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Motivation Theories

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To what extent can theories of motivation help managers manage employees in a modern knowledge-based organisation? Justify your answer. INTRODUCTION This essay first of all looks into what is motivation? Various theories of motivation, the basic premise for such theories and the challenges faced. It then establishes the relationship between how these theories are helpful for the managers to manage the employees in the knowledge based organisation. MOTIVATION What is motivation? The term "Motivation" is derived from the Latin word movere, meaning 'to move' (Kreitner R., Kinicki A. & Buelens M., 2002, p: 176) which means as facts, need, emotion, and organic state which encourages a man to do an action. From early on, the concept of motivation has been utilized to explain types of behaviour, for example, basic biological needs or drives connected to survival and breeding (e.g. hunger, thirst and sex) and extrinsic rewards or punishments. Both the types of explanations suggest that behaviour is motivated by the need or desire to achieve particular outcomes (e.g. promotion, recognition and avoidance of punishment).1 Motives are the prime cause of human activities. They alone incite, express and sustain effort. Motives are expressions of a person's needs and hence, they are personal and internal. Motivation is an individual's attempt and persistence at an action. That is the reason why a person chooses to take one course of action in preference to another, despite the difficulties and obstacles. According to (Buelens M., Broeck H., Vanderheyden K., Kreitner R. & Kinicki A., 2006, p: 197) "Motivation is defined as those professional processes that cause the arousal, direction and persistence of voluntary, goal-oriented actions. Employers need to understand these psychological processes if they are to successfully guide employees toward accomplishing organizational objectives." Nel, Gerber, Van Dyk, Haasbroek, Schultz, Sono and Werner (2001:326) describe motivation as intentional and directional. The word 'intentional' refers to personal choice and persistence of action. ...read more.


Relatedness needs are the desires to establish and maintain interpersonal relationships. These needs are satisfied with relationships with family, friends, supervisors, subordinates and co-workers. Growth needs are the desires to be creative, to make useful and productive contributions and to have opportunities for personal development."13 HERZBERG'S TWO - FACTOR THEORY Frederick Herzberg examined motivation in the light of job content and contest. His dual process theory is a job enrichment theory of motivation. It describes needs in terms of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. It is a two-step process. First provide hygiene's and then motivators. One time ranges from no satisfaction to satisfaction. The other time ranges from dissatisfaction to no dissatisfaction. (Buelens M., Broeck H., Vanderheyden K., Kreitner R. & Kinicki A., 2006, p: 186). Therefore, Herzberb's theory is also known as "two-factor motivation theory". "Satisfaction comes from motivators that are intrinsic or job content, such as achievement, recognition, advancement, responsibility, the work itself, and growth possibilities. Herzberg uses the term motivators for job satisfiers since they involve job content and the satisfaction that results from them. Dissatisfaction occurs when the following hygiene factors, extrinsic or job context, are not present on the job: pay, status, job security, working conditions, company policy, peer relations, and supervision. Herzberg uses the term hygiene for these factors because they are preventive in nature. They will not produce motivation, but they can prevent motivation from occurring. Motivation comes from the employee's feelings of accomplishment or job content rather than from the environmental factors or job context. Motivators encourage an employee to strive to do his or her best. Job enrichment can be used to meet higher-level needs. To enrich a job, a supervisor can introduce new or more difficult tasks, assign individuals specialized tasks that enable them to become experts, or grant additional authority to employees". 14 According to him these two factors must be present in every organization. ...read more.


In today's economic situation the survival and the success of the organization depend on efficiency and innovative ability. Therefore, the employee is the most crucial source because if he is able to identify himself with the aims and objectives of the company, productivity and innovation will be increased. http://books.google.com/books?id=uFz6EHIjhU0C Classical Motivation Theories - Similarities and Differences between Them by Stefanie Hoffmann CONCLUSION From the above discussion, it is evident that motivation plays important key role in a knowledge-based organisation and that an employee's efficiency increases when individuals is being motivated. Since motivation effects productivity, supervisors need to understand what motivates employees to reach peak performance. The challenge for such organisations is to keep employee motivation consistent with organisational goals. Motivation is a challenge for managers because employees respond in different ways to their jobs and their organizational practices. 22 Manager's responsibility is to help employees meet their needs and at the same time attain organisational goals. For example: if a secretive refuse to provide employees with the tools they believe they need, it's natural for employees to interpret this as a sign that you don't care about them, which leads them to care less about the company, which hurts their performance. Then as a manager he need to ask a question from him that, "Am I positively or negatively influence my employees' motivation?" 23 For motivating the employees managers should also need to be smart like they need to remember, that one way or the other, they are going to effect employee's motivation to perform. Often managers are nearly forgetful to this fact. But if they understand and acknowledge this reality, then managers can act in ways that positively effect their motivation to perform at higher levels and work more effectively with others. In all to conclude, as we need to eat daily to live in the same way an organisation need employees for existence and if the organisation wants to achieve their goals effectively and efficiently then employees need to be motivated regularly and it should also be a never ending process. ...read more.

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