The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. VIII: Effective Business Practices for Motivation and Communication
The Refractive Thinker® Press 2014
Number of Pages: 200


Join the 10th volume of the scholars of the 13 time award winning Refractive Thinker® series for effective business practices regarding motivation and communication. Learn how to apply cutting edge research from doctoral scholars of The Refractive Thinker® Community.


FOREWORD: Academia and the Business World are Entwined
The Academic Entrepreneur™, Dr. Cheryl Lentz, has created the next in a series of books focused on bringing research from doctoral dissertations from the coffee table to the corporate boardroom. I commend her for her dedication to doing so and this volume provides insight into the nuggets that can be gleaned from doctoral research. Let me share my perspective and thoughts.

Academia and the business world are entwined. Yet, we continue to witness a pronounced disconnect. , ,
Chapter 1: Communicate Successfully to Motivate Effectively
An examination of prevailing thought in the literature about the connection between communication and motivation posed a daunting prospect as these authors set out to uncover some common elements shared by communication and motivation as separate constructs. An initial hypothesis that successful communication was a necessary ingredient to motivate effectively in a business setting became a common theme, and drove the basis of the study. The aim of this chapter was to provide the reader with substantial information about communication and motivation whereby he or she could establish relationships between these constructs and among other constructs, based on findings. The authors took a pragmatic approach to the curious topic and remained intellectually open to any findings as a set intellectual philosophy was absent.

This literature review provided many opportunities to interpret and interconnect because of the predominant mention of certain other constructs: communicate successfully; motivate effectively; emotional intelligence as a factor; gender differences in communication; the brain is wired differently in males and females; and engaged employees are high performers. There were other worthy ideas, concepts and theories for consideration found in the literature that could easily be linked to communication and motivation. The significant and obvious relationships that continued to surface were: how we communicate, how we motivate, and what the business implications are as a result of these applied behaviors. We offer a shared-variance model, which captures the common elements of employee engagement and performance—the results of the applied behaviors by gender through communication and motivation.
Chapter 2: Bridging the Job Satisfaction Gap: What U.S. Federal Leaders Need to Know
Leaders of large organizations confront significant challenges when communicating with employees. In the U.S. federal government where supervisors and employees operate within a geographically dispersed bureaucracy, communication is complex and often ineffective. In The Best Places to Work in the Federal Government, U.S. federal employees were less satisfied and less engaged than employees in similar organizations in the U. S. private sector. Facing unprecedented financial and national security issues, discouraged U.S. federal employees quit in record numbers, a phenomenon known as retirement tsunami (Rosenberg, 2009b).

U.S. federal agencies protect the common welfare of the citizens and visitors to the United States. To fulfill responsibilities, U.S. federal employees must understand the critical nature of performance in governmental operations, particularly in national security agencies. The purpose of the mixed-methods study was to investigate the relationship between supervisor communication and employee performance and morale.
Chapter 3: Going Green—Motivating Leaders to Embrace Environmentally Sustainable Business Practices
Ninety percent of United States businesses are Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Scholars and practitioners must understand how to motivate the largest group of leaders in the workforce, leaders of (SMEs), to embrace environmentally sustainable practices. Society demands that leaders move beyond solely addressing economic prosperity within the company. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a review of research conducted in 2012—research that focused on motivating leaders in a SME to embrace green initiatives. Armed with the knowledge that 90% of American companies are considered small, the next question is easy to answer--Should citizens care about the actions of one small U.S. firm?
Chapter 4: Five Steps to Navigating the Social Exchange Perspective Landscape
Leaders embarking on an organizational intervention face many challenges that can inhibit effectiveness and the ability to motivate team members. One potential inhibitor is the social exchange perspective landscape. Using sales and operations planning as a managerial context Jones (2013) found a perspective landscape characterized by a commonly held belief and three bipolar attitudinale dimensions. Study findings and implications are discussed. A five-step process that facilitates a leader’s ability to navigate the perspective landscape is provided.
Chapter 5: Motivation: Addressing Job-Related Stress and Ensuring Effective Communication as Best HRM Practices
Good communication and workforce motivation are central components to the success of organizations. Managerial practices that include open systems of communication help motivate employees and are essential to achieve desired organizational outcomes. This chapter includes a discussion of the effects and perceptions of job-related stress on employees’ job performance, and the role of communication techniques, training and development activities, and the use of stress prevention and management intervention in employee engagement. These activities are among best human resource management (HRM) practices that may be applied by managers throughout an organization.
This discussion focuses on two doctoral studies. One researcher explored the effects of stress, stress perceptions, and stress management education on nursing professionals (Gray, 2013). The other researcher explored the strategies, techniques, and coping mechanisms that HRM professionals working in hierarchical organizational cultures used to satisfy the demands of multiple constituents and fulfill the needs and expectations of employees (Gioia, 2013). Gioia and Gray found similarities in both studies that potentially could be applied to many populations of employees and managers. The implementation of effective communication systems and techniques, and related intervention to reduce job-related stress levels and stress perception, are good business practices to motivate and engage employees.

