Application of Motivational Theories

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There is an old saying “you can take a horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink, it will drink if it’s thirsty—so with people. They will do what they want to do or otherwise motivated to do”. Whether it is to excel on the workshop floor they must be motivated or driven to it, either by them or through external stimulus.

Motivation is a basic psychological process. Few would deny that it is the most important focus in the micro approach to organizational behavior. Along with perception, personality, attitudes, and learning, motivation is presented here as a very important process in understanding behavior. Many people incorrectly view motivation as a personal trait-that is, some have it and others don’t. Our knowledge of motivation tells us that this just isn’t true. What we know is that motivation is the result of the interaction of the individual and the situation. Certainly individuals differ in their basis motivational drive.

The 1950s wee a fruitful period in the development of motivational theories. The theoretical development of work motivation are shown in the following figure:


A quick look on early theories of motivation

|Motivational Theories |Definitions | | |X- The assumption that employees dislike work, are lazy, dislike | | |responsibility, and must be coerced to perform. | |Theory X & Theory Y |Y- the assumption that employees like work, are creative, seek, | | |responsibility, and can exercise self-direction. | | |There is a hierarchy of five needs-psychological, safety, social,| |Hierarchy of needs theory |esteem, and self-actualization. | |ERG Theory |There are three groups of core needs: existence, relatedness, and| | |growth. | |McClelland’s theory of needs |Achievement, power, and affiliation are three important needs | | |that help explain motivation. | | |Intrinsic factors are related to job satisfaction, while | |Two-factor theory |extrinsic factors are associated with dissatisfaction. | | |Individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with those of | |Equity theory |others and then respond to eliminate any inequities. | | |The strength of a tendency to act in a certain way depends on the| | |strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a | |Expectancy theory |given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the | | |individual. | |Reinforcement theory |Behavior is a function of its consequences. | |Goal-setting theory |The theory that specific and difficult goals, with feedback,...
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