Douglas McGregor added to the motivation work done in the 1950’s and developed the theory called Theory X, Theory Y. He believed that there are two distinct views of human beings that managers hold. The Theory X view is basically negative and believes that workers have little ambition, dislike work, and avoid responsibility. The Theory Y view is in contrast to X and believes that workers tend to be self-directed, enjoy work, and accept responsibility. Managers will modify their behavior toward employees based on what view they hold about them.
The self-determination theory states that people prefer to have control over their actions. So when they are required to do something they previously freely chose, it will diminish their motivation.
This theory sets forth that in the workplace, intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are not independent of one another. In fact, the presence of extrinsic rewards may decrease the intrinsic rewards. In addition to extrinsic rewards, managers need to realize the importance of using goal setting and verbal rewards as a method to increase motivation.
Edwin Locke developed what is called the goal-setting theory. The idea behind this theory is that goals that are specific and effectively difficult can lead to higher performance if they include self-generated feedback. A difficult goal will help the individual to focus and direct attention as well as energize them to work harder. The difficulty of the goal will increase persistence and force people to be more effective and efficient.
The relationship between goals and performance depends on how committed the individual is to the goal as well as how specific the tasks are. Most of the research has been done in the United States so the applicability of this theory to other cultures is suspect.
An implementation of the goal-setting theory is Management by Objectives, better known as MBO. MBO is a systematic way to utilize goal-setting theory, in which goals are set jointly by managers and employees. The goals must be tangible, verifiable, and measurable in order to be effective. The manager helps to break down the organizational goals into smaller more specific goals for the employee. In order for MBO to be effective, the goals must be specific, the employees must participate in the goal setting, there must be a defined time period, and feedback must be incorporated into the process.
Another theory of motivation is the self-efficacy theory developed by Albert Bandura. This theory is based on an individual’s belief that he or she is capable of performing a task. This theory is a complement to the goal-setting theory as it incorporates goals into the process. Higher efficacy is related to greater confidence, greater persistence in the face of difficulties, and responding to negative feedback with working harder, not shutting down.
Self-efficacy can be increased in several ways. The first is increasing your mastery of a task/skill. Another way is to model your actions after someone else who performs the task effectively and applying their actions to your own. The final methods to increase self-efficacy is to receive verbal persuasion through others as well as getting excited about completing the task.
The Reinforcement Theory is based on the goal-setting theory we looked at earlier. However, it focuses on behaviors instead of cognitive factors. This theory believes that reinforcement conditions behavior and by reinforcing certain behaviors we can increase the types of behaviors that impact organizational effectiveness in a positive way. This theory is based on the idea that behavior is environmentally caused. Behavior is believed to be based on the consequences and not on thoughts, feelings, or attitudes.
This theory is not technically a motivational theory, rather it is a method used to analyze behavior. It is important to keep in mind that reinforcement does impact behavior but it is not the only factor that does so.
Adam’s equity theory utilizes perception theory that we looked at in previous chapters. The idea is that employees compare their ratios of outcomes to inputs of others they see as relevant. When they see the ratios as equal, there is a perceived state of equity and no tension arises. However, when they perceive the ratios to be unequal, they may experience anger or guilt, depending on the result of the equity analysis, and then tension can arise. This tension can motivate people to act in a way to bring the situation into a more equitable state.
There are four different type of situations that arise with the equity theory’s relevant others; they are as follows: * Self-inside where the person compares themselves with someone else within the organization who holds a different job; * Self-outside where the person compares themselves with someone outside of the organization with a different job; * Other-inside where the person compares another individual or group of individuals within the organization; and * Other-outside where the person compares another individual or group of individuals outside of the organization.
All these factors are based on the individual’s perceptions of what is equitable or fair.
Employees will often react strongly to situations they perceive as inequitable. They normally engage in behaviors to create equity, such as slacking off when they feel they are working harder than others or quitting when they see no way to make things equitable. There are also some responses to inequitable pay that employees engage, such as producing more when they are overpaid or producing lower quality outputs when they feel they are underpaid.
