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Employee relations and motivation


​To examine the nature of the employment contract from the perspective of employees and employees. To enable students to understand and analyse the concepts and approaches to the measurement of motivation in work settings. To critically evaluate the major theories of motivation and interventions designed to affect motivation at work.

Topics covered

This module will examine key aspects of the labour contract - power and motivation. The employment contract will be examined in terms of power, control and conflict. Then theory and research on employee motivation will be examined and related to the employment contract. Finally, the module will address employee diversity.

Learning outcomes

By completing this module, you will be able to:

  • Understand and critically evaluate theories of motivation at work.
  • Understand motivation in the context of the employment relationship.
  • Recognise the impact of changes in the employment relationship (such as pay, job design, employee involvement and opportunities) on motivation.
  • Understand and critically evaluate issues related to diversity in the workplace.


One two-hour unseen written examination​.

Essential reading

  • Latham, GP (2007). Work motivation: History, theory, research, and practice. Sage.
  • Pinder, C (2008). Work motivation in organizational behaviour. Routledge.
  • Kanfer, R (2008). Work motivation: Past, present, and future. Routledge.
  • Steers, R, Porter, L and Bigley, G. (eds.) (2003). Motivation and Work Behaviour. London: McGraw-Hill.