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Airline and Airport Management: Motivation Theories

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 2016 words Published: 17th Jul 2018

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This report will analyse the changing world of work and how it has changed a lot recently. The writer will also examine the trends and issues that have affected and may affect the aviation industry both present and in the future by using real world examples, theories to approach a valid conclusion.

Motivation Theories

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper. A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended to include his observations of humans innate curiosity.

Understanding what motivated employees and how they were motivated was the focus of many researchers following the publication of the Hawthorne Study results (Terpstra, 1979). Five major approaches that have led to our understanding of motivation are Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, Herzberg’s two- factor theory, Vroom’s expectancy theory, Adams’ equity theory, and Skinner’s reinforcement theory.

According to Maslow, employees have five levels of needs (Maslow, 1943): physiological, safety, social, ego, and self- actualizing. Maslow argued that lower level needs had to be satisfied before the next higher level need would motivate employees. Herzberg’s work categorized motivation into two factors: motivators and hygiene’s (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). Motivator or intrinsic factors, such as achievement and recognition, produce job satisfaction. Hygiene or extrinsic factors, such as pay and job security, produce job dissatisfaction.

Vroom’s theory is based on the belief that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). Rewards may be either positive or negative. The more positive the reward the more likely the employee will be highly motivated. Conversely, the more negative the reward the less likely the employee will be motivated.

Adams’ theory states that employees strive for equity between themselves and other workers. Equity is achieved when the ratio of employee outcomes over inputs is equal to other employee outcomes over inputs (Adams, 1965).

Skinner’s theory simply states those employees’ behaviours that lead to positive outcomes will be repeated and behaviours that lead to negative outcomes will not be repeated (Skinner, 1953). Managers should positively reinforce employee behaviours that lead to positive outcomes. Managers should negatively reinforce employee behaviour that leads to negative outcomes.

Organisational Culture

When together all employees or the group of people work to achieve the organisational goal, the organisations are become operational and successful. Therefore, organisational change is possible only when employees of the organisation understand the need for change, buy-in the idea of change, are motivated towards the change, and express their interest (McGuire D. & Hutchings K., 2006; Beer M. et al, 1990).

Other researchers (e.g. Tichy, 1983) acknowledge the frustration that manager’s feel when their organisations do not respond to elaborately analyzed plans, where there is a lack of interaction between decision and action.


Teamworking also ‘offers the employees the opportunity to meet their social needs, as identified by Maslow’. (Surridge, M., Gillespie, A. p199)

When working in teams there are many people that may have different views and opinions, also not forgetting personalities. Different views are not a problem as such but the expression of views can be a problem. Many people unintentionally may say or do things that may affect certain members by making them upset or even generally uncomfortable. Good communication does not indicate being able to stand on stage and just tell the public a message.

“Leadership is about having a set of values and believing in them, but it is also having foresight, knowledge and intuition, especially about people. Leaders can not expect others to believe in them if they do not believe in themselves.”

(Malpas M., 2006 cited by Porter K. et al, 2006)

“Leadership is about listening to people, supporting and encouraging them and involving them in the decision-making and problem-solving process.”

(Levine S. and Crom M., 1994, cited by Holbeche L., 1998)

The Four Basic Leadership styles:

Autocratic – This is often considered the classical approach. It is one in which the manager retains as much power and decision-making authority as possible. The manager does not consult employees

are they allowed to give any input. Employees are expected to obey orders without receiving any explanations. The motivation environment is produced by creating a structured set of rewards and punishments.

Bureaucratic – leadership is where the manager manages “by the book¨ everything must be done according to procedure or policy. If it isn’t covered by the book, the manager refers to the next level above him or her. This manager is really more of a police officer than a leader. He or she enforces the rules.

Laissez-faire – The laissez-faire leadership style is also known as the “hands-off¨ style. It is one in which the manager provides little or no direction and gives employees as much freedom as possible. All authority or power is given to the employees and they must determine goals, make decisions, and resolve problems on their own.

Democratic – The democratic leadership style is also called the participative style as it encourages employees to be a part of the decision making. The democratic manager keeps his or her employees informed about everything that affects their work and shares decision making and problem solving responsibilities.

Communication Skills

According to Stephen Covey, “communication is the most important skill in life.” This is no less true for managerial efforts to invest everyone from the total corporate environment toward change, in these demanding times, on behalf of their organisational life (Kotter, 1993, 1996, p. 3 and Mainelli, p. 1).

