You are on page 1of 50




( BBS- 1D)
Motivation refers to the processes that account for an individual's
intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal.No
matter what the source, motivation is an important factor to drive once
life through every challenge and stumbling block there by contributing
to the success.

A number of psychologists and other experts in the field have

contributed towards bringing about various theories with regards to
motivation. There is no single motivation theory that can stand out and
be revealed as the only one.

In this project, we have tried to explain certain Need-based theories

and Task-based theories and how to contribute to personal as well as
the organisational success.
• Introduction

• Preface

• Motivation

• Motivational theories

• Need-based theories

• Need hierarchy theory

• ERG theory

• Theory X and theory Y

• Two factor theory

• Mc Clelland’s theory

• Cognitive evaluation theory

• Task-based theories

• Task characteristics theories

• Job characteristics model

• Requisite tash attributes theory

• Social information processing model

• Goal-setting theory

• Reinforcement theory

• Equity theory

• Expectancy theory

• Porter lawler model of motivation

• Motivation contributes to personal success

• Conclusion
Motivation is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior.
Motivation is said to be intrinsic or extrinsic. According to various
theories, motivation may be rooted in the basic need to minimize
physical pain and maximize pleasure, or it may include specific needs
such as eating and resting, or a desired object, hobby, goal, state of
being, ideal, or it may be attributed to less-apparent reasons such
as altruism, selfishness, morality, or avoiding mortality.

Intrinsic Motivation-
Intrinsic motivation comes from rewards inherent to a task or activity
itself - the enjoyment of a puzzle or the love of playing. This form of
motivation has been studied by social and educational psychologists
since the early 1970s. Research has found that it is usually associated
with high educational achievement and enjoyment by students.
Intrinsic motivation has been explained by Fritz Heider's attribution
theory, Bandura's work on self-efficacy, and Ryan and Deci's cognitive
evaluation theory. Students are likely to be intrinsically motivated if

 attribute their educational results to internal factors that they can

control (e.g. the amount of effort they put in),
 believe they can be effective agents in reaching desired goals
(i.e. the results are not determined by luck),
 are interested in mastering a topic, rather than just rote-learning
to achieve good grades.

Extrinsic Motivation-
Extrinsic motivation comes from outside of the performer. Money is the
most obvious example, but coercion and threat of punishment are also
common extrinsic motivations.
While competing, the crowd may cheer on the performer, which may
motivate him or her to do well. Trophies are also extrinsic incentives.
Competition is in general extrinsic because it encourages the performer
to win and beat others, not to enjoy the intrinsic rewards of the activity.
Social psychological research has indicated that extrinsic rewards can
lead to overjustification and a subsequent reduction in intrinsic
motivation. In one study demonstrating this effect, children who
expected to be (and were) rewarded with a ribbon and a gold star for
drawing pictures spent less time playing with the drawing materials in
subsequent observations than children who were assigned to an
unexpected reward condition and to children who received no extrinsic


Need Hierarchy Theory

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology, proposed
by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation.
Maslow subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of
humans' innate curiosity.

Physiological Needs

For the most part, physiological needs are obvious—they

are the literal requirements for human survival. If these
requirements are not met (with the exception
of clothing and shelter), the human body simply cannot
continue to function.

Physiological needs include:



Sexual activity


Air, water, and food are metabolic requirements for

survival in all animals, including humans. The intensity
of the human sexual instinct is shaped more by sexual
competition than maintaining a birth rate adequate to
survival of the species.

The urge to have sex is so powerful that it can drain

psychic energy away from other necessary goals.
Therefore every culture has to invest great efforts in
rechanneling and restraining it, and many complex
social institutions exist only in order to regulate this
urge. The saying that "love makes the world go round"
is a polite reference to the fact that most of our deeds
are impelled, either directly or indirectly, by sexual

Safety Needs

With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the

individual's safety needs take precedence and dominate
behavior. These needs have to do with people's
yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which
injustice and inconsistency are under control, the
familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world
of work, these safety needs manifest themselves in such
things as a preference for job security , grievance
procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral
authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, and the

For most of human history many individuals have found

their safety needs unmet, but as of 2009 "First World"
societies provide most with their satisfaction, although
the poor—both those who are poor as a class and those
who are temporarily poor (university students would be
an example)—must often still address these needs.

Safety and Security needs include:

Personal security
Financial security

Health and well-being

Safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse


Love And Belonging

After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third

layer of human needs are social and involve feelings
of belongingness . This aspect of Maslow's hierarchy
involves emotionally-based relationships in general,
such as:




Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance,

whether it comes from a large social group, such as
clubs, office culture, religious groups , professional
organizations, sports teams, gangs ("Safety in
numbers "), or small social connections (family members,
intimate partners, mentors, close colleagues,
confidants). They need to love and be loved (sexually
and non-sexually) by others. In the absence of these
elements, many people become susceptible
to loneliness , social anxiety , and clinical depression .
This need for belonging can often overcome the
physiological and security needs, depending on the
strength of the peer pressure; an anorexic, for example,
may ignore the need to eat and the security of health
for a feeling of control and belonging.

