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Total Quality Management Vol. 17, No. 2, 131 –140, March 2006

Quality Management Vol. 17, No. 2, 131 –140, March 2006 The EFQM-Model and Work Motivation CHRISTIAN

The EFQM-Model and Work Motivation


University of Kaiserslautern, Germany

ABSTRACT Job satisfaction and work motivation are result criteria of the EFQM-Model for Excellence. Looking at the organizational practice, one can however see that normally organizations are using instruments measuring job satisfaction to receive information about how their employees feel about important work-related aspects of their work. Very rarely do they use instruments with which they get information about how their employees judge their organization with respect to motivational aspects of their workplace. This is fairly surprising, as several studies have shown that satisfied employees are not automatically the ones who show higher performance. Employees have to be highly motivated too. One reason for the dominance of instruments measuring job satisfaction is due to the fact that there is only one instrument that explicitly claims that it measures work motivation potentials at work: The Job Diagnostic Survey. Analysing this instrument one can critically see that its focus is only the work-content of an employee. Motivation potentials beyond the work-content (or the work-task itself) are not considered. Therefore, an additional instrument is needed, including further aspects of motivation. Based on an expectancy-value approach, an instrument has been developed that contains the motivation potentials of the JDS and adds to it six new motivation potentials. It is called: Motivation Assessment Questionnaire. The usefulness of this new questionnaire in the context of the EFQM-Model is described in this paper. It shows, that measures (stated in criteria 3) like work-design, differential work-design, performance-oriented incentive systems, cafeteria- systems, management of responsibilities and policy deployment can now be assessed in respect of their amount of effectiveness in the perception of motivation potentials in criteria 7. Therefore the MAQ helps to show relationships between measures in criteria 3 and (motivational) results in criteria 7. This is, until today, a major criticism of the EFQM-Model, because it does not say which precise organisational measures in criteria 3 do lead to which better results regarding motivation in criteria 7.



Work motivation, job satisfaction, people orientation, EFQM-Model, Job Diagnostic

The EFQM-Model and people orientation

By using the EFQM-Model a company can conduct a Self-Assessment, i.e. an evaluation of its organisation based on the nine criteria of the EFQM-Model (see Figure 1).

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132 C. Ehrlich Figure 1. The EFQM-Model of Excellence (from EFQM, 2003: 12) These nine criteria

Figure 1. The EFQM-Model of Excellence (from EFQM, 2003: 12)

These nine criteria of the model are divided in two groups: the so-called ‘Enablers’ and the thereby achieved ‘results’. The ‘Enablers’ contain the conditions for every successful change: incorporation in policy and strategy, management dedication, people integration, an adequate supply and utilization of resources and partners and incorporation in the key processes. The ‘Enablers’ achieve results for the organization and also for its key target groups (customers, employees and society). On a second level these nine criteria are further specified in 32 criterion parts. The central criteria in this paper are the two concerning the employees of an organis- ation. Criteria 3, in which an organization describes the measures it has taken to improve their Human Resource Management, and Criteria 7, in which it states the results in respect of their employees. These results can be divided into results measuring satisfaction and motivational aspects of the employees.

Instruments Measuring Employee Orientation in the EFQM-Model

Focusing first on Criteria 7, one can ask which instruments do exist to measure job satis- faction or work motivation of the employees, whereas this paper is concentrating on the subjective data an organization can gain through adequate instruments (cf. EFQM, 2003). Those subjective data reflect the employees perception of the organization and can be obtained by surveys, focus groups or structured appraisals according to the EFQM-Model (cf. EFQM, 2003). Usually these data are collected by using a standardized employee questionnaire measuring job satisfaction. These kinds of questionnaires explicitly address the employees satisfaction of different work aspects (How satisfied are you with XY?) or they predominantly use adjectives as strong keywords (Is your work boring?, Is your work tiresome? etc). Numerous instruments measuring job satisfaction normally contain questions about the whole spectrum of relevant work aspects and are easily available for the organizational practice. But the explicit focus on job satisfaction is problematic as the majority of employees indicate that they are satisfied with their job (Robbins, 2003: 79). This is because the variable ‘job satisfaction’ is a result of different consideration and experience

The EFQM-Model and Work Motivation


processes (Bruggemann, 1974). Bruggemann sees six qualitative different forms of job satisfaction developing out of the following processes:


satisfaction and dissatisfaction of needs and expectations at a given time,


increase, maintenance or decrease of the level of aspiration as a result of satisfaction or dissatisfaction,


problem solving, problem fixation, problem displacement in case of dissatisfaction.

