Motivation Criticism

This essay has a total of 1376 words and 6 pages.


Michael Brokenburr
Management 490 2:00
May 4, 2005

The focus of this paper is to discuss what motivation is and ways managers can acquire the
most out of our employees. Managers must ask themselves certain questions in the work
place when comes to motivation. Why do some people work hard and others coast? Why do some
leaders have high-producing units and others, with employees of comparable background,
have low producing ones? Why are some organizations noted for a culture in which employees
are highly motivated and enjoy work, whereas others are noted for high turnover rates? The
remainder of the paper will identify seven theories that can help answer these and other
questions. In addition, this paper will determine methods in which these theories can
motivate our employees.

In order to understand how to motivate employees, one must know the true definition of
motivation. Organizational Behavior defines motivation as "the processes that account for
an individual's intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal."
Knowing this definition, it's easier to grasp the concept of motivation.

There are seven important theories of motivation. The first and most well known theory is
Maslow's hierarchy of needs. There is a hierarchy of five needs: physiological, safety,
social, esteem, and self-actualization. As each need is substantially satisfied, the next
need becomes dominant (Organizational Behavior pg. 171).

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Maslow is based on his concept of a hierarchy of needs on two
principles. First, human needs may be arranged in a hierarchy of importance progressing
from a lower to a higher order of needs. Second a satisfied need no longer serves as a
primary motivator of behavior.

The next theory is Clayton Alderfer's EGR theory. This theory states that there are three
groups of core needs: existence, relatedness, and growth (Organizational Behavior pg.
175). In this theory, Alderfer has reworked Maslow's theory to fit with supportive
research. The differences between the two theories are more than one need may be active at
the same time and when a higher level need is satisfied the need to satisfy a lower level
needs increases. This theory is more inline with the knowledge of individual differences
between people.

Next, Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory will be elaborated on. In general, employees tend to
focus on lower-level needs, particularly security, in their first jobs. After those are
satisfied, however, they try to achieve higher-level needs, such as initiative,
creativity, and responsibility. It is by reacting to those needs that we can see real
improvement in efficiency, productivity, and creativity. Also, Herzberg suggested that
focusing on factors that deal with the job such as promotional opportunities,
opportunities for personal growth, recognition, responsibility, and achievement can also
motivating to an individual rather than focusing on just their needs.

The Expectancy theory focuses on how workers decide which specific behaviors to perform
and how much effort to exert. In other words, expectancy theory is concerned with how
workers make choices among alternative behaviors and levels of effort. With its focus on
choices, expectancy theory focuses on workers' perceptions and thoughts.

Sometimes workers are not motivated to perform at a high level because they do not think
that high performance will lead to extra benefits such as pay raises, time off, and
promotions. When workers think that good performance goes unrecognized, their motivation
to perform at a high level tends to be low. When workers do not believe that performance
is important to obtaining rewards, management can take steps to rectify the situation and
ensure that performance leads to rewards for as many workers as possible.

The reinforcement theory is another important theory. Leaders must constantly reinforce
and motivate high performance with employees. The equity theory is based on the premise
that a worker perceives the relationship between outcomes, what the worker gets from a job
and organization, and inputs, what the worker contributes to a job and organization.
Outcomes include pay, fringe benefits, job satisfaction, status, and opportunities for
advancement, job security, and anything else that workers desire and receive from an
organization. Inputs include special skills, training, education, and work experience,
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