About face, the odyssey of an american warrior: A book review
Introduction: A Brief Summary of the Book and Its Author
In 1971, after eighteen long years of thinking and preparing for his expose, Colonel David Hackworth went out on national television to criticize the role of the United States of America on the Vietnam War - About face, the odyssey of an american warrior: A book review introduction. Before doing this, the author was one of the most decorated officers in the US army. However, with this appearance on a television show entitled “Issues and Answers,” he transformed into an outsider. It is also because of this that Hackworth received a violent reaction from the members of the US army. As a result, the Colonel felt that his life was being threatened. In response, the army launched an investigation that was aimed towards the investigation of Hackworth’s performance in the army as a commander. But as expected, this investigation went a bit too far. Because of his fear that his investigators would find so many prosecutable offenses, Hackworth escaped from Vietnam and managed to reach the United States. He spent an entire month of running away from army agents who had been assigned to go after him. The latter managed to do this as they were able to catch him in a motel just outside Washington. However, by this time, he has already hired the high-powered attorney Joseph Califano and the army eventually stopped in getting more attention to the affair. In the end, the US army also discharged him without further sanctions.
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Due to these unfortunate events in his life, Hackworth fled to Australia, the place he considered to be the farthest country from the United States of America yet still speaks English. During this so-called post-war exile of Hackworth in Australia, his financial situation worsened and became a hippie. He however, ended up with opening a diner, purchasing different gas stations and managed a restaurant for a woman who then became his wife.
In his exile, Colonel David Hackworth stayed away from politics and avoided issues that have something to do with this. Nonetheless, these all changed with the election of President Ronald Reagan into office. With the building up of the U.S. arms, the retired colonel dedicated his time to lecturing and warning the Australians about the dangers that come with nuclear wars. At the same time, he also became very concerned with the truth that Vietnam is being continuously distorted for political purposes. As a result, Hackworth dedicated and wrote his life story to the different experiences he had during the Vietnam War.
This paper would look into the different lessons that were evident from the book About Face, The Odyssey of An American Warrior by David Hackworth and Julie Sherman. These lessons would then be analyzed based on the current management issues that are applicable not just in war situations but in different organizations as well. These issues will then be examined based on theories concerned with motivation, supervision and public management which are seen to be of vital importance in this discussion.
About Face, The Odyssey of An American Warrior: A Brief Summary
About Face is often perceived as a book that is both fascinating and exasperating with a subject that is often characterized as bitter, frank, funny, vulgar, self-serving, and undisciplined. Hackworth has two purposes for writing this book: the first is to present to its readers with the own experiences and legends of the colonel and second, to reform the American military. Colonel Hackworth believed that he belonged to an elite breed he called “warriors-“ the only people who could be characterized as fearless, bellicose men who feel most alive when risking death. He recounted different events in his life as a soldier where his bravery and courage could be proved. He mentioned that he won eight Purple Hearts in Vietnam on one occasion. In the same manner, he also snuck out of a hospital just so that he could return to fighting.
When he was fourteen years old, David Hackworth ran away from a foster home and lied about his age to enlist in the army. As a result, he got a battlefield commission in the Korean War. He then also served in the Vietnam War where his experiences were highlighted in this book.
Hackworth also reaffirmed his belief in “selective insubordination” which eventually became one of the causes why he would always get involved in fights. He also talked back to his superiors, went on all-night benders, played high-stakes poker and even set up a brothel in one of his units. It has been noted that Hackworth was very hard on his men to the point that the latter placed a three thousand five hundred dollars reward on his head. In fact, he was even called “Mr. Infantry.”
When one reads About Face, reviewers would often compare Hackworth to John Paul Vann, the protagonist and subject of A Bright, Shining Lie of Neil Sheehan as they both shared contempt for the current establishment of the military, pissing off legions of fussy bureaucrats with their maverick, can-do ways. On the battlefield, both are considered peerless professionals who often flew into rages, chased women and bragged shamelessly about their exploits. Both also went through the same political journeys. They were once the so-called bloodthirsty patriots yet eventually evolved into outspoken critics.
Yet there were also differences. Vann remained faithful with the triumph of the United States in the war in Vietnam whilst Hackworth was a skeptic who questioned the commitment of the nation in engaging in such war.
“Well, in 1971 I said to the nation that Vietnam was a bad war. And I said it from my heart from the experiences of almost six years, over a six-year period in Vietnam. That it was a bad war. We were losing it. We were bleeding unnecessarily. And there was just simply no way we were going to win it. People were involved with the South Vietnamese, were going to win it, and we should get out now. What I didn’t realize that when you sound off against a big institution like the U.S. Army and say they are all wrong, I didn’t realize what happened to whistle blowers. And I got thumped about the head and shoulders in a very severe way. And that created the bitterness. And that caused me to leave America, leave my roots, and go to Australia and be angry for a long time.” – Hackworth
In the same manner, Vann died in a plane crash, which was basically one of the reasons why he was not able to write his tale while Hackworth was able to tell the story of his experiences in Vietnam.
Colonel David Hackworth is not considered to be one of the biggest thinkers. In fact, he turned down many opportunities to get in the most popular educational institutions such as West Point and Army War College. Turning these opportunities down was influenced by his so-called warrior attitude which his book reflects. The book also looks into matters such as grand strategy, the roots of revolutions and the different types of reforms. Nonetheless, it was more of a personal reflection, a personal look at a war.
Hackworth took his readers to his first experiences in war. From the days wherein he faced the Yugoslavs, his challenging years in Korea where he displayed his extraordinary courage and finally, his days in the Mekong Delta where he served as a battalion commander. His last assignment in the Vietnam War was perhaps one of the most taxing ones. Hackworth notes, “I am convinced that no American Soldier has ever suffered more than the infantrymen who fought in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War, and that includes those at the Valley Forge, the Bulge of Christmas ’44, and Korea in the winter of ’50.” Hackworth also described the rats who kept on feasting on dead flesh, the vipers that crawl into their sleeping bags and bit them while they slept and the red ants that stung the men who then would stand upright in the midst of the battle.
The aforementioned are a few examples of the different tales of war that make up the entire book. However, most readers would obviously notice the boastful tone that this book sets. As it has been cited in the book, Hackworth always notes that he is being offered assignments that have got nothing to do with his current rank. As a result, the author tends to boast how great or remarkable he is due to the fact that he was chosen for a particular post that was definitely too much for his rank.
