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Owing to the views of existentialism and psychoanalysis, Maslow has postulated a hierarchy of human needs incorporating several levels

Motivation Theories

Maslow's Hierarchy.

Owing to the views of existentialism and psychoanalysis, Maslow has postulated a hierarchy of human needs incorporating several levels. Basic to Maslow's theory is the notion that needs at a particular level of the hierarchy must be "largely" satiated before the needs at the next higher level become operative. This is not to say that two levels cannot be operative at the same time, but the needs at the lower level take precedence. It follows that if lower level needs are substantially satisfied in our society, they may never actually be very important for energizing and directing behavior.

The basic outline of Maslow's hierarchy from the lowest level to the highest level is as follows:

  1. Physiological needs. These primarily include such things as hunger and thirst.
  2. Safety needs. These refer primarily to freedom from bodily threat and in our culture are probably most active for young children.
  3. Belongingness or social needs. These include the need for friendship, affection, love, and perhaps something akin to affiliation.
  4. Esteem needs. These represent an individual's need for self-respect, for the respect of others, and for a stable, positive evaluation of himself.
  5. Self-actualization. At the top of the hierarchy is the need level most existential in nature and most difficult to define. A succinct definition is simply that the individual's need to self-actualize is his need to be what he wants to be, to achieve fulfillment of his life's goals, and to realize the potential of his personality.

Herzberg's Two-factor Theory

On the basis of the literature on job attitudes and series of interviews with engineers and accountants Herzberg has postulated the existence of two classes of work motivators - extrinsic and intrinsic factors:
 
Extrinsic factors 
 Intrinsic factors
 1. Pay, or salary increase
 1. Achievement, or completing an important task successfully
 2. Technical supervision, or having a competent superior    2. Recognition, or being singled out for praise
 3. The human relations quality of supervision 3. Responsibility for one's own or other's work
 4. Company policy and administration 
 4. Advancement, or changing status through promotion
 5. Working conditions, or physical surrounding 
 
 6. Job security   
 

The intrinsic factors are viewed as being derived from the individual's relation to the job itself. An alternative label is "job content factors." Extrinsic factors are sources of motivation or need satisfaction that stem from the organizational context and are thus somewhat divorced from the direct influence of the individual.

Herzberg has more recently (1966) referred to intrinsic and extrinsic factors as "motivators" and "hygiene factors," respectively. Interestingly enough, the behavioral implications of the theory are not stated in terms of energizing, sustaining, or directing effort, but are concerned with changes in job satisfaction. Extrinsic factors, or hygiene factors, are seen as being able only to prevent the onset of job dissatisfaction or to remove it once it has become manifest. In contrast, motivators, or intrinsic factors, have no influence on job dissatisfaction but operate only to increase job satisfaction. Thus satisfaction and dissatisfaction are hypothesized to be two distinct entities stemming from different antecedents and should have no particular relationship to each other.

McClelland's Needs Theory.

Whereas Maslow's theory stresses a universal hierarchy of needs, the McClelland’s research emphasizes that there are certain needs that are learned and socially acquired as the individual interacts with the environment. McClelland needs theory is concerned with how individual needs and environmental factors combine to form three basic human motives: the need for achievement, the need for power, and the need for affiliation. As previously discussed, motives explain behavior.
 A person with a high need for achievement tends to
  • wants to take personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems;
  • is goal oriented;
  • seeks a challenge - and establishes moderate, realistic, and attainable goals that involve risk but are not impossible to attain;
  • desires concrete feedback on performance;
  • has a high level of energy and is willing to work hard.
A high need for power means that an individual seeks to influence others. He tends to be characterized as a person who
  • is concerned with acquiring, exercising, or retaining power or influencing others;
  • likes to compete with others in situations that allow him or her to be dominant;
  • enjoys confrontations with others.
The need for affiliation is related to the desire for affection and establishing friendly relationships. A person with a high need for affiliation tends to be characterized as one who:
  • seeks to establish and maintain friendships and close emotional relationships with others.
  • wants to be liked by others.
  • seeks a sense of belonging by joining groups or organizations.

To varying degrees, each of us possesses these three motives; however, one of the needs will tend to be more characteristic of the individual than the other two. People in a given culture may have the same needs, but the relative strength of those need differs. For example, the strength of Japanese workers' need for affiliation may be stronger than that of U.S. workers. Therefore, the family feeling that Nissan promotes may have less appeal in the United States than in Japan.

Each of McClelland's three motives evokes a different type of feeling of satisfaction. For example, the achievement motive tends to evoke a sense of accomplishment, whereas a manager may have a feeling of being in control or influencing others when the power motive is prevalent. According to this theory, the probability that an individual will perform a job effectively and efficiently depends on a combination of:

  • The strength of the motive or need relative to other needs.
  • The possibility of success in performing the task.
  • The strength value of the incentive or reward for performance.

Reinforcement Theory

It is the idea that human behavior can be explained in terms of the previous positive or negative outcomes of that behavior. People tend to repeat behaviors that they have learned will produce pleasant outcomes. Behavior that is reinforced will be repeated; behavior that is not reinforced will not be repeated.

