Motivational Needs and Processes
What is motivation?
‘Motivation’ is derived from the Latin term ‘movere’ that means ‘to move’. Thus, motivation is a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates a behaviour or a drive that is aimed at a goal or incentive (Luthans). Broadly speaking, motivation is willingness to exert high levels of efforts towards organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts’ ability to satisfy some individual needs (Robbins). Need means some internal state that make certain outcomes appear attractive. An unsatisfied need creates tension that stimulates drives within the individual. These drives generate a search behaviour to find particular goals, that if attained, will satisfy the need and lead to the reduction in tension. In other words, needs create motives for a particular action (behaviour).
Primary motives are hunger, thirst, maternal concerns, avoidance of pain, etc. These motives are involuntary. Then there are secondary motives which play an important role in employee motivation. Examples of secondary motives are: need for achievement, need for power, need for affiliation, need for security, and need for status.
Theories of Motivation
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
Abraham Maslow suggested that needs of human being can be arranged in a hierarchical order. He maintained that the moment a particular need is satisfied, it ceases to be a motivator. Given below is the hierarchy of needs (with company strategies to meet those needs in brackets)
(opportunities for personal growth, realization of potentials)
Esteem Needs: self-respect, autonomy, achievement, recognition
(titles, status, symbols, promotion)
Social Needs: affection, belogingness, acceptance
(formal and informal work groups)
Safety Needs: security and protection from any contingencies
(seniority plans, health insurance, social security measures)
Physiological Needs: Basic Needs
(Salary and Wages)
Fredrick Herzberg proposed Motivation-Hygiene theory of motivation. According to Herzberg, the factors leading to job satisfaction are distinctly different from those that lead to job-dissatisfaction. Therefore, the managers who seek to eliminate factors that create job-dissatisfaction can bring about peace at the workplace but cannot motivate the employees. These factors are termed as hygiene factors comprising administration, supervision, working conditions, salary and wages etc. While absence of hygiene factors will lead to dissatisfaction, mere presence of these factors will not satisfy (i.e. motivate) the employees. In order to motivate the employees, managers must resort to ‘motivators’ (those factors that motivate the employees towards better performance) such as recognition, challenging assignment, responsibility, opportunities for growth and self-fulfillment etc.
Clayton Alderfer proposed the...