Likewise, every chapter also begins with a testimonial that the authors, Hackworth and Julie Sherman (the former’s writing assistant and girlfriend) managed to track down. Readers and other reviewers more often than not notice the tone that was used in these testimonials. Apparently, they were also in the form of a worship directed towards Hackworth. Because of the nature of these particular testimonials, people note how embarrassing these may get upon reading them. Similarly, there were also different criticisms that questioned the fairness of this particular account for it focused upon the Hackworth’s condemnation of his enemies
Generally, the book focused upon the stinging indictment of the performance of the US military in the Vietnam War. Nonetheless, reviewers mentioned the commonness of this particular criticism for it focused upon the disparities between the living conditions of the top officers and the lower members of the army. According to the events cited in the books, top officers lived in plush, air-conditioned quarters which are often insulated from the realities of the war. Lazy commanders then establish huge World War II-style base camps which are often senseless in a war without fronts. The commanders also sent their troops on an unwidely search and destroy operations that the guerillas had little trouble eluding.
In the same manner, Hackworth also mentioned the lack of training that had been experienced by the draftees who were all trained in snow and deserts but never for the tropical climate of Vietnam. As a result, these draftees are unable to pull the pin on a grenade and were definitely incompetent when compare to the highly disciplined members of the Viet Congs who defeated them in battle.
Because of this very obvious incompetence of the US army due to the lack of training, Hackworth was shocked that he dreamt of having his own battalion, which he eventually got in 1969, the 4th Battalion, 39th Infantry. Hackworth devoted all his time and efforts in the hope of transforming this particular battalion which became one of the most interesting parts of this book. Hackworth wanted to transform them from a long-haired, love-beaded unit of pot smokers into a “perfect fighting force.” “The basic concepts behind my changes, were that men, not helicopters or mechanical gimmicks, won battles, and that the only way to defeat the present enemy in the present war at a low cost in friendly countries was through adopting the enemy’s own tactics, i.e., ‘out G-ing the G’ through surprise, deception, cunning, mobility, imagination, and familiarity with the terrain,” Hackworth explains.
In Hackworth’s efforts to introduce and familiarize his officers with the Viet Congs, he made sure that they all read Mao Zedong’s Little Red Book. In the same manner, he also introduced effective strategies to ensure the competence of his battalion in the battlefield. An example of this was the time when he broke down his troops into seven-man units and sent them on night patrols. He also trained snipers who he assigned to pick off the napping members of the Viet Congs. He also assigned men to set up elaborate traps to ensure that the enemies would come out of their hiding places.
Hackworth cited one event wherein he considered himself and his strategies successful. It was when he lured the enemy into taking an apparent escape route that in fact was lined with his own troops that are waiting to ambush the enemies. The Viet Congs lost 113 men while the battalion under the command of Hackworth only had four casualties, who were nonetheless, only slightly wounded. Because of this, he championed his ability to lead and his guerilla-style tactics which only had a few followers. As a result, Hackworth said, “the same mistakes were allowed to be made, day after day.” In fact, he even blamed the negligence and stupidity of the generals of the US army for the deaths of American boys in Vietnam.
In Hackworth’s personal belief, they could have won the war [at least from a military standpoint] had the other commanders followed his example and adopted his strategies. It is also because of this that Hackworth was also able to prove the statement made in another book written about the role of the United States in Vietnam, Sheehan’s A Bright, Shining Lie. The author of this book claimed that the efforts of the US army in Vietnam were doomed from the start. As a matter of fact, About Face came up with pieces of evidence that give a clearer picture of why the efforts were doomed, as Sheehan claims. According to Hackworth, the South Vietnamese Army, the army that the United States was trying to help in their fight against Communism, comes of so badly no matter how much help it received from the American army. “ARVN’s soldier acted the role of occupier – rapping women, stealing livestock and rice – rather than the protector of the people, making them the best recruiters in the country… ARVN’s officers had little leadership ability, no initiative to act in the absence of orders…and no will to win.”
Nonetheless, About Face and Hackworth blame the American army for the incompetence of the ARVN due to the conventional mindset of the American advisers. Hackworth writes, “The AVRN was not trained for the guerilla war burgeoning within its boundaries.” He also believes that the American advisers should have been much tougher with their underlings. He writes, “While all along we paid the bills for the war effort and kept our toys and boys coming, we had little real control – indeed, took little real control – over the Viet leaders on the receiving end. Hackworth also mentioned that the Americans should have told the Vietnamese what has to be. It is only through this that they could have won the war.
“Unless we could duplicate [the VC’s] will and dedication, all the cannons, all the helicopters, all the high technology we could invent and employ, enough even to send men to the moon, would never beat them.” – Hackworth.
The corrpt and abusive nature of the Vietnamese army, together with their lack of belief in something, and their unwillingness to make sacrifices to win the war was basically the reasons why the team-up of Vietnam and the United States of America was not successful. Despite the help given by the American army, they still could not have changed the situation in Vietnam due to the nature of the Vietnamese army. It may have never been enough to teach a battalion with strategies on how to beat their enemies. Rather, they must be given a reason to fight.
The lessons learned from Hackworth’s book, About Face, The Odyssey of An American Warrior, shall be analyzed and applied onto recent issues that affect both management and administrative employees.
As the workplace structure and workers themselves change, management faces the problem of how to motivate employees (Gerstner, 2002). Gerstner (2002) states, “How do you pull the levers of motivation to change the attitudes, behavior, and thinking of a population? Of course, different people are motivated by different things, some by money, some by advancement, and some by recognition” (p. 203). Effectively changing the attitudes, behavior, and thinking of workers demands that a manager knows what levers of motivation to pull in the first place. One of the main reasons why the United States army failed in the Vietnam War was the lack of motivation on the part of the Southern Vietnamese Army.
For Hackworth, the Southern Vietnamese Army should have been given the reason to fight for this war to be successful despite the efforts exerted by the US army. Motivation, for Hackworth is one of the most important lessons that he learned in his entire life in the army. In Triest, Italy, where he was a part of the Triest United States Troops, he was trained with the basics where his platoon sergeant would beat into their heads if they don’t learn it right and at the same time, do not do it right. It is because of this that they were encouraged to do it right with the help of repetition, iron discipline, and of course, great motivation and great spirit. As a result, Hackworth noted that he took these values with him for the next twenty one years. In the same manner, he always ensured that these values are incorporated into the units where he served in. At times, he would get in trouble. Nonetheless, the people under him benefited so much from this as he was able to spare a lot of lives through the training he gave them. Likewise, Hackworth believes that it was only through this that he would be able to train his people properly and gear them for battle.
This could also be properly applied for those in organizations since the leadership of Hackworth and his ideas could also be very useful not just in wards but also for everyday situations in the workplace to ensure the success of the businesses. At the same time this is also important in making the employees function efficiently.