Based on these processes, different forms of job satisfaction are developing, such as pro- gressive job satisfaction, stabilized job satisfaction, resignative job satisfaction, pseudo job satisfaction, fixed job dissatisfaction and constructive dissatisfaction (Bruggemann, 1974). Therefore, the (general) term satisfaction covers qualitatively different forms of employees’ job satisfaction. Someone might express satisfaction because he or she accepts his / her uninteresting job or does not see a realistic chance for improvement, or the needs of the employee are really satisfied by the job. This also explains why a lot of Meta-Analyses did not reveal the – at first sight appar- ently logical - connection between job satisfaction and job performance (Vroom, 1964; Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985). The large correlation-variance in the single studies fur- thermore indicate that the connection between job satisfaction and job performance is moderated by other factors. It can be assumed, that the connection between job satisfaction and job performance grows stronger if employees have a specific goal and get some sort of feedback, if the goal was achieved or not, and whether they are adequately paid for their work results (Rosenstiel, 1999). These basic conditions clearly increase motivation and therefore show that job satisfaction and job performance can only work together if the ade- quate motivational aspects are given. Finally we can conclude that employee-surveys cannot be confined to job satisfaction but need to be completed by instruments measuring motivational aspects.

The Job Diagnostic Survey Measuring Motivation Potentials at Work

As a requirement for this request, adequate instruments need to be available. One of the most renowned instruments is the Job Diagnostic Survey, which is the only one that measures motivation potentials at work and can be used for an employee survey. The Job Diagnostic Survey (JDS) has been developed by Hackman & Oldham (1974, 1980). It is one of the most established and internationally renowned practices for measuring per- sonal experience of objective work situations (Taber & Taylor, 1990). Proof for this can be found in the extensive research of the JDS. It measures five motivation potentials, or core job dimensions, which are: Skill Variety, Task Identity, Task Significance for the employee or others, Autonomy and Feedback. Compared with the instruments measuring job satisfaction, the JDS has one critical dis- advantage. Its focus is solely the task itself. The result of this provides important cues for redesigning the work-task. However, one must critically ask if the acquisition of major job characteristics includes all the influencing factors for work motivation. To answer this question we need to look closer at the dimensions of surveys measuring satisfaction in comparison to the JDS. Typical factors that are measured in job satisfaction instruments include the nature of the work, supervision, present pay, promotion opportunities and relations with co-workers (Robbins, 2003: 78).

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The comparison of these facets with the JDS clearly shows that aspects such as col- leagues, supervisor(s), pay and development potentials are not taken into consideration by the Job Diagnostic Survey (Ehrlich & Zink, 2003). Therefore the question arises of whether aspects such as remuneration or recognition from colleagues or supervisors really have no influence on motivation at all. These are factors of work, which may not be directly related to the work content. The assumption, that these factors are irrelevant to motivation seems at first glance rather unlikely. Furthermore, the literature indicates that there are many researchers that specify motivational factors in addition to the work content. For example, Lawler (1992) assigns a considerable motivational function to incentive systems. Setting goals with the employees, in a participative manner, is also seen as a way to foster work motivation (Locke & Lathham, 1984). Additionally it must be mentioned that the JDS does measure the employees satisfaction with pay, col- leagues, supervisors and work security; but it does not make an explicit or direct connec- tion to motivation, i.e. satisfaction with these work aspects have no influence on motivation. From the above-mentioned comparison it can be concluded that it is desirable to extend the motivation potentials of the JDS (Ehrlich & Zink, 2003).

