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  1. 1. People - Theories of MotivationThere are a number of different views as to what motivates workers. The most commonly held views or theoriesare discussed below and have been developed over the last 100 years or so. Unfortunately these theories do notall reach the same conclusions!TaylorFrederick Winslow Taylor (1856 – 1917) put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay. HisTheory of Scientific Management argued the following:Workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and controlTherefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasksWorkers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on oneset task.Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay.As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximise their productivity.Taylor’s methods were widely adopted as businesses saw the benefits of increased productivity levels and lowerunit costs. The most notably advocate was Henry Ford who used them to design the first ever production line,making Ford cars. This was the start of the era of mass production.Taylor’s approach has close links with the concept of an autocratic management style (managers take all thedecisions and simply give orders to those below them) and Macgregor’s Theory X approach to workers (workersare viewed as lazy and wish to avoid responsibility).However workers soon came to dislike Taylor’s approach as they were only given boring, repetitive tasks to carryout and were being treated little better than human machines. Firms could also afford to lay off workers asproductivity levels increased. This led to an increase in strikes and other forms of industrial action by dis-satisfiedworkers.MayoElton Mayo (1880 – 1949) believed that workers are not just concerned with money but could be better motivatedby having their social needs met whilst at work (something that Taylor ignored). He introduced the HumanRelation School of thought, which focused on managers taking more of an interest in the workers, treating themas people who have worthwhile opinions and realising that workers enjoy interacting together.Mayo conducted a series of experiments at the Hawthorne factory of the Western Electric Company in ChicagoHe isolated two groups of women workers and studied the effect on their productivity levels of changing factorssuch as lighting and working conditions.He expected to see productivity levels decline as lighting or other conditions became progressively worseWhat he actually discovered surprised him: whatever the change in lighting or working conditions, the productivitylevels of the workers improved or remained the same.From this Mayo concluded that workers are best motivated by:Better communication between managers and workers ( Hawthorne workers were consulted over theexperiments and also had the opportunity to give feedback)Greater manager involvement in employees working lives ( Hawthorne workers responded to the increasedlevel of attention they were receiving)
  2. 2. Working in groups or teams. ( Hawthorne workers did not previously regularly work in teams)In practice therefore businesses should re-organise production to encourage greater use of team working andintroduce personnel departments to encourage greater manager involvement in looking after employees’interests. His theory most closely fits in with a paternalistic style of management.MaslowAbraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) along with Frederick Herzberg (1923-) introduced the Neo-Human RelationsSchool in the 1950’s, which focused on the psychological needs of employees. Maslow put forward a theory thatthere are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work.All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy (see below) and only once a lower level of need has been fullymet, would a worker be motivated by the opportunity of having the next need up in the hierarchy satisfied. Forexample a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic wage in order to buy food beforeworrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others.A business should therefore offer different incentives to workers in order to help them fulfill each need in turn andprogress up the hierarchy (see below). Managers should also recognise that workers are not all motivated in thesame way and do not all move up the hierarchy at the same pace. They may therefore have to offer a slightlydifferent set of incentives from worker to worker.HerzbergFrederick Herzberg (1923-) had close links with Maslow and believed in a two-factor theory of motivation. Heargued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees towork harder (Motivators). However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not presentbut would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder (Hygienefactors)Motivators are more concerned with the actual job itself. For instance how interesting the work is and how muchopportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Hygiene factors are factors which‘surround the job’ rather than the job itself. For example a worker will only turn up to work if a business hasprovided a reasonable level of pay and safe working conditions but these factors will not make him work harder athis job once he is there. Importantly Herzberg viewed pay as a hygiene factor which is in direct contrast to Taylorwho viewed pay, and piece-rate in particular
