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Work motivation explains why employees behave as they do. Four prominent theories about work
motivation need theory, expectancy theory, equity theory, and organizational justice theory
provide complementary approaches to understanding and managing motivation in organizations.
Similarly Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs also help us to understand the employees work
behavior. Each theory answers different questions about the motivational process.
Work motivation can be defined as the psychological forces within a person that determine the
direction of a person’s behavior in an organization, a person’s level of effort, and a person’s level of
persistence in the face of obstacles.

Three Approaches to Motivation:
Individual Differences Approach:
Treats motivation as a characteristic of the individual.

Job & Organization Approach: Emphasizes the design of jobs and the general organizational

Managerial Approach: Focuses on behaviors of managers, in particular, their use of goals and rewards

Needs Theories of Motivation:
_ Basic idea: Individuals have needs that, when unsatisfied, will result in motivation. Different
theories already discussed in chapter number 21 can also explain this phenomenon.
o Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is the most wellknown
theory of motivation. He hypothesized that within every human being there exists a
hierarchy of five needs
o Motivation-Hygiene theory: hygiene theory. Proposed by psychologist Frederick
Herzberg when he investigated the question, “What do people want from their jobs?” He
asked people to describe, in detail, situations in which they felt exceptionally good or bad
about their jobs.
o Alderfer’s ERG theory: Clayton Alderfer’s existence-relatedness-growth (ERG) theory
builds on some of Maslow’s thinking but reduces the number of universal needs from five
to three and is more flexible on movement between levels.
o McClelland’s Theory of Needs: The theory focuses on three needs: achievement, power,
and affiliation. Need for achievement: The drive to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of
standards, to strive to succeed
What Factors Diminish
Motivation in the Workplace?
• Meaningless tasks
• Red tape
• Lack of clear goals
• Failure to set priorities
• Distractions
• Over-commitment
• Information overload
• No positive feedback
• Lack of autonomy
• Unpredictable change in
• Lack of recognition
• Absence of humor
• Micromanagement
• Failure to delegate
• Bureaucratic hurdles
• Interpersonal conflict
• Lack of accountability
What are Some of the Results of
Poor Motivation in the Workplace?
• Laziness
• Failure
• Poor quality
• Resistance
• Avoidance
• Tardiness
• Burnout
• Demoralization
• Frustration
• Conflict
• Lack of meaning
• Absence of pride
• Resentment
• Turnover
• Detachment
• Discouragement
• Negative
organizational culture

Causes of Motivational Problems:
_ Belief that effort will not result in performance.
_ Belief that performance will not result in rewards.
What are Some of the Most Powerful
Motivators in our Lives?
• Commitment
• Money
• Meaning
• Recognition
• Love
• Participation
• Emotion
• Appreciation
• Collegiality
• Competition
• Hate
• Religious beliefs
• Sense of
• Cultural norms
• Chance to make a
• Independence
• Opportunity to serve
• Duty
• Habit
• High energy level
• Perceived need for

How Can You Motivate Yourself?
_ Stick with your passions.
_ Share your enthusiasm.
_ Hang out with high achievers.
_ Flavor tedium with pleasure.
_ Go with your strengths.
_ Make lists.
_ Stay focused on results.
_ Just do something.
How Can You Motivate Others?
_ Associate with highly motivated people.
_ Set a measurable goal.
_ Make a compelling case.
_ Use emotional temptation.
_ Set a fire and keep it going.
_ Make it fun.
_ Explain how.
_ Keep doing something new and different.
_ Celebrate

Employee Motivation:
_ Good leadership is key
_ Create a culture of trust
_ Encourage risk taking
_ Foster ownership
_ Goal-directed efforts

Applying Motivational Concepts:
_ Recognize individual differences
_ Match people to jobs
_ Set challenging goals
_ Encourage participation
_ Individualize rewards
_ Link rewards to performance
_ Check for equity
_ Don’t ignore money

Conditions of Leadership Motivation:
o Leadership generates motivation when:
o It increases the number and kinds of payoffs
o Path to the goal is clear and easily traveled with coaching and direction
o Obstacles and roadblocks are removed
o The work itself is personally satisfying

Money as a Motivator:
_ According to Maslow and Alderfer, pay should prove especially motivational to people who
have strong lower-level needs.
_ If pay has this capacity to fulfill a variety of needs, then it should have good potential as a

The Role of Money:
_ They value their services and place high value on them
_ They perceive money as symbol of their achievement
_ They do not remain in low paying organization
_ They are very self – confident
_ Know their abilities and limitations
Methods for Motivating Employees:
o Set Goals
o Use Pay for Performance
o Improve Merit Pay
o Use Recognition
o Use Positive Reinforcement
o Use Behavior Management
o Empower Employees
o Enrich the Jobs
o Use Skill-Based Pay
o Provide Lifelong Learning
o Create motivating environment
o Be positive

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