The Facts And Theories Of Motivation Commerce Essay


This chapter explains about the facts, theories and models of motivation. Theories of motivation e.g. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Pr. McGregor's Theory X and Y, McClelland's theory of needs, etc are discussed in depth to increase the understanding of the area under research. The introduction and importance of motivation, job satisfaction and opinions of various authors are elucidated by reviewing various academic books, magazines, journals and articles. The information presented below serves as foundation to the analysis of this research.

this new era, every organisation treats its workforce as an important source of its competitive advantage. Employees are no more seen as only loyal members of the company but they like to be treated with respect and they want their companies to give them opportunities to prove themselves. Hence, Lawler (2003) says that it has become necessity for any company to treat people in a right way in order to success and survive in the business world. An organisation can increase productivity and improve performance only when it invests in employees (Gitman and McDaniel, 2008).

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For this reason, the company should be able to attract, retain and develop talented employees (Pittorino et al., 2005). Understanding the factors that motivate employees and maximize productivity has become a crucial job to be performed by managers.

Motivation is one of the highly complex but misunderstood concept. Mills and Forshaw (2006) supported this statement as though there are an abundance of motivational theories; the organisations are unable to apply the best theory of motivation due to human beings complexity and various factors influencing their behaviours. Nevertheless, the main concern of the study of motivation is with why people behave as they do (Mullins, 2007).

Motivation is the drive to do something (Tileston, 2004); it can be defined as the direction and intensity of one's effort to satisfy his/her needs (Weinberg, et al, 2010). According to Jones and George, (2004), motivation is considered as the psychological force that shows a person's level of effort applied in order to persist with obstacles and achieve his/her target and the way he/she behaves in an organisation. Furthermore, Latham 2007) describes motivation as a process of cognitive resource allocation where a person allocates his/her efforts as per importance of motives or tasks. To support this statement, Robins (2005) says that individuals have various level of motivation varying times and situations.

Need and expectation at work

No individuals are same and they perceive the same thing in different ways. Individuals have different needs and expectation which they strive to fulfil in different ways. If these needs and expectations are not fulfilled, it will make them dissatisfied and the consequences are turnover, absenteeism, etc. so motivating employees has been a tough task for managers provided that employees react in different ways in the jobs assigned (Beardwell and Claydon, 2007). Since managers are solely responsible for motivating employees, they should be capable of giving employees reasons to believe in themselves as well as organisation where they are working (Baldoni, 2005). Employees become dissatisfied and less motivated when managers fail to make employees know their driving forces. According to robins (2003), there are three relationships where employees are less motivated when their needs and expectations are not fulfilled. First relationship explains about the effort and performance of employees. Managers should make their employees believe that maximum effort exerted leads to the recognition in performance appraisals. This is not always correct as in some cases, employees do not believe that their effort will result in recognition and they are less motivated to perform.

The second relationship is about the employees' performance and organisational reward. The employees are made believe that they will be rewarded for their outstanding performance or performance appraisal. But there will be lack of motivation because employees know that they will not be rewarded by the organisation just for the performance.

The last one is the relationship between reward received and reward expected. They are motivated only when they get what they desire for. If opposite happens, they become dissatisfied with the job. So It is managers who should know if the reward given matches with the one employees expect for.

Hence, managers should keep these relationships as essential factors for employees to keep motivated and long lasting retention. Strengthening these relationships , the managers can motivate their employees and boost productivity. Sutherland and Canwell (2004) says it is the primary responsibility of managers to maintain motivation by creating such a work environment where employees will show positive attitude and become committed and loyal and where they believe that they are valued and the organisation gives crucial interest in them.

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Sources of motivation

Motivation is the driving force that comes within an individual to satisfy his/her unsatisfied needs. Needs and expectations are drivers that motivate an individual to achieve those needs. These motivators are often considered in terms of being internal or external. According to Mac and Sockel (2001), the internal motivators are related with intrinsic needs that satisfies an individual while external motivators are environmental factors brought up to individual by organisation.

General theories on motivation

The main concern of all theories of motivation is the understanding of human behaviour. Drafke and kossen (2002:273) explains that "these theories provide the basis for both managers and employees to understand how to motivate others; how others are trying to motivate and how that person can engage more in his/her own motivation effort and others' efforts in trying to motivate him/her."

