The Economics of Motivation and Organization
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The Economics of Motivation and Organization

An Introduction

Peter-J. Jost

In this unique book, Peter-J. Jost provides a comprehensive economic-psychological approach for successfully managing employees. Based on the analysis of the employee’s individual work behavior, he illustrates that instead of treating employees as input elements of production, and managing and controlling their work, organizations need to motivate their employees to act in the interest of the firm and in accordance with its goals.
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Chapter 4: The Psychology of Work Behavior

An Introduction

Peter-J. Jost


Ein Mensch erhofft sich fromm und still, dass er einst das kriegt, was er will. Bis er dann doch dem Wahn erliegt, und schliefllich das will, was er kriegt. (Roth, 2006)1 The discussion in the previous chapter has identified a potential discrepancy between those components of the employeeís work situation that are objectively given and those which are subjectively perceived. The limited cognitive abilities do not only imply a selective perception, but also require the application of various heuristics in order to evaluate the work situation. Nevertheless, this might systematically bias the employeeís judgment of his work situation. The subjective evaluation of the employeeís work situation is the starting point for explaining the actual individual work behavior since it is the only factor relevant for the decision of the employee. The subjectively perceived factors comprise the input factors determining which of the available action alternatives the employee pursues in his work behavior. In line with the division of the overall process of decision making into the two central components, namely the judgment and the actual decision making, we now want to examine how the employee acts in a particular work situation, that is which behavioral pattern leads to a maximum goal attainment. We therefore focus on the analysis of the motivational process and establish a connection between subjective judgments on the one and decisions on the other hand.

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