What Motivation Theory Can Tell Us About Human Behavior

Human Motivation at Work

What Motivation Theory Can Tell Us About Human Behavior

There are a number of theories that attempt to describe what makes a satisfied employee versus an unsatisfied employee. Knowing what motivates us—and what doesn’t—is the key to choosing the right career path. It may be surprising, but much of what makes us satisfied or unsatisfied at work has little to do with money. We will discuss some of these theories next.

Have you ever felt unhappy at a job? If you have, consider how you went through the process of being unhappy—because for most of us, we start out happy but then gradually become unhappy.

One of the basic theories is the progression of job withdrawal theory, developed by Dan Farrell and James Petersen. It says that people develop a set of behaviors in order to avoid their work situation.

These behaviors include behavior change, physical withdrawal, and psychological withdrawal.

Within the behavior change area, an employee will first try to change the situation that is causing the dissatisfaction. For example, if the employee is unhappy with the management style, he or she might consider asking for a department move. In the physical withdrawal phase, the employee does one of the following:

  • Leaves the job
  • Takes an internal transfer
  • Starts to become absent or tardy

If an employee is unable to leave the job situation, he or she will experience psychological withdrawal. They will become disengaged and may show less job involvement and commitment to the organization, which can create large costs to the organization, such as dissatisfied customers, not to mention the cost to employee and his or her unhappiness in the job.

Often, our process of job withdrawal has to do with our lack of motivation, which we will discuss in the next section.

Figure 6.1 Process of Job Withdrawal

Between 1927 and 1932, a series of experiments were conducted by Elton Mayo in the Western Electric Hawthorne Works company in Illinois. Mayo developed these experiments to see how the physical and environmental factors of the workplace, such as lighting and break times, would affect employee motivation.

This was some of the first research performed that looked at human motivation at work. His results were surprising, as he found that no matter which experiments were performed, worker output improved.

His conclusion and explanation for this was the simple fact the workers were happy to receive attention from researchers who expressed interest in them.

As a result, these experiments, scheduled to last one year, extended to five years to increase the knowledge base about human motivation.

The implication of this research applies to us as employees, even today. It tells us that our supervisors and managers should try to do things that make us feel valued. If not, we need to find ways to feel we add value to the organization.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow developed what was known as the theory of human motivation. His theory was developed in an attempt to explain human motivation.

According to Maslow, there is a hierarchy of five needs, and as one level of need is satisfied, it will no longer be a motivator.

In other words, people start at the bottom of the hierarchy and work their way up. Maslow’s hierarchy consists of the following:

  • Self-actualization needs
  • Esteem needs
  • Social needs
  • Safety needs
  • Physiological needs

Physiological needs are our most basic needs, including food, water, and shelter. Safety needs at work might include feeling safe in the actual physical environment or job security. As humans, we have the basic need to spend time with others. Esteem needs refer to the need we have to feel good about ourselves. Finally, self-actualization needs are the needs we have to better ourselves.

The implications of his research tell us, for example, that as long as our physiological needs are met, increased pay may not be a motivator. Needs might include, for example, fair pay, safety standards at work, opportunities to socialize, compliments to help raise our esteem, and training opportunities to further develop ourselves.

(click to see video)

This video explains Maslow’s hierarchy in detail. After reviewing the video, which of Maslow’s needs are you currently focused upon?

In 1959, Frederick Herzberg published The Motivation to Work, which described his studies to determine which aspects in a work environment caused satisfaction or dissatisfaction. He performed interviews in which employees were asked what pleased and displeased them about their work. From his research, he developed the motivation-hygiene theory to explain these results.

The things that satisfied the employees were motivators, while the dissatisfiers were the hygiene factors. He further said the hygiene factors were not necessarily motivators, but if not present in the work environment, they would actually cause demotivation. In other words, the hygiene factors are expected and assumed, while they may not necessarily motivate.

His research showed the following as the top six motivation factorsPart of a theory developed by Herzberg that says some things will motivate an employee, such as being given responsibility.:

  1. Achievement
  2. Recognition
  3. The work itself
  4. Responsibility
  5. Advancement
  6. Growth

The following were the top six hygiene factorsPart of a theory developed by Herzberg that says some things will not necessarily motivate employees but will cause dissatisfaction if not present.:

  1. Company policies
  2. Supervision
  3. Relationship with manager
  4. Work conditions
  5. Salary
  6. Relationship with peers

The implication of this research is clear. Salary, for example, is on the hygiene factor list. Fair pay is expected, but it doesn’t actually motivate us to do a better job.

