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BUS101 Exploring Business Research: Work Flexibility and Incentives

Topic: Work flexibility and incentives (Management)

For the sake of this assignment you have been given a much abbreviated example with only three questions and very short responses. Normally you would ask several establishing questions to build rapport with the participant before launching into serious questioning.

Below are the main questions for analysis that were asked in each of the in-depth interviews, listed as participant 1 (P1), participant 2 (P2) and so on:

  1. Are you happy in your job?
  2. How have the changes at work affected you and/or the office in general?
  3. Is there anything else that you would like us to know?



Overview of the business problem 

Thrive consultancy is an organisation that deals with consultancy operation. The consultancy has 50 staffs member that is functioning for almost 15 years. The company provides advice to other companies on human resource consulting activities such as human resource solution, policy renewal and KPI development. However, The Company has been struggling due to low morale as the well poor performance of the employees that has resulted to a huge amount of employee absenteeism.

The CEO has assumed that problems are taking place due to the introduction of new policy within the organisation and due to the cut down of funds. As a result of this new policy, the employees are facing problem in maintaining work flexibility in the workplace. Moreover, due to the cut down of funds, the office kitchen do not offer beverages and snacks for free. These activities are making it difficult for the employees to work in such an environment.

Overview of the literature review 

Today organisational results are highly dependent on the motivation of the employee. It is, therefore, highly important for the company to find out the way to enhance employee morale and the way to motivate employees for obtaining improved results. However, Taylor and Earl (2016) stated that the appropriate resources and materials in the workplace can help to boost up the employees and help to improve their dedication towards work.

According to Price (2016), research on employees found that almost 89% of the employees claimed that flexible working hours are the best motivating factors that could help to boost productivity at the workplace in comparison to these, 77% of the respondents claimed that financial incentive is necessary. On the contrary, other research by Taylor and Earl (2016), found that 43% of the employees want to have the flexible working environment

as a part of staff benefits.

The research also outlined that a flexible working environment is necessary.  In this context, Shin and Konrad (2017) stated that more than 77% of those who are aged in between 18-34 are working full time to manage flexibility.

Overview of the theory

Motivation theory

Motivation is the desire of the employees to accomplish beyond their expectations, they are often being driven by internal and external factors for staying involved with the continuous drive for improvement.  Chan et al. (2016) state that motivation in this context is a psychological method that results from the communication between employees and the workplace environment. Employees will be willing to expand their working effort if they are properly motivated with incentives and reward for a desire to obtain something.

According to Fallon and Rice (2015), motivation theory tries to illustrate the reason behind people’s behaviour, specifically the way they behave in accordance to their effectiveness in striving towards the achievement. The specific model of motivation is started by a conscious or an unconscious identification of unsatisfactory need. These needs create wants, according to these wants, goals are set for achieving it. In this context, if the goals are obtained, then the behaviour of the employee is likely to be repeated in terms of similar needs.

If the goal is not obtained the same reaction is less likely to take place. Therefore, managers are needed to motivate the employees through a different method such as salary, promotion and work incentives. On the contrary, Nie et al. (2015) states the employees as well can motivate themselves by seeking work based on their individual needs and wants that is to be achieved. However, there are two major types of motivation intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic motivation

This type of motivation refers to the motivation that comes from an inside of the individual. According to Hine et al. (2016), this type of motivation is usually generated through the satisfaction that the individual achieves after the completion of the task. Factors that influence this kind of motivation are organisational environment, self-capabilities and increasing opportunities.

Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation is something that is done for motivating others. This type of motivation comes from the factors such as increase in salary and grades. This kind of rewards inside the organisation provides satisfaction to complete the task. Gunawan (2015) states that this type of motivation generally has an immediate and powerful impact on the employees.

The early JD-R Model

This model was founded by the scholar Demerouti et al. (2001) in an effort to evaluate the antecedents of burnout. In this model, eight kinds of job demands and thirteen job resources were recognised as the probable effect of burnout and some of them found on the structural model of burnout. Nielsen et al. (2017) illustrated that job demands like” physical, social, and organisational context of the job that required consistent physical and psychological support.  

For instances, factors such as additional work pressure, interpersonal conflicts and job insecurity may be implied as job demand. According to Schaufeli and Taris, (2014), the early model of JD-R proposed that there are two major processes for the establishment of burnout. The first one is that long-term excessive job, from which staffs do not sufficiently recover may result in long-term activation. In addition, this  may eventually lead to exhaustion. Secondly, insufficient resources within the workplace may reduce the job satisfaction of the employee. In this theory, withdrawal and reduced motivation of the employee is the major component of burnout.

