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Theories of Motivation

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During last seven decades many researches were being carried on motivation but they all emphasis that due to complex nature of human beings no generalization is possible.

The findings of research studies and theories are not universally applicable. Therefore, it is necessary to have a knowledge about various theories of motivation and how these affect the behaviour of human beings, keeping in mind the resource problems.

Some of the most renowned theories of motivation are:-

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1. Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory 2. McGregor’s X and Y Theories 3. Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory 4. McClelland’s Need for Achievement Theory 5. Equity Theory. 6. Carrot and Stick Approach Theory 7. Fear and Punishment Theory

8. The Expectancy Theory of Motivation 9. Theory Z 10. Reward (Soft or Weak) Theory 11. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy 12. Alderfer’s Erg Theory. 13. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory 14. Reinforcement Theory 15. Goal-Setting Theory 16. Contingency Approach of Motivation.


List of all the Renowned Theories of Motivation: Herzberg’s, McGregor’s X and Y, Victor Vroom’s, McClelland’s Need for Achievement, Equity  and a More…

Theories of Motivation – Top 5 Theories Theories of Motivation 

A large number of theories exist on motivation but among them two theories evolved by Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg are considered outstanding. It can also be stated that McGregor also has contributed a lot by his two theories, viz., Theory X and Theory Y, in which he has explained the various approaches to motivation.

1. Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene Theory:

According to Frederick Herzberg, motivation factors (also called intrinsic factors) such as feeling of achievement, job itself, responsibility, recognition, opportunity for advancement motivated the workers, whereas hygiene factors (also called extrinsic factors) such as salary, status, job security, company policy and administration, supervision, working conditions etc., only maintain or placate him and do not motivate him. They simply provide a working environment to the worker. In other words, absence or deficiency of hygiene factors can create dissatisfaction, while their presence does not promote job satisfaction.

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Herzberg states that factors which lead to job satisfaction are quite different from those that lead to job dissatisfaction. Further, absence of job satisfaction does not mean job dissatisfaction and vice versa. Suppose in an organisation, there are factors leading to dissatisfaction and if the manager removes these factors, there will be only peace but not necessarily satisfaction. This is because, the manager’s action only serves to placate employees and not motivate them.

It may be remarked here that hygiene factors will not motivate a worker but will only stop him from becoming dissatisfied or unmotivated. Therefore, Herzberg advocates intrinsic factors (motivating factors) to motivate the worker. Intrinsic factors lead a worker from the stage of no job satisfaction to ‘job-satisfaction’, whereas hygiene factors lead from the stage of dissatisfaction to no dissatisfaction only.

Thus, Herzberg made managers to give their mind to analyse as to what actually makes employees motivated. He says that opposite of job satisfaction is not job dissatisfaction, but rather ‘No’ job dissatisfaction. At the midpoint of “Dissatisfaction-Satisfaction”, exists a silent zone or zero point and the employee is caught at this point. Although he is dissatisfied with pay and facilities he is getting, he is actually not motivated to work, as the job may not be challenging. Therefore, besides money and other incentives, real motivating factor is “Meaningful, interesting and challenging work”. This means “Job Enrichment”.

“Job Enrichment” involves the process of redesigning job to enhance the motivational potential of employees. It “infuses more complexity and depth into jobs by introducing planning and decision-making responsibility normally carried out at higher levels”.

2. McGregor’s X and Y Theories:

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Prof. Douglas McGregor in his book “The Human Side of Enterprise” has introduced two theories, viz., Theory X and Theory Y on the basis of two sets of assumptions. The first set of assumptions is contained in Theory X and the second in Theory Y.

Theory X:

Theory X is based on the following assumptions:

1. Workers have an instinctive aversion to work. They are lazy and desire to work as little as possible and find every pretext to avoid or do it half-heartedly.

2. Only ‘fear’ can force workers into action. A worker will work only when he knows the harmful consequences of not working.

3. He avoids to accept any responsibility. There is need to make him aware of the dreadful consequences of his inaction.

4. He is not interested in achievement. He believes in maintaining the status quo and hates to improve his lot. He prefers to be directed by others.

5. He is concerned mainly with the retaining of his job and he feels that if he does not perform well or takes more time to perform the job, he may lose that job.

6. As the worker has no instinctive liking for work, there is a need for monetary incentive to make him work harder.

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7. Worker is only one of the factors of production and does not deserve any special treatment simply because he is a human being.

8. He lacks integrity.

9. He avoids making decisions whenever possible.

McGregor has described Theory X as a traditional theory and states what managers must do to manage the workers. He points out the need for autocratic leadership to manage such workers. He also states that most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, threatened with punishment to make them put forth adequate efforts towards the achievement of organisational objectives.

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Theory Y:

McGregor has called Theory Y a modern theory. It is exactly opposite to the traditional Theory X. In Theory X, the worker’s role is minimum in the process of management whereas in Theory Y, the worker is given a pride of place and active co-operation between workers and management is emphasised to enable the organisation to accomplish its goals.

According to this theory, a worker by nature has integrity; he works hard towards the objectives of enterprise, wants his organisation to succeed, is not passive, is willing to make decisions and shows a sense of creativity and imagination in his work performance and willingly accepts responsibility. In this sense, Theory Y can be said to be positive and optimistic whereas Theory X is negative and pessimistic.

Assumptions of Theory Y:

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Theory Y is based on the following assumptions:

1. The average human being does not inherently dislike work. Work is as natural as play or rest. Once he understands the purpose of work, he exerts himself to perform it regardless of the kind of remuneration.

2. For making the worker put forth his best efforts towards organisational objectives, external control and threat of punishment are not the only means. The worker will exercise self-direction and self-control for achieving the objectives to which he is committed.

3. If the right motivational schemes are available, every worker will take delight in shouldering responsibility and discharging successfully. If a worker is unwilling to accept responsibility, it may be due to the fact that he is afraid of the consequences of non-performance on his part.

4. It is not correct to think that the worker is incompetent for the job and cannot make the right decisions.

5. A worker wants that his achievement to be noticed by others and expects recognition for the successful accomplishment of responsibility.

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6. For a worker, financial reward is not the only an inspiration. He works efficiently even for non-financial rewards like recognition, greater participation in decision-making, increased responsibility, etc.

7. In the present-day industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of an average human being are not utilised fully.

Thus, Theory Y is democratic in practice. It advocates an active participation and involvement on the pan of workers in the various activities of the enterprise.

