Motivation and Organisational Behavior

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What is motivation? Motivation is define as the stimulus that drives, direct and maintaining the human behavior to reach goals (Wood et al., 2006). In the context of workplace, motivation will be the one that drive the employee to perform and give more effort to contribute in the company or organization growth. Hence, it is crucial that manager keeps their employee or workers motivated. In this essay, one out of four content theories and one out of two process theory will be defined out and compared out.

There are 2 types of motivation theory: Content and process theory. While content theory looks to factors within the individual and attempt to answer most of the “what” question in the context of motivation, process theory emphasize more on “how” does someone gets motivated. (Vincent Gabriel, 2003). A few theorists that have contributed to the few famous theories are Maslow, Herzberg, Atkinson, and McClelland (Vincent Gabriel, 2003). In theory, there is a continuous relationship between need (drive), tension, action and satisfaction (Reduction of drive). But in reality, it might be more complex than just those 4 actions. These are because: People’s needs are changing over time, and how people react to failure plays a part too. For example a failure to someone will demoralize him, and yet it might push another person to strive for to be better. Hence, their varying needs translated into varying actions of each individual. (Vincent Gabriel, 2003).

One of the famous theories in terms of motivation is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory. In this theory, Abraham Maslow defined out human needs in 5 steps, with each lower step must be satisfied or fulfilled before advancing to the further steps. He identify higher order needs, such as self esteem and self actualization and lower order needs such as social, safety and physiological needs (wood et al, 2006). Maslow rank these needs up by assuming which needs are more important, hence the need to satisfy it before other needs can serve as motivators. (Wood et all, 2006). According to Maslow himself, once the lower needs have been satisfied, it will not serve as the motivator anymore (Udechukwu, 2009). For example, for a normal human, the most basic needs include food, water and a place to live. Once this needs have been fulfilled, he will then move on to the next hierarchy: safety. To put it in rough term, he will then want to be able to continue to eat and drink, hence he will find a job and a source of income to do so. Once that is satisfied too, and then he will be able to move on to the next level, so on and so forth. Hence, as you can see, a person will continue to climb the “pyramid” until he reaches the top of the scale: self actualization. From here onward, he then will think on how to expand himself further, and start fulfilling other aspect of needs.

As what have written previously, while content theory like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains out on what are the factors that motivate people, there’s process theory that explain on how does the motivator motivate people, or even, whether is the motivator effective or rather counter-productive instead? In this essay, for the process theory, we are going to look at Adam’s equity theory.

Equity theory suggests that employee must develop a sense of fairness after comparing themselves against their peer or others. Huseman et al suggest that there are three types of individuals (Shore, 2004). They are: ‘Benevolents’, who are described as “giver”, who prefer to have given more input than output. There’s also ‘Entitleds’, who are the “getter”, who on the contrary to the “giver”, will feel discontent and unfair when their input is larger than their output, and finally, the third type of individual is the one that what Huseman called Equity Sensitives, who will adhere to the old equity theory and will just stick with the balance of input and output (Shore, 2004). With all the individuals defined,...
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