Introduction to Motivational Theories

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Motivational Theories

We are aware of the fact that famous thinkers and noted scientists have an enormous contribution to the Literary, Economical, Educational landscape. Their exemplary contribution and resounding motivational theories are still endorsed in letter and spirit. The famous think tanks like Abraham Maslow, David McClelland, etc. are great personalities whose contribution to motivational theories are widely accepted and embraced by all sections of the society. In this blog, you will come to know the top 10 motivational theories in the famous books and authors, which have revolutionized the world and have contributed to a successful career. 

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow is considered as a famous psychologist of the 20th century. His motivational theory ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ is widely acclaimed and endorsed among Business and Media students. Let’s take a tour of his motivational theories that are still resounding among students fraternity of mass communication. How does Maslow’s theory still hold true after 70 years of down the line? He categorised the hierarchy of needs in five basic steps which includes: 

  • Physiological needs
  • Safety needs
  • Social needs
  • Esteem needs
  • Self Actualisation

His motivational theories conveyed that a human being is surrounded by various needs which arise from time to time. Starting with physiological needs, he tries to say that human beings need food, water, and other biological needs for survival. In safety needs he said, a human being has to be free from the threat of danger, pain, or an uncertain future. Understanding social needs, Maslow says there is a need for human beings to share a strong bonding with other human beings, share the love and be loved. He says social needs make esteem needs, which he means when you are appreciated and you feel important is all comes under esteem needs. In Self actualisation needs, he talks about when a human desiring to achieve new skill sets and takes onto new challenges. He says how human beings behave in a way that leads to achieving the ultimate goal in life. 

Also Read: How to Write a Motivation Letter?

Herzberg’s Hygiene Theory

It is important to know the fact that Herzberg- a famous psychologist has done a tremendous extension to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs model. Herzberg’s motivational theory in other terms is called the “Two Factor Theory” in which he extensively studied 200 cases of Engineers and Accountants who worked in western Pennsylvania. He asked them about the good and bad things about their jobs and obtained data. He further did a critical analysis of the data and derived to a mixed bag of responses, he later proposed in his theory that the opposite of satisfaction is never dissatisfaction. He believes the opposite of ‘satisfaction’ is ‘no satisfaction’ and the opposite of ‘dissatisfaction’ is ‘no dissatisfaction.’

McClelland’s Need Theory

It is considered as another motivational theory which is completely opposed to the hierarchy of needs of satisfaction and dissatisfaction. McClelland’s need theory is very closely attached to learning theory as he firmly believes that needs are learned by various kinds of events which people experience in their environment and cultural habitat. His need theory solely focuses on Murray’s three needs which are Achievement, Power and Affiliation. 

McGregor’s Participation Theory

Douglas McGregor was a management professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. He has come up with two clear motivational theories pertaining to human beings completely based on the participation of workers. He makes us understand the theory of X and Y.

Theory X

  • People are lazy by nature, who like to work very less. 
  • He says people lack complete ambition and prefer to be directed by other persons. 
  • McGregor firmly is of the opinion that people are self- centric in nature who says people are mostly self-centric, who are detached to their organisational needs and objectives. 
  • He believes people are not sharp and bright-minded and are slow learners.

Theory Y

  • People do take responsibility on their shoulders.
  • Humans must firmly understand that their organisations should excel. 
  • People have a need for their achievements. 

Argyris’s Theory

Argyris, a famous physiologist in his motivational theories he revolves around – how an individual’s management practices affect growth and behaviour. He derived that it takes seven changes in an individual in order to make them a mature. According to his theories, immaturity in a human being comes is when he does different practices be it a connection of directions, task specialization, directional unity and journey of management. Argyris firmly believes that in order to witness utmost maturity in a human being, an unhurried shift from a prevalent organisational structure based on the pyramid to the humanistic system is need of an hour.

Vroom’s Expectancy Theory

Vroom expectancy theory is widely acclaimed and appreciated among student fraternity where he believes his theory is a cognitive process theory of motivation. Vroom has realised a fact that an employee’s performance is completely dependent on skills, knowledge, personality, abilities and experience which determines an individual factor. His motivational theories drew a strong connection of performance and motivation which is linked in a person’s motivation.

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Porter and Lawler’s Expectancy Theory

The famous think tanks came up with a comprehensive theory of motivation which talks about three behaviours about a human behavioural system. 

Effort: It is the total amount of energy a human being puts to complete a particular task

Performance: He says when an individual makes an effort it leads to his/her performance.  

Satisfaction: He says a good performance finally leads to satisfaction and the satisfaction level totally depends upon the reward you earn. 

The Equity Theory

Equity theory is one of the best motivational theories that explain how satisfaction comes and as opposed to what causes motivation. It believes that employees will have their input into a particular job against the output employees receive from it. When there are more rewards it leads to greater satisfaction. The theory further explains when employees get negative rewards it turns them dissatisfied. 

Value- Percept Theory

The theory determines the individual’s satisfaction with their jobs. This theory believes that employees in the organisations hold different value systems which obviously means that their satisfaction levels differ too. There is a considerable possibility of good bonding between what people aspire for and what they consider important is. The theory further argues that the complete satisfaction for an employee combines various levels of satisfaction from various elements of an individual’s job be in supervision, coworkers, pay, promotion or the working. 

Goal-Setting Theory

A famous Researcher Edwin Locke has proposed a theory known as Goal setting. He argued that those individuals who have already a specific set of goals be it difficult goals do perform excellently than those who have very easy goals in their mind. The researcher’s goal-setting theory further explains the five basic principles which are:

  • Clarity
  • Challenge
  • Commitment 
  • Feedback
  • Task complexity

Researchers like Edwin Locke and noted physiologists like Abraham Maslow have an enormous contribution when it comes to motivational theories which are still widely acclaimed and applied in our daily lives. If you need motivation towards making the right career choice, let Leverage Edu be your helping hand and get all your queries sorted!

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