THEORIES OF MOTIVATION
An attempt is made in this chapter to bring a theoretical base for motivation.
There are many competing theories, which attempt to explain the nature of motivation. These theories are all, at least, partially true, and all help to explain the behavior of certain people at certain times. However, the search for a generalised theory of motivation at work appears a vain quest. Motivation varies over time and depending up on the circumstances.
It is because of the complexity of motivation and the fact that there is no single answer to what motivates people to work well, that these different theories are important for the managers to guide them.
They show that there are many motives, which influence people's behavior and performance. The different theories provide a framework within which direct attention is incorporated to the problem of how best to motivate staff to work willingly and effectively. It is important to emphasize that these various theories are not conclusive. These different cognitive theories of motivation are usually divided into two contrasting approaches1 : content theories and process theories.
Content theories attempt to explain those specific things, which actually motivate the individual at work. These theories are concerned with identifying people's needs and their relative strength, and the goals they pursue in order to satis@ these needs. Content theories place emphasis on what motivates.
Process theories attempt to identify the relationship among the dynamic variables, which make up motivation. These theories are more concerned with how behavior is initiated, directed and sustained. Process theories place emphasis on the actual process of motivation.
The most well known and pioneering theory of motivation is that of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, people are motivated by five basic needs. These needs are arranged in the order in which a person seeks to gratifL them. These needs are:
1. Physiological needs - (food, clothing, shelter, etc.,)
2. The need for safety and security - (freedom from danger, job security, health-care etc..,)
3. The need to belong - (Acceptance by the group, friendships, love etc.,)
4. The need for esteem - (Recognition by others, feeling of achievement etc.,)
5. The need for seIf-actualization - (fulfillment of capacities)
The needs are arranged in order of importance under the assumption that a lower level need is satisfied before the next higher level need becomes a motivating factor. People try to satisfy their physiological needs first. When their basic needs are ensured, they seek security, belongingness, esteem and finally self-actualization. When one need is satisfied, next higher level need emerges to take its place. People are always striving to satisfy the new needs that emerge.
Since the need hierarchy theory of Abraham Maslow is being the core
of study, this theory is dealt in detail in chapter I11 separately.
2.3 Clayton Alderfer reorganized Maslow's Need hierarchy into three levels of
core needs: (1) Existence needs (2) Relatedness needs and (3) Growth needs -hence the label ERG Theory 2.
Existence needs includes both physiological and safety needs; it corresponds to the lower-order needs of Maslow's theory. Relatedness comprises love and belongingness needs. Growth incorporates both esteem and self-actualization needs. Relatedness and growth needs together comprise the higher order needs as set by Maslow.
ERG Theory argues like that of Maslow that satisfied lower order needs lead to the desire for satisfaction of higher order needs. But Alderfer states that multiple needs can be operating as motivators at the same time. An employee frustrated in efforts to satis@ growth needs, for example, might be motivated to satis@ the lower level relatedness needs.
On the basis of extensive interviews with some 200 engineers and
accountants employed in l l industries in an around Pittsburgh area, U.S.A., Frederick Herzberg and his associates developed a Two factor3 model of motivation. In the interviews they were asked about what kind of things on their job made them unhappy or dissatisfied and what things made them happy or satisfied. From the analysis they found that reported good feelings were associated with job content factors4. Reported bad feelings, on the other hand, were associated with the peripheral aspects of the job-the job context factors. The intrinsic job content factors are the job satisfiers or motivators and the extrinsic job context factors are the dissatisfiers or hygiene factors. Taken together, they became known as Herzberg's dual factor theory.
Company policies and administration, supervision, working conditions, security, status, salary, interpersonal relations are considered as maintenance factors. They are not an intrinsic part of a job, but they are related to the conditions under which a job is performed. Maintaining a hygienic work environment will not improve motivation. He found that the presence of hygiene factors will prevent dissatisfaction but do not increase satisfaction or motivation and the absence of which, increase dissatisfaction with the job. Hence he called these factors as
Motivators are associated directly to the content of job itself. These factors include achievement, recognition, advancement, work itself, responsibility, growth etc. The presence of motivators leads to satisfaction whereas the absence of which will prevent both satisfaction and motivation5.
According to Herzberg's theory, only challenging jobs that have the opportunities for achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement and growth will motivate personnel.
Herzberg's theory is closely related to Maslow's need hierarchy. On a comparison, one can see that the maintenance or hygiene factors are roughly equivalent to Maslow's lower level needs and the motivators are roughly equivalent to Maslow's higher level needs.
