6.3 Theories of Motivation - Organizational Behavior (2023)

What you will learn: Describe different theories of motivation.

We talked a bit about what motivation is and what it looks like in an organization. To do this, we use Victor Vroom's expectation model, a model that attempts to decompose and explain employee performance by reducing it to its most basic level.

The Expectation Framework is just one of many models that have been developed over the years. Since the industrial age, scientists have been investigating what motivates people to perform at their best in work situations. None of them got it all wrong, but none of them got it all right. We're sure they'll keep trying because the stakes are high for businesses and situations change every day.

In this unit we will review how we got to where we are now and how we can apply that today at home and abroad.

learning successes

  • Explain the role of the Hawthorne Effect in management.
  • Name the different levels of needs in Maslow's hierarchy
  • Summarize the changes in Maslow's hierarchy of needs in Alderfer's ERG theory
  • Describe how employees could be motivated using McClelland's learned needs theory.
  • Distinguish between Theory X and Theory Y
  • Explain the difference between intrinsic and extrinsic motivators in Herzberg's two-factor theory

The Hawthorne Effect

In the 1920s, Elton Mayo conducted a series of studies that marked a shift in motivational and managerial theory about workers at the Western Electric Company's Hawthorne Plant in Illinois. Previous studies, notably the work of Frederick Taylor, took a "man-than-machine" view and focused on ways to improve individual performance. However, Hawthorne placed the individual in a social context and argued that employee performance is influenced as much by the work environment and the employees as it is by the employee's skills and abilities. The Hawthorne studies are credited with focusing management strategy on the socio-psychological aspects of human behavior in organizations.

6.3 Theories of Motivation - Organizational Behavior (1)

The following video from the AT&T archives contains interviews with people who took part in these studies. It provides information on how the studies were conducted and how employers' views on employee motivation have changed.

The studies initially looked at the impact of physical conditions on productivity and whether workers under certain environmental conditions, such as B. better lighting, more responsive and work more efficiently. The results were surprising: Mayo found that employees were more responsive to social factors, such as their manager and colleagues, than to the factors (lighting, etc.) the researchers wanted to study. Indeed, when the lights went out again, worker productivity improved, and when everything was back to how it was before the experiment began, productivity at the factory was at its highest and absenteeism had plummeted.

What happened was that Mayo found that employees were very responsive to the extra attention their bosses gave them and to feeling that their bosses actually cared about and were interested in their work. The studies also found that while financial incentives are important drivers of labor productivity, social factors are just as important.

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A number of other experiments were conducted at Hawthorne studios, including one in which two women were chosen as test subjects and then asked to select four other female workers to join the test group. Together the women worked for five years (1927-1932) assembling telephone relays in a separate room. Its production was measured secretly at first during this period. It began two weeks before the women were placed in an experimental room and continued throughout the study. In the experiment room, they were assigned a supervisor who discussed the changes with them and partly took up the women's suggestions. The researchers then spent five years measuring how different variables affected the productivity of both the group and the individuals. Some of the variables included two 5-minute breaks (after discussion with the group about the best length of time) and then switching to two 10-minute breaks (no group preference).

Changing a variable generally increased productivity, even if the variable was just a change from the original state. The researchers concluded that the employees worked harder because they thought they were being individually monitored. The researchers hypothesized that choosing one's own staff, working in a group, receiving special treatment (as evidenced by working in a separate room), and a supportive supervisor were the real reasons for the increased productivity.

(Video) Theory X,Y, and Z (Theories of Human Motivation) | From A Business Professor

The Hawthorne studies showed that people's job performance depends on social problems and job satisfaction. The studies concluded that tangible motivators, such as monetary incentives and good working conditions, are generally less important in increasing employee productivity than intangible motivators, such as satisfying an individual's desire to belong to a group and be involved in decision-making and leadership work to be included .

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Demand Oriented Theories

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Human motivation can be defined as satisfaction of various needs. These needs can encompass a variety of human desires, from basic, tangible survival needs to complex emotional needs centered around a person's psychological well-being.

