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Motivational Factors on Kazakhstan’s Top Managers


Motivating top managers and its effectiveness has been center of discussion in researches conducted in past and they have provided in-depth analysis of how to improve top managers’ motivation through utilizing their human resource systems. The importance of analyzing the value of human capital, specially the top management, cannot be denied organizations have always tried to formulate strategies that help top managers to determine what they need and how organizations can fulfill those needs in order to develop job related satisfaction.

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This study focus on presenting analysis of top managers’ motivation, working in different organizations of Kazakhstan. By the end of this study, readers will be able to understand the effectiveness of different extrinsic and intrinsic motivators on the performance of top managers.



Every organization has a set of aims and objectives to achieve their targets and goals. Top managers of organizations plan various useful and applicable strategies to make sure that these targeted goals and objectives are achieved. Organizations’ hierarchy includes different top managers including chief operating officer, general manager, executive officer, president, vice president and CFOs. There are some expatriate managers who are hired for filing a job position outside their national boundaries (Holbeche, 1998). They all make relevant policies and observe actions of businesses and corporations as well as of other competing and rival organizations.

In a corporation, board of directors intimately examines all those rules and strategies laid down by the team of top executives. In an organization to make sure that all work is going on according to the plan with strategies and focused goal, the chief executive officer stay in contact with other top managers in order to avoid any error in the business operations. In some nonprofit and publically held organizations, top level managers are expected to make proper utilization of resources and budget for achieving the goals. Top managers are considered to be highly accountable for every task for which they are responsible (Frey & Osterloh, 2002).

These officers should be highly skilled in communicating the roles and objectives to their work force and managing them to facilitate the whole process. They supervise others staff members of the organization, they are required to ensure that every employee is working according and honestly without making mistakes during the process of achieving goal. Although their degree of responsibility varies depending upon how big or small an organization is.

These top managers work in highly pressurized environment because their qualification, experiences, work nature, salaries and responsibilities are far better than other staff members and they are accountable to the owner for every action they take in an organizational setup (Griffin, 2008).

Motivating other employees is another big responsibility of top managers. To make them work that is required to fulfill the business task with quality and on time is considered to be the essential quality that a leader must possess. It is their job to appreciate and praise other co-workers. It is the responsibility of top executives in a company to adopt effective motivational strategies to make employees work in a pleasant working atmosphere to utilize most of their capabilities, talent and experiences (Holbeche, 1998).

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Motivational strategy is a phenomenon helps to control peoples behavior and to engaged them in assigned duties. As top managers are responsible for designing policies of organization and performance of the worker, there is a great need to keep them motivated and focused along with other co-workers who are working under their supervision. Need to encourage the top managers is equally important as other workers, because in extremely pressurized atmosphere if no one would encourage them they will run away from the work place (Griffin, 2008).

Without their direction and supervision no output will come from organizations policies and hard work of employees because these top managers are the only one who bridge the gap between strategies and job of other staff members.

Factors that effects top managers and other employees are different in nature. It means there is difference in the level of encouragement and motivation needed for executive managers and other working staff. In order to motivate people, it is important for top level managers to understand how employees are motivated, what is required to motivate them is anything bothering them or if they are unhappy with the organizational environment.

Top management needs to understand needs and to sort out problems which help in designing motivational strategies for the staff members. It has been observed that appraisal, monitory or non-monitory, is the basic need of an employee that encourages him or her to work with more dedication. When a person develops a feeling of being appreciated, he or she puts their best efforts to deliver high quality work for higher productivity (Holbeche, 1998).

The more they realize that they are valuable for the company, the more they will try to put efforts to improve their performance. Therefore, a manager needs to make his work force realize that they do hold importance for the organization and if they improve their performance, they will receive respect and appreciation (Griffin, 2008).

To maintain the organizational systems running smoothly, managers are also needed to be motivated in order to keep their performances consistent. It is a responsibility of employers to motivate and keep them happy with motivational strategies, because they possess the talent that can achieve organizational targets effectively. There are various factors that motivate top managers and are different from those that motivate other working staff (Gebler, 2009).

Motivational strategy does not remain same for every manager it varies from person to person such as most executive managers are motivated when they get increment and others are happy when they get emotional or psychological motivation. They also get motivated when they find their job interesting and they get achievements in life through achieving their job related goals and targets. Casual or medical paid leaves, trips to other countries, transport facilities also help them to work with more loyalty.

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It has been observed that economic and social condition of the country is also an important contributing factor to motivating top managers, because suitable environmental structure makes it comfortable for some managers to take decisions and bring positive outcomes. Sometimes competitive atmosphere of workplace also helps to motivate top officers (Yu, 1999).

It is very important for employers to understand the need of motivating top managers especially for expatriate officers because there is greater need to provide satisfaction and encouragement to expatriate managers as they are the one who have left their native land and living far away from their families. They might get bored or frustrated quicker than other managers therefore they should be provided with additional incentives and benefit packages (Gebler, 2009).

Expatriates need to live same standards as they enjoy in the home country, it is very important keeping them satisfied with the provided facilities as they can be fruitful for the organization to achieve its goal more effectively, due to their expertise and knowledge. These expatriates should be provided with handsome salaries, allowances, bonuses, expenditures for goods and other facilities in order to avoid getting them home sick (Yu, 1999). It is essential for the employers to understand their values and believes in order to utilize their experiences and knowledge to get profitable results for organization.


The objective of this research is to study the impact and importance of motivational factors for top managers in the State of Kazakhstan.

Project Aim

The aim of this research study is to design an understand of the different intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors that have a deep influence on the perceptions and behavior of top managers working in different organizations and the work related attitude of these managers within these organizations. These intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors are analyzed on the basis of their influence on top managers working in different organizations of Kazakhstan.

This study formulate intensive theoretical framework including number of motivational theories that present an idea of how and what is useful in motivating top managers in organizations and the role of this motivating process on the relationship that these top managers have with their employers. The literature review part also includes the work of past researchers that has been utilized to draw a direction towards top managers’ motivation in different organization in Kazakhstan and other countries.

As the research moves on, it focus on limiting the scope of the research to number of motivational factors including monitory incentives, chances for growing within the organization, the overall work related environment, enriching the job features, enlarging the scope of the job responsibilities and maintaining a balance between top managers’ life within and outside the organization. These efforts in first three chapters help to formulate the finding and analysis that either support or reject the hypothesis designed in the literature review of this study.

Problem Statement

Kazakhstan’s economy is in the developmental phase. Researchers and theorists need current statistics to ensure that statistics are accurate. In order to evaluate the conditions of Kazakhstan, current researches and literature are required to be published. Unfortunately, studies in this regard are lacking to a greater extent. It is required that investigations are conducted on the basis of published reports that can be used in the analysis procedures. The main objective of the study is to discuss the interesting aspects as well as pros and cons of emerging economy of Kazakhstan. On the basis of provided background we shall discuss the importance of motivating and retaining top managers in business sectors of Kazakhstan.

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Significance of the Research

The review of already published literature on top managers’ motivation in organizations across the world and in Kazakhstan, exposed the researcher to the fact that these past researchers focused on number of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors which helps to determine whether these top managers are satisfied from their jobs which have a consequent affect on their motivation to perform their respective jobs.

The researcher of present study tried to differentiate it from the past literature in a way that he focused on studying multi-factors that result in top managers’ motivation in Kazakhstan. Studying of particular factors of managers’ motivation in Kazakhstan is an interesting analysis as previously no work has been done in studying countries’ motivational factors for top managers working in corporate world. This study aims to drawn conclusion from different organization that would highlight the differences in the consequences of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors under numerous working conditions and organizational environment.

The findings of this study are useful to it readers as this is only one of its kind in this respective field and provides handy information for understanding the phenomenon and use these information for further studies in this particular context.

Research Questions

Keeping in mind the hypotheses to be tested, the present study is focused on finding suitable answers to the following research questions with the help of number of research tools and tactics.

  1. What are the different theories of motivation that helps in understanding behavior and attitudes of individuals within and outside an organizational setup?
  2. Are the top managers in Kazakhstan are highly motivated and satisfied from their respective jobs?
  3. Are the top managers of Kazakhstan satisfied from their current employers?
  4. How the findings of this study helps in understanding the differences in motivational factors in Kazakhstan and other countries?


Throughout this research work, it is responsibility of the researcher to carry out the efforts with the approval and prior consent of the moderator, mentor or the supervisor. The questionnaire designed for conducting the interviews has been proof read by the supervisor and the analysis of findings derived from these interviews is done with the assistance of the supervisor. Keeping in view, the ethical guidelines and policies of Kazakhstan, the researcher will acquire the approval for conducting interviews in the state.

Also, consideration has been given to the code of ethics followed by the university. Special attention will be paid to protect the privacy of the information provided from the respondents and the researcher will not leak this information to anyone. As the focus of this study is to perform individual work; therefore, the researcher will not acquire the services of any third party or outsource any part of this study to get completed.

Also, the researcher will try to avoid plagiarism and will take full responsibility if the instructor or the university found any act of stealing information or data from any source. The researcher will make all possible efforts to provide due credit to the authors of already published information however, due to human error there could be some instances which could appear in the report. Finally, it will be the right of researcher that the printed version of this study he provides, should not be exposed or leaked in the public beside its academic purpose, without the prior approval of the researcher and his mentor.

