Theories of Motivation

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Theories of Motivation

Motivation has been defined as the psychological process that gives behaviour purpose and direction (Kreitner, 1995); an internal drive to satisfy an unsatisfied need (Higgins, 1994); and the will to achieve (Bedeian, 1993). In psychology, motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behavior. In simplistic terms, we can define motivation as the desire and willingness to do something and the inner force that helps individuals achieve their goals. Understanding what motivates employees and what can employers do to motivate their internal customers has been the focus of research by many researchers and the topic has gained special prominence in recent years. This is mainly because motivated employees can provide a firm with a distinctive advantage and a comptetitive edge and by being more productive they can help organisation thrive and survive. There are two schools of thought on motivational theories, the scientific school of thought and the behavioural school of thought.

Scientific Model
The basis of scientific management is considering employees as an input to the production of goods and services. The approach stresses on scientific selection, training and development of workers instead of allowing them to choose their own tasks and training methods and its objective is to carry out work in accordance with scientifically devised procedures. One of the pioneers and inventor of scientific approach to management was Frederick Taylor. Frederic Taylor, (1856-1915) was the first to analyse human behaviour scientifically with his machine model by making individuals into the equivalent of machine parts. He broke down the tasks to its smallest unit to figure out the best approach. After careful analysis of the job, workers were trained to do only those motions essential to the task. Taylor attempted to make a science for each element of work and restrict behavioural alternatives facing worker and looked at...
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