In support of this analysis, Bakker et al. (2014) stated that the JD-R model predicts that increased job resources may help to resolve the negative influence of the job demands resting in exhaustion. In this context, Schaufeli and Taris (2014) reported that almost 60% of the possible interactions in between individual job demands and resources of the job were significant and in the hypothesized path. On the contrary to this, there was no significant link effect found in counter to this expectation.

Revised JD- Theory

The revised JD-R theory presented that burnout and work involvement are the mediators in relations to job demands, health issues, job resources as well as increased turnover. The revised JD-R model focused inherently on the motivational qualities of the job resources. According to Nielsen et al. (2017), following the theory of effort recovery it can be said that the work environment that offer a huge amount of resources may help in fostering the workers. Moreover, it will help to provide their efforts and abilities in work. Therefore, job resources play a crucial role in motivating the employees in fostering attainment of objective. On the contrary, lack of job demands, and job resources may demotivate the employees resulting in employee absenteeism.

Methods and results 

Qualitative analysis

Qualitative research analysis in this study emphasises on numeric data such as transcripts, coding of the transcripts that seeks to elicit the model along with the classification through iterative coding and other processes of qualitative data (Lewis 2015). This research will help to understand the impact of the employee’s job satisfaction and flexibility occurring due to lack of organisational resources and improper working shift within the Consultancy. In order words, analytical research in this context helps in understanding the needs of the employees and it can also help the business to understand the way in which the customer observe themselves within the workplace.

Data collection

Data has been collected through an in-depth interview of the employees to establish queries for building rapport with the participants before introducing into serious questions. The in-depth interview has been conducted as a part of qualitative research method that involved with the conduction of intense interaction with a limited number of respondents (Smith 2015). This interview helped to examine the perception of the employees in the existing situation that has taken place in Thrive Consultancy. All the questions are addressed to evaluate the level of satisfaction of the employees and to evaluate the working flexibility of employees resulting due to change in the policies and shift timing.

External and internal validity 

The data gathered from the interview are reliable and valid because the participants who took part in the data determined the results reflecting the phenomenon that is being studied. For internal validity, the method of triangulation of the data has been carried out to verify the originality of the multiple perspectives. On the other, external validity of the collected data, has been done by generalising the results by applying it in similar settings and situation.

Findings and analysis

Table 1: Are you happy with your job?


Sub-theme (categories)

Direct quote

Job satisfaction rate


Job satisfaction

Workplace environment

· Office space

· Parking space

“I get my own office, which is great”



Poor- 2

Moderate- 2

High- 1



· Training workshops

“I help design and implement training workshops for other companies which are heaps of fun. I really enjoy running them”




From the interview, it has been found that job satisfaction is highly related to the motivation of the employee and job resources present within the working environment. From the first query that is based on the level of job satisfaction amongst 5 employees, it has been found  that, 2 amongst 5 are not satisfied with the change in policy and shift in working hours as well as HR operations (refer to appendix 1). On the contrary, some of them are highly satisfied with the workplace environment wherein they have admitted that they get perks of the office parking and training provisions.

Table 2: How have the changes at work affected you and the office in general?


Sub-theme (categories)

Direct quote

Level of impact


Work flexibility

Organisational culture

· Changed shift

· Lack of coffee

Well the lack of flexibility isn’t great”






· Extra working hours

· No work from home

“They took away the coffee machine! I can’t believe they did that hey. I was so cranky I basically run on coffee.  ”




From the interview transcript, it has been found that most of the employees are not satisfied with the change in policy, shift timings and lack of coffee in the workplace. 3 employees are highly dissatisfied with the flexibility of shift hours. Again, some are worried about the lack of coffee availability, as they have to get coffee from outside that adds extra cost to their living (refer to appendix 2). As for working hours, most of the employees have expressed that they have faced issues, specifically female candidates have to face huge pressure due to extra working hours. Most of the problems are faced by the HR and administration female employees who have to work on weekends as well to keep up with the balance in family.

Table 3: Is there anything else that you would like us to know?


Sub-theme (categories)

Direct quote

Level of impact


Training and communication

HR operations

· No leaves

· Lack of resources

I am so happy working here”






· Extra working hours

· Problems in communicating

“Like can’t they stop and think about what it’s really like working here? Do you really think any of the people in the chicken coop are happy”




In the interview, surrounding the additional queries based on the requirements of the employees, it has been found that 2 of the employees are not satisfied with the HR operations. They have expressed their viewpoints saying that increased training is required for the employees whereas the other respondent admitted that the HR department is slow in responding to the emails and other operations (refer to appendix 3). On the contrary, one employee was extremely happy with the all the working operations and one of the employees was extremely dissatisfied with the working environment and the resources within the workplace.