Abraham Maslowwas a social psychologist more interested in the broad spectrum of human psychological needs than in individual psychological problems. He is best known for his theory of the hierarchy of needs. Represented in a pyramid (see Figure 1), the theory organizes the different levels of human psychological and physical needs in order of importance.

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Needs in Maslow's hierarchy include physiological needs (food and clothing), security needs (job security), social needs (friendship), self-esteem, and self-actualization. Managers can use this hierarchy to better understand employee needs and motivations and respond in a way that leads to high productivity and job satisfaction.

At the base of the pyramid are thephysiologicalHuman (or basic) needs necessary for survival: food, shelter, water, sleep, etc. If these requirements are not met, the body cannot continue to function. In the absence of food, love, and security, most people would probably consider food their most pressing need.

Once physical needs are met,security(sometimes called individual security) takes precedence. Security needs include personal security, financial security, and health and well-being. These first two levels are important to the person's physical survival. Once people have basic food, housing, and security, they seek to meet higher needs.

The third level of need issocial, which involves love and belonging; When people have taken care of themselves physically, they can address their need for sharing and connection with others. Deficits at this level due to neglect, rejection, ostracism, etc. can impair a person's ability to form and maintain emotionally meaningful relationships. People need to feel included and accepted, whether they come from a large social group or a small network of family and friends. Other sources of social connections can be professional associations, clubs, religious groups, social networks, etc. Humans need to love and be loved by others (sexually and non-sexually). Without these attachments, people can be prone to psychological difficulties such as loneliness, social anxiety, and depression. These conditions, when severe, can affect a person's ability to meet basic physiological needs such as eating and sleeping.

The fourth level isAppreciation, which represents the normal human desire to be valued and validated by others, such as through acknowledgment of successor status. This level also includes self-esteem, which refers to the respect and acceptance one has for oneself. Imbalances at this level can lead to low self-esteem or inferiority complexes. People suffering from low self-esteem may find that external validation from others, such as fame, honor, praise, etc., only partially or temporarily meets their needs at this level.

At the top of the pyramid isself-realization. At this stage, people feel like they've reached their full potential and are doing whatever they can. Self-actualization is rarely a permanent feeling or state. Rather, it refers to the ongoing need for personal growth and discovery that people have throughout their lives. Self-actualization can occur after an important goal has been achieved or a particular challenge has been overcome, and may be marked by a renewed sense of self-confidence or contentment.

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(Video) Motivation Theories, Maslow's hierarchy, Herzberg two factor theory and McGregor theory X and Y.

Teoría ERG de Alderfer

6.3 Theories of Motivation - Organizational Behavior (3)Clayton Paul Alderfer is an American psychologist who developed Maslow's hierarchy of needs into his own theory.Teoría ERG de Alderferproposes that there are three groups of basic needs:existence(mi),relationship(R), andincrease(GRAMM), hence the abbreviationERGIO. These groups correspond to Maslow's levels of physiological needs, social needs, and self-actualization needs, respectively.

existenceNeeds refer to our basic material needs for life. These include what Maslow classifies as physiological needs (like air, food, water, and shelter) and security needs (like health, secure employment, and property).

relationshipNeeds have to do with the importance of maintaining interpersonal relationships. These needs are based on social interactions with others and align with Maslow's levels of love/belonging needs (such as friendship, family, and sexual intimacy) and esteem needs (earning respect from others).

Finally,increaseit must describe our intrinsic desire for personal development. These needs line up with the other part of Maslow's esteem needs (self-esteem, confidence, and achievement) and self-actualization needs (such as morality, creativity, problem-solving, and discovery).

Alderfer suggested that when a particular category of needs is not being met, people redouble their efforts to meet the needs of a lower category. For example, if someone is struggling with self-esteem, he or she puts more effort into the relationship needs category.