3. Victor Vroom’s Expectancy Theory:

This theory tells us that simply making motivation factors available to people is not enough. People must believe that by working, they will receive rewards that are important to them. People’s actions are based on their expectations as well as their needs. Unless there is a positive expectation of a reward that will satisfy a need, an individual will not take action. To illustrate, consider a person who is thirsty. There may be need for water, but the action of going to the faucet and getting a drink occurs only if he expects that efforts will result in obtaining water.

The experience of one manufacturing company indicates the importance of expectations. The management had decided to expand the company, and it knew that a number of supervisors would be needed. To prepare for the expansion, the company decided to run a training programme for its employees (non-supervisors) to prepare them to become supervisors. The programme was open to all employees at no cost. When the programme started, only three people attended the programme. Management interviewed the employees who did not participate to find out the reasons for their poor participation.

Many employees stated that they would like to be promoted but did not feel that attending the programme would help. “Promotion is based on whom you know, not what you know”, was the commonly expressed opinion. In other words, although promotion was a motivating factor to employees, they did not participate in the training programme because they did not believe it would help them in getting promotion.

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Similarly, how hard people work is affected by their needs and whether or not they expect a good job performance to resulting rewards that will satisfy their needs. To be motivated, people must believe that by working hard, they will fulfil the needs that are important to them.

In short, we can say, that if a manager wants to motivate his employees, he should do the following:

i. Know the needs of the employees.

ii. Try to offer rewards (motivation factors) that are important to his employees.

iii. Create positive expectations.

4. McClelland’s Need for Achievement Theory:

According to McClelland, the three important needs are:

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(a) The need for achievement,

(b) The need for affiliation, and

(c) The need for power.

A person who has a high need for achievement has the following characteristics:

(1) He wants for setting moderately difficult but potentially achievable goals.

(2) He prefers to do most of things himself rather than getting them done by others.

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(3) He wishes to take personal responsibility for his success or failure and does not want to hold others responsible for it.

A person who has a need for affiliation, reflects a desire to interact socially with people and is concerned about the quality of an important personal relationship. Thus, social relationships take precedence over task accomplishment for such a person.

A person who has a high need for power concentrates on obtaining and exercising power – and authority. One important characteristic we find in him is that he is concerned with influencing others and winning arguments.

The implications to managers of the McClelland theory are significant. If the needs of employees can be accurately measured, organisations can improve the selection and placement processes. For example, an employee or recruit with a high need for achievement could be placed in a position that would enable him to achieve. This could result in improved performance because of the mutual fit of need intensities and job characteristics. Thus, it is important to identify the behaviours required to perform a set of tasks effectively and then to determine what individual characteristics are most associated with their behaviours.

5. Equity Theory:

Besides the theories analysed so far, another theory which throws light on inner feelings of a worker is “Equity Theory.” The central point of the theory developed by J. Stacy Adams is that “employees perceive what they get from a job situation (outcome) in relation to what they put into it (inputs) and then compare input-outcomes ratio of theirs with the input-outcomes ratio of fellow workers”.

If this comparison result is positive, they are highly motivated to work. If the ratio is negative they are demotivated. The theory focuses on “Equity” aspect. If the ratio is enough to exhibit equity in input-outcome aspect, employees work with zeal.

If inequity exists, employees may resort to any one of the following five options:

(i) Distortion of inputs of their own or of fellow workers.

(ii) Try to change their own inputs or outcomes.

(iii) Try to change the inputs or outcomes of other workers.

(iv) Try to select another person for comparison and lastly.

(v) Get out of the job.

The theory has clearly exhibited (supported by consistent research studies) that workers are motivated significantly be relative rewards as well as absolute rewards. The productivity of the worker is related to equity of rewards and incentives that motivate. Whenever inequity exists the affected workers are demotivated and productivity of such workers fall proportionately.

In Equity theory “Referents” play a vital role in varying the motivation of workers. Referents are the people, systems, or selves against which a person compares himself to assess equity.


Theories of Motivation and How these affect the Behaviour of Human Beings

The satisfactory answer is yet to be found out of one question that is, what motivated people maximum? During last seven decades many researches were being carried on motivation but they all emphasis that due to complex nature of human beings no generalization is possible. The findings of research studies and theories are not universally applicable.

Therefore, it is necessary to have a knowledge about various theories of motivation and how these affect the behaviour of human beings, keeping in mind the resource problems.

Only a few important theories have been discussed here:

1. Carrot and Stick Approach Theory:

The basic principle of this theory is that the person can be motivated if rewards are offered but penalized if their performance falls below minimum level. This idea comes from the old story that the best way to make a donkey move is to put a carrot in front of him or job him with a stick from behind. The carrot is the reward for moving and the stick is the punishment for not moving.

Vroom and Deci observe “Organisation medicated rewards and penalties have most clear cut motivational effects where the outcomes, on the basis of which rewards and penalties are allocated under the control of an individual. Where such control is weakened, the motivational advantages tend to boreal down.”

Organisations build reward and punishment systems in their formal structure to improve the level of motivation of employees but many of these system necessarily be within the control of the management for example, dismissal of an employee for bad performance. Therefore, the mixture of both reward and punishment should be used judiciously so that both have positive effects on the motivational profile of the employee in the organisation.

2. Fear and Punishment Theory:

This theory was based on “neither make reply, nor reason why, but do or die”. It involves the use of threat, coercion, close supervision and light control of behavior. It leads to frustrations, therefore, this approach does not motivate people. This approach worked well when workers were living on the fringe of starvation.

3. Theory ‘X’ and Theory ‘Y’:

A landmark is the study of motivation was Douglas Mc Gregor’s works in this field. He has presented two opposite sets of assumptions about employees and management views about the nature of person at work. These have been represented by Theory X basically negative and Theory Y basically positive. He said that motivation is in rate. Person’s motivation for any type of activity comes from within him rather from any pressure which the management might bring to bear.

Theory X is a traditional set of assumptions such as bureaucratic and authoritarian attitude towards employees. On the other hand, Theory Y implies a more human and supportive approach to managing people.

Theory X assumptions about human nature are often inaccurate and the management approach that develops from these assumptions may fail to motivate many individuals to work towards organizational goals. On the other hand, Theory Y makes for a flexible attitude towards workers and their relationship. It seems to be a better explanation of person’s attitude to work and the motives which guide him.

McGregor Sounds a Note of Caution:

“And I hasten to add that it does not involve the abdication of management, the absence of leadership, the lowering of standards, or the other characteristics usually associated with soft approach and Theory Y, much on the contrary, it is no more possible to create an organisation today which will be a fully effective application of this theory than it was to build atomic power plant in 1945. There are many formidable obstacles to overcome. Change in the direction of Theory Y will be slow, and it will require extensive modification of the attitudes of management and workers alike.”