The justice and equity theory is based on perceived equity in the workplace. For organizational justice to be perceived, there must be distributive justice, procedural justice, and interactional justice. Distributive justice is the fairness in which the outcomes are distributed or experienced. The procedural justice focuses not on the outcomes but on the process itself. Interactional justice focuses on how you are treated during the process.
The most commonly used and widely accepted theory of motivation is Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory. This theory argues that the strength of a tendency to act in a certain way is dependent on the strength of the expectation that they will receive a given outcome and that the outcome is desired.
Employees are willing to work harder if they believe that their actions will get them an outcome they desire. For example, employees are willing to work long and hard hours if they know that they will be rewarded through promotion, recognition, or pay in response to their hard work.
This graph looks at integrating the various motivational theories we have looked at. It is based on Vroom’s expectancy theory. This graph looks at individual effort and recognizes that it can be impacted by opportunity. Goals effect behavior and will definitely influence individual effort. Employees will exert a lot of effort if they perceive that effort will help them perform better and receive rewards for that performance. This also assumes that the rewards are based on a fair and objective appraisal process as perceived by the individual. If equity is perceived, motivation is high.
Unfortunately, in the area of motivation theory, the vast majority of research has been done in the United Sates and is culturally bound. There does seem to be a universal acceptance that a desire for interesting work is common across the globe, but there is no research to support this.
There are a number of theories that can increase our understanding as managers about motivation in the workplace. It is important to utilize these theories when designing workplace programs and procedures.
Motivation Concepts :Organizational Behavior
After studying this chapter, you should be able to:
•Describe the three elements of motivation.
•Identify four early theories of motivation and evaluate
their applicability today.
•Apply the predictions of the self-determination theory
to intrinsic and extrinsic rewards.
•Compare and contrast goal-setting theory and
management by objectives.
•Contrast reinforcement theory and goal-setting theory.
•Demonstrate how organizational justice is a
refinement of equity theory.
•Apply the key tenets of expectancy theory to
•Compare contemporary theories of motivation.
•Explain to what degree motivation theories are
The result of the interaction between the individual and the
The processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction,
and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal – specifically, an
Three key elements:
Intensity – how hard a person tries
Direction – effort that is channeled toward, and
consistent with, organizational goals
Persistence – how long a person can maintain effort
These early theories may not be valid, but they do form the
basis for contemporary theories and are still used by practicing
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
Alderfer’s ERG Theory
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
McClelland’s Theory of Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
There is a hierarchy of five needs. As each need is substantially satisfied, the next need becomes
Desires for continued
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
• Two distinct views of human beings: Theory X (basically
negative) and Theory Y (positive).
– Managers used a set of assumptions based on their
– The assumptions molded their behavior toward
• No empirical evidence to support this theory.
• Workers have little
• Dislike work
• Avoid responsibility
• Workers are self-
• Enjoy work
• Accept responsibility
• Quality of
• Company policies
• Physical working
• Job security
• Opportunities for
• Need for Achievement (nAch)
The drive to excel
• Need for Power (nPow)
The need to make others behave in a way they
would not have behaved otherwise
• Need for Affiliation (nAff)
The desire for friendly and close interpersonal
• High achievers prefer jobs with:
–Intermediate degree of risk
• High achievers are not
necessarily good managers
• High nPow and low nAff is
related to managerial success
Contemporary Theories of
Management by Objectives (MBO)
Also known as Social Cognitive Theory or
Social Learning Theory
People prefer to feel they have control over their actions,
so anything that makes a previously enjoyed task feel
more like an obligation than a freely chosen activity will
•Major Implications for Work Rewards
– Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards are not independent
– Extrinsic rewards may decrease intrinsic rewards
– Goal setting is more effective in improving motivation
– Verbal rewards increase intrinsic motivation; tangible
rewards reduce it
That specific and difficult goals, with self-
generated feedback, lead to higher performance
Focus and direct attention
Energize the person to work harder
Difficulty increases persistence
Force people to be more effective and efficient
Relationship between goals and performance depends
Goal commitment (the more public the better!)
