Theory of motivation


Theories of Motivation

1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

It is a well-known theory of motivation, Abraham Maslow outlined the elements of an overall theory of motivation. This theory has received attention in the last few decades.

The basic theme of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory is that human needs are not of equal strength. He thought that a person’s motivational needs could be arranged as per their priority. First of all a person will try to
satisfy primary needs and if they are satisfied, a person will move to secondary needs. In short, it is believed that once a need is a satisfied, it is no longer useful to motivate the individual. Maslow identified 5 levels in his need hierarchy.

They are as follows-


1. Physiological needs- These need include hunger,thirst, sleep, and sex. According to the theory, once basic needs are satisfied, they no longer motivate. For example if a person is thirsty, he will try to get the water that is within his reach. After drinking sufficient water, the person will not try to get more water. Now he will be motivated by next higher level of needs.

2. Safety needs- The second level of need is security need. According to Maslow, it includes both physical as well as emotional safety. Every one would be willing to satisfy safety needs. It is also true that once the safety needs are satisfied they also do not motivate.

3. Belonging and Social needs- The third level of needs is connected with affection, love, belongingness and friendship. Maslow used the word “love” which may be misleading, “Social needs” or belongingness are more ap-
propriate words.

4. Esteem needs–The fourth level represents the higher needs of humans. The needs for power, achievement, and status can be considered part of this level. Esteem level contains both self-esteem and self’s from others.

5. Needs for self-actualization-This level represents the higher needs of humans. People who have become selfactualized are self-fulfilled and have realized all their potential. Self-actualization is closely related to the self-concept.

Malsow separated the 5 needs into lower order and higher order needs. Physiological and safety needs are described as lower order while social esteem and self-actuali-
zation as higher order needs. The difference is made on the base that higher level needs are satisfied internally to the person whereas lower-order needs are satisfied externally.

In modern time, most of the employees and workers have their lower order needs satisfied.

2. Alderfer’s E.R.G. Model Clayton Alderfer of Yale University worked on Maslow’s need hierarchy to overcome some of its weaknesses. Clayton proposed a modified hierarchy.

Alderfer argued that there are 3 groups of core needs-
E-Existence needs
R-Relatedness needs
G-Growth needs

● Existence needs are concerned with survival. They include physiological and safety needs.

● Relatedness means the desire for personal development. They involve both the desire for self-esteem and self-actualization.

● Growth needs refer to the desire for personal development. They involve both the desire for self-esteem and self actualization.

Alderfer suggests continuity of needs than hierarchical levels. It does not contend that a lower level need has to be fulfilled before a higher level is motivated. Under ERG
theory, the person’s background may dictate that the relatedness needs will precede over unfulfilled existence needs.

ERG theory also contains a frustration, by noting that when higher order need level is frustrated, the individual’s desire to increase a lower level need takes place. For example, inability to satisfy a need for social interaction may increase the desire for more money or better working conditions.

3.Vroom’s Expectancy Theory of Motivation factors-

According to Vroom motivation is the product of 3 factor

Valence – How much one wants a reward

Expectancy – Probability of successful performance,

Instrumentality – One’s estimate that by performance, he will receive the reward.

The relationship may be expressed as under-Valence.* Expectancy * Instrumentality = Motivation.

The Three Factors


(i) Valance- Valence refers to the receiving a reward or profit. For example, if a person strongly wants a promotion, then promotion has high valence for that employee.
Valence for a reward is unique to each employee, it may vary over a period of time when old needs are satisfied and new needs arise.

Since people may have positive or negative preferences for a outcome, valence may be negative as well as positive. When a person prefers not attaining an outcome compared with attaining it, Valence is a negative figure. If a person is indifferent to an outcome the valence is 0. The total range is from-1 to +1.

(ii) Expectancy-Expectancy is the belief that efforts will result in completion of a task. For example, if a person is selling home appliances door to door, he may know from experience that sale is directly related to the number of sales calls made. Since the expectancy is the probability between effort and performance, its value may range from 0 to 1 If an employee sees no change of desired performance with his effects – The expectancy is 0. If an employee is highly confident that the task will be completed – The expectancy is 1. Normally expectancy varies between these two extremes O to 1.