As it has been mentioned, motivation becomes very important to organizations in ensuring the success of their businesses. As a result, this part of this paper would focus on how organizations can concretely apply motivational theories to ensure that their employees are constantly highly motivated and productive. The various motivational theories are presented in the subsequent section, with their respective applications to the industrial / organizational setting.
Much research has been done to identify proven theories and methods that managers can use to motivate their employees (Gagne & Deci, 2005). All executives should provide motivation and direction to management levels according to business goals, mission, and vision.
Companies have many challenges including global competition, economic dislocation, and corporate downsizing (Jusela, 1994). These challenges call for executives to assess and advance in improving performance and individual development in a global competitive environment (Porras & Silvers, 1991). These transitions come from the challenging situations managers confront. It requires the development of new concepts and ideas. Because of their experiences, global managers learn and adapt (Spreitzer, Mcall, & Mahoney, 1997). Management encounters a variety of situations where motivating others is necessary.
When referring to Abraham Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, people are motivated by satisfying five levels of human needs: (1) Physiological (hunger and thirst); (2) safety (bodily); (3) social (friendship and affiliation); (4) esteem (for oneself and others); and (5) self-actualization (growth and realization of potential) (Chapman, 2004a).
Basic biological needs.
Maslow thought that an individual first seeks to satisfy basic biological needs for food, air, water, and shelter. An individual who does not have a job, is homeless, and is on the verge of starvation will be satisfied with any job as long as it provides for these basic needs. When asked how well they enjoy their job, people at this level might reply, “I can’t complain, it pays the bills.”
After the basic biological needs have been met, a job that merely provides food and shelter will no longer be satisfying. Employees then become concerned about meeting their safety needs. That is, they may work in an unsafe coal mine to earn money to ensure their family’s survival, but once their family has food and shelter, they will remain satisfied with their jobs only if their workplace is safe.
Safety needs have been explained to include psychological as well as physical safety. Psychological safety – often referred to as job security – can certainly affect job satisfaction. For example, public sector employees often list job security as a main benefit to their jobs – a benefit so strong that they will stay in lower paying public sector jobs rather than take higher paying, yet less secure, jobs in the private sector.
Once these first two need levels have been met, employees will remain satisfied with their jobs only when their social needs have been met. Social needs involve working with others, developing friendships, and feeling needed. Organizations attempt to satisfy their employees’ social needs in a variety of ways. Company cafeterias provide workers the place and opportunity to socialize and meet other employees, company picnics allow families to meet one another, and company sports programs such as bowling teams and softball games provide opportunities for employees to play together in a neutral environment.
When social needs have been satisfied, employees concentrate next on meeting their ego needs. These are needs for recognition and success, and an organization can help to satisfy them through praise, salary increases, and publicity. Ego needs can be satisfied in many ways. For example, many organizations use furniture to help satisfy ego needs. The higher the employee’s position, the better his office furniture.
Even when employees have friends, have earned awards, and are making a relatively high salary, they may not be completely satisfied with their jobs because their self-actualization needs may have not been satisfied yet. These needs are the fifth and final level of Maslow’s needs hierarchy. Self-actualization may be best defined by the US Army’s recruiting slogan, “be the best that you can be.” An employee striving for self-actualization wants to reach her potential in every task. Thus, employees who have worked within the same machine for 20 years may become dissatisfied with their jobs. They have accomplished all that they can with that particular machine and now search for a new challenge. If none is available, they may become dissatisfied.
Because of the technical problems with Maslow’s hierarchy, Aldefer (1972) developed a needs theory that only has three levels. The three levels are existence, relatedness, and growth – hence the name ERG theory. Research by Wanous and Zwany (1977) supported Aldefer’s proposed number of levels.
Other than the number of levels, the major difference between Maslow’s theory and ERG theory is that Aldefer suggested that a person can skip levels. By allowing such movement, Aldefer removed one of the biggest problems with Maslow’s theory.
Still another needs theory, which reduces the number of needs to two, was developed by Herzberg (1966). He believed that job-related factors can de divided into two categories, motivators and hygiene factors – thus the name two-factor theory. Hygiene factors are those job-related elements that results from but do not involve the job itself. For example, pay and benefits are consequences of work but do not involve the work itself. Similarly, making new friends may result from going to work, but it is also not directly involved with the tasks and duties of the job.
Motivators are job elements that do concern actual tasks and duties. Examples of motivators would be the level of job responsibility, the amount of job control, and the interest that the work holds for the employee. Herzberg believed that hygiene factors are necessary but not sufficient for job satisfaction and motivation. That is, if a hygiene factors is not present at an adequate level (e.g. the pay is too low), the employee will be dissatisfied. But if all hygiene factors are represented adequately, the employee’s level of satisfaction will only be neutral. Only the presence of both motivators and hygiene factors can bring job satisfaction and motivation. Herzberg’s theory is one of those theories that makes sense but has not received strong support from research. In general, researchers have criticized the theory because of the methods used to develop the two factors as well as the fact that few research studies have replicated the findings obtained by Herzberg and his colleagues (Hinrichis & Mischkind, 1967; King, 1970).
The final needs theory was developed by McClelland (1961) and suggests that differences between individuals stem from the relationship between a job and each employee’s level of job satisfaction or motivation. McClelland believed that employees differ in their needs for achievement, affiliation, and power.
Employees who have a strong need for achievement desire jobs that are challenging and over which they have some control, whereas employees who have minimal achievement needs are more satisfied when jobs involve little challenge and have high probability of success. In contrast, employees who have a strong need for affiliation prefer working with and helping other people. These types of employees are found more often in people-oriented service jobs than in management or administration (Smither & Lindgren, 1978). Finally, employees who have a strong need for power have a desire to influence others rather than simply be successful. Research has shown that employees who have a strong need for power and achievement make the best managers (McClelland & Burnham, 1976; Stahl, 1983) and that employees who are motivated most by their affiliation needs will probably make the worst managers.
Social learning theory postulates that employees observe the levels of motivation and satisfaction of other employees and model those levels. Thus, if an organization’s older employees work hard and talk positively about their jobs and their employer, new employees will model this behavior and be both productive and satisfied. The reverse is also true: if veteran employees work slowly and complain about their jobs, so will new employees.
To test this theory, Weiss & Shaw (1979) had subjects training videos in which assembly line workers made either positive or negative comments about their jobs. After viewing a videotape, each subject was given the opportunity to perform the job. The study found that those subjects who had seen the positive tape enjoyed the task more than did subjects who viewed the negative tape.
