Theories of Motivation essay

Various factors usually influence humans' behavior. Very often, the specific reasons that motivate people's actions are tried to be explained. There are three main motivation schools, which explore its theories and ideas. They are as follows: behaviorists, biologists and mediationists. Representatives of the first school see the causes and influences of motivation from the outside environment. The second school supporters understand motivation from the biological approach, and the third school considers its causes from such internal events as urge and wish.

Besides the three main schools that work on motivation, there are some theorists, who mix the aforementioned ideas. However, there is one clear thing: motivation scholars often argue with each other. Such disagreement takes place especially in-between those schools.

American psychologist McClelland (1987) developed a theory that defines human motivation as a set of basic needs that are called 'the three social motives'. According to McClelland (1987), everyone possesses all of those three motives although with a different degree. The scholar is convinced that the result of the needs is a unique mix, which creates personality.

Three motives are the following ones: 1) the need for achievement (the drive to transcend, accomplish in relation to a set of standards, and endeavor to succeed); 2) the need for affiliation (close and friendly interpersonal relationships), and 3) the need for power (to make others behave in a certain way). Thus, Hedberg et al. (2002) suggest 'basic assumption for McClelland's work is that one seeks goals that have not happened yet. …different people have different motives and therefore, different personalities' (pp.4.-5).

Professor Mayo conducted several experiments with his team at the Western Electronic Hawthorne Works in Chicago (Hedberg et al., 2002). He realized the importance and influence of socio-psychological factors for motivation. Thus, the results of that experiment received the name of Hawthorne effect, which has a direct connection with the rewards given to people. The scholars agree that the act of showing people care about them very often encourages their better job performance. It is essential to remember that changes in their results are associated with changes in working conditions as they are achieved because of change in the treatment of employees (Hedberg et al., 2002).

Herzberg, the representative of the third main school, developed 'the Motivation-Hygiene-Theory'. It is connected with individual's mental health at the working place and factors that influence and affect performance. He discovered that job-satisfaction is not the opposite of job-dissatisfaction, but they are two separate continua, which have their own dynamics and are produced by different factors.

From a personal point of view, the aforementioned perspectives on motivation have to be implemented in complex. Thus, it cannot be distinguished which one is more compelling out of the three. They have to be used in combination depending on the number of employees, size of the organization, its type and particular situation of separate person.

It is important to remember that manager should motivate workers using as small financial stimuli as possible. However, it does not mean that bonuses are unimportant. The hardest thing is probably to motivate volunteers of some non-profit organizations as they do not receive any financial support at all. Every person has to feel that he or she is special, and employee behavior is a reflection of his/her social surroundings.

Ivancevich et al. (2011) argue about job performance, which consists of a number of outcomes. 'Personal Behavior Outcomes' were observed in the law firm. The company itself had a very tense ogranizational climate, and every employee felt as a human robot. It was evident that people would rather become sick and take a leave than continue attending the company regularly. Because the office did not have enough heating and daylight, health of the employees worsened. It was further reflected on their job performance, but they could not take a sick leave because generally their physical state was within the norms.

The stress-related job performance of some employees obviously contributed to their mental and physical impairment later. However, they would not like to quit the job as the financial rewards were comparatively very high. It was obvious that the employees were not treated specially. They were not involved in decision-making, and when they were asked to give a feedback, they could not mention any constructive complaints, as they were afraid to lose the job because of good remuneration.

For the aforementioned reasons, the employees were simply separate workers, and there was no chance for them to work as a team, which could help the company progress faster by achieving its goals. It would be also very helpful in a broad field of work.

As it is seen, those 'Personal Behavior Outcomes' affected the intrinsic and extrinsic job outcomes, job satisfaction outcomes, and objective outcomes. For example, work was only a central life interest for gaining profit, which they would never receive; they did not participate in work actively but were 'just doing their job'. Thus, there are many potential outcomes of job performance, which can be of primary or secondary value to the organization. Some of the job outcomes are mostly important for individual.

It is essential to understand that job performance as a complex variable that depends upon the interplay of various factors. Thus, managers should comprehend these issues by considering both the job's motivational implications or doing job analysis through applications.

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