Motivation can be defined as the process that accounts for an individual's intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal.11 Intensity is concerned with how hard a person tries. The effort has to be channelled in a direction that benefits the organization. Persistence is a measure of how long people can maintain their effort. There are two major categories of motivation theories (1) Content theories and (2) Process theories. Content theories focus on 'what' are the factors that motivate individuals. Individuals across the world have the desire to fulfil their needs. This desire leads them to take action, which results in outcomes. This outcome brings them rewards that are valued. Process theories elaborate the process of how behaviour is initiated, sustained, and if need be, changed. Some well-known content theories of motivation are:
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Herzberg's two-factor theory
McClelland's learned needs model
Some of the most well-known process theories are:
Adam's equity theory
Vroom's expectancy theory
3. Locke and Latham's goal-setting theory
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is one the most frequently taught and commonly remembered theories in business management.21 Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist and humanist. Maslow revolutionized the work ethic of his day. Instead of work being about duty and responsibility, he talked about work helping an individual reach the goal of human existence: self-actualization. His article 'A Theory of Motivation' first appeared in 1943 in the Psychological Review journal. Maslow's theory proposed that human needs are organized in five levels, arranged in a hierarchy of importance. When one need is satisfied, another emerges and demands satisfaction. Each person's needs depend on what he or she already has. Only needs not yet satisfied can influence behaviour. A satisfied need cannot influence behaviour. There are more ways to satisfy high-level needs than there are ways to satisfy lower needs.22 The five levels of needs are: 1.
Physiological needs Food, drink, oxygen, sex, elimination, rest. 2.
Security needs Protection from physical harm, ill health, economic disaster. Need for routine and familiarity. 3.
Social or affiliation needs Love, affection, trust, acceptance. 4.
Esteem needs Esteem and respect of others and self. 5.
Self-actualizfition needs Realizing one's full potential—the 'desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything one is capable of becoming.' Maslow did not believe in a rigid hierarchy of needs, but recognized that human needs can occur simultaneously. Level 1—Physiological needs Food, drink, sex, sleep, elimination, rest are needs shared by all animals including human beings. However, culture influences how and when these needs are satisfied. For example, the foods eaten, method of cooking, how to eat, whether with chopsticks, utensils, or with hands, and when food is eaten, all vary between cultures. Patterns of sleep, where the family sleeps, and whether parents sleep with children, vary across cultures. In Asian countries, young children sleep with their parents, while in Western cultures they are given a separate room at a very young age. The habit of a siesta or afternoon nap is common in Spain and Latin America and in many Asian countries. A siesta is frowned upon as being a sign of laziness in Anglo and Germanic cultures. Level 2—Security needs Concern for safety exists in all cultures, but is more prominent in some cultures. This is especially true in developing countries, where there is no social security system supported by the state. An individual's extended family is often his or her only security. People in poorer countries may sacrifice some needs at Level 1. For example, a person may choose to...
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