An Extension of the Job Diagnostic Survey: the Motivation Assessment Questionnaire

In the following, the core contents of the Motivation Assessment Questionnaire – an extension of the JDS – will be described. The extension adds further motivation potentials to the JDS, which go beyond the task itself. Altogether, six new motivation potentials can be theoretically derived and reviewed empirically. To identify motivation potentials the ‘cognitive motivation model’ by Heckhausen and Rheinberg (1980) has been used (see Figure 2). This model describes central ‘expec- tations’ of employees with a vital influence on the motivation of employees and is slightly simplified compared to the original Model of Heckhausen (1977). For a better understand- ing of this paper, the model will be described briefly. The first expectancy in the model is the so-called ‘situation-outcome-expectancy’, which concerns the expectancy in terms of the degree to which the present situation will lead toward a desired outcome apart from any contribution of the actor. The higher this expectancy gets, the lower the motivation to act will be, because the outcome will be achieved apart from personal effort. The second expectancy is called ‘action-outcome expectancy’ and is described as the probability that the present situation can be changed to yield a desired outcome through one’s own actions. The higher this expectancy, the greater the motivation to undertake any action to achieve the desired outcome. Furthermore, there is a third expect- ancy, the ‘outcome-consequence expectancy’, which describes the degree to which outcomes produced by oneself or by others are instrumental for the occurrence of consequences having particular incentive values. In this case, two aspects are relevant to motivation. First, motiv- ation will be higher, the higher the consequences are valued by the employee. Secondly, motivation will be higher, the greater the probability to receive these consequences. In con- trast to the original model of Heckhausen, the incentive values have been divided in internal and external rewards or incentive values, according to Lawler & Porter (1967, cf. Porter & Lawler, 1968). Intrinsic rewards result automatically through a successfully performed task, whereas extrinsic rewards have to be given through a third party and do not result automati- cally (Nadler & Lawler, 1977: 29). Consequently an intrinsic reward is the experience of being proud because one has successfully mastered a challenging task. This describes the

The EFQM-Model and Work Motivation


The EFQM-Model and Work Motivation 135 Figure 2. The model of Heckhausen & Rheinberg (1980) and

Figure 2. The model of Heckhausen & Rheinberg (1980) and modification concerning intrinsic and extrinsic rewards (below)

same circumstances as mentioned in the JDS concerning questions of intrinsic motivation (e.g. I feel a great sense of personal satisfaction when I do my job well). Thus, intrinsic motivation, as seen by Hackman & Oldham, can be summed up, in the category ‘intrinsic rewards’, as it is done in the Expectancy-Value-Theory. As described in Hackman & Oldham’s (1980) ‘Job Characteristic Model’, the intrinsic work motivation is positively influenced by the five core job dimensions. Based on the model of Heckhausen & Rheinberg (1980), it is now possible to theoreti- cally derive further motivation potentials, which are able to influence the expectations and (extrinsic) incentive values postulated in the model (see Figure 3). Altogether, six new motivation potentials were identified (Ehrlich, 2003; Ehrlich & Zink, 2003). The theoretical explanation of the new identified motivation potentials will be described shortly. An extensive explanation of the theories, which where used to theoretically derive the motivation potentials can be found in Ehrlich and Zink (2003). Concerning the ‘situation-outcome expectancy’ it can be postulated that the tasks, respectively the goals, related to the individual employee have to be clearly assigned to the employee, so that he/ she is aware of the fact that he or she is (solely) the one in charge of his or her working outcome. Concerning the expectancy that one’s own efforts will lead to achieving a task or goal, several factors can be identified: On the one hand, people must build up a mental model, of what the successfully achieved task will look like and, at the same time, they must have an

achieved task will look like and, at the same time, they must have an Figure 3.