  3. 3. Herzberg believed that businesses should motivate employees by adopting a democratic approach tomanagement and by improving the nature and content of the actual job through certain methods. Some of themethods managers could use to achieve this are:Job enlargement – workers being given a greater variety of tasks to perform (not necessarily more challenging)which should make the work more interesting.Job enrichment - involves workers being given a wider range of more complex, interesting and challengingtasks surrounding a complete unit of work. This should give a greater sense of achievement.Empowerment means delegating more power to employees to make their own decisions over areas of theirworking life.--------------------Review performances and progress with tools like SuccessFactors performance appraisal software to predict andimprove your businessThe basic needs model, referred to as content theory of motivation, highlights the specificfactors that motivate an individual. Although these factors are found within an individual,things outside the individual can affect him or her as well.In short, all people have needs that they want satisfied. Some are primary needs,such asthose for food, sleep, and water—needs that deal with the physical aspects of behavior andare considered unlearned. These needs are biological in nature and relatively stable. Theirinfluences on behavior are usually obvious and hence easy to identify.Secondary needs, on the other hand, are psychological, which means that they are learnedprimarily through experience. These needs vary significantly by culture and by individual.Secondary needs consist of internal states, such as the desire for power, achievement, andlove. Identifying and interpreting these needs is more difficult because they aredemonstrated in a variety of ways. Secondary needs are responsible for most of the behaviorthat a supervisor is concerned with and for the rewards a person seeks in an organization.Several theorists, including Abraham Maslow, Frederick Herzberg, David McClelland, andClayton Alderfer, have provided theories to help explain needs as a source of motivation.Abraham Maslows hierarchy of needs theoryAbraham Maslow defined need as a physiological or psychological deficiency that a personfeels the compulsion to satisfy. This need can create tensions that can influence a personswork attitudes and behaviors. Maslow formed a theory based on his definition of need thatproposes that humans are motivated by multiple needs and that these needs exist in ahierarchical order. His premise is that only an unsatisfied need can influence behavior; asatisfied need is not a motivator.Maslows theory is based on the following two principles: Deficit principle: A satisfied need no longer motivates behavior because people act to satisfy deprived needs. Progression principle: The five needs he identified exist in a hierarchy, which means that a need at any level only comes into play after a lower-level need has been satisfied.
  4. 4. In his theory, Maslow identified five levels of human needs. Table 1 illustrates these fivelevels and provides suggestions for satisfying each need. TABLE 1 Maslows Hierarchy of Human Needs Higher Level Needs To Satisfy, Offer: Self-actualization needs Creative and challenging work Participation in decision making Job flexibility and autonomy Esteem needs Responsibility of an important job Promotion to higher status job Praise and recognition from boss Lower Level Needs To Satisfy, Offer: Social needs Friendly coworkers Interaction with customers Pleasant supervisor Safety needs Safe working conditions Job security Base compensation and benefits Physiological needs Rest and refreshment breaks Physical comfort on the job Reasonable work hours
  5. 5. Although research has not verified the strict deficit and progression principles of Maslowstheory, his ideas can help managers understand and satisfy the needs of employees.Herzbergs two-factor theoryFrederick Herzberg offers another framework for understanding the motivational implicationsof work environments.In his two-factor theory, Herzberg identifies two sets of factors that impact motivation inthe workplace: Hygiene factors include salary, job security, working conditions, organizational policies, and technical quality of supervision. Although these factors do not motivate employees, they can cause dissatisfaction if they are missing. Something as simple as adding music to the office place or implementing a no-smoking policy can make people less dissatisfied with these aspects of their work. However, these improvements in hygiene factors do not necessarily increase satisfaction. Satisfiers or motivators include such things as responsibility, achievement, growth opportunities, and feelings of recognition, and are the key to job satisfaction and motivation. For example, managers can find out what people really do in their jobs and make improvements, thus increasing job satisfaction and performance.Following Herzbergs two-factor theory, managers need to ensure that hygiene factors areadequate and then build satisfiers into jobs.Alderfers ERG theoryClayton Alderfers ERG (Existence, Relatedness, Growth) theory is built upon Maslowshierarchy of needs theory. To begin his theory, Alderfer collapses Maslows five levels ofneeds into three categories. Existence needs are desires for physiological and material well-being. (In terms of Maslows model, existence needs include physiological and safety needs) Relatedness needs are desires for satisfying interpersonal relationships. (In terms of Maslows model, relatedness