answer the questions 290

Think of someone who, in the past, did an excellent job of motivating you. Describe how this was done. Which of the following approaches did that person use (either explicitly or implicitly)?

a. Lower-order or higher-order needs?

b. Maintenance or motivational factors? If so, which one(s)?

c. Existence, relatedness, or growth needs?

d. Behavior modification?

e. Goal setting?


Discuss how behavior modification operates to motivate people. Why is it still important to understand people’s needs when using this approach?

Explain the differences between negative reinforcement and punishment?

4-The Piano Builder

Waverly Bird builds pianos from scratch and is also a consultant to a piano manufacturer. In the latter job, he is on call and works about one week a month, which sometimes includes traveling, to solve customers’ problems. He also rebuilds about a dozen grand pianos every year for special customers. However, according to Bird, the most satisfying part of his life is his hobby of building pianos from the beginning. “It’s the part that keeps a man alive,” he says. The challenge of the work is what lures Bird onward. He derives satisfaction from precision and quality, and he comments, “Details make the difference. When you cut a little corner here and a little corner there, you’ve cut a big hole. A piano is like the human body; all the parts are important.” Bird has a substantial challenge in making a whole piano. His work combines skills in cabinetmaking, metalworking, and engineering, with knowledge of acoustics and a keen ear for music. It requires great precision, because a tiny misalignment would ruin a piano’s tune. It also requires versatility: A keyboard must be balanced to respond to the touch of a finger; the pinblock, on the other hand, must withstand up to 20 tons of pressure. In addition, Bird had to make many of his own piano construction tools. Bird has built 40 pianos in his 34-year career. Though construction takes nearly a year, he sells his pianos at the modest price of a commercial piano. He is seeking not money but challenge and satisfaction. He says, “The whole business is a series of closed doors. You learn one thing, and there’s another closed door waiting to be opened.” Bird says his big dream is to build a grand piano: “It is the one thing I haven’t done yet and want to do.”

How could a manufacturer of pianos build the motivation Bird has now into its employees?

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