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In their discussion - Participative Budgeting and Participant Motivation: A Review of the Literature - by Frederick J. Demicco, Assistant Professor, School of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management, The Pennsylvania State University and Steven J. Dempsey, Fulton F. Galer, Martin Baker, Graduate Assistants, College of Business at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, the authors initially observe: “In recent years behavioral literature has stressed the importance of participation In goal-setting by those most directly affected by those goals. The common postulate is that greater participation by employees in the various management functions, especially the planning function, will lead to improved motivation, performance, coordination, and functional behavior. The authors analyze this postulate as it relates to the budgeting process and discuss whether or not participative budgeting has a significant positive impact on the motivations of budget participants.”

In defining the concept of budgeting, the authors offer: “Budgeting is usually viewed as encompassing the preparation and adoption of a detailed financial operating plan…” In furthering that statement they also furnish that budgeting’s focus is to influence, in a positive way, how managers plan and coordinate the activities of a property in a way that will enhance their own performance. In essence, framing an organization within its described boundaries, and realizing its established goals. The authors will have you know, to control budget is to control operations.

What kind of parallels can be drawn between the technical methods and procedures of budgeting, and managerial behavior? “In an effort to answer this question, Ronen and Livingstone have suggested that a fourth objective of budgeting exists, that of motivation,” say the authors with attribution. “The managerial function of motivation is manipulative in nature.”

Demicco, Dempsey, Galer, and Baker attempt to quantify motivation as a psychological premise using the expectancy theory, which encompasses empirical support, intuitive appeal, and ease of application to the budgetary process. They also present you with House's Path-Goal model; essentially a mathematics type formula designed to gauge motivation. You really need to see this.

The views of Argyris are also explored in particular detail. Although, the Argyris study was primarily aimed at manufacturing firms, and the effects on line-supervisors of the manufacturing budgets which were used to control and evaluate their performance, its application is relevant to the hospitality industry. As the title suggests, other notables in the field of behavioral motivation theory, and participation are also referenced.

“Behavioral theory has been moving away from models of purported general applicability toward contingency models that are suited for particular situations,” say the authors in closing. “It is conceivable that some time in the future, contingency models will make possible the tailoring of budget strategies to individual budget holder personalities.”