Managerial Motivation

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Management Pages: 6 (1520 words) Published: May 23, 2006
Motivation is the process of stimulating people to act in ways which serve the needs of the organization providing the stimulus. Simply put, motivation is discovering and applying whatever is needed to get the employee to carry out designated activities in specified ways. However, a clear distinction is made between attitude, which is a state of mind, and behavior, which is a state of action.

A milestone in the relationship between the behavioral scientist and the manager was the "Hawthorne Experiments". In that project, behavioral scientists were invited to a large plant to help explain some employee behavior phenomena which were baffling to the managers. The success in this collaboration was achieved in a setting which included the following elements: 1)The study was a joint undertaking between behavioral scientists and practicing managers. 2)The locale of study was the factory, not the psychological laboratory. 3)The problem studied was not staged; it consisted of real life. 4)The tools used for study were the analytical tools of the behavioral scientists, not the empiricism of the managers. Motivational Theories

All behavioral scientists agree that human beings act in response to stimuli which appeal to their internal needs and drives. Obviously, it is important to understand just what kinds of stimuli are effective. While the behavioral scientists agree the needs are multiple and that they are unequal in importance, they do not agree on the order of priorities or on the relative importance of potential stimuli.

According to Maslow, people have and tend to satisfy the following five basic needs: Physiological: food, clothing. Shelter, which people satisfy before all others. Security: safety and stability, absence of pain, Threat and illness. Affiliation: desire for friendship, love, and belonging.

Esteem: self-respect, personal achievement, and recognition from others. Self-actualization: personal growth, self-fulfillment, and realization of ones own full potential.
Although Maslow's theory helps considerably in understanding the growth processes of individuals from birth through maturity, the relevance of his model to the workplace seems somewhat questionable. By the time most employees begin working, many of their lower-order needs already have been fulfilled. Moreover, the nature of many jobs makes it almost impossible for many employees to achieve self-actualization, the highest need in the hierarchy, on the job. The strongest criticism of Maslow's approach is that it was developed from Maslow's clinical experience, and that empirical work has consistently failed to find major support for the theory. These critics argue that while the theory may have described Maslow's patients, it does not reflect the realities of people at work. Furthermore, it is not clear that deficient needs are the strongest motivators. In Maslow's defense, Maslow did not originally intend his theories to be applied to the workplace; rather, management specialists such as Douglas McGregor popularized his ideas in the management literature.

David C. McClelland, professor of psychology at Harvard University, is also credited with extensive contributions to motivation theory. McClelland identifies three needs: 1.NEED FOR ACHIEVEMENT. The desire to accomplish some goal or task more effectively than has been the case in the past. 2.NEED FOR AFFILIATION. The desire to have close, amenable relations with other people. 3.NEED FOR POWER. The desire to be influential and to have impact on a group.

Much of McClelland's early work suggested that the need for achievement was important to business people, scientists, and professional persons. A later report restricted to managers concluded that the need for power was most important to management. McClelland identifies three types of managers:

1.AFFILIATE MANAGERS (affiliation greater than power, high inhibition).

2.PERSONAL POWER MANAGERS (power greater than...
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