According to Adam’s equity theory, what workers put into their work (inputs) is fairly balanced with what they expect to get out of it (outputs). Motivation will get the most out of employees inputs like personal effort and hard work by making the employees see it balanced by outputs (salary, benefits, and intangibles like praise and achievement) (Chapman, 2004b).
Inputs are personal elements that we out into our jobs. Obvious elements are time, effort, education, and experience. Less obvious elements include money spent on child care and distance driven to work.
Outputs are those elements that we receive from our jobs. A list of obvious outputs includes pay, benefits, challenge, and responsibility. Less obvious outputs are benefits such as friends and office furnishings.
According to this theory, employees subconsciously list all their outputs and inputs and then compute an input/output ratio by dividing output value by input value. By itself, this ration is not especially useful. But employees then compute the input/output ratios for other employees and to previous work experiences and then compare them to their own. If their ratios are lower than those of others, they become dissatisfied and thus are more motivated to make the ratios equal in one or more ways.
Research on equity has recently expanded into what researchers call distributive justice and procedural justice. Distributive justice is the perceived fairness of the actual decisions made in an organization, whereas procedural justice is the perceived fairness of the methods used to arrive at the decision. As one would expect, employees who believe that decisions were not made fairly are less satisfied with their jobs (Lowe & Vodanovich, 1995). To increase perceptions of procedural justice, organizations should be open about how decisions will be made, take time to develop fair procedures, and provide feedback to employees who might not be happy with decisions that are made (Jordan, 1997).
From equity theory, we conclude that employees who perceive they are being treated fairly will be more satisfied with their jobs than employees who do not perceive such fairness. The same holds true for motivation: employees who feel that they are not being treated fairly will feel less motivated than those who uphold such a feeling.
In an interesting study, O’Reilly and Puffer (1989) found that employees’ motivation increased when co-workers received appropriate sanctions for their behavior. That is, when a high performing group member was rewarded or a poor performing group member was punished, the satisfaction of the group increased.
The degree of inequity that an employee feels when underpaid appears to be a function of whether the employee chose actions that resulted in underpayment (Cropanzano & Folger, 1989). That is, if an employee chooses to work harder than others who are paid the same, he will not feel cheated, but if he is pressured into working harder for the same pay, he will be unhappy.
Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory refers to three factors: (1) valence (value placed on the expected reward), (2) expectancy (belief that efforts are linked to performance), and (3) instrumentality (belief) that performance is related to rewards (Gagne & Deci, 2005). Porter and Lawler built on Vroom’s theory by proposing a model of intrinsic/extrinsic motivation. People are extrinsically motivated if they do something they find interesting and from which they derive satisfaction. Also people are extrinsically motivated if they do the activity because they are satisfied with the tangible or verbal rewards attached (Gagne & Deci, 2005).
All these theories may be said to be based on Skinner’s reinforcement theory, which refers to behavior being shaped, changed or maintained though the use of positive and negative reinforcement (Kearsley, 2005). This implies that a person can behave in a certain way through the use of motivational levers.
What motivates a manager (upholding the company’s prestige) may not be the same lever that motivates an employee (who may be working just to pay the mortgage). The manager’s job is to know which sets of levers will work for each employee (Gerstner, 2002).
Motivation can be used to improve employee performance and productivity. Employees can be motivated to do their work better, that is, improving their work performance, and working more effectively to improve their productivity. One way is to share information (like profit and loss or quality of service) on how the employees’ department is doing in comparison with others in or out of the company (Bruce & Pepitone, 1999).
Getting employees warmed up is good, but it is not enough. After getting them initially motivated, the manager has to help each one establish and achieve higher goals. Motivation can be a useful tool in goal setting by pointing out targets that will bring employees out of their comfort zones (Hiam, 1999). With goal setting, each employee is given a goal, which might be a particular quality level, a certain quantity of output, or a combination of the two. For goal setting to be most successful, the goals themselves should possess certain qualities. First, they should be concrete and specific (Locke, 1969). Setting more specific subgoals can also improve performance (Klawsky, 1990). Second, a properly set goal is high but reasonable (Locke & Latham, 1990).
Motivation is a useful tool, not only when setting higher work performance goals, but in assessing the success or failure of employee efforts. Through the use of positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement, managers can sustain organizational morale and help employees overcome falling enthusiasm or a lack of personal ambition (Heller, 1998).
To increase the effectiveness of goal setting, feedback should be provided to the employee on his progress in reaching his goal (Locke, 1969). Feedback can include verbally telling an employee how he is doing, placing a chart on a wall, or displaying a certain color of light when the employee’s work pace will result in goal attainment and a different color of light when the pace is too slow to reach the goal. Feedback increases performance best when it is positive and informational rather than negative and controlling.
An excellent example of the use of feedback comes from Domino’s Pizza. Each month, the average delivery and service times for each store are printed in “box scores” in the Pepperoni Press, the company’s newsletter (Feuer, 1987a). These box scores provide each store with feedback on how it compares with other stores. This feedback is one reason why Domino’s is the world’s fastest growing fastfood outlet. Rewarding excellent performance. Another set of theories hypothesizes that workers are motivated when they are rewarded for their behavior. As a result, organizations offer incentives for a wide variety of employee behaviors, including working overtime or on weekends, making suggestions, referring applicants, staying with the company (length of service awards), coming to work (attendance bonuses), not getting into accidents, and performing at a high level (Henderson, 1997).
Perhaps the most influential behavioral theory is operant conditioning, whose principles state that an employee will continue to do those behaviors for which he is reinforced. Thus, if employees are rewarded for not making errors, they are more likely to produce high quality work. If employees are rewarded for the amount of work done, they will place less emphasis on quality and try to increase their quantity.
Obviously, it is important to reward employees for productive work behavior. But different employees like different types of rewards, which is why supervisors should have access to and be trained to administer different types of reinforcers. For example, some employees can be rewarded with praise, others with interesting work, and still others with money (Filipczak, 1993). In fact, a meta-analysis by Stajkovic and Luthans (1997) found that financial, nonfinancial, and social rewards all resulted in increased levels of performance. As a result, many organizations are offering travel awards rather than financial rewards (Poe, 1997). For example, every executive at McDonald’s is allowed to nominate high performing employees for a chance to spend a week in one of the company’s condos in Hawaii, Florida, and Lake Tahoe, Nevada. At Motorola, managers can nominate employees for travel awards.
The use of money to motivate better worker performance has again become popular (Schuster & Zingheim, 1992). A compensation plan should always include base pay and a benefit package to provide employees with security, salary adjustments to cover such conditions as undesirable shifts and geographic areas which high costs of living, and variable pay to provide an incentive to perform better. Though incentive systems often result in higher levels of performance, when designed poorly, they can result in such negative outcomes as increased stress, decreased health, and decreased safety (Schleifer & Amick, 1989; Scheifer & Okogbaa, 1990). Incentive pay can be given for either individual performance of group performance.