Structure of the Report

The study conducted by the researcher is presented in this report based on the following layout:

  • Chapter 1 Introduction
    • The first chapter of the study provides an overview for this study by entailing a background to the subject of this research. It also includes the objectives of this research and the project aim. The hypotheses that are tested in the present study are also described in this chapter basing upon the research questions that are discussed by utilizing the collected data by using different tools and techniques. By the end of the chapter, chapter includes a disclaimer note and significance of the study along with the problem statement.
  • Chapter 2 Literature Review
    • This is the most crucial part of this study and the chapter includes number of theories related to the motivational factor that impose a deep impact on individuals’ behavior and attitude. Already published literatures that possess similarity to the present area of research are included as well in this chapter to provide guidance for developing a conceptual framework.
  • Chapter 3 Research Methodology
    • This chapter includes the research approaches that are utilized for carrying out this study. This research approach or methodology is derived after considering various methodologies. The techniques used for data collection and analysis are also being discussed in the chapter. By the end of the chapter, the foundation analysis and findings to formulate a conclusion to the study and testing the hypotheses established are also discussed in the chapter.
  • Chapter 4 Findings & Analysis
    • The fourth chapter of the report presents the findings and analysis derived from the data collected against the interviews conducted by the researcher. These findings are fetched by using different research tools to assess the responses to the interview questionnaire with the help of figures, tables and charts.
  • Chapter 5 Conclusion & Recommendations
    • Last chapter of this research report includes a summary of the findings of this research and base it upon the validity of the research hypotheses supported by evidences. By the end of this chapter, the researcher tries to draw some recommendations for employers and organizations to understand the importance of motivating their top managers for the success of their organizations. Also, researcher draws some recommendations for further studies on the same topic, by the end of this chapter.

Literature Review

The focus in this literature review will be on presenting an idea and importance of motivating the top managers in Kazakhstan. In this literature review, theories along with facts and figures, previously written by authors who highlighted the similar interest as this study, will be presented and evaluated. The reason for reviewing the related literature is to take an idea of what this study is about and what are the results that are tried to be evaluated. It is tried that the literature chosen for reviewing is provided from authentic and reliable sources online in order to explore the importance for organizational success through motivating the decision makers of the organization.

Theoretical Framework

A theoretical framework provides theories and concepts to support the concept of the research study. In this study, it will guide the whole research work and help in determining the statistical relationships for concluding this study (Borgatti, 1999). In the present study, theories regarding motivation, human psychology and impact of motivational factors on it, human needs, types of motivational factors and human desire to be acknowledged will be discussed.


In the past, many researchers have conducted many researches in order to clarify the concept of human psychology that reflects a specific behavior adapted by them against a situation or condition n their surroundings. Still, it has been difficult to provide a clear and concise definition to understand the concept of motivation. Before defining motivation, it is necessary to understand the origin of these phenomena.

The word motivation has its roots in the Latin word “ movere” which is defined in English as “ to move” (Furnham, 2005). Luthans (1998) also defined motivation as “it is the process that arouses, energizes, directs and sustains behavior and performance” (Stajkovic & Luthans, 1998). Zaphiris and Ang (2009) defined motivation as “a motivation is a willingness or desire triggered by an emotion or external stimulus to pursue a goal or a reason for triggering an action” (Zaphiris & Ang, 2009).

Motivation is an inner willingness of a person to perform some activity or do some work. Motivation can be seen as a person’s inspiration, enthusiasm resulted from an incentive. Another scenario for a motivated person is that he or she wants to do something because of the fear of getting punished for not completing that work (Adair, 1990). Robert Beck (2005) defined motivation generally in his book, which state that motivation is a sort of theoretical concept that helps in measuring people’s behavior regarding why they want to get engaged in certain activities at different times (Beck, 2005).

Skehan (2008) formulated four hypotheses to further elaborate theories and definitions provided by above mentioned authors. He first provided the concept of intrinsic hypothesis which draws the inherent interests and concerns of individuals. The second hypothesis was Resultative which reflects that a person’s motivational level rise and fall due to his or her actions. Internal cause was the third hypothesis suggested by Skehan in which he states that individuals fetch a number of certain motivational inputs within a particular knowledge case.

Fourth and last hypothesis indicates that motivation is the outcome of a number of external happening or mood and incentives (Skehan & Dornyei, 2008). To conclude these theories in few lines, all of them focus on defining the impact of motivating managers and employees so that they can work towards achieving organizational goals more effectively and devote their energies to take their respective organization to a position, where it can have edge over its competitors. Also, these theories defines the benefits that an organization can ripe when its decision makers are satisfied from their jobs and what they get in return for their hard work.

It is noteworthy to construe this process that creates people take definite plays and accomplish ventures that have been distributed to them. From an organizational point of view, the human capital is examined as the bulk noteworthy supplies that could assist the business achieve its intention and remain a profitable entity. Therefore, businesses deficiency to check and compute results their employees’ motivation and deliver for the factors that presently lead to greater motivation and hence greater productivity and triumph of corporate objectives. Top managers are responsible for running the business smoothly, so it is important to motivate them more as compare to other workers.

Types of Motivation

These two classifications of motivation has been paid special consideration while studying motivational literature and studying the nature of its determinants. The importance of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation has broadened the concept of motivational derives that makes top managers perform with their full capacity and devoting themselves for the betterment of their respective organizations. The distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation provided by Noels.

In his definition for both types of motivations, Noel state that extrinsically motivated behaviors are focusing on achieving goals and targets, whereas, intrinsically motivated behaviors are focusing on involving in activities that provide internal satisfaction and to cherish (Davies & Elder, 2005). Top managers are mainly focused on utilizing their work force in order to meet their targets and goals on time with superior quality. They are extrinsically motivated by their jobs’ requirements and the position they hold. Also, they perform in a better way as it makes them feel satisfied and the rewards that they get in return raise the level of internal motivation to new heights.

Extrinsic motivation can be categorized as

  1. Interjected regulation,
  2. External Regulation,
  3. Identified regulation.

The first category reflects the individual’s own pressure that he or she has created to perform a certain task and achieve the goals. External regulations refer to as the motivation that arises inside a person because of the benefits he might avail by completing tasks and goals. Third category reflects the rise of motivation due to the personal behavior and priorities he or she give to what happening at job place or daily life. Intrinsic motivation can also be divided into three categories, namely

  1. motivation derived from knowledge,
  2. accomplishment,
  3. simulation (Davies & Elder, 2005).

A manager assumes all the pressure that he is required to exert on his team in order to meet the targets on time and in a better way. He tries to perform in the most appropriate way in order to ensure that work delivered is of superior quality. This is due to the reason that he will be benefited and rewarded more as compare to his team and this further makes him grow strongly within the organization. A manager cannot be a manager until and unless he is devoted to his job.

Agarwal (2010) identified five plain models of motivation that serves employees accomplish their goals. These incorporate action motivation, cultural and societal elements of motivation, surety of incentives that results in motivating them, motivation from panic, and motivation for change. Achievement motivation is driven from manager’s yearn towards accomplish something. Motivation from culture is the desirability of executives towards accomplishes upper cultural status.

Motivation from assured incentives is based onto award payment either within the form of plain salary or bonuses that are expected from the employer. Motivation from panic is crudely driven from the uncertainty regarding the role or disadvantage that could be imposed for not doing tasks efficiently. In case of top managers, this fear becomes more severe as managers are considered to be responsible for the failure of organization. Finally, motivation for adjustment is due to the physical negative calculation of the prevailing labouring conditions and later planning for shifting to another vocation (Agarwal, 2011).

Chris Young advises six motivators that retain staff and lid administrators interested in their labour and abide via the policies of their employers. These motivators include

  1. utilitarian – motivation for cash or efficiency,
  2. experiences – motivation to learn and gain experience,
  3. social – motivation from social factors,
  4. aesthetic – motivation for superiorlaboring conditions and physical fulfilment,
  5. energy – motivation to composure oneself and others,
  6. tradition – motivation to exist according to the set values of life (Young, 2008).

Theories of Motivation

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow made a reasonable contribution towards understanding the concept of motivation in a better way. Abraham Maslow (1943) suggested dimensions to overview individuals’ needs and wants through a pyramid model which identified these needs and wants in six different phases. Maslow advice that if an employee is facing problems that has its origin from outside the organization, it would also become problematic at his work place and will put adverse effects on the work quality he or she delivers.

The model presented by Maslow state that the fundamental needs of human includes food, water, oxygen and sex and this holds the most important place. The second most essential need of a human in Maslow’s model is the feeling of security, stability, dependency, protection, freedom from fear, anxiety and chaos. Then comes the need for social recognition, being loved and trusted by the society in which an individual lives.

This also entails that, at the same time when a person needs to be loved and affiliated, he or she respect others’ rights and provide the same love and affiliation. Finally there are self-actualizing needs are related to the career goals that individuals place for themselves. The last two needs are the best fit for managers, because when a person acquires need of self esteem, he wants others to have respected for him as his respect others. When a person achieves his goal of self actualization, this is the point where he can say that he has got what he wanted. This is the most satisfied time of one’s life.