On the other hand, programs to further develop us as employees, such as management training programs, would be considered a motivator.

Therefore, the actual motivators tend to be the work and recognition surrounding the work performed.

Douglas McGregor proposed the X-Y theory in his 1960 book called The Human Side of Enterprise. McGregor’s theory gives us a starting point to understanding how management style can impact the retention of employees.

His theory suggests two fundamental approaches to managing people. Theory X managersAccording to McGregor, a type of manager who has a negative approach to employee motivation.

, who have an authoritarian management style, have the following fundamental management beliefs:

  • The average person diss work and will avoid it.
  • Most people need to be threatened with punishment to work toward company goals.
  • The average person needs to be directed.
  • Most workers will avoid responsibility.

Theory Y managersAccording to McGregor, a type of manager who has a positive approach to employee motivation., on the other hand, have the following beliefs:

  • Most people want to make an effort at work.
  • People will apply self-control and self-direction in pursuit of company objectives.
  • Commitment to objectives is a function of expected rewards received.
  • People usually accept and actually welcome responsibility.
  • Most workers will use imagination and ingenuity in solving company problems.

As you can see, these two belief systems have a large variance, and managers who manage under the X theory may have a more difficult time retaining workers.

It is unknown for sure where this term was first used, although some believe it was coined in the 1700s during the Seven Years’ War.

In business today, the stick approach refers to “poking and prodding” to get employees to do something. The carrot approach refers to the offering of some reward or incentive to motivate employees.

Many companies use the stick approach, as in the following examples:

  • If you don’t increase your sales by 10 percent, you will be fired.
  • Everyone will have to take a pay cut if we don’t produce 15 percent more than we are currently producing.

As you can imagine, the stick approach does little to motivate us in the long term! While it may work for some time, constant threats and prodding do not motivate.

The carrot approach might include the following:

  • If you increase sales by 10 percent, you will receive a bonus.
  • If production increases by 15 percent, the entire team will receive an extra day off next month.

The carrot approach takes a much more positive approach to employee motivation but still may not be effective. For example, this approach can actually demotivate employees if they do not feel the goal is achievable.

Has this ever happened to you at work? Some reward was offered, but you knew it wasn't really achievable? If so, you know how this can actually be demotivating! Also, if organizations use this as the only motivational technique, ignoring physiological rewards such as career growth, this could be a detriment as well.

All the employee satisfaction theories we have discussed have implications for our own understanding of what motivates us at work.

Do you know why you do the things you do? The emotional intelligence skill of self-awareness is the key to understanding your own motivations. It isn’t until we understand our own emotions that we can begin to understand what we need to do to motivate ourselves personally and professionally.

Of course, the more motivated we are, the more ly we are to experience career success. Most, if not all, managers want to hire and promote people who show extensive motivation in their job. This is impossible to do if we do not first identify what actually motivates us as individuals.

If you are motivated by intrinsic rewards, such as feeling good about your job, you are more ly to be better at your job because you enjoy it! Not only will we be better at our job if we it, but it is highly ly we will be happier.

When we are happier we tend to show better human relations skills, and this happiness can come in part from understanding our own motivations and making sure we choose a career path that matches with our motivations.

This section gave you some ideas on the process people go through when they are not satisfied at work. In addition, we discussed motivation and the various motivational theories that can help us understand our own motivations. But why is this important? As you saw in the opening story, if we understand our own motivations, we can better choose a career path that will make us happy.

Also, keep in mind that your motivations may change over time. For example, as a college student your motivation may lie in the ability to make money, but after working for a few years, your motivation may change to look at more flexibility in your job. It is important to keep your motivations, needs, and wants in check, because what you want today will change over time.

Consider the recent twenty-two-year-old college graduate. What his priorities are today will change as his life changes; for example, meeting a significant other and maybe raising a family can make his priorities change when he is thirty-two. To continually understand our motivations, it is important to keep track, perhaps on a yearly basis, of what our priorities are.

This can help us make the right career choices later on.

