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Peer Review

The Will to Work: What People Struggle to Achieve



Overall Numeric Rating:

2.25 stars
Content Quality: 2.25 stars
Effectiveness: 2.25 stars
Ease of Use: 2.5 stars
Reviewed: Dec 21, 2012 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This work offers an overview of motivating forces with reference to classical and behavioral theory. The unfavorable impact of technology on worker motivation is addressed in this article as well as the influence of class and potential upward mobility as motivating factors in employee performance. In essence, rewards are skewed to upper management and meaningful change from the status quo may be expected when the working class shifts the emphasis from individualism where the few are rewarded to a more collectivist approach.
Type of Material: The material is presented in an essay format with a useful illustration in chart format depicting the basic confrontation in the struggle by workers for independence and the good life by a shift from the authoritarian mind to a communal perspective.
Recommended Uses: Assign students to evaluate different perspectives on motivation, including this report, and how they are based on differing assumptions about human behavior, about organizational goals and values, and the goals of communities and society.
Technical Requirements: Browser
Identify Major Learning Goals: The report promotes a particular viewpoint of motivation and the relationship between employees and employers. The author's underlying assumptions are that employers are attempting to exploit employees and that community/social goals should be toward "a better life for all". Quoting from the report: "Starting by considering motivation from the point of view of the employer (productivity, remuneration, job satisfaction), this leads to considering what people want and what they struggle to achieve. A key part of the report is community orientated, including a detailed step-by-step listing of what people are struggling to achieve, their needs and wants, their achievements and objectives. This progression shows underdeveloped and developed people as they are, human beings at different stages of an identical struggle for a better life against those who wish to profit from their condition. And you can assess how far the country/community you are living in has advanced in this struggle for independence and a good life for all, or where you are yourself on this scale."
Target Student Population: Advanced undergraduates, advanced master's students, or PhD students studying motivation.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: The student should have at least a rudimentary understanding of current affairs, political science and business administration. The adult learner would have the experiential background to consider what the author proposes in the best interests of a worker.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 2.25 stars
Strengths: The essay offers a thoughtful assessment of contemporary society and draws a possible conclusion of future course of action by a democratic society in the alteration of the contemporary capitalist system.
Concerns: The report represents a particular set of assumptions and values based on the author's personal world view. It is highly self referential rather than based on accepted empirical research and therefore can best be viewed as an idiosyncratic philosophy statement rather than a clinical view of motivation.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 2.25 stars
Strengths: This essay could serve as a catalyst for thoughtful discussion on how the external environment affects worker contribution to the organization.
Concerns: Eight of the nine references in the works cited are to the author's other (highly self-referential) works and the ninth is to an introductory management text. There is little or no grounding of the topic in the broader literature of motivation research and theory.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 2.5 stars
Strengths: The essay offers rich content that could lead to an interesting discussion in an ethics or organizational behavior class. The essay could be used to formulate thoughtful written assignments.
Concerns: The essay presumes class members have an interest in the impact of the external political-social structure on motivating factors and organizational behavior. In some cases that may be too much to presume.

Other Issues and Comments: The essay serves well with a like minded audience that considers political action a catalyst for change.