Types And Theories Of Motivation



The former CEO of General Electric Jack Welch, one of the finest entrepreneur worldwide quotes: “No company, large or small, can succeed over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.”(Motivate your employees like Jack Welch, 2009)


Every individual has their own purpose to motivate themselves which is not necessarily because of the money that is earned or the fear that controls the person. It is possible that other reasons motivate them, whether it is an aim, desire, demand, needs, wants etc. Motivation is defined as “a cognitive decision-making that influences the effort, persistence and direction of voluntary goal-directed behavior.”(Bratton et al., 2007, p.250). The effort related to the definition depends on the capacity and ability of workers to accomplish their job in an appropriate manner. Another concept of the definition is persistence, this depends on how the worker pertain the effort for a task in certain period of time. Direction is the third characteristic of motivation which means that the ability of the workers and their persistence should lead to beneficial outcomes in the organization. Furthermore, persistence and effort is the quantity of the physical and knowledge amount of work done. Whereas, direction is the quality of work accomplished.

Types of motivation:

There are two types of motivation explained by the Organizational Behavior theorists; these types are distinguished between intrinsic motivators and extrinsic motivators. Intrinsic motivators motivate themselves by fulfilling satisfaction. For example, climbing the high mountain of Kilimanjaro in Moshi may be satisfying for an individual without having the thought of receiving rewards. Intrinsic motivators prefer recognition in their achievement. On the other hand, extrinsic motivators highly prefer tangible rewards such as salaries, promotions and bonuses; however, there were various arguments about the definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators especially with the organizations as they are not sure whether it is possible to apply the motivators in categories as suggested. For example, a worker might get a promotion and receive a better pay in addition to satisfaction with work. In other words, it is possible for the motivators to have both qualities. These qualities are influenced by values of a person, the way in individual thinks and behaviors.

Motivation theories:

Theories of work motivation clarify how its nature is brought out, in other words, it shows the behavior of people and the roles that take place to present the reaction of their behavior. The theories are carried out in two categories; each category is dissimilar than the other as it provides different prospects. The theories are classified as follows:-

Content theory first of all concentrates on the needs and desires of employees. Abraham Maslow proves that by introducing Maslow’s hierarchy of needs individuals or workers get motivated which also enables them to attain their goal. The lowest level which is physiological and safety needs is the most important in the hierarchy because it is a necessity for humans as it is not possible for them to obtain the next step without completing the first necessities which is shelter, water and food. The third concept is the social needs such as love and affection and positive interaction between the employee and others. During this process, the individual realizes the potential and ability that conducts from the necessities; therefore, this reason of motivation leads to self- actualization needs; moreover, individuals develop their behavior by heading to their opportunities of learning, which is the highest level of motivators. In more detail, the lower needs in the hierarchy do not influence the behavior of individuals but it motivates them to develop the higher level; furthermore, it motivates the worker and influences the behavior. Managers utilize Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a good example for their workers as they make sure that the low needs of the workers are met to have to motivation so the managers can provide workers with high level needs which are self- esteem and self- actualization. Although self- actualization is an ultimate concept of all, it is rare to come across it and it is quite difficult to build a foundation to develop capabilities as it is a challenging job argued Maslow. (Bratton et al., 2007).

Alderfer’s theory is related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs if it is viewed in a practical and managerial manner. Alderfer (1972) argued that it is more sensible to consider Existence, Relatedness and Growth as our needs which is also known as ERG motivation theory for the reason that the categories can be used at the same time as for Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, it is obtained by taking one step at a time upwards; in addition to falling to an under grade when facing difficulty on the upper level of the hierarchy. (Bratton et al., 2007).

Process theories are the theories that concentrate on the way workers make choices, in contrast to content theories; process theories provide the chance for an employee to take decisions to obtain his or her goal. In process theories particularly, people get motivated for various reasons, one of them is culture; however, process theories have identified the choice of individuals as well as the influences of social surroundings whereas Maslow has failed to identify it because the theory is universalistic as the application includes everyone which is why the explanation between individuals and cultures are not clarified. There are two main areas that I would like to give details and explain about which are as follows:-

