Theories Related To The Employee Motivation Commerce Essay


The main purpose of this chapter is to present all the theories related to the employee motivation. Such theories and concepts have contributed in the development of this concept. This chapter proceeds with focus on the theories of motivation and the main reasons that may change the level of motivation. The aim is to study that how organizations can have consistency in the organizational performance by having highly motivated work force. An adequate understanding of motivation and its background is required to study the main focus of the study.


Motivation is defined as a function of an individual's personality and environment and

it is argued in some quarters that divergences in an individual's character might be Momentous in the work motivation of that individual (Chiu, 1999).To understand the concept of motivation it can be said, that it's the state of having encouragement in any person, to do any task.

The Definition of motivation:

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet


Essay Writers

Lady Using Tablet

Get your grade
or your money back

using our Essay Writing Service!

Essay Writing Service

"the act of giving somebody a reason or incentive to do something."(O'Brien)

The literal meaning for the motivation is 'movere ('Latin word which means 'to move'), (Baron, Henley, (McGibbon & McCarthy, 2002). Formulation of the exact definition for this multi-facet concept of motivation was done from decades but still the exact, to-the-point and pure definition do not exists.

Motivation is also said to be the willingness to spend energy,

to achieve, a specific goal or target or reward Beach (1980)

Employee's motivation:

All the studies done in the past deduced that there is a little relationship between the satisfaction of employee and their productivity (Walker 1980), because some good performers are not satisfied and some bad performers are fully satisfied.

There has been a little relation between them, not a direct one. There are numerous variables that may affect them both. Cut the story short, that motivation is the link between these both, job satisfaction & job performance.

"Employee motivation" is the term used for the level of motivation in the workers or employee at work place. It is related to the all the needs and wants of the employee working in an organizational environment, that need to be fulfilled to be satisfied at job. These needs may be social, psychological or any other need. Job satisfaction may lead to the state of motivation for work.

Historical development of the concept of employee motivation:

1938 - "A behaviorist theory of human motivation" was published by Harvard psychologist named as BF, in 1938. His work has remained and I appreciated till now.

1943 - Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) another psychologist published an article named as Motivation and Personality in 1943. It was related to psychology and was related to the work place motivation. He also proposed that motivation can be characterized as a hierarchy of needs. His work was a gem stone to the whole development.

Elton Mayo (1945) was also a researcher who was well known for his work related to the human relations. Through experiments he proved that productivity can be increased by motivating the worker. Focus was on motivation through cooperation with them. (O'Brien)

1959 - Frederick Herzberg gave 2 well known theories "2 factor theories & Motivation Theory"

His book 'The Motivation to Work', written with research colleagues, was a major contribution to the world today. 

1963 - Another theory named as Adams' Equity Theory, who was a workplace & behavioral psychologist. And he presented the concept job motivation theory very much a like theories by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.The Adams' Equity Theory is named for John Stacey Adams, a workplace and behavioral psychologist, who developed this job motivation theory in 1963. Much like many of the more prevalent theories of motivation (theories by Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg's Theory, etc.), the Adams' Equity Theory acknowledges that subtle and variable factors affect an employee's assessment and perception of their relationship with their work and their employer.

Cofer and Appley (1968) provided an interesting account of the early historical development of the employee motivation concept

1974 - Then the scholar named as Atkinson presented the achievement motivation theory in 1974.that was also a contribution.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet


Writing Services

Lady Using Tablet

Always on Time

Marked to Standard

Order Now

Till now the concept of motivation is fully developed and unlike the past, conservative thinking, motivation is said to be more than just money. It's about good relationships, feeling of achievement, other benefits sense of security and self esteem etc

Motivational theories:

The main purpose of the theories of motivation is to explain people's behavior. Such theories given in the past provide understanding to the new researchers and to the H R managers and employees also. They get the understanding that how others can motivate their subordinates or workers and how the employees can engage themselves in their own motivation efforts. (Drafke & Kossen, 2002:273). For decades, The Topics Of Employee Motivation, Job Satisfaction, Productivity Etc Are Widely Studied by the industrial organizational psychologists. And the issue of motivating employee and keeping them motivated has caused a lot of confusion that what it exactly that human soul needs is. Everywhere person's the preferences are different. The Comparison of four motivation surveys conducted in the past in the years 1946, 1980, 1986 &1992 revealed that employees' motivational preferences vary time to time. (Wiley 1997) Thus all these concepts are highly complicated to understand and to get one exact answer out of it.

