Theories of motivation can help us understand why people behave as they do. Two important groups of theories are content theories and process theories. Content theories are concerned with identifying what factors in an individual or the work environment that energize and sustain behavior. Process theories try to describe how behavior is energized, directed, and sustained. It explains why people behave the way they do .Content theories of motivation are universalistic theories and they are those theories discussed in this chapter which are not only exclusive to the united states but also more widespread everywhere. And those theories are described below:
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
One of the most widely mentioned theories of motivation is the hierarchy of needs theory put forth by psychologist Abraham Maslow. Maslow saw human needs in the form of a hierarchy, ascending from the lowest to the highest, and he concluded that when one set of needs is satisfied, this kind of need ceases to be a motivator.
As per his theory this needs are :
- Physiological needs
- Security or Safety needs
- Social needs
- Esteem needs
- Need for self-actualization
Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory
Herzberg’s theory was based on the interviews of 200 employees to gain insight into their working relationship, attitude, and performance motivators. Herzberg determined that within an organization there are job enrichment factors that cause motivation and hygiene factors that cause demotivation. Job enrichment factors include “achievement, recognition, responsibility, freedom, and advancement”. Hygiene factors include “work conditions, policies, administrative efficiency, style of supervision, and relationship between employees”. Herzberg posited that there is not a continuum that these two factors lie on, where one increases while the other decreases. Rather he suggested that these two factors work independently of each other. When planning a successful motivational plan you need to consider both of these factors.
Equity theory was made popular by Adams (1965). It posits that perceived inequity is a motivational force. Workers evaluate equity using a ratio of inputs to outputs. Inputs include qualification, experience, effort, and ability. Outcomes include benefits. Inequities occur when workers feel that outcomes are not comparable to inputs.
The Expectancy Theory of Motivation posits that the expectation for reward is different for each person and therefore it is important to know the value of reward for each member of the team. Knowing the individuals “perception regarding his or her capability to do a particular job, the reward associated with the accomplishment of the job, and the value he or she places on the reward” is critical to the creation and implementation of a motivational plan.
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
McGregor suggested to start with the basic question how manager see themselves in relation to others. McGregor’s chose these terms Theory X and Theory Y, because he wanted a neutral terminology without any connotation of being “Good” or “Bad”.
Comparison between traditional motivational theories and other mentioned theories:
Maslow, Herzberg and McGregor take a universal approach whereas McClelland and Argyris list forces and drive that will vary in relation to different individuals whereas Process or traditional theories attempt to explain and describe how people start, sustain and direct behavior aimed at the satisfaction of needs or the reduction of inner tension. The major variables in process models are incentive, drive, reinforcement and expectancy.
Traits of Successful Leaders
There are many traits that can make one successful in any aspect of life. There are certain traits that make one a leader. If combined in the right manner, these traits can result in a successful leader in any field. According to Richard Cauto “Leadership begins with clarity about values what one stands for and tie roots of those values are impacted by a sense of family, community and culture.”
Traits of Successful leaders include:
- Commitment: To expect team to work hard and produce quality content, there is a need to lead by example. There is no greater motivation than seeing the boss down in the trenches working alongside everyone else, showing that hard work is being done on every level. By proving one’s commitment to the brand and role, one can not only earn the respect of team, but will also instill that same hardworking energy among staffs. It’s important to show commitment not only to the work at hand, but also to the promises.
- Flexible/Adaptable: How do you handle yourself in unexpected or uncomfortable situations? An effective leader will adapt to new surroundings and situations, doing his/her best to adjust.
- Honesty: An important thing that a leader should posses is honesty. Whatever ethical plane you hold yourself to, when you are responsible for a team of people, it’s important to raise the bar even higher. Your business and its employees are a reflection of yourself, and if you make honest and ethical behavior a key value, your team will follow suit.
- Enthusiastic: Excitement is contagious. When a leader is motivated and excited about the cause people will be more inclined to follow. A new and effective method can be hindered fron an enthusiastic leader.
- Open-Minded: Work to consider all options when making decisions. A strong leader will evaluate the input from all interested parties and work for the betterment of the whole.
- Resourceful: Utilize the resources available to you. If you don't know the answer to something find out by asking questions. A leader must create access to information.
- Rewarding: An exceptional leader will recognize the efforts of others and reinforce those actions. We all enjoy being recognized for our actions!
- Well Educated: Education is power. Work to be well educated on community policies, procedures, organizational norms, etc. Further, your knowledge and information about various sources will only increase your success in leading others.
Traits applicable in all situations:
Yes these traits are applicable in most of the situations because someone with a great personality is more likely to be able to influence others than someone without personality. For e.g.: a highly charismatic superior will be more successful in influencing subordinate behavior than a supervisor who lacks charisma.
Person’s future success predicted by knowing that person’s traits:
A person future is determined by his/her today’s way of doing things and coping with the situations, we really don't know what the future holds. What we do know for certain is that change is a constant. This means that what we are doing now will be different in the future.
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