Motivation is one of the most important factors affecting human behavior and performance. This is the reason why managers attach great importance to motivation in organizational setting. Rensis Likert, has called motivation as "the core of management". Effective directing of people leads the organization to effectiveness, both at organizational and individual levels. This paper focuses on motivation theories which originate from Maslow thought and applies them to Oracle Direct organization. The Oracle Direct case study, brought from personal experience, says how people working in this organization can be motivated and encouraged to work more efficient. The theories are applied in Oracle Direct objectives to motivate their employees worldwide.
Motivation is the set of forces that leads people to behave in certain ways. It refers to energy and commitment with which an individual or group performs a task or role. It is one of key management elements. Managers attempt to motivate people to behave in ways that are in the organization’s best interest. More contemporary thought on motivation has a source in need-based perspectives. Martin & Fellenz (2010, p.156) note that need theories address the question of what motivates human behavior in organizations. They emphasize particular aspects of an individual’s need or the goals that they seek to achieve as the basis for motivated behavior. Among major need theories are distinguished Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the Alderfer’s ERG theory and Herzberg’s two-factor theory.
In the 1940s psychologist Abraham Maslow developed his theory. He assumed that people have an innate desire to satisfy their needs. He developed a model of needs to explain purposive behavior (Maslow, 1943, 1987) and arranged them in hierarchy of importance, with basic needs at the bottom of hierarchy. Formed in pyramid, the model consists of five basic categories of needs ranging from physiological or survival to career fulfillment needs. The three bottom sets of needs are termed deficiency needs, because they must to be satisfied for the person to be fundamentally comfortable and to be able to move forward to satisfy higher level needs. The top two sets of needs are called growth needs because they concentrate on personal growth and development. The physiological needs are the most basic in the hierarchy. They include wide range of needs required to stay alive and function normally like need for food, accommodation, air to breathe. Consecutive are safety needs that provide security for individuals and their families, in organizational context they include the need for job security. The third in hierarchy, social needs focus on social support necessary to life. Examples would include need for friendship, love, and acceptance by peers and from organizational point of view the need to work as part of team. The fourth level, esteems needs, encompasses concepts of achievement, adequacy, recognition and reputation. In the company it includes the formal recognition by management as well as informal social recognition from peers and others. At the top of hierarchy are self-actualization needs. They are related to the opportunity of the individual to realize their full potential and become what she or he can be. While scientific support fails to reinforce Maslow's hierarchy, his theory is very popular, being the introductory motivation theory for many practitioners. To handle issues present in the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Clayton Alderfer devised the ERG theory in 1972. He presented a simplified model consisted of three level hierarchy of needs that imposes more accurately with scientific research. The three needs stands for existence, relatedness and growth needs. All of them are comparable to Maslow’s needs. Alderfer’s ERG theory demonstrates that more than one need may motivate at the same time. A lower motivator need not be...