Masters Theses


"A problem of growing concern in the United States deals with the poor results of the nation's businesses in terms of productivity. The U.S. is now suffering the worst decline in productivity in a generation. While part of this decline can be attributed to economic conditions, data indicates that the labor force could be more productive if it wanted to do so. A study has shown that 52% of all workers feel they aren't producing at full capacity. Alienation of the American worker is identified as one of the most important contributors to this problem.

Because it is often difficult to restructure jobs, it becomes necessary to look to some method of motivating workers to increase their productivity. A number of motivation theories have been proposed; the most important being: (1) Maslow's Theory, (2) Herzberg's Theory, (3) Need Gratification Theory, (4) Inequity Theory, (5) Intrinsic Motivation Theory, and (6) Expectancy Theory.

Several systems of compensation for industrial workers are currently being used in this country that attempt to incorporate the above theories, but few have met with a great deal of success. However, a new approach to the problem, non-cash incentives, holds promise as a partial solution to the productivity problem.

A study of workers in a plant using a non-cash incentive program shows a neutral attitude toward the program. Productivity results of that plant, however, show significant increases since implementation of the program

It is proposed that Maslow's Theory of Motivation and Expectancy Theory of motivation can be related to the non-cash incentive method. Workers' desires for certain bonus items can be related to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, while their methods of obtaining such bonuses can be related to Expectancy Theory.

In summary, the non-cash incentive program is recommended as an additional tool that can be used by management to increase worker productivity. While some problems are apparent with these programs, they have met with considerable success. In conclusion, it is proposed that such success well outweighs problems associated with the implementation of non-cash incentive programs"--Abstract, pages ii-iii.


Omurtag, Yildirim

Committee Member(s)

Ruffner, John
Cuthbertson, G. Raymond
Loesing, Vernon


Engineering Management and Systems Engineering

Degree Name

M.S. in Engineering Management


University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date



ix, 116 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references (pages 87-89).

Geographic Coverage

United States


© 1976 Daniel Franklin Cole, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Incentives in industry -- United States
Labor productivity -- Case studies
Industrial productivity -- Case studies

Thesis Number

T 4172

Print OCLC #