Motivation in the Workplace

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Motivation and the Workplace

What is motivation? According to Schermerhorn, “Motivation is an internal force that accounts for the level, direction, and persistence of effort expended at work,” (116). What do level, direction, and persistence refer to? Level is “the amount of effort a person puts forth,” direction is “an individual’s choice when presented with a number of possible alternatives,” and persistence which is “the length of time a person sticks with a given action,” (Schermerhorn, 102). When we look into motivation theories we see that there are content theories and process theories. We find that content theories “focus primarily on individual needs-physiological or psychological deficiencies that we feel a compulsion to reduce or eliminate,” (Schermerhorn, 102). Process theories “focus on how cognitive processes as thoughts and decisions within the minds of people influence their behavior,” (Schermerhorn, 102). These theories bring us functional self-awareness to different theories where we are able to “identify their key management implications,” (Schermerhorn, 102).

We start with ‘Needs Theories of Motivation’ which are content theories that “suggest that motivation results from our attempts to satisfy important needs,” (Schermerhorn, 103). One part of the ‘Needs Theories of Motivation’ is the acquired needs theory which consists of the need for achievement (nAch), “the desire to do something better or more efficiently, to solve problems, or to master complex tasks,”(Schermerhorn, 104); the need for affiliation (nAff), “the desire to establish and maintain friendly and warm relations with others,” (Schermerhorn, 105); and the need for power (nPower), “the desire to control others, to influence their behavior, or to be responsible for others,” (Schermerhorn, 105). These needs are something found in the workplace, someone with the need for achievement is someone who likes to be challenged and loves to receive what feedback they can...
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