correspondence to social needs) Growth needs are desires for continued psychological growth and development. (In terms of Maslows model, growth needs include esteem and self-realization needs)This approach proposes that unsatisfied needs motivate behavior, and that as lower levelneeds are satisfied, they become less important. Higher level needs, though, become moreimportant as they are satisfied, and if these needs are not met, a person may move down thehierarchy, which Alderfer calls the frustration-regression principle. What he means by thisterm is that an already satisfied lower level need can become reactivated and influencebehavior when a higher level need cannot be satisfied. As a result, managers should provideopportunities for workers to capitalize on the importance of higher level needs.McClellands acquired needs theoryDavid McClellands acquired needs theory recognizes that everyone prioritizes needsdifferently. He also believes that individuals are not born with these needs, but that they areactually learned through life experiences. McClelland identifies three specific needs:
  6. 6. Need for achievement is the drive to excel. Need for power is the desire to cause others to behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise. Need for affiliation is the desire for friendly, close interpersonal relationships and conflict avoidance.McClelland associates each need with a distinct set of work preferences, and managers canhelp tailor the environment to meet these needs.High achievers differentiate themselves from others by their desires to do things better.These individuals are strongly motivated by job situations with personal responsibility,feedback, and an intermediate degree of risk. In addition, high achievers often exhibit thefollowing behaviors: Seek personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems Want rapid feedback on their performances so that they can tell easily whether they are improving or not Set moderately challenging goals and perform best when they perceive their probability of success as 50-50An individual with a high need of power is likely to follow a path of continued promotion overtime. Individuals with a high need of power often demonstrate the following behaviors: Enjoy being in charge Want to influence others Prefer to be placed into competitive and status-oriented situations Tend to be more concerned with prestige and gaining influence over others than with effective performancePeople with the need for affiliation seek companionship, social approval, and satisfyinginterpersonal relationships. People needing affiliation display the following behaviors: Take a special interest in work that provides companionship and social approval Strive for friendship Prefer cooperative situations rather than competitive ones Desire relationships involving a high degree of mutual understanding May not make the best managers because their desire for social approval and friendship may complicate managerial decision makingInterestingly enough, a high need to achieve does not necessarily lead to being a goodmanager, especially in large organizations. People with high achievement needs are usually
  7. 7. interested in how well they do personally and not in influencing others to do well. On theother hand, the best managers are high in their needs for power and low in their needs foraffiliation.Motivation theories are presented here to prepare a foundation for learning how to motivate selfand others.In the page on types of motivation we saw how our mental filters are the core neural networksthat motivate us or drive our energies in a certain direction - toward happiness or pleasure.Here we will look at some basic theories of motivation thatmight help to explain how and why we can have so muchtrouble actually motivating ourselves and others.For example, if one of our mental filters is that we valueworking out and being in shape but we cant seem to find thetime or energy to actually do it - what is it that stops us?Perhaps the following brief summary of Cognitive Dissonancewill help explain.Motivation Theories - Cognitive Dissonance TheoryA cognition is any element of knowledge - an attitude, emotion, belief, value, behavior, etc.When two cognitions are in direct conflict with one another a state of anxiety is produced -dissonance is the term for the anxiety.Compatible cognitions are consonant - i.e. they are in harmony.A classic example of Cognitive Dissonance is holding the belief that "smoking is bad for you"while continuing the behavior of smoking. These two cognitions are in direct conflict with eachother.The belief that smoking is bad is part of one neural network - perhaps associated with healthand fitness - while the behavior of smoking is part of another network having to do with tensionmanagement, how to hang with friends, or the like.So, these cognitions exist in different locations in the brain. Both are trying to accomplishsomething important for the self - tension management and hanging with friends is important.When two cognitions are in conflict anxiety (dissonance) is produced and grows until it becomesstronger than the cognition with the lesser amount of resistance to change.When this threshold is reached the subconscious mind is compelled to change, ignore, or modifythe weaker of the two cognitions in order to dispel the anxiety.The processes of generalization, deletion, and distortion are used to acquire, invent, repress, ormodify beliefs to fit better with the behavior - AKA Denial.