In top managers’ context, this explanation of human needs can be applied as these key position holders in any organization take fulfilling their fundamental and the safety needs as essential. When we take a look at Maslow’s pyramid model of human needs, it shows that top managers consider it important to learn techniques to easily achieving their goals and gain knowledge. (Montana & Charnov, 2008).

Managers can be benefited from Maslow’s theory in a way that it provides them a room to understand, predict and estimate the needs and wants of their sub-ordinates and team members and let them explore their worth in the context of self actualization, in order to enable them to raise their moral and produce even more better in the long term interest of their organization and for the betterment of their top managers’ career path.

Process Theory

The process theory of motivation helps to understand the cognitive process that undermines the setting of motivational level by individuals. There are various categories of process theory such as The Vroom expectancy, The Adam’s equity theory, The Needs-goal setting theory and The Reinforcement theory (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2008).

Adam’s Equity Theory

In his proposed theory, Adams (1965) suggested that individuals are going through cognitive process that helps them to observe their colleagues working in the same work place. During this process they develop their own analysis of the work and compare from the work other individuals are doing and how much effort they are putting in. The rewards that others receive are then evaluated for fairness and equity in comparison to their own.

It is implied from the equity theory that if inequity is perceived by individuals it leads to lower motivation and therefore they seek out balance (Kinicki & Kreitner, 2009). Top managers keep a check on their decisions and performance on regular basis and compare them with that of their sub-ordinates and managers of other departments, and in few cases, compare them with that of rival organizations’ manager’s performance.

Vroom Expectancy Theory

Vroom (1965) suggested a theory to broaden the concept of motivation. In his famous theory, Vroom suggested that the motivational level within employees is based upon what relation they perceive between efforts they put and the rewards in return, they get. Than these employees are able to predict what they will be getting in return of their efforts. In this way the theory implies that the motivation level of top managers could be estimated if expectancy, instrumentality and valence values can be ascertained.

Different elements of the psychological behaviour of top managers including their abilities, traits, and role perceptions along with the opportunities in the work environment contribute to the motivational force. Employers need to understand how employees develop expectancy of values and how they link efforts to rewards. Also employees need to ensure that reward compensation is not inequitable (Koontz & Weihrich, 2007).

Needs Goal-Setting Theory

This theory was presented by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham (1990), in which they proposed that setting up specific and challenging goals might help managers to increase the motivational level not only within themselves, but also among their team members. These managers also help their colleagues to assess and keep a check on their work performance towards achieving organizational goals. Time to time feedback on regular intervals play an important role to increase motivation level (Dfat & Marcic, 2010).

The Reinforcement Theory

The reinforcement theory focus on the existing relationship among employees’ behavior and its resultants by bringing about a change in the job related behavior by using tools such as rewards or punishments (Daft & Lane, 2007).

Human Need Theory

The limitations of Maslow’s hierarchy theory urged the need to formulate a complete theory that fill up the gaps of Maslow’s theory. Therefore, McClelland (1987) proposed a theory which is widely known as Human Need Theory. McClelland’s theory tries to understand the impact of fulfillment of the acquired needs that employees learn when they are experiencing new situations and events throughout their lives.

Three categories of these needs are achievement, affiliation and power. McClelland pressed hard on the phenomena individuals perform in a better way when they know the rewards and achievement. He also suggested that individuals need to be affiliated due to their desire for being accepted and accompanied in the society in which they exist. The human desire to be authoritarian and controlling others arouses the need for power.

When these needs of individuals are fulfilled, they are highly motivated and experiences a self developed attitude of being humble with their co-workers and deliver quality work at their work place (Nelson & Campbell, 2011).

Number of studies by past researchers attempted to clarify the impact of being empowered resulting in superior work quality deliverance by managers. It is also evident, that an empowered manager grows quickly and strongly within an organization and gain expertise related to his professional work nature (Duxbury & Higgins, 2001). A top manager never practice firm hold on his team members until and unless he is been empowered, his performance and contribution in the organizations’ well being is recognized, he is rewarded financially or morally for his work quality and he is achieving in his career what he has planned for.

Previous Studies on Motivation

In this section, the emphasis will be on studying the work of past researchers regarding the same topic and what they have found out in their studies. Also, how effective their studies were in determining the impact of motivational factors on decision makers’ ability to deliver what is expected from them by the employers.

Top managers are the CEOs, CFOs, General directors and managers, Directors of intra-organizational departments, Presidents, Vice-presidents and other high level managers of any organization. All of them are considered to be the brain of the organization that are responsible to make sure that the firm is effectively implementing and following the strategies designed by them, as these strategies aim to achieve the organizational goals and targets. Therefore, keeping these top managers motivated and focused on their tasks holds an importance that no one can deny of (Hitt et al., 2009).

Motivating top management is important because these top managers work as a catalyst to life the organizational performance to new highs and makes sure that organizations’ strategic decisions are been implemented and followed on all the levels. Incorporating organization’s goals and targets to the business practices needs the support of the managers so this is essential that they are served with what their basic needs are so they can put their best efforts and focus on the tasks that are assigned to them by the employer.

One way of motivating top manager can be that the employer reflects his honest commitment to his or her managers, show that his or her managers are trustworthy and the performance they deliver is satisfactory. At this point, Blau’s (1964) theory of social exchange seems to be viable, in which he described that individuals show their commitment to those who are beneficial to them.

In top management’s context, when the employer supplement top management with extra benefits, beside their salaries and compensation, these managers will never think about switching to an alternative job due to increased satisfaction from the present job and put more good efforts to earn something better than before for their organization. It should be kept in mind that managers’ trust on his employer plays a vital role in his development.

Trust on employer will lead to increased confidence within top managers that the intentions and actions of their employer are not only focusing on getting the business to some better place, but also maximizing the chances of serving top management’s interests in the best possible manner. This is evident from various studies that organization’s honest commitment towards improving and developing the top management put a positive impact on their behavior (Kim & Mauborgne, 1993).

Managers need to be motivated by employers in order to make them complete those tasks that are undesirable, either for them or for others, so that the organizational operations keep on running smoothly. This reflects the importance of keeping managers motivated because it impacts the health and morale of an organization. Unmotivated managers experience too much work load and stress which results in lower productivity.

Managers’ lower productivity consequently reduces the productivity of that manager’s team and their morale is destroyed. Another harmful effect of unmotivated leaders is that they also destroy the career of people who work under them (Mind Tools, 2011).

David Gebler (2009) wrote in his column that keeping the managers motivated in tough economic times might reduce the adverse impact on overall organization. Communication play a vital role in keeping managers motivated which entails that they are being listened and know how important their contribution is in the success or failure of the organization. Gebler also wrote that top managers are the key in maintaining the focus of the employees and his team members on the organizational goals.

These top executives link the bridge between the strategies of the organization and performance of the workers. Gebler pointed out that top manager bears most of the harmful effects and they are the most frustrated personals in the organization, which requires motivating them either by financial means or by boosting their morals by supplementing their emotions and inner feelings (Gebler, 2009).

Jack West and Charles Cianfrani (2005) discussed the factors that motivate the top management. They wrote in their book that the top management is motivated to deliver superior work if it is prescribed by the standards and codes of the organization. The discussed the responsibilities that a top manager has to perform in an organization. According to them, top management is responsible for planning, organizing, leading and controlling the overall systems and workers who run those systems in order to achieve the already laid down results.

Keeping this in view, it is important for the employer to keep the top management motivated and compensated if he or she wants to achieve what he or she has thought of. To keep the operations running smoothly, a balance between various elements and factors of the organization is necessary, and for this reason, top managers are hired. These managers are being motivated because they are the one who have expertise and knowledge in how to achieve organizational goals effectively and by utilizing fewer resources to minimize the costs (West & Cianfrani, 2005).

There are number of factors that motivate top managers to perform with their full strength. Some top managers get motivated by an increment in salaries or availing bonuses. There are top managers whose center of motivation lies in the nature of job, i.e. if their jobs are interesting and challenging, they take it as a chance to satisfy their cognitive requirements. Top managers also get motivated because of their achievements in life.

Job security, participation in decision making processes, remuneration and ad-on on salary, yearly holidays, sending them to foreign countries to seek professional training and providing them a chance to develop their selves and advance in their career are other motivators that keep the top managers focusing on their tasks and jobs (Barkma, 1995).

Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne (1993) also discussed the motivational factors that keep the top management delivering superior performance and benefiting organization. The added material remuneration such as moral uplifting and innovativeness in the overall organizational structure and processes as an important motivational catalyst. Chan and Renee also discussed about the economic and social structure of a country as a motivating factor for the top management. If the economic condition of a country is good and favorable, it is easier for top management to make decisions and deliver superior results. The level of competition in respective industries has also been identified as an important factor on the course of motivating top management (Kim & Mauborgne, 1993).

Frederick Herzberg et al. (1959) along with his companions brought about few changes in Maslow’s theory of motivation. This theory presented by Herzberg is widely known as two-factor theory of motivation. Herzberg divided the motivational factors in two groups. The first group included things like company policies, supervision, administration, working conditions, interpersonal relations, job security, social status and personal life.