Firstly, theory of equity, it is being aware of inequity or unfairness and that happens when a worker observes and compares the effort and potential of another worker as well as the differences in rewards. This creates pressure for the employee which next motivates the employee to decide on how to deal with the issue which is called experiencing equity. Although equity theory was explained in this way, Adams (1963,1965) argued that earning equity is by receiving less of what individuals expect because it is not what they can agree to, as for receiving what is beyond our expectations; it is considered as being fortunate.(Huczynski et al, 2007)

Second of all is expectancy theory, this theory is focused on the way people perceive their value in result of good outcome and performances whether the whole process is positive or negative. In view of the fact that cognitive theories are purpose actions as well as workers being aware of what has to be accomplished. An argument took place in the 1930’s between Edward C. Tolman and his contemporaries views. Tolman argued that “behavior is directed by the expectations that we have about our behavior leading to the achievement of desired outcomes”( Huczynski et al, 2007, p.251) This statement clarifies that in order to be highly motivated, it is necessary to see creative work from the side of the employee. For example, an employee would probably want a raise in salary. In this case there are two types of behavior that could be distinguished from workers. There is a worker that would like a raise and expects it while working hard, this gives an impression to the manager that the worker would put an effort to be hard working whereby a worker that would like a raise in salary but thinks that putting an effort to his work is a waste of time because it would just satisfy the manager, this shows that the worker would not be a hard worker, unless the satisfaction of the manager is valuable to the worker.

Example for motivation in an organization:

For example, if we observe Microsoft dynamics. The business does their best to satisfy their staff. They motivate their employees by allowing them to take control of information that concerns them; not to mention they keep posted with the staff’s performance, vacations as well as providing the staff with appropriate payroll. Microsoft dynamics give the Human Resource unit the chance to be flexible in working as they make sure that an employee will regulate to any difficult task and be able to attain it easily. They also provide the employee’s with professional development opportunities and after the experience; they are put with groups that have potential to achieve success. (Human resource management software, 2009).

Last week I went to Sultan Qaboos University, which is a non profitable organization. I had an interview with a Programmer called Salwa Ali Salim Al- Mazrooey, she clarified that the centre she is working in, which is Centre For Information Systems are facing problems with motivating employees, as they do not have the sufficient system to create live in the centre. She mentioned that most employees are not satisfied with working in that sector and transfer to other departments because they do not provide salaries depending on the performance of the employees, in other words, most workers are not getting the salary they deserve. Another reason that demotivates them is that the leader does not give them full support that they need to achieve their goals; she says that they should focus more on providing opportunities of development for the staff such as training because they do not equalize the staff, in other words, they have discrimination between staffs.

Team work:

As for team work, it is a group of people that communicate and cooperate by using their effort to achieve a certain goal. (Teamwork definition, 2009). In order to create a high performance in an organization, it is essential to have a team that functions effectively. Furthermore, being in a group means that each member should communicate and contribute their thoughts and by that, they increasingly influence one another.

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Importance of team work:

Members must work individually as much as they work in teams; nevertheless, they should learn how to communicate and get along with other teams as well. It is necessary to have team work in organizations especially in recent management as they are looking for power and a high quality management which will help with the competitiveness of different organizations. The work is reflected on how the team has performed and to develop their strength and competitiveness it is essential to be creative, have new ideas, taking the opportunity of using the recent technology and to be motivated and committed as a team. (Mullins, 2005).

The processes of the group:

The process of groups is the process in which the behavior of the group is built in a continuous basis. Organizational behavior theorists state that it is important for a group to go through the stages of development which is being born and to grow to be matured and then die. It is recommended to prioritize maturity of the group before getting to the upper limit performance. Certainly, there are different types of groups, some will be able to attain the goal and maintain the high performances for a period of time, while others continue being ineffective. To create and develop a team that is successful, it is essential to follow the stages below:-

Firstly is the stage of forming, this is when the group meets for the first time and has a vague idea about their duties and roles; Moreover they learn about each other and the rules that are instructed for the group to have an aim in achieving the tasks given. Homans (1951) stated that a system that is social for instance a group, is in three categories in an environment which contains “a physical environment, a cultural environment and a technological environment” (Huczynski et al., 1991). The group is inflicting by activities, work and interactions which reflect attitudes and sentiments within the group individuals and the environment. For example, if groups work more often with each other, the level of sentiments rises and when the level of sentiments are high, the more interactive the group gets. Next is storming, it is when the group is in a positive situation and more focused as they have been given tasks that they are responsible for. Members of the group usually have arguments for getting a certain spot in the group, this means that the leader of the group must be aware of the consequences and must have the ability to handle the situation. Thirdly is the stage of norming, which is when the members have learned to agree with each other, cooperate as well as willing to listen to the opinion of members in the group. Fourth of all is performing, which is when the group are matured and are able to produce fine quality of ideas to achieve goals. Eventually in this stage members trust each other and value the quality of work done by each individual in the group. The stage of adjourning is when new individuals take place of the old group (Bratton, et al., 2007).

