According BusinessDictionary.com motivation is Internal and external factors that stimulate desire and energy in people to be continually interested and committed to a job, role or subject, or to make an effort to attain a goal.
Motivation results from the interaction of both conscious and unconscious factors such as the (1) intensity of desire or need, (2) incentive or reward value of the goal, and (3) expectations of the individual and of his or her peers. These factors are the reasons one has for behaving a certain way.
According to the management text book there are four theories of motivation but I am going to talk about three theories that I feel are the most important.
The First theory is Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory. Psychologist Abraham Maslow first introduced his concept of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" and his subsequent book Motivation and Personality. This hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs.
This hierarchy is most often displayed as a pyramid. The lowest levels of the pyramid are made up of the most basic needs, while the more complex needs are located at the top of the pyramid. Needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic physical requirements including the need for food, water, sleep, and warmth. Once these lower-level needs have been met, people can move on to the next level of needs, which are for safety and security. As people progress up the pyramid, needs become increasingly psychological and social. Soon, the need for love, friendship, and intimacy become important. Further up the pyramid, the need for personal esteem and feelings of accomplishment take priority. Maslow emphasized the importance of self-actualization, which is a process of growing and developing as a person in order to achieve individual potential.
Physiological Needs- at the bottom of the hierarchy are needs based on physical drives, including the need for food, water, sleep and sex. Maslow believed that these needs are the most basic and instinctive needs in the hierarchy because all needs become secondary until these physiological needs are met.
Safety and security needs- after our basic physiological needs have been relatively well satisfied; we next become concerned about our safety from the elements, enemies and other threats. Security needs are important for survival, but they are not as demanding as the physiological needs. Examples of security needs include a desire for steady employment, health insurance, safe neighborhoods, and shelter from the environment.
Love and social needs- These include needs for belonging, love, and affection. Maslow considered these needs to be less basic than physiological and security needs. Relationships such as friendships, romantic attachments, and families help fulfill this need for companionship and acceptance, as does involvement in social, community, or religious groups.
Self-esteem needs- people who perceive themselves as worthwhile are said to possess high self-esteem. Self-respect is the key to esteem needs. Much of our self-respect, and therefore our esteem, come from being accepted and respected by others.
Self-actualization needs- This is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. One may satisfy this need by striving to become a better homemaker, plumber, rock singer, or manager.
Criticisms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
While some research showed some support for Maslow's theories, most research has not been able to substantiate the idea of a needs hierarchy. Wahba and Bridwell reported that there was little evidence for Maslow's ranking of these needs and even less evidence...