These external factors are commonly known as hygiene factors that have their origin in external environment of organization. The second group included internal factors impact in a positive manner on the level of satisfaction that an employee might experience. These internal factors are enhancing and increasing the level of interest factor in the job’s nature, recognizing and appraising the work done, handling over more responsibilities to the employees so that they know the importance of work assigned to them and the chances to let employees grow within an organizational set up (Koontz & Weihrich, 2007).

Although, Herzberg attempted to remove the flaws in Maslow’s theory, but his theory also had to face criticism. Vroom (1964) held opinion that Herzberg’s theory indicated the human behavior with respect to different scenarios and situations that might arise in work place. Evan (1974) also attempted to oppose Herzberg’s theory by saying that it only focus on specific areas of jobs performed by employees and deny the other dimensions and scenarios that have an impact on individual’s behavior and attitude towards their work.

Nash (1985) viewed different motivational sectors in his work. He said that what motivates a person varies from person to person. One might get motivated from intrinsic factors and the others might find motivation in fulfilling their extrinsic requirements. In the same manner, top managers’ job satisfaction requires different level of motivational factors to keep them focused on their goals and targets. Every manager possesses certain behavioral and perceptual traits that differ from others.

This difference in perceptions and behavior makes it even more difficult for employers to adopt a generalized strategy to keep the top management happy and motivated (Nash, 1985). Andrew Stevens (2005) added his views to Nash’s discussion by saying that it is not beneficial to formulate the same strategy to motivate one manager that has been implemented to satisfy other managers. Employers have to consider various factors and requirements of each manager before developing any strategy to motivate his or her top managers (Andrew, 2005).

There are other techniques to keep managers motivated and devoted towards their work. They can find the source of motivation in being valued and paid proper attention to what they say and suggest, by the employers. These managers should have an inner feeling of having a sense of purpose to stay in the organization and should be provided with better chances of learning and growing on the wide spectrum of the organization.

Employers can play their part by providing time to time feedback on what they want and how well the managers are responding to these requirements. Managers should be acknowledged that they are going on the right path and suitable recognition should be provided, in the form on monetary and other incentives, when the organizational goals and milestones are achieved. The more employers is people employee oriented, rather than on maximizing the profits, the more these employees will be confident and focused on achieving organizational goals and maximizing the earnings of the business.

In order to increase the involvement and honesty of the top management with the organization, they should know the purpose of their presence in the business. If they know how bigger part they are playing on the corporate level and how their decisions are handy in creating a difference, employer will have to face reduced switching by these managers and reduced absenteeism. Time to time communication with the managers by the employers, discussing managers’ problems, providing them solution, listening to what they suggest to improve the mechanisms and answering their questions also build stronger trusts on the employer and increase satisfaction level (International Management Consultants, 2011).

Efere (2005) also pressed the importance of job satisfaction in keeping the top managers motivated and focused on their assigned jobs. Efere discussed that job satisfaction provides the organization with an expectancy of achieving its goals by keeping job switching and absenteeism among employees in control. Reduced satisfaction from the job leads to managers exhibiting lower commitment levels towards the employer and consequently to the organization and its goals.

This dissatisfaction might lead to manager switching to other jobs in other organizations. In this scenario, organizations have to possess human resource policies that focus more on developing and offering more incentives to the managers so that their needs and wants can be fulfilled. These policies might include features in job design, like job enlargement to broaden the scope of the job. Job enlargement is a horizontal process of designing a job which enables the organization to expand the tasks required from a specific job horizontally.

Another technique to motivate the top management is to enrich their jobs through job enrichment techniques which require the employer to hand over greater authority and responsibilities to the managers. Job enrichment is a vertical job designing technique that increases the level of involvement of managers in the decision making processes of the organization (Efere, 2005).

Wagar (1998) stated that job satisfaction leads to higher motivation level, in this way they are interrelated. This is essential for business to undermine techniques to raise satisfaction of top managers within the organization and implement these techniques to increase the motivational levels of top managers so that they can deliver superior work quality and take organization to new heights (Wiesner & McDonald, 2001). This discussion leads to propose the first research question of this study:

Motivating top management has always been a center of focus because this also impacts the performance of the middle managers and workers who work under them. Top management’s ability to motivate and lead people in their organizations is critical to the success of the organization. The middle management and their teams always look upon the top management and count on it to lead them effectively and guide them under dark times and passages that come on the course of achieving organizational goals and targets.

The top management is responsible to take difficult and crucial decisions and navigating the sub-ordinates through the ever changing environment of the market place. C.E.Os, C.F.Os and other top management personals assumes most of the risk that the organization is exposed to; they seek opportunities and chances for change and work as an agent of implementing change. Therefore, motivating top management holds an equally important responsibility for the employer because motivating the top management is directly linked to enhanced productivity and effectiveness of the middle management and employees who work under them (Ceridian Corporation, 2005).

Barry Freeman and Joel Rogers (1999) described the benefits of motivating top managers to the organization. They stated that motivating the top management personals not only helps the organization to succeed in its strategies and plans, but also help it to retain the team that has delivered superb results and proved to be the pillars of success throughout the organization’s life. Even if these managers are bored of their jobs, there exists a possibility that they are being moved to some other departments or some other country, if the organization is operating internationally (Freeman & Rogers, 1999).

Geoffrey Potts, et al (2006) discussed the use of punishment as motivating top managers. He presented different types of punishments that can be used by employers to set the direction for top managers on the right track. It is imperative that the punishment given against a bad performance should not exceed the limits, i.e. it should not be that much strict that it makes the manager to resign from the organization. The employer might punish its managers by reducing their salaries, by reducing the amount of bonuses and incentives they are availing or by cutting some amount that is equal to the amount of money that the organization has to lose because of managers’ fault, from their salaries.

Providing comments over the mistakes or criticizing and analyzing the performance in the presence of the responsible managers can also be effective. An organization might also issue warning notices or show cause notices to the managers to explain their position over issues. Despite of the fact that punishment can be a handy tool to provide a chance to top managers to improve their own self and do better than before in the favor of organization.

In turn the management relating to operational level is also forced to adjust itself in accordance with the objectives of the organization. According to Geoffery and his co-authors, demoting top manager is the most unpopular tactic to improve their performance. It might result in the manager resigning from the organization or morally destroying his expectations about his career. This will lead to even more worst performance delivered by these individuals (Potts et al., 2006).

Ardichvili and Kuchinke (2002) conducted a comparative study of leadership styles and cultural values among Kazakhstan and other ex-Soviet states. They used Bass/Avolio’s theory of leadership based on the transformational leadership styles which entails the individualized consideration, intellectual stimulation, charismatic characteristics and inspirational motivation among the top managers in Kazakhstan and other central Asian nations.

Their study concluded that in Kazakhstan, contingent rewards, appraisals and inspirational motivational tools produces better results. The study also revealed the fact that in Kazakhstan, top management practice both transformational and transactional styles. Also, Kazak organizational leaders hesitate in providing a chance to their sub-ordinates to take an affective part in the decision making processes and limit their autonomy. They act more like dictators and relationship with the employers play a vital role in availing the incentives and rewards (De Hoogh & Den Hartog, 2008).

Performance is not considered an important factor to qualify for the incentives, rewards or promotion. Beside performance and relationships, employers expect from the managers to handle issues and problems themselves and do not burden on the employer to solve a particular problem, no matter major or minor. Ardichvili and Kuchinke (2002) also pointed out that the employers do not pay special consideration to their top managers until and unless, the top manager holds a key position in the organization or he is of core importance to the organization (Ardichvili & Kuchinke, 2002).

Marshall Goldsmith and Louis Carter (2010) defined motivating top manager as an integral part of managing the talent. They developed a process of assessing top managers’ performance and then providing them additional benefits to motivate them. This process consists of 6 phases, i.e. business diagnosis, assessment, program design, implementation, on the job support and evaluation. They stated that evaluating a manager’s performance can be a simple process, because it can be accessed on the basis of the quarterly returns that the company has earned.

Work history, success of the projects that the individual top managers has leaded and the skills they possess can also be counted as supporting factors to either provide benefits or punish these managers for the sake of motivating them to perform in the favor of the organization. Goldsmith and Carter also quoted the Model of Potential, in which it was presented a set of assessments that factors performance, abilities and predictors of potential to provide a score of promotability for motivating top managers (Goldsmith & Carter, 2010).

Nancy Shanks (2007) wrote in her book that managers are the one who are suppose to motivate the work force to perform well in order to achieve organizational goals. Motivating workforce is a challenge and these top managers are one who assumes all the challenges and pressure to pursue work force to perform certain organizational tasks. Keeping this in mind, it is essential that top managers themselves, should be motivated, either by the employers or by the environment that has surrounded the organization.

Also, managers are the one, whose jobs are at stake when they are assigned organizational goals and targets to be achieved within a time span, so these organizational goals and targets becomes their personal goals. Beside these organizational targets, managers have some career goals in their minds, which can be achieved by delivering superior quality work within the organization. For the sake of meeting these personal goals, managers need to motivate the employees to fulfill the requirements so that they can be achieved. Managers’ motivation arises from this point, when their personal goals are met and they receive appreciation or certain incentives from the employer.

