee. Rather than focusing on a perception of deficiency, this approach draws on a succinct analysis of the effects of an employee's surrounding work environment.

1.4: How to Develop Your Personal Motivation Skill Set URL Developing Your Personal Motivation Skills

Read this section, which introduces you to the process of giving and seeking feedback. The effects of feedback are especially apparent when a manager completes a performance appraisal of an employee, or when a member of an organization completes a self-appraisal. This section also provides you with guidelines for giving feedback to employees, as well as seeking feedback from your own managers.

Unit 2: Empowerment URL Empowerment

Read this article and consider the following questions: What is empowerment? Why is empowerment important to organizations and to employees? How can an organization's culture encourage or discourage employee empowerment? Do you feel empowered in your own work environment? Why or why not?

URL The Benefits of Empowering Employees

Read this article and consider the following questions: What are some of the benefits associated with empowering employees? How important is employee empowerment to improving an organization's productivity? Does the company you currently work for, or one you are familiar with, empower employees? If so, how does this philosophy benefit the organization?

3.1: Case Study: PointCast URL Negotiation Failure: The Case of the PointCast

Read this section, which discusses negotiation failure through the example of a situation that occurred at the now-defunct PointCast Internet company. Workplace conflict stems from a multitude of sources; on occasion issues will arise after a manager mishandles resources or makes poor decisions that have a negative impact on an individual, a department, or even the entire company.

3.2: Management's Conflict Essentials URL Understanding Conflict

Read this section, which discusses several different types of conflict and how they should be framed within a workplace context. Note especially the idea that not all conflict is bad; in fact, some types of conflict can actually help bring about organizational change, which may in turn lead to improved working conditions and productivity. A healthy debate about conflict can often shed light on how to address several issues at once.

3.3: Identifying the Causes and Outcomes Associated with Conflict URL Causes and Outcomes of Conflict

Read this section, which attempts to establish some of the root causes of conflict. Pay particular attention to the discussion of some core jobs in the workplace that are prone to conflict. 

3.4: Implementing Conflict Management URL Conflict Management

Read this section, which discusses some of the foundational ways in which you can address conflict. This section will also help you to identify the specific styles of conflict management, in particular the strategies that best fit your leadership style. These styles fall on a continuum that observes levels of cooperation and levels of competitiveness. Note in particular the idea that sometimes there is actually a deficiency of conflict in a workplace environment, and how such a deficiency can negatively affect productivity.

3.5: Management Must Understand Negotiations URL Negotiations

Read this section, which introduces the process of negotiation. This section will help you identify the phases of negotiation and how to avoid common mistakes. It is very important for a manager to develop the skill of identifying the BATNA (the Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement) within a given situation.

3.6: Conflict Resolution URL Four Ways to Deal with Conflict at Work

Read this article and consider the following questions: Why does conflict occur in the workplace? Have you experienced conflict at work before? If so, why did the conflict occur? How was the conflict resolved? How can managers help reduce conflict?

URL Steps To Resolve Workplace Conflict

Read this article and consider the following questions: How important is it to resolve conflict at work in a peaceful way? What steps can a facilitator use to resolve conflict? How can a facilitator encourage resolving conflict in a healthy and positive way? How can the four steps identified in this article help you promote positive conflict resolution in your own workplace?

URL Meaningful Conflict in the Workplace

Read this article and consider past viewpoints you may have held about conflict. What issues have you encountered that resulted in conflict? Have you ever considered conflict to be a productive activity rather than one that is negative? Have you participated in positive conflict as a way of increasing productivity?

3.7: Bringing It All Together: A Final Thought on Personality, Behaviors, Biases, Empowerment, and Improving Productivity Page The Personal Side of Management

Watch this video, which features Carol Bartz, the former CEO of Yahoo! and Autodesk. In this brief video, Bartz discusses how managers should actively make an effort to find enjoyment in leading others, especially since they (like everyone else) spend most of their waking hours at work. As you listen to this presentation, be mindful that as a manager, your job includes having compassion for others. Carol Bartz provides a sound example of this tip, which you should use as a jumping-off point to analyze your own personal approach to management.

Course Feedback Survey URL Course Feedback Survey