Motivation and Traditional Theories

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„No bees no honey, no work no money,“ says one old proverb. On one hand it is absolutely true, on the other we have to ask ourselves: Do we really work just for honey? Or is there something else that makes us get up at seven o’clock a.m. every day and even with sleepy eye get to work? As Mr. Maslow would tell you, we work to gain our basic needs and to get personal self fulfillment at the end. Anyway, it’s not only us who need to get things done. Actually there are people “above” us. These are people who judge us by our work and who wants us to make our work the best. To gain their goals, they have to motivate us.

In recent years motivation of employees became very important issue discussed in many companies. Some of the companies rely on material motivation, such as money. Others prefer nonmaterial forms. There are also many firms and enterprises offering their employees combination of both. In all cases it is necessary for employer to know what his employees’ preferences are. When he or she does not choose the right form, all the means used may become useless.

To find out which form would be the best, the employer can start with the broadest research on positive and negative motivations and on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Very useful may be also traditional theories of motivation like Incentive theory or Need theories. But the biggest disadvantage if this approach is more theoretical than practical direction of those “old” theories.

For recent managers the best solution are modern theories. Unlike the traditional theories they are supported with evidences. Thanks to these methods, employers can identify their needs in a clearer way. The best example would be the “Goal Setting Theory”. It focuses on specific and clear goals that lead to greater output and better performance. The main expectation of this method is the fact that those goals may be realistic and challenging. In connection with motivation the performance is important, too. Even in...
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