Evaluating Motivation Theories to eliminate Enthusiasm Concern


1 - Introduction

In general, motivation is reason of doing something. This report is focused on organizational motivation for the evaluation of person's motivation in work associated behaviour, as in todays date all the organizations around the world work hard to increase the motivation of their employees. It is a process that relates to a person's direction, passion and consistency of effort to achieve an objective, the inspiration of any feeling or want operating upon an individual's determination and steer in towards achievement [1]. As motivation is an inner emotion, it boosts an individual to work and work more in consistent manner. Whether we work in a firm, run our business, study, play, eat, walk and sleep, at sometime we all feel de-motivated or need motivation.

Motivation consists for three crucial components [2]. They are -




The foremost and the most important element of motivation - intensity is linked with the how hard an employee or person tries. Intensity at a higher frequency may even reduce the possibility of achievement of objectives. Management in all the organizations direct workers and different departments in order to attain certain departmental objectives to plan to achieve the overall objective of the firm like profit, deadline adherence depending on an organization type. Motivation as a vital aspect supports workers to utilize their skills to perform in the best way and help in reaching to the firm's objective effectively and efficiently.

1.1 - Motivation Theories - Introduction

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There a numerous ways and views that motivate workers. It is the most important management task. In present working atmosphere, feature of all the approaches are crucial that can be observed in the range on "theories" [3]. They are categorized as -

Content Theories - This theory focuses on "what" aspect that makes an individual work. It looks at the reason and the want which makes people want things and what makes them do or not do specific things. Outstanding writers of this theory include Maslow, Hertzberg, McGregor, Atkinson, McClelland and Alderfer.

Instrumental Theories - It personifies the want to achieve a target that is realistic or concrete from a subsequent language study. This theory is derived from a study that concludes that work for some individuals is the only means of financial rewards.

Process Theories - This emphasize on "how" and "what", the type, a person can be motivated by. This theory concentrates on the aspect the person is having a thought about when they plan to put certain effort in a particular task. One of the vital theories falling in this category is Vroom's Expectancy Model which suggests that in a direction to achieve results a person chooses various behaviour.

1.2 - The Theories

The various helpful theories presented by many various theorists to the world are as follows [4] -

Expectancy Theory - This theory derives that the force of the expectation decides the tendency to perform and the result will relate to the motivation of the individual.

Goal-Setting Theory - It specifies the certain intentions converted by an individual into goals by the intensity of need and success.

Equity Theory - It shows the base of the assessments made by an individual. It emphasizes on dividing or sharing the work working on the same environment and also being treated fairly in comparison to other persons on other departments.

McGregor's Theory X & Theory Y - The theory X implies to the people that are concerned for the basic needs instead of contributing to needs and the goals of the firm. Thus, the management and the manager need to effectively control the workers, punish them accordingly and even reward them suitably.

Theory Y reflects that work and perform responsibly and are motivated by high ambition. Thus, the boss should provide chances to enhance decision power, independence and maturity to perform and grow better.

Abraham Maslow's "Need Hierarchy Theory" - Maslow being a psychologist published the famous theories on motivation. Human needs were seen as hierarchy, rising to the highest from the lowest. The needs stated in the theory are -

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Physiological needs - These are the most basic and important need for continuing the person's life. Central needs like food, shelter, water, medicine, sleep and education collate in the list of this theory. As per Maslow, no motivation factors cannot be put to use until these needs are assured to a level in order to sustain life.

Safety or security need - It refers to the need to be away or free from the threat of losing shelter, food, property, job and also includes the protection from any emotionally hurt.

Social needs - This need comprises of belongingness and acceptation by others. Humans as social beings try to please the need for affection, friendship and acceptance.

Esteem needs - As per Maslow, after satisfying there need to belong, people desire esteem by themselves and by others. This need links to needs such as prestige status, self-confidence and power.

Self - actualization needs - Being the need at the highest level of the authority. It reflects growth, self-fulfilment and attaining one's potential and to desires to maximize the same.

"Maslow's Hierarchy for needs" [4]

Motivation-hygiene theory by Fredrick Herzberg - This is also known as the Two-factor theory. He mentioned that the two forms of employees - satisfied and dissatisfied, form which the satisfied employees are pleases due to "intrinsic" factors and disappointed employees are result of extrinsic factors. The theory states that a job does not become fulfilling even after disposing the dissatisfying factors. The same is due to certain natural factors present in the organization that prevent motivation. Similarly, presence of some factors facilitate motivation and absence causes de-motivation.

Hygiene factors include factors like salary, relationship with supervisor/co-workers, status, personal life, company policies and its administration. Motivation factors are challenges, acknowledgment, growth, accountability and attainment.

