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Motivation as a topic is quite vast and is used in different context. Human motivation is simplistically defined as a set of reasons that determines a person to act or engage in a particular action or behavior. There are many proposed theories of motivation that define and explain different attributes of motivation and different styles used to motivate people.
According to the writer,( Alexander and Winne,2006) motivation is to inspire people to work, individually or in groups in the ways such as to produce best results. It is the will to act. It is the willingness to exert high levels of effort towards organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts and ability to satisfy some individual need. According to Schreier (2008), motivation is getting somebody to do something because they want to do it. It was once assumed that motivation had to be injected from outside, but it is now understood that everyone is motivated by several differing forces. Young (2007),motivation is a general term applied to the entire class of drives, desires, needs, wishes and similar forces. To say that managers motivate their subordinates is to say that they do those things which they hope will satisfy these drives and desires and induce the subordinates to act in a desired manner.
To motivate others is the most important of management tasks. It comprises the abilities to communicate, to set an example, to challenge, to encourage, to obtain feedback, to involve, to delegate, to develop and train, to inform In the initiation a person starts feeling lack nesses. There is an arousal of need so urgent, that the bearer has to venture in search to satisfy it. This leads to creation of tension, which urges the person to forget everything else and cater to the aroused need first. This tension also creates drives and attitudes regarding the type of satisfaction that is desired. This leads a person to venture into the search of information. This ultimately leads to evaluation of alternatives where the best alternative is chosen. After choosing the alternative, an action is taken. Because of the performance of the activity satisfaction is achieved which than relieves the tension in the individual.
According to Mullins (2005) many people know motivation as the driving force behind an action. This is probably the simplest explanation about motivation. Motivation can be considered the state of having encouragement to do something.
There are many theories exist for motivation. But Maslow and "Theory X and Theory Y" of Douglas McGregor theories are much more impotent and justifiable .
Abraham Maslow's "Need Hierarchy Theory":
One of the most widely mentioned theories of motivation is the hierarchy of needs theory put forth by psychologist Abraham Maslow. Maslow saw human needs in the form of a hierarchy, ascending from the lowest to the highest, and he concluded that when one set of needs is satisfied, this kind of need ceases to be a motivator.
As per his theory this needs are:
(i) 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 of an opinion that until these needs were satisfied to a degree to maintain life, no other motivating factors can work.
(ii) Security or 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. Armstrong M,(2009),
(iii) 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. Armstrong M,(2009),
(iv) 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 and by others. This kind of need produces such satisfaction as power, prestige status and self-confidence. It includes both internal esteem factors like self-respect, autonomy and achievements and external esteem factors such as states, recognition and attention. Armstrong M,(2009),
(v) 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-fulfillment. It is to maximize one's potential and to accomplish something. Armstrong M,(2009),
Source: Maslow's theory, Armstrong M,(2009),
As each of these needs are substantially satisfied, the next need becomes dominant. From the standpoint of motivation, the theory would say that although no need is ever fully gratified, a substantially satisfied need no longer motivates. So if you want to motivate someone, you need to understand what level of the hierarchy that person is on and focus on satisfying those needs or needs above that level.
Maslow's need theory has received wide recognition, particularly among practicing managers. This can be attributed to the theory's intuitive logic and ease of understanding. However, research does not validate this theory. Maslow provided no empirical evidence and other several studies that sought to validate the theory found no support for it.
"Theory X and Theory Y" of Douglas McGregor :
McGregor, in his book "The Human side of Enterprise" states that people inside the organization can be managed in two ways. The first is basically negative, which falls under the category X and the other is basically positive, which falls under the category Y. After viewing the way in which the manager dealt with employees, McGregor concluded that a manager's view of the nature of human beings is based on a certain grouping of assumptions and that he or she tends to mold his or her behavior towards subordinates according to these assumptions.
Under the assumptions of theory X :
Employees inherently do not like work and whenever possible, will attempt to avoid it.
Because employees dislike work, they have to be forced, coerced or threatened with punishment to achieve goals.
Employees avoid responsibilities and do not work fill formal directions are issued.
Most workers place a greater importance on security over all other factors and display little ambition.
In contrast under the assumptions of theory Y :
Physical and mental effort at work is as natural as rest or play.
People do exercise self-control and self-direction and if they are committed to those goals.
Average human beings are willing to take responsibility and exercise imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solving the problems of the organization.
That the way the things are organized, the average human being's brainpower is only partly used.
On analysis of the assumptions it can be detected that theory X assumes that lower-order needs dominate individuals and theory Y assumes that higher-order needs dominate individuals. An organization that is run on Theory X lines tends to be authoritarian in nature, the word "authoritarian" suggests such ideas as the "power to enforce obedience" and the "right to command." In contrast Theory Y organizations can be described as "participative", where the aims of the organization and of the individuals in it are integrated; individuals can achieve their own goals best by directing their efforts towards the success of the organization.
However, this theory has been criticized widely for generalization of work and human behavior.
Vroom's Valence x Expectancy theory
The most widely accepted explanations of motivation have been propounded by Victor Vroom. His theory is commonly known as expectancy theory. The theory argues that the strength of a tendency to act in a specific way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual to make this simple, expectancy theory says that an employee can be motivated to perform better when there is a belief that the better performance will lead to good performance appraisal and that this shall result into realization of personal goal in form of some reward. Therefore an employee is :
Motivation = Valence x Expectancy.