Task characteristics (simple, well-learned)
Culture (best match is in North America)
• MBO is a systematic way to utilize goal-
• Goals must be:
• Corporate goals are broken down into
smaller, more specific goals at each
level of organization.
• Four common ingredients to MBO
– Goal specificity
– Participative decision making
– Explicit time period
Implementation: Management by
• An individual’s belief that he or she is capable
of performing a task.
– Higher efficacy is related to:
• Greater confidence
• Greater persistence in the face of difficulties
• Better response to negative feedback (work harder)
– Self-efficacy complements Goal-Setting Theory
Given Hard Goal
Higher Self-Set Goal
• Enactive mastery
– Most important source of efficacy
– Gaining relevant experience with task or job
– “Practice makes perfect”
• Vicarious modeling
– Increasing confidence by watching others perform the task
– Most effective when observer sees the model to be similar to
him- or herself
• Verbal persuasion
– Motivation through verbal conviction
– Pygmalion and Galatea effects - self-fulfilling prophecies
– Getting “psyched up” – emotionally aroused – to complete task
– Can hurt performance if emotion is not a component of the task
• Similar to Goal-Setting Theory, but focused
on a behavioral approach rather than a
– Behavior is environmentally caused
– Thought (internal cognitive event) is not important
• Feelings, attitudes, and expectations are ignored
– Behavior is controlled by its consequences –
– Is not a motivational theory but a means of
analysis of behavior
– Reinforcement strongly influences behavior but is
not likely to be the sole cause
Adams’ Equity Theory
• Employees compare their ratios of outcomes-
to-inputs of relevant others.
– When ratios are equal: state of equity exists – there
is no tension as the situation is considered fair
– When ratios are unequal: tension exists due to
• Underrewarded states cause anger
• Overrewarded states cause guilt
– Tension motivates people to act to bring their
situation into equity GR3ETCH.4 @2014.4
• Can be four different situations:
• The person’s experience in a different job in the same
• The person’s experience in a different job in a different
• Another individual or group within the organization
• Another individual or group outside of the organization
EquityTheory’s “Relevant Others”
• Employee behaviors to create equity:
– Change inputs (slack off)
– Change outcomes (increase output)
– Distort/change perceptions of self
– Distort/change perceptions of others
– Choose a different referent person
– Leave the field (quit the job)
• Propositions relating to inequitable pay:
– Paid by time:
• Overrewarded employees produce
• Underrewarded employees produce
less with low quality
– Paid by quality:
• Overrewarded employees give higher
• Underrewarded employees make moreGR3ETCH.4 @2014.4
Justiceand Equity Theory
• Fairness of
• Fairness of
• Being treated with
dignity and respect
Overall perception of
what is fair in the
Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
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 outcome and on the attractiveness
of the outcome to the individual.
success in getting
Valuation of the
Integrating Contemporary MotivationTheories
• Based on Expectancy Theory
• Motivation theories are often culture-
– Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
• Order of needs is not universal
– McClelland’s Three Needs Theory
• nAch presupposes a willingness to accept risk and
performance concerns – not universal traits
– Adams’ Equity Theory
• A desire for equity is not universal
• “Each according to his need” – socialist/former
• Desire for interesting work seems to be
– There is some evidence that the intrinsic GR3ETCH.4 @2014.4
Summary and Managerial Implications
• Need Theories (Maslow, Alderfer, McClelland,
– Well known, but not very good predictors of
• Goal-Setting Theory
– While limited in scope, good predictor
• Reinforcement Theory
– Powerful predictor in many work areas
• Equity Theory
– Best known for research in organizational justice
• Expectancy Theory
– Good predictor of performance variables but
shares many of the assumptions as rationalGR3ETCH.4 @2014.4