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Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Alderfers ERG Theory Herzbergs Two Factor Theory McClellands Learned Needs Theory


Expectancy Theory Equity Theory/ Social Comparison Goal Setting Theory

III. REINFORCEMENT THEORY (How Rewards & Reinforcements Sustain Motivation Over Time)

Need Approaches
The basis of Maslow's motivation theory is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower factors need to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied. According to Maslow, there are general types of needs (physiological, survival, safety, love, and esteem) that must be satisfied before a person can act unselfishly. He called these needs "deficiency needs." As long as we are motivated to satisfy these cravings, we are moving towards growth, toward self-actualization. Satisfying needs is healthy, while preventing gratification makes us sick or act evilly. As a result, for adequate workplace motivation, it is important that leadership understands the needs active for individual employee motivation. In this manner, Maslow's model indicates that fundamental, lower-order needs like safety and physiological requirements have to be satisfied in order to pursue higher-level motivators along the lines of self-fulfillment. As depicted in the following hierarchical diagram, sometimes called 'Maslow's Needs Pyramid' or 'Maslow's Needs Triangle', after a need is satisfied, it stops acting as a motivator and the next need one rank higher starts to motivate as it attain psychological precedence.

Self-actualization is the summit of Maslow's motivation theory. It is about the quest of reaching one's full potential as a person. Unlike lower level needs, this need is never fully satisfied; as one grows psychologically there are always new opportunities to continue to grow. Self-actualized people tend to have motivators such as:

Truth Justice Wisdom Meaning

Self-actualized persons have frequent occurrences of peak experiences, which are energized moments of profound happiness and harmony. According to Maslow, only a small percentage of the population reaches the level of self-actualization.

Esteem Needs after a person feels that they "belong"; the urge to attain a degree of importance emerges. Esteem needs can be categorized as external motivators and internal motivators. Internally motivating esteem needs are those such as self-esteem, accomplishment, and selfrespect. External esteem needs are those such as reputation and recognition. Some examples of esteem needs are:

Recognition (external motivator) Attention (external motivator) Social Status (external motivator) Accomplishment (internal motivator) Self-respect (internal motivator)

Maslow later improved his model to add a layer in between self-actualization and esteem needs: the need for aesthetics and knowledge. Social Needs once a person has met the lower level physiological and safety needs, higher level motivators awaken. The first levels of higher level needs are social needs. Social needs are those related to interaction with others and may include:

Friendship Belonging to a group Giving and receiving love

Safety Needs once physiological needs are met, one's attention turns to safety and security in order to be free from the threat of physical and emotional harm. Such needs might be fulfilled by:

Living in a safe area Medical insurance Job security Financial reserves

According to the Maslow hierarchy, if a person feels threatened, the need to go further up the pyramid will not receive attention until that need has been resolved. Physiological Needs Physiological needs are those required to sustain life, such as:

Air Water Food Sleep

According to this theory, if these fundamental needs are not satisfied, then one will surely be motivated to satisfy them. Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not recognized until one satisfies the needs basic to existence. Maslow's Theory - Limitations and Criticism Though Maslow's hierarchy makes sense intuitively, little evidence supports its strict hierarchy. Actually, recent research challenges the order that the needs are imposed by Maslow's pyramid. As an example, in some cultures, social needs are placed more fundamentally than any others. Further, Maslow's hierarchy fails to explain the "starving artist" scenario, in which the aesthetic neglects their physical needs to pursuit of aesthetic or spiritual goals. Additionally, little evidence suggests that people satisfy exclusively one motivating need at a time, other than situations where needs conflict. While scientific support fails to reinforce Maslow's hierarchy, his theory is very popular, being the introductory motivation theory for many students and managers, worldwide. To handle a number of the issues of present in the Needs Hierarchy, Clayton Alderfer devised the ERG theory, a consistent needs-based model that aligns more accurately with scientific research.


Focuses on three main categories of human needs which include existence, relatedness, and growth. ERG theory represents a reclassification of Maslow's need hierarchy into three levels of needs. Alderfer also developed a regression hypothesis that suggests that individuals will focus on lower level needs when higher level needs are unattainable.

