3/10/2013 9:15:00 AM
Theories of Work Motivation
Motivation: The extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal.
Effort: First aspect of motivation – the strength of the person’s
work-related behavior, or the amount of effort the person exhibits
on the job.
Persistence – persistence that individuals exhibit in applying effort
to their work tasks.
Intrinsic motivation : Motivation that comes from the direct relationship
between the worker and the task; it is usually self-applied. (feelings of
achievement, accomplishment, challenge). Doing this because of the job
itself – doing it because you enjoy it.
Autonomous motivation: when people are self-motivated by
Extrinsic motivation: Motivation that comes form the work environment
external to the task; it is usually applied by others. (pay, benefits). Doing
this because I can get something out of it (pay, promotion). “work or get
Controlled motivation: When people are motivated to obtain a
desired consequence or extrinsic reward.
Self-determination theory: A theory of motivation that considers whether
people’s motivation autonomous or controlled. (used to explain what
motivates people and whether motivation is autonomous or controlled)
Performance – The extent to which an organizational member contributes to
achieving the objectives of the organization
General Cognitive Ability: A person’s basic information processing capacities
and cognitive resources.
Emotional Intelligence – The ability to understand and manage one’s own
and other’s feeling and emotions. (ability to perceive and express emotion…)
Four branch model of EI:
1. Perceiving emotions accurately in oneself and others – ability to
accurately identify emotions in people’s faces and in non-verbal behavior
2. Using emotions to facilitate thinking – ability to use emotions in functional
ways, such as making decisions and etc
3. Understanding emotions, emotional language, and the signals conveyed
4. Managing emotions so as to attain specific goal
Three theories of motivation: Need theories (motivation theories that
specify the kinds of needs people have and the conditions under which they
will be motivated to satisfy these needs in a way that contributes to
performance) Needs – are physiological and psychological wants or desires
that can be satisfied by acquiring certain incentives or achieving particular
goals. Concerned with WHAT motivates people.
Needs -> Behavior -> Incentives and Goals
Practical Implications of Need Theories:
- Appreciate individual differences
- Appreciate intrinsic motivation
- Our needs change depending on our life cycle
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – A five-level hierarchical need theory of
motivation that specifies that the lowest-level unsatisfied need has the
greatest motivating potential
1. Physiological needs – needs that must be satisfied for the person to
2. Safety needs – needs for security, stability, freedom from anxiety, and a
structured and ordered environment (ex: safe working conditions, job
3. Belongingness needs – needs for social interaction, affection, love,
companionship and friendship
4. Esteem needs – needs for feelings of adequacy, competence,
independence, strength and confidence
5. Self-actualization needs – involve the desire to develop one’s true
potentials as an individual to the fullest extent and to express one’s skills,
talents and emotions in a manner that is most personally fulfilling.
Alderfer’s ERG Theory – A three level hierarchical need theory of motivation
(existence, relatedness, growth) that allows for movement up and down the
1. Existence need – needs that are satisfied by some material substance or
2. Relatedness need – needs that are satisfied by open communication and
the exchange of thoughts and feelings with other organizational members.
3. Growth needs – needs that are fulfilled by strong personal involvement in
the work setting.
Two major motivational premises:
1. The more lower-level needs are gratified, the more higher-level need
satisfaction is desired.
2. The less higher-level needs are gratified, the more lower-level need
satisfaction is desired.
McClelland’s Theory of Needs – a nonhierarchical need theory of motivation
that outlines the conditions under which certain needs result in particular
patterns of motivation.
1. A preference for situations in which personal responsibility can be taken
2. A tendency to set moderately difficult goals that provide for calculated
3. A desire for performance feedback.
Need for achievement: A strong desire to perform challenging tasks
Need for affiliation: A strong desire to establish and maintain
friendly, compatible interpersonal relationships.
Need for power: A strong desire to influence others, making a
significant impact or impression.
Once learned, needs become personal predispositions
Managerial implications of need theories
Motivation: the extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal. Effort: first aspect of motivation the strength of the person"s work-related behavior, or the amount of effort the person exhibits on the job. Persistence persistence that individuals exhibit in applying effort to their work tasks. Intrinsic motivation : motivation that comes from the direct relationship between the worker and the task; it is usually self-applied. (feelings of achievement, accomplishment, challenge). Doing this because of the job itself doing it because you enjoy it. Autonomous motivation: when people are self-motivated by intrinsic factors. Extrinsic motivation: motivation that comes form the work environment external to the task; it is usually applied by others. (pay, benefits). Doing this because i can get something out of it (pay, promotion). Controlled motivation: when people are motivated to obtain a desired consequence or extrinsic reward.