Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Psychology Pages: 21 (5332 words) Published: April 30, 2013


Concept of Motivation: Motivation is a psychological concept which acts as a force that propels a person to act or not to act in a certain way. Robert D. Irwin defines motivation as “Motivation means a process of stimulating people to action to accomplish a desired goal”. A manager needs to coordinate several factors of production and these factors can be classified into non human and human factors. The efficiency of non human factors such as material, machine, etc depends on the technology used but for the human factors, the motivation becomes pertinent. It is viewed as incremental intuition towards accomplishing a job. It is a typified individual phenomenon where every individual shall be identified by the uniqueness of each. It is intentional, i.e. it depends on the behavioural pattern of the worker as how they get motivated and it is multifaceted. D.E. McFarland defines it as “Motivation refers to the way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations, stringing, need, control can explain the behaviour of a human being”. Thus, objective of motivational instruments are to identify the issues that motivates a person and make them useful to achieve the desired goals.

Importance of motivation: Motivation helps in following ways –

1. Kindles in a worker the desire to work efficiently.

2. Leads to increase in production and thereby also in productivity.

3. Results in efficient use of all resources.

4. Lessens labour turn over and reduces industrial disputes.

5. Increases job satisfaction and develop worker’s interest in the organization.

6. Makes workers more responsible and loyal and to work in a disciplined manner.

Types of motivation: Motivation is of two types:

a. Positive motivation – It is based on the principle of reward. Workers are given some prize or facility or money or promotion or appreciation for good work. It works in all situations and usually gets better results.

b. Negative motivation – It is based on the concept of punishment or fines. Workers giving low productivity are pulled up or warned or fined or punished or reprimanded for less work. It works in situations where the jobs are temporary or where the workers are scared of losing their jobs.

Motivational Theories:

1. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory – Need can be defined as “a condition requiring supply or relief”. When the needs of a person are identified and satisfied, they will be happy and show improvement in performance. Abraham Maslow, an eminent US psychologist proposed the theory of need hierarchy. He viewed human being as a social object and he realized that behaviour of an individual at a particular movement is usually determined by their strongest needs.

He mentioned two important characteristics of human needs. In the first place, man’s needs depend completely on what he already has. Because of this satisfied needs do not act as a motivator. In the second place, human needs are arranged in a hierarchy of importance. As soon as a man’s needs of the lower level are reasonably satisfied, those of the higher level emerge and demands satisfaction.

Maslow categorises the needs into five levels which are discussed as below –

Self Actualisation needs

Self Esteem needs

Social needs

Safety needs



a. Physiological needs: It is related to the survival and maintenance of human life. The basic requirements of food, clothing and shelter are included in this item. Satisfaction of these needs is highly essential for the preservation of life. Before a person pursues any other objectives, he will work to fulfil these needs. These needs remain irrespective of the financial status, educational status or cultural status.

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