But in the overall scenario presented above, again top managers are sandwiched between the employer and the employees working under them. They have to face a continuous challenge to meet the needs and achieving the goals of both these parties. In this situation, if the top management is not motivated and they are not being supplemented with some intrinsic and extrinsic motivational doses, the whole organizational setup might put itself in higher risk which can cause debacle (Shanks, 2007). This discussion leads to formulating the second research question of this study which is

Conceptual Framework

Conceptual Framework.
Figure 1. Conceptual Framework.

This diagram describes the research questions of this study which aims to find out what are the intrinsic and extrinsic factors of motivation and how they affect the performance of decision making authorities. For this reason, thoroughly studied literature was used, which was published from different academic sources. Once, the researcher finds out the answers to the research questions, appropriate conclusion can be drawn to clarify the importance of motivating top managers and how it is beneficial for them and organization.


Motivating top managers is a tough ask for any employer because in most scenarios, employers do not completely understand the concepts, principles and techniques of motivating their managers, they find them unable to incorporate motivational tactics in their businesses. Motivated managers lead to organization’s success. In this literature review, it was tried to present a clear and concise view of different theories of motivation, their adaptation and the impact of this motivational factors on the top managers’ attitude and behaviour within organization under different scenarios.

It also helps to understand the similarities and distinctiveness of both extrinsic and intrinsic factors of motivation and in identifying the lapse and flaws of previous researches that are being conducted on the same topic and area of interest. As the focus of this study is on motivating top managers in the state of Kazakhstan, it is tried to keep concentration on understanding different factors of motivation that has deep impact on top managers in the country. On the basis of this literature review, researcher formulated tow basic hypothesis on the basis of which, the whole findings and analysis part of this study will be based.



Selecting a suitable research methodology plays a vital role in completing a study successfully as it assists researcher to achieve the desired results. It is essential for any researcher to understand the available methodologies and then selecting the most appropriate one taken into consideration the nature and objectives of the research. Present chapter focus on presenting the methodology adopted for this study and assesses the data obtained from the respondents.

Utilization of different research tools and sources of data, i.e. qualitative methodology adopted are also discussed in this chapter. Also, the approach to assessment of primary and secondary data obtained to design a logical conclusion to the present study are also overviewed together with the reasoning and limitations of the methodology adopted. This chapter also presents the process through which the researcher gathers and uses primary and secondary sources of information. Selection of sample, the target population and the sample size is also been discuss in this chapter.

Research Methodology

Adopted Research Methodology

For reaching a conclusion, qualitative research approach has been selected in order to make sure that the primary goals and targets are met in the given time frame. The reason for selecting qualitative approach is that it is facilitating in manipulation of the selected data to present a conclusive result by utilizing the information available to the researcher and in presenting the results of the study in a subjective manner.

Qualitative methodology is beneficial because it helps is setting out new hypothesis and makes it easier for researcher to analyze the validity and reliability of research questions or problems (Marlow and Boone 2011).

Keeping in view the nature of this study, the use of qualitative approach is justified as it focuses on extending the theories and findings of studies conducted in past, and at the same time, presenting new aspects of the subject under study. The study provides an in depth understanding of the different motivational factors and their impact on top managers working in different organizations in the state of Kazakhstan.

Readers should know that qualitative methodology limits the scope of the research and makes it difficult for utilizing it in generalized conditions. Similar methodology has been adopted by researchers in past, for instance, researchers Jack and Charles (2005) used this methodology to present the factors that are highly responsible for motivating top managers. Efere (2005) studies he importance of job satisfaction in keep top managers highly motivated, by utilizing the qualitative methodology. In this manner, the utilization of qualitative inductive approach is justified to obtain the desired results of present study.

Inductive Approach

For the purpose of conducting this research, inductive research method has been chosen. It works best in combination of qualitative research methodology as the researcher can continue altering the data measured results based upon the experiences of the research. Inductive research method has been applied by many researchers and investigators as it allows inquiry-based learning and generalization.

This is because, in these studies, the researcher is required to formulate hypothesis to test the validity of subject that is been studied by the researcher. But it is also important that the hypothesis that researcher is trying to test are not been studied in past. The inductive approach to research limits the study to remain under specific research premises and analyze the hypothesis validity on the basis of available information, legalities and academic models that are been implemented by the past researchers in their respective work.

Also, the inductive approach facilitates the researcher to build clarity in his/her definitions to the factors and components of the subject of the study and reduce the ambiguities that are expected to arise in the work (Burney 2008). The present study aims at studying the impact of different motivational factors on top managers’ performance in the State of Kazakhstan, so the implementation of inductive approach helps the researcher in testing the hypothesis, because the limited number of respondents selected for the sample and the responses they provide can easily be generalized.

Data Collection Techniques

Sampling is a process in conducting a research study, in which the researcher selects a population, group or groups from population to carry out his research on them. The sample or respondents provide responses that the researcher uses to test the hypotheses through analyzing these responses (Fuller, 2009).

The sampling approach adopted in this study is non-probability purposive sampling. Purposive sampling technique enables a researcher to choose respondents keeping in mind the purpose of the study. The purposive sampling either aims at assessing the entire population of a limited circle or a subcategory of that population. Purposive sampling has been successful when it comes to studying an organizational setting, societal groups or a limited group (QMSS 2011).

Based on purposive sampling technique, researcher selected 25 top managers working in Kazakhstan’s different organizations. These companies included Bazis International, BTA Bank, Katelco, Kazakh telecom, Zaman Bank, BG Kazakhstan, BP Kazakhstan, Conoco Phillips, Matin JV, Nations Energy Company Ltd, Nelson Resources, Maersk Oil Kazakhstan GmBH, Shell Kazakhstan, Statoil, Petro Kazakhstan, Halyk Bank, Air Astana, Almaty Aviation, SCAT, Zhetsyu, Burundaivia, Alferon Management, Kazakh gold, Kazzinc and Kazatomprom. From the selected sample of 25 top managers, 13 individuals are male and 12 are women.

Amongst these 6 are holding CEO positions in their organizations whereas 17 are Deputy CEOs who are heads of their respective departments, and only 2 interviewee is a middle level manager. The reason for inquiring this question is achieved as it has been observed that all respondents who are interviewed belong to senior / top manager category. Moreover, the findings suggest that 44% of these top managers are economists, 23% are engineers, 15% are lawyers, 6% of the respondents are marketers and 4% are operational managers where as the remaining 8% interviewees belong to different specialties.

Researcher selected top managers of these companies working at different decision making positions and conducted their interviews to gather information that is to be used in finding and analysis part. A list of top managers working in these organizations is obtained by the researcher from company gazettes and yellow papers.

Primary Research

Primary information and data is collected through face to face semi-structured interviews with top managers working in organizations of Kazakhstan. These organizations include both national and multinationals. The sample consists of 25 top managers holding key responsibilities in multinationals and national organizations of Kazakhstan. For conducting interviews, the researcher has designed interview questionnaires that consists of several semi structured questions.

As the nature of this study is qualitative, researcher has based the interview questions on the assessment of previously published studies and literature related to the same topic and analyzed different factors of motivation and their impact on the performance of top managers in Kazakhstan. The conceptual framework presented in chapter 2 helped the researcher to set hypothesis regarding the impact on performance of motivation factors.

The structure of the interview questionnaire consists of close ended questions in majority. The researcher has carried out extensive understanding of different dimensions of motivation to make it easier to carry out finding and analysis process. Questions that demand descriptive responses from the respondents focus on examining individual’s preferences regarding which motivation factor is more beneficial.

Purpose of Interviewing

Interviewing the target respondents enables the researcher to understand the phenomenon by listening to people’s live experiences and their perceptions and beliefs. In this way, a researcher gets answers to the research questions, test hypothesis on the basis of information retrieved from respondents’ responses and evaluate the information and data gathered to present a logical conclusion in the form of results of the study. Studies using qualitative methodology are mostly based on interviews which require the researcher to take interest in target sample’s stories and experiences. This is the reason that it is hard to classify responses through coding or some numerical figure (Seidman 2006).

Schutz (1967) defined interviewing as data collection technique which enables the researcher to understand the context of people’s attitude and behavior and to interpret the meanings of these behaviors and attitudes to achieve the objectives of the study. This is the reason that quantitative researches mostly do not make use of interviews (Monette, Sullivan and Dejong 2011).

Semi Structured Interviews

Semi structured interviews enables the researcher to adopt a open and flexible framework while interviewing target respondents and provides a room to focus on obtaining the required information through a two way conversation. A usual semi structured interview might start with general questions and discussion regarding the relevant topic to the subject of the study. The biggest benefit of using this interview tool is that it is not complicated and intrusive to the respondents and allows them to ask counter questions. Another advantage is that it allows the researcher to check the validity of already known theories (FAO 2011).

In a nut shell, semi structured interviews is a two way verbal communication, involving an interviewer and interviewee, where the interviewer is the researcher and interviewee is the respondent. These interviewers give participants the freedom to explore and understand issues (Clifford and Valentine 2010).