In the current dynamic environment. Theory Y may be more valid than the precepts of Theory X.

4. Mc Clelland’s Motivation Theory:

David C Mc Clelland studies twenty years at Harvard University then proposed that there are three relevant motives in work place situation. These are need for achievement, need for affiliation, and need for power. This theory is also called Achievement Motivation Theory. It has significant implications for managers.

(i) The Need for Achievement:

Means to achieve success in competitive situations and to strive to succeed. These type of persons prefer challenging assignments and willing to work hard.

The person has following characters:

(a) The person can take personal responsibility for success or failure.

(b) The person can take immediate feedback on how well he is doing.

(c) The person can set moderately difficult goals for himself.

(d) The person can take calculated risk to achieve set goals.

(ii) The Need for Affiliation:

It is a social need and closely inter related with co-workers in the organisation. The person constantly seek to establish friendly relationships.

(iii) The Need for Power:

Means to dominate, influence and control people. The people with high needs for power prefer situations in which they can get and maintain control of the means for influencing others.

As per the views of Mc Clelland, no two people have them in exactly the same proportions for example, one person may be very high in his need for achievement but low in his need for affiliation, on the other hand, the person might be high in his need for affiliation but low in his need for power.

5. The Expectancy Theory of Motivation:

A widely accepted motivation model of the Expectancy Theory of Motivation, as applied to behavior at work has been developed by victor H. Vroom (1964). Vroom explains that motivation in product of how much one seeks and one estimate of the probability that a certain action will lead to it.

It can be represented as –

Valence x expectancy = motivation strength of one’s desire of something probability of getting it with a certain action strength of drive toward an action

Valence refers to the strength of a person’s preference for one out come in relations to others. Expectancy is the strength of belief that an act will be followed giving particular outcomes. The product of valence and expectancy is motivation. It is the strength of the drive toward an action.

The important contribution of this theory is that it explains how the goals of individuals influence their effort and that the behaviour of individuals select and depends upon their assessment of the probability that the behaviour will successfully lead to the goal. For example if an employee believes that if he performs at a high level he will be paid a higher income which is of value to him, then he will produce more.

In order to motivate an employee it is necessary to do two things:

(a) Increase the positive value of our comes by increasing reward; and

(b) Strengthen the connection between the work and the outcomes.

This theory indicates only the conceptual determinants to motivation and how they are related. It does not provide specific suggestions on what motivates human in organisation. It is however, of value in understanding organizational behaviour. It only clarifies the goals between individual and organisational goals. The essence of this theory is that an employee performs a kind of cost benefit analysis.

6. Theory Z:

The latest theory of motivation was developed by Willian Ouchi in 1981 and is called Theory Z which is based on comparative study of American and Japanese management practices.

This mixed/hybrid system has adopted the new philosophy based on following points:

(i) The customer is the king;

(ii) The employees are considered as assets;

(iii) The employee get their wages and perks without demanding them and

(iv) Total customer satisfaction [Both internal and external]

This theory is an extension of earlier theories that received less popular acclaim. It has served a very important function by stimulating many managers to examine the nature and probable effectiveness to their model of organizational behaviour.

The important feature of this theory are:

(a) Long term employment

(b) Industrial responsibility

(c) Job rotation

(d) Consensus decision

(e) Long term planning

(f) Detailed training and development

(g) Team work culture

(h) Structure less organisation

(i) If possible, management bear the temporary losses in order to provide a cushion for employees.

The Maruti Udyog Limited and BHEL, by designing the work place, a common canteen and a common uniform both for officers and workers are working on the Japanese pattern.


Theories of Motivation – McGregor’s theory-X, Fear and Punishment theory, Reward Theory, Carrot and Stick Theory (with Usefulness and Criticisms) 

During the last century, numerous thinkers, experts and researchers have studied different aspects and theories of organizational behaviour and individual interactions, which have a bearing on motivation. These studies can be classified under two groups as traditional theories and modern theories.

The Traditional Theories are based on mostly the human relation approach in management, with little attention to psychological process that occur.

These theories work on basic assumptions:

(a) Personnel primarily are economically motivated and secondly desire security and good working conditions.

(b) Providing the above rewards to the personnel will have a positive effect or the work morale.

(c) There is a positive correlation between morale and productivity.

As these theories neglect behavioural approach and psychological aspects of employees, complex features of motivation could not work well. Around fifties of previous century behavioural approach to motivation started to search new facts and techniques for motivation. These theories were termed as modern theories of work motivation.

These have been classified depending on the assumptions made:

(a) Prescription Theories:

These theories guide management to find a way to motivate employees. These models include theories such as Taylor’s Scientific Management, Hawthorne’s Human Relation Model and McGregor’s Y theory. The basis for these models is Trial and Error experience or popular beliefs.

(b) Content Theories:

These models think logically what makes behaviours to occur and stop. The basis for these theories is needs, motives, or desires that drive employees to get satisfaction in the job. Some of the theories, which deal with above mentioned items are Maslow’s Need Hierarchy, Fredrick Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory and David McClelland’s Need for Achievement Theory.

(c) Process Theory:

This type of model is known as Behaviourist’s model. This theory deals with the matter how behaviour originates and is performed.

(d) Cognitive Theory:

Cognition means thinking and feelings of individuals. This model deals with the individual thinking, feelings and expectations. Vroom’s expectancy theory comes under this category.

Traditional Theories of Motivation:

Important theories which come under this category are:

1. McGregor’s theory-X.

2. Fear and Punishment theory;

3. Reward Theory and

4. Carrot and Stick Theory.

1. McGregor’s Theory-X:

Professor Douglas McGregor has presented two opposite sets of assumptions about employees and about management views about the nature of man at work. Theory X and Theory Y have represented these factors. Theory X based on a set of traditional beliefs, whereas theory Y based on a set of beliefs based on researches in behavioural science. Theory X was presented by Prof. McGregor in 1957 and later elaborated in his work ‘The human side of an enterprise in 1960’.

Theory X assumes that:

(i) Typical individuals basically dislike work, as by nature they are indolent, and will avoid work whenever they can.

(ii) Because most people dislike work, they have to be pushed, closely supervised, threatened, coerced, persuaded and even punished to get them to achieve the objective of the organizations.

(iii) Most people basically are lazy, have little ambition, prefer to avoid responsibility and desire security as a major goal; and prefer to be directed or led.

(iv) Typical worker is self-centered and has little concern for organizational goals.

(v) A worker by nature resistant to change.