All humans have a need to be respected and to have self-

esteem and self-respect. Also known as the belonging
need, esteem presents the normal human desire to be
accepted and valued by others. People need to engage
themselves to gain recognition and have an activity or
activities that give the person a sense of contribution,
to feel accepted and self-valued, be it in a profession or
hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-
esteem or an inferiority complex . People with low self-
esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame
or glory, which again depends on others. Note, however,
that many people with low self-esteem will not be able
to improve their view of themselves simply by receiving
fame, respect, and glory externally, but must first
accept themselves internally. Psychological imbalances
such asdepression can also prevent one from obtaining
self-esteem on both levels.

Most people have a need for a stable self-respect and self-

esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a
lower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need
for the respect of others, the need for status,
recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The higher
one is the need for self-respect, the need for strength,
competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence
and freedom. The latter one ranks higher because it
rests more on inner competence won through
experience. Deprivation of these needs can lead to an
inferiority complex, weakness and helplessness.

Maslow stresses the dangers associated with self-esteem

based on fame and outer recognition instead of inner
competence. He sees healthy self-respect as based on
earned respect.

“What a man can be, he must be”. This forms the basis of
the perceived need for self-actualization. This level of
need pertains to what a person's full potential is and
realizing that potential. Maslow describes this desire as
the desire to become more and more what one is, to
become everything that one is capable of becoming.
This is a broad definition of the need for self-
actualization, but when applied to individuals the need
is specific. For example one individual may have the
strong desire to become an ideal parent, in another it
may be expressed athletically, and in another it may be
expressed in painting, pictures, or inventions. As
mentioned before, in order to reach a clear
understanding of this level of need one must first not
only achieve the previous needs, physiological, safety,
love, and esteem, but master these needs.

As each of these needs are substantially satisfied, the next

need becomes dominant. From the standpoint of
motivation, the theory would say that although no need
is ever fully gratified, a substantially satisfied need no
longer motivates. So if you want to motivate someone,
you need to understand what level of the hierarchy that
person is on and focus on satisfying those needs or
needs above that level.
Maslow’s need theory has received wide recognition,
particularly among practicing managers. This can be
attributed to the theory’s intuitive logic and ease of
understanding. However, research does not validate
these theory. Maslow provided no empirical evidence
and other several studies that sought to validate the
theory found no support for it.

ERG Theory

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.


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.


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.


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 fulfilment. This covers Maslow's Self-
actualization and Transcendence.

The major conclusions of this theory are :

In an individual, more than one need may be operative at

the same time.

If a higher need goes unsatisfied than the desire to satisfy

a lower need intensifies.

It also contains the frustration-regression dimension.

Theory X and theory Y

McGregor, in his book “The Human side of Enterprise”

states that people inside the organization can be
managed in two ways. The first is basically negative,
which falls under the category X and the other is
basically positive, which falls under the category Y.
After viewing the way in which the manager dealt with
employees, McGregor concluded that a manager’s view
of the nature of human beings is based on a certain
grouping of assumptions and that he or she tends to
mold his or her behavior towards subordinates
according to these assumptions.

Under the assumptions of theory X :

Employees inherently do not like work and whenever

possible, will attempt to avoid it.

Because employees dislike work, they have to be forced,

coerced or threatened with punishment to achieve

Employees avoid responsibilities and do not work fill

formal directions are issued.

Most workers place a greater importance on security over

all other factors and display little ambition.

In contrast under the assumptions of theory Y :

Physical and mental effort at work is as natural as rest or


People do exercise self-control and self-direction and if

they are committed to those goals.

Average human beings are willing to take responsibility

and exercise imagination, ingenuity and creativity in
solving the problems of the organization.

That the way the things are organized, the average human
being’s brainpower is only partly used.

On analysis of the assumptions it can be detected that

theory X assumes that lower-order needs dominate
individuals and theory Y assumes that higher-order
needs dominate individuals. An organization that is run
on Theory X lines tends to be authoritarian in nature,
the word “authoritarian” suggests such ideas as the
“power to enforce obedience” and the “right to
command.” In contrast Theory Y organizations can be
described as “participative”, where the aims of the
organization and of the individuals in it are integrated;
individuals can achieve their own goals best by
directing their efforts towards the success of the

However, this theory has been criticized widely for

generalization of work and human behavior.

Two-Factor Theory

The two-factor theory (also known as Herzberg's

motivation-hygiene theory) was developed by Frederick
Herzberg , a psychologist who found that job satisfaction
and job dissatisfaction acted independently of each
other. The theory states that there are certain factors in
theworkplace that cause job satisfaction , while a
separate set of factors cause dissatisfaction.