  8. 8. In the example of smoking and other addictions repression is a distortion that allows anoffending belief that cannot be deleted - "smoking is bad for you" - to be ignored by pushing itout of awareness.When the subconscious mind does this for you without your conscious awareness its calledrepression. When you purposefully and consciously push it out of your awareness its calledsuppression.Motivation Theories - Maslows Hierarchy of NeedsThe American psychologist Abraham Maslow devised a six-level hierarchy of needs that motivateor drive human behavior. I believe that each of these needs must be met in order for one toachieve happiness.Maslow progressively ranks human needs as follows: Physiological - food, shelter, clothing Security and safety Love and feelings of belonging Competence, prestige, and esteem Curiosity and the need to know Self-ActualizationMaslow suggests that each preceding need must be met - at least to some degree - before onecan go on to the next level.For instance, a child may not be motivated to pay attention in class if she is preoccupied withhunger because she did not get any breakfast that morning.Maslow refers to the first four levels as deficiency needs and the last two as growth needs.Deficiency needs that go unmet cause developmental deficits and pain. Unmet needs for growthcause apathy and stagnation - i.e. a lack of motivation.Motivation Theories - Alderfers ERG TheoryAlderfer takes Maslows theory a little further by suggesting that the first two needs on MaslowsHierarchy are Existence needs, the second two are needs forRelatedness and the third pair ofneeds are growth-oriented needs.Alderfers theory builds on Maslows hierarchical model and states that these needs are the threeprimary motivators in our lives...Hence, ERG theory. Existence - Survival Needs Relatedness - Separateness and Connectedness Growth - Learning Something NewMotivation Theories - Goal Theory
  9. 9. Goal Theory is built upon the assumption that people have drives to meet certain end states.They are motivated to do certain things as a means to achieve that end.Goal theory suggests three main elements determine the degree of motivation generated... Proximity - How much time is between initiation of the behavior and the achievement of the end state? In kids and teenagers this is especially important because they do not yet have a good concept of time - this is why playing video games beats out learning algebra... they get the reward sooner. Degree of Difficulty - The "doing" of the behavior needs to be challenging yet achievable. Many kids do not do well in school if they are not challenged enough. Likewise they dont do well if the challenge seems insurmountable. Specificity - The end-state needs to be clearly defined and understandable. People need to be able to get a sense for what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like to have reached the end state.Motivation Theories - Self-Determination TheorySelf-Determination Theory (SDT) is closely related to Maslows Theory with the exception SDTsuggests that people do not operate on auto-pilot... Instead, they rely heavily on nourishmentand support from their social environment to function effectively.SDT presupposes that all people have a built-in tendency toward growth and development...thatthey strive to master challenges and to integrate their experiences into a coherent sense of self.According to Self-Determination Theory there are three concepts that affect motivation: Autonomy - Separateness... "I can do it myself" Competence Feedback - Approval and Acknowledgment from significant others Relatedness - Connectedness... "Im not alone"Motivation Theories - Achievement Motivation TheoryDavid McClellands Achievement Motivation Theory proposes that the three factors influencingmotivation are the need to achieve, the need for power, and the need for affiliation. Each of theseneeds vary in intensity from one person to the next. Need to Achieve - Varies on a continuum from low to high. This need is related to the degree of difficulty of tasks that a person chooses. Someone low in the need to achieve is more apt to choose tasks that are too easy - to avoid failure...or too hard - to avoid embarrassment if they fail. In either case a fear of failure is present. Someone high in the need to achieve is more apt to choose tasks that are of moderate difficulty so as to be a challenge but not insurmountable.
  10. 10. Need for Power - Those who are motivated by a need for power derive a sense of satisfaction from having an impact on their environment in a way that moves it in the direction that person would like to see it move. For example, A CEO feels satisfied by moving his company in a certain direction... or an advocate for a specific social change feels satisfied by making a contribution that moves things in that direction. Need for Affiliation - This need describes those who are motivated primarily by connecting and interacting with others are happiest when they feel a sense of belonging and involvement with a social group.While we all experience each of these needs to some degree, we are usually motivated by onemore than the others. This usually has to do with the rewards and reinforcements we receivedfrom the primary group in our childhood - i.e., Family.