All the good work done by the researchers from their investigation, has concluded that money is not the only thing that motivates the employee & employees' behavior is connected with their internal satisfaction and the attitudes.(dickson1998:1)

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:

Need is something that can satisfy the person by its fulfillment, and human is always carving to fulfill his needs, and as we know that the concept of motivation starts from the need, so we will go through the need theory. This will explain the motivation. Maslow has proposed a wonderful concept of need and its relation with motivation. (Buhler, 2003:20) theory is all about the hierarchy of needs, consisted of 5 levels that are presented in pyramid form, as shown in the figure. He proposed that that first the lower need must be fulfilled first then stage by stage the other needs. And the workers are more likely to be motivated when their higher level need is satisfied. Maslow has categorized the needs into five categories of needs: physiological, safety, love, esteem, and actualization. This theory can be a help for the managers in finding out what kind of the rewards and benefits could be used to motivate his employees.This theory also indicates that the power of the earnings or money is limited as compared to other factors. (Drummond, 2000:63).


Level needs

Self -




Level needs

Social needs

Safety needs

Physiological needs

Figure 2.1: Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Physiological needs - basic needs such as food shelter, water, clothes etc

Safety - need for a safe physical environment and personal safety (e.g. place to live, a safer workplace)

Social - need for friendship and relationship .as human is a social animal

Esteem - need to have self-respect and to get respect from others

Self-actualization - need for self-development, to fulfill personal aims and life goals.

Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory:

Herzberg gave this theory of motivation in the year 1945, and he concluded different attitudes of workers towards their jobs, from his work. (Gouws, 1995). The main concept which was the centre of the attention in his theory was the job satisfaction, but the concept of motivation was more attracted.

Motivation originated from the job itself and not from any external characteristics, this was the assumption he made in this theory. It is consisted of 2 factors that influence the motivation of the employees. The factors that lead to job satisfaction (motivators) are different from the factors that lead to dissatisfaction (hygiene/maintenance factors) (Herzberg, 1966).

The main concept of the theory is that, there is no intermediate state, motivation is present or it's not. He said that the opposite for satisfaction is not dissatisfaction.

Satisfaction No Satisfaction

Dissatisfaction No Dissatisfaction

Figure 2.2

Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory

The hygiene factors can change employee's state from dissatisfaction, to no dissatisfaction.

Lady using a tablet
Lady using a tablet

This Essay is

a Student's Work

Lady Using Tablet

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

Examples of our work

These factors do not lead to job satisfaction but the employee on the same time do not gets dissatisfaction. Motivators on the other side positively affect the employees and enhance the productivity. The motivating factors can change employee's state from a highly motivated to a highly unmotivated state. (Roos 2009)


Interpersonal relations with boss and peers

Company policy


Work conditions

Salary/ earnings






Responsibility given to employee

Advancement &





Figure 2.3

Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory

McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y

Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y in the year 1960 represented an addition to his ideas on the concept of motivation that how the employee are directed and in their workplace.

According to his Theory X, which is coherent to the traditional approach towards motivation which people are lazy on work, and try to get rid of it and avoid it as much as possible. And for this manager must coerce employees and must be controlled through penalizing measures to perform well. As we all know that an average person is believed to be lacking ambition and gets lazy at work, and try to avoid responsibility, and still struggles to get monetary benefits and compensations. They are egocentric, and not at all mindful of organizational goals. (Roos 2009)

Theory Y, in distinction, explains the broader and modern approach to motivation. It describes that the most people are seen as responsible and keen towards their work. And in addition there are creative & are good in problem solving. McGregor regarded Theory Y as a more accurate and realistic portrayal of human behavior (Roos 2009).this theory describes the combination of individual person and organizatioonal goals & objectives. McGregor did, however, recognize that the theory does not offer a complete explanation for motivation among employees (McGregor, 1960).

Figure 2.4 McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y

Source: x and y McGregor

McClelland's learned needs theory

McClelland's theory is based on the concept thet people who are focus on achievements usually share 3 major needs which are not natural or built in but is acquire only through the process of learning & and going through experiences (McClelland, 1987). Our needs are changed and shaped according to our experiences in lives. Commonly they all fall in three main categories given by McClelland. He also gave them particular codes for identity.

The Need For Power (nPow) the need for power and authority to control and command others, influence their behavior and be responsible for them;

The Need For Affiliation (nAff), the need for maintaining social relations with others

The Need for Achievement (nAch), need to be successful and to grow prosper. E.g. the promotions of employees. (Roos 2009)

Summary Motivation theories:

The theories related to the concept of motivation were explained above; to clarify the relationships of motivation with the success of the org. and each theory covered the old and modern approaches and prospects of the concept of motivation. Theories of needs have direct relationship with the job satisfaction and employee motivation. And they present one common concept that people are motivated by highly personal needs and wants that are not natural, but are developed through learning and experiences (Van Niekerk, 1987). Achievement-orientated persons are, f0r exp, driven by very stronger needs for authority, social relations and success than most of the others (Schultz & Schultz, 1998). By practically implementing the researchers' findings in these, into their management, the organizations can have great assistance. In this way they can have highly productive & motivated work force. This will ultimately ensure their success.