Two-factor theory distinguishes between:

Motivators (e.g. challenging work, recognition,

responsibility) which give positive satisfaction, arising
from intrinsic conditions of the job itself, such as
recognition, achievement, or personal growth, and

Hygiene factors (e.g. status, job security , salary and fringe

benefits) which do not give positive satisfaction,
although dissatisfaction results from their absence.
These are extrinsic to the work itself, and include
aspects such as company policies, supervisory
practices, or wages/salary.
Essentially, hygiene factors are needed to ensure an
employee is not dissatisfied. Motivation factors are
needed in order to motivate an employee to higher
performance, Herzberg also further classified our
actions and how and why we do them, for example, if
you perform a work related action because you have to
then that is classed as movement, but if you perform a
work related action because you want to then that is
classed as motivation.

Factors Leading to satisfaction



Work itself




Factors Leading to dissatisfaction

Company policy


Relationship with boss

Work conditions

Relationship with peers


Implication For Management

If the motivation-hygiene theory holds, management not

only must provide hygiene factors to avoid employee
dissatisfaction, but also must provide factors intrinsic
to the work itself in order for employees to be satisfied
with their jobs.

Herzberg argued that job enrichment is required for

intrinsic motivation, and that it is a continuous
management process.

According to Herzberg:

The job should have sufficient challenge to utilize the full

ability of the employee.

Employees who demonstrate increasing levels of ability

should be given increasing levels of responsibility.

If a job cannot be designed to use an employee's full

abilities, then the firm should consider automating the
task or replacing the employee with one who has a
lower level of skill. If a person cannot be fully utilized,
then there will be a motivation problem.

Critics of Herzberg's theory argue that the two-factor

result is observed because it is natural for people to
take credit for satisfaction and to blame dissatisfaction
on external factors. Furthermore, job satisfaction does
not necessarily imply a high level of motivation or

Herzberg's theory has been broadly read and despite its

weaknesses its enduring value is that it recognizes that
true motivation comes from within a person and not
from KITA factors.(French, 2008)

Mc Clelland

David McClelland has developed a theory on three types of

motivating needs :
Need for Achievement

Need for Affiliation

Need for Power

Need for Achievement

Need for Achievement (N-Ach) refers to an individual's

desire for significant accomplishment, mastering of
skills, control, or high standards. The term was
introduced by the psychologist, David McClelland .

Need for Achievement is related to the difficulty of tasks

people choose to undertake. Those with low N-Ach may
choose very easy tasks, in order to minimise risk of
failure, or highly difficult tasks, such that a failure
would not be embarrassing. Those with high N-Ach tend
to choose moderately difficult tasks, feeling that they
are challenging, but within reach.

People high in N-Ach are characterised by a tendency to

seek challenges and a high degree of independence.
Their most satisfying reward is the recognition of their
achievements. Sources of high N-Ach include:

Parents who encouraged independence in childhood

Praise and rewards for success

Association of achievement with positive feelings

Association of achievement with one's own competence

and effort, not luck
A desire to be effective or challenged

Intrapersonal Strength

Need for Affiliation

The Need for Affiliation (N-Affil) is a term that was

popularised by David McClelland and describes a
person's need to feel a sense of involvement and
'belonging' within a social

group. However, it should be recognised that McClellend's

thinking was strongly influenced by the pioneering work
of Henry Murray who first identified underlying
psychological human needs and motivational processes
(1938). It was Murray who set out a taxonomy of needs,
including Achievement, Power and Affiliation - and
placed these in the context of an integrated
motivational model. People with a high need for
affiliation require warm interpersonal relationships and
approval from those with whom they have regular
contact. People who place high emphasis on affiliation
tend to be supportive team members, but may be less
effective in leadership positions.

Affiliation can be defined as a positive, sometimes

intimate, personal relationship.

There are many situations in which people feel a need for

affiliation. One situation that causes a greater need for
affiliation is during a stressful situation. An example
where there was an increase in the need for affiliation
among individuals was right after the terrorist attack on
the World Trade Center . This event led to Americans
putting their differences aside and coming together.
The increase in an individual's need for affiliation
allowed individual's responding to the same stressor to
come together and find security in one another.
Situations that include fear often lead people to want to
be together and trigger a need for affiliation. Research
done by Schacter (1959) shows that fear that comes
from anxiety increases the need for the person to
affiliate with others who are going through the same
situation or that could help them through the stressful
event. The strength of this need changes from one
person to the next, there are moments that people just
want to be together.

