Chapter 5 Foundations of Employee Motivation
Motivation – the forces within a person that affect his or her direction, intensity, and persistence of voluntary
Employee engagement - individual's emotional and cognitive (rational) motivation, particularly a focused, intense,
persistent, and purposive effort toward work-related goals. It is typically described as an emotional involvement in,
commitment to, and satisfaction with the work.
Drives (also calledprimary needs), which we define as hardwired characteristics of the brain that attempt
to keep us in balance by correcting deficiencies.
Needs as goal-directed forces that people experience.
EXHIBIT 5.1 DRIVES, NEEDS, AND BEHAVIOUR
MASLOW'S NEEDS HIERARCHY THEORY
Maslow's needs hierarchy theory A motivation theory of needs arranged in a hierarchy, whereby people are
1) physiological (need for food, air, water, shelter, etc),
2) safety (need for security and stability),
3) belongingness/love (need for interaction with and affection from others),
4) esteem (need for self-esteem and social esteem/status),
5) self-actualization (need for self-fulfillment, realization of one's potential).
EXHIBIT 5.2 MASLOW'S NEEDS HIERARCHY
Limitations and Contributions of Maslow's Work
Holistic perspective. Maslow explained that the various needs
should be studied together (holistically) because human
behaviour is typically initiated by more than one need at the
Humanistic perspective. Maslow introduced the then-novel
idea that higher-order needs are in18uenced by personal and
social influences, not just instincts. In other words, he was
among the first to recognize that human thoughts (including
self-concept, social norms, past experience) play a role in
Positive perspective. Maslow popularized the previously developed concept of self-actualization, suggesting that
people are naturally motivated to reach their potential and that organizations and societies need to be structured
to help people continue and develop this motivation. LEARNED NEEDS THEORY
Need for Achievement People with a strong need for achievement (nAch) want to accomplish reasonably
challenging goals through their own effort. They prefer working alone rather than in teams, and they choose tasks
with a moderate degree of risk (i.e., neither too easy nor impossible to complete). High-nAch people also desire
unambiguous feedback and recognition for their success. Money is a weak motivator, except when it provides
feedback and recognition. 24 In contrast, employees with a low nAch perform their work better when money is used
as an incentive. Successful entrepreneurs tend to have a high nAch, possibly because they establish challenging
goals for themselves and thrive on competition. 25
Need for Affiliation Need for affiliation (nAff) refers to a desire to seek approval from others, conform to their
wishes and expectations, and avoid conflict and confrontation. People with a strong nAff try to project a
favourable image of themselves. They tend to actively support others and try to smooth out workplace conflicts.
High nAff employees generally work well in coordinating roles to mediate conflicts and in sales positions where the
main task is cultivating long-term relations. However, they tend to be less effective at allocating scarce resources
and making other decisions that potentially generate conflict. People in decision-making positions must have a 26
relatively low need for affiliation so that their choices and actions are not biased by a personal need for approval.
Need for Power People with a high need for power (nPow)want to exercise control over others and are
concerned about maintaining their leadership position. They frequently rely on persuasive communication, make
more suggestions in meetings, and tend to publicly evaluate situations more frequently. McClelland pointed out
that there are two types of nPow. Individuals who enjoy their power for its own sake, use it to advance personal
interests, and wear their power as a status symbol have a high need forpersonalized power. Others mainly have a
high need for socialized power because they desire power as a means to help others. McClelland argues that
effective leaders should have a high need for socialized rather than personalized power. They must have a high
degree of altruism and social responsibility and be concerned about the consequences of their actions on others.
Learning Needs McClelland believed that needs can be learned (more accurately, strengthened or weakened),
and the training programs he developed supported that proposition. In his achievement motivation program,
trainees wrote achievement-oriented stories and practised achievement-oriented behaviours in business games.
They also completed a detailed achievement plan for the next two years and formed a reference group with other
trainees to maintain their new-found achievement motivation.
Drive to acquire. This is the drive to seek, take, control, and retain objects and personal experiences. The drive to
acquire extends beyond basic food and water; it includes enhancing one's self-concept through relative status and
recognition in society. Thus, it is the foundation of competition and the basis of our need for esteem. Four-drive
theory states that the drive to acquire is insatiable because the purpose of human motivation is to achieve a higher
position than others, not just to fulfill one's physiological needs.
Drive to bond. This is the drive to form social relationships and develop mutual caring commitments with others. It
explains why people form social identities by aligning their self-concept with various social groups (see Chapter 3).
It may also explain why people who lack social contact are more prone to serious health problems. 31The drive to
bond motivates people to cooperate and, consequently, is a fundamental ingredient in the success of
organizations and the development of societies.
Drive to learn. This is the drive to satisfy our curiosity, to know and understand ourselves and the environment
around us. When observing something that is inconsistent with or beyond our current knowledge, we experience
a tension that motivates us to close that information gap. In fact, studies have revealed that people who are
removed from any novel information will crave even boring information; the drive to learn generated such strong
emotions that the study participants eventually craved month-old stock reports! The drive to learn is related to
the higher-order needs of growth and self-actualization described earlier.
Drive to defend. This is the drive to protect ourselves physically and socially. Probably the fi