Key Takeaways

  • The theory of job withdrawal explains the process someone goes through when they are not motivated, or happy, at work.
  • There are many motivation theories that attempt to explain people’s motivation or lack of motivation at work.
  • The Hawthorne studies were a series of studies beginning in 1927 that initially looked at physical environments but found that people tended to be more motivated when they felt cared about. The implications to retention are clear, in that employees should feel cared about and developed within the organization.
  • Maslow’s theory on motivation says that if someone already has a need met, giving them something to meet more of that need will no longer motivate. Maslow divided the needs into physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. Many companies only motivate the low-level needs, such as pay. Development of training opportunities, for example, can motivate employees on high-level self-actualization needs.
  • Herzberg developed motivational theories actual motivation factors and hygiene factors. Hygiene factors are those things that are expected in the workplace and will demotivate employees when absent but will not actually motivate when present. If managers try to motivate only on the basis of hygiene factors, turnover can be high. Motivation on both of his factors is key to a good retention plan.
  • McGregor’s theory on motivation looked at managers’ attitudes toward employees. He found that theory X managers had more of a negative view of employees, while theory Y managers had a more positive view. Providing training to the managers in our organization can be a key retention strategy McGregor’s theory.
  • The carrot-and-stick approach means you can get someone to do something by prodding or by offering some incentive to motivate them to do the work. This theory implies these are the only two methods to motivate, which, of course, we know isn’t true. The implication of this in our retention plan is such that we must utilize a variety of methods to retain employees.
  • Finally, understanding our own motivations at work is an important step to making sure we choose the right career path.


  1. What types of things will motivate you in your career? Name at least five things. Where would these fit on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s two-factor theory?
  2. Have you ever been unhappy at a job? Or if you haven't worked, have you ever felt unhappy in a specific team or group? Consider this experience and write about how you went through each phase of the job withdrawal progress.

Источник: https://saylordotorg.github.io/text_human-relations/s10-01-human-motivation-at-work.html

8 Theories of Motivation and Human Desire

What Motivation Theory Can Tell Us About Human Behavior

You may occasionally question why you behave the way you do. You may not know what motivates your actions and behaviors. But it may be valuable for you to attempt to understand your intrinsic motivation more clearly.

Understanding what drives you can be a beneficial part of becoming more successful and fulfilled in life, and create an easier decision-making process when it comes to making big life choices.

In understanding the driving forces behind your actions, you can also understand how to motivate yourself when feeling down.

Psychology has developed many theories of motivation that try to explain what drives human behavior and desire. Here are eight theories of motivation in psychology that have been developed to explain why humans behave the way they do.

1. Evolutionary Theory

The evolutionary theory of motivation states that humans behave in ways to optimize their genetic fitness. The evolutionary theory focuses on getting results for your personhood.

According to the theory of evolution, the most genetically fit will survive and their genes will eventually be spread across the whole population. American philosopher and psychologist William James helped define the link between evolution and survival instinct as the key sources of motivation in humanity.

Evolution implies that all animals, including humans, will act in a way that supports their highest reproductive potential. In this theory, the motivation behind behavior is seen as the need to survive and reproduce most optimally.

In other words, behavior is formed instinctually through the need to survive and pass on genes.

Going hand-in-hand with evolutionary theory, optimization theory is about maximizing the desired results for the individual.

It holds that humans will always choose the option that allows them to consume the most energy while expending the least amount of energy. It is a form of cost-benefit analysis.

This relates to genetic fitness because humans are motivated by the need to reproduce and will thus make decisions based off what will optimize their genetic succession and reproductive potential.

Once you have an understanding of this theory at its most basic level, you can start to see it at work in your own daily life.

Understanding that every action you take is related to some degree may help you decide your motivation behind each action.

Beginning your day with intention and reminding yourself of that intention throughout the day is a good way to ensure that the sum of your actions are pointed toward your predetermined goal.

2. Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory

American psychologist and business management expert Frederick Herzberg's theory of motivation was developed in the 1950s-1960s as a way to understand employee motivation and satisfaction. Through his research, Herzberg identified factors repeatedly linked to satisfaction and dissatisfaction (otherwise known as hygiene factors).

The factors for satisfaction are:

  • Achievement and recognition
  • The work itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement and growth

The hygiene factors are:

  • Company policies
  • Supervision
  • Relationship for supervisor and peers
  • Work conditions
  • Salary and status
  • Security

The hygiene factors are mainly attributed to the workspace environment and what kind of constraints are put around the employees.

Through these findings, Herzberg concluded that the most motivation creation occurs not just when hygiene factors are in order, but when hygiene factors are adequately addressed and there is great focus on satisfaction factors such as achievement and recognition.

Put more simply, employees perform at their highest level when the work environment is healthy and they feel they are achieving success and rewards in their job.

If you connect to this theory of motivation, then you may wish to focus on finding a work environment that satisfies all of these needs as you work toward achieving happiness inside and outside of your career.

3. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

One of the most well-known motivational theories is American psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow’s theory of motivation, also known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which centers around the premise that humans are driven by needs that are hierarchically ranked. These needs are seen as necessary for human survival and development.