Figure 3. Framework of motivation potentials

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idea of which measures have to be taken in order to achieve this goal. On the other hand, the ‘action-outcome expectancy’ will be higher if the employee already has positive experiences with similar tasks. The expectancy that the achievement of an outcome is followed by positive conse- quences for an employee has to be specified in its effect regarding extrinsic rewards. The ‘outcome-consequence expectancy’ – for this study – is mainly focused on the employees’ expectancy in terms of extrinsic rewards and the probability to receive them. This creates the necessity for organizations to arrange a relationship between extrinsic rewards and successfully mastered tasks in a highly motivational manner. This can be achieved if the fulfilment of goals of an employee supports the goals of the respective superior. It ensures that the assigned tasks of the employees are also important in the eyes of the people in charge of rewarding the employees (for example the supervisor). Another motivational potential of the ‘outcome-consequence expectancy’ can be seen in a transparent and strongly performance-oriented incentive system. Furthermore, the actual value of the reward plays a major role. Organizations that implemented a close relationship between performance and extrinsic rewards, but offered rewards that are not highly valued by the employees, cannot expect to foster motivation. This makes it essential to offer rewards that are highly valued by the employ- ees, as well as the implementation of a strong relationship between performance and rewards. This can be achieved by offering alternative extrinsic rewards, from which the employee can choose those rewards that fit his / her needs best and have the highest benefit for him / her. The framework of motivation potentials comprises the theoretical basis for a JDS exten- sion. Based on this theoretical approach, a questionnaire was developed and reviewed by a total of three empirical studies. The questionnaire measures – in analogy to the JDS – each of the six motivation potentials by three questions, for a total of 18 questions. For each motivation potential one item is shown as an example.

Clearly defined areas of responsibilities:

Example: If the work results are not achieved it is mostly due to other people.

Employees’ conception of optimal work-results and appropriate measures to reach them:

Example: I understand what is expected of me to achieve the work-results.

Consideration of employees’ positive experiences with similar work-tasks:

Example: I was able to demonstrate the abilities and acquirements, which are needed to receive my work-results, by similar tasks in the past.

Importance of work-results for subdominant goals:

Example: I can see my results clearly in connection with superior goals.

Transparent and performance-oriented incentive system:

Example: The way of rewarding employees is so transparent that everyone knows what kind of reward to expect (if work-results are achieved).

Opportunity of choosing between alternative extrinsic rewards:

Example: Within our organization, employees, who are achieving the same work- results can choose between different rewards.

The EFQM-Model and Work Motivation


Furthermore, the questionnaire consists of 15 items from the JDS to measure the five core job dimensions. Thus, the extended version of the JDS consists of 11 motivation poten- tials. These are measured by a total of 33 items, whereas additional demographic items, questions concerning expectations based on Heckhausen & Rheinberg’s (1980) model and questions concerning the value of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards are added. The time to complete the questionnaire is about 20 minutes.

Motivation Assessment Questionnaire and its use within the EFQM-Model

In the following, organizational measures are described that are suited to change the motivation potentials of the MAQ. Furthermore, it is analysed in how far these measures can be found in Criteria 3 in the EFQM-Model. Table 1 illustrates which measures are suited to improve the motivation potentials of the MAQ (Ehrlich, 2003). As Table 1 shows, measures such as job descriptions, process descriptions and goal setting-techniques have a positive impact on the motivation potential: ‘Clearly defined areas of responsibility’. All three measures make sure that each employee is especially responsibly for the assigned tasks. For example, setting goals with the employees ensures that the employees know which results are demanded of them, i.e. for which goals they are responsible. Furthermore, the design of work is a crucial point to influence the motivation potentials. Work design in general is suited to enhance the motivation potential ‘Employees’ conception of optimal work-results’, because work design leads to work-tasks, which are intellectual challenging for the employee, and as a consequence the employee gets an increasingly distinct conception of how the work has to be fulfilled best and what it has to look like at the end. Measures to improve the motivation potentials of the JDS are described by the authors of the JDS themselves (Hackman et al ., 1975). They name five implementing concepts to enhance the JDS-potentials. These are:


forming natural work units,


combining tasks,

Table 1. Organisational measures with an influence on the motivation potentials of MAQ

Motivation potentials of MAQ

Measures to improve the motivation potentials in an organisation

Clearly defined areas of responsibilities

Consideration of employee’s positive experiences with similar work-tasks Employees conception of optimal work-results and appropriate measures to reach them:

Importance of work-results for subdominant goals

Transparent and performance-oriented incentive system Opportunity of choosing between alternative extrinsic rewards Motivation potentials of the JDS

Job descriptions Process descriptions Goal setting techniques Differential work design

Work design (job enrichment)

Management by objectives Policy deployment Performance oriented pay systems Cafeteria-systems