Though many psychologists studied motivation and satisfaction for many decades, the progress was very slow. The reasons behind this was

The concept of motivation was dev

Herzberg two factor theory

Herzberg put forward the view that productivity of an employee is based not only the job satisfaction but also on work motivation Pattanayak(200). Robbins(2003) elucidates that according to herzberg, an individual's relation and attitude towards work can determine success or failure. People have two sets of needs that are related to job satisfaction and others to job dissatisfaction (Nelson and Quick,200). Elements of the job that led to job satisfaction are labelled as motivators and elements to dissatisfaction are labelled as hygiene factors. Intrinsic factors or motivators such as achievement, recognition, advancement, the work itself and responsibility are related to job satisfaction. Job dissatisfaction is the result of extrinsic factors or hygiene factors such as working conditions, job security, supervision, pay and organisation policies. Di Cesare and Sadri (2003) state that herzberg is interested in the extremes where employees either feel good or bad about the work, this leads to development of motivators and hygiene factors. Herzberg states that the opposite of job satisfaction is not job dissatisfaction and therefore, job dissatisfaction is not the opposite of job satisfaction.

Herzberg(2003) suggests nine factors that motivate employees and they are reducing time spent at work, fringe benefit, sensitivity training, spiralling wages, two-way communication, job participation, human relation training, communication and employee counselling. He also compared motivation with that of internal self-charging battery suggesting that the energy or the positivity should come from within the employees to become motivated (Bassett-Jones and Lloyd, 2005). Herzberg argues that an employee is motivated to satisfy it growth needs; it is founded upon satisfaction innate of a sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility and personal growth. He further says that recognition is transformed into feedback, responsibility to self-regulation, authority to communicate, exercise control over resource and accountability and lastly, growth and advancement are transformed into the new expertise. Though hygiene theory is one of the popular theories of motivation, the findings done from past empirical studies show that pay, recognition and responsibility are classified as both a motivator and hygiene factors.

Vroom's Expectation theory

The expectancy theory, aimed at work motivation, is founded on the idea that an individual's motivation is based on his/her desire for an outcome and the probability that his/her effort will lead to required performance. Robbins (2003) defines expectation theory as, " the strength of a tendency to act in a certain way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outvome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual" (Robbins, 2003:173). Vroom's expectancy theory focuses on three relationships:

Effort performance outcome

Effort-performance relationships: the probability remarked by an individual that applying an extra effort will lead to performance.

Performance-reward relationship: the degree to which the individual believes that extra effort exerted performance will lead to the accomplishment of desired outcome.

Reward-personal goal relationship: the degree to which individual's goals are satisfied by organizational rewards and the degree to which individual is personally attracted to the rewards.

McClelland's theory of needs

(Richard L. Daft, Patricia G. Lane, 200) proposed that there are certain types of needs that are acquired during an individua's lifetime. These needs are learned and socially acquired through interaction with the environment (Patrick J. Montana, Bruce H. Charnov,200), theory focuses on three needs:

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Need for achievement: it drives to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, to strive to succeed. Individuals with this drive desire to do something more efficiently overcoming challenges to achieve the objectives.

Need of power: it is the need to make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise. Individuals with this need are placed in competitive situations to be concerned with gaining influence over individual, group or organization.

Need for affiliation: it is the desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationship. Individuals with this desire tend to have a strong desire to be liked or accepted by others and thus maintain harmonious relationship with others.

Douglas McGregor Theory X and Y

In this theory, Douglas McGregor assumes that the managers handle their employees based on their behaviours and nature. These assumptions are categorised as Theory X and Theory Y. theory X states that workers are lazy, incapable of taking responsibility , dislike work and need a constant supervision while theory Y assumes that people love work, complete task with less supervision and have responsibility ( Dzimbiri,2009).

Goal setting theory

The goal setting theory proposed by Locke states that a person is likely to give a higher performance if the goals are specific and difficult. Besides these, there are also other factors along with feedbacks such as goal commitment, task complexity and national culture that influence the goal-performance relationship. Meyer,et al. (2004) elucidates that motivation comes from the goals an individual sets up based oh his/her needs, personal values and perception that shaped via experience at work. The

Ways of motivating employee to ensure better performance

The employees' experiences at work show their feeling towards their jobs either positively or negatively. Employee motivation is taken into account by every organisation as one of the major challenging tasks. Motivation can be classified as positive or negative. The managers should encourage positive motivation to enhance performance. On the contrary, when the performance is demotivating, the approach adopted would be determined by persisting situation.


Communication is always an effective way to improve motivation and enhance productivity. There should be two-way communication between managers and staff that generate feedbacks on the performance.

Job participation scheme

Participation scheme enables staff to become a member of decision making team and express their views on organisational decisions. This leads staff to be responsible to increase their efficiency and productivity at work.

Fringe benefit

If an organization can retain the employees by providing them with the fringe benefit. This prevents turnover if effectively use and increase the productivity.