Theories of Work Motivation

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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are arranged in a series of levels - a hierarchy of importance. As soon as needs on a lower level are met those on the next, higher level will demand satisfaction. Maslow believed the underlying needs for all human motivation to be on five general levels from lowest to highest, shown below. Within those levels, there could be many specific needs, from lowest to highest. Frederick Herzberg (1923-) had close links with Maslow and believed in a two-factor theory of motivation. He argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygiene factors). Motivators are more concerned with the actual job itself. For instance how interesting the work is and how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Hygiene factors are factors which ‘surround the job’ rather than the job itself. For example a worker will only turn up to work if a business has provided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder at his job once he is there. Importantly Herzberg viewed pay as a hygiene factor which is in direct contrast to Taylor who viewed pay and piece-rate in particular. Herzberg believed that businesses should motivate employees by adopting different styles of approaches to management and by improving the nature and content of the actual job through certain methods. Some of the methods managers could use to achieve this are: •Job enlargement – workers being given a greater variety of tasks to perform (not necessarily more challenging) which should make the work more interesting. •Job enrichment - involves workers being given a wider range of more complex, interesting and challenging tasks surrounding a complete unit of work....
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