Differences Between Need And Process Theories Of Motivation Philosophy Essay

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In order to present the models of motivation, its essential to throw light on the needs that motivates an individual.Th most critical question for any organization is how to maintain high levels of performance? Lets first explore what's this "motivation" and motivation needs are all about.

"What conditions of work, what kinds of work, what kinds of management, and what kinds of rewards will motivate humans?"(Maslows, in Motivation & Personality, 1954).

In layman's view, motivation is a key component of the managerial function of leading. There has been various approaches to understand motivation like traditional approach(views its as a requirement to earn money only).The Herzberg's approach asserts that management should create conditions under which workers will willingly work towards organizational objectives as they enjoy their work .According to Vroom(1964), "it is a process governing choices made by persons among alternative forms of voluntary activity.See Figure 1.1.,Motivation is an energizing force within an individual that drives him to behave in some ways. See figure 1.1

Purpose of Motivation:

Unsatisfied Wants (drives) Satisfied Wants

Fig 1.1

Employees motivation is very critical as their will assist in reaching the fullest potential and for achieving the same managers need to provide suitable working environment. The two very critical theories to comprehend the concept of motivation are Need /Content and Process theories of motivations, which are theoretically different but still there is high degree of interrelatedness between them.


It explains "what drives behavior?"This theory asserts that "desires" is what motivates an individual's to satisfy their needs.


The most eloquent contribution in this regard was made by theorist Abraham Maslow (1954) who considered as father of humanistic psychology. He posited that hierarchy of needs are based on deficiency and growth needs. The former needs vindicates that lower needs must be satisfied in order to move further in the hierarchy. While the latter upholds towards maintenance of life. According to him, human behavior is controlled by both internal and external factors and from this concept; he developed his five hierarchies of needs, which is discussed below:

1st Physiological Needs: the most basic needs like need for air,water,food.

2nd Safety Needs: includes safety and security needs protection from danger.

3rd Love Needs: includes sense of belonging,affection,approvals.

4th Esteem/Ego Needs: self respect(involves desire for confidence,strength,freedom) & esteem(prestige ,status, attention).

5th Self Actualization Needs: development and realization of one's potential. As Maslow says, "what human can be, they must be".

Maslow conceived that human beings develop these five needs, in sequence from one to five. Managers need to recognize the needs of each employee individually.

However, there are limitations to Maslow's theory such as its not necessary that people satisfy their needs in work situations only; every individual has different values for same needs.Thus,there are different ways of satisfying needs which varies from person to person. Despite these limations, it is considered as conducive piece of work for understanding different needs and expectations of an individual.

Herzberg, and his Two-Factory Theory

Frederick Herzberg has developed two factory theory which is also known as the Motivation-Hygiene Theory is an extension of Maslow's need theory. It test two sets of needs, namely, avoidance of unpleasantness & personal growth which is related to satisfiers and dissatisfers group.. For him, these two factors are essential for any organization as their absence will result in dissatisfaction like strikes, less productivity. In his work (1966), he asserted that dissatisfer group does not motivate in any special way to achieve high level of satisfaction. While the satisfier team includes achievement, recognition, advancement which will yield high productivity results. For him, motivation does not rest on hygiene factors but also on motivating factors as well.

According to him, it's the "job enrichment" that motivates an employee. In his work (1966),he presented five determiners which give job satisfaction. These are:

1. Achievemnet

2. Recognition

3. Work

4. Responsibility

5. Advancement

He also mentioned the determiners for job dissatisfaction which are:

1. Company Policies

2. Administrative Policies

3. Supervision

4. Salary

5. Interpersonal Relations

6. Working Conditions

All these satisfiers and dissatisfiers are related to job contents and therefore it is important to deal with them carefully. Herzberg termed the dissatifiers as "hygiene factors" and satisfiers as "motivators".

Herzberg work has also been challenged as his theory is applicable only with manual workers and his theory is methodical logy bound. But Herzberg did at least attempt an empirical approach to

the study of motivation at work and his work has drawn to the cpncept od "job enrichment"which deals with job design. He has emphasized the importance of the `equality of work life'.

McClelland's Three Needs Theory

David McClelland (1985) provided the scientific approach to motivation. According to him, all motives whether satisfier or dissatisfier, are learned. His words are, "motives are strong

affective association characterized by an anticipatory goal reaction and based on past

association of certain cues with pleasure or pain". For him ,there are three types of motivational needs, namely,




According to him, most persons have a combination of these motivational needs. He advocates that high affiliation need weakens manager's objectivity because of the need to be liked by his or her subordinates. His theory asserts that an individual can learn a need for achievement by being associated with success & failure in the past. A consistent behaviour is displayed by a person who has strong achievement motivation.

Power(1985) relates a high need for power as personalised power. The impulsive, aggressive actions,abuse,alcohol are demonstrated by those who have high need for personalised power. While Socialised power need is associated with effective leadership.

Affiliation(1985) asserts that an individual with high need for affiliation seek to be win & interest with others. He relates that theory are concerned with establishing, maintaining the relationship with others.

There has been another set of theories of motivations also apart from need theory. It is called "Process theories of motivation" which is mentioned earlier also.


This theory advocates how behaviour is energized, directed, sustained & stopped. In other words, it explains how an employee's behaviour is initiated, redirected, and halted. Let us explore the different process theories by significant theorist like Vroom's expectancy and Adam's equity theories.