Boosting self-confidence is one of the best ways to maintain high levels of motivation in employees (Bruce & Pepitone, 1999). Therefore, a manager who believes in his/her employees can sustain higher levels of motivation. Not believing in employees can be fatal for the organization and the career of a manager.
Increasing Employees’ Self-esteem
To increase self-esteem. Employees who can attend workshops or sensitivity groups in which they are given insights into their strengths. It is thought that these insights raise self-esteem by showing the employee that he has several strengths and is a good person. For example, in a self-esteem training program called The Enchanted Self (Holstein, 1997), employees try to increase their self-esteem by learning how to think positively, discovering their positive qualities that may have gone unnoticed, and sharing their positive qualities with others.
Outdoor experiential training is another approach to increasing self-esteem (Clements, Wagner, & Roland, 1995). In training such as Outward Bound or the “ropes course”, participants learn that they are emotionally and physically strong enough to be successful and meet challenges.
Experience with success.
With this approach, an employee is given a task so easy that he will almost certainly succeed. It is thought that this success increases self-esteem, which should increase performance, then further increase self-esteem, then further increase performance, and so on. This method is based loosely on the principle of self-fulfilling prophecy, which states that an individual will perform as well or as poorly as he expects to perform. In other words, if he believes he is intelligent, he should do well on tests. If he believes he is dumb, he should do poorly. So if an employee believes he will always fail, the only way to break the vicious cycle is to ensure that he performs well on a task.
Employees who have a strong need for achievement desire and are motivated by jobs that are challenging and over which they have some control, whereas employees who have minimal achievement needs are more satisfied when their work involves little challenge. Employees who have a high need for achievement ate not risk takers and tend to set goals that are challenging enough to be interesting but low enough to be attainable. Employees with a high need for achievement need recognition and want their achievements to be noticed.
Individual differences theories postulate that some employees are more predisposed to being motivated than others. Such things as genetics and affectivity are involved in the extent to which some people tend to always be satisfied with their jobs and others always dissatisfied. However, rather than genetics and affectivity, self-esteem, need for achievement, and intrinsic motivation tendency are the individual differences most related to work motivation.
It is a scientifically proven fact that men and women are different from each other (Ridley, 1999). They also differ in their motivational styles. While men find it easier to motivate using the basic needs and tangible rewards, women may be better at using higher levels of needs and intangible factors (Gerstner, 2002). All good managers, regardless of gender, should combine their abilities to motivate using all the tools available (Sachs, 1995).
Individual differences theory postulates that some variability in job satisfaction is due to an individual’s personal tendency across situations to enjoy what she does. Thus, certain types of people will generally be satisfied and motivated regardless of the type of job they hold (Weaver, 1978). The idea also makes intuitive sense. We all know that people who constantly complain and whine about every job they have, and we also know people who are motivated and enthusiastic about every job or task.
For this theory to be true, it is essential that job satisfaction be consistent across time and situations. Research seems to support this notion. As a demonstration that job satisfaction is fairly consistent across time, significant correlations were found by Staw and Ross (1985) between the job satisfaction levels of employees in 1969 and in 1971 (r=.33), by Judge and Watanabe (1994) between job satisfaction levels of employees in 1972 and 1977 (r=.37), by Steel and Rentsch (1997) between measures of job satisfaction taken ten years apart (r=.37), and by Staw, Bell, and Clausen (1986) between adolescent and adult levels of satisfaction.
An interesting and controversial set of studies (Arvey, Bouchard, Segal & Abraham, 1989; Keller, Bouchard, Arvey, Segal, & Dawis, 1992) suggested that job satisfaction not only may be fairly stable across jobs but may also be genetically predetermined. Arvey et al. arrived at this conclusion by comparing the levels of job satisfaction of 34 sets of identical twins who were separated from each other at an early age. If job satisfaction is purely environmental, there should be no significant correlation between levels of job satisfaction for identical twins who were raised in different environments and who are now working at different types of jobs. But if identical twins have similar levels of job satisfaction despite their being reared apart and despite working in dissimilar jobs, then a genetic predisposition for job satisfaction is likely.
On the basis of their analysis Arvey et al found that approximately 30% of job satisfaction appears to be explainable by genetic factors. Thus, one way to increase the overall level of job satisfaction in an organization would be to hire only those applicants who show high levels of overall job and life satisfaction. Because these findings are controversial and have received some criticism (Cropanzano & James, 1990), more research is needed before a firm conclusion can be drawn.
Whether the consistency in job satisfaction is due to genetic or environmental factors, there appears to be a series of personality variables that are related to job satisfaction. That is, certain types of personalities are associated with the tendency to be satisfied or dissatisfied with one’s job. Judge et al. (1998) have hypothesized that these personality variables are related and involve people’s outlook on life (affectivity), view of their self-worth (self-esteem), ability to master their environment (self-efficacy), and ability to control their environment (external vs. internal locus of control).
People prone to be satisfied with their jobs have high self-esteem, high self-efficacy, high positive affectivity, and an internal locus of control. Research supporting this view has come from Judge et al. (1998), who found a significant correlation between a combination of these four variables and job satisfaction (r=.41), and from Garske (1990), who found that employees with high self-esteem are more satisfied with their jobs than are employees low in self-esteem. Results consistent with the core evaluation theory were reported by Dubin and Champoux (1977), who found that some people are happier in their jobs than people without this focus.
Judge et al. (1998), Judge and Watanabe (1993), and Tait et al. (1989) have theorized not only that job satisfaction is consistent across time but that the extent to which a person is satisfied with all aspects of her life (e.g. marriage, friends, job, family, geographic location) is as well. Furthermore, people who are satisfied with their jobs tend to be satisfied with life. These researchers found support for their theory, as their data indicate that job satisfaction is significantly correlated with life satisfaction. Thus, people happy in life tend to be happy in their jobs and vice versa.
Motivating workers well in these times of change demands a balanced combination of emotional and intellectual levers. Any manager should learn to use and combine as many needs, factors, modes of reinforcement, and outputs into their message as may be necessary to motivate their employees (Ridley, 1999). A manager can become a good motivator by knowing two things well: first, which tool or level of motivation will work for each and every employee, and second, how to motivate and communicate effectively with the use of positive reinforcement (Accel Team, 2005). Management practices which can serve as effective reinforcers include self-esteem work shops, flexible work arrangements, customized benefits packages, individual and team performance-based reward systems, among others. Each of these was discussed individually in the course of the paper. Each employee is different thus their motivating factors vary from one and other (Ridley, 1999). The manager’s task should be to locate motivational factors of each individual or group in order to develop a motivational environment. This will assist the manager in creating a better working environment enhancing productivity and job satisfaction (Gerstner, 2002).