Recommendations and conclusion 

From the above study, it can be said that the working culture of Thrive consultancy is demotivating for some of the employees. It is mostly due to the change in policy and shift hours that employees are not able to cope up with the changing environment.  As a result of these issues, the number of employee absenteeism is increasing within the workplace. Changing working culture is highly influencing the interpersonal conflicts and problems in balancing their personal life as well.  Apart from these, the lack of effective communication between HR departments is creating problems in accomplishing the task of the employee. Therefore, to mitigate these increasing issues the CEO of the organisation needs to take this steps:

  • The managers as well as the HR employees of the organisation need to increase sharing of information, with the fulfilment of processes and establishing building blocks of reciprocity amongst the employees. This is because when the employees will be able to trust one another within the organisation, they will be able to feel more committed to obtaining their objectives as well as they will be more likely to help each other in times of difficulty.
  • The organisation needs to create an environment of learning as well as growth where employees will not only be able to learn through formal training but through the connection with the co-workers. Learning through the workplace and building effective relationships will help in solving problem, sharing of insights and it will help them in learning from their mistakes. Apart from these, learning will also help to develop in facilitating the relationship between the employees and the managers as well as between those who are more experienced about the organisation.
  • Experts within the organisation can help the working employees within the organisation to optimise the performance of the employees during the strict shift hours. Human resource managers need to help the employees in adjusting and balancing their lifestyles. Moreover, supervisors of the organisation need to have special hours of the shift to contribute towards the problem faced by the working employees.
  • Better work style management is a necessity for teaching the employees through the program for helping them to understand the working of the whole system. The organisation needs to realise that employees may catch some chronic health issues due to coffee from outside sources and increasing work pressure. Food resources and other resources facilities are necessary for attracting the employees working in the strict environment.
  • The CEO of the consultancy needs to as well focus on providing the employees with additional payment, benefits as well as incentives for the extra working employees. Employees who work after the shift hours even on the weekends might me motivated to work due to the provisions of rewards and incentive.

Therefore, to accomplish these condition the human resource manager, as well as the CEO of the organisation, needs to behave in a sensitive way in this situation. They need to be aware of the fact whether the shifts is flexible for the employees or not. That is the only way for the manager of the company to deal with this is by understanding the flexibility of the workers.


Bakker, A.B., Demerouti, E. and Sanz-Vergel, A.I., 2014. Burnout and work engagement: The JD–R approach. Annu. Rev. Organ. Psychol. Organ. Behav., 1(1), pp.389-411.

Chan, X.W., Kalliath, T., Brough, P., Siu, O.L., O’Driscoll, M.P. and Timms, C., 2016. Work-family enrichment and satisfaction: The mediating role of self-efficacy and work-life balance. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 27(15), pp.1755-1776.

Fallon, B.J. and Rice, S.M., 2015. Investment in staff development within an emergency services organisation: comparing the future intention of volunteers and paid employees. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(4), pp.485-500.

Gunawan, J., 2015. Corporate social disclosures in Indonesia: stakeholders’ influence and motivation. Social Responsibility Journal, 11(3), pp.535-552.

Hine, D.W., Phillips, W.J., Cooksey, R., Reser, J.P., Nunn, P., Marks, A.D., Loi, N.M. and Watt, S.E., 2016. Preaching to different choirs: How to motivate dismissive, uncommitted, and alarmed audiences to adapt to climate change?. Global Environmental Change, 36, pp.1-11.

Lewis, S., 2015. Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five approaches. Health promotion practice, 16(4), pp.473-475.

Nie, Y., Chua, B.L., Yeung, A.S., Ryan, R.M. and Chan, W.Y., 2015. The importance of autonomy support and the mediating role of work motivation for well?being: Testing self?determination theory in a Chinese work organisation. International Journal of Psychology, 50(4), pp.245-255.

Nielsen, I., Newman, A., Smyth, R., Hirst, G. and Heilemann, B., 2017. The influence of instructor support, family support and psychological capital on the well-being of postgraduate students: a moderated mediation model. Studies in Higher Education, 42(11), pp.2099-2115.

Price, R., 2016. Controlling routine frontline service workers: an Australian retail supermarket case. Work, employment and society, 30(6), pp.915-931.

Schaufeli, W.B. and Taris, T.W., 2014. A critical review of the Job Demands-Resources Model: Implications for improving work and health. Bridging occupational, organizational and public health (pp. 43-68). Springer, Dordrecht.

Shin, D. and Konrad, A.M., 2017. Causality between high-performance work systems and organizational performance. Journal of Management, 43(4), pp.973-997.

Smith, J.A. ed., 2015. Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods.  London Sage.

Taylor, P. and Earl, C., 2016. The social construction of retirement and evolving policy discourse of working longer. Journal of Social Policy, 45(2), pp.251-268.

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