Vroom's Valence /Expectancy / VIE Theory

Vroom was the first person to propose an expectancy theory which is based on three key variables: valence, instrumentality and expectancy. The theory is founded on the basis that people prefer certain outcomes from their behaviour to others. The feeling about specific outcomes is termed valence. There is difference between valence and value. A person may desire an object but

then gain little satisfaction from obtaining it. On the other hand, a person may strive to

avoid an object but finds that it provides satisfaction. Valence is

the anticipated satisfaction from an outcome. Value, which is the actual satisfaction provided by an outcome. An example is money. Some people may see money as having

an intrinsic worth and derive satisfaction from the actual accumulation of wealth.

Most people however see money in terms of the many satisfying outcomes to

which it can lead.

Vroom differanates between first-level outcomes and second-level outcomes.

The first-level outcomes are performance-related(refer to the quantity

of output or to the comparative level of performance). Some people may seek to

perform well for self-sake. The second-level outcomes are need-relate(through

achievement of first-level outcomes). People generally receive rewards for what they have


An outcome with a high valence will result in the achievement of a larger number of need-related outcomes. Instrumentality is the association between first-level outcomes and second-level outcomes,

Measured on a range between +1.0 - 1.0.

For example, good work performance (a first-level outcome)

Always results in a pay increase (a second-level outcome) then the instrumentality will

be constant at +1.0. If the person believes a pay increase is certain to be

obtained without good performance, instrumentality will be - 1.0.People have a sense of perception regarding the degree of probability of a choice which will lead to the desired outcome. This is expectancy which is a relationship between a chosen course of action and

Its predicted outcome. Its value ranges between 0, indicating zero probability

That an action will be followed by the outcome 1, and indicating certainty that an

Action will result in the outcome.

It's the combination of valence and expectancy that determines the person's motivation

For a given form of behaviour. This is the motivational force in which the force of an

Action is unaffected by outcomes, has no valence, or by outcomes that

Are regarded as unlikely to result from a course of action.

M = ä E. V

In the above equation, (M) stands for the motivation which is sum of the products of Valences outcomes, (IV) stands for times of expectancies which will result in achieving these outcocomes.. Therefore, if either, or both, valence orExpectancy is zero, and then motivation is zero. The highest attractivenessScore indicates the choice between alternative behaviours.

Adams's Equity Theory of Motivation

The popular process theory which is applied to the work situation is an equity theory of Adams. His theory assumes that an Individual's motivation is largely influenced by how the individual feels he/she is being treated compared to others. According to him, major determinant of job effort performance and satisfaction is the degree of equity or inequity in the work situation. The degree of equity is expressed in terms or a ratio of a person's input as compared with a similar ratio for a colleague or relevant `other.

Adams (1963) formulation of the theory is about the social comparison of equity theory. This theory, emphasis on group influences and individual's perceptions of others. This model advocates that the manager must ensure that he is fair.The notice of equity is the major force.

When there is an unequal comparison among the person experiences the feeling of inequity might arise. For example, Adams mentioned that workers prefer equitable pay to overpayment.

Adams identifies six types of possible behaviour as consequences of inequity. They are:

1. Changes to input - a person may increase or decrease the level of his

or her inputs.

2. Changes to outcomes - a person may attempt to change outcomes

such as pay ,without changes to inputs.

3. Cognitive distortion of inputs and outcomes - Adams suggests that it is difficult for

people to distort facts about themselves but it is possible to distort the utility of those facts: for example, the belief about how hard

they are really working.

4. Leaving the field - a person may try to find a new situation with a more

favourable balance, for example, by absenteeism.

5. Acting on others - a person may attempt to bring about changes in

others, for example is lower their inputs or accept greater outcomes.

6. Changing the object of comparison - means changing the

reference group with whom comparison is made. For example, where

another person with a previous similar outcome - input ratio receives

greater outcomes without any significant increase in contribution, that

other person. The essential aspect is a similar ratio of outcomes to inputs. For example by attempting

to change a person's inputs or encouraging a different object of comparison.

After discussing both the theories of motivation, we can assert that both are significantly different in their approaches. To elaborate on the same, lets explore theses differences.

Content theory is the theory focuses on what factors make the individual tick. That is to say that theory looks into the reason why an individual need things and they behave in particular manner.Due to the way we are brought up ,we firmly thinks that its natural to have needs or to want things.The popluar and critical theories which have thrown light on the same ar Maslow's Hierarachy of Needs and Herberg's two factor theory.These theories looks into the various factors an individual focuses on while working on a certain tasksThe most eloquent theory in this regard is provided by Vroom's Expectanacy Model.which adovates that an individual choose different behavior to achieve desired results.

As far the question related to which type is more appropriate for multinational management, it's a very critical and challengeable question. Both the theories place emphasis on one aspect i.e. "motivation" though from different angles. All these theories provide an insight on management role which is very crucial in determining what "motivates" an individual so that they can create such programs (salary, bonus) for them.But on contrary, we see that motivation cannot be imposed as it is something that an individual has with him.Therby,we can assert that we need to provide a conducive environment for them so that they can motivate themselves. For example, money which is a good motivator factor according to the need of a person like for poor person who resides below poverty line money will be a great motivator factor as compared to a rich person. The theories only highlight on broad categories of motivators. In my opinion, it's the Herzberg and Vroom's theories which addresses these issues more practically.