Chapter 6: Using Qualitative Methods to Discover Reasons for Leaders' Failure
The topic of leadership is still highly debated. Disharmony exists amongst scholars about the meaning of leadership as well as the best way to study leadership. As researcher, I confirmed that qualitative grounded theory methodology is an effective method to investigate reasons leaders succeed as well as reasons they fail. There is much in the research literature on effective leadership and successful leaders. In comparison, a deficiency exists in research literature on leaders who fail. In this study, emphasis is on discovering reasons leaders fail. Perhaps, the discovery will help circumvent some of the leadership problems negatively affecting diverse organizations in society.

Chapter 7: Effective Motivation and Communication Strategies for Faculty in Higher Education: Blurring the Lines Between Business and Academia
A primary goal of higher education, regardless of modality, is for faculty to find effective methods to connect with students to facilitate productive learning. The age old challenge is the question of how. Many new teaching strategies for adult learners include the use of emerging technologies; the integration of blogs and videos into classwork is one such increasingly popular strategy. When students and faculty are no longer face-to-face, and when learning is often asynchronous, challenges exist for faculty to create effective learning communities in the classroom to enhance student performance, productivity, and effectiveness of learning outcomes. Thus, the purpose of this chapter is to integrate what is known regarding theories and principles of communication and motivation, and how to shorten the learning curve of faculty in higher education in their application and use in the classroom. In turn, this integration of strategy will facilitate more effective outcomes of learning by their students.
Chapter 8: Implementation of New TQM Programs, Communications, and Adapting to Change
In this article, the academic and practical aspects of Total Quality Management (TQM) are addressed including elements of communication and motivation when improvement programs are activated. Communication and motivation are concepts that from the earliest stages of development are of critical importance to the individual, teams, groups, and organization. The initial steps of change and improvement activities are linked with the necessity to engage with the business and operational environments of the organizations. However, the literature about change programs has successive studies indicating the many change programs fail to deliver on the expectation of the participants involved in the initiated change and improvements. Linked to extrinsic motivation factors are intrinsic factors with satisfaction associated with the introduction of improvement programs among the organizations layers. Core concepts to motivation are examined and the relationship between reward and career path. In some cases, TQM programs appear to be isolated from strategic-level planning, implementation, and rewards programs.
Chapter 9: What Motivates Employees to Resign and the Effects of Turnover
Turnover can be one of the main causes of erosion in a company’s bottom line. Significant financial resources are expended annually to reduce turnover and find qualified replacements to replace lost employees. Turnover is caused for various reasons, but there are methods to help mitigate its effects. Two of these methods are effective communication and motivating the workforce. Communicating with employees is key to ensuring strategic alignment within the organization. It is imperative that every employee understands how their contribution to the organization achieves the overall goals and vision of the company. When employees understand the value of their work, they develop an attitude of intrinsic motivation to achieve their goals and the company goals. Understanding the demographic mix of the employee-base and what motivates each demographic group can increase employee commitment, satisfaction, and reduce turnover. Researchers have found that transformational leadership behaviors provide inspiration and meaning to the workforce, aligning with the expectations of Generation X and Y workers. Transformational leadership is positively correlated with emotional intelligence, which leaders can use to enhance their understanding of employees’ emotions and motivations. Understanding these factors can provide insight into the causes of turnover, and offer methods to mitigate turnover costs through improved communication with, and motivation of, the workforce.