(vi) He is gullible, not very bright, the ready dupe of the charlatan and the demagogue.

Managers who accept this theory think as follows:

(a) In the interests of economic achievements, the management has to pool up productive resources such as money, material, equipment and men.

(b) With respect to people, this is a process of directing their efforts motivate them control their actions and modifying their behaviour to fit the needs of the organization.

(c) Without the active involvement of management and intervention by management, people would be passive and even resistant to organizational needs.

Managers who believe in Theory X, put emphasis on discipline, incentive program, welfare measures, close supervision, pension and other benefit program. They take a somewhat pessimistic view of humanity.

McGregor’s Theory-Y:

This theory states that:

(a) Management is responsible for organizing the elements of productive enterprise in the interest of economic ends.

(b) People are not by nature passive or resistant to organizational needs. The average person within a favourable human relations climate, learn not only to accept but seek responsibility. Avoidance of responsibility, lack of ambition, and emphasis on security are generally consequences of experience, not inherent human characteristics.

(c) Work is as natural as play or rest and people develop an attitude toward work related to their experience with it.

(d) The motivation, the potential for development, the capacity for assuming responsibility, the readiness to direct behaviour towards organizational goals are all present in people. Management does not put them there. It is the responsibility of the management to make it possible for people to recognize and develop these human characteristic^ for themselves.

(e) A large percentage of population has a high degree of imagination, ingenuity, and creativity in the solution of organizational problems.

(f) Under the condition of modern industrial life, the intellectual potentialities of the average human being are only partially utilized.

(g) The essential task of management is to arrange organizational conditions and methods of operation so that people can achieve their own goals best by directing their own efforts towards organizational objectives. This process primarily of creating opportunities, releasing potential, removing obstacles encouraging growth, providing guidance.

(h) Close control and threats of punishment, are not the only ways to get people to do things.

(i) Commitment to objectives is determined by the rewards associated with their achievement.

(j) Motivation occurs at the social esteem and self-actualization levels, as well as at the physiological and security levels.

The essence of Theory Y is that Workers will do fare more than is expected of them if treated like human beings and permitted to experience personal satisfaction on the job. The theory places the programs squarely in the lap of management. If employees are lazy, indifferent, unwilling to take responsibility, intransigent, uncreative, non-cooperative, the causes lie in management’s methods of organization and control.

The managers, who believe in Theory Y, put emphasis on consultation, participation, motivation, communication, and opportunities in formulating managerial and personal policies. McGregor suggested a number of innovative ideas, which are consistent with Theory Y and are practiced in America.

They are:

(a) Greater decentralization and delegation of authority – Too much of control on subordinates must be avoided and a sense of responsibility must be created in them so that they enjoy greater freedom in their work.

(b) Job enlargement – To increase the responsibility among the rank and file workers, so as to satisfy their social and ego needs.

(c) Participation and consultative management – Employees are given opportunities to take part in decision-making and their suggestions are listened and if they are really good one they are adopted. This makes employees happy and they feel that they are not merely workers but they are a part of the system in which they are working.

(d) Target setting for performance – A self-evaluation of performance periodically is introduced in consultation with employees, so that each one will have sense of leadership and motivate by them to work.

Further clarification to the above theories offered by McGregor in his work is:

(i) Theory X and Theory Y are not the only two possible theories of management. These are only two examples among many managerial tools.

(ii) These are not managerial strategies. They are the beliefs about the nature of man that influence the managers to choose appropriate strategies.

Usefulness of McGregor’s Theory:

(a) McGregor’s Theory was extensively discussed and influenced by management thought significantly.

(b) Several studies have been made to test the relevance of theory X and theory Y.

(c) They are consistent with the modern notions and dignity and decency of work significantly.

(d) Several studies have been made to test the relevance of theory X and theory Y.

(e) They are McGregor’s Theory was extensively discussed and influenced by management thought consistent with the modern notions and dignity and decency of work.

(f) They guide managers to be sensitive to the feelings and needs of their subordinates.

(g) They encourage freedom and flexibility to the workers so that they can develop and contribute toward the betterment of the organization.

Criticisms of Theory X and Theory Y:

(a) Human beings display different behaviour and hence, it is very difficult to find employees as described in Theory X and Theory Y.

(b) As there are many employees who are lazy and resistant to change and indifferent and there are several employees who are intelligent, dynamic and healthy, application of these theories to individuals uniformly is impossible.

(c) Similarly, we can see managers of two extremes, one being too liberal, democratic and other being autocrat and arrogant.

(d) The two theories are two extremes designed for two peculiar classes of people. But it is very difficult to find these classes of people categorically. Hence, it is very difficult to apply these in practice.

(e) The situational aspect, nature of work, nature of subordinate etc. are completely ignored.

(f) When there are senior managers who handle the other managers this theory is not suitable.

(g) Nothing has been mentioned about managerial motivation. Concentration is made only on control and motivation of subordinates.

Theory Z:

Theory Z represents the adoption of Japanese management practice by the American Organizations. The Hybrid type of System incorporates the strengths of Japanese management such as Group decision making, Social cohesion, Job security, Holistic concern for employees, etc. and American management strengths such as Quick decision making, Individual freedom, Risk taking by individuals etc.

Professor Quachi has introduced theory Z and provided a new paradigm to the normal science of management. Theory Z concentrates on the organizational behaviour aspect of management. The most important point in Theory Z is it does not give any weightage to the traditional adversarial relationship between management and employees. It advocates tackling of productivity problems through coordinating individual efforts in a productive manner.

Theory Z believes in truly democratic and dynamic philosophy of management. In this type of management philosophy, decisions are made by the consensus and where employer and employee relationship is based on the family like loyalty, strong and mutual. Theory X emphasizes external control of human behaviour. Theory Y emphasizes self- control and self-direction. Whereas Theory Z exclusively rely upon corporate team work and compromise as two essential factors for its successful application.

The philosophy of theory Z is committed and involved workers are the key factors in increasing the productivity. Now we have seen the three theories, the manager’s duty is to select appropriate theory in his organization to manage the things. Which theory he has to select. He finds the workers of different behaviour. No one theory can be selected exclusively to motivate people.

An optimal and timely blend suitable to situation on hand will be helpful for him. He must behave like a parent – who sometimes provide love and affection to their children and sometimes carrot and stick policy, sometimes treatment advocated by Theory X and Theory Y who does not have the knowledge of theory X and Theory Y or in fact any management policies.

