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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

Theories of Employee Motivation

Dionne Roberson

Chapter 8

what is motivation
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
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
  • 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 theories5
Need Theories

Need Hierarchy Theory

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






need theories6
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 theories7
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
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
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
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
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
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 theory13
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
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