Focuses attention on the various needs that motivate people and the notion that a satisfied need is no longer a motivator. The concept of a hierarchy has no practical significance. ERG theory Alderfer (1972) Three fundamental needs: existence, relatedness and growth. A simpler and more convincing approach to Maslow’s on the motivation provided by needs. Managerial needs theory McClelland (1975) Managers have three fundamental needs: achievement, affiliation and power. Draws attention to the needs of managers and the important concept of ‘achievement motivation’. Process/cognitive theory Expectancy theory Vroom (1964), Porter and Lawler (1968) Effort (motivation) depends on the likelihood that rewards will follow effort and that the reward is worthwhile. The key theory informing approaches to rewards, ie that there must be a link between effort and reward (line of sight), the reward should be achievable and it should be worthwhile. Goal theory Latham and Locke (1979) Motivation will improve if people have demanding but agreed goals and receive feedback. Provides the rationale for performance management, goal setting and feedback. Equity theory Adams (1965) People are better motivated if treated equitably. Need to have equitable reward and employment practices. Social learning theory Bandura (1977) Emphasizes the importance of internal psychological factors, especially expectancies about the value of goals and the individual's ability to reach them. Influences performance management and learning and development practices.
Category Type Theorist(s) Summary of theory Implications Theory X and theory Y General approaches to motivation McGregor (1960) Theory X is the traditional view that people must be coerced into performing; theory Y is the view that people will exercise self-direction and self-direction in the service of objectives to which they are committed. Emphasizes the importance of commitment, rewards and integrating individual and organizational needs.
Definitions of key concepts and terms Content (needs) motivation theory – A theory based on the content of motivation in the shape of needs. It states that an unsatisfied need creates tension and a state of disequilibrium. To restore the balance a goal is identified that will satisfy the need, and a behaviour pathway is selected that will lead to the achievement of the goal and the satisfaction of the need. Discretionary behaviour/effort – The discretion or choice people at work can exercise about the way they do their job and the amount of effort, care, innovation and productive behaviour they display. Equity theory – This refers to the perceptions people have about how they are being treated as compared with others. To be dealt with equitably is to be treated fairly in comparison with another group of people (a reference group) or a relevant other person.
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