Leaders and managers are the ones that provide motivation and vision to any organizational undertaking. The person should posses the capabilities, abilities, and skills of a leader in order to create a motivating, working environment (Gregersen et al. 1998). Only in having such effective and motivational leadership can the organization be assured of a healthy, sustainable, and committed workforce.
Membership motivation results from a favorable inducements-contributions balance. Employees must perceive a continuing favorable balance if they are to remain members. The motivation to perform represents a much more complex psychological contract between the individual and the organization involving perceived alternatives, perceived consequences of these alternatives, and individual goals (March & Sharipo, 1987). Organizations have no choice but to provide membership motivation if they wish to remain organizations.
It is imperative that organizations revisit these motivational theories and decide on which ones are most apt in their peculiar context. These theories are recapped below:
Process theories explain the operation of motivation, or the factors that influence an individual to choose one action rather than another. Process theories are subdivided into cognitive and non-cognitive approaches. Cognitive theories see behavior as involving some mental process. Non-cognitive theories see behavior as caused by environmental contingencies. The major cognitive theories are equity theory, goal-setting theory, and expectancy theory. All of them focus on perceptions of the outcomes that flow from behavior.
Equity theory suggests that motivated behavior is a form of exchange in which individuals employ an internal balance sheet in determining what to do. It predicts that people will choose the alternative they perceive as fair. The components of equity theory are inputs, outcomes, comparisons, and results. Inputs are the attributes the individual brings to the situation and the activities required. Outcomes are what the individual receives from the situation. The comparisons are between the ratio of outcomes to inputs and some standard. Results are the behaviors and attitudes that flow from the comparison, but other standards of comparison, including oneself in a previous situation, seem equally probable (Adams, 1965).
Goals setting theories argue that employees set goals and that organizations can influence work behavior by influencing these goals. The major concepts in the theory are intentions, performance standards, goal acceptance, and the effort expended. These concepts are assumed to be the motivation. Participation in goal setting should increase commitment and acceptance. Individual goal setting should be more effective than group goals because it is the impact of goals on intentions that is important. In goal-setting theory the crucial factor is the goal. Tests of the theory show that using goals leads to higher performance than situations without goals, and that difficult goals lead to better performance than easy ones (Maczynski, & Koopman, 2000). Although participation in goal setting may increase satisfaction, it does not always lead to higher performance.
Expectancy theory supports the contention that people choose the behavior they believe will maximize their payoff. It states that people look at various actions and choose the one they believe is most likely to lead to the rewards they want the most. This theory has been tested extensively. It has been found that expectancy theory can do an excellent job of predicting occupational choice and job satisfaction and a moderately good job of predicting effort on the job. Expectancy theory implies that the anticipation of rewards is important as well as the perceived contingency between the behaviors desired by the organization and the desired rewards. The theory also implies that since different people desire different rewards, organizations should try to match rewards with what employees want (Maczynski, & Koopman, 2000).
The way in which the social environment is interpreted is strongly influenced by the cultural background of the perceiver. This implies that the attributes that are seen as characteristic or prototypical for leaders may also strongly vary in different cultures (Hartog, et al., 1999). Hunt and Handler (1999) propose that societal culture has an important impact on the development of superordinate category prototypes and implicit leadership theories. They hold that values and ideologies act as a determinant of culture specific superordinate prototypes, dependent on their strength.
Culture is a very critical factor to consider when drafting motivational programs or initiatives for employees and in judging which style of leadership is most apt. This is particularly true for organizations which intend to go global and who are bent on sending expatriates to their satellite offices offhshore. The research in this area mentions three elements attributable to the leadership styles of different cultures; a stress on market processes, a stress on the individual, and a focus on managers rather than rank and file employees. As a result there is a growing awareness of need for a better understanding of the way in which leadership is enacted in various cultures and a need for an empirically grounded theory to explain differential leader behavior and effectiveness across cultures (House, 1995). Culture profiles derived from Hofstede’s theoretical dimensions of cultures, yield many hypotheses regarding cross-cultural differences in leadership. Hofstede’s dimensions of culture are: uncertainty avoidance, power distance, masculinity-femininity, individualism-collectivism, and future orientation. High uncertainty avoidance cultures, with the resulting emphasis on rules, procedures and traditions may place demands on leaders not expected in low uncertainty avoidance cultures (Hartog et al., 1999).
Research indicates that leadership exists in all societies and is essential to the functioning of organizations within societies (Weathersby, 1998). Because individuals have their own ideas about the nature of leaders and leadership, they develop idiosyncratic theories of leadership. As such, an individual’s implicit leadership theory refers to beliefs held about how leaders behave in general and what is expected of them. This type of attribution process provides a basis for social power and influence (Weathersby, 1998). In recent years, decision-making models in business organizations have emerged as a significant factor in the determination of the organization’s success or failure. Organizations require that individuals carry out job assignments dependably, make creative suggestions, and carry out self-training (Katz, 1958).
However, the organization does not obtain all these behaviors simply through hiring the employee. The right or optimal match between leadership style and motivational programs will thus lead to sustenance, if not an increase in employee’s productivity. In these times of cutthroat competition and dynamism across industries, HR practitioners ought to look more profoundly into the implications of motivational theories, and attempt to draft programs that leverage on these. Ultimately, a highly motivated and empowered workforce is the most certain way of putting in more into the firm’s coffers.
Suprvision, for Hackworth is also a very important issue that may have contributed to the success of the American army in the Vietnam War. It is the supervisor’s accountability to ensure that employees are constantly motivated. Appropriate leadership must lean more towards transformational leadership, encouraging cooperation and involvement of workers with each people program or intervention. The supervisory role is perceived to be both challenging and demanding, and yet, because a large part of a supervisor’s role requires effective performance management, it is also consoling to see that people deliver results partly because of your contribution. With such an expectation, they should be equipped, both in terms of soft skills and technical skills to be able to perform my role effectively and to continuously motivate people.
Hackworth says, I talked to my soldiers. I was there. I would never give an order that I wouldn’t do myself. And I loved my soldiers I never wasted them. They knew that and we formed a very perfect team. I was very hard on them, meaning I was like a father that took his children and laid a very disciplined trip on them. But we were not playing in the back yard. We were playing in a life and death game. And if I could train them where they were competent and confident then I knew they could make it though the night. And the most horrible experience a human can endure and that’s being an infantryman on the battlefield when shells are crashing in, booby traps are exploding, machine guns are ripping away.
