Motivation Theories

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Management Pages: 19 (6493 words) Published: March 10, 2011
What is Motivation?
Buchanan defines motivation as follows:
"Motivation is a decision-making process, through which the individual chooses the desired outcomes and sets in motion the behaviour appropriate to them". How does motivation differ from "motives"

Buchanan defines motives as:
"learned influences on human behaviour that lead us to pursue particular goals because they are valued". Motivation can therefore be thought of as the degree to which an individual wants AND chooses to engage in certain behaviours. For example: are you motivated to study? The answer lies in whether you (1) Want to study - what are the reasons, if so?

(2) Choose to study? - Why are you reading these revision notes? What factors mean that you have taken the decision to study? How much effort do you put in? Individual behaviour is at the heart of human motivation

Why is individual behaviour so important in trying to understand and then influence motivation? - Every individual has a set of needs and a different set of goals - Individuals behave in a way as to satisfy their needs and fulfil their goals - Therefore, individuals behave differently!

- Businesses, as organisations, are in a position to offer some of the satisfactions that individuals seek: E.g. - Relationships; sense of belonging; intellectual stimulation; mental & physical challenge; self-development Why is motivation important for businesses?

It is often said that the best businesses have the best motivated workers. Why might this be important? Because well-motivated employees are usually characterised by: - Higher productivity (i.e. they produce more for a given level of resources than poorly-motivated workers) - Better quality work with less wastage

- A greater sense of urgency (things happen quicker - when they need to) - More employee feedback and suggestions made for improvements (motivated workers take more "ownership" of their work") - More feedback demanded from superiors and management

- Working at 80-95% of their ability

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Unlike others researchers in the earlier days of psychology, Abraham Maslow's based his theory of human needs on creative people who used all their talents, potential, and capabilities (Bootzin, Loftus, Zajonc, Hall, 1983). His methodology differed from most other psychological researchers at the time in that these researchers mainly observed mentally unhealthy people. Maslow (1970) felt that human needs were arranged in a hierarchical order that could be divided into two major groups: basic needs and metaneeds (higher order needs): •Basic Needs are physiological, such as food, water, and sleep; and psychological, such as affection, security, and self-esteem. These basic needs are also called “deficiency needs” because if they are not met by an individual, then that person will strive to make up the deficiency. •Metaneeds or being needs (growth needs). These include justice, goodness, beauty, order, unity, etc. Basic needs normally take priority over these meta needs. For example, a person who lacks food or water will not normally attend to justice or beauty needs.

How does the Hierarchy Work?
- A person starts at the bottom of the hierarchy (pyramid) and will initially seek to satisfy basic needs (e.g. food, shelter) - Once these physiological needs have been satisfied, they are no longer a motivator. the individual moves up to the next level - Safety needs at work could include physical safety (e.g. protective clothing) as well as protection against unemployment, loss of income through sickness etc) - Social needs recognise that most people want to belong to a group. These would include the need for love and belonging (e.g. working with colleague who support you at work, teamwork, communication) - Esteem needs are about being given recognition for a job well done. They reflect the fact that many people seek the esteem and respect of others. A promotion at work might achieve this -...
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