Sources of motivation & motivational factors (INIDCATORS)

The source of motivation is from the inside of the persons. It's is self motivation or self generated motivation. The fact is people are always motivated but the thing is that there is a difference in the intensity of motivation, it varies from time to time (situation to situation)motivation is about what the individual desire to have, about emotional state which drives him in the direction of achieving what he wants (Freemantle, 2005:56).

Sources of motivation can be:


& Extrinsic

A manager can not develop or create the intrinsic motivation but on the other hand they can only stimulate the extrinsic motivation. In fact the researchers have acknowledged and proven from their researches that motivation that comes from the inside does have longer effect on the person. And is observed that are the true "motivators" for the employees. (Lai, Calista)

There are many indicators of motivation, that can increase or decrease employee motivation. Every scholar has given different number of factors they can be classified an extrinsic and intrinsic factors The factors that are included in the research and are the main focus of study are the following:

Interpersonal relationship

Workplace environment

Career development


Benefits & compensations:


Autonomy Empower

The main focus will be around these factors that how they are prioritized by different individuals. Some persons have money minds and their main desire is to have more and more monetary benefits and gains, but some are social animals who only need good environment around them. And one more kind exists who need to be stimulated to work by regular benefits and rewards; they need regular reinforcements to be motivated. Some needs power and authority to be satisfied. It all depends that what that individual needs. These were just some aspects of the human nature. Every researcher has ranked these factors differently and the main purpose of the research is to find out that what the ranking on the base of importance among the employees. One of the most common ranking of 10 indicators of motivation is shown below.























FIGURE: 2.5. Ranking Of Motivational Indicators on the base of importance

Source: (Lai, Calista)

Reasons behind 'Lack of Motivation of Employees' in the Today World:

Now a day the management of all the organizations can't find a ways out of the problem of lack of motivation among their employees. They always complain about this problem, but the fact is that manager and their tactics and practices are the problem, not the workers for them. There are many reasons for the lack of motivation. Such as unclear and well defined goals & objectives, weak system of performance appraisal, rewards system that is not satisfactory, no attractive incentives and benefits on daily basis, inability of the supervisor to communicate properly, and conservative and unfavorable organizational environment. (Robbins, 2003:36). When there is a difference in the employee's efforts and the org's rewards they get, motivation levels is decreased.

And there is also a relation of employee's effort and performance that may cause lack of motivation. The managers should keep this in consideration, that when they perform they must get their deserved rewards and their work must be recognized. And third relationship that can cause lack of motivation, is bw the rewards they receive and the rewards they deserve from their hard work. This must be known to the bosses that what his employees get and deserve. (Robbins, 2003: 37 & 38). When these 3 relationships are kept good, the employees will remain motivated.

Employee's motivation must be for longer time and can be reinforced by the mangers through praising their work and rewarding them as they deserve. For high performance and productivity the managers must create an environment where the employees can develop themselves, they can be committed towards their job and where they have positive attitudes. When they employees have a belief that they valued by the organization and are crucial, then they will have a sense of satisfaction that will motivate them.

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

3.1. Introduction

From the introduction and literature review we have constructed quite valid concepts now. It is already known that the indicators of motivation are the factors that can affect the motivation among the employee but the main aim is to find out ranking of these indicators according to the importance to the employees working in the telecom sector in Lahore. This chapter will focus on the methodology that was used for conducting the research to get desired results. This was done through the description of the following: method used for sampling, basic information about the selected respondents, data collection instrument(s) (e.g. (MQ) questionnaire) and the statistical techniques which were used to analyze the data.


3.2.1 SAMPLING DESIGN for this study

For the sampling, non-probability type of sampling is used, for the research, known as convenience sampling. This considered because it's easy to handle and is less costly as other methods. It was easy to have respondents available, without any struggle going into statistical complexity

3.2.2 Population

Neuman (2000) defines a research population as the specific pool of cases, individuals or group(s) of individuals which the researcher wishes to investigate (Neuman). The selected population of this research consists of all employees working in the telecom sector of Lahore, Pakistan.

3.2.3. Sample

A sample is defined as "A subset of the population. It comprises some members selected from the population" (Sekaran, 2000). Sample out of the population, taken were of 50 (N=50) from different telecom companies, such as PTCL, UFONE, WARID etc, for data collection.



When the individuals, who are most easily accessible and approachable for the purpose of the data collection, this refers to sampling type known as convenience (Neuman, 2001). Convenience sampling is an important tool in the exploratory research work. The selected population size was too large, so only 50 employees were taken as sample.60 questionnaires were distributed in the organizations chosen and 50 were selected from them to process them further.


