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Motivation

By Author: peter
Total Articles: 191

Laagers and management researchers have long believed that organizational goals are wkJmunattainable without the enduring commitment of members of the organization. Motivation is a human psychological characteristic that contributes to a person's degree of commitment. It includes the factors that cause, channel, and sustain human behavior in a particular committed direction. Motivating is the management process of influencing people's behavior based on this knowledge of "what makes people tick". Motivation and motivating both deal with the range of conscious human behavior somewhere between two extremes: (1) reflex actions, such as a sneeze or flutter of the eyelids; and (2) learned habits, such as brushing one's teeth or handwriting style.

There are many motivation theories. Each motivation theory attempts to describe what Replica Tag Heuer Watches human beings are and what human beings can become. In practice, motivation theories have been put into four categories: need theory, reinforcement theory, equity theory and expectancy theory.

Need Theory. Need theory has a long-standing tradition in motivation research and practice. As the term suggests, need theory focuses on what people require to live fulfilling lives. In practice, need theory deals with the part work plays in meeting such needs.

According to need theory, a person is motivated when he or she has not yet attained certain levels of satisfaction with his or her life. A satisfied need is not a motivator. There are various need theories, which differ regarding what those levels are and when satisfaction is actually reached.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow viewed human motivation as a hierarchy of five needs, ranging from the most basic physiological needs to the highest needs for self-actualization. According to Maslow, individuals will be motivated to fulfill whichever need is proponent, or most powerful, for them at a given time. The prepotency of a need depends on the individual's current situation and recent experiences. Starting with the physical needs, which are most basic, each need must be satisfied before the individual desires to satisfy a need at the next higher level.

An obvious conclusion of Maslow's theory is that employees first need a wage sufficient to feed, shelter, and protect them and their families satisfactorily, as well as a safe working environment. Then their security needs must be met — job security, freedom from coercion or arbitrary treatment, and clearly defined regulations. Then managers can offer incentives designed to provide employees with esteem, feelings of belonging, or opportunities to grow.

According to Maslow, when all other needs have been adequately met, employees will become motivated by the need for self-actualization. They will look for meaning and personal growth in their work and will actively seek out new responsibilities. Maslow stresses that individual differences are greatest at this level. For some individuals, producing work of high quality is a means for self-actualization, while for others, developing creative, useful ideas serves the same need. By being aware of the different self-actualization needs of their employees, managers can use a variety of approaches to enable employees to achieve personal as well as organizational goals.

ERG Theory. Clayton Alderfer agreed with Maslow that worker motivation could be gauged according to a hierarchy of needs. However, his ERG theory differs from Maslow's theory in two basic ways.

First, AJderfer broke needs down into just three categories: Existence needs (Maslow's fundamental needs), relatedness needs (needs for interpersonal relations), and growth needs (needs for personal creativity or productive influence). The first letters of each category form the acronym ERG.

Second, and more important, Alerter stressed that when higher needs are frustrated, lower needs will return, even though they were already satisfied. Maslow, in contrast, felt that a need, once met, lost its power to motivate behavior. Where Maslow saw people moving steadily up the hierarchy of needs, Alerter saw people moving up and down the hierarchy of needs from time to time and from situation to situation.

Three Needs. John W. Atkinson has proposed three basic drives in motivated persons: the need for achievement, the need for power, and the need for affiliation, or close Breitling Replica association with others. The balance between these drives varies from person to person.

David C. McClelland's research has indicated that a strong need for achievement — the drive to succeed or excel—is related to how well individuals are motivated to perform their work tasks. Those with high achievement needs (nAch) tend to be highly motivated by challenging and competitive work situations; people with low achievement needs tend to perform poorly in the same sort of situations.

The need for affiliation — nAff, in McClelland's scheme — has been a concern of managers since Elton Mayo and his colleagues were involved in the famous Hawthorne experiments. The need for affiliation has been cited as a reason why "telecommuting" — working from one's home via telecommunications lines to the office — has not become as widespread in urban areas as once predicted. Many people, not surprisingly, want to be around their co-workers!

Equity Theory. Equity theory is based on the assumption that a major factor in job consequences, such as criticism or a poor evaluation. To stop a behavior, a manager can use extinction, the absence of reinforcement. Suppose a manager's laxness at staff meetings has reinforced the employee behaviors of coming late to the meetings and wasting time making jokes. To stop this behavior, the manager could start meetings on time and ignore jokesters. A manager could also resort to punishment — the application of negative consequences.

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