The following are some of the concrete practices that supervisors may exercise to ensure the motivation of their subordinates.
Managing employees can be very demanding, and direction of staff must be apparent every step of the way. This may be possible through effective feedback. To increase the effectiveness of goal setting, feedback should be provided to the employee on his progress in reaching his goal (Locke, 1969). Feedback can include verbally telling an employee how he is doing, placing a chart on a wall, or displaying a certain color of light when the employee’s work pace will result in goal attainment and a different color of light when the pace is too slow to reach the goal. Feedback increases performance best when it is positive and informational rather than negative and controlling (Lord & Maher, 1991).
Rewarding Excellent Performance
Performance-based rewards are also essential to discourage high turnover rates. As supervisor may contribute to this goal through reward of excellent performance. Another set of theories hypothesizes that workers are motivated when they are rewarded for their behavior. As a result, organizations offer incentives for a wide variety of employee behaviors, including working overtime or on weekends, making suggestions, referring applicants, staying with the company (length of service awards), coming to work (attendance bonuses), not getting into accidents, and performing at a high level (Henderson, 1997).
Obviously, it is important to reward employees for productive work behavior. But different employees like different types of rewards, which is why supervisors should have access to and be trained to administer different types of reinforcers. For example, some employees can be rewarded with praise, others with interesting work, and still others with money (Filipczak, 1993).
Resolutions for Supervisors
Motivating workers well in these times of change demands a balanced combination of emotional and intellectual levers. Any supervisor should learn to use and combine as many needs, factors, modes of reinforcement, and outputs into their message as may be necessary to motivate their employees (Bennis, 1993).
Each employee is different thus their motivating factors vary from one and other. The supervisor’s task should be to locate motivational factors of each individual or group in order to develop a motivational environment. This will assist the supervisor in creating a better working environment enhancing productivity and job satisfaction. Culture is yet another factor to consider (Hofstede, 1980). Leaders and supervisors are the ones that provide motivation and vision to any organizational undertaking. The person should posses the capabilities, abilities, and skills of a leader in order to create a motivating, working environment.
Burns (1978), Tichy and Devanna (1990), and Yukl (1989) theorized on the concept of transformational leaders as opposed to that of a transactional leader. Differentiating these effective leaders with his/her ability to set a vision, to share that vision and to value the human capital within his/her organization. The benefits of charismatic or transformational leadership are thought to include broadening and elevating the interests of followers, generating awareness and acceptance among the followers of the purposes and mission of the group, and motivating followers to go beyond their self-interests for the good of the group and the organization (Bass, 1985).
Tichy and Devanna (1990) highlight the transforming effect these leaders can have on organizations as well as on individuals. By defining the need for change, creating new visions, and mobilizing commitment to these visions, leaders can ultimately transform organizations (Hartog et al., 1999).
In situational leadership, Hersey and Blanchard (1976) argue that leaders lead differently when faced with different situations. Developed in their studies are four leadership styles targeted at different situations with followers at different development stages. The situation approach to leadership supports the contention that effective leaders are able to address both the tasks and human aspects of their organizations. While all these leadership frameworks may be applied to the hospitality industry, there must be ample considerattion of the factors mentioned above that drive employee motivation. The most commendable is transformational leadership, as it promotes involvement and participative decision making across levels.
Burns (1978) contends that followers are driven by a moral need, the need to champion a cause, or the need to take a higher moral stance on an issue. People like to feel that a higher organizational spiritual mission guides their motives. The second need is a paradoxical drive for consistency and conflict. Transforming leaders must help followers make sense out of inconsistency. Conflict is necessary to create alternatives and to make change possible (Burns, 1978).
The process of transformation is empathy, understanding, insight, and consideration; not manipulation, power wielding, or coercion (Tichy & Devanna, 1990). Burns (1978) distinguished between the role of manager, who negotiates with employees to obtain balanced transactions of rewards for employee efforts, and the role of leader, who targets efforts to change, improve, and transform the organization. He contrasted transforming leadership with transactional leadership in that, transforming leadership appeals to the moral values of followers in an attempt to raise their consciousness about ethical issues and to mobilize their energy and resources to reform institutions (Burns, 1978; Yukl, 1989). Transacting leadership on the other hand, motivates followers by appealing to their self-interest. Transactional leadership may involve values but they are values relevant to the exchange process such as honesty, fairness, responsibility and reciprocity (Burns, 1978; Yukl, 1989). Burns (1978) described managers as transactors and leaders as transformers.
Hackworth, in his book also gives much importance of effective management of the government and public administration in hearing out the different concerns such as the participation in wars.
I mean why today are we spending for example a half a billion dollars on a bomber — a stealth bomber — when they’re not even sure it’ll fly. Or why we’re spending hundreds of millions of dollars on the B-1 bomber and they’re grounded to be used only in war. Or why we have tanks like the Sergeant York divisional anti-aircraft system which cost two billion dollars was quietly folded up because it didn’t work. But after the taxbearer had spent that kind of money.
So if you had generals who knew what the hell they were doing you wouldn’t have these problems. So what we’ve got to calculate and what our Congress has to do — and their at fault in this whole military procurement thing, too — is that they’ve got to insist that we produce those kind of people. And those are the kind of people that we put stars on their shoulders. That the fighters from the past not the writers from the present and the future.
Public administration is generally defined as the development, implementation and study of government policy. For the good of the public, it highlights civil society and social justice. This is very important so as to ensure the actions of the government and that they are not comprimising the safety of the people working for them. In the book About Face, The Odyssey of An American Warrior, Hackworth is generally concerned with the safety of his people due to the fact that they are fighting for the personal interests of the American government which has been said to have actively played a part in the Vietnam War.
It is also historically referred to as government management, it calls for non- government organizations that do not act out of self- interest. It has become area of discussion which talks about the meaning and purpose of government, bureaucracy, budgets, governance, and public affairs tha take place. Public management that hand in hand works with public administration in achieving public good is the economically driven side of operation of government. It attempts to reemphasize the professional nature of both fields that are connected with one another. Government and non-profit organizations would then resemble private sectors in some ways. Even with management tools which are appropriate for public and private domains, there are still differences that make public administration different from being a private sector for it emphasizes the social and cultural drivers of government that many contend (e.g. Graham T. Allison and Charles Goodsell).
