(Sample Material) Public Administration Study Kit: "Theories of Motivation (Paper I)"

Sample Material of Public Administration Study Kit

Chapter – Theories of Motivation (Paper I)

  • Meaning of Motivation
  • Nature of Motivation
  • Significance of Motivation
  • Type of Motivation
  • Management Techniques Designed to Increase Motivation
  • Modern Theories of Motivation
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • McGregor’s Theory ‘X’ and Theory ‘Y’
  • Comparison Between Theory X and Theory Y
  • Theory Z of Ouchi
  • Two-Factor Theory of Herzberg
  • Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
  • Comparison between Maslow’s and Herzberg’s theory of Motivation
  • Morale

Meaning of Motivation

The term ‘Motivation’ is derived from the word ‘motive’. Motive may be defined as needs, wants, drives or impulses within an individual. Motives or needs of a person are the starting point in the motivation process. Motives are directed towards the achievement of certain goals which in turn determine the behaviour if individuals. Motives give direction to human behaviour because they are directed towards certain ‘goals’ which may be conscious or sub-conscious. A goal is an outward stimulus for the motive to work.

Motivation has been defined by Michale J. Jucius as: thee act of stimulating someone or oneself to get a desired course of action, “to push the right button to get a describes motivation as the complex of forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organization. In starts and maintains an activity along a prescribed line. It is something that moves the persons to action and continues him in the course of action already initiated. Thus, motivation is a ‘will to work’.

We may define motivation as “a willingness to expend energy to achieve a goal or reward. It is a force that activates dormant energies and sets in motion the action of the people. It is the function that kindles burning passion for action among the human beings of an organization.”

Nature of Motivation

1. Motivation is personal and internal feeling. It is a psychological phenomenon which generates within an individual.
2. Motivation is a behavioral concept that directs human behaviour towards certain goals.
3. Motivation is a continuous process.
4. Motivation can be either positive or negative.
5. Motivation is different from job satisfaction.
6. Motivation is an integral part of management process and every management must motivate his subordinates to create in them the will to work.

Significance of Motivation

1. Motivated employees give greater performance than demotivated ones.
2. Motivation inspires employees to make best possible use of different factors of production.
3. Higher motivation leads to job satisfaction workers. As a result labour absenteeism and turnover are low.
4. Motivational schemes create integration of individual interests with organizational objective.

Type of Motivation

Positive or Inceptive Motivation: Positive motivation is generally based on reward. According to Flippo, “Positive motivation is a process of attempting to influence other to do your will through the possibility of gain or reward.” People work for incentives in the form of the four P’s of motivation: praise, prestige, promotion and pay cheque.

Positive motivation has its own benefits. The receipt awards, due recognition and praise for work well done definitely lead to good team spirit, co-operation and a feeling of happiness.

Negative or Fear Motivation: Negative motivation is based on force and fear. Fear cause persons to work in a certain way because they are afraid of the consequences if they don’t. If workers do not work, they are threatened with lay off or demotion. Negative motivation has certain limitations. Imposition of punishment frequently results in frustration among those punished, leading to the development of maladaptive behaviour. Punishment also creates a hostile state of mind and an unfavourable attitude to the job. Moreover, it may result in lower productivity because it tends to dissipate such human sets as loyalty, co-operation and esprit de corps. Inspite of these demerits, negative motivation has been used to achieve the desired behaviour.

Management Techniques Designed to Increase Motivation

Management generally use financial and non-financial motivation techniques to motivate their employees:

1. Financial Motivators: Such motivation is connected directly or indirectly with money. Wages and salary, bonuses, profit sharing, leave with pay, medical reimbursement, etc., are included under this type of motivation.

2.Non-Financial Motivators: These motivators are not connected with momentary rewards. In the words of Dubin, “non-financial incentives are the psychic rewards or the rewards of enhanced position, that can be secured in the work organization.

Some of the most commonly used non-financial motivations are:

(1) Appraisal, praise and prestige
(2) Status and pride
(3) Competition
(4) Delegation of authority
(5) Participation
(6) Job security
(7) Job enlargement
(8) Job rotation
(9) Job loading
(10) Job enrichment
(11) Reinforcement
(12) Quality of work life

Modern Theories of Motivation

Some of the important modern theories of motivation are:

1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
2. McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y.
3. Theory Z of Ouchi.
4. Two Factor Theory of Herzberg.
5. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

They are in brief, the following: In essence, he believed that once a given level of need is satisfied, it no longer serves to motivate. The next higher level of need has to be activated in order to motivate the individual.

