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Motivation and Change. Professor Harold V. Langlois. Theories of Behaviors. Behaviorists Cognitive Theorists Psychodynamic Approaches Humanistic Psychology Approach. Behaviorist Approach. Behavioral Approach to Change

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Motivation and Change

Professor Harold V. Langlois

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Theories of Behaviors

  • Behaviorists

  • Cognitive Theorists

  • Psychodynamic Approaches

  • Humanistic Psychology Approach

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Behaviorist Approach

  • Behavioral Approach to Change

    • How one individual can change another’s behavior using reward and punishment, to achieve intended results

  • Behaviorists

    • McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

    • Herzberg’s Hygiene Factors and Motivators

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Theory X Assumptions

People dislike work

Need controlling and direction

Require security

Motivated by threats of punishment

Avoid being responsible

Lack ambition

Do not use imagination

Theory Y Assumptions

People regard work as natural and normal

People also respond to recognition and encouragement

Commitment matched to reward system

Seek inner fulfillment

Accept responsibility

Can be creative and innovative

Theory X and Theory Y

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Hygiene Factors


Company policy

Quality of supervision and management

Working relations

Working conditions









Type and nature of work

Herzberg’s Motivating Factors

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Herzberg’s Motivating Factors(continued)

  • Two sets of drives or motivators

    • A desire to avoid pain or deprivations (hygiene factors)

    • A desire to learn and develop (motivators)

  • Hygiene factors don’t motivate workers, but their withdrawal demotivates the workforce

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Types of Motivational Rewards

  • Financial Reinforcement

    • Example: Performance linked bonus

  • Non-Financial Reinforcement

    • Examples: Performance feedback and coaching

  • Social Reinforcement

    • Communication - either positive or negative

    • Other examples: awards, “naming and shaming” poor performers

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Cognitive Theorists

  • Cognitive Psychology

    • Based on the premise that our emotions and our problems are a result of the way we think

    • Interest in learning about developing the capacity for language and problem solving

  • Cognitive Theorists (1970’s)

    • Albert Ellis – Rational-Emotive Therapy

    • Aaron Beck – Cognitive Therapy

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Albert Ellis

  • Emphasized the importance of the following

    • People conditioning themselves to feel disturbed (rather than external sources of conditioning)

    • Biological and cultural tendencies to needlessly upset themselves

    • Unique human tendency to invent and create disturbing beliefs

    • Capacity to change their cognitive, emotive and behavioral processes in order to remain minimally disturbed for the rest of their lives

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Aaron Beck

  • Cognitive therapy

    • Based on the underlying theoretical rationale that an individual’s affect (moods, emotions) and behavior are largely determined by the way in which he construes the world”

  • How a person thinks determines how he feels and reacts

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Summary – Cognitive Approach

  • Cognitive approach is focused on the results you want to achieve (contingent on alignment throughout the cause and effect chain

  • Advocates the use of goals

    • The clearer the goal, the greater likelihood of achievement

    • Goal-setting is a good indicator of success in business focus and personal motivation

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Techniques for Change

  • Positive listings

  • Personal affirmations

  • Visualizations

  • Reframing

  • Pattern breaking

  • Detachment

  • Anchoring in past successes

  • Rational analysis

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Psychodynamic Approaches

  • Kubler-Ross Model

    • On Death and Dying (1969)

      • Described her work with terminally ill patients

      • Patients, given the necessary conditions, would typically go through 5 stages as they came to terms with their realities

    • Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance

    • These findings can be applied to coping with the challenges of change in other settings

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Other Views of Response to Change

  • Adams, Hayes & Hopson (1976)

    • Relief, Shock/Surprise, Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance, Experimentation, Discovery

    • Described these stages as a “change curve”

  • Virginia Satir (1991)

    • Family therapist whose work highlights two key events in the change response pattern

      • The Foreign Element and The Transforming Idea

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Humanistic Psychology Approach

  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

    • Physiological Needs

    • Safety Needs

    • Love and Belonging Needs

    • Self-Esteem Needs

    • Self-Actualization Needs

  • People try to become the person they believe they are capable of becoming

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Humanistic Psychology Approach(continued)

  • Carl Rogers – Path to Personal Growth

    • Genuineness and congruence (aware of your own feelings and authentic)

    • Unconditional positive regard (willingness to allow a client’s feelings to be expressed)

    • Empathic understanding (accepting feelings and thoughts of a client so that he/she will be enabled to feel free to explore hidden roots and frightening inner experiences

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Humanistic Psychology Approach(continued)

  • Gestalt Approach to Individual and Organizational Change

    • Experiential process of doing, acting, and feeling

    • Use a cycle of experience to map how individuals and groups enact their desires

    • Also focus on how individuals and groups block themselves from completing the cycle

    • Awareness, Energy & Action, Common Understanding, Resolution & Closure, Withdrawal