2 - The Organizational Issue

The concern discussed below is based on my real professional experience. My professional experience of more than five years taught me a lot, about people's working nature, their body language and their physical attributes contributing to the working environment effectively and occasionally inadequately - de-motivating others.

I joined an IT consultant & solutions company named IGT (Interglobe Technologies) at Delhi (India) in 2008. The reason for joining this firm was that I was being offered a better profile in the same framework of which I previously had a practice of more than three years. Working in a team in previous organization was going to be a challenge here as I was supposed to be a sole member in MIS (Management Information System) profile, as a MIS Analyst. My profile wanted me to help/improve reporting and automation of existing (spreadsheet) reports used by the agent level to the managerial level, covering non voice processes of combination of approximate 150 people. At joining, initially the basic introduction with all the concerned personals like supervisors, managers and vice president was taken through. The first day of my job itself, confused me about my profile that "What is to be done". Even the second day was not any better. I was undergone a brief introduction about all the campaigns like South African Airlines ticket bookings, hotel reservation within America, Indigo Airline bookings etc. whose reporting and automation was to be handled by me. It was also informed to me by reporting manager that being the only MIS source in the company, due to crucial requirement and urgent demand by few other managers, I would be shared among four managers in total, having one main reporting manager Ms. Pooja Dogra. The days for each manager were to be divided as Monday - Tuesday to be for one manager's campaign, Wednesday for one, Thursday for other manager and Friday for the last manager. That moment was stormed by a question in my mind "How is it to be done". Somehow, they were kind enough to give me the weekend off, planning how to make complete and severe schedule beneficial to them to get their existing problems solved and reduce future tasks by automation of spreadsheet reports.

Finally, the challenging days started which I was really looking forward to. It was going to be very interesting as being use to of hard work and working under pressure, it would have given me great learning in the totally new profile and environment. After being thorough in all the processes under my task routine in the first week, delegation of tasks was done to me. I took it as a responsible job instead of a burden and started working for each manager equally as per work needs and suggesting them personally with my time and skills to help them in their basic and advanced managerial responsibilities. It was a remarkable experience to work at such a reputed organization with highly qualified individuals. Each day, it was providing me with fresh knowledge at a great extent and putting my skills to use that even helped me enhance my own skills by experimenting new logics. Soon, I was sharing a good bond among all my managers due to that fact that my work involved working close with the managers and their supervisors assisting them in their reports and preparing power-point presentations for their meetings at management and client level that involved attending number of meetings everyday.

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After few months, the company was in process on hiring some new international processes & projects that unfortunately was falling under all my four managers. At first, the new projects were landing one by one, for which there was download of a lot of details and delegation of new tasks in meetings as well as in person everyday. Suddenly, when all the projects were on the verge of being initiated, there was a rush of meetings, calls, queries, doubts, tasks which became a crisis for everyone especially me. Having a helping nature, I was trying my best to help and assist all the managers and supervisors on any day of the week, keeping in mind, the situation was genuine. But each manager was requiring rigorous hours on their respective days for which I had to extend my shift almost everyday spending time on the delegated tasks for me. Even that was not enough due to which, I even had to skip my breaks and even work from home. It became very hectic for me on daily basis, working rigorously for approximate 10-15 hours everyday due to which lot of work kept pending as use to be urgently called anytime of the day by any of the managers for their work.

Soon, they were requiring more time by me, on the days I had to serve other managers. Instead of planning and worrying about the outcome of my duty by rewards, recognition or praise, my concentration was on the work. Being responsible and dedicated I tried a lot satisfying them in their queries but due to the huge workload and being the only resource for in MIS, helping in their reports and presentations, each manager was requiring few hours from me almost everyday. Working in a nine hour shift, it was impossible to spend equal or ample time with all of them. They individually demanded me to visit them on odd days to sit and work with them. It could not be agreed or even denied by me, as my profile did not comply with any of the reply. I requested them to discuss with my other managers as well, so that my time & effort can be devoted evenly or to the manager needing help most urgently. That suggestion was given by me being neutral and equal to all my managers, professionally and personally but two of my managers - Mr. Manish Wilson and Ms. Chynell Reynolds misunderstood it. They felt that I did not want to help them or they were trying to be avoided. They did not like the idea of me helping them out after helping other managers in need which was not even meant by me. Whereas, my reporting and the fourth manager - Ms. Pooja Dogra and Mr. Rudy Spencer were pleased with my suggestion to give equal opportunity to the managers to show their urgency and pick me for help. Being misinterpreted, I felt really bad and shattered, even after providing my core dedication to my job working hard and passion for work. Their behaviour suddenly became uncertain with me, carrying negative attitude about me, making it hard for me to do my tasks efficiently. The problem was stagnant, how to manage and work for each manager as per there needs. It took few days for all my managers to arrange a meeting together to work to examine and avail me accordingly.