In the hierarchy of needs itself, Maslow believed that there were foundational needs upon which survival depended. Thus, if those needs are not satisfied, the higher-ranked needs are considered unimportant. In other words, if your basic survival needs are not satisfied, you cannot be driven to satisfy any further needs but rather will only be motivated by the most basic instinctual needs.

Here is the hierarchy of needs, beginning with the most basic and foundational:

  • Physiological: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion
  • Safety: security of body, employment, resources, morality, the family, health, property
  • Love/belonging: friendship, family, sexual intimacy
  • Esteem: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others
  • Self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts

Through Maslow’s theory of motivation, it is believed that if your physiological needs are not met, then there is no room for motivation resulting from your other needs.

If you are not getting enough adequate sleep or have some sort of health issue, there is no room to be motivated by the desire for love or self-actualization; your main driving behavioral factor would be the need to survive.

As more elements of the hierarchy are solidified, you move up the hierarchy of need and become motivated by more factors.

4. Drive-Reduction Theory

The drive-reduction theory centers around the core idea that humans act merely to satisfy their physiological needs in order to remain in homeostasis. Homeostasis is every animal’s ability to remain in bodily equilibrium (for example, a mammal’s ability to remain warm-blooded).

First proposed by American psychologist Clark Hull in 1943, this theory centers around the premise that humans are motivated to take action when there are disturbances to homeostasis.

Because homeostasis is a reference to overall health, disturbances to homeostasis may look anything ranging from lack of food to lack of job opportunities in order to have a source of income.

Within the motivation theory there are classifications of primary and secondary drives.

  • Primary drives are seen more as basic needs, such as your need for nourishment or sex drive.
  • The secondary drives are factors that indirectly satisfy primary needs—things the desire for money, which can buy nourishment.

Hull proposed that all learned behavior only exists if it satisfies a drive in some shape or form. If this theory for motivation resonates with you, then you may need to look outside of your basic needs for motivation. Take extra time to consider what will make you happy rather than settling for only having your basic needs met. Remember to being each day with clear intentions.

5. Arousal Theory

As an expansion to drive-reduction theory, psychologists Stanley Schachter and Jerome E. Singer developed the arousal theory of motivation, which tacks on the idea that humans are also motivated by various levels of arousal.

This theory investigates the influence of neurotransmitter dopamine on human motivation.

In this context, the term arousal refers to the psychological state of being more alert and stimulated, and dopamine is a chemical compound in the brain that is associated with transmitting a message of pleasure.

The focus of this theory is on the level of sensitivity to rewards or goal-achievement that the human mental state facilitates.

Fulfilling a goal or accomplishing something always has a level of biological arousal, or neurotransmission of dopamine in the brain, and this motivates individuals to make certain decisions or take specific actions in order to achieve this effect.

You tend to engage in activities that are physiologically arousing or make you feel good. This theory is essentially oriented as pleasure-seeking as a motivation for human behavior.

Follow this theory when you need to motivate yourself when you are feeling down. Figure out what makes you feel good. Whether it is training for the goal of completing a half marathon or taking time to finish a book, focus on the pleasure that comes from accomplishing goals to elevate your mood.

6. Incentive Theory

The incentive theory of motivation is supported by many behavioral phycologists. This theory states that humans act in response to extrinsic or intrinsic incentives.

Extrinsic motivation refers to inessential or external factors, while intrinsic motivation refers to essential or internal factors.

This theory argues that you are more often extrinsically motivated by rewards rather than doing things purely because you enjoy them or find the activity fulfilling in itself.

For example, you may work more a desire for monetary rewards rather than the joy of work itself. You would experience the strongest form of motivation if you find a task enjoyable and receive a reward for participating. This will vary individual differences because each person has a unique sense of desire.

Consider that you enjoy painting artwork (an intrinsic incentive) but you are also popular enough to sell the paintings for money (an extrinsic incentive).

Both intrinsic and extrinsic factors are then sources of motivation because your motivation to create the artwork is present without the monetary reward, but you are ly to choose to paint more frequently once you also have the incentive of money.

7. Cognitive and Achievement Approaches

Through the cognitive and achievement approaches to motivation, psychology explores how achievement goals and cognitive dissonance can affect motivation for human behavior. In accordance with this ideology, the desire for success drives peoples’ performances. In broader terms, you are driven by seeking positive outcomes and avoiding negative ones.

Social psychologist Leon Festinger developed the theory of cognitive dissonance, which is a contradiction between someone’s thoughts or beliefs and their actions.

For example, someone’s actions may not align with what they believe to be the morally correct thing to do.

