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What are the critical differences between content and process theories in motivation?

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  • Essay length: 2132 words
  • Submitted: 22/12/2003
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The first 200 words of this essay...

Kathryn Perkin

UBU number: 001017620

Question 3: What are the critical differences between content and process theories in motivation?

Work, Employment and society

Peter Prowse

Word count: 1994

There are many different things which influence people's behaviour and performance. Different things motivate different people and affect how each person performs. There are many different theories on motivation, which have all been subject to criticism and findings which contradict the original theory.

We need to look at what people feel and how they think in order to help predict their behaviour in given situations.

To study motivation you need to examine the two main theories: Process and content theories.

Content theory: Attempts to explain specific things, which motivate people in different situations. It is concerned with identifying people's needs and strengths. It looks at what motivates a person.

Process theory: Attempts to identify relationships among variables which make up motivation. How it is initiated and sustained. It looks at the process of motivation.

Content theories

There are four main theories of motivation.

-Maslow's hierarchy of needs model

-Alderfer's modified need hierarchy model

-Herzberg's two-factor

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