The theory focuses on three things :
Efforts and performance relationship
Performance and reward relationship
Rewards and personal goal relationship
This leads us to a conclusion that :
The Porter and Lawler Model:
Lyman W. Porter and Edward E. Lawler developed a more complete version of motivation depending upon expectancy theory.
Source: According to the Pinder C .C(1998)Lyman W. Porter and Edward E. Lawler
Actual performance in a job is primarily determined by the effort spent. But it is also affected by the person's ability to do the job and also by individual's perception of what the required task is. So performance is the responsible factor that leads to intrinsic as well as extrinsic rewards. These rewards, along with the equity of individual leads to satisfaction. Hence, satisfaction of the individual depends upon the fairness of the reward.
Equity Theory :
According to Griffith, R. W. (1993)As per the equity theory of J. Stacey Adams, people are motivated by their beliefs about the reward structure as being fair or unfair, relative to the inputs. People have a tendency to use subjective judgment to balance the outcomes and inputs in the relationship for comparisons between different individuals. Motivation6
Accordingly : Source: Griffith, R. W. (1993)
If people feel that they are not equally rewarded they either reduce the quantity or quality of work or migrate to some other organization. However, if people perceive that they are rewarded higher, they may be motivated to work harder.
Goal Setting Theory of Edwin Locke:
According to McClelland D C(1987),Instead of giving vague tasks to people, specific and pronounced objectives, help in achieving them faster. As the clarity is high, a goal orientation also avoids any misunderstandings in the work of the employees. The goal setting theory states that when the goals to be achieved are set at a higher standard than in that case employees are motivated to perform better and put in maximum effort. It revolves around the concept of "Self-efficacy" i.e. individual's belief that he or she is capable of performing a hard task.
Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
According to Boddy David, (2005),As per these theories a shift from external rewards to internal rewards results into motivation. It believes that even after the stoppage of external stimulus, internal stimulus survives. It relates to the pay structure in the organization. Instead of treating external factors like pay, incentives, promotion etc and internal factors like interests, drives, responsibility etc, separately, they should be treated as contemporary to each other. The cognition is to be such that even when external motivators are not there the internal motivation continues. However, practically extrinsic rewards are given much more weight age.
There is no one thing that motivates people to perform certain actions. People are different, so it follows that their motivations have to be different. There are some types of motivation.
This is the motivation of a person to attain goals. The longing for achievement is inherent in every man, but not all persons look to achievement as their motivation. They are motivated by a goal. In order to attain that goal, they are willing to go as far as possible. The complexity of the goal is determined by a person's perception.
To us, the terms "simple" and "complex" are purely relative. What one person thinks is an easy goal to accomplish may seem to be impossible to another person. However, if your motivation is achievement, you will find that your goals will grow increasingly complex. Mullins(2005)
Some people consider socialization to be their main motivation for actions. This is especially evident in the situation of peer pressure. Some people are willing to do anything to be treated as an equal within a group structure. The idea of being accepted among a group of people is their motivation for doing certain things. Mullins ( 2005)
Incentive motivation -
This motivation involves rewards. People who believe that they will receive rewards for doing something are motivated to do everything they can to reach a certain goal. While achievement motivation is focused on the goal itself, incentive motivation is driven by the fact that the goal will give people benefits. Incentive motivation is used in companies through bonuses and other types of compensation for additional work.
By offering incentives, companies hope to raise productivity and motivate their employees to work harder. Mullins ( 2005).
Fear motivation -
When incentives do not work, people often turn to fear and punishment as the next tools. Fear motivation involves pointing out various consequences if someone does not follow a set of prescribed behavior. This is often seen in companies as working hand-in-hand with incentive motivation. Workers are often faced with a reward and punishment system, wherein they are given incentives if they accomplish a certain goal, but they are given punishments when they disobey certain policies. Mullins ( 2005).
Change motivation -
Sometimes people do things just to bring about changes within their immediate environment. Change motivation is often the cause of true progress. People just become tired of how things are and thus, think of ways to improve it. Mullins ( 2005).
Importance of Motivation
According to Armstrong (2009), nearly all the conscious behavior of human being is motivated. The internal needs and drives lead to tensions, which in turn result into actions. The need for food results into hunger and hence a person is motivated to eat. A manager requires to create and maintain an environment in which individuals work together in groups towards the accomplishment of common objectives. A manager cannot do a job without knowing what motivates people. The building of motivating factors into organizational roles, the staffing of these roles and the entire process of leading people must be built on a knowledge of motivation. It is necessary to remember that level of motivation varies both between individuals and within individuals at different times. Today in the increasingly competitive environment maintaining a highly motivated workforce is the most challenging task. The art of motivation starts by learning how to influence the behavior of the individual. This understanding helps to achieve both, the individual as well as organizational objectives. Motivation is a powerful tool in the hands of leaders.
Process of Motivation
Source: Process of motivation, Cavalier R P(2000)
In the initiation a person starts feeling lack nesses. There is an arousal of need so urgent, that the bearer has to venture in search to satisfy it. This leads to creation of tension, which urges the person to forget everything else and cater to the aroused need first. This tension also creates drives and attitudes regarding the type of satisfaction that is desired. This leads a person to venture into the search of information. This ultimately leads to evaluation of alternatives where the best alternative is chosen. After choosing the alternative, an action is taken. Because of the performance of the activity satisfaction is achieved which than relieves the tension in the individual.