The need for affiliation for an individual can vary over

short amounts of time, here are times when individuals
wish to be with others and other times to be alone. In
one study, completed by Shawn O'Connor and Larne
Rosenblood, beepers were distributed to the students.
The students were then asked to record, when their
beepers went off, whether or not they wanted to be
alone or if they wanted to be with others, at that
particular moment. This study was done to observe how
frequently college students were in the presence of
others and how frequently they were alone. The next
step in this study asked for the students to record
whether, at the time their beeper went off, they wanted
to be alone or in the company of others. This response
that they gave usually reflected which of the two
situations they were experiencing the next time their
beepers went off. The information retained from this
study helped to show the strength of an individual’s
need for affiliation. By showing how frequently they
obtained the presence of others when they felt that it
was what they wanted at that moment it showed how
strong their need for affiliation was at that particular

Depending on the specific circumstances an individual’s

level of need for affiliation can become increased or
decreased. Yacov Rofe suggested that the need for
affiliation depended on whether being with others
would be useful for the situation or not. When the
presence of other people was seen as being helpful in
relieving an individual from some of the negative
aspects of the stressor an individual’s desire to affiliate
increases. However, if being with others may increase
the negative aspects such as adding the possibility of
embarrassment to the already present stressor the
individual’s desire to affiliate with others
decreases. Individuals are motivated to find and create
a specific amount of social interactions. Each individual
desires a different amount of a need for affiliation and
they desire an optimal balance of time to their self and
time spent with others.

Need for Power

Need for Power (N-Pow) is a term that was popularized by

renowned psychologist David McClelland in 1961 .
However, it should be recognized that McClellend's
thinking was strongly influenced by the pioneering work
of Henry Murray who first identified underlying
psychological human needs and motivational processes
(1938). It was Murray who set out a taxonomy of needs,
including Achievement, Power and Affiliation - and
placed these in the context of an integrated
motivational model. In McClelland's book "The Achieving
Society" N-Pow helps explain an
individual's imperative to be in charge. According to his
work there are two kinds of power, social and personal.

People who exhibit N-Pow tendencies are thought to be

most satisfied by seeing their environment move in a
certain direction, due to their involvements. As an
example of the need for personal power, most corporate
leaders seek high level positions so as to control the
direction in which their company is moving. As an
example of social power, most people might agree
that Nelson Mandela not only has socio/politicalPower ,
but uses this influence to bring to light social issues in
order to further his desire for peace and equality on

Sex differences also affect the way power motive is

expressed. While men with more n-POW show high
levels of aggression, drink heavily, act in sexually
exploitative manner, and participate in competitive
sports, women channel their n-POW in a more socially
acceptable and responsible manner, being more
concerned and caring and so on.

Desire to influence, hold or ruling over others in order to

be recognized as powerful individual.

• These types of people prefer to work in big

organisations, businesses and other influential

• There also exists gender differences among males and

females; men are more apt to take challenges and
respond quite aggressively irrespective of women who
are socially restrained and traditional in her behavior.

McClelland observed that with the advancement in

hierarchy the need for power and achievement
increased rather than Affiliation. He also observed that
people who were at the top, later ceased to be
motivated by this drives.

Cognitive Evaluation Theory

This theory suggests that there are actually two motivation

systems: intrinsic and extrinsic that correspond to two
kinds of motivators:

intrinsic motivators: Achievement, responsibility and

competence. motivators that come from the actual
performance of the task or job -- the intrinsic interest of
the work.

extrinsic: pay, promotion, feedback, working conditions --

things that come from a person's environment,
controlled by others.

One or the other of these may be a more powerful

motivator for a given individual.

Intrinsically motivated individuals perform for their own

achievement and satisfaction. If they come to believe
that they are doing some job because of the pay or the
working conditions or some other extrinsic reason, they
begin to lose motivation.

The belief is that the presence of powerful extrinsic

motivators can actually reduce a person's intrinsic
motivation, particularly if the extrinsic motivators are
perceived by the person to be controlled by people. In
other words, a boss who is always dangling this reward
or that stick will turn off the intrinsically motivated


Task Characteristics Theories

Job Characteristics Model

Requisite Task Attributes Theory

Social Information Processing Model

Job Characteristics Model

This concept talks about how to design a job so that it is

motivating for a person. It is based upon the ideas of
Vroom, in his expectancy theory, but you don’t have to
know this theory to understand this concept.

Hackman and Oldham propose that high motivation is

related to experiencing three psychological states
whilst working:

Meaningfulness of work: that labour has meaning to you,

something that you can relate to, and does not occur
just as a set of movements to be repeated. This is
fundamental to intrinsic motivation, i.e. that work is
motivating in an of itself (as opposed to motivating only
as a means to an end)

Responsibility: that you have been given the opportunity

to be a success or failure at your job because sufficient
freedom of action has given you. This would include the
ability to make changes and incorporate the learning
you gain whilst doing the job.

Knowledge of outcomes: This is important for two reasons.

