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Motivation Theories
By: Sanjeev K. Singh
Faculty- OB
• Motivation is derived from Latin word
movere which means “to move”
• “a process that starts with physiological
or psychological deficiency or need that
activates a behaviour or a drive that is
aimed at a goal or incentive”.
• “The process that account for an
individual’s intensity, direction and
persistence of effort toward attaining a
goal”. (Robbins)
Concept of Motivation
• A need must be felt by an individual
in such a way that it drives him/her
to satisfy it.
• The force underlying this behaviour
may be called motivation.
• This force may vary depending upon
the intensity and importance of the
need to the individual.
• Peoples behaviour is determined by
what motivates them. Their
performance is a product of both
ability level and motivation.
– Needs: a physiological or psychological
imbalance leads to the creation of a
– Drives/motives: propel individual to
attain their goals or satisfy their needs.
– Incentives: that can fulfill a need and
decrease the intensity of a drive is
Basic Motivational Model

Needs or result in Driving Force to achieve

expectations (behaviour or Desired
action) Goals

feedback provide
Types of Motivation
• Content Theories
• Process Theories
Content Theories
• These theories attempt to explain
those specific things which actually
motivate the individual at work.
• These theories are concerned with
identifying peoples needs and their
relative strengths, and the goals they
pursue in order to satisfy these
• Content theories place emphasis on
what motivates human behaviour i.e.
the wants and needs that people are
trying to satisfy.
Process Theories
• These theories attempt to identify
the relationship among the
dynamic variables which make up
• They are concerned more with how
behaviors are initiated, directed
and sustained.
• Process theories place emphasis
on the actual process of
motivation, looking at how the
Content Models
• The Hierarchy of Needs Theory
• The ERG Theory (Alderfer:1972).
• The Acquired Needs
Theory/Achievement Motivation
• The Dual-Factor Theory
Process Models
• Theory X, Theory Y (McGregor:1960)
• Expectancy Theory (Vroom:1964 and
Porter & Lawler:1968)
• Equity Theory (Adams:1965)
Maslows Hierarchy of Needs
• Basic proposition is that people are
wanting beings, they always want
more, and what they want depends
on what they already have.
• Hierarchy ranges through 5 levels
and is displayed in the form of a
pyramid implying a thinning out of
needs as people progress up the
• Ascending order implies that it is the
next unachieved level that acts as
Maslows Hierarchy of
Self -
Realisation of
full potential.

Ego needs.

Social needs.
Social and civilisational needs.

Protection and security needs.

Basic and instinctive needs.

Basic needs.
Alderfer’s ERG Theory
• This is a modified need hierarchy
model and it condenses Maslows five
levels of need into only three levels
based on the core needs of:
– Existence
– Relatedness
– Growth
Alderfers ERG Theory

Existence Relatedness Growth

Physiological and material needs. Social, interpersonal and friendship needs. Personal growth, development, self-respect.
Alderfers ERG Theory
• Existence needs are concerned
with sustaining human existence and
survival and cover physiological and
safety needs of a material nature.
• Relatedness needs are concerned
with relationships to the social
environment and cover love or
belonging, affiliation and meaningful
interpersonal relations of a safety or
esteem nature.
Alderfers ERG Model
• Growth needs are concerned
with the development of potential
and cover self-esteem and self-
• The theory propounds that
c) The lower order needs must be satisfied to move on
to higher order needs (satisfaction progressions in
d) The frustration of higher order needs the person can
go back to lower order needs ( frustration regression
e) All three needs can operate simultaneously.
Herzberg’s Dual-Factor
• Herzberg’s original study consisted
of interviews with 203 accountants
and engineers.
• The object of the research being to
design jobs that provided job
satisfaction, thereby encouraging
higher levels of performance.
• This process developed into job
Herzberg’s Dual Factor
Hygience or Maintenance Factors


Job Security

Working Conditions

Level and Quality of Supervision

Company Policy and Administration

Interpersonal Relations

The Dissatisfiers


Herzberg’s Dual Factor
Theory cont.