3 - The Investigation

During the group meeting with all four managers, there were many statements made by my managers -

Mr. Manish

"If I need and ask help from Kunal, he has no authority to say no".

"Directly or indirectly, he denied helping me".

"I have more upcoming projects that any other manager, I will require him for two days, instead of one".

Ms. Chynell

"Kunal's suggestion is unacceptable. He has to help me in problematic situation."

"I expect him to work for me whole day, assigned to me apart from any other manager".

In my confrontation, the other two managers supported me in the following way -

Ms. Pooja

"Kunal helps us to a great extent everyday in every way possible, we cannot question him on his preference for any manager".

"He is working hard days and nights, spending extra hours without complaining or avoiding in any way at all".

Mr. Rudy

"Kunal has been a great support on and off my reporting day. Being a non reporting day, he could have denied it but he did not and further helped in my presentation".

"I completely agree with his fair decision, look forward to help me and my team with his skills".

Apart from the managers, their respective supervisors also supported me as they knew my fair way of working and always being ready to help. The cause of this issue was due to the reason that I was being shared unequally by the managers and was undergone a lot of pressure and tiresome tasks for long hours. It became a prestige issue for them to share me with any other manager on their day, although all were requiring a good amount of support by me. Being the only resource it became almost impossible to treat each of them and be treated equally and prioritise my duties accordingly making me de-motivated for the tasks and routine.

3.1 Causes of Problem

All the organizations are diverse in numerous ways. People working at all the levels of any firm have different work habits and behaviour pattern which has positives and negatives due to the factors. Such instances or similar issues as mentioned above can be part of anyone's life de-motivating him/her that can even hamper the efficient and effective performance and letting the morale down too. In terms to needs, motivation stays as the most basic factors which all of us desire to grow.

The primary problem mentioned above is faced by me due to his reason of working on various duties all by myself and the company's fact of lack of resources. My tasks use to take a toll when it required me to work for one manager for few hours and then urgently called by the other manager and delegated new tasks with very short deadlines. Due to the same, it was very tough to perform all my tasks abiding by all the terms and conditions which at times use to make my bosses frown. My efforts were professional and sincere, trying a lot to give them no opportunity for pointing mistakes or negativity. Even though I gave my best to perform my duties and responsibilities there were instances when I could not cope up with the demands for all the respective managers at once or at times of situational crisis. That created a negative impact on two managers and resulted in organizational behavioural issue which further effected my mental peace and work passion. It used to be very de-motivating for me and even made me feel helpless.

4 - Findings

From the above extract, it can be simply understood that the work path chosen by "Kunal" was authentic, showing professionalism towards the required duties and responsibilities.

4 - Evaluation

The issue discussed above is directly related to motivation and organizational behaviour reflecting a typical work place situation. As it directly linked to the work environment in an organization causing de-motivation, it shows that this incident was affecting the work as well. Thus, analytically, this perfect example or incident stated can be associated to quite a few basic motivation theories -

Goal Theory - Based on this theory, it can be summarised that I was experienced enough to bear the pressure under gloomy atmosphere and deliver the work to please the management but due to too sudden increase in goals by constant allocation of daily jobs containing deadlines hampered my quality of work and reduced time which sometimes even landed in missing deadlines. My intentions were pretty clear towards my work, which were challenged at the time of crisis. It can also be seen that the goals and deadlines that were set by the managers were impractical to achieve as it could not be done by just one person with so much burden of work and also being shared by four managers providing inappropriate delegation of work.

Equity Theory - Relation with this theory suggests that my assessment about the plan of work and outcome occasionally turned out to be foggy and even incorrect. This happened as it was not easy to judge the certainty of upcoming new responsibilities. Also, being loaded with work by the superiors the management behaviour and work allocation was unprofessional. It was part of responsibility to take charge of various regular and a lot of new responsibilities everyday which ethically was not fair by the management and the organization in such a state of affairs. Being the only MIS professional in the organization made it impossible to take some burden of work in anyway which could help a lot in this situation and perform towards the utmost quality.

McGregor's Theory "Y" - This theory implies that fact that working efficiently and responsibly, even with the huge work load, passion and the drive to work was my means of a job. In return, unprofessional behaviour and unethical work tactics was least expected due to which a certain level of motivation, liberty, judgment authority became a desire. I enjoy my work naturally, aiming to achieve the goal as a reward. Similarly, theory Y consists of management that deals with the employees who like to exercise self direction and possessing the self control to target the result [ ]. Going through a genuine workload, hopes and aims were kept high without having the dislike for work.