Thematic Analysis

Researchers in past has utilized thematic analysis for the analysis of qualitative data, but this method for analysis has received less recognition, therefore has been used less than other tools. This is due to the reason that this tool is difficult to use and the quality of results obtained is also of low quality. As compare to other qualitative analysis tolls, thematic analysis makes use of theories and phenomenon very little. All the researcher has to do is to adopt themes related to the literature review and should have an idea about what has been said and concluded in past studies included in literature review. It is possible to bring suitable changes to the variables and coding assigned to them, as the study moves from one stage to another (Aronson 1994).

To analyze the data obtained from interviews, the researcher use thematic analysis and presents how the information collected in inter linked with the theories and models presented by previous studies for the assessment of validity of research questions.

Interview Guideline

Questions in the semi-structured interview are open ended that can be altered flexibly for the purpose of achieving the target. Close ended question limit a research that results in approximate result achievement instead of reaching the goal. Based on the literature review, researcher can alter questions because of no pre-determined nature of the questions. Consequently, different areas of research can be addressed by the interviewees with semi-structures interview.

It may include concepts and clear understanding of theories and phenomena to further inquire about certain factors or elements that are not clearly answered or incompletely respond by the respondents. For instance, Question number 7 asks the participants whether they spend excess time on their jobs or not. Here, researcher can ask further questions like, what keep them motivated to work extra hours or is it fear of not completing tasks on time, that keep them working in excess hours.

Basis for Analysis

This study focus on identifying the factors that motivates the top managers working in different organizations of Kazakhstan and the effectiveness of these factors towards positive attitude of these managers for their assigned jobs and tasks. For this reason, researcher considers different dimensions of motivation that have a deep impact on top managers’ performance and help organizations create a sound reward system to supplement the efforts of thee top managers in order to keep them highly interested in their jobs and make them deliver superior quality work.

The assessment of the qualitative data gathered does not put limitations on the presentation of results and findings. Instead, for validating the results and findings, the researcher uses thematic analysis to analyze descriptive questions in order to mention the interrelatedness motivational factors and top managers’ performance within an organizational setup. As the researcher completes the summarizing the responses collected, already published studies and literature is considered to carry out the descriptive analysis.

In the end, researcher draws a conclusion which entails the ranking of motivational factors and the degree of effectiveness of each factor. Also, the researcher presents certain recommendations in order to design a case for motivational factors and their effectiveness to keep top managers highly motivated.

Secondary Data

For reviewing the related literature provided by past researchers on the same context, researcher utilized the secondary data regarding the motivational factors and its impact on top managers in Kazakhstan. Researcher tried to use the publically published information only and took prior approval of companies before using their internal data. Researchers used both online and offline mediums to gather information.

These mediums included online and offline published scholarly articles, books, newspapers, human resource research papers, journal articles, company reports and other published and available sources. The offline sources for carrying out secondary research have been approached within the university library. These sources proved to be beneficial in developing objectives of this study regarding the motivation factors and their relation to top managers’ performance in their respective organization.

Justification to the Study

The adopted research methodology shall work in the best possible manner as this combination of research methodologies have been done by a great number of researchers finding the determinants of motivating executives of organizations. Goldsmith and Carter (2010) also made use of the combination of qualitative research method with the advancement of inductive approach where a limited number of interviewees were selected to estimate the factors. Also, Shanks (2007) suggests that motivation and its link to managers can be well studied by conducting semi-structured interviews. This will allow the researcher to go through a number of phenomena and theoretical basis for estimating the results.

In addition to the researchers using inductive approach for estimating the impact of motivational initiatives on managers, past research can also be justified as the most imperative source of data. The area of analyzing managers’ role in organizations includes popular researches such as Barkma (1995) who estimated ample basis of analysis for understanding factors that motivate managers within organizations. Interviews can help in reaching the hypotheses of the research because they provide in-depth information of cases of managers as done in the previous researches by Beck (2005), Dfat and Marcic (2010).

Limitation of the Study

Although the adopted research methodology seems to be the most suitable one keeping in view the focus of this study, which examines the impact of different motivational factors on the performance of top managers in Kazakhstan, still there are number of limitations that will be discussed in the coming lines.

  • The major limitation of this study is the availability of information on the subject. There has not been much work done on the impact of motivating top managers in the State of Kazakhstan. For this reason, the researcher has to work hard to find valuable and related information.
  • The purposive sampling approach adopted for the sampling might result in adding a certain level of subjectivity and an element of biasness in the responses collected from the selected sample.
  • Since the nature of present study requires the researcher to conduct interviews of top managers working in different organization in Kazakhstan, it might limit the scope of the study. Reason behind this is the top managers selected from the organizations in Kazakhstan might provide the similar responses regarding the impact of motivational factors. As result, there will be lower level of diversification in the responses which will also cause difficulty in analyzing these responses.
  • Certain factors, like time constraints and costs incurred to carry out the primary research, which have a deep impact on the scope of this study. Due to the unavailability of funds from outside or from the university, researcher has tried his best to keep the costs under control and minimum.



This chapter presents the findings that have been collected by the researcher through interviews by utilizing an interview guideline specifically designed for the present study. The chapter entails the responses of the interviewees who are approached by the researcher to find valid and reliable answers to the research questions. After the findings are presented, the researcher presents his discussion in the light of the previously published literature discussed in chapter 2 of this report. In the discussion section, the researcher tries to build the link with the literature reviewed and the answers fetched from the responses of the interviewees, which include the top managers working organizations in Kazakhstan.

Job Satisfaction

A question inquired interviewees about their working relationship with the current employer. This question allowed the interviewer to determine the experience and satisfaction from job of individuals being interviewed. The findings indicate that 10 of the top managers have been working with their present employers between 3 and 5 years. Another nine interviewees are working with their companies for more than 5 years.

Also, five individuals are such that they have been working with their current employers for the last 1-2 years at their current work place. In addition, to these there is one individual who has been with his present employer for over 10 years. The results clearly indicate the choice of individuals for data collection is an appropriate one and the outcome to be achieved from the present study can be extended to a bigger sample group. Longer periods of association with current employers may be suggestive of that these individuals are happy and somewhat satisfied with their current positions.

Another question aimed to identify the relationship of financial compensation with job satisfaction. Concerning the interviewees’ level of satisfaction with the job, organization and the salary packages, none of interviewees answered that they are unsatisfied. Fewer respondents are not definite that they are satisfied or unsatisfied with their jobs and majority agrees with the idea that they are highly satisfied with the organization they are working in.

This is common explanation of their job satisfaction. Concerning those who cannot exactly answer whether they are satisfied or not satisfied with their jobs, it is assumed that it is because of responsibilities that these top managers have and these responsibilities do not relate to their area of interest. Overall the satisfaction levels among the interviewees is high which suggests that in Kazakhstan, employers focus more on motivating their employees and managers to increase their level of interest to work for the better of organizations.

Majority of the interviewees believe that their actions and decisions do matter for the performance of the company and they are accountable for what they plan and implement. This is the reason that fourteen interviewees think that the job nature and work place environment is favorable for them to practice their skills. Also, most of the interviewees also think that their job is an interesting one which keeps them highly motivated and excited about achieving their assigned targets and goals.

More than ten of the interviewees are of the view that it is an honor for them to serve their respective organizations and they are highly satisfied with it. Here, the importance of the role played by human resource system of organization is crucial as it is the primary responsibility of this to make employees’ jobs interesting. Also, the importance of organizational hierarchy and organization’s culture cannot be denied as it maintains the favorable environment within the organization.

Most Effective Motivational Factor

Reason for questions about top managers’ preferences of how they want to get motivated, is to identify the different motivators and top managers rank them. Answering to the question “What kind of motives make you work”, majority of interviewees answer that salaries and other financial benefits are the primary motives for them to work. This is supportive of the idea that extrinsic factors are increasingly becoming important to the individuals to decide whether to stay in their current jobs.

Job motivation is another motive that keeps people’s interest in their jobs and organizations. Four interviewees think that job should be interesting, important, and challenging. In addition to these factors there are other factors such as individuals’ ability to achieve goals and objectives and job stability related to their jobs are also indicated as important motivational factors. This result gives an idea that monetary motivators are more likely to influence top managers’ behavior positively than other motivators, but at the same time, few interviewees identified that achievement of goals and targets is more motivating to them as compare to monetary motives.

As the need for recognition and achievement identified by Maslow, managers need a certain social status in the society they are living in, and the monitory remuneration and incentives they are paid at their work place help them to raise and sustain their social status.

Question that allows the interviewer to identify the role of self-actualization in motivating the top managers. Interviewees, when asked about the role of public recognition, holding a decision making authority and perks in uplifting their motivational levels, favors public encouragement and decision making power more. Few individuals are of the view that appraisal from sub-ordinates and colleagues play a vital role for managers to devote themselves for the better of organization.

Perks like gasoline expenses and opportunities for informal activities do not contribute much to increase motivation among top managers which suggests that it is necessary to maintain the respect for top managers, not only by the people who are working under them, but also by the higher authorities. Also, recognition of their efforts also stimulate their moral urge them to put more efforts.

When the top managers are asked to rank three top motivational factors, they are more in favor of being provided a chance for career advancement. Nine of the interviewees think that having a chance to advance to higher levels of their career worth more than anything to them. Opportunity for self development ranks second as eight interviewees think that it would enable them to perform well at job and achieve their targets efficiently.

