Motivation Concepts Table and Analysis
Motivation Concepts Table and Analysis
Motivation describes how an individual behaves and the reason(s) why he or she behaves in that way. Many psychologists have developed theories and study the behaviors of individuals to determine the motivators that cause certain behaviors. An individual’s behavior is influenced by his or her needs and wants. “Theories of motivation are created to help us explain, predict, and influence behavior” (Stipek, 2006-2011). Psychologists believe that if they can determine why an individual behaves the way he or she does, there is a possibility to change and influence his or her behavior. As one theory is developed, it is also modified later and sometimes dispute. The Motivation Concepts Table (Table 1) shows both grand theories and mini-theories. Motivation Concepts Table
Time Period Created
Key Theory Concepts
Will (Grand Theory)
The Will Theory is based on that will initiates and drives action and decides whether or not to act and how to behave when acting Instinct (Grand Theory)
Charles Darwin, William James, William McDougall
This theory is based on the biological determination is the cause of motivation and how the surrounding resources are used to adapt to an environment. Drive (Grand Theory)
Woodworth, Freud, Hull
The theory entails satisfying bodily needs through motivated behavior. Achievement Motivation Theory (mini-theory)
David McClelland, John Atkinson
This theory was developed to explain how individuals respond to challenges and having the strong urge for success and accomplishment. Intrinsic Motivation (mini-theory)
Developed to explain individuals who behave in effective and healthy ways. Goal-Setting Theory (mini-theory)
Developed to explain individuals who seek feedback and are driven by clearly defined goals.
Achievement Motivation Theory
David McClelland studied motivation and the human need for achievement and developed the achievement motivation theory in the early 1960s. According to Motivation at a Glance ISchool, “David McClelland believed that the need for achievement is a distinct human motive that can be distinguished from other needs” (Achievement Motivation). Individuals motivated by achievement will focus on what they want and make it happen. John Atkinson built upon McClelland’s theory and theorized that individuals are driven to achieve success and have an expectation for success rather than failure. When these individuals accomplish a task and expect to feel pride and satisfaction.
Within the workplace, an employee or manager who is driven by the need for achievement will challenge him or herself toward success and promotion. One scenario in which this occurs when an employee notices that employees of another team are not completing their work the completely. For example, a safety department broken into teams including the projects team and the training team; the projects team relies on the training team to gather the necessary training information and deliver accurate and verified training dates. The employee from the projects group notices that the training team feels overwhelmed and do not believe the work can be completed without adding more employees. The projects team member has worked in the training team and knows the goal of ensuring personnel training is compliant with the regulation and becomes motivated to develop procedures that will help the training team achieve his or her goals. The projects team member feels a sense of accomplishing the goal to make the work achievable and develops the procedure that shows the training team that it is possible to track training and avoid unnecessary work. The manager sees the projects team member stepping up and gives that individual the positive feedback regarding the...
References: Motivation at a Glance ISchool. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion. (5th ed.). New York: Wiley
Stipek, D. (2006-2011). education.com. Retrieved from
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