CH 5: Theories of Work Motivation
Why study Motivation?
Due to the need of increased productivity to be globally competitive
Need more initiative depends on motivation
What is Motivation?
Motivation- The extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal.
Basic Characteristics of Motivation
Effort strength of the persons work-related behaviour
Persistence quantity of work as well as effort
Direction quality of work. Working smart as well as working hard.
Goalscan be either cause high productivity or low productivity
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
Some can be motivated by external environment i.e. supervision or pay
Weak definitions and weaker agreement about how to distinguish motivators as either intrinsic/
Intrinsic Motivation- Motivation that stems from the direct relationship between the worker and the
task; it is usually self-applied
o I.e. Motivators: achievement, challenge, competence, interest
Extrinsic Motivation- Motivation that stems from the work environment external to the task; it is
usually applied by others.
o I.e. pay, fringe benefits, company policies, supervisions, profit sharing, cash rewards
Motivators can have both extrinsic and intrinsic qualities.
Self-determination Theory (SDT): A theory of motivation that considers whether peoples motivation is
autonomous or controlled.
o Autonomous Motivation- When people are self-motivated by intrinsic factors.
o Controlled Motivation- When people are motivated to obtain a desired consequence or
o Sometimes extrinsic factor can lead to autonomous motivation individual internalized the
values/ attitudes associated with a behaviour.
o Extrinsic factors might reduce intrinsic value under very limited conditions and are easily
o Key aspect extent to which ones motivation is autonomous vs. controlled
o Autonomous motivation effective performance, especially complex tasks.
Motivation and Performance
Performance- The extent to which an organizational member contributes to achieving the objectives of
Factors contributing to individual job performance:
o Amount of Effort, Persistence of Effort, Direction of Effort Motivation Personality, General
Cognitive Ability, Task Understanding, Emotional Intelligence, Chance Performance
General Cognitive Ability- A persons basic information processing capacities and cognitive resources.
I.e. verbal, numerical, spatial, and reasoning abilities
Measured by specific aptitude tests
Predicts learning and training success as well as job performance in all kinds of jobs and occupations,
including those that involve both manual and mental tasks. Emotional Intelligence- The ability to understand and manage ones own an others feelings and emotions.
Involves the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought, understand and
reason about emotions, and manage emotions in oneself and others.
High EI able to identify and understand the meanings of emotions and to manage and regulate
their emotions as a basis for problem solving, reasoning, thinking, and action.
Peter Salovey & John Mayer introduced EI and its model
o Hierarchy of steps
1. Perceiving emotions accurately in oneself and others facial expression is the
Most basic level of EI and is needed to perform the rest
2. Using emotions to facilitate thinking able to use emotions in functional ways, such
as making decisions and other cognitive processes (i.e. creativity, integrative
thinking, inductive reasoning
Able to shift ones emotions and generate new emotions that can help one to
see things in different ways and from different perspectives
3. Understanding emotions, emotional language, and the signals conveyed by
emotionsunderstand emotional information, the determinants and consequences
of emotions, and how emotions evolve and change over time
Understand how different situations and events generate emotions and how
they and others are influenced by various emotions.
4. Managing emotions so as to attain specific goals regulate, adjust, and change his
or her own emotions as well as others emotions to suit the situation
i.e. calm someone down
Able to perceive, integrate and assimilate, and be knowledgeable of an
EI predicts job and academic performances
Most strongly related to job performance in jobs that require high level so emotional labour
Importance of EI for job performance depends on ones cognitive ability
o Most important for job performance of employees with lower levels of cognitive ability
o Less with high level of cognitive ability.
The Motivation-Performance Relationship
Performance can be low even if highly motivated
High motivated but if no luck/ lack knowledge poor performance and vice versa
Need Theories of Work 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: physiological and psychological wants or desires that individuals can satisfy by acquiring certain
incentives or achieving particular goals.
Process Theories: concerned with exactly how various factors motivate people
Need and Process Theories are complementary.
3 Need Theories:
1) Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (Abraham Maslow) general theory of human motivation
A five-level hierarchical need theory of motivation that specifies that the lowest-level
unsatisfied need ahs the greatest motivating potential.
A satisfied need is no longer an effective motivator, exception is self-actualization.
1. Physiological Needs
I.e. Organizational Factors: minimum pay to survive2. Safety Needs security, stability, freedom from anxiety, and a structured and ordered
I.e. Organizational Factors: safe working conditions, fair and sensible rules and
regulations, job security, a comfortable work environment, pension and
insurance plans, minimum pay to survive.
3. Belongingness Needs
I.e. Organizational Factors: opportunity to interact with others on the job,
friendly and supportive supervision, opportunity for teamwork, opportunity to
develop new social relationship.
4. Esteem Needs adequacy, competence, independence, strength, confidence,
appreciation and recognition
Organizational Factors: awards, promotion, job titles, professional recognition
5. Self-actualization Needs desire to develop ones true potential as an individual to the
fullest extent and to express ones skills, talents, and emotions in a manner that is most
Clear perception of reality, accept themselves and others, independent, creative,
Organizational Factors: jobs with potential for creativity and growth, relaxation,
permit self-development, personal progression
2) Alderfers ERG Theory
By Clayton Alderfer
ERG Theory- A three-level hierarchical need theory of motivation (existence,
relatedness, growth) that allows for movement up and down the hierarchy.
Compression of Maslows model into 3 categories:
1. Existence Needs satisfied by some material substance or condition