. Clayton Alderfer extended and simplified Maslow's Hierarchy into a shorter set of three needs: Existence, Relatedness and Growth (hence 'ERG'). Unlike Maslow, he did not see these as being a hierarchy, but being more of a continuum. Existence. At the lowest level is the need to stay alive and safe, now and in the foreseeable future. When we have satisfied existence needs, we feel safe and physically comfortable. This includes Maslow's Physiological and Safety needs. Relatedness. At the next level, once we are safe and secure, we consider our social needs. We are now interested in relationships with other people and what they think of us. When we are related, we feel a sense of identity and position within our immediate society. This encompasses Maslow's Love/belonging and Esteem needs. Growth. At the highest level, we seek to grow, be creative for ourselves and for our environment. When we are successfully growing, we feel a sense of wholeness, achievement and fulfillment. This covers Maslow's Self-actualization and Transcendence. So what? Using it. Find the relative state of the other person's needs for each of existence, relatedness and growth. Find ways of either threatening or helping to satisfy the needs. Defending. Know how well your own needs in this model are met, and what would threaten or improve them. Be careful when other people do things that threaten or promise to improve them.


Frederick Herzberg clinical psychologist and pioneer of 'job enrichment', is regarded as one of the great original thinkers in management and motivational theory. Frederick I Herzberg was born in Massachusetts on April 18, 1923. His undergraduate work was at the City College of New York, followed by graduate degrees at the University of Pittsburgh. Herzberg was later Professor of Management at Case Western Reserve University, where he established the Department of Industrial Mental Health. He moved to the University of Utah's College of Business in 1972, where he was also Professor of Management. He died at Salt Lake City, January 18, 2000. Frederick Herzberg's book 'The Motivation to Work', written with research colleagues Bernard Mausner and Barbara Bloch Snyderman in 1959, first established his theories about motivation in the workplace. Herzberg's survey work, originally on 200 Pittsburgh engineers and accountants remains a fundamentally important reference in motivational study. While the study involved only 200 people, Herzberg's considerable preparatory investigations, and the design of the research itself, enabled Herzberg and his colleagues to gather and analyze an extremely sophisticated level of data. Herzberg's research used a pioneering approach, based on open questioning and very few assumptions, to gather and analyze details of 'critical incidents' as recalled by the survey respondents. He first used this methodology during his doctoral studies at the University of Pittsburgh with John Flanagan (later Director at the American Institute for Research), who

developed the Critical Incident method in the selection of Army Air Corps personnel during the Second World War. Herzberg's clever open interviewing method gleaned far more meaningful results than the conventional practice of asking closed (basically yes/no) or multiple-choice or extent-based questions, which assume or prompt a particular type of response, and which incidentally remain the most popular and convenient style of surveying even today - especially among those having a particular agenda or publicity aim. Herzberg also prepared intensively prior to his 1959 study - not least by scrutinizing and comparing the results and methodologies of all 155 previous research studies into job attitudes carried out between 1920 and 1954. The level of preparation, plus the 'critical incident' aspect and the depth of care and analysis during the 1959 project, helped make Herzberg's study such a powerful and sophisticated piece of work. Herzberg expanded his motivation-hygiene theory in his subsequent books: Work and the Nature of Man (1966); The Managerial Choice (1982); and Herzberg on Motivation (1983). Significantly, Herzberg commented in 1984, twenty-five years after his theory was first published: "The original study has produced more replications than any other research in the history of industrial and organizational psychology." (Source: Institute for Scientific Information) The absence of any serious challenge to Herzberg's theory continues effectively to validate it.

Herzberg's main theory and its significance Herzberg was the first to show that satisfaction and dissatisfaction at work nearly always arose from different factors, and were not simply opposing reactions to the same factors, as had always previously been (and still now by the unenlightened) believed. In 1959 Herzberg wrote the following useful little phrase, which helps explain this fundamental part of his theory, i.e., that the factors which motivate people at work are different to and not simply the opposite of the factors which cause dissatisfaction: "We can expand ... by stating that the job satisfiers deal with the factors involved in doing the job, whereas the job dissatisfies deal with the factors which define the job context." Herzberg's central theory is very relevant to modern understanding employer/employee relationships, mutual understanding and alignment within the Psychological Contact.

referred to these opposing motivational methods as Theory X and Theory Y management.

Theory X Management
According to McGregor, Theory X leadership assumes the following:

Work is inherently distasteful to most people, and they will attempt to avoid work whenever possible. Most people are not ambitious, have little desire for responsibility, and prefer to be directed. Most people have little aptitude for creativity in solving organizational problems. Motivation occurs only at the physiological and security levels of Maslow's Needs Hierarchy. Most people are self-centered. As a result, they must be closely controlled and often coerced to achieve organizational objectives Most people resist change. Most people are gullible and unintelligent.

