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Management effectiveness in motivating employees at a Durban manufacturing plant.

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The motivation of employees is a topic that has become popular in the business world and is a “centuries-old puzzle”. It is hard to argue with accepted wisdom (backed by empirical evidence), that a motivated workforce means better corporate performance. It leads to low rates of employee turnover and retention of key skills. However, this has not been the case in many companies, since many managers are either still reluctant to spend their company’s resources on motivating their employees, or lack the know-how and skills to be effective. The broad objectives of this study were to determine the effectiveness of the management practice within a Durban Manufacturing Plant’s Production and Logistics Division (DMP) in lieu of low employee morale resulting in high turnover and to grasp the motivation factors that would influence the retention of their salaried employees and improve performance. The methodology used encompassed data collection techniques using an electronic close-ended questionnaire. The design-approach of the research was quantitative. The sample of 207 salaried employees was drawn from the DMP, with a total population size of 207 salaried employees, representing a confidence level of 100%. The sample was composed of 77.5% males and 22.5% females. Of the sample, 18% were managers and above and 82% were sub-ordinates (14.5% assistant managers, 7.5% principal engineers and 60% other administrationsupport members). There were 200 respondents, resulting in a response rate of 96.62% and the data collected was validated-analysed using both descriptive and inferential statistics, with a Cronbach’s alpha of 0.82. The salient findings from the study were that motivation can significantly increase the performance of employees, whilst the management practice in the DMP was inconsistent and ineffective as they did not employ the process of motivation in their company. The study revealed that while there are many ways of motivating employees, the management of the DMP did not employ these methods to motivate their employees, resulting in low morale, leading to high turnover. The recommendations offered to the management of the DMP, actions to ensure sustainable motivation of their employees that will assist with future retention as well as significant improvements in their morale, and to create a consistently high-performing-thriving workforce, thereby boosting overall performance.


Thesis (MBA)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2012.


Employee motivation., Leadership., Management., Theses--Business administration.