1. Executive summary
2. Comparing Maslow’s theory of motivation with Skinner’s reinforcement theory in view of critique of each theory with special reference to the South African workplace.
3. A critical evaluation of the similarities and differences between reinforcement and the expectancy theories of motivation. Motivating a choice as to which one has the mist relevance to explaining the work motivation of employees in South Africa.
4. How managers can encourage effective performance by managing the reward process in their organisations. Applying two motivational theories to effect performance.
Other than being familiarised with different theories and that all are motivation related; the three assignments led to discoveries that: 1. One theory can be embedded in another when the purpose for a theory is changed, i.e. from a need to a behaviour. 2. By comparing theories, content (need) theories focus on the need as a motivator per se, whereas process/cognitive theories focus on how we are motivated. They differ a lot and similarities are rather superficial. The third assignment revealed that by focusing on a feature like performance one could discover specific motivational theories suited to it and how other can be instrumental to its goal. It is my opinion that companies will really benefit from considering making use of the expectancy model. It is an individual directed approach to further effective performance. They will have to apply the equity theory to make their approach fair and just. In fact, the expectancy model is as much an operational model as it is a motivational theory.
1. Comparing Maslow’s theory of motivation with Skinner’s reinforcement theory in view of critique of each theory with special reference to the SA workplace. McShane & Von Glinow (2010: 136) states that Maslow’s theory is a holistic approach of needs. The scope is so wide that it rather serves as a frame work. That may explain why research can find little or no empirical support for the theory, reports Robbins (2001: 157). Most other theories address a group of needs. Maslow’s initial belief was that needs is a bottom to top - lower to higher - hierarchy. This paper will prove it not to be so. Reinforcement is the external control of consequences (needs) to motivate the person. Reinforcement can use any need in any order as a reward to strengthen a behaviour. Maslow’s theory is need based and reinforcement behaviour based, but the latter uses the need to reinforce. By comparing, I will show how the reinforcement theory is applied within Maslow’s need theory differently. I incorporated Luthans (2011: 164) and Schultz et al (2003:56) practical applications to Maslow’s theory to show how his theory operates and then show how the reinforcement theory applies the needs to reinforce positive or negative behaviour. 1) Basic (physiological) needs.
Practical implication: Pay, subsidies, company cafeterias, coupons. All employers, also in SA, will pay their employees, thus satisfying basic needs indirectly. Yearly inflation related adjustments influenced by labour unions keeps the basic need satisfied. A problem for the Maslow’s theory is that in satisfying the need it tends to lose its motivational function and it becomes a right. Marikana and De Doorns are recent events where employees went on a strike because pay was considered as insufficient to meet physiological and social (schooling) demands. In reinforcement theory a reward only has meaning when it strengthens a behaviour. The reward must also be immediate to be effective. Salary will now fail as positive reinforcement. The reinforcement theory will resort to food vouchers/coupons as short term enforcers to strengthen positive behaviour. Withholding the coupons will be negative reinforcement. ii.) Security needs.
Practical implication: Security plans,...