Using the cognitive and achievement approaches, motivation is seen as the drive to eliminate or reduce cognitive dissonance.

People seek to bridge the gap of inconsistencies between their actions and beliefs. If someone’s attitudes do not line up with their behaviors, their motivation will be to take actions that help to line up the two elements.

For example, if you perceive your job position to be a subordinate role, you may seek a promotion.

Your motivation may be a desire to hold a position you perceive as an intellectual equal to your mental capacity, which would be a bridge between the gap of what you believe you are capable of versus what you are actually doing.

8. Temporal Theory

Developed by organizational theory researcher Piers Steel and psychologist Cornelius J. König as an integrative motivational theory, the temporal theory of motivation focuses on how time and responses to deadlines affect human motivation.

This theory is interesting in regards to understanding procrastination and how the process of goal setting works within the human mind. Studies have shown that as a due date nears, motivation increases.

In other words, this theory identifies procrastination as part of human nature because motivation is low when time is not of the essence. The temporal theory includes a formula to evaluate level of motivation:

Motivation = (Expectancy × Value) / (1 + [Impulsiveness × Delay])

The higher the expectancy (or your self-efficacy beliefs) and the higher the value of the expected outcome, the more ly that person is to have a high motivation to complete a task. In this context, self-efficacy is your own belief about their competence or ability to complete a task.

People with low self-efficacy in terms of a certain task are much more ly to expend less effort early on and procrastinate, particularly if you minimally value the outcome of the task.

This theory also investigates the idea that people with impulsivity problems tend to have little motivation to resist non-task related urges and, therefore, do not act quickly on tasks that have a far-out deadline.

Motivate Yourself

Once you have a clear understanding of yourself and your goals, you can be more confident in not only making big life choice but stay consistent with your day-to-day actions. In order to know yourself on a deeper level, you must first understand what motivates you. Understanding what drives you can be a significant part of becoming more successful, fulfilled, and self-aware.

Learn how to let go of struggle and create a life of meaning, purpose, and flow at I am Infinite Possibilities, our one-of-kind event led by Deepak Chopra. Learn More.

Источник: https://chopra.com/articles/8-theories-of-motivation-and-human-desire

Leadership and Human Behavior Motivation Information | Living at UMass Amherst

What Motivation Theory Can Tell Us About Human Behavior

As a leader, you need to interact with your followers, peers, seniors, and others, whose support you need in order to accomplish your objectives. To gain their support, you must be able to understand and motivate them.

To understand and motivate people, you must know human nature. Human nature is the common qualities of all human beings. People behave according to certain principles of human nature. These principles govern our behavior.

Human needs are an important part of human nature. Values, beliefs, and customs differ from country to country and group to group, but all people have similar needs. As a leader you must understand these needs because they are powerful motivators.

Abraham Maslow felt that human needs were arranged in a hierarchical order (Maslow, 1954). He based his theory on healthy, creative people who used all their talents, potential, and capabilities. At the time, this methodology differed from most other psychology research studies in that they were observing disturbed people.

There are two major groups of human needs: basic needs and meta needs.
Basic needs are physiological, such as food, water, and sleep; and psychological, such as affection, security, and self-esteem. These basic needs are also called deficiency needs because if they are not met by an individual, then that person will strive to make up the deficiency.

The higher needs are called meta needs or being needs (growth needs). These include justice, goodness, beauty, order, unity, etc. Basic needs normally take priority over growth needs. For example, a person who lacks food or water will not normally attend to justice or beauty needs.

These needs are listed below in hierarchical order. The basic needs on the bottom of the list (1 to 4) must normally be met before the meta or being needs above them can be met. The four meta needs (5 to 8) can be pursued in any order, depending upon a person's wants or circumstances, as long as the basic needs have all been met.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

8. Self-transcendence — a transegoic (see Note below) level that emphasizes visionary intuition, altruism, and unity consciousness. 7. Self-actualization — know exactly who you are, where you are going, and what you want to accomplish. A state of well-being. 6.

Aesthetic — at peace, more curious about inner workings of all. 5. Cognitive — learning for learning alone, contribute knowledge. 4. Esteem — feeling of moving up in world, recognition, few doubts about self. 3. Belongingness and love — belong to a group, close friends to confide with. 2.

Safety — feel free from immediate danger.

1. Physiological — food, water, shelter, sex.

Maslow posited that people want and are forever striving to meet various goals. Because the lower level needs are more immediate and urgent, then they come into play as the source and direction of a person's goal if they are not satisfied,.