Essentially, theory x assumes that the primary source of most employee motivation is monetary, with security as a strong second.

The Hard Approach and Soft Approach

Under Theory X, management approaches to motivation range from a hard approach to a soft approach. The hard approach to motivation relies on coercion, implicit threats, micromanagement, and tight controls -- essentially an environment of command and control. The soft approach, however, is to be permissive and seek harmony in the hopes that, in return, employees will cooperate when asked. However, neither of these extremes is optimal. The hard approach results in hostility, purposely low-output, and extreme union demands. The soft approach results in increasing desire for greater reward in exchange for diminishing work output. It would appear that the optimal approach to human resource management would be lie somewhere between these extremes. However, McGregor asserts that neither approach is appropriate since the foundations of theory x are incorrect.

The Problem with X Theory

Drawing on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, McGregor argues that a need, once satisfied, no longer motivates. The company relies on monetary rewards and benefits to satisfy employees' lower level needs. Once those needs have been satisfied, the motivation is gone. This management style, in fact, hinders the satisfaction of higher-level needs. Consequently, the only way that employees can attempt to satisfy higher level needs at work is to seek more compensation, so it is quite predictable that they will focus on monetary rewards. While money may not be the most effective way to self-fulfillment, it may be the only way available. People will use work to satisfy their lower needs, and seek to satisfy their higher needs during their leisure time. Unfortunately, employees can be most productive when their work goals align with their higher level needs. McGregor makes the point that a command and control environment is not effective because it relies on lower needs for motivation, but in modern society those needs are mostly satisfied and thus no longer motivate. In this situation, one would expect employees to dislike their work, avoid responsibility, have no interest in organizational goals, resist change, etc., thus creating a self-fulfilling prophecy. To McGregor, motivation seemed more likely with the Theory Y model.

Theory Y
The higher-level needs of esteem and self-actualization are continuing needs in that they are never completely satisfied. As such, it is these higher-level needs through which employees can best be motivated. In strong contrast to Theory X, Theory Y leadership makes the following general assumptions:

Work can be as natural as play if the conditions are favorable. People will be self-directed and creative to meet their work and organizational objectives if they are committed to them. People will be committed to their quality and productivity objectives if rewards are in place that address higher needs such as self-fulfillment. The capacity for creativity spreads throughout organizations. Most people can handle responsibility because creativity and ingenuity are common in the population. Under these conditions, people will seek responsibility.

Under these assumptions, there is an opportunity to align personal goals with organizational goals by using the employee's own need for fulfillment as the motivator. McGregor stressed that Theory Y management does not imply a soft approach. McGregor recognized that some people may not have reached the level of maturity assumed by Theory Y and therefore may need tighter controls that can be relaxed as the employee develops.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Expectancy Theory proposes that a person will decide to behave or act in a certain way because they are motivated to select a specific behavior over other behaviors due to what they expect the result of that selected behavior will be. In essence, the motivation of the behavior selection is determined by the desirability of the outcome. However, at the core of the theory is the cognitive process of how an individual processes the different motivational elements. This is done before making the ultimate choice. The outcome is not the sole determining factor in making the decision of how to behave. Expectancy theory is about the mental processes regarding choice, or choosing. It explains the processes that an individual undergoes to make choices. In the study of organizational behavior, expectancy theory is a motivation theory first proposed by Victor Vroom of the Yale School of Management. "This theory emphasizes the needs for organizations to relate rewards directly to performance and to ensure that the rewards provided are those rewards deserved and wanted by the recipients." Victor H. Vroom (1964) defines motivation as a process governing choices among alternative forms of voluntary activities, a process controlled by the individual. The individual makes choices based on estimates of how well the expected results of a given behavior are going to match up with or eventually lead to the desired results. Motivation is a product of the individuals expectancy that a certain effort will lead to the intended performance, the instrumentality of this performance to achieving a certain result, and the desirability of this result for the individual, known as valence. (S.E. Condrey, 2005, p. 482)

Theory Developer

In 1964, Victor H. Vroom developed the Expectancy theory through his study of the motivations behind decision making. He wanted to better understand why people chose to behave in a certain way. Vrooms theory is relevant to the study of management and has become even more important as managers try to gain a better understanding of what motivates their employees to behave in certain ways. Vroom has written nine books, however his book Work and Motivation (1964) is regarded as a breakthrough in the study of leadership and decision making within organizations. Currently, Vroom is a John G. Searle Professor of Organization and Management at the Yale University School of Management.