The features of theory Z or United States-Japanese system of management are as under:

i. Strong Bond between the Company and the Employees:

Theory Z advocates lifetime employment in the company as followed in Japan. Retrenchment, Lay­offs etc. should be avoided as far as possible. Along with the financial incentives, the management should also use non-financial incentives to motivate the workers. To strengthen the relationship between company and workers, the management should follow the paternalistic style. The needs of workers must be satisfied.

ii. Employee’s Participation:

To increase the commitment of workers in productivity affairs, they must be given a free approach in decision-making process and in case their suggestions are really worthy, they must be considered. This will give a moral boost to workers. Theory Z supports less centralized and more consensus seeking decision-making approach.

iii. Mutual Trust:

There should be trust between employees, supervisors, workers and unions and management. According the Quchi, Trust, Integrity and openness are closely related. All these are necessary for an effective organization. To develop trust, there should be complete openness and can dour in relationships. The changes of conflicts should be reduced to the minimum. Attempts should be made to achieve win-win relationships in the organization. This will increase the commitment of employees towards organization.

iv. Integrated Structure:

Theory Z recommends no formal structure. The organization structure should be based on the team-work. For example, the structure represents a basketball team where there are no formal reporting relationships and the players play together. Integrated organizations not have any chart or visible structure. The employees must develop group spirit.

v. Human Resources Development:

The management must work to develop new skills among the employees. In Theory Z, human resources potential is recognized and the greater emphasis is on the job enlargement and career planning as well as socialization. Technical training, research and development are also emphasized.

vi. Informal Control:

Theory Z advises the managers to reduce their reliance of formal control system. As far as possible, organizational controls should be informal and flexible. In other words, the managers should emphasize mutual trust and cooperation rather than their authority over the subordinates. There should be free flow of information throughout the organization so that corrective actions could be taken quickly whenever needed.

The Japanese firms operating in United States of America have practiced theory Z successfully. With the collaboration of Indian Organizations and Japanese firms, there has been a lot of talk about the application of Theory Z to Indian conditions. In Maruti Udyog, which has collaboration with Suzuki Motors of Japan, an attempt has been made to implement Theory Z. The company provides Japanese work environment. To avoid class feeling among employees, same canteen, same dress code is being observed at Maruti Udyog Limited. In one word. Theory Z concentrates on the organizational behaviour side of management.

2. Fear and Punishment Theory:

This theory supports close supervision and tight control of behaviour and the use of coercion and threat. The thinking behind this theory is that people work for the sake of money and that will work only to ensure that the job is not lost. Management assumed that workers were imbued with self-interest and self-preservation. This type of theory approach authoritarian and military in tone and individual had no option but either to respect the command or to leave the job. This is do or die approach. This theory is useful; when for a worker the job alone is his and his family’s livelihood.

3. Reward (Soft or Weak) Theory:

This theory has some positive factors when compared to above. This theory offers some reward and good working conditions to motivate people to work better and harder; their demands are satisfied and harmony achieved. This theory assumes that people are motivated to work to the extent to which they are rewarded.

The originator of this theory is F.W. Taylor, father of scientific management. He said ‘give a man more money and he will produced more.’ This theory forgets that satisfaction with more money is not sufficient motivation. Men are not machines. They are blend of psychological, physiological, social and economic needs. Money alone will not give satisfaction to the worker.

4. Carrot and Stick Theory:

This theory assumes that the people can be motivated to work if rewards are offered or withheld. The rewards are attached to the effective performance of the work at the same time punishment is attached if performance falls below the level of expectation or the target set.

This theory works well until an individual is struggling for subsistence. Once and individual has reached an adequate subsistence level and is motivated primarily by higher needs.


Theories of Motivation: Maslow’s Need Hierarchy, Mcclelland’s Need, Alderfer’s Erg , Vroom’s Expectancy , Equity , Reinforcement , Goal-Setting  and Theory Z

From the very beginning, when human organizations were established, people had tried to find out the answer of “what motivates people in the organization most.” This has led to development of various theories of motivation. These theories have been put into five categories: need theory, expectancy theory, equity theory, reinforcement theory, and goal- setting theory.

Need theory says that people are motivated by their needs. Maslow’s need hierarchy, Herzberg’s two-factor theory; McClelland’s need theory, and Alderfer’s ERG theory fall in this category. Expectancy theory explains the process that an individual uses in deciding what is valuable to him and how it can be achieved in a given situation.

Vroom’s theory falls in this category. Equity theory suggests that people want equity in their performance and reward. Adams’s theory falls in this category. Reinforcement theory is based on Skinner’s behaviour modification and suggests that people may be motivated by both positive reinforcement and negative reinforcement. Goal-setting theory relates nature of goals and performance in motivating employees.

The above theories may be put into two categories based on how people may be motivated- content theories and process theories. Content theories suggest that people have certain needs which motivate them to engage in goal-directed behaviour to satisfy these needs. Various need theories fall in this category, Process theories deal with the process of motivation and are concerned with how motivation occurs. Other theories fall in his category.

Besides these theories, Ouchi has coined Theory Z based on management practices of Japanese companies. Though this theory does not deal only with motivation, but deals with other management aspects also, it provides some clues for motivation.

Various theories of motivation approach the problems of motivation from different perspectives, but they all emphasize similar set of relationships. These relationships are the individual, his needs, and his perception of how he will be able to satisfy his needs. All these theories have their relevance only in a particular context, and when the context changes, they may not work because they are not unified theories which can be applied in all situations.

Therefore, contingency theory of motivation is required. However, contingency theory has not been fully developed as yet. Now, let us go through various theories of motivation to find out what they propose and offer implications for motivating people in organizations.

1. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy:

Maslow has proposed that motivation of people depends on their needs and these needs may be arranged in a hierarchy.

Need hierarchy theory is based on the following assumptions:

i. People’s needs are in hierarchical order starting from basic needs to higher order needs.

ii. A satisfied need does not motivate a person; only the next higher order need motivates him.

iii. A person moves to the next order higher need of the need hierarchy when his lower order need is reasonably satisfied.

iv. Various needs are interdependent and overlapping; each higher order need emerges before the lower order need has been completely satisfied. Thus, even though a need is satisfied, it does not disappear and influences behaviour but it is not a prime motivator.