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McClelland's theory of acquired needs

6.3 Theories of Motivation - Organizational Behavior (4)psychologistThe Acquired Needs Theory by David McClellandEmployee needs fall into three categories instead of the two we discussed in Herzberg's theory. These three categories areperfomance,membership, jEnergy.

employees who are strongperformance motivatedThey are driven by the desire for dominance. They prefer to work on tasks of moderate difficulty, where the results are the result of their efforts rather than luck. They appreciate getting feedback on their work.

employees who are strongmotivated by belongingThey are driven by the desire to establish and maintain social relationships. They like to belong to a group and want to feel loved and accepted. They may not be effective managers because they worry too much about what others will think of them.

employees who are strongmotivated by powerYou are driven by a desire to influence, teach, or encourage others. You enjoy your work and attach great importance to discipline. However, you can take a zero-sum approach to group work: for one person to win or succeed, another must lose or fail. However, when properly channeled, this approach can positively support group goals and help others in the group feel competent.

The theory of acquired needs does not claim that people can be neatly divided into one of three types. Rather, it is claimed that all human beings are motivated by all of these needs in varying degrees and proportions. The balance of these needs of an individual forms a kind of profile that can be useful in creating a personalized motivational paradigm for them. It is important to note that needs do not necessarily correlate with competencies; For example, an employee may be strongly motivated by belonging but still thrive in a situation where their belonging needs are not being met.

(Video) 6.3 Formal Organizations

McClelland suggests that those in top management positions generally have high needs for power and low needs for belonging. He also believes that while high achievers can be good managers, they are typically unsuitable for senior management positions.

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Theory X and Theory Y by McGregor

The idea that a manager's hiring influences employee motivation originally came fromDouglas McGregor, professor of management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the 1950s and 1960s. In his 1960 bookThe human side of the company, McGregor proposed two theories by which managers perceive and approach employee motivation. He termed these opposing motivational methods Management Theory X and Theory Y. Both posit that the manager's role is to organize resources, including people, to best benefit the organization. Despite this similarity, however, the attitudes and assumptions they embody are quite different.

Theory X

According to McGregor, Theory X's management includes the following:

  • Work is inherently uncomfortable for most people and they will try to avoid work whenever possible.
  • Most people are not ambitious, have little desire for responsibility and prefer to be led.
  • Most people have little talent for creativity in solving organizational problems.
  • Motivation occurs only at the physiological and safety levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
  • Most people are egocentric. As a result, they must be tightly controlled and often restricted to achieve organizational goals.
  • Most people resist change.
  • Most people are gullible and unintelligent.

6.3 Theories of Motivation - Organizational Behavior (5)Essentially, Theory X posits that the primary source of employee motivation is monetary, followed by safety. Under Theory X, one can take either a hard or a soft approach to get results.

The hardcore approach to motivation relies on coercion, implicit threats, micromanagement, and tight controls—essentially a command and control environment. The soft approach, however, is to be permissive and seek harmony, hoping that employees will cooperate in return when asked to do so. However, neither of these extremes is optimal. The crackdown leads to hostility, deliberately low production and extreme union demands. The soft approach leads to a growing desire for more rewards in exchange for less work output.

It seems that the optimal approach to people management would fall somewhere between these extremes. However, McGregor contends that neither approach is appropriate because the fundamental assumptions of Theory X are wrong.

Based on Maslow's hierarchy of needs, McGregor argues that once a need is satisfied, it no longer motivates. The company uses bonuses and cash benefits to meet the needs of lower-level employees. Once these needs are met, motivation disappears. Xmanagement theory makes it difficult to meet high-level needs because it fails to recognize that those needs are relevant in the workplace. As a result, employees can only try to meet higher demands at work by pursuing higher compensation, so unsurprisingly they focus on monetary rewards. While money may not be the most effective form of self-actualization, it may be the only form available. People will use work to meet their lower needs and will try to meet their higher needs in their free time. However, employees can be more productive when their work goals align with their overall needs.

McGregor points out that a command and control environment is ineffective because it is based on lower motivational needs, but in modern society these needs are mostly met and are therefore no longer motivating. In this situation, one would expect employees to dislike their job, avoid responsibility, disinterest in company goals, resist change, etc., effectively creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. It seemed more likely to McGregor that under Theory Y's direction there would be a constant flow of motivation.

Theory Y

Higher-order needs for appreciation and self-actualization are constant needs that are never fully satisfied for most people. Therefore, it is these high-level needs that best motivate employees.

