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Theories Of Motivation. Essay

1725 words - 7 pages

The Theories of MotivationMotivation is formally defined as forces within an individual that account for the level, direction, and persistence of effort. Within each of us, as human beings there are factors that influence the decisions we make about how we react to things we experience. We decide how to react based on our own personal analysis of how our needs or expectations were or were not met by that particular experience. Motivation is talked about as being made up of three types of theories. They are the reinforcement, content, and process theories.Reinforcement theories emphasize the linkage between individual behavior and some specific outcomes to show how managers can alter the direction, level, or persistence of individual actions. These theories concentrate more on the motivational techniques of managers to control their subordinates' motivation in the work environment.Content theories deal directly with what motivates individuals to perform more effectively within their organizations. It deals with the idea of what the needs are for the employees within their work environment that will motivate them to perform more effectively and efficiently. Content theories focus primarily on the individual needs-the physiological or psychological deficiencies that we feel a compulsion to reduce or eliminate. Process theories focus on the thought or cognitive processes that take place within the minds of people and that influence their behaviors. These are the kind of theories that deal with the motivation within the individual minds of the employees. Their motivation within themselves directly affects their performance in the personal lives as well as their professional lives.In our textbook, Organizational Behavior, there were four content theories that they talked about. A man named Abraham Maslow founded the first theory. His theory was that there was a pyramid of needs within every person. There were the top order of needs that he said were self-actualization and esteem. Then there were the lower order of needs of social, safety, and physiological at the bottom of the hierarchy. He assumed that some needs are more important than others and must be satisfied before the other needs can serve as motivators. His theory also talked bout how, when people move up the ladder of success, their lower order needs become less important than their higher order. There is not much research to support this theory and due to the rapidly changing work environments, these days this type of theory must be made more flexible to accommodate the people working today.The second content theory is called the Erg theory and was founded by a man named Clayton Alderfer. His theory differed from Maslow's in the respect that he had three basic needs of individuals rather than five. He stated that people are more likely to have a dissatisfaction of not only more than one need at a time, but also become dissatisfied with a higher level need due to not getting positive...

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