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Motivation Theory Essay

2037 words - 9 pages

literature review
As pointed by Vroom [1964], motivation is derived from the Latin word “movere”, which means “to move”. It is an internal force, dependent on an individual’s needs which derive him/her to achieve. Shulze and Steyn [2003] affirmed that in order to understand people’s behavior at work, managers or supervisors must be aware of the concept of needs or motives, which will help ‘move’ their staffs to act. According to Robbins [2001], motivation is a need-satisfying process which means that when an individual’s needs are satisfied or motivated by certain factors, the individual will exert superior effort toward attaining organizational goals. People primarily do what they do to ...view middle of the document...

It describes relationship between employee’s motivation and his perception of equitable or inequitable treatment.
○ Goal-setting theory – this theory highlights that working toward a goal is also a major source of motivation which improves performance. Locke’s research showed that the more difficult and specific a goal is, the harder people tend to work to achieve it.
○ Expectancy theory – this theory emphasizes the needs for organizations to relate rewards directly to performance and to ensure that the rewards provided are those rewards deserved and wanted by the recipients.
E>P expectancy: the assessment of the probability that our efforts will lead to the required performance level.
P>O expectancy: the assessment of the probability that our successful performance will lead to certain outcomes.
2.2 Reinforcement motivation theories
It states that individual’s behavior is a function of its consequences. It focuses totally on what happens to an individual when he takes some action. For controlling the behavior of the employees, the following types can be applied.
○ Positive Reinforcement – this implies giving positive response when an individual shows positive and required behavior. It stimulates occurrence of a behavior. It must be noted that more spontaneous is the giving of reward, the greater reinforcement value it has.
○ Negative Reinforcement – this implies rewarding an employee by removing negative/undesirable consequences. Both positive and negative reinforcement can be used for increasing desirable/required behavior.
○ Punishment – It implies removing positive consequences so as to lower the probability of repeating undesirable behavior in future. In other words, punishment means applying undesirable consequence for showing undesirable behavior.
○ Extinction – it implies absence of reinforcements. In other words, extinction implies lowering the probability of undesired behavior by removing reward for that kind of behavior.

2.3 Content theories
Content theories deal with “what” motivates people and concerned with individual needs and goals. They also are called “needs theories” because they are generally associated with a view that concentrates on the importance of determining what motivates us. In other words, they try to identify what our needs are and relate motivation to the fulfilling of these needs. The four content theories are as follows;
1. Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Theory
2. Alderfer ERG Theory
3. McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory
4. Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory

2.3.1 Maslow Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow is considered to be the father of Human Psychology who designed a pyramid to understand the different levels of human motivation. These hierarchical levels from bottom to top were Physiological needs, Safety needs, Social needs, Esteem needs, Self-actualization needs [Maslow, 1969] which corresponded different stages of human motivation. The most important statement by Maslow linking to this...

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