Third come a good remuneration package as six of interviewees responded in the favor. One of the top managers ranked all three factors equally and said that importance of each three of them cannot be denied. A conclusion that can be drawn upon from these result presents the idea that fulfilling their personal needs and helping them to achieve their personal goals and targets also put positive impact on top managers performance and urge them to deliver quality work.

A question comparing different motivational factors also helps to identify top managers’ preferences regarding motivation. When the interviewer asked interviewees to provide a comparison of motivators between each other in terms of effectiveness of them, brought the following results. High salary is proffered than high status in the company. Confidence in tomorrow is more preferred than high salary.

Friendly atmosphere in the company and good relationships with colleagues more preferred than high salaries and confidence in tomorrow regarding self future. Stability of the company is more preferred than high status, corporate activities and self-realization. Meanwhile, self-realization has greater motivating power than high salary, confidence in tomorrow, friendly atmosphere, and high status in the company. Ability of using creative potential and independence is more preferable than friendly atmosphere and public recognition. In comparison of high salary and ability of using creative potential, both of them have equal contribution. There are motivators that are not preferred to others at all: high status, informal and corporate activities, public recognition and good working conditions.

Another question focuses on identifying the impact of different extrinsic and intrinsic factors regarding motivating the top managers. According to the interviewees, the most influential motivators to keep them devoted towards their jobs are monetary remuneration, moral stimulation, innovations in the company and general social-economic situation in the country. After these motivators, the personal mood of sub-ordinates and employees working under the interviewees also influence top managers’ devotion towards work. Most of the managers think that fear of losing job and competition inside and outside the company do affect their motivation.

Also, most of the interviewees could not definitely answer whether disciplinary measures affect on their motivation or not. These results suggest that the internal and external environment of the organization also plays a crucial role to keep the top managers interested to work in an organizational setup and to make decisions that proves to be beneficial for the organization.

Amount of Excess Time Managers Spend on Job

Reason for asking this question is to identify the level of commitment that top managers show towards their respective organizations. Majority of the top managers, who are interviewed, spend between 16 to 50 hours beside their routine working hours per month which suggests that these top managers are working despite of the demanding nature of their jobs. This could be due to their motivation to seek challenges and the amount of incentives they receive for their extra efforts.

It also provides an idea that the top managers might spend more time at work due to the work load or tight schedules, which may become a cause of fatigue or demonization among them. Out of twenty five interviewees, four individuals spend less than 15 excess hours at work, three top managers spend up to 100 hours of excess time at work place, and two individuals spend more than 100 hours per month. There are three interviewees who do not spend over time at their work place.

Future Prospects

Concerning the managers’ plans for the next two years, eighteen of all interviewees are going to stay in the same company at current position which may suggest that individuals are experiencing higher level of job satisfaction and they are not interested in moving to another job. On other hand, three interviewees are going to change their job and switch some other organization with one emphasizing not to change it. Also, the remaining three did not any definite answer in reply to this question.

Punishment as Motivator

This question inquires from the interviewees about their perception of using punishment as a motivator and is it necessary to punish or not. There are mixed responses collected through the interview. As being a motivational factor, only 4 of the interviewees agree with the idea that punishment should be use to motivate individuals. There are 15 interviewees, who think that it is unfair to use punishment as a motivator and the remaining 6 provided uncertain responses.

They neither agree with the idea nor they believe that punishment cannot be use to motivate employees. Maybe, they are just not sure to give exact answer. This questions provides an idea of how unpopular motivator, punishment is. Overall, it is understood that punishment is not preferred method of motivation.

The next question identifies the effectiveness of different punishment methods to motivate individuals. When the interviewees from top management were asked about how they rank different punishment methods they identify most efficient ones as monetary punishments: reduction of salaries, reduction of premiums, monetary penalties, etc. Then come admonishments and reproves. Top managers think that employees including themselves need to have a chance to improve themselves and to correct mistakes if highlighted.

Also, there are top managers who think that employees and managers with poor job performance should be punished with a stern approach according to rules defined by the company, law, and employment contract. Small number of interviewees mentioned the demotions and firing can be implemented for ensuring that employees can understand the consequences of poor performances.



The findings of this dissertation are designed in such a manner that they provide a view of all aspects of this study in detailed manner. As provided in the conceptual framework of present study, the objective is to understand the motivational requirement of top managers and different motivators that are use by the employers to motivate their decision makers in Kazakhstan. In this section of the chapter, the findings obtained from the interviews of top managers working in organizations of Kazakhstan, is discuss in light of the research questions formulated in the first chapter of the study.

What are the different theories of motivation that helps in understanding behavior and attitudes of individuals within and outside an organizational setup?

The different intrinsic and extrinsic motivators described by Noels (1994), are the primary source of uplifting top managers’ moral beside other secondary sources. The responses collected from interviewees suggested that top managers are more in favor of extrinsic motivators over intrinsic motivators as the extrinsic motivators help them to achieve their career goals and organizational targets.

Answers for the open question “What kind of motives make you work”, give preliminary vision about motivators of top managers according to their own opinion. The leading position belongs to the monetary motivators like salary and premiums. It proves the statement that money is still one of the most powerful driven forces, even in terms of top managers. One interviewee replied to questions regarding favorite motivator that:

  • “Of course money. You cannot do anything without money, and it is essential to safeguard future”

Job motivation is on the second rank. We assume that people who become top manager have rich knowledge and experience in a particular job area and they love their job. An interesting and important task can strengthen this attitude to their job and keep them driven. On the third place is stability. Of course, all business people are entrepreneurs and their activities accompanied by risks, that’s why, some of them prefer stability instead of fails and losses.

Also we should notice that stability is one of top three motivators in terms of their power of influence mentioned in the hypothesis. Maslow (1943) suggested a pyramid of achievement in which he defined achievement of personal goals as being a motivator. Same thing is driven from the analysis of interview responses of top managers that they are driven by their personal achievements. After making efforts and spending their energy top managers want to get results from the inputs.

After reaching the goals and objectives set by the company managers feel the confidence in their abilities and leadership skills, which motivate them. In the case of fails, managers can take it as a possible result and go further, as suggested by Maslow’s theory which emphasize on individual’s need for recognition. On the other hand, failure can disappoint managers and demotivate. A number of top managers are driven by basic needs mentioned by Maslow. Despite the fact that top managers reached high results in their life they are still human beings and driven by living needs.

Maslow’s (1943) pyramid of achievement also included individual’s hunger for power and praise from people in surrounding. In terms of encouragement, top managers’ egoistic nature play important role. The findings of this study also affirm these requirements as social needs like public recognition, praise from their employees and high authority have high level of encouragement. Another point is a power. The feel of power and opportunity to participate in decision-making process motivates top managers very well. Managers do not recognize perks and informal activities as a good encouragement tool.

High number of overtime hours spent by top managers shows their serious attitude to the job and their responsibility. Most of managers who spent a lot of time on overtime are accountants and financial specialists of the company. Logical explanation here is that they are responsible for submission of periodical financial reports to Government Agencies and they need additional hours to prepare financial statements. Low number of overtime hours of absence of them does not mean that managers are not responsible. Vroom (1964) is of the view that those individuals who put extra efforts require the same rewards from the people and it is affirmative from the results of these findings that managers seek equal rewards as they invest extra time and efforts to deliver superior quality work to their employers.

The researcher here is of the view that the organizational processes should include programs and systems, which not only focus on motivating and praising top managers, but also other employees, as it helps to raise the performance levels among them and makes it easier for the organization to achieve its targets. It is evident from the findings that extrinsic factors hold the key to uplift the moral of the top managers, so an organization may try to facilitate top managers’ life styles and their activities outside organizations.

Are the top managers in Kazakhstan are highly motivated and satisfied from their respective jobs?

As Vroom (1964) suggested that employees require equal rewards against the efforts they put in for organizational development. This is the reason that top managers are more motivated and satisfied from their jobs, as they put their best efforts to make timely and correct decision to improve their respective organizations’ performance. Most of top managers of Kazakhstan are satisfied with their job, organization of work and salary.

As it was said before, top manager are experts of their job and like their job. Concerning those who cannot exactly answer whether they are satisfied or not, we may assume that it is because of responsibilities that top managers that they do possess and those they do not possess related to their job and specialty. Edwin and Latham (1967) are of the view that the nature of goals and tasks assigned to them helps them to get motivated as they are responsible to design strategy and help their team members.

It is evident from the findings of this study that managers are satisfied with the organization of work, because the process of work in the company is defined by the managers themselves and it fits their wishes and desires. If managers are not satisfied with organization, they do not want to take it and say that they cannot say exactly whether they satisfied or not. If they answer that they do not satisfied, it will show that they recognize their fail in defining the organization of work. The C.E.O of Maersk Oil Kazakhstan GmBH said:

  • “I will stay in this company as long as the company is happy from my performance and keeps me happy so that I can stay here for a longer period. Once they start neglecting my performance and contribution, it will be useless for me to stay here any longer”

Are the top managers of Kazakhstan satisfied from their current employers?

