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Describe, compare and contrast one content theory and one process theory of motivation. Evaluate their appropriateness for the current business environment

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Describe, compare and contrast one content theory and one process theory of motivation. Evaluate their appropriateness for the current business environment. Assignment 1 Managing People Module 26302 Student Number: 2011432859 Motivation is a complex concept to define and is persistently explored not only by psychologists but also by many global organizations. With reference to the Oxford dictionary, motivation is "a reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way". In contrast to the definition, there are numerous theories that attempt to explain the true nature of the concept. As a result of the diverse beliefs, it is argued (Wilson, 2010, 136) that there is no single reliable theory that can be used to solve motivational issues. Managers need to understand the principles of the leading theories in order to use motivation techniques effectively. It is perhaps one of the most desirable skills a manager can possess, as they would be able to influence their employee's behavior where a more satisfied and motivated employee would perform better and are less likely to quit their job. The theories based on this subject can be contrasting and are categorized into two types: content and process theories. Content theories assume that everyone possesses a common set of needs and looks at what motivates people at work. Process theories on the other hand stress the difference in people's needs and focuses on the cognitive processes. One of the most famous and influential content theories is the works of Abraham Maslow (1943). ...read more.


As everyone has distinctive beliefs, two employees in the same firm with the same roles and possibly the same rewards may still feel they are treated differently, and experience inequity compared to one another in the view that they will have different perceptions of what is equitable. Another limitation is when issues arise, it does not predict which response an individual will follow. Nevertheless, when such issues arise across the company's staff, it is up to the manager to find a solution and reduce the scale and influence of the matter. This can include adapting schemes such as job evaluation to maintain balance and to indicate that they are aware of the problems. Looking at the just the notion of the two theories discussed, it is easy to see that there are no similar features between them. However, from a managerial perspective, they do relate to each other in the sense of sampling them in the work environment. If a manager wishes to gain a better understanding of motivation in the workplace, studying one theory may be not be sufficient enough but the combination of both content and process theories will give a better insight to the topic. If an organization adopts Maslow's theory, they will have to look at meeting their deficiency needs situated at the lower levels of the hierarchy before moving onto the higher level needs and in the order they must be fulfilled. ...read more.


The theories are initially constructed to attempt to explain the phenomenal nature of motivation but applying theories into practice is easier said than done, and that they seen managerial guidelines for motivating staff than explanations of human behaviors. It is merely impossible to satisfy the needs of everyone and that the focus on satisfying the need of one individual may lead to the problem of inequity experienced by another individual. The success of a business is largely dependent upon the manager's ability to motivate their staff as a motivated employee' works best in the interest of the firm and will lead to be more productive and efficient means. The type approach the manager has to motivation will depend on the strength and desire of the needs and the number of different perceptions that taking a course of action will help satisfy those needs. The best strategy that a manager can adopt is to experiment with various content theories and process theories as there are undoubtedly multiple challenges that they will come across. Every single company will have a distinctive group of employees, therefore they will have a different set of needs and perspectives. The effectiveness of the motivational strategies for one company may not work for the other, as there is no single solution. The best outcome is for the company to discover which strategy brings a greater impact among their employees and adopt the principles whilst being flexible. ...read more.

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