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Theories of Employee Motivation. Dionne Roberson Chapter 8. What is Motivation?. Motivation is defined as an internal state that induces a person to engage in particular behaviors Work motivation theories are concerned with the reasons why some people perform their job better than others.

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Theories of Employee Motivation

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Theories of Employee Motivation

Dionne Roberson

Chapter 8

What is Motivation?

  • Motivation is defined as an internal state that induces a person to engage in particular behaviors

  • Work motivation theories are concerned with the reasons why some people perform their job better than others.

Work Motivation Theories

  • There are 7 Motivation Theories:

    • Need Theories

    • Reinforcement Theory

    • Expectancy Theory

    • Self-Efficacy Theory

    • Equity Theory

    • Goal-Setting Theory

    • Action Theory

Need Theories

  • Need Theories view motivation as deriving from people’s desires for certain things.

  • There are three need theories:

    • Need Hierarchy Theory

    • ERG Theory

    • Two-Factor Theory

Need Theories

Need Hierarchy Theory

  • Maslow’s need hierarchy theory states that human needs are based on physical and psychological health.






Need Theories

ERG Theory

  • Aldefer’s existence, relatedness, growth theory focuses on three needs.

  • According to Aldefer people can move back and forth from one need to another.




Need Theories

Two-Factor Theory

  • Herzberg’s two-factor theory states that motivation comes from the job itself, not external rewards.

    • Hygiene Factors- job aspects relevant to the animal needs of human nature such as psychological needs

    • Motivator Factors- job aspects relevant to growth needs such as recognition.

Reinforcement Theory

  • This theory describes how rewards can affect behavior.

  • Law of effect- states that probability of a particular behavior increases if it is followed by a reward.

  • Rewards can be tangible (money) or intangible (praise).

Expectancy Theory

  • This theory attempts explain how rewards lead to behavior by focusing on internal cognitive states that lead to motivation .

  • Vroom’s theory has been adapted to the I/O field.

    • Vroom’s theory explains motivation as a math function of expectancy, valence, and instrumentalities.

    • Force = Expectancy x  (Valence x Instrumentalities)

Self- Efficacy Theory

  • This theory states that motivation and performance is determined by how effective people believe they can be.

    • High self-efficacy = people believe that they are capable of accomplishing a task and will be motivated put forth effort

    • Low self-efficacy = people don’t believe they can do the job and they are not motivated to put forth effort.

Equity Theory

  • States that people are motivated to achieve a condition of fairness in their dealings with other people and with organizations.

  • This theory specifies conditions under which inequity will occur and how employees will react.

  • Employees will evaluate how much they receive from the job (outcomes) in relation to their contributions( inputs)

    • Outcomes/ Inputs

  • Inequity occurs when employees feel as if his/her ratio is different from others

Goal-Setting Theory

  • Basic principle states that people’s behavior is motivated by their internal intentions, goals, or objectives

  • Goal is what a person consciously wants to attain or achieve

Goal-Setting Theory

  • Goals Affect behavior in 4 ways:

    • Direct Attention and action to behaviors that the person believes will achieve the goal.

    • Mobilize effort in that the person tries harder

    • Increase persistence, resulting in more time spent on the behaviors necessary for goal attainment

    • Motivate the search for effective strategies to attain them.

Action Theory

  • This theory states that work motivation theories should focus mainly on goal-oriented or or voluntary behaviors called actions.

    • Action process- linking a hierarchy of cognitions to both actions and feedback from the environment

Desire for something

Plan Generation

Plan Execution

Goal Development


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