Description of various needs of need hierarchy is as follows:

i. Physiological Needs:

Physiological needs are basic to everyone to maintain his physiological characteristics, for example, needs for food, clothing, shelter, etc. In the organization, these needs are satisfied by paying adequate remuneration for work done.

ii. Safety Needs:

Safety needs, also known as security needs, are related to self- preservation — being free of physical danger. In the organization, these needs are satisfied by job security and financial incentives having long-term implications like provident fund, pension, insurance plan, etc.

iii. Social Needs:

Social needs are related to belongingness of people at work, acceptance by others, working in harmonious group, etc. In the organization, such needs are satisfied by creating harmonious work groups, rapport between superior and his subordinates, informal organization, etc.

iv. Esteem Needs:

Esteem needs are concerned with self-respect, self-confidence, feeling of worthwhile, recognition of good work, etc. In the organization, esteem needs are satisfied by giving recognition of good work in the form of promotion, award, specialized posting, etc.

v. Self-Actualization Needs:

Self-actualization needs are concerned with maximum use of one’s potential. In other words, it is ‘becoming what one is capable of being’. In fact, a person has lot of potential which remains dormant till he gets opportunity to utilize it like presentation of a challenge. In the organization, self-actualization needs are satisfied by providing challenging work and opportunity to contribute substantially to achieve organizational objectives.

Critical Analysis of Maslow’s Need Hierarchy:

Maslow’s theory has reasonable support for the hypothesis that human needs have some hierarchical order. However, a basic question is- is need hierarchy rigid and does every person try to satisfy his needs according to this hierarchy? If the answers are in positive, there is no problem in motivating people. However, it is not so. The hierarchy is not so rigid for all the individuals and all the times.

Therefore, problems emerge in putting this theory into practice which are as follows:

1. There is lack of need hierarchy as suggested by Maslow, though every individual has some ordering for his need satisfaction.

This has been demonstrated by a large number of researches which have generalized as follows:

(i) Some people may be deprived of their lower order needs but may try for self- actualizing needs. The example of Mahatma Gandhi is one of the most important.

(ii) There are certain persons for whom self-esteem needs are more important than social needs. Such people may be those who seek self-assertion as a means to an end.

(iii) There is considerable disordering among various types of needs. For example, many people do not care for job security (security need) but care for social need. Similarly, many people may not care for social need but for self-esteem need.

(iv) For some people, many of the needs may not form part of their own need hierarchy. Thus, there is not only question for reversal of hierarchy but also discontinuity of hierarchy. For example, there may be people who might be deprived of social need from their childhood. They may develop apathy towards such needs, though it is just possible that they may develop high order for such need.

2. There is another problem, which is common with many other theories also, that there is often a lack of direct cause-effect relationship between need and behaviour. Thus, a particular need may cause behaviour in different ways in different persons or a particular behaviour may be the result of different needs. For example, people may earn money to satisfy several types of needs, not only physiological needs. Thus, need hierarchy is not as simple as it seems to be.

3. A person tries to satisfy his next higher order need when his lower order need is reasonably satisfied. What is this reasonable level? This question is more relevant because of individual differences.

These are some basic problems involved in the application of Maslow’s need hierarchy. However, this theory suggests hierarchical nature of human needs which provides clue for motivating employees. The only thing a manager can do is that he provides as many incentive schemes as possible with provision of choosing a scheme or a set of schemes by the employees.

2. Mcclelland’s Need Theory:

McClelland has identified three types of basic motivating needs:

i. Need for power (n-Pow),

ii. Need for affiliation (n-Aff) and

iii. Need for achievement (n-Ach).

i. Need for Power:

Need for power is the desire of a person to exercise control over others thereby influencing their behaviour. In organizational hierarchy, it is satisfied by occupying higher position. Besides positional power, a person may acquire personal power because of his ability to influence others. He is motivated if the organization provides him opportunities to exercise his personal power.

ii. Need for Affiliation:

Need for affiliation is in the form of belongingness. People with high need for affiliation usually derive pleasure from being loved and tend to avoid the pain of being rejected. Need for affiliation of a person is satisfied if he is able to maintain pleasant social relationship, enjoy a sense of intimacy and understanding, and enjoy consoling and helping others in trouble.

iii. Need for Achievement:

Need for achievement is an intense desire to achieve something unique. There are four basic characteristics of a high achiever- moderate risk taking, immediate feedback of work performance, sense of accomplishment, and preoccupation with the tasks until these are completed successfully.

Implications of the Theory:

According to the research conducted by McClelland and others, effective managers show high on achievement and power and low on affiliation. Achievement-oriented people are the backbone of most of the organizations for their fast growth. Achievement need may be developed at an early age as well as at a later stage through training and counselling. This has been demonstrated by training programmes conducted by McClelland.

3. Alderfer’s Erg Theory:

Alderfer has provided an extension of the Maslow’s need hierarchy theory and Herzberg’s two factor theory of motivation, particularly the former. He has categorized the various needs into three categories — existence needs, relatedness needs, and growth needs. Combination of the first letter of these needs is used to call it ERG theory.

Existence needs include all needs related to physiological and safety aspects of an individual. Relatedness needs include all those needs that involve relationship with other people whom the individual cares. Growth needs involve the individual making creative efforts to utilize full potential in the existing environment.

However, Alderfer states that along with satisfaction-progression, people can experience frustration-regression, that is, if people cannot satisfy their higher needs, they ‘drop back’ and again focus on more concrete needs. Implication of ERG theory is that different types of needs operate simultaneously. If an individual’s particular path towards satisfaction is blocked, he may persist along that path but at the same time, he regresses towards more easily satisfiable needs.

4. Vroom’s Expectancy Theory:

Vroom has criticized the content theories of motivation which are based on the needs of people and their priority. According to him, people will be motivated to do things to achieve some goals to the extent that they expect that certain actions on their part will help them to achieve the goal. Vroom’s theory is built around the concepts of valence, instrumentality, and expectancy and, therefore, this model is referred to as VIE theory. Valence means the strength of an individual’s preference to a particular outcome. For example, promotion is an outcome which is valuable to employees.

Instrumentality is the first-level outcome in obtaining a derived second-level outcome. For example, assume that an individual desires promotion and feels that superior performance is a very strong factor in achieving the promotion. In this case, superior performance is the first-level outcome and promotion is the second-level outcome.

Expectancy is the probability that a particular action will lead to a particular first- level outcome. For example, an employee may find out the probability of putting the required superior performance. If he perceives that there is high probability that he may be able to put efforts required for superior performance, he will be willing to put those efforts. In the alternative case, he will not be willing to put the efforts.

Perhaps, in building a good career in management, you might have used this theory right since your thought of getting admission in a management institute of your choice. Thus, the strength of motivation to perform a certain act will depend on the sum of the products of the values for the outcomes times the expectancies.

Implications of the Theory:

One of the important features of this theory is that it recognizes individual differences in work motivation and suggests that motivation is a complex process as compared to simplistic need theories. Thus, this theory is consistent with the idea that a manager’s job is to design an environment for performance, taking into account the differences in various situations.