1. Physiological needs: Physiological needs may be synonymous with the biological needs of the human beings like hunger, thirst, sleep and sex, etc.

2. Safety needs: This second level of needs is roughly equivalent to the security needs. Maslow stressed emotional as well as physical safety. These are needs to be free of physical danger and to the fear of losing a job, property, food or shelter. The whole organism may become a safety seeking mechanism. Yet, as is true of the physiological needs, once these safety needs are satisfied, they no longer motivate.

3. The Belongingness and Love needs: As man is a social animal, hence once his physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, he seeks affection, love and belongingness from other human beings. He craves for affectionate relationships and a place of belongingness with his people. These desires motivate their behaviour consciously or unconsciously.

4. The Esteem needs: The esteem level represents the higher needs of human beings. The needs of power, achievement and status can be considered to be part of this level. Maslow carefully pointed out that the esteem level contains both self esteem and esteem from others.

5. Needs for Self-actualization: Maslow regards this as the highest needs in his hierarchy. It is the desire to become what one is capable of becoming—to maximize one’s potential and to accomplish something. The desire for self fulfillment, actualization and leaving a meaningful life is reflected in this need. In effect, self-actualization is the person’s motivation to transform perception of self into reality.

According to the concept of ‘need hierarchy’, the satisfaction of the ‘physiological needs’, which are the most fundamental, results in the ‘safety need’ becoming more powerful and felt by the individual concerned. Once these are fulfilled, the need for ‘belonging’ becomes uppermost and the persons behaviour is directed towards securing a respected place in his group consisting of both his superiors and his equals. Ultimately, the needs for ‘esteem’ and ‘self-actualization’ come into play. An important consideration to remember is that a satisfied need is not a motivators of behaviour. Maslow further suggests that these levels are interdependent and overlapping. Each higher need level emerges before the lower needs have been completely satisfied.

The hierarchy of needs is not always fixed. Different people may have different orders. There is not definite evidence that one a need is satisfied it loses its motivating force. It is also doubtful that satisfaction of one need automatically activates the next need in the hierarchy. Some persons will not aspire after their lower order needs have been satisfied. Despite these limitations, Maslow’s theory provides a convenient conceptual framework for the study of motivation.

McGregor’s Theory ‘X’ and Theory ‘Y’

McGregor has developed a theory of motivation on the basis of hypotheses relating to human behaviour. According to him, the function of motivating people involves certain assumptions about human nature. Theory X and Y are two sets of assumptions about the nature of people.

Theory X: The traditional assumptions about the nature of people, according to McGregor, are included in Theory X as follows:

1. Average human beings have an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if they can;
2. Because of this human characteristic of disliking work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational objectives;
3. Average Human beings prefer to be directed, wish to avoid responsibility, have relatively little ambition, and want security above all.

Theory Y: After describing Theory X, McGregor questioned if this view of human behaviour is correct, he propounded Theory Y which, he said, would better represent the human behaviour.

1. The expenditure of physical effort and mental effort in work is an natural as play or rest.
2. External control and the threat of punishment are not the only means for producing effort toward organizational objectives. People will exercise self-direction and self control in the services of objectives to which they are committed.
3. The degree of commitment of objectives is in proportion to the size of the rewards associated with their achievement.
4. Average human beings learn, under proper conditions, not only to accept responsibility but also to seek it.

The central principle implicit in the assumptions of Theory Y is that integration of behaviours is the key process in management, because it results in the creation of conditions conducive for the members to achieve their efforts towards the success of the enterprise. The concept of integration and self-control demands that the needs of the individual and that of the organization should be recognized. An organization should be recognized. An organization designed on the basis of Theory Y is characterized by decentralization of authority, job enrichment, participative leadership and two-way communication system. The focus is on self-control and responsible jobs. Theory X places exclusive reliance on external control of human behaviour while Theory Y relies on self-regulation.

