MGHB02H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5: Belongingness, Goal Setting
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Chapter 5 – Theories of Work Motivation
Why Study Motivation?
Motivation has become more important in contemporary organizations mostly a result of the
need for increased productivity to be globally competitive. Also a result of the rapid changes
that contemporary organizations are undergoing (requirements for flexibility and attention to
customers require higher levels of motivation).
What is Motivation?
Basic Characteristics of Motivation
Motivation: The extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal. Characteristics:
Effort. The strength of the person’s work-related behaviour or the amount of effort a person
exhibits on the job. Involves different kinds of activities on different kinds of jobs e.g., a loading
dock worker exhibits greater effort by carrying heavier crates. Refers to the quantity of work an
Persistence. The persistence that individuals exhibit in applying effort to their work tasks. Refers
to the quantity of work an individual produces.
Direction. Do workers channel persistent effort in a direction that benefits the organization?
Refers to the quality of a person’s work –motivation means working smart as well as working
Goals. All motivated behaviour has some goal or objective toward which it is directed. Employee
goals include high productivity, good attendance, or creative decisions (support the objectives of
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation
Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation that stems from the direct relationship between the worker
and the task; it is usually self-applied. E.g., feelings of achievement, accomplishment, challenge,
competence derived from performing one’s job.
Extrinsic Motivation: Motivation that stems from the work environment external to the task; it
is usually applied by others. E.g., pay, fringe benefits, company policies, and various forms of
Some motivators are both extrinsic and intrinsic e.g., a promotion or a compliment might by
applied by the boss but might also be a clear signal of achievement and competence.
Self-Determination Theory (SDT): A theory of motivation that considers whether people’s
motivation is autonomous or controlled.
Autonomous Motivation: When people are self-motivated by intrinsic factors. Facilitates
effective performance, especially on complex tasks.
Sometimes extrinsic factors can lead to autonomous motivation when an individual internalizes
the values or attitudes associated with a behaviour and, as a result, no longer requires the
extrinsic factor to motivate him or her to perform the behaviour.
Controlled Motivation: When people are motivated to obtain a desired consequence or
The negative effect of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation occurs only under very limited
conditions (i.e., the notion that when extrinsic rewards depend on performance, then the
motivating potential of intrinsic rewards decreases).
Motivation and Performance
Performance: The extent to which an organizational member contributes to achieving the
objectives of the organization.
While motivation contributes to performance, the relationship is not “one-to-one” because a
number of other factors also influence performance.
Factors Contributing to Individual Job Performance:
General Cognitive Ability: A person’s basic information processing capacities and cognitive
resources (i.e., “intelligence” or “mental ability”).
o Reflects an individual’s overall capacity and efficiency for processing information, and
includes a number of cognitive abilities (e.g., verbal, numerical, spatial, and reasoning
abilities) that are required to perform mental tasks.
o Predicts learning and training success as well as job performance.
Emotional Intelligence (EI) (Peter Salovey and John Mayer): The ability to understand and
manage one’s own and other’s feelings and emotions. Four-branch model of EI
(the four skills represent sequential steps that form a hierarchy):
1. Perceiving emotions accurately in oneself and others. Involves the
ability to perceive emotions and to accurately identify one’s own
emotions and the emotions of others. E.g., the ability to accurately
identify emotions in people’s faces and in non-verbal behaviour.
Necessary to be able to perform other steps in the EI model.
2. Using emotions to facilitate thinking. The ability to use and assimilate
emotions and emotional experiences to guide and facilitate one’s
thinking and reasoning. Ability to use emotions in functional ways
(e.g., making decisions and other cognitive processes). Ability to shift
one’s emotions and generate new emotions that can help one to see
things in different ways from different perspectives.
3. Understanding emotions, emotional language, and the signals
conveyed to emotions. Ability to understand emotional information,
the determinants and consequences of emotions, and how emotions
evolve or change over time. Ability to understand how different
situations and events generate different emotions as well as how they
and others are influenced by various emotions. E.g., not asking
somebody who is in a bad mood for a favour, but rather waiting until the person is in a
4. Managing emotions so as to attain specific goals. Ability to manage one’s own and
other’s feelings and emotions as well as emotional relationships. Highest level of EI
because it requires one to have mastered the previous stages. Ability to regulate, adjust,
and change one’s own emotions as well as others’ emotions, to suit the situation. E.g.,
being able to stay calm when feeling angry or upset.
EI predicts performance in a number of areas, including job performance and academic
performance. Importance of EI for job performance depends on one’s cognitive ability –EI is less
important for the job performance of employees with high levels of cognitive ability (vice-versa).
Relationship between Maslow’s and Alderfer’s Need Theories:
The Motivation-Performance Relationship
Poor performance could also be due to a poor understanding of the task or luck and chance
factors that can damage the performance of the most highly motivated individuals.
However, an individual with marginal motivation might have high general cognitive ability or EI
or might understand the task so well that some compensation occurs –what little effort the
individual makes is expended very efficiently in terms of goal accomplishment. A person with
weak motivation might also perform well because of some luck or chance factor.
Cannot consider motivation in isolation –high motivation will not result in high performance if
employees have low general cognitive ability and EI, do not understand their jobs, or encounter
unavoidable obstacles over which they have no control.
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
Needs are physiological and psychological wants or desires that individuals can satisfy by
acquiring certain incentives or achieving particular goals. Needs → Behaviour → Incentives and
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Abraham Maslow)
1. Physiological Needs. Needs that must be satisfied for a person to survive. E.g., minimum pay
necessary for survival and working conditions that promote existence.
2. Safety Needs. Needs for security, stability, freedom from anxiety, and a structured and ordered
environment. E.g., safe working conditions, job security, and pension and insurance plans.
3. Belongingness Needs. Needs for social interaction, affection, love, companionship, and
friendship. E.g., Friendly and supportive supervision, opportunity to interact with others on the
job, opportunity for teamwork, and opportunity to develop new social relationships.
4. Esteem Needs. Needs for feelings of adequacy, competence, independence, strength, and
confidence, and the appreciation and recognition of these characteristics by others. E.g.,
opportunity to master tasks leading to feelings of achievements and responsibility, awards,
promotions, prestigious job titles, and professional recognition.
5. Self-Actualization Needs. Involve the desire to develop one’s true potential as an individual to
the fullest extent and to express one’s skills, talents, and emotions in a manner that is most
personally fulfilling. Self-actualizing people have clear perceptions of reality, accept themselves
and others, and are independent, creative, and appreciative of the world around them. E.g.,
absorbing jobs with the potential for creativity and growth, and relaxation of structure to permit
self-development and personal progression.
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.
Motivation depends on the person’s position in the need hierarchy. A satisfied need is no longer
an effective motivator. Exception to this rule involves self-actualization needs (growth needs
that become stronger as they are gratified).