THE PLANET OF MOTIVATION
Motivation is the process of arousing and sustaining goal-directed behavior. Motivation theories attempt to explain and predict observable behavior. Motivation theories may be classified as internal, process, or external theories. This is one of the most complex topics in organizational behavior because of the large number of variables that affect motivation.
A. Internal Needs
Motivation research is increasingly specific, and examines smaller portions of the larger theories. Writers have looked for internal, value-oriented reasons for motivation that would relate to the meaning of work for society. The Protestant ethic was related to the concept of working hard in order to secure a place in heaven. In contrast, Freud developed psychoanalysis as a method of probing the subconscious mind to understand a person’s motives and needs.
B. External Incentives
Early scholars assumed that self-interest and economic gain motivated people. The Hawthorne studies revealed the importance of social and interpersonal motivation. Early theories of motivation typically took one of two perspectives. The first perspective was that people acted out of self-interest for material gain. The second perspective suggested that people act in ways that satisfy their emotional needs. Adam Smith's basic assumption was that people are motivated by self-interest for economic gain. Therefore, employees will be most productive when motivated by self-interest. Self-interest refers to seek one’s own best interest and benefit. Frederick Taylor believed that the conflict between management and employees was over how to divide profits. These early ideas stand in contrast to newer theories of motivation.
III. MASLOW’S NEED HIERARCHY
A. The Hierarchy of Needs
The needs hierarchy divided motivation into five levels of needs to be satisfied. Maslow compared the lower level of this hierarchy to unsatisfied employees, and suggested that as people satisfy needs on one level, they progress to the next level of need as motivation for behavior.
B. Theory X and Theory Y
McGregor utilized the needs hierarchy to develop polarized assumptions about workers based on whether they are motivated by lower order needs or by higher order needs. Furthermore, he suggested that individuals in organizations should be treated differently depending on which level of needs motivated them. Theory X represents the assumptions associated with managing individuals motivated by lower order needs. Theory Y represents the assumptions associated with managing individuals motivated by higher order needs.
C. ERG Theory
ERG theory represents a reclassification of Maslow's need hierarchy into three levels of needs. Alderfer also developed a regression hypothesis that suggests that individuals will focus on lower level needs when higher level needs are unattainable.
IV. MCCLELLAND'S NEED THEORY
McClelland's need theory focuses on personality and learned needs. He categorized motives into three manifest needs: need for achievement, need for affiliation, and need for power.
A. Need for Achievement
The need for achievement refers to seeking excellence in performance and difficult, challenging goals. Research indicates that people with a high need for achievement outperform those with a moderate or low need for achievement.
B. Need for Power
The need for power is concerned with making an impact on others, influencing others, changing people or events, and making a difference in life. McClelland further distinguished between socialized power (used for the benefit of many) and personalized power (used for personal gain).
C. Need for Affiliation
The need for affiliation emphasizes the establishment and nurturing of intimate relationships with other people. In contrast, individuals with a high need for autonomy, as outlined in Murray’s manifest needs theory, value independence and freedom from constraints. Students will be able to identify the differences between individuals by using an example of telecommuting and by discussing which individual would be more comfortable with this change in organizational interaction.
V. HERZBERG'S TWO-FACTOR THEORY
The two-factor theory examines the degree to which individuals are satisfied or dissatisfied at work. Herzberg's theory provided two lists of needs. For example, work conditions related to satisfying psychological needs were determined to be motivation factors. On the other hand, hygiene factors were related to dissatisfaction and were caused by discomfort or pain.
A. Motivation Factors
Motivation factors lead to positive mental health and challenge people to grow; yet the absence of these factors does not lead to dissatisfaction.
B. Hygiene Factors
Job dissatisfaction occurs when the hygiene factors are either not present or not sufficient. However, because they cannot stimulate psychological growth, they do not lead to satisfaction.
C. Critique of the Two-Factor Theory
Although the approaches of Maslow and Herzberg were more flexible than previous theories, critics identify the lack of clear distinction between hygiene and motivation factors, the absence of individual differences, and the absence of intrinsic motivators as deficiencies. History is full of examples of people who are motivated by causes, personal missions, discovery, service, beliefs, creativity, and other factors not considered by Herzberg.
VI. SOCIAL EXCHANGE AND EQUITY THEORY
Social exchange and equity theory revolve around the balance between efforts and rewards in organizations. The individual-organization exchange relationship addresses the contributions and demands that each party makes in the relationship.
A. Demands and Contributions
Needs form the basis for the expectations or demands placed on organizations by individuals. Organizations express demands on individuals through job expectations, mission statements, and performance feedback.
Contributions are the basis for satisfying the demands expressed by the other party in the relationship. Individual contributions include knowledge, skills, abilities, and professional contacts. Organizational contributions include status, benefits, income, and affiliation.
B. Adams’s Theory of Inequity
Adams's developed a theory of social exchange that analyzes inequity in the workplace. Specifically, inequity is the situation in which a person perceives he or she is receiving less than he or she is giving, or is giving less than he or she is receiving. Individuals calculate an inputoutcome ratio for themselves and compare it with an inputoutcome ratio for another person. If the ratios are not equivalent, perceived inequity results.
C. The Resolution of Inequity
Individuals seek to resolve inequity because it produces tension. The seven strategies for restoring equity are (1) to alter the person's outcomes, (2) to alter the person's inputs, (3) to alter the comparison other's outcomes, (4) to alter the comparison other's inputs, (5) to change who is used as a comparison other, (6) to rationalize the inequity, and (7) to leave the organizational situation.
D. New Perspectives on Equity Theory
New examinations of inequity have further refined the theory, including three different perspectives regarding equity: benevolent, entitled, and equity sensitive. An equity sensitive individual prefers a ratio that is equal to that of his or her comparison other. The benevolent individual is comfortable with an equity ratio less than that of his or her comparison other. The entitled individual is comfortable with an equity ratio greater than that of his or her comparison other.
VII. EXPECTANCY THEORY OF MOTIVATION
Expectancy theory is based on personal perceptions of the performance process and the idea that people desire certain outcomes for behavior, and they believe there are connections between effort, performance, and outcomes. Expectancy theory is a cognitive, process theory of motivation that includes three key constructs: valence, expectancy, and instrumentality. Valence is the value or importance an individual places on a particular reward. Expectancy is the belief that effort will lead to performance. Instrumentality is the belief that performance is related to rewards.
A. Motivational Problems
Motivation problems stem from three basic causes within the expectancy theory framework. These causes are a disbelief in a relationship between effort and performance, a disbelief in a relationship between performance and rewards, and lack of desire for the rewards offered.
B. Motivation and Moral Maturity
Expectancy theory is grounded in the concept of self-interest, and does not explain motivations that may be altruistic. Moral maturity is a measure of a person's cognitive moral development that aids in explaining motivation for altruistic pursuits.
C. Cultural Differences in Motivation
In regard to Maslow’s, McClelland’s, Herzberg’s, and Vroom’s theories, differences have been found in different cultures’ reactions to motivational techniques.
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