However, this theory is difficult to research and apply in practice. This is evident by the fact that there have been only a few research studies designed specifically to test the Vroom’s theory. Nevertheless, from a theoretical standpoint, the Vroom theory seems to be a step in the right direction but does not give the manager practical help in solving his motivational problem.

5. Equity Theory:

Equity theory of motivation is based on the social exchange process. Though this theory has been around just as long as the expectancy theory of motivation, Adams has crystallized it in a more formal way. This theory points out that people are motivated to maintain fair relationship between their performance and reward in comparison to others.

There are two assumptions on which the theory works- (i) Individuals make contributions (inputs) for which they expect certain rewards (outcomes). (ii) They analyze whether a particular exchange is satisfactory or not by comparing their inputs and outcomes with those of others and try to rectify any inequality.

Exchange relationship between a person’s inputs/outcomes in relation to those of other persons may be of three types:

i. Overpaid inequity,

ii. Underpaid inequity, and

iii. Equity.

i. Overpaid Inequity:

In this case, the person perceives that his outcomes are more as compared to his inputs in relation to others.

This relationship can be expressed by:

(Person’s outcomes/ Person’s inputs) > (Others’ outcomes/ Others’ inputs)

In this case, the person experiences guilt feeling.

ii. Underpaid Inequity:

In this case, the person perceives that his outcomes are lower as compared to his inputs in relation to others.

This relationship can be expressed as:

(Person’s outcomes / Person’s inputs) < (Others’ outcomes / Others’ inputs)

In such a relationship, the person experiences dissonance.

iii. Equity:

In this case, the person perceives that his outcomes in relation to his inputs are equal to those of others.

This relationship can be expressed by:

(Person’s outcomes/ Person’s inputs) = (Others’ outcomes /Others’ inputs)

In this case, the person experiences satisfaction.

Implications of the Theory:

Equity theory has a number of implications for managers. First, the theory makes managers realize that equity in performance and reward tends to be one of the most important motive of the people in the organization. Therefore, equity concept should be given adequate consideration in designing motivation system. “Equal pay for equal work” principle is based on this theory. Second, perception of equity by employees is important factor in work setting. Therefore, management should take this aspect into consideration and attempt should be made to develop the perceptual skills of the people.

However, there are some practical difficulties in applying equity theory due to many qualitative and psychological factors involved. First, it is difficult to assess the perception (or misperception) of people about inputs-outcomes relationships. Second, equity is a matter of comparison.

The relevant question in this context is- “how does a person choose the comparison person?” The process by which the person decides whom to compare himself with is not clearly understood as yet. Third, equity theory does not specify the actions which a person will take to reestablish equity if he perceives inequity. Notwithstanding, the concept of equity has its relevance in motivation which has been recognized both in theory and practice.

6. Reinforcement Theory:

Reinforcement theory, based on Skinner’s behaviour modification model, suggests that people’s behaviour that has positive consequences is repeated while the behaviour that has negative consequences is not repeated. Reinforcement theory aims at increasing strength of desirable behaviour and decreasing, or even extinguishing negative behaviour by presenting reinforcement.

Reinforcement is anything that strengthens or encourages someone’s behavioural response in a given situation.

For motivating people to engage in desirable behaviour and refraining from undesirable behaviour, managers may use the following methods:

i. Positive Reinforcement- Positive reinforcement is anything which strengthens desirable behaviour of people. It is in the form of reward for desirable behaviour, either in monetary form (like financial incentive) or non-monetary form (like praise for good work).

ii. Negative Reinforcement- Negative reinforcement is anything which strengthens one’s behaviour in order to avoid undesirable consequences, for example, criticizing a person for his bad performance.

iii. Punishment- Punishment is anything that weakens and decreases the behaviour which has been punished, for example, disciplinary action for indiscipline.

iv. Extinction- Extinction involves withdrawal of a positive reinforcement that has led to undesirable behaviour. For example, many organizations encourage employees to form literary groups, cultural groups, etc. for better socialization and personality development. Over the period of time, these groups become dysfunctional because many activities related to these groups are performed during office time. In order to overcome this problem, employees may not be encouraged to form and operate such groups.

Traditional carrot and stick approach of motivation is based on reinforcement theory. The carrot and stick approach of motivation comes from the old story that the best way to make a donkey move is to put a carrot in front of it or jab it with a stick from behind. The carrot is the reward for moving and the stick is the punishment for not moving.

The carrot and stick approach of motivating people takes the same view. Though punishment connotes negative approach, organizations should have penal provision to refrain employees from engaging in undesirable behaviour which has serious negative consequences for the organizations.

In order to make punishment effective, the following points should be taken into consideration while using it:

i. Punishment is effective in modifying the behaviour if it forces the person to select a desirable alternative behaviour that is then rewarded.

ii. If the desirable behaviour is not reinforced, the punished behaviour will be only temporarily suppressed and will reappear when the punishment is removed. Furthermore, the suppressed behaviour may cause the person to be fearful and anxious.

iii. Punishment is more effective if applied at the time when the undesirable behaviour takes place.

iv. Punishment must be administered with extreme care so that it does not become reward for undesirable behaviour. A punishment, from one point of view, may become a reward for the person concerned.

7. Goal-Setting Theory:

Goal-setting theory states that employees will be motivated if they set their own work goals. US psychologist Edwin Locke proposed goal setting by the employees themselves as an incentive to them during 1960s. Subsequently, this concept was refined by Locke and his associates in the form of goal-setting theory.

Goal-setting becomes motivating when goal- setting process has the following features:

i. Goals are set clearly and precisely.

ii. Goals are challenging requiring use of untapped potentials of the employees.

iii. Employees feel that they are part of the goal-setting process.

iv. The task to be performed must be complex but not overwhelmingly, with sufficient time and resources available.

v. There is constant feedback about progress towards achievement of goals.

Propositions of goal-setting theory seem to be valid as indicated by some research studies. However, there are some problems in applying this theory. First, many organizations are designed in such a way that it works against joint goal setting. Second, individuals are more tempted to take risky actions in pursuit of their goals, which could potentially lead to failure rather than success.

8. Theory Z:

Theory Z describes the major postulates of Japanese management practices and how these practices can be adopted in USA and other countries. It can be made clear that the letter Z does not stand for anything; it just denotes the state of affairs related to human behaviour as has been done in the case of theories X and Y.

