Motivation Theory - More Than Maslow

Powerful Essays
Topics: Motivation
Part A:
Motivation can be considered to comprise an individual’s effort and persistence and the direction of that effort – motivation is the will to perform. (Brooks, 2009) Most managers have to delegate because the job that they have is too big for one person to do. In having to work through other people it is necessary that managers understand what motivates an employee to act positively in the interests of the organization. (Buckley, 2009) Maslow’s theory of needs tends to be treated as classical within the field of organisational behaviour, being referred to as a ‘classic among classics’ (Matteson, Ivancevich, 1989; Wilson, 1999). However I aim to prove that motivation theory is a much broader topic than the principles of Maslow with the use of two content theories; ‘two-factor theory’ and ‘Theory X & Theory Y’, as well as process theories; Expectancy Theory and Equity Theory. To further prove my point I will use Marx’s theory and Taylor’s scientific approach.

Firstly some background - Maslow suggested individuals are motivated to satisfy a set of five needs which are hierarchically ranked according to their salience (Brooks, 2009). Physiological, safety and social needs (lower-order needs) are satisfied from the context within which the job is undertaken. Self-esteem and self-actualization (higher order needs) are met through the content of the job. Maslow further argued that at any one time one need is dominant and acts as a motivator. However once that need is satisfied it will no longer motivate, but be replaced by the next higher level need which remains to be satisfied. (Buckley, 2009) In order to be motivated, individuals need to be given the opportunity to satisfy the need at the next level in the hierarchy. (Brooks, 2009) Maslow recognised that this was not a fixed (yet quite rigid) hierarchy and that for some; motivators may be at different levels but little chance for deviation.
Content theories deviate from the ‘classical’ Maslow



Bibliography: Brooks, I., 2009. Organisational Behaviour: Individuals, Groups and Organisation. 5th ed. Harlow: Pearson. Buckley, M., 2009. Business Studies. 3rd ed. Harlow: Pearson. Clark, H., Chandler, J., Barry, J., 1994. Organisation and identities: Text and readings in organisational behaviour. Oxford: Chapman & Hall. Donkin, R., 2001. Blood, Sweat and Tears: The Evolution of Work. London: Texere. French, R. et al., 2008. Organizational Behaviour. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. Pugh, D., 1984. Organization Theory. 2nd ed. Middlesex: Penguin Group. Sankar, Y., 1994. Organizational Behaviour. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press Inc. Wilson, F., 1999. Organizational Behaviour and Work: A critical Introduction. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Herzberg, F., 1987. HBR classic: one more time: how do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review, 65 (5) [16 April 2012] Hutchinson, J., 2000

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