David McClelland and his associates (Notably John Atkinson), focused on needs similar to the higher order (social and esteem) needs identified by Maslow. McClelland's needs theory, also called Achievement motivation t h e o d is concerned with how individual needs and environmental factors combine to form three basic human motives.
2.4.(i) Need for Achievement (n Ach):
People who want to take responsibility for finding solutions to problems, who seek challenge, who is willing to work hard and who has the mental vigor to reach the ultimate goal are considered to have a high need for achievement. Achievement motivated people tend to get more pay raises and are promoted faster because they are constantly trying to think of better ways of doing things. They have a desire to do something better or more efficiently than it has been done before. This drive is the achievement need.
2.4. (ii) Need For Power (n POW):
Need for power is the desire to have impact to be influential, and to control others. A high need for power means that an individual seeks to influence or control others. Individuals with this need are concerned with acquiring, exercising and retaining power or influence over others. They prefer to be placed into competitive and status oriented situations. They generally tend to seek positions of leadership. Top level managers, politicians etc., have a high need for power.
Each of the McClelland's three motives evokes a different type of feeling of satisfaction. Achievement motive tends to evoke a sense of accomplishment, power motive tends to evoke a sense of authority and affiliation motive tends to evoke love and affection. The most effective mixture of these three motives depends on the situation. Different studies7 indicate that most effective managers have a high need for power, a moderate need for achievement and a low need for affiliation. Tools like Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) are used to measure and determine the strength of these needs.
For the purpose of identifying the similarities in these theories, an attempt has been made for comparing these four theories.
Source: Gordon R. Judith et al, Management and Organizational Behavior, Allyn and Bacon, 1990, p.428.
The underlying concept of motivation is some driving force with in individuals by which they attempt to achieve some goals in order to satisfy some need or other. On a comparison of these Need Theories (Figure 2.1) it is seen that the Existence Needs of Alderfer is roughly equal to Maslow's Physiological and Safety Needs; The Relatedness Need of Alderfer and the Affiliation Need of McClelland is more or less equivalent to the Social Needs of Maslow. The Hygiene factors of Herzberg are nothing but the Physiological, Safety and love Needs of Maslow. The Esteem and Self-actualization Needs of Maslow comprises the Growth Needs set by Alderfer, the Need for Achievement, the Need for Power set by McClelland and the Motivators of Herzberg.
Douglas MC gregor proposeds two distinct views of human beings: one basically negative, labeled Theory X and the other basically positive, labeled Theory Y.These labels describe contrasting set of assumptions about human nature.
Theory X assumes that most people prefer to be directed, are not interested in assuming responsibility and want safety above all. It is the traditional view of management that suggests that managers are required to coerce, control or threaten employees in order to motivate them.
1. Employees inherently dislike work, and whenever possible will attempt to avoid it.
2 . Employees are not ambitious, and they avoid responsibility.
3. Employees must be coerced, controlled, directed and threatened with punishment to achieve organizational objectives.
4. Employees lack creative ability in solving organizational problems.
5. Employees seek security and economic rewards.
Theory X is a conventional approach of management, based on traditional assumptions about human behavior. It is negative, traditional and
autocratic style. Drawing heavily on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Theory X assumes that lower order needs dominate individuals. But in fact, Management by direction and control may not be effective for motivating people whose physiological and safety needs are reasonably satisfied and whose social, esteem and self actualization needs are becoming predominant.
For having a more realistic and accurate understanding of human nature and motivation, MC gregor developed an alternative theory of human behavior
called Theory Y. Theory Y is positive, participating and democratic. This theory assumes that, people are not, by nature, lazy and unreliable. It postulates that people can be basically self directed and creative at work, if properly motivated.
l . Employees can view work as natural as play or rest.
2. People are not by nature passive or resistant to organizational needs. They can exercise self-direction and self control, if they are properly motivated.
3. Employees have creative capacity in solving organizational problems.
4. An average employee learns, under proper conditions, not only to accept but also to seek responsibility.
5. Self control is often indispensable in achieving organizational goals.
Thus Theory Y assumptions present a high degree of faith in the capacity and potentiality of people. Theory Y assumes that higher order needs dominate individuals. Unfortunately there is no conclusive evidence to confirm that either set of assumptions are valid. Both Theory X and Theory Y assumptions may be appropriate in a particular situation.