A question often posed in which Theory (X or Y) better. Most people believe that Theory Y is more describable and productive. But it may not be best approach for all situations. Theory X might be more suitable in some crisis situations but less appropriate in more routine and formalized situations. In some developing countries like India Theory X may still be useful at the lower levels of organisation.

Theory Z of Ouchi

Willian Ouchi developed Theory Z after making a comparative study of Japanese and American management practices. Theory Z is an integrated model of motivation. If focuses attention or organizational and behavioural aspects of management. Theory Z suggests that large compiled organisations are human systems and their effectiveness depends on the quality of humanism used.

According to Ouchi, trust, integrity and openness are essential ingredients of an effective organisation. Theory Z suggests that involvement of employees in related matters improve their commitment and performance. Involvement implies meaningful participation of employees in the decision-making process. The leader’s role should be to co-ordinate the efforts of human being in order to develop common culture and class feeling in the organisation. Organisation control system should be made informal. For this purpose emphasis should be on mutual trust and co-operation rather on superior-subordinate relationships.

Two-Factor Theory of Herzberg

Maslow’s needs approach has been considerably modified by Frederick Herzberg and his associates. His research purpose to find a Tow-Factor Theory of motivation. In one group of needs are such things as organisation policy and administration, supervision, working condition, interpersonal relations, salary, status, job security and personal life.

These were found by Herzberg and his associates to be only dissatisfies and not motivators. In other words, if they exist in a work environment in high quantity and quality, they yield no dissatisfaction. Their existence does not motivate in the same of yielding satisfaction; their lack of existence would, however, result in dissatisfaction. Herzberg called them maintained, hygiene or job context factors.

In the second group, Herzberg listed certain satisfiers— and therefore motivators—all related to job content. They included achievement, recognition, challenging work, advancement and growth in the job. Their existence will yield feeling of satisfaction or no satisfaction (not dissatisfaction).

Herzberg's Two-factor Theory

The Hygiene of maintenance factors (the dissatisfies) will not motivate people in an organisation; yet they must be present, or dissatisfaction will arise. The second group or the job content factors, Herzberg found to be the real motivators because they have the potential of yielding a sense of satisfaction. These his job, whereas hygiene factors only determine how a worker feels about his company or organisation in general. Expressed somewhat differently, motivation factors are related to job context.

On the basis of these factors, Herzberg reached a conclusion that people felt motivated if the job was interesting and challenging; if the possibilities of growth existed in it; if they were able to obtain a sense of achievement; if they had the responsibility and authority to use their discretion; and they were able to advance in the profession and receive recognition for the tasks they did. These factors are embedded in the job as such. Guided by these responses, he suggested job enrichment instead of job enlargement as a motivational strategy.

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

Vroom’s theory is that people’s motivation towards dong anything will be determined by the value they place and the outcome of their effort, multiplied by the confidence they have that their efforts will materially aid in achieving a goal. In other words, Vroom makes the point that motivation is a product of the anticipated worth that an individual place on a goal and the chance he or she sees of achieving the goal. Vroom’s model is build around the concept of valence, expectancy and force.

Vroom’s concept of force is equivalent to motivation and is gain equivalent to the product of valence and expectancy. In his own terms, Vroom’s theory may be stated as:

Force = Valence × expectancy

Where force is strength of a person’s motivation, valence is the strength of an individual’s preference for an outcome, and expectancy is the probability that a particular action will lead to a desired outcome.
When a person is indifferent about achieving a certain goal, a valence of zero occurs; there is a negative valence when the person would rather not achieve the goal.

The result of either would be, of course, no motivation. Likewise, a person would have no motivation to achieve a goal if the expectancy were zero or negative. The force exerted to do something will depend on both valence and expectancy. Moreover, a motive to accomplish some action might be determined by a desire to accomplish something else.

However, the theory has been criticized on the following grounds:

(i) The theory is not empirically tested. It is complex and its validity cannot be fully tested. There are only a few research studies designed to test the theory.
(ii) The theory cannot be applied in practice. From a theoretical standpoint, the model seems to be a step in the right direction but it does not give the manager practical help in solving motivation problems.
(iii) There are so many technical and methodological problems to do research on the theory. valence cannot be measured on ratio scales, each valence is explained in the terms of all other valences.

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