An Understanding of Various Motivation Theories

Topics: Motivation, Victor Vroom, Expectancy theory Pages: 6 (1898 words) Published: April 10, 2013
Describe, compare and contrast one process and one content theory of motivation. Evaluate how appropriate they are for organisations today.

This essay’s aim is to analyse and establish an understanding of various motivation theories and their possible application within organisations. Along with implementing, the information related to motivation, this essay would demonstrate the importance of motivation and it is necessary for organisations to motivate their employees effectively

Motivation derives from the Latin word “movere” which means to move. Luthans (1998) defines motivation as “a process which begins with physiological or psychological need or deficiency which triggers behaviour or a drive that is aimed at a goal or an incentive“. In other words, an individual must feel a need to an extent that will drive them to satisfying it. Some psychologists and business people define motivation as the thing that makes people do something, which usually they will not do. Motivation is a fundamental psychological approach where the management process of inducing employee’s behaviour established on the evidence of what causes people to click (Luthans, 1998). Theories of motivation presume that motivational behaviour happens due to work fulfils their psychological needs or because there appears to be a link between effort and performance and performance and value of outcomes (R. Fincham & P. Rhodes 2009). There are two types of motivational theories: content theories, which focus on the specific identity of what it is deep down in an individual or his environment that stimulates and assists behaviour. In addition, process theories that strive to understand how specific variables interact and affect each other to create certain kinds of behaviour.

A good example of content theory is Frederick Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory or Motivation-Hygiene Theory (Herzberg et al. 1959). Herzberg proposed the Two - Factor Theory following the models and presumptions of needs and self-actualisations considered by Abraham Maslow. Herzberg's famous quote says, "If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do (1959)". He supervised a research involving two hundred engineers and accountants. After careful examination of the incidents described by the volunteers Herzberg concluded that situations at work that included accomplishments, promotion, recognition and responsibility were a cause for satisfaction (intrinsic-motivation factors) whereas incidents involving, salary, working conditions, supervisors and company polices were source for dissatisfaction (extrinsic-hygiene factors). Herzberg analyzed what people want from their jobs and concluded that Intrinsic factors are connected with satisfaction whiles Extrinsic factors are associated with dissatisfaction (Derek S. Pugh 1997). Furthermore, Motivation-Hygiene theory has been tried in different occupations and conflicting outcomes have been recorded. Ruthankoon, R. and Ogunlana, O. (2003) tested Herzberg's theory in Thai construction industry and concluded that the Motivation-Hygiene theory is not entirely applicable. The results show that some of the factors (work itself and recognition) that are cause for satisfaction in the original Herzberg's testing can lead to dissatisfaction in the construction industry. The factors that are dissatisfaction in the original research (personal life, company's policy, relationship with peers and subordinates and work conditions) can be satisfaction in the construction industry. Because of different contextual factors, the motivation pattern for employees in the construction industry may be unlike the original founding. It is hoped that more similar testing of Herzberg's theory will be exercised in diverse work fields and the result might prove that the Motivation-Hygiene theory is applicable in organisations. Likewise, Dash, M., Singh, A. and Vivekanand (2008) applied Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene theory in an Information Technology...
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