Understanding Motivation: the use of Theories. Motivational Theories Groups of Theories, страница 2


Three groups of motivational theories are concerned with three common aspects of
motivation: (a) what energizes human behaviour, (b) how this behaviour is directed
and channeled, (c) how the behaviour can be maintained.__________________

The figure below connects each group of theories with a particular stage of the motivation model. Although each of the basic motivation theories may appear to be different, most are not in conflict but rather deal with a different segment of the overall motivational process or the same segment from different perspectives.

Figure 2: An outline model of motivation





Tangible or




form the





Set of actions to fulfill the needs



People seek ways to satisfy their needs (economic, social or psychological)

Reinforcement theories

Traditional Theory of Motivation

We can find the roots of motivational theories in the development of scientific management. The traditional theory of motivation evolved from the work of Frederick W. Taylor and others in the scientific management movement, which was active at the beginning of the 20th century. Taylor's ideas were based on his belief that existing reward systems had not been designed to compensate a person for high production. Taylor assumed that man was driven by economic needs and the traditional motivation theory is based on the assumption that money is the primary motivator - employees will produce more for greater financial gain. On the basis of this assumption, financial rewards are related directly to performance in the belief that, if the reward is great enough, workers will produce more.

Taylor thought that when a highly productive person discovered that he or she was being compensated basically the same as someone producing less, his or her productivity would decrease. Taylor's solution to this problem of inequality of compensation was simple. He designed a system whereby a worker was compensated according to the amount he or she produced. Realizing that a reasonable standard of performance needed to be devised, Taylor broke jobs down into components and measured the time necessary to accomplish each. In this way, he was able to establish standards of performance "scientifically."

Taylor's plan was unique in that he advocated one rate of pay for units produced up to the standard. A significantly higher rate was paid not only for the number of units more than the standard, but also for all the units produced during the day. Thus, under Taylor's system, workers could in many cases significantly increase their pay by producing more than the standard.

Text 3.4 Read the text and explain why need theories of motivation are so popular.

Content Theories

Content theories focus on the wants and needs that individuals are trying to satisfy within the situation. Central to the search are inner needs, their strength and the way these are expressed in the goals that people follow. The hope is that, if managers can understand these needs, they can design the reward system both to satisfy them and to meet the organizational goals. The best-known content theories are: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, Herzberg's Two Factor Theory, Alderfer's Modified Hierarchy of Needs, McClelland's Acquired Needs Theory, Arch Patton's Managerial Motivators Theory.

Maslow's Need Hierarchy