Content Theory of Motivation
There are two important types of motivation theory: content and process. Content models of motivation focus on what people need in their lives (i.e. what motivates them). Process theories look at the psychological and behavioral processes that affect an individual’s motivation.
Meaning and Definition of Motivation
Motivation is the act of inspiring and encouraging employees to devote maximum effort to achieve objectives. It is a psychological and human aspect. People do something to fulfill their basic and social needs. Motivation is an instrument through which management understands why and how workers interact and work in accordance with organizational requirements. Motivation energizes behavior of subordinates and directs them towards the attainment of a common goal. As such motivation is the art of inspiring and encouraging subordinates to do work in an effective way so that both organizational and individual objectives can be achieved.
Process of motivation
Process motivation can understand as relationship between needs, drives, and incentives. A brief about motivation process is as follows:
- Needs: Needs are created when there is physiological and psychological imbalance in human beings. Need is the beginning stage of the motivation process. For the fulfillment of unlimited needs, people do work.
- Drives: Physiological and psychological drives are action-oriented. Drives or motives are set up to make it easy to fulfill needs. They are the major step of motivational process. For example when people have need for food that is converted into a hunger drive.
- Incentives: Incentive is the end part of motivational cycle. It helps to fulfill needs and reduce drive. When people get incentives it helps to restore physical and psychological balance.
Techniques/Factors of Motivation
Factors of motivation are strategies, incentives, recognitions and any other elements that increase an employee’s overall motivation to perform their duties at work. You can implement several different factors of motivation within your team or for yourself to increase productivity and satisfaction.
However, because each person is different, it’s important to first take time to better understand what motivates specific groups of employees. For example, some employees may be motivated by bonus incentives, while others may find motivation in the opportunity to gain more paid-time-off (PTO) days.
Motivation refers to the process that guides and maintains behaviors that help employees work towards a particular goal or effectively perform tasks. The most common types of motivation include:
- Extrinsic motivation: This occurs when we are motivated to engage in an activity or perform a behaviour in order to earn a reward or avoid punishment. We’re not choosing to do the activity because we enjoy it or find it rewarding, but rather because we’ll earn something in return or avoid something unpleasant.
Examples of extrinsic rewards and motivators are things like a monetary bonus or pay rise at work if we hit specific key targets, competing in sporting competitions for trophies, coming into work on time so we don’t get reprimanded from the manager, or losing weight so we can look better in our clothes.
- Intrinsic motivation: This type of motivation involves engaging in behaviour or activity because we find it personally rewarding. Intrinsic motivation plays off our internal interests and values. It means we perform these tasks for our own sake, and are invested in the process, rather than the external reward. The behaviour itself provides us with a reward.
Examples of intrinsic motivators include doing a workout in the morning because it feels good, solving a puzzle because you enjoy the challenge, or choosing healthy meals because you enjoy cooking them.
Management may use different techniques to motivate employees. The common techniques/factors of motivation to employees are; (Monetary & Non-Monetary)
- financial incentives,
- delegation of authority,
- job security,
- job enlargement,
- job enrichment,
- job rotation,
- quality of work-life
Content Theories of Motivation:
Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory
- Physiological Needs: Physiological needs are also known as basic needs These needs involve food, water, clothes, shelter, rest and other similar basic needs. Such needs might be satisfied by providing appropriate wages and a better working environment.
- Safety and security need: Every human being seeks physical safety and economic security. Economic security means an assurance about the fulfillment of basic needs on a continuous basis. Physical security needs include protection against unexpected events like fire, accident etc. Social security needs include a need for security in old age, fever, and permanent incapability
- Social needs: Human beings are social animals and they want to live in society and want to consume social elements. These social elements include belongingness, friendship, love and affection, social acceptance, social status and prestige etc.
- Esteem needs: These needs are psychological in nature and at a higher level in the hierarchy. There are two types of esteem needs self-esteem and public esteem, In an organization, management can fulfill ego needs by defining the position and by developing the system of reward and punishment.
- Self-actualization needs: These are the highest level needs in Maslow’s need hierarchy. At this level, individuals seek challenging work assignments that allow for creativity and opportunities for personal growth and advancement. Management can motivate such employees by providing creative and challenging work In fact, such workers expect decision-making positions.