The Satisfiers

Sense of Achievement



Nature of the Work

Personal Growth and Advancement

Motivators or Growth Factors

Hygiene or Maintenance
Factors (Herzberg)
• These are the factors, which if
absent, cause dissatisfaction.
• They are related to the job context
and concerned with the job
• They serve to prevent dissatisfaction.
• They act as a ‘platform’ upon with
the satisfaction factors can be built.
Motivators or Growth
Factors (Herzberg)
• These factors, if present, serve to
motivate the individual to superior
effort and performance.
• These factors are related to the job
content of the work itself.
• The strength of these factors will
affect feelings of satisfaction or no
satisfaction, but not dissatisfaction.
McClellands Achievement
Motivation Theory
• McClelland identified different
motivational categories of people and
if you could identify which category a
person fell into it would help
establish which patterns of
motivation would lead to effective
performance and success at work.
McClellands Achievement
Motivation Theory
• Three motives
identified by

➊ Need for
➋ Need for Power
➌ Need for Affiliation
1. Need for Achievement
• The need for achievement is the
desire to consistently want
challenging tasks demanding
responsibility and application.
• McClelland sees this need as the
most critical for the organisations
growth and success.
• This need is linked to entrepreneurial
spirit and the development of
available resources.
2. Need for Power
• The need for power is directed to the
manager working for an organisation
that is concerned with group goals and
the power is exercised on behalf of
other people, this is ‘socialised’ power
and should be distinguished from
‘personalised’ power which is
characterised by satisfaction from
exercising dominance over other
3. Need for Affiliation
• This is the need for good social and
personal relations with people.
• It is related to Maslow’ social needs -
the need to belong.
• If an individual does not experience
any sense of belonging within the
organisation they will not be
motivated to perform well. .
McGregor’s Theory X,
Theory Y
• McGregor put forward two
suppositions about human nature
and behaviour at work.
• He argues that the style of
management adopted is a function of
the managers attitudes towards
people and assumptions about
human nature and behaviour.
Theory X (McGregor)
• Theory X represents the assumptions
on which traditional organisations
are based, and was widely accepted
and practiced before the
development of the human relations
• The central principle is direction and
control through a centralised system
of organisation and the exercise of
Theory X Assumptions
• The average person is lazy and has an
inherent dislike of work.
• Most people must be coerced, controlled,
directed and threatened with punishment
if the organisation is to achieve its
• The average person avoids responsibility,
prefers to be directed, lacks ambition and
values security most of all.
• Motivation occurs only at the physiological
and security levels.
Theory Y (McGregor)
• Theory Y represents the assumptions
consistent with current research
• The central principle is the
integration of the individual and
organisation goals.
• It is recognised as the best way to
elicit co-operation from workers.
Theory Y Assumptions
• For most people work is as natural as
play or rest.
• People will exercise self-direction and
self-control in the service of
objectives to which they are
• Commitment to objectives is a
function of rewards associated with
their achievement.
Theory Y Assumptions cont.
• Given the right conditions the
average worker can learn to accept
and to seek responsibility.
• The capacity for creativity in solving
organisational problems is
• The intellectual potential of the
average person is only partially
• Motivation occurs at all of Maslow’s
Expectancy Theory
• Vroom’s expectancy theory(1964)
maintains that employees behave in
ways they expect will produce
positive outcomes.
• The model suggest that the persons
level of effort or force (motivation) is
not simply a function of rewards.
• It is a measure of the strength of a
particular outcome has for the
Expectancy Theory
• Vroom’s expectancy theory is:
– F = Sum (E * V) where,
• F = Force - the motivation or the force used
to achieve it.
• E = Expectancy - the possibility of achieving
a certain outcome through certain actions.
• V = Valency - the preference an individual
has for a particular outcome, the worth
placed on a particular result.
Expectancy Theory
• Porter and Lawler (1968) develop
Vroom’s expectancy theory by
suggesting that there are two factors
determining the effort people put
into their jobs.
– The value of the reward to individuals in
so far as they satisfy their need for
security, social esteem, autonomy and
Expectancy Theory
– The probability that reward depends on
effort, as perceived by individuals - in
other words their expectations of the
relationship between effort and reward.
• Thus the greater the value of a set
of rewards and the higher the
probability that receiving each of
these rewards depends upon effort,
the greater the effort that will be
made in a given situation.
Adams Equity Theory
• Equity theory focuses on peoples
feelings of how fairly they feel they
have been treated in comparison
with the treatment received by
• It is based on exchange theory.
• People expect certain outcomes in
exchange for certain inputs or
Adams Equity Theory
• Adams states that people will be
better motivated if they are treated
• The exchange variables are:
– Inputs - what the individual brings to
their employment in terms of effort,
experience and skills.
– Outcomes - the range of factors the
employee receives in return for their
inputs i.e. all the financial and non-
financial rewards.