Motivation Theories

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Human behavior Pages: 10 (3162 words) Published: April 9, 2013
Motivation refers to “the reasons underlying behavior” (Guay et al., 2010,). Paraphrasing Gredler, Broussard and Garrison (2004) broadly define motivation as “the attribute that moves us to do or not to do something” (p. 106). Intrinsic motivation is motivation that is animated by personal enjoyment, interest, or pleasure. As Deci et al. (1999) observe, “Intrinsic motivation energizes and sustains activities through the spontaneous satisfactions inherent in effective volitional action. It is manifest in behaviors such as play, exploration, and challenge seeking that people often do for external rewards” (p. 658). Researchers often contrast intrinsic motivation with extrinsic motivation, which is motivation governed by reinforcement contingencies. Traditionally, educators consider intrinsic motivation to be more desirable and to result in better learning outcomes than extrinsic motivation (Deci et al., 1999). Motivation involves a constellation of beliefs, perceptions, values, interests, and actions that are all closely related. As a result, various approaches to motivation can focus on cognitive behaviors (such as monitoring and strategy use), non-cognitive aspects (such as perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes), or both. For example, Gottfried (1990) defines academic motivation as “enjoyment of school learning characterized by a mastery orientation; curiosity; persistence; task-endogeny; and the learning of challenging, difficult, and novel tasks” (p. 525). On the other hand, Turner (1995) considers motivation to be synonymous with cognitive engagement, which he defines as “voluntary uses of high-level self-regulated learning strategies, such as paying attention, connection, planning, and monitoring”.

2.1 Maslow Theory
In 1954, Maslow published Motivation and Personality, which introduced this theory about how people satisfy various personal needs in the context of their work. He postulated, based on his observations as a humanistic psychologist, that there is general pattern of needs recognition and satisfaction that people follow in generally the same sequence. He also theorized that a person could not recognize or pursue the next higher need in hierarchy until her or his currently recognized need was substantially or completely satisfied, a concept called prepotency. (Gawel, Joseph E, 1997). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is shown in Figure 1. It is often illustrated as a pyramid with the survival need at the broad-based bottom and the self-actualization need at the narrow top.

Figure 1: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Source: Annie, (2011).
a. Physiological needs
These are important needs for sustaining the human life. Food, water, warmth, shelter, sleep, medicine and education are the basic physiological needs which fall in the primary list of need satisfaction. Maslow was o an opinion that until these needs was satisfied to a degree to maintain life, no other motivating factors can work.

b. Security of Safety needs
These are the needs to be free of physical danger and of the fear of losing a job, property, food or shelter. It also includes protection against any emotional harm.

c. Social needs
Since people are social beings, they need to belong and be accepted by others. People try to satisfy their need for affection, acceptance and friendship.

d. Esteem needs
According to Maslow, once people begin to satisfy their need to belong, they tend to want to be held in esteem both by themselves ad by others. This kind of need produces such satisfaction as power, prestige status and self-confidence. It includes both internal esteem factors such as states, recognition and attention.

e. Need for self-actualization
Maslow regards this as the highest need in his hierarchy. It is the drive to become what one is capable of becoming, it includes growth, achieving one’s potential and self-fulfilment. It is to maxima one’s potential and to accomplish...

References: Kreitner. R., Kinicki. A. (2011). Organizational Behaviour. (9th Edition). Mc Graw Hill: NY.
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