Key Elements
The Expectancy Theory of Motivation explains the behavioral process of why individuals choose one behavioral option over another. It also explains how they make decisions to achieve the end they value. Vroom introduces three variables within the expectancy theory which are valence (V), expectancy (E) and instrumentality (I). The three elements are important behind choosing one element over another because they are clearly defined: effort-performance expectancy (E>P expectancy), performance-outcome expectancy (P>O expectancy). Three components of Expectancy theory: Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence 1. 2. Expectancy: Instrumentality: Effort Performance Performance Outcome (EP) (PO)

3. Valence- V(R)

According to the equity theory, how much people are willing to contribute to an organization depends on their assessment of the fairness, or equity, of the rewards they will receive in exchange. In a fair situation, a person receives rewards proportional to the contribution he or she makes to the organization. However, in practice, equity is subjective notion. Each worker regularly develops a personal input-output ratio by taking stock of his or her contribution (inputs) to the organization in time, effort, skills, and experience and assessing rewards (outputs) offered by the organization in pay, benefits, recognition, and promotions. The

worker compares his or her ratio to the input-output ratio of some other person- a "comparison other," who may be a co-worker, a friend working in another organization, or an "average" of several people working in the organization. If the two ratios are close, the individual will feel that he or she is being treated equitably.

Consider a woman who has a high-school education and earns $20,000 a year. When she compares her input-output ratio to that of a co-worker who has a college degree and makes $30,000, she will probably feel that she is being paid fairly. However, is she perceives that her personal input-output ratio is lower than that of the college graduate, she will probably feel that she is being treated unfairly and will be motivated to seek change.

Further, if she learns that the co-worker who earns $30,000 has only a high-school diploma, she may believe she is being cheated by the organization. To achieve equity, the woman could try to increase her outputs by asking for a raise or promotion. She could also try to have the inputs of the "comparison other" increased or the outputs of the "comparison other" decreased. Failing to achieve equity, the woman may decide to leave the organization.

Because almost all the issues involved in equity theory are subjective, they can be problematic. Managers should try to avoid equity problems by ensuring that rewards are distributed on the basis of performance and that all employees clearly understand the basis for their pay and benefits.

Different types of goals motivate us differently, Description. In order to direct ourselves we set ourselves goals that are: Clear (not vague) and understandable, so we know what to do and what not to do. Challenging, so we will be stimulated and not be bored. Achievable, so we are unlikely to fail. If other people set us goals without our involvement, then we are much less likely to be motivated to work hard at it than if we feel we have set or directed the goal ourselves. Feedback. When we are working in the task, we need feedback so we can determine whether we are succeeding or whether we need to change direction. We find feedback (if it is

sympathetically done) very encouraging and motivating. This includes feedback from ourselves. Negative self-talk is just as demotivating as negative comments from other people. Directional and accuracy goals. Depending on the type of goal we have, we will go about achieving it differently. A directional goal is one where we are motivated to arrive at a particular conclusion. We will thus narrow our thinking, selecting beliefs, etc. that support the conclusion. The lack of deliberation also tends to make us more optimistic about achieving the goal. An accuracy goal is one where we are motivated to arrive at the most accurate possible conclusion. These occur when the cost of being inaccurate is high. Unsurprisingly, people invest more effort in achieving accuracy goals, as any deviation costs, and a large deviation may well more. Their deliberation also makes them realize that there is a real chance that they will not achieve their goal. When we have an accuracy goal we do not get to a 'good enough' point and stop thinking about it--we continue to search for improvements. Both methods work by influencing our choice of beliefs and decision-making rules. Research. Tetlock and Kim motivated people to use accuracy goals by giving them a task and telling them they would have to explain their thinking. The people wrote more cognitively complex responses than the control group. So what? Using it. If you want someone to deliberately think about what they are doing, give them an accuracy goal. Defending. Choose your own goals. Notice the difference between when you are diving into action and when you are carefully thinking.

