Contemporary Theories of Motivation

Topics: Motivation, Self-efficacy, Victor Vroom Pages: 5 (1444 words) Published: March 7, 2013
Contemporary Theories of Motivation

Motivation is a desire to attain a goal, combined with the energy to work towards that goal. It involves the biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that stimulate a person’s behavior. In everyday usage, the term “motivation” is frequently used to describe why a person does something. “There are three major elements of motivation- intensity, direction and persistence” (Robbins & Judge, 2011-2012, p209).Intensity refers to how hard a person tries, direction refers connected and consistence effort towards goals and persistence denotes how long a person can continue such effort. “The 1950s were a glorious time because at that period various motivational theories were introduced” (Robbins & Judge, 2011-2012, p209). But as time went by many more new motivational theories were introduced because those classical theories were not supported by empirical evidence. Some of the much known contemporary theories of motivation are discussed below-

Cognitive Evaluation Theory:
Cognitive Evaluation Theory simply states that if an extrinsic reward added to a behavior that was done by a person who already feels intrinsically rewarded will often decrease that person’s motivation to continue that behavior in the long run. This theory suggests that there are actually two motivation systems: intrinsic (self-granted rewards, such as feeling proud of oneself) and extrinsic (rewards that comes from the outside, such as money, presents or praise).Most of the motivation theorist assumed that intrinsic rewards (exciting tasks) were independent of extrinsic rewards. But cognitive evaluation theory suggest otherwise. As an example- a person who teaches poor children in a public school for free only does this job because he/she feels good about it. Now if that public school hired that person and pays him/her a fixed salary that person will not willing to teach there anymore. In most of the case this sort of result occurs because when a person has a stronger internal locus of control they will feel they are in control of how they behave but when they have a stronger external locus of control, they will believe that environment or others have a greater influence over what they do. Expectancy Theory:

Expectancy is a person’s belief that working hard will result in high task performance Expectancy Theory was established by proposed by Victor Vroom of Yale School of Management in 1964. According to expectancy theory, employees choose to devote effort in courses of action in which they have probabilities of achieving desired outcomes. “Vroom suggests that a person’s motivation to work depends on the relationship s between the three expectancy factors depicted” (John R, 2010, p356). Expectancy (effort will lead to performance), instrumentality (performance will lead to outcomes), and valence (these outcomes are important or valued). These 3 factors interact together to create a motivational force for an employee to work towards pleasure and avoid pain. The formula for this force is: motivation = expectancy * instrumentality * valence, or

As an example a student always thinks that ‘if I study hard, I will become a good student if I become good student then I can obtain good grades and good grades will increase my CGPA.

Goal Setting Theory:
In the late 1960s, Edwin Locke proposed intentions to work toward a goal are a major source of work motivation (Robbins & Judge, 2011-2012, p219). Basically, Locke's theory states that if an individual sets goals, he will be motivated to achieve those goals by virtue of having set them. Several elements must exist in order for the goal-setting effect to take place. Goals must be clear, challenging and attainable, and there must be some method of receiving feedback. Goal setting theory focused on: * Specific goals are more motivating than vague goals.

* Challenging goals are more motivating than easy goals. According to Locke, "high goals lead to...

Bibliography: * Robbins & Judge, 2011-2012, Organizational Behavior 13th Edition by Pearson Education Inc.
* John R. Schermerhorn,JR, 2010, Introduction to Management by John Wiley & sons Ltd.
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