(iii) Instrumentality- Instrumentality represents the employee’s belief that reward will be received onee the task S accomplished. Here the employee makes another subject five judgment about the probability that the organization values the performances and will administer rewards .

(4) Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory The priority of needs characterizes the type of behaviour. The satisfaction of some needs may not have positive effect on motivation but their non-satisfaction may act as a negative factor. A question arises as to what types of needs are important for improviding motivation. Frederick Herzberg and his associates conducted a study of need satisfaction of 200 engineers and accountants employed by firms in and around Pittsburgh.

The persons were asked to describe a few previous job experiences in which they felt exceptionally good or exceptionally bad about jobs. The influence of these experiences on job was also studied.

Herzberg concluded that there were two sets of conditions. First type of conditions, described as maintenance or hygiene factors, do not motivate employees by their presence but their absence dissatisfies them. The other conditions, called motivational factors, operate to build strong motivation and high job satisfaction, but their absence hardly proves strongly dissatisfying,Maintenance or Hygiene Factors: These were called

maintenance or hygiene factors since they were necessary to maintain current status i.e., reasonable level of satisfaction. These factors are more dissatisfied by their absence but their presence will not motivate. The addition of more and more of these factors will not help in motivating once they are satisfactory. Herzberg named the hygiene factors: Company policy and administration, technical supervision, interpersonal relations with supervisor, inter-personal relations with peers,inter-personal relations with subordinates, salary, job security, personal life, work relations with subordinates, status.
These factors relate to conditions under which the job is performed. They produce no growth in workers but restrict loss of growth. These factors are necessary to maintain reasonable level of satjsfaction in employees.

Motivational Factors: The presence of these factors build high motivation and job satisfaction. However, if these conditions are not present, they do not cause dissatisfaction. There are six factors: achievement, recognition, advancement, work itself, possibilities of personal growth, responsibility. Most of these factors relate to job contents.
The increase in these factors will be essential for increasing motivation of employees.

Herzberg pointed out that managers have been very much concerned with hygiene factors only. They could not enlist the full co-operation of employees by increasing salaries etc. They did not realise the importance of motivating facfors. The employees are motivated by the content of the job.The satisfaction which an employee will derive from the job go to increase his output. The management should try to will reduce dissatisfaction arising out of hygiene factor and building up the satisfaction from motivators.

5) Porter and Lawler Expectancy Model
Lynan Porter and Edward Lawler model is an improvement over Vroom’s Expectancy model. They came with a very comprehensive theory of motivation by combining Various aspects of motivation. This model has been widely practically applied. This is a multi-variable model which explains the relationship that exists between job-attitudes and job performance. This model is based on four basic assumptions about human behaviour

1.Individual behaviour is determined by a combination of factors in the individual and in the environment.

2.Individuals are assumed to be rational human beings who make conscious decisions about their behaviour in the organisation.

3.In fact individuals have different needs, desires and goals.

4.On the basis of their expectation individuals decide between alternative behaviour and such decided behaviour will lead to a desired outcome.

(6) Adam’s Equity Theory

Equity theory of motivation was formulated by J.S. Adam. It is based on the assumption that members of an organisation experience strong expectations of justice, balance and fairness in treatment by the organisation. When a person feels that he is being treated unfairly by the organisation, these feelings can have a variety of adverse effects on the person’s motivation and performance on the job. The equity
theory of motivation helps in understanding both the causes and the likely consequences of feelings in equitable treatment among organisation members.

According to equity theory, two variables are important, i.e., inputs and outcomes. Inputs are the efforts and skills which a member of an organisation perceives that he puts into his job. Outcomes are the rewards which the member receives from the organisation and his job. Inputs and outcomes are important elements in the exchange relationship between the organisation and its members. When the individual finds equity in the situation or feels that what he receives from the organisation in terms of treatment and compensation is fair in terms of the effort and skills he contributes to the organisation, he is satisfied with the arrangement and is normally committed to the organisation and its goals.

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