Flashcards in Motivation Deck (12)
Content (needs) theory
WHAT motivates us?
Behaviour is motivated by unsatisfied need - survival
Satisfy need = pleasure
Unsatisfied need = displeasure/tension
Critique - the starving artist and different priorities at different life stages
Maslow (1943) Hierarchy of Needs
Emphasises innate needs. 5 stages; 3 lower and 2 higher:
Need to meet 3 lower before moving to higher.
Critics- are there only 4, are they fixed, same for everyone?
Alderfer’s ERG Theory (1969)
Reduces Maslow to 3
E - basic survival
R - interpersonal and social affiliation
G - optimal use of own capacities
An already satisfied lower level need can be reactivated if higher level not achieved- regression principle. Opportunity for personal growth and development should be promoted. Eg. CEO extreme pay
McClelland’s (1963) Achievement Motivation Theory
Emphasis on 3 acquired (not innate) needs:
Power (ultimate motivator)
Critics - western culture bias. When you’re already at the top what is the motivation?
Herzberg’s Two-factor theory (1964)
Identifies specific job characteristics that cause dis/satisfaction- hygiene factors.
1. Hygiene factors do not motivate but just forestall dissatisfaction - pay, job content, status, security, interpersonal work relationships
2. Motivators (psychological needs) - achievement, recognition, intrinsic satisfaction, responsibility, advancement.
Critics - assumption that people take personal credit for intrinsic factors and attribute negative feelings to extrinsic
Job Characteristics Model, Hackman and Oldham (1976)
Emphasise intrinsic motivation obtained from 5 core job dimensions:
Jobs high in each = meaningfulness, responsibility and identification with achieved results.
Critics- it assumes work is main source of intrinsic satisfaction
Process (cognitive) Theories
HOW motivation arises!
Seek to explain cognitive processes by which people decide on a chosen pathway. Process theories are useful as they recognise thought processes and perception in decision making. Not grounded in assumptions (content theories).
Reinforcement Theories (1957) Pavlov, Skinner, Thorndyke
Behaviour resulting in pleasurable outcome is likely to be repeated. Unpleasant unlikely to be repeated. Reinforced learning with link between behaviour and consequences.
Critics - why is CEO pay high even when they don’t need to achieve targets, She’ll CEO?!
Relies mostly on extrinsic reward. Likens rats to humans. Herzberg describes it as KITA view on motivation. Applicable to simple tasks?
Expectancy Theory - Vroom (1967)
Behaviour determined by expected consequences. Workers motivation based on anticipated actions and rewards:
Valence - is it worth it?
Instrumentality - will they deliver?
Expectancy - can I do it?
Unless employees have skills, ability and knowledge to perform they will not deliver, resulting in low motivation.
Critics - assumes people make rational decisions and that behaviour is premeditated. Assumes value placed on reward. No distinction between intrinsic/extrinsic.
Locke and Latham (
Employees are more highly motivated when:
1. Set specific tasks
2. Are committed to the task
3. Are confident they will achieve the goal
Employees need precise instruction and regular feedback. They should be included at the earliest stages. More challenging goals are more motivating but they have to be achievable. Relevant for employees keen to progress.
Social Cognition Theory, Bandura (1986)
Goal setting alone will not increase motivation. Rather than emphasising the controls by superiors SCT asserts the importance of self belief at achieving a task. Motivation is first and foremost about personal development and employees need autonomy.