A Description of the Motivation Theories

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The motivation theories are different in their predictive strength. I would like to remember the most established to determine their relevance in explaining turnover, productivity, and other outcomes and assess the predictive power of each. 1.Need theories. Maslow’s hierarchy, McClelland’s needs, and the two factor theory focus on needs. None has found widespread support, although McClelland’s is the strongest, particularly regarding the relationship between achievement and productivity. In general, need theories are not very valid explanations of motivation. 2.Self-determination theory and cognitive evaluation theory. As research on the motivational effects of rewards has accumulated, it increasingly appears extrinsic rewards can undermine motivation if they are seen as coercive. They can increase motivation if they provide information about competence and relatedness. 3.Goal-setting theory. Clear and difficult goals lead to higher levels of employee productivity, supporting goal-setting theory’s explanation of this dependent variable. The theory does not address absenteeism, turnover, or satisfaction, however. 4.Reinforcement theory. This theory has an impressive record for predicting quality and quantity of work, persistence of effort, absenteeism, tardiness, and accident rates. It does not offer much insight into employee satisfaction or the decision to quit. 5.Equity theory/organizational justice. Equity theory deals with productivity, satisfaction, absence, and turnover variables. However, its strongest legacy is that it provided the spark for research on organizational justice, which has more support in the literature. 6.Expectancy theory. Expectancy theory offers a powerful explanation of performance variables such as employee productivity, absenteeism, and turnover. But it assumes employees have few constraints on decision making, such as bias or incomplete information, and this limits its applicability. Expectancy theory has some validity Things...
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