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Approaches to Motivation at Work

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 1519 words Published: 2nd Jan 2018

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Motivation is a general term used to describe the process of starting, directing, and maintaining physical and psychological activities. The word motivation comes from the Latin movere “to move”. It is also an internal state of being, or an internal condition that activates one’s behaviour, giving it direction. Motivation is to encourage people to work, individually or in groups in the ways such as to produce best results. It is the will to act and the willingness to exert high levels of effort towards organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts and ability to satisfy some individual need. The management’s important task is to motivate others. It comprises the abilities to communicate, to set an example, to challenge, to encourage, obtaining feedback, to involve, to delegate, to develop and train, to inform, to brief and to provide a just reward.

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There are mainly two kinds of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation is internal it occurs when people are bound to do something out of satisfaction, significance or need. Extrinsic motivation occurs when external factors make the person to do something. A work place is the most common place where we can apply need of motivation. Motivation also plays a key role in leadership success at work place. Motivation propels life it plays a major role in nearly everything we do without motivation we would simply not care about outcomes means, accomplishment, education, success, failure, employment etc.

Motivation is our group topic and we have covered many sub topics in motivation like Meaning of motivation, Maslow hierarchy of needs theory, Approaches to motivation and influences of motivation, Alderfer’s modified need hierarchy model, Equity theory of motivation, Vroom’s expectancy theory, Herzberg’s motivation -hygiene theory. And as a member of group I have covered the topic Approaches to motivation and influences of motivation.


There are number of different approaches to work motivation, most of which can be broken into either content theories or process theories. Content theories focus on what motivates people to perform and are concerned with identifying the different rewards that people seek in their work. Process theories focus on how rewards control behaviour. These theories are concerned with the dynamics or process aspects of work motivation. The content theory of motivation mainly focuses on the internal factors that energize and direct human behaviour. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, Alderfer’s ERG theory, Herzberg’s motivator-hygiene theory (Herzberg’s dual factors theory) and McClelland’s learned needs or three needs theory are some of the major content theories. The most famous content theory is Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. Maslow introduced five levels of basic needs through his theory. Basic needs are categorized as physiological needs, safety and security needs, needs of love, needs for self esteem and needs for self-actualization.

Just like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, ERG theory explains existence, relatedness, and growth needs. Through dual factors theory, Herzberg describes certain factors in the workplace which result in job satisfaction. McClelland’s learned needs or three needs theory uses a projective technique called the Thematic Aptitude Test so as to evaluate people based on three needs; power, achievement and affiliation. People with high need of power take action in a way that influences the other’s behaviour.

Process theory is one more type of motivation theory. Process theories of motivation provide an opportunity to understand though processes that influence behaviour. The major process theories of motivation include Adam’s equity theory, Vroom’s expectancy theory, goal setting theory, and reinforcement theory .Goal setting theory suggests that the individuals are motivated to reach set goals. It also requires that the set goals should be specific. Reinforcement theory is concerned with controlling behaviour my manipulating its consequences.

There are four different types of approaches to motivation.

Economic needs motivation.

Social concept of motivation.

Self-actualization needs.

Complex man concept of motivation.


According to Taylor man is a rational economic animal with maximising his economic gain. Taylor had a simple view about what motivated people at work is money and no other factor motivate as much as money motivate people. In this approach man form of motivation is high wages. In short, the more money you offer the worker, the more motivated they will be to work. And the weakness in this approach is money is an important motivation at work for many people, it isn’t for everyone. Taylor overlooked the fact that people work for many reasons other than financial reward.

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In this type of motivation approach people are believed to be motivated by human needs and achieve their satisfaction through social groups with whom they interact. Encouraging team building, providing supportive practices, and permitting co-workers the opportunity to interact socially on the job, Also people are motivated by giving day off or special bonuses on religious or family festival. By doing this people are more motivate and encouraged to do his best possible thing for the work assigned to them. Difficult to participate and connect with the group cause elevation of turnover of people resulting into lowering of moral, psychological fatigue, reduced levels of performance,


According to Maslow: “desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything one is capable of becoming” It is about the question of reaching one’s full potential as a person unlike lower level needs, this need is never fully satisfied as one grows psychologically there are always new opportunities to continue to grow. Organizations can help employees satisfy self actualization needs by encouraging creativity, allowing risk taking decision making and supporting workers in their efforts to develop their skills.

Self actualized individuals are often motivated by a strong sense of personal ethics and responsibility. They enjoy solving real world problems and are often concerned with helping other people improve their own life.

Also self actualized persons have frequent occurrences of peak experiences, which are energized moments of profound happiness and harmony. According to Maslow only a small percentage of the population reaches the level of self actualization.


In this type of motivation approach people are unique, different and their approaches also vary. Complex man is based on the fact that people are variable, they change the ways they seek fulfilment, respond in a variety of ways. There are large numbers of variables which influence organizational performance. It is not limited to social or monetary rewards. In this type of approach sometimes people are motivated by verbal acknowledgement and sometimes people are not satisfied by promoting to higher post.


An understanding of motivation approaches theories can help mangers increase employee performance. Employees generally fall into two types: self motivated, and those that require external motivation to stay motivated. Self motivated employees tend to exhibit good performance even if they are never provided with much external motivation, but their performance increases still more if they are provided with that motivation. Employees that do require external motivation certainly improve in performance when skilfully motivated. Highly motivated employees are highly productive employees and they are superior.

Last but not least I would like to tell something about my group we are in group 9 including 6 people. We were divided in a group by college authority we were aware about each other but not so familiar. Initially when we were formed in a group all were working with their own method which resulted into conflict between team members. Due to more interventions of each other we appointed one person as a group leader. Now all the conflicts are settled and all members resist the task with full cooperation.

We all have work very hard as team members to give our best and make this topic interesting. All have dedicated their time from busy schedule and gather at one place to prepare for the topic. As a group the level of motivation was very high as our group leader have worked very hard to coordinate with each team member and execute the order to be in the loop with each other so we can solve our difficulty by consulting each other. All team members were very cooperative and dedicative which resulted into good quality of work.


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