Ouchi who coined the term theory Z has suggested the following five broad features of Theory Z:

i. Trust:

There is trust between employees, work groups, unions, supervisors, management, and government. According to Ouchi, trust, integrity, and openness are closely related. When an organization relies on these principles, employees tend to be motivated and cooperate to the maximum extent.

ii. Strong Bond between Organization and Employees:

There is strong bond between organization and its employees because of stability of employees in the organization. Stability is created by lifetime employment, highly conducive work environment, and slow employee promotion. In the case of economic slowdown, employees are not retrenched and shareholders are ready to accept lower profit or even loss.

iii. Employee Involvement:

There is employee involvement which comes through meaningful participation in decision making. When any decision is made without involving employees, they are informed immediately so that they do not feel ignored. However, any decision affecting employees in any way is made jointly.

iv. No Formal Structure:

There no formal structure for the organization containing divisions and organization chart. Instead, it is a perfect teamwork with cooperation along with sharing of information, resources, and plans. Employees work like members of a basketball team which plays well together and solves all problems with no formal reporting relationships and minimum specialization of positions and of tasks.

The organization places emphasis on rotational aspect of employee placement which provides opportunities to him to understand how his work affects others or is affected by others. This enables him to develop group spirit which is the basic backbone of success.

v. Coordination of Human Beings:

The leader’s role is to coordinate people and not technology to achieve productivity. This involves developing people’s skills and also the creation of new philosophy of management. The purpose is to achieve commitment of employees to the development of a less-selfish-more-cooperative approach to work. Before commitment can occur, there is mutual understanding between management and employees which comes from the open expression of skepticism through a process of debate and analysis. This develops a common culture and imbibes no class feeling in the organization.

Implications of Theory Z:

Theory Z provides a complete transformation of motivational aspect of employees which other theories are not able to emphasize. However, it can be mentioned that Theory Z is not merely a motivational technique but involves the complete transformation of management actions including various management techniques.

The basic question is whether the same pattern can be followed by other countries including India because of difference between Japanese culture and culture of other countries. There are some features which may work against the precepts of Theory Z, particularly in Indian context.

These are as follows:

1. The provision of life-time employment to develop strong bond between the organization and its employees seems to be difficult because of two reasons- (i) Employer is unlikely to retain an employee who is otherwise unproductive because of’ availability of his alternative, (ii) An employee will not hesitate to switch over to another organization, if there is a relative rise in his income or other non-monetary benefits.

2. Theory Z emphasizes common culture and imbibes no class feeling within an organization. This again seems to be very difficult because people come from such a wide variety of environments and differ in habits, eating pattern, dress, and languages which may be a barrier in developing common culture.

3. The proposition that shareholders will accept less profit or accept losses to avoid lay-off does not seem to be feasible in Indian context where most of the organizations believe in low level of social responsibility.

4. The participation in decision making in Indian context has its own limitations.

5. There may be some operational problems in implementing Theory Z. For example, organization without its structure has been emphasized by many but how actually it works is yet unanswered. A large organization without some kind of structure, even though highly flexible, may present chaos. It may be true with the basketball team but when it comes to large organizations, it presents problems. Even modern American organizations could not follow this.

It can be summed up that Theory Z does not present the total solution of management problems of motivating employees at least for the present.

9. Contingency Approach of Motivation:

The appraisal of various theories of motivation and resultant motivational strategies indicates that there is no single method or a set of methods which can be used for motivating everyone. This is due to individual difference. Thus, what motivates people is situational. This is the basic theme of contingency approach of motivation.

However, it does not mean that various theories of motivation do not offer any help. In fact, the contingency approach is derived out of these theories. It merely suggests that in motivating people, all the contextual variables must be specified and their inter-relationship should be established. When this is done, it may be comparatively easier to find out the motivational strategy which is applicable in the given situation.

Contingency approach emphasizes linking between micro-motivation and macro- motivation. Micro-motivation operates at the level of individual organizations while macro- motivation operates at the broad social level. Thus, what is a motivating factor in one society may not be as effective in another society. Since individuals who join an organization, do not bring merely their skills and competence but also their attitudes and values conditioned by their families, ethnic groups, and other socio-cultural variables, they should be taken as a whole while designing strategy for motivating them.

Thus, contingency approach emphasizes the analysis of individual and organizational variables which are as follows:

i. Since individuals differ in terms of their personality, ability, attitudes, and values, their need patterns also differ. The analysis of individuals provides clue about the factors which motivate them.

ii. An individual’s needs are determined by his initial needs derived from his socio- cultural background as well as the needs which he develops through the interaction with the organization. Therefore, an organization can modify the need patterns of individuals within the overall macro-motivational context.

Elements of Sound Motivation System:

According to contingency approach, a sound motivation system is one which takes into account both individual and organizational variables.

Thus, the motivation system should be based on the following principles:

a. Adequate Motivation:

The motivation system should be adequate covering the entire human force in the organization and it should cover entire activities of the workforce. Sometimes, the presence of a motivational factor fails to produce any effective result, particularly when its degree is too small. In such a case, its energetic force should be increased so that it motivates strongly.

b. Analysis of Needs:

A good motivation system also attempts at analyzing the factors which motivate the employees in the prevailing organizational environment. Various needs of the employees, degree of their intensity, and the prospective consequences of satisfying them, or continuing them dissatisfied, on employee output should be analyzed.

c. Simplicity in Motivation System:

The system should be simple both in terms of its understanding by the employees and its applicability in the organization. Employees’ efforts are directed to the goal only when they perceive that a particular goal exists and this requires a particular type of effort. The system should be simple to be adopted by the organization at various levels.

d. Uneven Motivation:

In an organization, all the employees are not of same type. They differ in education, attitude, ambition, etc. Thus, more educated, ambitious persons can be motivated up to very high level, while others cannot be. If such employees are motivated beyond a certain limit, this may create frustration in them as overloaded or unachievable goals create frustration.

Motivational Pattern in Indian Organizations:

Various research studies have been conducted in Indian context to find out what motivates people for better performance. These studies are concerned mostly to find out applicability or non-applicability of various theories in Indian environment.

Findings of various studies are summarized below:

i. Financial benefits and job security are not motivating factors for management groups whereas these can be motivators for the workers.

ii. Recognition of work emerges as one of the most important factors for motivating people — both managers and workers. This fact, however, must be seen in the context of the first conclusion, that is, what is the outcome of the recognition of good work.

iii. Factors contributing to dissatisfaction are the lack of explicit company policy and administration, lack of technically competent and sympathetic supervision, and lack of opportunity for growth.

iv. Top-level managers value achievement and self-actualization while middle-level managers value advancement, type of work, and feeling of worthwhile accomplish­ment. These factors are, however, not so important for workers.


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