Cris ~ r ~ ~ hasr i postulated~ a descriptive and multidimensional developmental process along which individuals in an organization naturally grow towards maturity. He has examined various industrial organizations to determine the effect of management practices on individual behavior and their personal growth in work environment. Argyris noticed that there are seven basic changes that take place in the personality of individuals moving from immaturity to
maturity over the years. They are as follows: -
Behave in a few ways -
Shallow abilities and interests -
Short time perspective
Subordinate Position -
Lack of self-awareness
Capable of behaving in many ways
Developing stronger and deeper
People in work organizations will have a tendency to grow from an infant to a matured state. But many organizations are structured and organized in such a way that the management practices they follow will keep away the employees from maturing. Employees are given minimal control over their environment. They are expected to be passive, dependent and subordinate. If the organization is too formal that it has definite plans, policies, procedures and methods, an employee will need to be submissive and passive, which suggest a Theory X type of organization.
In between a mature personality and a highly structured organization, an employee has options like escape, fight or adaptN.
When the structure of the organization is too formal, where employee has no control over their environment, he may escape by quitting the job, being absent from work or getting promotion to higher levels. One can fight the system by exerting pressure on the organization by means of informal groups or through labor unions. Another way is to adapt to situations by developing an attitude of apathy or indifference. This is the most unhealthy option that an employee chooses
- according to Argyris. He argues that management should provide a good work climate in which every one has a chance to grow and mature as individuals". Since employees can move from the state of immature behavior to mature behavior, he supports Theory Y, propounded by MC gregor, and both (MC gregor and Argyris) found that broadening individual's responsibility is beneficial to both workers and the organization.
A change in the organization is essential so that individuals grow and mature in it. This in turn will motivate employees, which will provide maximum
potential from them, in accomplishing organizational objectives. Thus Argyris
proposes that the existing bureaucratic - pyramidal organization structure (the
organizational counterpart to Theory X assumptions about people) should give
way to humanistic - democratic value system (the organizational counterpart to
Theory Y assumptions about people'2).
One of the most widely accepted explanations of motivation is Victor
room's" expectancy theory. Vroom proposed his expectancy theory in 1960's as an alternative to the content models.
Vroom explains that motivation is a product of three factors, viz, Valence (how much one wants a reward), Expectancy (one's estimate of the probability that effort will result in successful performance) and Instrumentality (one's estimate that performance will result in receiving the reward).
This motivational relationship is expressed in the form of a formula.
Motivation = V X E X I (Valence X Expectancy X Instrumentality)
Valence is the strength of a person's preference for a particular outcome. It is the personal value workers place on the rewards they believe they will receive for performance. When valence is high, motivation is also high.
Expectancy refers to a person's perception of the probability that effort will lead to performance. Instrumentality is a person's perception of the probability that certain outcomes are attached to performance. Thus an individual is motivated by the perceived reward available to him for accomplishing a goal. For example, an employee who feels that his promotion depends upon his excellent performance, then there are two outcomes, namely, first level outcome, i.e., excellent performance and the second level outcome, i.e., his promotion. Here his valence should be considered. Valence for a reward is unique to each employee. His valence, (i.e., strength of preference for the particular outcome) may be positive, neutral or negative. If his desire for promotion is high, his valence will be positive. If he is indifferent to promotion, valence will be zero and if he dislikes promotion, then it will be negative. Here the employee would be motivated towards excellent performance because of his preference to be promoted. The excellent performance, i.e., the first level outcome is being seen as instrumental in getting his promotion, i.e., second level outcome.
Thus according to Vroom, motivation is the product of valence, expectancy and instrumentality. This theory represents a comprehensive, valid and useful approach to understanding motivation".
A much more complex model of work motivation based on expectancy
Holding a PhD degree in Finance, Dr. John Adams is experienced in assisting students who are in dire need...
55 - Completed Orders
Canada, Toronto I have acquired my degree from Campion College at the University of Regina Occuption/Desi...
52 - Completed Orders
Even since I was a student in Italy I had a passion for languages, in fact I love teaching Italian, and I...
102 - Completed Orders
To work with an organization where I can optimally utilize my knowledge and skills for meeting challenges...
109 - Completed Orders
JOB OBJECTIVE Seeking entry level assignments in Marketing & Business Development with an organization...
202 - Completed Orders
Current work profile Project manager- The Researchers Hub (2nd Jan 2016 to presently working) Researc...
20 - Completed Orders
Sales Assistant, Mito Marina Assigned to the Stationery dept – assisted in merchandising, stock taking...
100 - Completed Orders
Personal Profile Dedicated and highly experienced private chauffeur. High energy, hardworking, punctua...
200 - Completed Orders
I'm Lizzy, full time education specialist in English, Essay Writing, Economics and Maths. Having Assi...
109 - Completed Orders