What should always be kept in mind is that there is always a need for a quality system of public management. This system has to deliver quality and speedy service to the citizens that it serves. When this can be done, a country may progress and prosper. Even after introducing public service reforms such as long queues, delays and bad attitudes of workers towards work and clients, there is still poor service delivery making the objective stated unachieved. Also, another explanation is maybe due to the lack of accountability wherein officials are not always accountable for their work, either to parliament or the citizens concerned. It is important that the public service both delivers what is expected of them to the public and at the same time be accountable for the work that they do.
To furher explain, for any government service, it is fundamental to have a service delivery. Citizens look up to government and its department for their needs and for any services they may need. What of then about public service? It has to fulfill the government’s broad economic and social objective in formulating economic and social policies and implementing public programs which will be used to achieve what is needed. Then it must be asked whether the public service has fulfilled their duties and satisfying citizens’ needs and expectations and whether the service they have delivered is quick, reliable and effective. Meanwhile accountability is imperative as a means in providing quality public service. It is how public bodies should be handled.
“Though the promotion of the principle of good governance such as accountability and transparency have assumed greater significance in most developing countries, the issue of accountability appeared to be one of those words used more often than understood (Mustafa, H.:2005).”
In order for the public to trust the public administrators, these admistrators have to justify and explain their actions. Trust and legitimacy is promoted by accountability and at the same time responsiveness is the basis for such. The government responds to the need of their citizens and assumes responsibility for anything whereas the citizens respond to them.
What if partnerships were formed with the government or within the government to address these concerns? In general terms, partnerships are formed legally wherein two or more individuals join together to run any business or enterprise. Each partner has ownership of whatever assets, authority and responsibility for liabilities and debts. Partnerships for public administration are formed for a great variety of purposes. Any partnership between government and organizations has three functions. First is the administrative function, they help organize social activities. Second is the economic function in which they help ease government budget through voluntary work activities and third is the social function where they help relieve tension caused by the evolution of social and family values.
In lieu with these partnerships, the government must be able to explain the reasons behind their actions, for meddling with the affairs in Vietnam. This is because many people are doubting their reasons for participating in this war due to the fact that it happened during the Cold War when the fight between two contrasting ideologies has been rampant.
“A paradigm shift is occurring in the way in which the government, business and community sectors relate to each other, challenging each to redefine their respective roles and responsibilities. (Edwards 2001).”
Partnerships can be advantageous because there is ease of organization, availability of capital and credit, combined knowledge and skills, concrete decision making and regulatory controls. Literature has shown that collaboration, partnership, and integration are discussed at both the policy-making level and the practice or service provision level. They can provide:
• the service user as a partner
• programs within an agency
• organizations within a system, e.g., health
• sectors—public, private, nongovernment
• systems e.g., health, education, welfare
• levels of government
Partnerships may be disadvantageous because of unlimited liability, business responsibility, life of the partnership, distributions of profits, limited sources of funds and issues of taxation. Also, existence of complex problems wherein resolution is beyond the capacity of just one organization, program or sector can also be disadvantageous. Other identified causes were the following, as mentioned by Anwarrundin (2004).
Overlapping mandates of organizations: There is an increase of overlap in areas of organization when there is no understanding of the complexity of issues and no focus on early intervention.
Resource constraints. If there is small demands on resources, duplications increase and impact lessened.
Fragmentation: Problems remain unresolved with social and bureaucratic fragmentation and competition.
Disengaged citizens: There is no chance of integration when citizens are disengaged.
Competitive environment: Also, an environment that is too competitive may not lead to integration.
Increased focus on outcomes: There is no coordination between organizations that only focus on outcomes rather than integrated service.
Globalization: Levels of government, sectors, and organizations must require new forms of policy coordination to involve integration between them.
Technology: When there are no technological changes, sharing of information and knowledge across boundaries is difficult.
In order to avoid conflicts and avoid annecessary failures, good partnership requires (Asian Review of Public Administration, Vol. IX, No. 2 (July-December 1997 ) :
1. There should be a clearly definable realistic common goal to strive for, and agreed upon by all (candidate) partners.
2. The partners should really be able to cooperate on equal terms (equal human resources quality, equal financial and physical resources strength, joint management and control possibility). The existence of a centuries old hierarchy of social positions, which degenerate into a hierarchy of social classes or elites, based on a mixture of power, intellectual and material prosperity, make it extremely difficult to fulfill this prerequisite of equality in position, particularly in a developing country where the majority of the people are less developed or even too poor.
3. Mutual benefits and losses should be definable, and should be harmoniously shared together. All kinds of risk should be jointly borne.
4. The difference in ‘organization culture’ between the partners should not be too difficult to overcome or to overbridge. If the difference in values, norms, and outlook are too big, any kind of partnership will be doomed to failure.
5. There should be a sound system or procedure to prevent or to solve conflicts.
These systems and/or procedures should be as simple as possible, and should be designed as near as possible to the local cultural patterns of the people concerned.
Where partnerships are not able to meet one or more of those prerequisites mentioned above, they are likely to fail.
When one becomes in transition from solo to partnership, one’s paradigm is no longer “fund us to do good things” or “pay us to produce these outputs”, rather it is introducing a paradigm of “let’s work together to achieve these outcomes.”
The efforts of the American Military in the Vietnam War have been widely criticized in Ret. Colonel David Hackworth’s About Face, The Odyssey of An American Warrior. Generally, the book focused upon the stinging indictment of the performance of the US military in the Vietnam War. Nonetheless, reviewers mentioned the commonness of this particular criticism for it focused upon the disparities between the living conditions of the top officers and the lower members of the army. According to the events cited in the books, top officers lived in plush, air-conditioned quarters which are often insulated from the realities of the war. Lazy commanders then establish huge World War II-style base camps which are often senseless in a war without fronts. The commanders also sent their troops on an unwidely search and destroy operations that the guerillas had little trouble eluding.
In the same manner, Hackworth also mentioned the lack of training that had been experienced by the draftees who were all trained in snow and deserts but never for the tropical climate of Vietnam. As a result, these draftees are unable to pull the pin on a grenade and were definitely incompetent when compare to the highly disciplined members of the Viet Congs who defeated them in battle.
Although the author widely recognizes the incompetence of the Southern Vietnamese Army, he believes in the lack of leadership exhibited by the US army in guiding the army to whom they promised guidance to. As a result, the author stresses the importance of motivation and supervision in ensuring the efficiency of a leader in wars or in everyday lives within organizations or companies. It is through effective motivation, supervision and management that Hackworth, together with notable theorists note that a leader would be able to ensure the success of his or her staff.
Both Hackworth and this paper also give importance to effective public administration and the actions of the government to avoid the failure experienced by the American Military. The establishment of effective partnerships was emphasized to avoid the negative perception of outsiders with regard to the personal agenda behind the actions.
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