Firstly to provide the person knowledge on how
successful their work has been, which in turn enables
them to learn from mistakes. The second is to connect
them emotionally to the customer of their outputs, thus
giving further purpose to the work (e.g. I may only work
on a production line, but I know that the food rations I
produce are used to help people in disaster areas,
saving many lives)
In turn, each of these critical states are derived from
certain characteristics of the job:

Meaningfulness: derived from:

Skill variety: using an appropriate variety of your skills:

too many might be overwhelming, too few, boring

Task Identity: being able to identify with the work at hand

as more whole and complete, and hence enabling more
pride to be taken in the outcome of that work (e.g. if
you just add one nut to one bolt in the same spot every
time a washing machine goes past it is much less
motivating than being the person responsible for the
drum attachment and associated work area (even as
part of a group)

Task Significance: being able to identify the task as

contributing to something wider, to society or a group
over and beyond the self. For example, the theory
suggests that I will be more motivated if I am
contributing to the whole firm’s bonus this year, looking
after someone or making something that will benefit
someone else. Conversely I will be less motivated if I am
only making a faceless owner wealthier, or am making
some pointless item (e.g. corporate give-away gifts)

Responsibility is derived from autonomy, as without being

given freedom of self-decision, then it is not possible
for me to succeed (only for the person who told me what
to do).

Feedback is the crucial element that creates knowledge of

outcomes. This can be anything from production figures
through to customer satisfaction scores. The point is
that the feedback offers information that once you
know, you can use to do things differently if you wish.

Knowing these critical job characteristics, the theory goes,

it is then possible to derive the key components of the
design of a job:

Varying work to enable skill variety

Assigning work to groups to increase the wholeness of the

product produced and give a group to enhance

Delegate tasks to their lowest possible level to create

autonomy and hence responsibility

Connect people to the outcomes of their work and the

customers that receive them so as to provide feedback
for learning.
Motivating Potential Score
Characteristics Examples

Skill Variety

• High variety The owner-operator of a garage who does

electrical repair, rebuilds engines,

does body work, and interacts with customers

• Low variety A bodyshop worker who sprays paint eight

hours a day

Task Identity

• High identity A cabinetmaker who designs a pieces of

furniture, selects the wood, builds the object, and finishes
it to perfection

• Low identity A worker in a furniture factory who operates

a lathe to make table legs

Task Significance

• High significance Nursing the sick in a hospital intensive

care unit

• Low significance Sweeping hospital floors


• High autonomy A telephone installer who schedules

his or her own work for the day, and decides on the best
techniques for a particular installation

• Low autonomy A telephone operator who must handle calls

as they come according to a routine, highly specified


• High feedback An electronics factory worker who

assembles a radio and then tests it to

determine if it operates properly

• Low feedback An electronics factory worker who

assembles a radio and then routes it to a quality control
inspector who tests and adjusts it
Requisite Task Attributes Theory

It began with the pioneering work of Turner and Lawrence

in the mid-1960s. They predicted that employees would
prefer jobs that were complex and challenging. They
defined job complexity in terms of six task




Knowledge and skill

Required social interaction

Optional social interaction

The higher a job scored on these characteristics, the

greater its complexity. Their findings confirmed their
absenteeism prediction: employees with more complex
jobs were absent less.

Breaking data down by the background of employees, they

found a general correlation between task complexity
and satisfaction.

Employees from urban settings were shown to be more

satisfied with low-complexity jobs.

Employees with rural backgrounds reported higher

satisfaction in high-complexity jobs.
This was important for three reasons:

First, they demonstrated that employees did respond

differently to different types of jobs.

Second, they provided a preliminary set of task attributes

by which jobs could be assessed.

Third, they focused attention on the need to consider the

influence of individual differences on employees’
reaction to jobs.

Social Information Processing Model

The central thesis of this model is that people respond to

their jobs as they perceive them rather than to the
objective jobs themselves. People can look at the same
job and evaluate it differently.

Employees adopt attitudes and behaviors in response to

the social cues provided by others. These others can be
coworkers, supervisors, friends, family members, or

A number of studies generally confirm the validity of the

SIP model:
Employee motivation and satisfaction can be manipulated
by such subtle actions as commenting on the existence
or absence of job features.

Managers should give as much (or more) attention to

employees’ perceptions of their jobs as to the actual
characteristics of those jobs.

Goal Setting Theory

Edwin A. Locke began to examine goal setting in the mid-

1960s and continued researching goal setting for thirty
years. Locke derived the idea for goal-setting
from Aristotle ’s form of final causality . Aristotle
speculated that purpose can cause action; thus, Locke
began researching the impact goals have on individual
activity of its time performance.

For goals to increase performance, one must define them

as difficult to achieve and as specific. Easily-attained
goals tend to correlate with lower performance than
more difficult goals. A vague goal does not seem likely
to enhance performance. A goal can become more
specific through quantification or enumeration (should
be measurable), such as by demanding "increasing
productivity by 50%"; or by defining certain tasks that
need completing.

Goal Performance Relationship-

Goals can affect performance in three ways:

goals narrow attention and direct efforts to goal-relevant
activities, and away from perceived undesirable and
goal-irrelevant actions

goals can lead to more effort; for example, if one typically

produces 4 widgets an hour, and has the goal of
producing 6, one may work more intensely than one
would otherwise in order to reach the goal

goals influence persistence. One becomes more prone to

work through setbacks or to work harder if pursuing a

There are 4 factors affecting the goal-directed efforts.

Goal difficulty is the level of difficulty to achieve the goal.