In stark contrast to theory X, the management of theory Y makes the following assumptions:

  • Work can be as natural as play if the conditions are right.
  • People will be self-determined and creative in achieving their work and organizational goals if they put effort into it.
  • People become committed to their quality and productivity goals when there are rewards that address higher needs, such as B. Self-actualization.
  • The ability to be creative extends across all organizations.
  • Most people can handle the responsibility because creativity and ingenuity are widespread among the population.
  • Under these conditions, people will seek responsibility.

6.3 Theories of Motivation - Organizational Behavior (6)Under these assumptions, there is an opportunity to align personal goals with organizational goals by using the employee's own need for satisfaction as a motivator. McGregor stressed that dealing with Theory Y does not imply a soft approach.

(Video) Reinforcement Theory of Motivation in Malayalam | Theories of Motivation.

McGregor recognized that some individuals may not have reached the level of maturity assumed by Theory Y, and may initially need tighter controls that can be relaxed as the employee develops.

If Theory Y is true, an organization can apply the following scientific management principles to improve employee engagement:

  • decentralization and delegation: As companies decentralize control and reduce the number of management levels, managers will have more subordinates and consequently will have to delegate some responsibility and decision-making to them.
  • work extension: Expanding an employee's scope of work adds variety and opportunities to meet ego needs.
  • participatory management: Counseling employees in the decision-making process unlocks their creativity and gives them some control over their work environment.
  • performance evaluation: When the employee sets goals and participates in the self-assessment process, engagement and commitment increases.

When properly implemented, such an environment can continually increase and encourage employee motivation as they work to meet their overarching personal needs through their work.

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Herzberg's factor theory

American psychologistFederico Herzberg He is considered one of the first great thinkers of management and motivation theory.Herzberg attempted to determine the effect of attitude on motivation by simply asking people to describe times when they felt really good and really bad about their work. He found that people who felt good about their work had very different reactions than people who felt bad.

The results of this research form the basis of Herzberg's Motivational Hygiene Theory (sometimes known as Herzberg's "Motivational Hygiene Theory").theory of the two factors). The conclusions he published in his famous article, Once More: How to Motivate Employees, were extremely influential and still form the basis of good motivational practice nearly half a century later. He is particularly known for his two-factor theory, which hypothesizes that there are two distinct sets of factors that determine job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction: "hygiene factors," or extrinsic motivators, and "motivational factors," or intrinsic motivators.

The hygiene factor, or extrinsic motivators, tend to represent more tangible basic needs, i. H. the types of needs included in the need existence category in ERG theory or in the lower levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Extrinsic motivators include status, job security, salary, and benefits. It is important for managers to recognize that failure to provide the appropriate and expected extrinsic motivators leads to dissatisfaction and lower motivation among employees.

motivating factors,or intrinsic motivators, tend to represent less tangible and more emotional needs, d. H. the types of needs identified in the relationship and growth need categories in ERG theory and at the higher levels of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Intrinsic motivators include challenging work, recognition, relationships, and potential for growth. Managers need to recognize that while these needs fall outside the traditional framework of what a workplace should provide, they can be critical to strong individual and team performance.

The factor that differentiates the two-factor theory from the others discussed is the role of the employee.expectations. According to Herzberg, intrinsic motivators and extrinsic motivators are inversely related. That is, intrinsic motivators tend to increase motivation when they are present, while extrinsic motivators tend to decrease motivation when they are absent. This is due to employee expectations. Extrinsic motivators (e.g., salary, benefits) are expected, so they do not increase motivation when they are present, but cause dissatisfaction when they are not. On the other hand, intrinsic motivators (e.g., challenging work, potential for growth) can be a source of additional motivation if they are available.

6.3 Theories of Motivation - Organizational Behavior (7)

If management wants to increase employee job satisfaction, it must address the nature of work itself: the opportunities it offers for employees to gain status, take responsibility, and be self-fulfilling. On the other hand, if management wants to reduce dissatisfaction, it needs to focus on the work environment: policies, procedures, monitoring, and working conditions. To ensure a happy and productive workforce, managers must consider both types of workplace factors.

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CC licensed content, original

  • Introduction to motivation in organizational behavior. Written by Freedom Learning Group. Provided by: Lumen Learning. License: CC BY: Attribution


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