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A Study of Motivation Theories.

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Introduction

A Study of Motivation Theories Introduction to motivation: What motivates you? This question is a very complex one to expect a prompt answer to it. Motivation itself is a very difficult concept to explain and practice. However, motivation is still the one thing that makes people productive in their jobs. Motivation is generally defined as any force that energises and directs people to perform their jobs. According to Jerald Greenberg (1999) motivation is defined "as a process of arousing, directing and maintaining behaviour towards a goal." The act of arousing is related to desire and vigour to produce. Directing is the election of behaviour and maintenance is the inclination to behave in a certain manner until the desired outcome is met (Greenberg,1999). The above statements are clear from the basic motivational model shown below. Adapted from Mullins, L, 2002:P418 Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation: "Intrinsic motivation is related to psychological rewards such as the opportunity to use one's ability, a sense of challenge and achievement, receiving appreciation, positive recognition and being treated in a caring and considerate manner." (Mullins, L, 2002:P490). It refers to motivation to engage in an activity because that activity is enjoyable and satisfying to do so. Intrinsic rewards refer to those feelings of satisfaction that individuals obtain directly from their work performance. People at work, for e.g., may satisfy their needs for achievement, for competence and for self actualisation through solving problems that are built into their jobs. ...read more.

Middle

Under its incentive management system, every worker is considered as a manager and every manager is considered as a worker. Rules are similar for both management and labour. Individual achievement as recognised and rewarded 'to pay for performance.' (Daft, R, 1993). A recent theory that focuses on individual's goals and intentions rather than on the organisation as a whole is the Locke's goal setting theory. It focuses on the concept that people strive to achieve goals in order to satisfy their emotions and desires. In other words, goals direct work behaviour and performance. One can argue here, that if goals are set too high, performance will suffer, over a longer period of time. The study and analysis of these theories suggests that, today there is a revolution in the expectations of workers from their performance. They not only seek monetary benefits from their work but tend to get highly satisfied from the feeling of accomplishment and recognition for their work. There is more to motivation than fear and money: What motivates employees? When employers are asked about this, they usually reply that it's the monetary rewards that direct the behaviour of the employees. Money is important, but it fails to be the primary motivator. The Income Data Services (IDS) draws attention to the challenges of motivation during economic circumstances of low inflation. IDS found out that importance of monetary rewards as a motivating factor could not be ignored in high growth companies but there was still a need to provide new forms of recognitions for the employees that do not depend on promotion and money. ...read more.

Conclusion

2.) Managers should stress values-based orientation and training for problem solving and incremental improvement of the employees, e.g. Toyota, during their orientation programmes together with team and quality oriented training tend to communicate company believes among its existing and new employees. 3.) Company should follow comprehensive grievance procedures to review the complaints of its employees. 4.) Companies should encourage cross utilisation as practiced by Delta Airlines where everyone worked co-operatively and even share work and jobs. 5.) Managers should promote employees from within. This is usually achieved through career oriented appraisals. (Matteson, I:P174) Conclusion: The literature review of motivational theories shows that neither concept nor process theories are perfect. Each theory has its own merits and limitations. A manager must judge the relevance of these different theories, how best to draw upon them, and how they might effectively be applied in particular work situations. There is no tailor made solution to a particular problem. Managers need to identify the capabilities of their employees and then motivate them accordingly. "Management means helping people to get the best out of themselves, not organising things." (Lauren Appley). In this complex business world, traditional approaches like money and fear are not the only prime motivators today. Employees not only expect rewards in terms of monetary incentives for their performance, they expect more. Empowerment and morale boosting is the key to motivate workers. Workers have identified that appreciation, recognition and opportunities for personal growth are the ultimate desired needs of any human being. "People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." (Zig Zigler, American sales trainer, author, motivational speaker). ...read more.

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