Goal Commitment is the extent to which a person is

interested to reach the goal.

Goal specificity means the goal should be relatively clear

and precise in its target.

Goal acceptance is the extent to which a person adopts a

goal as his or her own.


Various moderators can affect the relationship between

goals and performance:

goal-commitment, the most influential moderator, becomes

especially important when dealing with difficult or
complex goals. If people lack commitment to goals, they
will lack motivation to reach them. In order to become
committed to a goal, one must believe in its importance
or significance.
attainability: individuals must also believe that they can
attain — or at least partially reach — a defined goal. If
they think no chance exists of reaching a goal, they may
not even try.

self-efficacy : the higher someone’s self-efficacy regarding

a certain task, the more likely they will set higher goals,
and the more persistence they will show in achieving


The enhancement of performance through goals

requires feedback . Goal-setting may have little effect if
individuals cannot check where the state of their
performance is in relation to their goal. Note the
importance of people knowing where they stand in
relation to achieving their goals, so they can determine
the desirability of working harder or of changing
their methods .

Advances in technology can make for giving feedback more

effectively. Systems analysts have designed computer
programs to track goals for numerous members of
an organization . Such computer systems may maintain
every employee’s goals, as well as their deadlines for
achieving them. Separate methods may check the
employee’s progress on a regular basis, and other
systems may require perceived slackers to explain
themselves, and/or account for how they intend to
improve the perception.


Goal-setting theory has its limitations. In an organization,

a goal of a manager may not align with the goals of the
organization as a whole. In such cases, the goals of an
individual may come into direct conflict with the
employing organization. Without aligning goals between
the organization and the individual, performance may
suffer. Moreover, for complex tasks, goal-setting may
actual impair performance. In these situations, an
individual may become preoccupied with meeting the
goals, rather than performing tasks.

Reinforcement Theory

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


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.


The timing of the behavioral consequences that follow a

given behavior is called the reinforcement schedule.
Basically, there are two broad types of reinforcement
schedules: continuous and intermittent. If a behavior is
reinforced each time it occurs, it is called continuous
reinforcement. Research suggests that continuous
reinforcement is the fastest way to establish new
behaviors or to eliminate undesired behaviors. However,
this type of reinforcement is generally not practical in
an organizational setting. Therefore, intermittent
schedules are usually employed. Intermittent
reinforcement means that each instance of a desired
behavior is not reinforced. There are at least four types
of intermittent reinforcement schedules: fixed interval,
fixed ratio, variable interval, and variable ratio.

Fixed interval schedules of reinforcement occur when

desired behaviors are reinforced after set periods of
time. The simplest example of a fixed interval schedule
is a weekly paycheck. A fixed interval schedule of
reinforcement does not appear to be a particularly
strong way to elicit desired behavior, and behavior
learned in this way may be subject to rapid extinction.
The fixed ratio schedule of reinforcement applies the
reinforcer after a set number of occurrences of the
desired behaviors. One organizational example of this
schedule is a sales commission based on number of
units sold. Like the fixed interval schedule, the fixed
ratio schedule may not produce consistent, long-lasting,
behavioral change.

Variable interval reinforcement schedules are employed

when desired behaviors are reinforced after varying
periods of time. Examples of variable interval schedules
would be special recognition for successful performance
and promotions to higher-level positions. This
reinforcement schedule appears to elicit desired
behavioral change that is resistant to extinction.

Finally, the variable ratio reinforcement schedule applies

the reinforcer after a number of desired behaviors have
occurred, with the number changing from situation to
situation. The most common example of this
reinforcement schedule is the slot machine in a casino,
in which a different and unknown number of desired
behaviors (i.e., feeding a quarter into the machine) is
required before the reward (i.e., a jackpot) is realized.
Organizational examples of variable ratio schedules are
bonuses or special awards that are applied after varying
numbers of desired behaviors occur. Variable ratio
schedules appear to produce desired behavioral change
that is consistent and very resistant to extinction.



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:

Specifying the desired behavior as objectively as possible.

Measuring the current incidence of desired behavior.

Providing behavioral consequences that reinforce desired


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.

Equity Theory

Equity Theory attempts to explain relational satisfaction in

terms of perceptions of fair/unfair distributions of
resources within interpersonal relationships. Equity
theory is considered as one of the justice theories. It
was first developed in 1962 by John Stacey Adams, a
workplace and behavioral psychologist , who asserted
that employees seek to maintain equity between the
inputs that they bring to a job and theoutcomes that
they receive from it against the perceived inputs and
outcomes of others (Adams, 1965). The belief is that
people value fair treatment which causes them to be
motivated to keep the fairness maintained within the
relationships of their co-workers and the organization.
The structure of equity in the workplace is based on the
ratio of inputs to outcomes. Inputs are the contributions
made by the employee for the organization; this
includes the work done by the employees and the
behavior brought by the employee as well as their skills
and other useful experiences the employee may
contribute for the good of the company.

