Motivation is the internal source that drives behaviour. A motivated workforce can lead to a successful organisation. Therefore, if a manager can understand workers motives they can influence their behaviour. Managers use theories of motivation to influence workers behaviour. There are two types of motivation theories, content theories and process theories.
Content theories view motivation in terms of desired outcomes and goals, such as ERG theory by Clayton Alderfer which states that workers are motivated by three basic need categories; existence needs, relatedness needs and growth needs. Existence needs are desires for physiological and material well being. Relatedness needs are desires for satisfying interpersonal relationships i.e. relationships with co-workers, subordinates or management. Growth needs are desire for continuous psychological growth and development. ...view middle of the document...
These decision could be based on the rewards available if the goal is achieved, possible work outcomes and individual preferences. Process Theories include Goal Setting Theory by Edwin Locke who argues that “goal setting is more appropriately viewed as a motivational technique.
In this essay I will be focusing on one content theory and one process theory. The content theory I would like to discuss is Maslow’s needs Hierarchy. This theory was developed several decades ago by the psychologist Abraham Maslow who proposed that we have innate needs that include drives and goals. He stated five of these needs which are ordered by lower level needs at the bottom and higher level needs from the top. Low level needs are needs such as physiological; security and social needs. High level needs are needs such as self esteem and self actualisation. Maslow states that lower level needs must be satisfied before higher level needs will be activated, for example, if our need for love and esteem are satisfied then we feel self confident and can go on to reach our ultimate goal of self actualisation. Self actualisation is the desire for personal fulfilment and involves reaching ones full potential.
The hierarchy that Maslow purposed argues the following properties:
* A need cannot successfully motivate until the needs lower in the hierarchy are more or less satisfied.
* An already satisfied need is not a motivator, for example, if you are well fed and safe you will not be motivated with the promise of more food and shelter.
* A workers mental health can be affected by lack of need satisfaction. Frustration, depression and anxiety can be caused due to the lack of self-esteem, loss of the respect of others and an inability to sustain relationships.
* We have an instinctive desire to move up the hierarchy.
* The experience of self actualisation stimulates desire for more. Maslow purposes that those who have reached self actualisation have “peak experiences”.