Questionnaire is still an appropriate data assembling instrument, to achieve the aim of the study. there are many advantages of using this instrument for data collection. (Denzin & Lincoln)

Such as:

Relatively less costly

Close ended questions and statements make the questionnaires more straightforward.

To the respondents Questionnaires give extended time to put together exact output.

This is easy to get quick results.

This have high response rate as compare to other instruments.

Questionnaires are a stable, consistent and uniform method of collecting data. (Denzin & Lincoln)

Approval from the head of the department was taken before the distribution of (MQ). Then after that it was personally given to be filled by the 60 respondents, and was collected by them. It took 3 to 4 days visiting the organizations for the sake of the (MQ).


3.4.1. Nature and Composition

This questionnaire includes seven factors to be analyzed.7 indicators were distributed into 3, 3 question each, making total 21 questions or positively stated statements.

The dimensions of study or the indicators of motivation MQ included.

Interpersonal relationship tells that how the relationship with the peers and the managers affect the level of motivation.

Workplace environment: this dimension is used to show that the workplace environment has a great impact on the employee motivation.

Career development is surveyed through the questionnaire, that the promotional opportunities for the employees motivate them.

Recognition this dimension is to explore whether the recognition is the important factor to increase the motivation.

Benefits & compensations: it shows that whether the benefits and incentives can be the important factor to motivate the employee to the highest.

Money/salary: through this dimension it will be examined that whether the employees are satisfied with their salaries or not.

Autonomy Empowerment: through this dimension it will be examined that whether the degree of power or authority has an effect on the employee's motivation

Close ended statements are used with a Likert scale to measure the variables.

Likert scale is a most effective rating scale. They provide space for the respondents to give view more positively and negatively. This Likert scale consisted of 5 points. In this way the respondents can tell that how strongly they disagree and agree any question related to the indicators of motivation.

Strongly disagree




Strongly agree

3.4.2 Validity & Reliability

Reliability refers to the consistency of results of a measuring tool, where as validity refers to whether the instrument has addressed what it was expected to address (Somekh & Lewin, 2005).

Statistical techniques

Data analysis 69

Summary of the chapter

The following books were used as resources in developing the research about Motivating Employees.

Chiu, R. (1999). Does perception of pay equity, pay satisfaction, and job satisfaction mediate the effect of positive affectivity on work motivation? Social Behavior and Personality, 28(2), 177-184.

Beach, D.S. (1980). Personnel: The management of people at work (4th Ed.). New York: Macmillan Publishing Co. Inc.

"Defining Motivation." 07 Jun 2010 <>.

Walker, J.W. (1980). Human resource planning. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.

Drafke,M.W. & Kossen, s. 2002.The Human Side Of Organizations. 8th ed. Upper saddle river, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Lindner, J.R. 1998. Understanding Employee Motivation. Journal of Extension, 36(3) [online] available at http:// June/r63.html

Buhler, p.m. 2003 managing in the new millennium. Super vision, 64(12). [Online]

Available from:

Drummond, H. 2000. Introduction to organization behavior. New York: oxford university press.

Robbins, S.P. 2005. Organizational behavior. 11th Ed Pearson educational international

O'Brien, R. "Effective Motivational Factors for Thai Employees."

Roos, W. (2009). "The relationship between employee motivation, job satisfaction and corporate culture."

Herzberg, F. (1987). One more time: How do you motivate employees? Harvard Business Review, 65(5), 109 - 128.

Wiley, C. (1997). "What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys." International Journal of Manpower 18(3): 263-280.

McGregor, D. (1960). The human side of enterprise. New York: McGraw-Hill.

McClelland, D.C. (1987). Human motivation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Roos, W. (2009). "The relationship between employee motivation, job satisfaction and corporate culture."

Van Niekerk, W.P. (1987). Eietydse bestuur (Contemporary management). Durban: Butterworth.

Schultz, D. & Schultz, S.E. (1998). Psychology and work today: An introduction to industrial and organizational psychology (7th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Freemantle, D. 2001. The stimulus factor: the new dimension in motivation. Amersterdam: prince hall.

Calsita, lai. (2009). "Motivating employees through incentive programs". Unpublished dissertation, JYVASKYLA UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES, SAUKKONEN, JUHA.

Neuman, W.L. (2000). Social Research Methods: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Sekaran, U. (2000). Research methods for business: A skills building approach. (3rd ed.). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Denzin, N.K. & Lincoln, Y.S., (2000). Handbook of Qualitative Research (2nd ed.). London: Sage Publications, Inc.

Somekh, B. & Lewin, C. (2005). Research Methods in the Social Sciences. London: Sage Publications.