As per the equity theory of J. Stacey Adams, people are

motivated by their beliefs about the reward structure as
being fair or unfair, relative to the inputs. People have
a tendency to use subjective judgment to balance the
outcomes and inputs in the relationship for comparisons
between different individuals. Accordingly :
If people feel that they are not equally rewarded they
either reduce the quantity or quality of work or migrate
to some other organization. However, if people perceive
that they are rewarded higher, they may be motivated
to work harder.


Equity Theory consists of four propositions:

Individuals seek to maximize their outcomes (where

outcomes are defined as rewards minus costs).
Groups can maximize collective rewards by developing
accepted systems for equitably apportioning rewards
and costs among members. Systems of equity will
evolve within groups, and members will attempt to
induce other members to accept and adhere to these
systems. The only way groups can induce members to
equitably behave is by making it more profitable to
behave equitably than inequitably. Thus, groups will
generally reward members who treat others equitably
and generally punish (increase the cost for) members
who treat others inequitably.

When individuals find themselves participating in

inequitable relationships, they become distressed. The
more inequitable the relationship, the more distress
individuals feel. According to equity theory, both the
person who gets “too much” and the person who gets
“too little” feel distressed. The person who gets too
much may feel guilt or shame. The person who gets too
little may feel angry or humiliated.

Individuals who perceive that they are in an inequitable

relationship attempt to eliminate their distress by
restoring equity. The greater the inequity, the more
distress people feel and the more they try to restore
equity. (Walster, Traupmann and Walster, 1978)

Implications for managers

Equity theory has several implications for business


People measure the totals of their inputs and outcomes.

This means a working mother may accept lower
monetary compensation in return for more flexible
working hours.
Different employees ascribe personal values to inputs and
outcomes. Thus, two employees of equal experience and
qualification performing the same work for the same
pay may have quite different perceptions of the fairness
of the deal .

Employees are able to adjust for purchasing power and

local market conditions. Thus a teacher from Alberta
may accept lower compensation than his colleague in
Toronto if his cost of living is different, while a teacher
in a remote African village may accept a totally
different pay structure.

Although it may be acceptable for more senior staff to

receive higher compensation, there are limits to the
balance of the scales of equity and employees can find
excessive executive pay demotivating.

Staff perceptions of inputs and outcomes of themselves

and others may be incorrect, and perceptions need to
be managed effectively.

An employee who believes he is over-compensated may

increase his effort. However he may also adjust the
values that he ascribes to his own personal inputs. It
may be that he or she internalizes a sense of superiority
and actually decrease his efforts.

Expectancy Theory

Expectancy theory is about the mental processes regarding

choice, or choosing. It explains the processes that an
individual undergoes to make choices. In organizational
behavior study, expectancy theory is
a motivation theory first proposed by Victor Vroom of
the Yale School of Management .
Expectancy theory predicts that employees in an
organization will be motivated when they believe that:

putting in more effort will yield better job performance

better job performance will lead to organizational rewards,

such as an increase in salary or benefits

these predicted organizational rewards are valued by the

employee in question.

"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."

- Emphasizes self interest in the alignment of rewards with

employee's wants.

-Emphasizes the connections among expected behaviors,

rewards and organizational goals

Vroom's theory assumes that behavior results from

conscious choices among alternatives whose purpose it
is to maximize pleasure and to minimize pain. Together
with Edward Lawler and Lyman Porter, Vroom suggested
that the relationship between people's behavior at work
and their goals was not as simple as was first imagined
by other scientists. Vroom realized that an employee's
performance is based on individual factors such as
personality, skills, knowledge, experience and abilities.

Victor H. 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
E>P expectancy: Our assessment of the probability our
efforts will lead to the required performance level.

P>O expectancy: Our assessment of the probability our

successful performance will lead to certain outcomes.

Vroom’s model is based on three concepts:

Valence - Strength of an individual’s preference for a

particular outcome. For the valence to be positive, the
person must prefer attaining the outcome to not
attaining it.

Instrumentality – Means of the first level outcome in

obtaining the desired second level outcome; the degree
to which a first level outcome will lead to the second
level outcome.

Expectancy - Probability or strength of belief that a

particular action will lead to a particular first level

Vroom says the product of these variables is the


In order to enhance the performance-outcome tie,

managers should use systems that tie rewards very
closely to performance. Managers also need to ensure
that the rewards provided are deserved and wanted by
the recipients.In order to improve the effort-
performance tie, managers should engage in training to
improve their capabilities and improve their belief that
added effort will in fact lead to better performance.

This leads us to a conclusion that :

Porter Lawler Model Of Motivation

Lyman W. Porter and Edward E. Lawler developed a more

complete version of motivation depending upon
expectancy theory.
Actual performance in a job is primarily determined by the
effort spent. But it is also affected by the person’s
ability to do the job and also by individual’s perception
of what the required task is. So performance is the
responsible factor that leads to intrinsic as well as
extrinsic rewards. These rewards, along with the equity
of individual leads to satisfaction. Hence, satisfaction of
the individual depends upon the fairness of the reward.

