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Peer Review

Motivating Employees



Overall Numeric Rating:

3 stars
Content Quality: 4 stars
Effectiveness: 3 stars
Ease of Use: 3.5 stars
Reviewed: May 01, 2009 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: The material is located in a “How-To Guide” on the web site.’s “about” link describes the following objective: “, the website for Inc. magazine, delivers advice, tools, and services, to help business owners and CEOs start, run, and grow their businesses more successfully.” The site's How-To Guides present editor-selected resources in a number of key business areas. The How-To Guide on Motivating Employees contains links to more than 30 articles in six (6) areas: Corporate Culture, Morale Boosters, Recognition, Non-Cash Incentives, Motivation by Compensation, and Creating a Fun Workplace. The articles provide nuts-and-bolts guidance on workplace motivation—with particular emphasis on applied illustrations of how leaders, entrepreneurs, and CEOs have successfully implemented motivational practices in the workplace.
Type of Material: Reference Material (a collection of articles that illustrate applied motivational practices in the workplace)
Recommended Uses: The material could be used as a supporting reference/resource in management & leadership and human resource management (HR) courses. The articles would augment textbook material, and instructors could assign students to “surf” and discuss them (either in class or in brief, written assignments). Instructors who wish to emphasize positive organizational behavior will find that these articles provide particularly useful illustrations.Some of the readings could be used as material to check the main tips related to motivation, recognition...
Technical Requirements: At least one article(A Fun Read) contains links to PDF files for which Adobe Acrobat Reader is required. (An Adobe Acrobat Reader link is supplied). Note that other "How-To-Guides” on the web site present videos for which a standard plug-in might be required.The link to material opens an advertisement pop up window that blocks some functions of your browser if you try to close it while retain opened the material page.
Identify Major Learning Goals: 1. Students will learn about a variety of motivational practices in the contemporary work organization. 2. Students will learn how corporate leaders and entrepreneurs have successfully implemented motivational techniques in the contemporary work organization.
Target Student Population: Undergraduate or graduate students who are studying management, leadership, or human resource management.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No prerequisite knowledge or skills are required to surf the site or to access and read the articles.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: • The material provides excellent, applied illustrations of motivational concepts in key areas of contemporary interest.
Concerns: • This particular How-To Guide contains articles with publication dates that range chiefly from 1998 to 2002. The strength of the material is that it provides “how-to” guidance from business leaders and work organizations; thus, the information would be stronger if added more updated content. • Some links are not working (e.g., Fun at Work: Enliven Your Culture, TurboCharge Your Bonus Plan, Turn Motivation Inside Out, Hot Tip: Reinforcing Teamwork, Personalizing Recognition).

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 3 stars
Strengths: • The clear strength of the articles is that they provide wide-ranging, highly accessible demonstrations of a critically important construct.
Concerns: • Because the material is not entirely up-to-date, instructors would have to be prepared to provide updates for certain articles. For example, a 1998 interview with Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines (Have Fun, Make Money) should be augmented by a discussion of how Southwest’s management & culture--as well as the challenges facing the airlines industry--have (or have not) evolved since that time.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 3.5 stars
Strengths: • is a professionally presented, well-organized web site. The How-To-Guide for Motivating Employees (a direct link has been provided on the Merlot web site) is organized into six (6)sections that are clearly entitled. The (briefly) annotated links within each section take the user directly to the articles.
Concerns: • The articles are easily accessible and highly "readable." However, they do not contain media or interactive opportunities. Thus, it would be up to instructors to design activities and assignments to engage students.

Other Issues and Comments: Inc.Com and its How-To Guides present just the sort of applied material that can be used to engender classroom discussion about the connection (or lack thereof) between theory and practice, the relative effectiveness of different motivational practices, and the extent to which current practitioners employ similar vs. dissimilar motivational techniques. Perhaps some of the letters (there are more than twenty) have contents that could be used in class, but it is needed that lecture reads and select previously which of the letters are related to specific contents or goals.