A need higher in the hierarchy will become a motive of behavior as long as the needs below it have been satisfied. Unsatisfied lower needs will dominate unsatisfied higher needs and must be satisfied before the person can climb up the hierarchy.

Knowing where a person is located on this scale aids in determining an effective motivator. For example, motivating a middle-class person (who is in range 4 of the hierarchy) with a certificate will have a far greater impact than using the same motivator to effect a minimum wage person from the ghetto who is desperately struggling to meet the first couple of needs.

It should be noted that almost no one stays in one particular hierarchy for an extended period. We constantly strive to move up, while at the same time various forces outside our control try to push us down. Those on top get pushed down for short time periods, i.e., death of a loved-one or an idea that does not work, while those on the bottom get pushed up, i.e.

, come across a small prize. Our goal as leaders therefor is to help people obtain the skills and knowledge that will push them up the hierarchy on a more permanent basis. People who have their basic needs met become much better workers as they are able to concentrate on fulfilling the visions put forth to them, rather than consistently struggling to make ends meet.

Characteristics of self-actualizing people

• Have better perceptions of reality and are comfortable with it. • Accept themselves and their own natures. • Lack of artificiality. • They focus on problems outside themselves and are concerned with basic issues and eternal questions. • They privacy and tend to be detached.

• Rely on their own development and continued growth. • Appreciate the basic pleasures of life (e.g., do not take blessings for granted). • Have a deep feeling of kinship with others. • Are deeply democratic and are not really aware of differences.

• Have strong ethical and moral standards.

• Are original, inventive, less constricted and fresher than others

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Leadership


Transegoic means a higher, psychic, or spiritual state of development. The trans is related to transcendence, while the ego is Freud's work. We go from preEGOic levels to EGOic levels to transEGOic. The EGO in all three terms are used in the Jungian sense of consciousness as opposed to the unconscious. Ego equates with the personality.

In Maslow's model, the ultimate goal of life is self-actualization, which is almost never fully attained but rather is something to always strive towards. Peak experiences are temporary self-actualizations.

Maslow later theorized that this level does not stop, it goes on to self-transcendence, which carries us to the spiritual level, e.g..

Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Dalai Lamao, or even poets, such as Robert Frost. Maslow's self-transcendence level recognizes the human need for ethics, creativity, compassion and spirituality.

Without this spiritual or transegoic sense, we are simply animals or machines.

In addition, just as there are peak experiences for temporary self-actualizations; there are also peak experiences for self-transcendence. These are our spiritual creative moments.

While the research of Maslow's theory has undergone limited empirical scrutiny, it still remains quite popular due to its simplicity and being the start of the movement that moved us away from a totally behaviorist/reductionistic/mechanistic approach to a more humanistic one.

In addition, a lot of concerns is directed at his methodology: Pick a small number of people that he declares self-actualizing; read and talk about them; and come to the conclusion about self-actualization.

However, he did completely understood this, and thought of his work as simply a method of pointing the way, rather than being the final say. In addition, he hoped that others would take up the cause and complete what he had begun.

Herzberg's Hygiene and Motivational Factors

Herzberg developed a list of factors (Herzberg, 1966) that are Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, except his version is more closely related to the working environment.

Hygiene or Dissatisfies

Working conditions Policies and administrative practices Salary and Benefits Supervision Status Job security Co-workers

Personal life

Motivators or Satisfiers

Recognition Achievement Advancement Growth Responsibility

Job challenge

Hygiene factors must be present in the job before motivators can be used to stimulate that person. That is, you cannot use motivators until all the hygiene factors are met. Herzberg's needs are specifically job related and reflect some of the distinct things that people want from their work as opposed to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs which reflect all the needs in a persons life.

Building on this model, Herzberg coined the term «job enrichment» to describe the process of redesigning work in order to build in motivators.

Theory X and Theory Y

Douglas McGregor developed a philosophical view of humankind with his Theory X and Theory Y (McGregor, 1957) , which are two opposing perceptions about how people view human behavior at work and organizational life. McGregor felt that companies followed either one or the other approach.

Theory X

People have an inherent dis for work and will avoid it whenever possible. People must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment in order to get them to achieve the organizational objectives. People prefer to be directed, do not want responsibility, and have little or no ambition. People seek security above all else.

Note that with Theory X assumptions, management's role is to coerce and control employees.

Theory Y

Work is as natural as play and rest. People will exercise self-direction if they are committed to the objectives (they are NOT lazy).

Commitment to objectives is a function of the rewards associated with their achievement. People learn to accept and seek responsibility. Creativity, ingenuity, and imagination are widely distributed among the population.

