Theories of Motivation

Theories of Motivation.Understanding what motivated employees and how they were motivated was the focus of many researchers following the publication of the Hawthorne study results (Terpstra, 1979). Six major approaches that have led to our understanding of motivation are Mcclelland’s Achievement Need Theory, Behavior Modification theory; Abraham H Mallows need hierarchy or Deficient theory of motivation. J.S. Adam’s Equity Theory, Vrooms Expectation Theory, Two factor Theory.

McClelland’s Achievement Need Theory.According to McClelland’s there are three types of needs;

Need for Achievement (n Ach);This need is the strongest and lasting motivating factor. Particularly in case of persons who satisfy the other needs. They are constantly pre occupied with a desire for improvement and lack for situation in which successful outcomes are directly correlated with their efforts. They set more difficult but achievable goals for themselves because success with easily achievable goals hardly provides a sense of achievement.

Need for Power (n Pow)It is the desire to control the behavior of the other people and to manipulate the surroundings. Power motivations positive applications results in domestic leadership style, while it negative application tends autocratic style.

Need for affiliation (n Aff)It is the related to social needs and creates friendship. This results in formation of informal groups or social circle.

Behavioral Modification Theory;According to this theory people behavior is the outcome of favorable and unfavorable past circumstances. This theory is based on learning theory. Skinner conducted his researches among rats and school children. He found that stimulus for desirable behavior could be strengthened by rewarding it at the earliest. In the industrial situation, this relevance of this theory may be found in the installation of financial and non financial incentives.

More immediate is the reward and stimulation or it motivates it. Withdrawal of reward incase of low standard work may also produce the desired result. However, researches show that it is generally more effective to reward desired behavior than to punish undesired behavior.

Abraham H Maslow Need Hierarchy or Deficient theory of Motivation.The intellectual basis for most of motivation thinking has been provided by behavioral scientists, A.H Maslow and Frederick Heizberg, whose published works are the “Bible of Motivation”. Although Maslow himself did not apply his theory to industrial situation, it has wide impact for beyond academic circles. Douglous Mac Gregor has used Maslow’s theory to interpret specific problems in personnel administration and industrial relations.

The crux of Maslow’s theory is that human needs are arranged in hierarchy composed of five categories. The lowest level needs are physiological and the highest levels are the self actualization needs. Maslow starts with the formation that man is a wanting animal with a hierarchy of needs of which some are lower ins scale and some are in a higher scale or system of values. As the lower needs are satisfied, higher needs emerge. Higher needs cannot be satisfied unless lower needs are fulfilled. A satisfied need is not a motivator. This resembles the standard economic theory of diminishing returns. The hierarchy of needs at work in the individual is today a routine tool of personnel trade and when these needs are active, they act as powerful conditioners of behavior- as Motivators.
Hierarchy of needs; the main needs of men are five. They are physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, ego needs and self actualization needs, as shown in order of their importance.
Self- Actualization
Ego Needs
Social Needs
Safety Needs
Physiological Needs
The above five basic needs are regarded as striving needs which make a person do things. The first model indicates the ranking of different needs. The second is more helpful in indicating how the satisfaction of the higher needs is based on the satisfaction of lower needs. It also shows how the number of person who has experienced the fulfillment of the higher needs gradually tapers off.
Physiological or Body Needs: - The individual move up the ladder responding first to the physiological needs for nourishment, clothing and shelter. These physical needs must be equated with pay rate, pay practices and to an extent with physical condition of the job.

Safety: - The next in order of needs is safety needs, the need to be free from danger, either from other people or from environment. The individual want to assured, once his bodily needs are satisfied, that they are secure and will continue to be satisfied for foreseeable feature. The safety needs may take the form of job security, security against disease, misfortune, old age etc as also against industrial injury. Such needs are generally met by safety laws, measure of social security, protective labor laws and collective agreements.

Social needs: - Going up the scale of needs the individual feels the desire to work in a cohesive group and develop a sense of belonging and identification with a group. He feels the need to love and be loved and the need to belong and be identified with a group. In a large organization it is not easy to build up social relations. However close relationship can be built up with at least some fellow workers. Every employee wants too feel that he is wanted or accepted and that he is not an alien facing a hostile group.

Ego or Esteem Needs: - These needs are reflected in our desire for status and recognition, respect and prestige in the work group or work place such as is conferred by the recognition of ones merit by promotion, by participation in management and by fulfillment of workers urge for self expression. Some of the needs relate to ones esteem
e.g.; need for achievement, self confidence, knowledge, competence etc. On the job, this means praise for a job but more important it means a feeling by employee that at all times he has the respect of his supervisor as a person and as a contributor to the organizational goals.
Self realization or Actualization needs: - This upper level need is one which when satisfied provide insights to support future research regarding strategic guidance for organization that are both providing and using reward/recognition programs makes the employee give up the dependence on others or on the environment. He becomes growth oriented, self oriented, directed, detached and creative. This need reflects a state defined in terms of the extent to which an individual attains his personnel goal. This is the need which totally lies within oneself and there is no demand from any external situation or person.

J.S Adams Equity TheoryEmployee compares her/his job inputs outcome ratio with that of reference. If the employee perceives inequity, she/he will act to correct the inequity: lower productivity, reduced quality, increased absenteeism, voluntary resignation.

Vrooms Expectation TheoryVroom’s theory is based on the belief that employee effort will lead to performance and performance will lead to rewards (Vroom, 1964). Reward may be either positive or negative. The more positive the reward the more likely the employee will be highly motivated. Conversely, the more negative the reward the less likely the employee will be motivated.

Two Factor TheoryDouglas McGregor introduced the theory with the help of two views; X assumptions are conservative in style Assumptions are modern in style.

X TheoryIndividuals inherently dislike work.
People must be coerced or controlled to do work to achieve the objectives.
People prefer to be directed

Y TheoryPeople view work as being as natural as play and rest
People will exercise self direction and control towards achieving objectives they are committed to
People learn to accept and seek responsibility.

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