Maslow's Esteem & Self-Actualization Needs - As compared to this study, possessing the "social needs", there was certain need of the esteem needs like appreciation, self respect, power, targeting an objective as mission. These theories connect well with the motivation level faced above. There is a want of growth and personal accomplishment and a sense of success delivers a great sense of satisfaction. A definite display of capabilities and personal skills can be seen with one's potential and self-fulfilment [1].

The Two-Factor Theory - Herzberg's Two-Factor theory shows the clear connection of the motivation issue with the work issue. It undoubtedly proves that there are intrinsic (motivation) as well as extrinsic (motivation) factors responsible for the dissatisfaction faced [1]. The hygiene factors that can be seen are -

Security of future growth or even job.

Relationship with supervisor/manager.

Working conditions.

Personal life being affected.

The motivation factors responsible for the issue are listed below -

The anxiety to achieve.

The zeal for advancement.

The doubtful possibility for growth.

The desire for recognition.

Excess of responsibilities.

5 - Conclusions

The incident above depicting the motivation issue reflects various reasons that initiated the crisis. The same can be easily highlighted by the behavioural problem faced and views shared among the managers. As per the connection with the relevant theories stated above, it can be identified as a temporary motivation block which can be worked upon and be resolved.

In comparison with the goal theory, it can be easily judged that in the above context, "Kunal" already had the aims and its working planned. It was working fine until the management poured a lot more duties making it impossible to achieve all the objectives within the required deadline reducing the morale. The surplus duties and responsibilities made the job very rough due to which the goals became unrealistic. The management should notice the same and set an achievable target which will help worker and the management reducing the risks of deadlines. Experiencing the equity theory, the managers should realize that they have delegated a lot of lengthy and unavoidable tasks, making it unfair and unprofessional, resulting in de-motivation. The view at the Expectancy & Equity theory can help the managers notice the zeal and the self motivation for advancement which is seen from time to time. This should be taken as worthy & loyal source to the company and they should plan securing Kunal's job as well as providing him chance to grow and make him work in a bit more liberal way. Theory Y can undoubtedly help the management realize the cause and the solution for the motivation concern. They need to understand the maturity and give time to reflect his skills and judgements by granting more independence and decision making power. As every human works to avail his needs, his needs are always growing. As per the needs that are required above, Maslow's theory suggests that the management should at least accept the idea of suggestion to have a look over, if not agree to it. The managers should boost his confidence, providing him support and resources. Experiencing his sincere efforts towards his job, he should be given an opportunity to grow, enhancing the motivation along with raising work standards.

6 - Recommendations

Based on the analysis above and keeping the crucial motivation theories in notice, there are some strong recommendations that are stated below which will not only minimize or eradicate the enthusiasm concern but also improve the work environment -

Primarily, it is highly recommended that the management hires a new MIS analyst due to the reason that workload is fluctuating and very unlikely to be all concluded meeting all the deadlines. It will help in evenly dividing the work and taking the pressure off from one person only. It will further help in better planning for the analysts in various tasks and can also help the managers equally and more efficiently. It will also increase the work quality and reduce the time of performing tasks as the tasks will be divided which will also offer opportunity to prove the skills and grow.

If the above proposal proves to be costly for the firm, it can be strongly recommended to the management to hold workshops and meeting to train and download MIS skills to the managers and their supervisors. It will help to reduce the analyst's time spent on various small unwanted jobs, as that can be done or solved by the managers and supervisors themselves increasing self confidence and knowledge.

This issue can also be resolved by the managers redefining or looking over the deadlines of the tasks again. As the whole management is sharing one single resource, it should understand the work pressure of many managers and campaigns on only one person. It will reduce the errors, increase in the excellence of work and

It is also suggested that the management or managers share the only MIS resource evenly. Based on the issue, the MIS analyst was being shared as per the days for four different managers, so it would be much better to deal with the daily jobs and responsibilities, if the resource is shared strictly on the respective days instead of working for two or more managers on a same given day.

The above mentioned points will greatly help the organization in making a smooth and continuous flow for daily jobs which will help in achieving relevant targets within time limits and even enhancing motivation of working within the firm, raising its prospects which every organization aims at.

7 - References

[1] - http://www.scribd.com/Notes-on-motivation/d/22575107

[2] - Armstrong M. (2007), A handbook of human resource management practice, 10th edition, Kogan Page, London

[3] - http://www.resultsplus.com.au/res_pdf/Evol_Motivation_Theory.pdf

[4] - http://www.laynetworks.com/Theories-of-Motivation.html

[5] -

[3] - http://www.scribd.com/Notes-on-motivation/d/22575107