As the result obtained from the interviews of top managers shows, that majority of them are working for more than 5 years for their current employers, this reflect that they are highly satisfied with what they earning at their current work place. The similar idea is consistent with the theory suggested by Nash (1985) that it is important to incorporate extrinsic and intrinsic motivators to keep the top managers interested in their jobs, it is also important to understand the personal traits of a person as these traits helps the employers to determine what motivators motivate an individual.

Though, a person is satisfied from his job due to a number of reasons varying from individual to individual, it is not recommended that an employer should adopt a similar motivational strategy for each individual. Top managers have their own motivational requirements and middle level management have their own. In the light of McClelland (1987) theory of human needs, fulfillment of top managers needs when they are moving up the ladder of organizational hierarchy is necessary, and at the same time, it is also vital to understand the changing needs of these top managers.

The results against the questions, how much self development is necessary, revealed that that everything and everyone in the world wants to grow: people, animals, plants, etc. Same is with top managers. These results are in line with the theory of Maslow (1943) in which Maslow is of the view that it is necessary to provide individuals a chance to develop themselves and move to a place where they see themselves as successful.

Most of respondents recognize opportunity for self development, individual and career advancement as the strongest motivator among eight offered alternatives. If we assume that self development as a part of self-realization, it proves the fact that one of the most powerful motivators is self-realization. On the second place is a salary, which is an additional proof of money as a strong motivator. The third rank belongs to the successful company.

Managers are motivated if they working in a successful and prestigious company and try to fit the reputation of the company personally. As McClelland (1987) suggests that recognition and appreciation are necessary for an individual to uplift their moral, the results of this study also show that reputation and high status play the important role in the motivation process. Moreover, interesting job and important job together have 1/5 contribution to the total number of answers.

This fact confirms the results of answers to the open question about motivators according to personal opinion of managers. Thus we can assume job motivation as very strong motivator of top managers. Notice that contribution of stability and confidence in tomorrow is very low, which suggest that the top managers are not afraid of losing their jobs or switching over to other organization in near future. At the same time, recognition from colleagues and sub ordinates is as important as recognition from the employer.

Top managers seek their sub ordinates and team members to inquire about the quality of decisions they have taken and the plans they have implemented. Daft and Lane (2007) also pressed on the importance of existing relationship and flow of communication between the top managers and their team members.

The researcher finds it imperative that internal environment of the organization and organization’s image play a pivotal to keep the top managers motivated. Self development lead to seeking new knowledge and enhancing skills, which in return, helps the organization as this knowledge and skills are applied to its business processes.

How the findings of this study helps in understanding the differences in motivational factors in Kazakhstan and other countries?

The comparison of different motivators between each other shows that stability and confidence in tomorrow are in top three most powerful motivators, which validates the theory of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. On the second place is a self realization, additional evidence of it as a powerful motivator. The leading position here belongs to the friendly atmosphere and good relationships with colleagues who are already established in the light of reinforcement theory provided by Daft and Lane (2007).

According to results the most considerable motivator is the material remuneration which reasserts the same finding about monetary benefits. Then it is moral stimulation and innovations. Innovation here can be assumed as a need for growth and development. Another considerable factor is social-economic situation in the country. It can be recognized as a part of stability and as an evidence, Vroom’s (1964) expectancy theory provides an in-depth analysis of the importance of self development and the rewards, top managers achieve in return of their efforts.

Adam (1965) presented equity theory which also affirms the importance of keeping check on the performance of top managers and using punishment where necessary to motivate them but at the same time, severe punishment should be avoided as majority of individuals are against using this motivator. The results of this study also reflects that majority of top managers do not prefer punishment as a motivator.

Going deeply into the punishment, the most powerful punishments are monetary punishment tools. Among them reduction of salaries, reduction of premiums, monetary penalties are most common used punishments. Then go admonishments and reproves, which mean that, showing the mistakes, criticizing and focusing the attention of mangers on their poor job performance can be recognized as a punishment. As a result top managers will try to correct the mistakes and improve job performance. Also managers prefer the common used punishment tools defined and written in the law and employment contracts.

This research is carried out in a developing country where the business opportunities are fairly flexible and the economic scenario is favorable. Industries in Kazakhstan are reflecting excellent growth within their respective fields, and majority of the organizations are able to accomplish their targets with the help of their human capital and the skilled decision makers. The present study finds out about the different extrinsic and intrinsic motivators that, according to top managers, are of great importance and help them to keep their moral high.

As the top managers are the backbone of any organization as they hold the decision making authority, they require primary priority to be motivated from the employers. One interesting thing that this study finds out is the importance of monitory motivators over others, which suggest that money and other financial incentives keeps motivation levels high, may be due to the reason that from money, one can buy things that satisfy him or other.

Money brings self development, social status and recognition, so it is important for organizations to work on the pay structures and the bonuses. Making job structure interesting is the secondary motivator that majority of the top managers think, plays an important role to keep them motivated at their work place.

Recommendations & Conclusion


The discussion part explains the motivators that are more favored by majority of individuals, i.e. money, job satisfaction, self-realization, stability and certainty about future. In addition to these extrinsic and intrinsic motivators, punishment appears to be a good motivator too, but it is not appreciated among majority of top managers. Thus, coming back to the research problem “how to motivate top managers?” based on the research results we can recommend following motivation tools:

  1. High salary. It is recommended that top managers should be paid high salaries as their job demands hard work and best efforts, that an ordinary employee or middle level manager cannot perform. It is also recommended that increment in salaries should be related to the actual job performance.
  2. Premiums and bonuses. For better motivation of top managers in Kazakhstan’s organizations, providing them premiums, bonuses, stock options or commission is a good option. As these managers would knew the amount of commissions or premiums that they can avail by performing well, they will put their best efforts to increase the revenues by increasing the sales, managing the operations efficiently and reducing the costs.
  3. Job motivation. The job perform by top managers should be interesting, important and challenging. To organize it, motivational tools like job enrichment, job enlargement and job characteristics model are recommended. Also goal-setting theory or MBO can make the job more challenging. Additional advantage of these tools is opportunity to rewards top managers’ need for self-realization by using their knowledge and experience in practice. Here, the role of human resource departments is vital, as they are responsible for designing jobs and determining the structure.
  4. Job security. Job security and career development programs can provide top managers the surety that their future is secured and they have chancel available to penetrate in the higher rankings of the organization. Confidence about the future in the organization will make top managers feel free of insecurity and they will focus more on their job performance.
  5. Admonishments and reproofs. Providing top managers enough room to make decisions without hesitation and fear of being questioned is highly recommended as it helps them to think with creativity and providing better solutions to organizational needs. The idea is that owners should monitor the overall job performance. If everything is going according to what owner wants, praising top managers will produce even better results in the future. But if there is something wrong, employers must step forward and communicate to the management and discuss the problems. If necessary employers can use admonishments and reproves.
  6. Monetary punishment. Monetary punishment tools have very strong affect on the motivation of top managers. As bonuses and premiums for better job performance motivates the top managers, the fear of losing some part of the income can also affect the motivation of top managers, as they desperately try to avoid mistakes and failures and produce better results.
  7. Regulated by official documents. In addition to the law of the state, all motivational programs and punishment processes should clearly be defined and written in the official documents or policies of the companies.
  8. Just talk. Despite the overall results of the research, some top managers are different from mass. And they have different attitudes to most powerful motivators identified by the researcher. That is why we recommend stakeholder of companies to communicate with their top managers and ask what they need, or what they want. It will help to understand them better and avoid mistakes in motivational process.


Human capital, specially the top managers, who are considered to be the brain of any organization, is an asset whose importance cannot be denied. Motivating top manager always remains a center of focus and remains a primary issue for employers. It helps organization to retain the best available talent in the market to increase its business performance by utilizing these top managers’ skills and knowledge.

Strategies and methodologies are designed by organizations to not only attract best available human capital but also to motivate them to stay in the same organization. Human resource systems of different organizations in Kazakhstan has their focus on developing techniques to understand the needs and wants of top managers and to assess the working environment, within and outside organizations operating in Kazakhstan that actually contribute to motivation of top managers working for them.

This study aim to develop understanding the requirement for motivation and the impact of different motivators on the performance and the work related attitudes of top managers in different organizations of Kazakhstan. Twenty five organizations are selected for this purpose, possessing different vision and approach to their respective businesses. During the study, the researcher finds that every organization have its own set of rituals, beliefs and values which determines the internal environment of the organization. In the same way, every organization in Kazakhstan have its own strategies to motivate their top managers and every top manager has its own needs regarding motivation.

The results presented in this study are qualitative in nature and the researcher utilizes both primary and secondary sources of information to clarify the concept. These results reflect that top managers’ motivation is the resultant of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors of motivation. The extrinsic factors of motivation identified are job stability, overall economic scenario, innovation, promotion, career advancement, better working conditions and monitory incentives.

In the same manner, the intrinsic factors identified are job design, job structure, job enlargement, job enrichment, authority, work-life balance, recognition and support from team members. The major extrinsic factor, identified during the analysis that plays the most important role in motivating top managers in Kazakhstan is monitory incentive, and the most influential intrinsic factor identified is job satisfaction and job design. In the end, due to the inductive nature of present study, the results obtained from the primary research can be generalized to extend to other organizations and their top managers in Kazakhstan.

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