Question

You are assuming the role of a human resources consultant, hired by Patagonia to analyze their employees' level of motivation.

Your Assignment

Read the Case Application 1: Passion for the Outdoors and for People (end of Chapter 17).

After reading the case details, prepare your report for Patagonia managers by answering the following questions:
1.According to Maslow's hierarchy, which basic needs does the Patagonia culture meet? What would it be like to work at Patagonia? (Hint: Go to Patagonia’s website and find the section on jobs.) What’s your assessment of the company’s work environment? (20 points)
2.Use the expectancy theory and/or the equity theory of motivation to explain how feeling underpaid might affect the work of a Patagonia associate and what a manager can do to increase the employee's motivation. (20 points)
3.What do you think might be Patagonia’s biggest challenge in keeping employees motivated? If you were managing a team of Patagonia employees in the retail stores, how would you keep them motivated? (20 points)

Solution Preview

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Patagonia had started as a small tool manufacturer for climbers to diversify into other segments such as clothing and apparel. The growth of the company has been fuelled by its adherence to corporate social responsibility practices. It has recognized the importance of the stakeholder group – employees and accordingly its founder Yvon Chouinard had implemented a host of employee-friendly policies such as flex-time working, encouraging innovation amongst employees by influencing them to think projects related to environmental preservation, providing subsidized day care, providing yoga, providing them with surfing time, etc. As stated by Rob (2010), Patagonia has received several awards due to its progressive work culture such as the 2010 Top Small Company workplace award, 2000 Workforce Optimas award, etc....

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