This theory contends that people's behavior can be controlled and shaped by rewarding (reinforcing) desired behavior while ignoring undesirable actions. Over time, the reinforced behavior will tend to be repeated, whereas the unrewarded behavior will tend to be extinguished and will disappear. Punishment of undesired behavior is to be avoided since it may contribute to feelings of restraint and action of rebellion. In his book Beyond Freedom and Dignity, Skinner says that people can be controlled while at the same time feeling free. Skinner's theory of shaping behavior is useful to managers, although one should not assume that human behavior is simple to understand and/or modify. The primary technique suggested by Skinner is organizational behavior modification.

Organizational behavior modification (OBM)

OBM rests on two fundameted concepts: (1) people act in ways they find most personally rewarding, and (2) behavior can be shaped and determined by controlling the rewards. In OBM rewards are termed reinforcers because the goal is to stimulate continuation of the rewarded behavior which reinforcers actually work in motivating people is determined by a manager's trial and error and experience. What is successful with one employee may not work with another because needs and wants differ. Praise is used most frequently because it is most readily available. It becomes less effective whenever it becomes predictable or is continuously applied.

In OBM, punishment is rejected as a reinforcer because it suppresses the undesired behavior while at the same time stimulating anger, hostility, aggression and rebellion. And at times, it is difficult to identify the punishment. In one instance placing prisoners in solitary confinement on bread and water turned out to be high-status symbol and led to repetition of offences. When the bread and water were changed to baby food, the status symbol disappeared, leading to a significant reduction in the number of undesirable acts. When undesired behavior is not rewarded it tends to disappear over time.

In reinforcing desired behavior in a positive fashion, it is important to allocate the rewards soon after the behavior occurs so that the person perceives a clear and immediate linkage.

Expectancy Theories of Motivation

In recent years, one of the more popular theories of motivation has been expectancy theory. The approaches to motivation described above do not adequately account for differences in individual employees or explain why people behave in certain ways. Victor Vroom has presented a process theory of work motivation that he calls instrumentality theory. His basic classes of variables are expectancies, valences, choices, outcomes, and instrumentalities.

Expectancy is defined as a belief concerning the likelihood that a particular act will be followed by a particular outcome. Presumably, the degree of belief can vary between 0 (complete lack of belief that it will follow) and 1 (complete certainty that it will). Note that it is the perception of the individual, that is important, not the objective reality.

Valence refers to the strength of an individual's preference for a particular outcome. An individual may have either a positive or a negative preference for an outcome. Presumably, outcomes gain their valence as a function of the degree to which they are seen to be related to the needs of the individual.  For example, one might consider an increase in pay to be a possible outcome of a particular act. The theory would then deal with the valence of a wage increase for an individual and his expectancy that particular behaviors will be followed by a wage increase outcome. Again, valence refers to the perceived or expected value of an outcome, not its real or eventual value.

According to Vroom, outcomes take on a valence value because of their instrumentality for achieving other outcomes. Thus he postulates two classes of outcomes. In the organizational setting, the first class of outcomes might include such things as money, promotion, recognition, etc. Supposedly, these outcomes are directly linked to behavior. However, Vroom suggests, that wage increases or promotion may have no value bу themselves. They are valuable in terms of their instrumental role in securing second level outcomes such as food, clothing, shelter, entertainment, and status, which are not obtained as the direct result of a particular action.

To sum up, Vroom's formulation postulates that the motivational force, or effort, an individual exerts is a function of (l) his expectancy that certain outcomes will result from his behavior (e.g., a raise in pay for increased effort) and (2) the valence, for him, of those outcomes. The valence of an outcome is in turn a function of its instrumentality for obtaining other outcomes and the valence of these other outcomes.

A hybrid expectancy model.

Since his formulation first appeared, a number of investigators have attempted to extend Vroom's model to make it more explicit and more inclusive in terms of relevant variables. Although we shall not discuss the contributions of these writers in detail, we would like to incorporate a number of their ideas in our own composite picture of an expanded expectancy model. However, any imperfections in what follows should be ascribed to us and not to them.

One major  to Vroom's model is the necessity for a more concrete specification of the task or performance goals toward which work behavior is directed. Graen refers to this class of variables as work roles, but we prefer to retain the notion of task goals. Task goals may be specified externally by the organization or the work group, or internally by the individual's own value system. Examples of task goals include such things as production quotas, time limits for projects, quality standards, showing a certain amount of loyalty to the organization, exhibiting the right set of attitudes, etc.

We would also like to make more explicit a distinction between first and second level outcomes. First level outcomes are outcomes contingent on achieving the task goal or set of task goals. A potential first level outcome is synonymous with the term "incentive", and an outcome which is actually realized is synonymous with the term "reward". The distinction is temporal. Like task goals, first level outcomes may be external or internal. Some examples of external first level outcomes granted by the organization are job security, pay, promotions, recognition, and increased autonomy. An individual may also set up his own internal incentives or reward himself with internally mediated outcomes such as ego satisfaction.

As pointed out in the discussion of Vroom's model first level outcomes may or may not be associated with a plethora of second level outcomes; that is, the externally or internally mediated rewards are instruments in varying degrees for obtaining second level outcomes such as food, housing, material goods, community status, and freedom from anxiety.



 

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