The theory of Belbin’s team role:

Team role is when a member of the group behaves in such manner that contributes and interconnects with the rest of the members. In order to be successful in a team, it is necessary to accomplish the functional roles which are as follows:-

Plant is a member that has creativity and wide imagination. This member can also solve crisis related to the task but there are disadvantages for this team role, which is ignoring some details and being too busy to be an effective communicator. Another team role is resource investigator, this team role is an assertive person filled with enthusiasm. They look for opportunities, develop contacts and are easy to communicate with; however, they also have weaknesses that might keep their performance low and that is being optimistic at all times. Once the enthusiasm fades away, the resource investigator has no much interest in the task any longer.

Coordinators are the ones who have confidence in themselves, they are fully matured which is why they are fit to be a chairperson. Their job is to make sure that the goals are clarified, they help in making decisions and are good in delegation; nevertheless, they have the ability to manipulate people and hand over the work to other members. Shapers are the ones who like challenge. They are active and work better when they are pressured in addition to being able to overcome problems for the reason that they are highly motivated; yet they have the ability to aggravate and irritate others which leads to upsetting others. Monitor- evaluator’s are critical in judging work. They are more to strategic means and prefer looking at all options, but they do not have the ability to encourage and motivate others because they use a critical strategy. As for team workers, they are cooperative and able to communicate with the team members; they listen to ideas and prevent friction, arguments, misunderstanding by keeping the members calm although they can be easily influenced. Implementers have discipline and are reliable members, they do not rely on innovation and their job is to twist ideas into actions that are practical. But, the disadvantage of being an implementer is that they are stiff and their act in response is very slow. Completers are the members who critically look for errors to correct and are always manage to meet their deadline at the appointed time. Finally specialists are single minded, fully dedicated to their work although they over look the main concept, they are able to provide unique information and skills. (Huczynski, et al. 2007)

Belbin explains that the people in the organization are given functional roles that suit their abilities and experiences but do not accept a person with personal traits to obtain other tasks in the team. The functional role of a person usually corresponds to the team members; furthermore, the roles of the team are what the members prefer which is based on his personality and not what is expected from him and each individual can probably adopt fairly two roles. Every person in the team must be assessed to clarify which role goes well with his or her personality; moreover, the perfect team is considered to have all the nine roles, but does not necessarily mean that each member has to have one role. A member can adopt more than one role to decrease the number of members. It is the manager or the leader’s job to assess the people and lead them to right and effective group that includes all nine roles. (Huczynski, et al. 2007)

Characteristics of a successful work group:

The key to effective work group is to cooperate with all team members, because the group thinking collides. Identifying an effective group is through covering the characteristics which include a group that acknowledge the rules and values, they must all have an understanding which must contain trust within the group, commitment and objectives. It is also important for the individuals within the group to communicate and have the ability to express sentiments as well as disputes. (Mullins, 2005).

Example of team work in an organization:

A practical implication of team work in an organization, we could shed the light on The Omani Qatari Telecommunication Company; also known as Nawras. Nawras has begun its operations in mid 2005, since then it has been maintaining a good working environment, filled with energy and motivation, this all begun with Nawras focusing on having the right environment for the company to work as a team; therefore emphasizing on the importance of team work. Using this strategy, the company has managed to become the equivalent if not superior in its operations to its competitor Oman Mobile, which has started its operations since 1975 i.e. 20 years before Nawras even existed. Evidence of Nawras’s success, is the fact that it won the Middle eastern award of Mobile operator for this year, knowing that there are other multinational corporations, such as Vodafone and T-mobile in the area, that is quite an accomplishment, and is majorly due to the fact of emphasizing the importance of a working environment that is motivated and works as a team.


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Approximately 250 words