People are capable of using these abilities to solve an organizational problem.

People have potential.

Note that with Theory Y assumptions, management's role is to develop the potential in employees and help them to release that potential towards common goals.

Theory X is the view that traditional management has taken towards the workforce. Many organizations are now taking the enlightened view of theory Y.

A boss can be viewed as taking the theory X approach, while a leader takes the theory Y approach.

Notice that Maslow, Herzberg, and McGreagor's theories all tie together

• Herzberg's theory is a micro version of Maslow's theory (concentrated in the work place). • McGreagor's Theory X is workers caught in the lower levels (1 to 3) of Maslow's theory, while his Theory Y is for workers who have gone above level 3.

• McGreagor's Theory X is workers caught in Herberg's Hygiene Dissatisfiers, while Theory Y is workers who are in the Motivators or Satisfiers section.

Existence/Relatedness/Growth (ERG)

Clayton Alderfer's Existence/Relatedness/Growth (ERG) Theory of Needs (Alderfer, 1969) postulates that there are three groups of needs.

Existence — This group of needs is concerned with providing the basic requirements for material existence, such as physiological and safety needs. This need is satisfied by money earned in a job so that one may buy food, shelter, clothing, etc.

Relationships — This group of needs center upon the desire to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships. Since a people normally spend approximately half of their waking hours on the job, this need is normally satisfied to some degree by their coworkers.

Growth — These needs are met by personal development. A person's job, career, or profession provides significant satisfaction of growth needs.
Alderfer's ERG theory states that more than one need may be influential at the same time.

If the gratification of a higher-level need is frustrated, the desire to satisfy a lower-level need will increase. He identifies this phenomenon as the «frustration & shy aggression dimension.

» Its relevance on the job is that even when the upper-level needs are frustrated, the job still provides for the basic physiological needs upon which one would then be focused.

If, at that point, something happens to threaten the job, the person's basic needs are significantly threatened. If there are not factors present to relieve the pressure, the person may become desperate and panicky.

Notice that Alderfer's ERG theory is built upon Maslow's, however it does differ. First he collapsing it from five needs to three. And un Maslow, he did not see these needs as being a hierarchy in which one climbs up, but rather being more of a continuum.

While there has not been a whole lot of research on Alderfer's theory, most contemporary theories do tend to support it.

Expectancy Theory

Vroom's Expectancy Theory states that an individual will act in a certain way the expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual.

This motivational model (Vroom, 1964) has been modified by several people, to include Porter and Lawler (Porter et. al., 1968).

Vroom's Expectancy Theory is written as a formula: Valence x Expectancy x Instrumentality = Motivation ∑ Valence (Reward) = the amount of desire for a goal (What is the reward?) ∑ Expectancy (Performance) = the strength of belief that work related effort will result in the completion of the task (How hard will I have to work to reach the goal?) ∑ Instrumentality (Belief) = the belief that the reward will be received once the task is completed (Will they notice the effort I put forth?)

The product of valence, expectancy, and instrumentality is motivation. It can be thought of as the strength of the drive towards a goal. For example, if an employee wants to move up through the ranks, then promotion has a high valence for that employee.

If the employee believes that high performance will result in good reviews, then the employee has a high expectancy.

However, if the employee believes the company will not promote from within, then the employee has low instrumentality, and the employee will not be motivated to perform better.


Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper & Row.
Herzberg, F. (1966). Work and the Nature of Man. Cleveland: World Publishing Co.

McGregor, D. (1957). Proceedings of the Fifth Anniversary Convocation of the School of Industrial Management, The Human Side of Enterprise. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (April 9, 1957).

Alderfer, C. (1969). An Empirical Test of a New Theory of Human Needs. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, vol. 4, pp. 142 — 175.

Vroom, V. (1964). Work and Motivation. New York: Jon Wiley & Sons.

Porter, L. & Lawler, E. (1968). Managerial Attitudes and Performance. Homewood, Ill.: Dorsey Press.

Source: http://www.nwlink.com/~donclark/leader/leadhb

Источник: https://www.umass.edu/living/leadership-and-human-behavior-motivation-information

6 Basic Drivers Behind The Theories of Motivation

What Motivation Theory Can Tell Us About Human Behavior

When it comes to Psychology, one of the most intriguing topics is that of Motivation.

We are required to fulfill certain jobs in different periods of our lives, and its no surprise that more than half of these jobs are barely ever interesting to us, going to school, doing homework, take your professional career life seriously, etc. However, we must try to find ways to fulfill these jobs at the end of the day, and that is where Motivation and the many ideas behind it come in.