Frederick Herzberg – two-factor theory
Herz- berg (1959) related motivation to the nature of a person’s work. He developed his theory from interviews with 200 engineers and accountants about their experience of work. The researchers asked them to recall a time when they had felt exceptionally good about their job, and then the events preceding those feelings. The researchers then asked respondents to recall a time when they had felt particularly bad about work, and the background to that. Analysis showed that when respondents recalled good times they frequently mentioned one or more of:
- work itself;
They mentioned these much less frequently when describing the bad times. When talking about the bad times they most frequently recalled these factors:
- company policy and administration;
- interpersonal relations;
- working conditions.
They mentioned these much less frequently when describing the good times.
Herzberg concluded that factors associated with satisfaction describe people’s relationship to what they were doing the nature of the task, the responsibility or recognition. He named these ‘motivator factors’, as they seemed to influence people to put on more effort. The factors associated with dissatisfaction described conditions surrounding the work – such as supervision or company policy. He named these ‘hygiene’ or (‘maintenance’) factors as they served mainly to prevent dissatisfaction, not to encourage performance. Herzberg concluded that satisfaction comes from within, through doing a task that brings a sense of achievement, recognition or of other motivator factors. Managers cannot require motivation, though they can destroy it by some thoughtless act. Herzberg believed that motivation depends on whether a job is intrinsically challenging and provides opportunities for recognition. He linked motivation with ideas about job design, and especially the motivational effects of job enrichment.
Clayton Alderfer – ERG theory
Alderfer developed another approach (Alderfer, 1972) of motivation. He developed and tested his theory by questionnaires and interviews in five organisations – manufacturers, banks, schools and two colleges. He identified three primary needs, towards which a person can feel satisfied or frustrated. Existence needs include the physiological and material desires – hunger and thirst represent deficiencies in existence needs; pay and benefits are ways to meet material needs.
Existence needs reflect a person’s requirement for material and energy.
Relatedness needs involve relationships with significant others – family, colleagues, bosses, team members, subordinates, or regular customers. People satisfy relatedness needs by sharing thoughts and feelings in the hope of acceptance, confirmation and understanding.
Relatedness needs involve a desire for rela- tionships with significant other people.
Growth needs impel a person to be creative or to have an effect on themselves and their surroundings. People satisfy them by engaging with problems that use their existing or new skills: using talents fully brings a sense of completeness.
Growth needs are those that impel people to be creative or to produce an effect on themselves or their environment.
David McClelland – affiliation, power, achievement
McClelland (1961) and his colleagues identified three categories of human need that individuals possess in different amounts:
- Affiliation – to develop and maintain interpersonal relationships.
- Wants to belong to the group.
- Wants to be liked, and will often go along with whatever the rest of the group wants to do.
- Favors collaboration over competition.
- Doesn’t like high risk or uncertainty.
- Power – to have control over one’s environment. Those with a high need for power work best when they’re in charge. Because they enjoy competition, they do well with goal-oriented projects or tasks
- Wants to control and influence others.
- Likes to win arguments.
- Enjoys competition and winning.
- Enjoys status and recognition.
- Achievement – to set and meet standards of excellence. People motivated by achievement need challenging, but not impossible, projects. They thrive on overcoming difficult problems or situations, so make sure you keep them engaged this way. People motivated by achievement work very effectively either alone or with other high achievers.
- Has a strong need to set and accomplish challenging goals.
- Takes calculated risks to accomplish their goals.
- Likes to receive regular feedback on their progress and achievements.
- Often likes to work alone.
McClelland believed that, rather than being arranged in a hierarchy, individuals possess each of these possibly conflicting needs, which motivate their behaviour when activated. McClelland used the Thematic Apperception Test to assess how significant these categories were to people. The research team showed people pictures with a neutral subject and asked them to write a story about it. The researchers coded the stories and claimed these indicated the relative importance to the person of the affiliation, power and achievement motives.
- Management an Introduction – David Boddy (Publication – Pearson, 7th Edition)
- Human Resource Management – Dev Raj Adhikari
- Business Studies – XII (Asmita Publication)