The term motivation theory is concerned with the processes that describe why and how human behavior is activated and directed. They try to explain why people make the decisions that they do and how they motivate themselves and others to improve behavior. There are two different categories of motivation theories such as content theories, and process theories. Even though there are different motivation theories, none of them are universally accepted and each being unique.
Overview of Motivational Theories
Motivation represents those psychological processes that cause the arousal, direction, and persistence of voluntary actions that are goal directed. The two general categories are content and process theories. Content theories include Maslow’s, Alderfer’s, McClelland’s, and Herzberg’s theories. Adam’s equity theory, Vrooms expectancy theory and goal-setting theories fall under process theories. Content theories focus on internal factors; instincts, needs, satisfaction, and job characteristics. While process theories focuses on internal factors and cognition. First we will explore content theories. (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2010) Maslow’s Theory
Abraham Maslow published his ‘need hierarchy theory’ in 1943. His belief being that there are predictable steps in human needs. 1. Physiological – need for enough food, air and water to survive 2. Safety – need to be safe from physical and psychological harm 3. Love – desire to love and be loved
4. Esteem – need for reputation, prestige, and recognition (contains self-confidence and strength) 5. Self-actualization – desire for self-fulfillment; being the best you can be The idea is that one need is met then satisfied, the next emerges and satisfied, and so on. The theory is persuasive but I don’t think every person falls within the perimeters. For example, I consider safety to come first, and then the rest would fall into line, with love ranking 4 or 5. The advantage of this theory is that...
References: Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. (2010). Organization Bahvior (10 ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Retrieved November 2012
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