Management’s ability to generate trust in the sensibility of their vision- the power of which can only be unleashed “when those involved in an enterprise or activity have a common understanding of it’s goals and direction”- including employees and customers (Miller p. 219 and Kotter, 1996, p. 85). Waltslawick et al. conclude: 1. Meanings are not transferred- they are created in the minds of the perceivers, 2. Anything is a potential message, 3. The message perceived is the only one that counts, 4. Interpersonal messages have “content” and “relational” components, 5. Communication interaction can be either symmetrical or complementary, 6. Effective communication is hard work (Axley, 1996, pp. 53-63).

More over (Daly et al., 2003) Internal communication is important in communicating change. Others focus on the constructional phases of change, where communication is vital to mutual understanding of the problems organisations have to face in order to meet the challenges, and need to change (Bennebroek Gravenhorst et al., 1999).

Technology in the workplace

Technology in the 21st century has advanced in many ways, people in many organisation use technology to work and communicate. In today’s society people don’t like to wait to get checked or served, this could include paying bills, topping up payment cards, shopping etc. The writers own workplace at the airport bmibaby have brought 10 new kiosk machines where passengers can check themselves in, this is more useful for passenger who are carrying hand luggage only and can check in at the machines and prints of their boarding pass and head straight to departures without even queuing up for the check in agent to check them in.

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Work Related Stress

The writer works with airline bmibaby at the airport is most definitely stressful. As the writer own personal experience in everyday work a lot goes on at work, staff have to work together as a team making sure that everything is done on time and passengers are correctly checked in and board the flight on time without causing any disruptions.

Alternatively, increased flexibility, responsibility, and learning opportunity in today’s workplace may offer workers greater potential for self-direction, skill development, and career growth, leading to reduced stress and increased satisfaction and well being.

Assessed online www.direct.gov.uk/work_related_stress


“The PESTEL framework categorises environmental influences into six main types: political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal.” (Johnson and Scholes, 2002)

BMIbaby PESTEL Analysis


  • EU expansion
  • Severe security measures and restrictions
  • Climate protection charge
  • French government support for national carriers
  • New EU regulations


  • Fuel price increases
  • EU expansion
  • Europe: cars and taxi hires


  • Increasing travelling lifestyles
  • Increasing business travels
  • Market increase


  • Technology expansion
  • Low fuel consumptions
  • Internet competition
  • Internet online sales


  • Noise level controls
  • Green house carbon emissions


  • Allegations of misleading advertising
  • Illegal subsidies from airport


For effective change management process, good communication between management and staff is imperative. In order to keep competitive advantages and to minimize fundamental effects of political and economical disturbance, the continuous change is required but this should be taken place with the involvement of each and every member of staff. In the process of decision making, if employees are taken into confidence and are convinced about the required change while taking them on board in decision making process, they would as a part of change management process adhere and admire the change. On the other hand, if they are left disconnected and aren’t motivated about this change process, subsequently their spirit and enthusiasm will go down.

List of References

Dale, G., (2007) Btec National Travel and Tourism Book 1. Oxford, Heinemann

Directgov Workplace Stress http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/HealthAndSafetyAtWork/DG_10026604

Fyall, A and Morgan, M (2009) Marketing in the Travel and Tourism. Oxford, Heinemann Page 88-90

Holbeche L. (1998), Motivating People in Lean Organizations, Oxford, Butterworth-Heinemann.

Nicholson, I., (2001). Giving Up Maleness: Abraham Maslow, Masculinity, and the Boundaries of Psychology. History of Psychology, 2, 79-91


Porter K., Smith P., Fagg R, (2006) Leadership and Management for HR Professional – Leadership and Motivation at work

Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and Human Behavior. New York:

Surridge. M., 2005. AS Business Studies. 2nd edn. London: Hodder Arnold.

Trade Unions, 2010 Available at:


Turban, Efraim (2002), Electronic Commerce: A Managerial Perspective, Prentice Hall,

Vroom, V. H. (1964). Work and motivation. New York: Wiley.

Wahba, M.A. & Bridwell, L. G. (1976). Maslow Reconsidered: A Review of Research on the Need Hierarchy Theory. Organizational Behaviour and Human Performance 15, 212-240


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