Motivaion Contributes To Personal

Self-improvement and motivation, especially motivation in the
workplace, is extremely important in your success in life. Motivation, if
acted upon, can create the momentum you need to succeed in your
personal and career oriented goals. But motivation alone will not
accomplish anything.
Motivation is needed to get the proverbial ‘foot out the door’ in order to
start your road to personal success and development. Build up small
accomplishments immediately (daily) because achievement with small
goals means your success in life and your personal development takes
big steps forward.

The key to success in life: getting your ‘foot out the door’ !

In other words; success in life does not just happen to you, you need to
take steps. Finding motivation then acting upon it will lead to self-

Three key reasons why motivation will contribute to your personal

success and development-
 Motivation is infectious
 Motivation boosts self-esteem
 Motivation leads to opportunities

Motivation is infectious
Put yourself around like-minded and positive people. Listen to what
they talk about. Observe how satisfying their life is. Watch what
happens as they walk out the door and meet back a week later to share
their accomplishments, and despite the failures they encounter, will
continue a positive attitude to go back out there and do it all again.
Their attitude is infectious. It is powerful.

Now put yourself around like-minded negative people. It is a much

different atmosphere. They blame everything around them for their
failure. They do not recognize the successes they had and do not even
notch any up as a personal success. Their attitude is infectious. It is
powerful but non-empowering. They, by their own account, will never
achieve success in life!

Things will be ‘too difficult’, they will never ‘have any time’ and they
will find excuses that prevent them from any time of success!

Motivation is infectious. Find motivated people if you need to be

‘infected’. If you bring your motivation in the workplace, if you bring it
into a group of people who think like you, you can accomplish so much
more out of your life (even if it is just during the work day) and as your
‘wins’ or personal success piles up from small to big, your personal
development is enhanced and yes, you yourself become infectious. Put
yourself around like-minded positive and motivated people – this will
lead to a success as far as personal development.
“Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative
effort.” Franklin Roosevelt

Motivation boosts self-esteem

Finding motivation allows you to go after the goals and dreams you
always wanted. Motivation also works in smaller ways – to accomplish
tasks you need to accomplish on a day-to-day basis. As you accomplish
one task, it leads to another, and another, and another. See how this
work? Motivation in the workplace increases and your self-development
and happiness does too – which leads to an increase in self-esteem!

As your motivation increases, and you act upon it, you will achieve
more, therefore your happiness increases and it directly relates to your
personal success. If you are a happier person, it is easier to find
motivation and as we have established, improves personal

“Each problem has hidden in it an opportunity so powerful that it

literally dwarfs the problem. The greatest success stories were created
by people who recognized a problem a turned it into an opportunity.”
Joseph Sugarman

Motivation leads to opportunities

As you start acting on motivation to improve your personal success and
development, it means you are attacking problems and issues that you
need to address. From personal to career, from family problems to your
financial issues – whatever it may be – once you recognize problems
and address them, opportunities will arise that you never would have
encountered if you did not start using that motivation to get your ‘foot
out the door’.
Motivation prepares you for these opportunities. These opportunities
increase your motivation in the workplace. Where there is opportunity,
there will always be difficulty. Sometimes the difficulties will be grand,
sometimes they will be small, but as you prepare for success in life, as
you strive for personal development, more doors will open. You may
come to realize that your situation, as far as a career is concerned, may
not be the right one and it could be getting in the way of your personal
life. Working on your personal success will open the windows to
opportunity and also help you realize your life’s purpose.
One of the most important factors that lead one to their goals is the
drive. This drive is known as motivation. It is a zest and determination
with a kind of excitement that leads one to persevere to reach greater
heights, in no matter what avenue of their life; be it – personal or
professional. The drive may come from an internal or external source.
The individual determines this.

The factors that motivate an individual keep changing as one climbs

the ladder of age and maturity. And also, achievement of one goal sets
the ball rolling for another one to be achieved. Thus, to be motivated is
a constant need. There are times when one faces a period of de-
motivation and everything seems bleak. It is then that they need to find
what would motivate them back into action.

For every individual there is a variable driving force. In fact, it is not

just a single factor, but a combination of factors that lead people to
achieve their goals. The fact is that with routine monotony steps in and
then everything seems like stagnant waters. It feels like there is
nothing new.

Breaking this cycle of monotony has helped many bounce back with
enthusiasm. This is why human resource managers create a training
calendar, which will take away employees from the routine they are
stuck to, as well as enhance their skills in various areas.

Others pursue hobbies during the weekend, thus giving them

something to look forward to, as each week comes to a close. There are
people who redefine their goals and ambitions from time to time in
order to fill them with newer levels of enthusiasm to achieve greater
feats. One needs to take stalk every now and then and find the
motivator required to carry them through.
Thus, when the people are motivated, they will try to improve their
performance, thereby contributing to the success of the organization as
well as their own personal success.