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Motivation Theory. 2.5 Business and Management. Motivation Theorists. In the past most management was about deciding how to get the job done most efficiently Nowadays managing people (human resources) is much more complex. People, need to be motivated to their job well

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Motivation theory

Motivation Theory

2.5 Business and Management

Motivation theorists
Motivation Theorists

  • In the past most management was about deciding how to get the job done most efficiently

  • Nowadays managing people (human resources) is much more complex. People, need to be motivated to their job well

  • a well-motivated workforce is considered a productive workforce

  • What makes them want to do a good job?. Theorists have studied this problem for a long time. These theorists are called motivation theorists.

Intrinsic vs extrinsic needs
Intrinsic vs Extrinsic Needs

Managers x and y
Managers – X and Y

  • Theory X Managers (MacGregor) are those who believe that people are mainly motivated by material rewards and discipline – increases in pay, promotion, fringe benefits balanced by penalties for poor performance.

  • Theory Y Managers And there are those who believe that people are motivated by factors such as job satisfaction, the pursuit of excellence and the approval of their peers. McGregor’s ideas influenced by Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

  • Douglas McGregor, the Human Side of Enterprise, 1960

Content theory
Content Theory

  • Content theories seek to explain the specific factors that actually motivate people

  • WHAT motivates people?


Content theories theorists
Content Theories/Theorists

The following covered previously

  • Taylor

  • Maslow

  • McGregor

  • Herzberg

    (All of the above are SL and HL)

    Additional content theorists

  • Mayo

  • McClelland

    (both of these theorists are HL only)

Professor elton mayo 1880 1949
Professor Elton Mayo (1880-1949)

The Hawthorne Experiments – Western Electric Company (Chicago, U.S.A.)

The hawthorne experiments
The Hawthorne Experiments

  • Results? The lighting and other changes had no impact on the productivity of the workers

    Mayo concluded that productivity COULD be improved by…

  • Better communication between managers and workers (workers were consulted over the experiments and gave feedback)

  • Greater manager involvement in employees working lives (Hawthorne workers responded to the increased level of attention they were receiving)

  • Working in groups or teams. ( Hawthorne workers did not previously regularly work in teams)

Professor elton mayo 1880 19491
Professor Elton Mayo (1880-1949)

  • Believed workers concerned with more than money – desire for fulfillment of social (something that Taylor ignored).

  • Introduced the Human Relation School

  • Managers took more of an interest in the workers, treating them as people who have worthwhile opinions

  • Realisedthat workers enjoy interacting together – the workplace was a social system

David mcclelland 1917 1998 theory of needs
David McClelland (1917-1998) – Theory of Needs

  • McClelland identified 3 key needs that must be satisfied to keep workers motivated and morale high

  • Employers should identify which of the needs are most influential for each individual, though all will be present

  • This information will enable employers to make the best placement for positions and tasks

Need for achievement
Need for Achievement

  • People are inspired by the need to complete tasks successfully

  • They like responsibility, but don’t like being frustrated by failure

  • From this such people need to be given achievable but challenging tasks

  • These people reflect on performance to identify ways of improving

Need for affiliation
Need for Affiliation

  • These are the people who like a good social and communal feel.

  • They enjoy team work and group work.

  • favours collaboration over competition

Need for power
Need for Power

  • These people like to influence others. There are two types power

  • personal power, which comes from experience and confidence. They want to pass on their experience to others.

  • Institutional power comes from position within the organisation. They use their authority to challenge staff to work for the corporate objectives

  • “Power” people enjoy status and recognition

Implications how can employers use this information
Implications – How can employers use this information?

  • Meet the needs of employees – design the workplace to meet these needs

  • Pay enough so that basic needs can be met

  • Ask employees what their needs are

  • Involve and empower employees and facilitate a team dynamic where appropriate

  • Don’t assume that what is motivating to one employee is motivating to another

Process theory
Process Theory

  • Examine why people behave in a certain way and how motivation can be maintained and stimulated

  • Two important theorists…

  • Victor Vroom – Expectancy Theory

  • John Stacey Adams – Equity Theory

Victor vroom 1932 present expectancy theory currently a professor of business at yale
Victor Vroom (1932-Present) – EXPECTANCY THEORY Currently a professor of Business at Yale

  • behavior results from conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose it is to maximize pleasure and minimize pain

  • an employee's performance is based on factors such as personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities

  • although individuals have different goals, all can be motivated if they believe that…

Process theories vroom expectancy theory cont
Process TheoriesVroom: Expectancy Theory (cont.)

  • There is a positive correlation between efforts and performance – “my contribution and effort matter”

  • Favorable performance will result in a desirable reward

  • The reward will satisfy an important need

  • The desire to satisfy the need is strong enough to make the effort worthwhile

Motivation theory

Expectancy means employees have different expectations and levels of confidence about what they are capable of doing. Managers must find out and try to develop.

Valence refers to the emotional orientations people hold with respect to outcomes [rewards].

Instrumentality is the perception of employees as to whether they will actually get what they desire even if it has been promised by a manager.

Process theories john stacey adams equity theory
Process TheoriesJohn Stacey Adams: Equity Theory

Process theories john stacey adams equity theory1
Process TheoriesJohn Stacey Adams: Equity Theory

  • fair balance between an employee's inputs (hard work, skill level, tolerance, enthusiasm, and so on) and an employee's outputs (salary, benefits, intangibles such as recognition and so on)

  • finding this fair balance serves to ensure a strong and productive relationship is achieved – Result? contented, motivated employees.

  • Inequality exists if those who give more effort are paid a lower salary

  • These workers will reduce their efforts (input)

  • If this continues workers will become disgruntled – may lead to absenteeism

Process theories john stacey adams equity theory2
Process TheoriesJohn Stacey Adams: Equity Theory

Outputs typically include:

Financial rewards (such as salary, benefits, perks)

Intangibles Recognition



Sense of achievement



Sense of advancement/growth

Job security

Inputs typically include:



Hard work









Trust in superiors

Support of colleagues

Personal sacrifice

Process theories john stacey adams equity theory problems and criticisms
Process TheoriesJohn Stacey Adams: Equity TheoryProblems and Criticisms

  • If the balance lies too far in favor of the employer, some employees may work to bring balance between inputs and outputs on their own, by asking for more compensation or recognition. Others will be demotivated, and still others will seek alternative employment.

  • Demographic an psychological variables affect people’s perceptions of fairness

  • If an employee doesn’t feel the compensation as a whole is fair, then the model is not applicable, even if there IS equal compensation

  • People might be misinformed about inputs and outputs