Through the years, countless of theorists and psychologists have come forward with their theories of motivation and their basic ideas. Some of the most famous that we have are: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs Theory, Alderfer’s Theory, Vroom’s Expectancy theory, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, and so on.

All of these theories in quite a lot of ways were poles apart with one another and therefore they presented a much smaller scope of understanding human behavior in psychology.

Where one would be talking about levels, the other would be talking about rewards, the third would be talking about the environment and so on.

However, with much research and an in-dept understanding, we now have some basic drivers or ideas behind motivation. Here are the basic six, as follows:

Drivers or Ideas Behind Motivation in Psychology

Motivation is what causes us to produce and maintain a behavior. In order to satisfy a need, a strong motivational force is produced within, which guides or drives the individual to in turn, produce a behavior. The source or reason for the production of motivation can be biological, social, economical, psychological, etc.

Drive#1: Instinct Theory of Motivation:

Instinct Theory by William James basically highlights the inborn or innate patterns of behavior. Take an example of the fish in the animal world; salmons swim to their own birth place to lay eggs every single time, and birds migrate from one area to another during seasonal changes. This behavior is not learned, its instilled in them instinctively.

Similarly, when it comes to humans, certain characteristics, emotions and behaviors are innate to us. William James lists emotions anger, fear, love, disgust, shame, attachment, play, etc, which are instinctive to us. The primary criticism this theory faced was that it didn’t exactly explain behavior, but rather just described it.

However, despite the criticism, this theory of instincts is still widely referred to and taken a guide from by theorists and psychologists when it comes to the analysis of behavior.

Drive #2: Incentive Theory of Motivation:

Incentive Theory of Motivation revolves around external rewards or reinforcement. We are faced with a lot of necessary tasks to perform even when we reluctant. However, through the promise of external rewards, people are motivated to perform and achieve the given task.

This theory is widely related to Operant Conditioning (Reinforcement Theory of Motivation), however, here in the incentive theory, its stated that people will intentionally engage in an activity to gain awards. The greater the reward, the higher the motivation. This concept can also partially be related to Vroom’s Expectancy Theory.

Drive #3: Drive Theory of Motivation:

The Drive Theory basically state that humans are motivated to perform to satisfy an unmet need. For instance, the person feels hungry and so they eat. Here the hunger is a need which is demanding satisfaction and then a motivational force is produced to fulfill the need, which brings about a behavior. This theory works on Biological drives of a human.

The Drive Theory of Motivation can be greatly related to Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human needs, where Maslow states that behavior is a result of a human’s quest on satisfying his needs. The only criticism this theory faced is that some people produce a behavior even when they do not have a need for it, eating even when you aren’t hungry.

Drive #4: Arousal Theory of Motivation:

According to this theory, humans are motivated to maintain an optimal level of arousal, i.e. neither too high and nor too low.

If the case of a person’s arousal is too high, they might indulge in relaxing activities to tone their level of arousal down, read a book, relax, listen to calm music, etc.

On the other hand, if the person arousal is too low, they might be motivated to indulge in activities which would raise their level of arousal, watching a thrilling movie, exercising, etc.

Drive #5: Humanistic Theory of Motivation:

The Humanistic Approach to the idea behind theories of Motivation is that an individual possesses strong reasons for their behavior.

This concept is also famous with Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory, as in Maslow’s five-story pyramid, there exist different levels of needs and a person will satisfy the level of need they are stuck on.

The levels are: Physiological Needs, Safety Needs, Social Needs, Esteem Needs and Self-Actualization Needs.

The bottom-most need, or the Physiological Need is the most demanding, followed by the one above it and so on.

A person stuck on the bottom most need will act in accordance to satisfy his hunger, thirst, shelter, excretion, etc needs; a person stuck on Safety Needs will produce a behavior which will try to satisfy his Safety Needs; a person stuck on Social Needs will try to satisfy his belonging needs through their behavior; a person stuck on Esteem Needs will works towards satisfying their need for esteem and lastly, a person stuck on their Self-actualization Needs will try to expand and grow internally and personally, developing all their potentials.

Drive #6: Expectancy Theory of Motivation:

This Expectancy Theory states that when a person thinks or tries to predict a possible pleasant and positive future, the possible “reward” becomes their motivation and with their expectancy of a positive future, they work towards making it a reality.

This theory has a strong connection with Vroom’s Expectancy Theory where when the greater the importance a person places on a reward, the greater is their motivation to keep on working towards their goal and attaining the reward.

Источник: https://www.advergize.com/psy/6-basic-drivers-behind-the-theories-of-motivation/

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