Affourtit, Thomas D. (1986, ASQC) Interaction Research Institute, Inc., Fairfax, VA
Quality Motivation is generally viewed as a marketing strategy designed to convince managers, supervisors, quality practitioners and others to utilize quality methods or otherwise increase commitment in order to improve the quality and productivity of their work. The approach usually involves awareness projects that range from executive conferences and corporate quality campaigns to paper pronouncements, sloganism, and even banner hanging. This is motivation from the outside or external motivation - the sales pitch. However, there is another level of quality motivation, perhaps a more insidious level, that psychologists label motivational climate. Motivational climate can, and often does representa substantial barrier to effective quality improvement projects, corporate hoopla and promotional posters notwithstanding.
Concepts such as job satisfaction, communication flow, personal development, solidarity, training readiness, recognition, and equality are operationally defined as conditions that inhibit or promote optimal performance and commitment to corporate goals. Most of the conditions listed in Deming's 14 points for management, that he calls "barriers to quality, productivity, and competitive position," fall within the realm of motivational climate. Juran also discusses the impact of such motivational factors in his writings on quality. However, neither Deming nor Juran offer any method of assessing and analyzing motivational climate factors. Indeed, none of the current writings on quality address motivational climate as a measurable variable under the control and influence of management.
This paper will describe motivational climate as a process or series of processes and subprocesses that can be identified, measured, and analyzed using both conventional motivational assessment and statistical process control methods. Such techniques as control charts are ideal adjuncts to standard motivational measures for establishing capability, diagnosing special and common causes, and for developing and evaluating corrective actions designed to eliminate inhibitors to quality improvement efforts.
The motivational climate of some organizational has deteriorated to such a degree that no amount of external motivation can surmount. Only by addressing those internal conditions that comprise the motivational climate of an organization can management realize a positive return from the current rash of quality campaign investments.