Reinforcement theory is the process of shaping behavior by controlling the consequences of the behavior. In reinforcement theory a combination of rewards and/or punishments is used to reinforce desired behavior or extinguish unwanted behavior. Any behavior that elicits a consequence is called operant behavior, because the individual operates on his or her environment. Reinforcement theory concentrates on the relationship between the operant behavior and the associated consequences, and is sometimes referred to as operant conditioning. BACKGROUND AND DEVELOPMENT OF REINFORCEMENT THEORY Behavioral theories of learning and motivation focus on the effect that the consequences of past behavior have on future behavior. This is in contrast to classical conditioning, which focuses on responses that are triggered by stimuli in an almost automatic fashion. Reinforcement theory suggests that individuals can choose from several responses to a given stimulus, and that

individuals will generally select the response that has been associated with positive outcomes in the past. E.L. Thorndike articulated this idea in 1911, in what has come to be known as the law of effect. The law of effect basically states that, all other things being equal, responses to stimuli that are followed by satisfaction will be strengthened, but responses that are followed by discomfort will be weakened. B.F. Skinner was a key contributor to the development of modern ideas about reinforcement theory. Skinner argued that the internal needs and drives of individuals can be ignored because people learn to exhibit certain behaviors based on what happens to them as a result of their behavior. This school of thought has been termed the behaviorist, or radical behaviorist, school. REINFORCEMENT, PUNISHMENT, AND EXTINCTION The most important principle of reinforcement theory is, of course, reinforcement. Generally speaking, there are two types of reinforcement: positive and negative. Positive reinforcement results when the occurrence of a valued behavioral consequence has the effect of strengthening the probability of the behavior being repeated. The specific behavioral consequence is called a reinforcer. An example of positive reinforcement might be a salesperson that exerts extra effort to meet a sales quota (behavior) and is then rewarded with a bonus (positive reinforcer). The administration of the positive reinforcer should make it more likely that the salesperson will continue to exert the necessary effort in the future. Negative reinforcement results when an undesirable behavioral consequence is withheld, with the effect of strengthening the probability of the behavior being repeated. Negative reinforcement is often confused with punishment, but they are not the same. Punishment attempts to decrease the probability of specific behaviors; negative reinforcement attempts to increase desired behavior. Thus, both positive and negative reinforcement have the effect of increasing the probability that a particular behavior will be learned and repeated. An example of negative reinforcement might be a salesperson that exerts effort to increase sales in his or her sales territory (behavior), which is followed by a decision not to reassign the salesperson to an undesirable sales route (negative reinforcer). The administration of the negative reinforcer should make it more likely that the salesperson will continue to exert the necessary effort in the future.

As mentioned above, punishment attempts to decrease the probability of specific behaviors being exhibited. Punishment is the administration of an undesirable behavioral consequence in order to reduce the occurrence of the unwanted behavior. Punishment is one of the more commonly used reinforcement-theory strategies, but many learning experts suggest that it should be used only if positive and negative reinforcement cannot be used or have previously failed, because of the potentially negative side effects of punishment. An example of punishment might be demoting an employee who does not meet performance goals or suspending an employee without pay for violating work rules. Extinction is similar to punishment in that its purpose is to reduce unwanted behavior. The process of extinction begins when a valued behavioral consequence is withheld in order to decrease the probability that a learned behavior will continue. Over time, this is likely to result in the ceasing of that behavior. Extinction may alternately serve to reduce a wanted behavior, such as when a positive reinforcer is no longer offered when a desirable behavior occurs. For example, if an employee is continually praised for the promptness in which he completes his work for several months, but receives no praise in subsequent months for such behavior, his desirable behaviors may diminish. Thus, to avoid unwanted extinction, managers may have to continue to offer positive behavioral consequences. REINFORCEMENT THEORY APPLIED TO ORGANIZATIONAL SETTINGS Probably the best-known application of the principles of reinforcement theory to organizational settings is called behavioral modification, or behavioral contingency management. Typically, a behavioral modification program consists of four steps: 1. Specifying the desired behavior as objectively as possible. 2. Measuring the current incidence of desired behavior. 3. Providing behavioral consequences that reinforce desired behavior. 4. Determining the effectiveness of the program by systematically assessing behavioral change. Reinforcement theory is an important explanation of how people learn behavior. It is often applied to organizational settings in the context of a behavioral modification program. Although

the assumptions of reinforcement theory are often criticized, its principles continue to offer important insights into individual learning and motivation.