In this chapter, we learned that:
- Motivation can be understood in terms of the direction and intensity of our efforts.
- Our performance in the workplace can be understood by examining not only motivation, but also ability and environmental factors.
- Several theories view motivated behaviour as attempts to satisfy needs. Based on this approach, managers would benefit from understanding what people need so that the actions of employees can be understood and managed.
- Other theories explain motivated behaviour using the cognitive processes of employees. Employees respond to unfairness in their environment, they learn from the consequences of their actions and repeat the behaviours that lead to positive results, and they are motivated to exert effort if they see their actions will lead to outcomes that would get them desired rewards.
- None of these theories are complete on their own, but each theory provides us with a framework we can use to analyze, interpret, and manage employee behaviours in the workplace and design strategies to increase motivation in the workplace.
- A variety of strategies are used in the workplace to increase motivation including pay, training, job design, empowerment, and “perks”.
Review your understanding of this chapter’s key concepts by taking the interactive quiz below.
Key terms from this chapter include:
- Maslows' heirarchy
- ERG theory
- Two-factor theory
- Hygiene factors and motivators
- Acquired needs theory
- Thematic Apperception Test (TAT)
- Goal theory
- Management by objective
- Equity theory
- Distributive justice
- Procedural justice
- Interactional justice
- Expectancy theory
- Reinforcement theory
- Job enrichment
- Employee empowerment
Motivation is defined as the desire to achieve a goal or a certain performance level, leading to goal-directed behaviour. Motivation is one of the forces that lead to performance. When we refer to someone as being motivated, we mean that the person is trying hard to accomplish a certain task. Motivation is clearly important if someone is to perform well; however, it is not sufficient. See 4.1 Motivation
Abraham Maslow's theory is based on a simple premise: Human beings have needs that are hierarchically ranked. There are some needs that are basic to all human beings, and in their absence nothing else matters. As we satisfy these basic needs, we start looking to satisfy higher order needs. In other words, once a lower level need is satisfied, it no longer serves as a motivator. See 4.2 Need-Based Theories of Motivation
ERG theory, developed by Clayton Alderfer, is a modification of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (Alderfer, 1969). Instead of the five needs that are hierarchically organized, Alderfer proposed that basic human needs may be grouped under three categories, namely, existence, relatedness, and growth. See 4.2 Need-Based Theories of Motivation
Proposed by Frederick Herzberg, the two-factor theory of motivation includes hygiene factors and motivators. By asking individuals what satisfies them on the job and what dissatisfies them, Herzberg came to the conclusion that aspects of the work environment that satisfy employees are very different from aspects that dissatisfy them. See 4.2 Need-Based Theories of Motivation
Hygiene factors are things that cause dissatisfaction of workers because they are part of the context in which the job was performed, as opposed to the job itself. Hygiene factors included company policies, supervision, working conditions, salary, safety, and security on the job.
Motivators are factors that are intrinsic to the job, such as achievement, recognition, interesting work, increased responsibilities, advancement, and growth opportunities. Motivators are the conditions that truly encourage employees to try harder. See 4.2 Need-Based Theories of Motivation
Acquired-needs theory proposes that individuals acquire three types of needs as a result of their life experiences. These needs are the need for achievement, the need for affiliation, and the need for power. See 4.2 Need-Based Theories of Motivation
Thematic Apperception Test (TAT) is a unique method developed by David McClelland is used to assess dominant need. This method entails presenting research subjects an ambiguous picture asking them to write a story based on it. See 4.2 Need-Based Theories of Motivation
Goal theory states that people will perform better if they have difficult, specific, accepted performance goals or objectives. The first and most basic premise of goal theory is that people will attempt to achieve those goals that they intend to achieve. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Management by objectives (MBO) is a strategic management model that aims to improve the performance of an organization by clearly defining objectives that are agreed to by both management and employees.. MBO is based on goal theory and is quite effective when implemented consistently with goal theory’s basic premises. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
According to equity theory, individuals are motivated by a sense of fairness in their interactions. Moreover, our sense of fairness is a result of the social comparisons we make. Specifically, we compare our inputs and outcomes with other people’s inputs and outcomes. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Inputs are the contributions people feel they are making to the environment. For example, a person’s hard work, loyalty to the organization, amount of time with the organization;, and level of education, training, and skills may be relevant inputs to consider. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Outcomes are the perceived rewards someone can receive from the situation. For example, the hourly wage for an employee could be a consideration. There may also be other, more peripheral outcomes, such as acknowledgment or preferential treatment from a manager. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
In equity theory, the referent other may be a specific person as well as a category of people. Referents should be comparable to us—otherwise the comparison is not meaningful. For example, it would be pointless for students workers to compare themselves to the CEO of the company, given the differences in the nature of inputs and outcomes. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Distributive justice refers to the degree to which the outcomes received from the organization are perceived to be fair. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Procedural justice refers to the degree to which fair decision-making procedures are used to arrive at a decision. People do not care only about reward fairness. They also expect decision-making processes to be fair. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Interactional justice refers to the degree to which people are treated with respect, kindness, and dignity in interpersonal interactions. We expect to be treated with dignity by our peers, supervisors, and customers. When the opposite happens, we feel angry. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
According to expectancy theory, individual motivation to put forth more or less effort is determined by a rational calculation in which individuals evaluate their situation. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
The first question used in expectancy theory is Expectancy. This question asks whether the person believes that high levels of effort will lead to outcomes of interest, such as performance or success. This perception is labeled expectancy. For example, do you believe that the effort you put forth in a class is related to performing well in that class? If you do, you are more likely to put forth effort. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
The second question of used in expectancy theory is Instrumentality: this refers to the degree to which the person believes that performance is related to subsequent outcomes, such as rewards. For example, do you believe that getting a good grade in the class is related to rewards such as getting a better job, or gaining approval from your instructor, or from your friends or parents? If you do, you are more likely to put forth effort. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Valence is the third question used in expectancy theory. Individuals are concerned about the value of the rewards awaiting them as a result of performance. The anticipated satisfaction that will result from an outcome is labeled valence. For example, do you value getting a better job, or gaining approval from your instructor, friends, or parents? If these outcomes are desirable to you, your expectancy and instrumentality is high, and you are more likely to put forth effort. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Reinforcement theory is based on a simple idea that may be viewed as common sense. Beginning at infancy we learn through reinforcement. According to reinforcement theory, behaviour is a function of its outcomes; it us is based on the work of Ivan Pavlov on behavioural conditioning and the later work of B. F. Skinner on operant conditioning. See 4.3 Process-Based Theories
Job enrichment means to enhance a job by adding more meaningful tasks to make our work more rewarding. For example, if we as retail salespersons are good at creating eye-catching displays, allowing us to practice these skills and assignment of tasks around this could be considered job enrichment. See 4.4 Influencing Motivation at Work
Employee empowerment involves management allowing us to make decisions and act upon those decisions, with the support of the organization. When we are not micromanaged and have the power to determine the sequence of our own work day, we tend to be more satisfied than those employees who are not empowered. See 4.4 Influencing Motivation at Work