Work design

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establishing client relationships,


vertical loading,


opening feedback channels.


special way of work-design is a differential work-design, which means that organiz-

ations consider the different needs and competencies of their employees by offering them different work-contents (Hackman, 1977). This differential approach is suited to enhance the motivation potential, ‘Consideration of employee’s positive experiences with similar tasks’. Management by objectives and policy deployment can enhance the importance of the work results of the employees for subdominant goals, because both concepts ensure that the goals or work-results of the employees have been derived from the goals or work-

results of their supervisor. Therefore, the goals or work results of the employees should

be as important as possible for the supervisor.

Performance-oriented pay systems can have a positive impact on the motivation poten- tial, ‘transparent and performance-oriented incentive system’, and cafeteria-plans are one way to improve the motivation potential ‘opportunity to choose between alternative extrinsic rewards’. Finally, it can be analysed which of these measures in Table 1 are already mentioned in Criteria 3 within the EFQM-Model, although on a more general level, because the measures stated in Criteria 3 do not focus (solely) on work motivation rather on people orientation. That’s why, one can ask which of the ‘guidance points’ listed in Criteria 3 can now be described in more detail in respect to measures fostering work motivation. Fur- thermore, it can be analysed whether some measures, which can improve the motivation potentials of the MAQ, are not mentioned by the EFQM-Model at all. As Table 2 shows, there are some similarities between the stated measures of the EFQM-Model to achieve people orientation and the described measures to improve the motivational potentials of the MAQ. Therefore, one can conclude that an integration of the MAQ and its measures to improve the motivation potentials is first of all possible and does shift the focus of the measurements described in Criteria 3 more towards improv- ing motivation. Very important in this context is the fact that the new measures can be assessed by a standardized questionnaire, the MAQ. For most of the measures stated in Criteria 3, there are no instruments available with which the effects of the measures under- taken in Criteria 3 can be assessed. This is still a major problem of the EFQM-Model, which with respect to work motivation has been solved by the MAQ.


This paper deals with the fact that, normally, organizations use standardized question- naires to measure job satisfaction in order to receive data about how the employees per- ceive their organization. This is also true for organizations using the EFQM-Model for Excellence. One reason for this is that the only instrument that measures motivation poten- tials contains only items concerning the work content or the task itself. An extension of the JDS by six further motivation potentials has been described: the Motivation Assessment Questionnaire. This questionnaire is also suitable to use within the EFQM-Model for Excellence. Here one can see that the measures (guidance points) listed in Criteria 3 show some similarity to the measures described to improve the motivation potentials of

The EFQM-Model and Work Motivation


Table 2. Comparison between measures to improve the motivation potentials of MAQ and measures of the EFQM-Model to achieve people orientation

Measures to improve the motivation potentials of an organisation

Measurements of the EFQM-Model in Criteria 3

Differential work design

Work design

Management by objectives Policy deployment

Performance oriented pay systems

Cafeteria systems

Job descriptions Process descriptions Goal setting techniques

Can be seen as specification of the following guidance point in criteria 3b – developing and using training and development plans to help ensure people match the present and future capability needs of the organisation

Can be seen as specification of the following guidance point in criteria 3b – developing people through work- experience Can be seen as specification of the following guidance point in criteria 3a – aligning the human resource plans with policy and strategy, the organizational structure and the framework of key processes Can be seen as specification of the following guidance point in criteria 3b – aligning individual and teams objectives with the organization’s targets Can be seen as specification of the following guidance

point in criteria 3d – aligning remuneration,


policy and strategy Can be seen as specification of the following guidance point in criteria 3d – recognizing and taking account of diversity – setting the level of benefits, e.g. pension plan, health care No statements about any management of responsibilities is made

MAQ. The major difference lies in the fact that the general measures to foster people orientation can be more specified in respect of measures fostering motivational aspects. Therefore, one can see that most of the MAQ measures can be integrated in one of the four criterion parts of Criteria 3 of the EFQM-Model. Furthermore, the motivation potential ‘Clear areas of responsibilities’ for employees is one motivation potential that has not been considered so far in Criteria 3 in the EFQM-Model.


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