Elements Of Motivation

The definition of motivation contains 3 elements:

  1. Some need motive or goal or goal that triggers action
  2. A selection process that directs the choice of action
  3. A level of effort intensity that is applied to the chosen action.

In essence, motivation governs behaviour selection, direction and level of effort.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs:

  1. Physical Needs - Relief from thirst, hunger and physical drives.
  2. Safety Needs - Free from harm and danger, secure and predictable life.
  3. Love or belonging needs - Acceptance, respect and caring relationships.
  4. Esteem Needs - Physiological well being, build on the perception of oneself as worthy and recognised by others.
  5. Self-actualisation needs - The peak of human existence, realise fullest potential.

Once a lower-level need has been largely satisfied, its impact on behaviour diminishes. The individual is then free to progress to the next higher-level need, which becomes a major determinant in behaviour.

The step principle is questionable ... does one step have to be satisfied before an employee seeks to fore fill the next.

Deficiency reduction needs - Triggers behaviours of avoidance, the aim is to find relief from deficiencies, deprivations or unpleasant tensions, and return to a more neutral state of existence free from discomfort. If a worker is hungry they will eat, accumulating bills then might take on a second job. Once the normal state has been re-attained the need diminishes and behaviour can be directed to satisfying other needs.

Growth Aspiration Needs - motivate people to approach or seek out goals and experiences that they find personally meaningful. Once achieved attention will switch to a new goal.

Existence, relatedness and growth needs:

Alderfer's simplified content theory that identifies existence, relatedness and growth as need categories, and acknowledges that multiple needs may be operating at one time without being hierarchically determined.

Existence needs - Similar to Maslow's physiological and safety needs that everyone must satisfy to maintain life. (e.g. eat and drink)

Relatedness needs - Draw people into interpersonal contact for social-emotional acceptance, caring and status.

Growth needs - Involve personal development and a sense of self worth.

Alderfer rejects Maslow's premise that lower level needs must be satisfied before higher level needs are activated. (e.g. an artist will get so consumed in work that creature comforts don't matter) But the longer lower level needs go unfulfilled the more they will be desired. He also believes humankind to be more complex then Maslow, and more than one need may be operating at a time. For instance during a business day, one person eats lunch (existence needs) with two colleagues as part of a social interaction (relatedness needs) and in part to obtain support in solving a problem (growth needs).

The effect of needs on work-related motivation:

Herzberg's dual-factor theory:

Hygiene factors - Which can involve working conditions, job security, quality of supervision, interpersonal relationships, and adequacy of pay and fringe benefits a lack of these factors can trigger dissatisfaction if inadequate. Do not produce job satisfaction if adequate they simply produce neutral feelings. Such factors are largely extrinsic, or external to the nature of the job itself, and therefore be thought of as job context features.

Motivation factors - Which originate from the nature of the job itself and can create job satisfaction. These include job challenge (why things such a job enrichment/rotation have been brought in), responsibility, and opportunity for achievement or advancement, and recognition, provide feelings of satisfaction. These factors are associated with the job content and are intrinsic, or unique to each individual in his or her own way.

According to Herzberg (1993), only when a person feels the potential for satisfaction is he or she able to muster significant work motivation.

His theory suggests that if motivators are not present in a job a person will not necessarily be dissatisfied. However, that person will simply not be in a position to experience satisfaction since nothing about work is a motivational turn on. When motivational factors are present satisfaction is possible so work based energy is aroused or sustained. It is then according to Maslow that a person can be consistently motivated.

It oversimplifies, factors and standards are not the same for everyone's so the formula will have to be tailored.

According to this theory the most effective way to stimulate motivation is to improve the nature of work itself. At time of development jobs were standard and routine lots of factories etc. With technological advancements are jobs present that this really applies to? Herzberg (1987) argued the most appropriate technique for building in motivation factors was to enrich jobs. Job enrichment involves giving jobs more variety and responsibility for planning and control of the work.

Mc Gregor's Theory X and Theory Y:

Theory X: A natural assumption that people only act to realise their basic needs and therefore do not voluntarily contribute to organisational aims. Managers must persuade, reward, punish and control those who do not naturally strive to learn and grow.

Theory Y: Sees people as motivated by high order growth needs. Managements task is to act on these needs and to grow in their jobs.

Motivation and growth is limited by the opportunities presented by management.

Pg 250-251 - Difficult to predict how different people will react when motivated by a lower level or hygiene need. One person might get active in the union, one might work harder hoping noticed and rewarded, other might do least amount of work that they can get away with (to restore a sense of equity).

Motives learned from experience - some people learn to be consistently energised when they encounter circumstances that offer the opportunity of experiencing feelings of satisfaction. Examples of learned motives include the need for achievement, power, affiliation, competence, status and autonomy.

The Achievement motive - people who have a high need to achieve are usually self-motivated. Particularly relevant in many western societies.

The power motive - A learned motive that finds satisfaction from being in charge and controlling and influencing others.

The Affliction Motive - A learned motive to seek satisfaction from the quality of social and interpersonal relationships.

Personal ideology promotes motivational consistency because motives are learned they promote consistency in motivated behaviour.

Personal Ideology - A source of personal consistency based on one's values and conception of one's place in the world in relation to meaningful activities that promote a sense of self worth. Respect from colleagues, meeting a manager's expectations, contributing to the production of something of value, sustaining respect in family, feeling pride on being helpful and carrying your own weight.

Expectancy theory: A theory of motivation based on persons beliefs about effort performance - outcome relationships. Challenges the overall relevance of herzberg's two-factor theory. Pg 257-259

Motivation implications and Intrinsic and extrinsic rewards:

Extrinsic rewards - Rewards externally bestowed, as by a supervisor, teacher or organisation.

Intrinsic Rewards - Postulate that motivation is moderate by perceived fairness or discrepancies between contributions and rewards.

A balance of both is good but if the worker keeps getting rewarded Intrinsically they may feel the manager is not fully committed here a cash based Extrinsic reward may be required to show that the management is pleased with performance to maintain motivation levels.

Clarify Performance - reward linkages

Provide performance feedback

How Perceptions of equity affect motivation:

Equity Theory - The idea that motivation is moderated by perceived fairness or discrepancies between contributions and rewards.

‘What is the pay off to me relative to my inputs of effort exerted, skills, job knowledge and actual task performance?'

Compare to different people, department, or occupation. Might believe they should be getting paid more or less. Distributive Justice - The perceived fairness of the amount and allocation of rewards amongst individuals. Procedural Justice - The perceived fairness of the means used to determine the amount and distribution of rewards. Referent cognitions theory - Postulates that people evaluate their work and rewards relative to what might have been under different circumstances. Should motivation focus on individuals or groups ? more likely to underreport than to overreport the importance of pay as a motivational factor in most situations. Put another way, research suggests that pay is much more important in people's actual choices and behaviors than it is in their self-reports of what motivates them, much like the cartoon viewers mentioned in the quote above. Yet, only 35% of the respondents in the Rynes et al. study answered in a way consistent with research findings (i.e., chose "false"). Our objective in this article is to show

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