Motivation As A Function Of Management: Meaning, Kinds, Importance And Theory

Table Of Contents

  • Meaning Of Motivation
  • Kinds Of Motivation
  • Expectancy Factor In Positive And Negative Motivation
  • Reasons For The Use Of Negative Motivation In The Office
  • Reasons For Increasing Use Of Positive Motivation In Modern Times
  • The Importance Of Motivation In Organizational Development
  • Ways Of Motivating Employees
  • Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Human Needs

Understanding Motivation As An Effective Tool Of Personnel Management

Human beings are the most important resource in any organization. Without them, it is impossible to achieve the goals or objectives of an organization. It is essential to consider the ways of getting them to go to work willingly and enthusiastically. Hence the need for motivation.

Definition Of Motivation

According to Glos et al (1970:33), Motivation is a process of creating organizational conditions that will cause employees to strive for superior performance.

Another author, Jucius, defined motivation as the act of stimulating someone or oneself to take desired course of action.

Kinds Of Motivation

Motivation may be classified as:

1. The Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

In the intrinsic motivation the work itself is satisfying to the individual. He takes pleasure in his work and derives a feeling of accomplishment upon successful completion of the work.

Extrinsic Motivation refers to provision of incentives or external rewards for the successful completion of the work e.g. High pay, a bonus, prestige, better working conditions or praise from the boss.

2. Motivation may be further classified as Positive and Negative.

Positive And Negative Motivation

A person may be positively or negatively motivated.

Positive Motivation: Is a process of attempting to influence others through the possibility of increasing one’s existing set of satisfactions. It includes giving one more responsible job, pay increase, praise for work done, healthy competition etc.

Negative Motivation: Is a process of influencing behaviour through a threat of loss or punishment. It includes fear of losing one’s present job, less pay, reprimand, retrenchment, demotion and threat to be punished for acts of commission or omission.

Expectancy Factor In Positive And Negative Motivation

Expectancy is an essential factor in both positive and negative motivation. Expectancy means the possibility of realizing the expected outcome of a motivated behaviour. This in effect means that if gains are always promised and they never materialize, the motivational effect is dissipated.

If the threats to dismiss employee are never fulfilled, the employee may learn to ignore such threats and the motivated behaviour is not likely to result.

Reasons For The Use Of Negative Motivation In The Office

Both positive and negative motivation are used to a varying degrees in the office. The reasons for the use of negative motivation in the office include:

1. Negative appeals are much easier to use to get results. The authority conferred on us by our positions very often tempt us to use it to force others to do our will.

2. We all learn by example and so we use the same negative techniques that our own superiors have used upon us. We have a very definite tendency to supervise others as we are being supervised.

Hence it is advocated that all human relations training programme should start at the top of the organization and work downward.

Reasons For Increasing Use Of Positive Motivation In Modern Times

However, the use of positive motivation is increasing in modern times, with consequent decrease in the use of negative motivation, because of the following reasons:

1. Formation of labour unions by employees and the power of labour organizations.

2. Higher level of employee education.

3. More research that demonstrates the advantages in the use of positive approaches.

4. Greater utilization of professional personnel.

5. Advance in technology.

The Importance Of Motivation In Organizational Development

Motivation is important in organizational development because:

1. It creates good human relations between staff and management.

2. It enhances job satisfaction.

3. It makes workers to display enthusiasm and loyalty.

4. It influences productivity and efficiency of workers.

5. It increases esteem and cooperation among staff.

6. It reduces tension and disciplinary problem.

7. It makes for positive growth in organization.

8. It encourages involvement and commitment of staff in the industrial process.

9. It reduces labour turnover.

10. It has been effective in helping companies to attract and hold quality personnel.

Ways Of Motivating Employees

1. Money wages and salary incentives.

2. Job security reduce fears of losing one’s job.

3. Promotion puts new life in the worker and activates his creativity.

4. Praise for work done, recognition for work done, effect of praise on performance.

5. A genuine interest in the workers as individual person be aware of various happenings concerning the staff.

6. Competition: Most people like to compete if they have a reasonable chance of winning.

7. Job enrichment gives pride to the worker and extends his scope of operation vertically.

8. Objectives setting and appraisal.

9. Increased responsibility/delegation of responsibility.

10. Understanding subordinate goals.

11. Welfare and recreational programmes.

12. Staff training develoment programme to enhance skills and preparation for promotion to higher rank.

Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Human Needs

Abraham Maslow, a researcher, identified certain human needs and ranked them in the order of priority for satisfaction which he called Hierarchy of Human needs.

The theory postulates that an individual seeks to satisfy the lower order needs first. As these needs are satisfied he progresses through the hierachical order to the higher needs. Maslow’s theory states that human motives develop in sequence according to five levels of needs.

Therefore, when one need is satisfied, that need decreases in strength and the higher order need takes over and dominates the individual’s behaviour. By implication, a satisfied need ceases to be a motivator.

Explanation Of The Hierarchy Of Needs As Propounded By Maslow

1. Physiological Need: These are the basic needs for sustaining human life, e.g. the need for shelter, water, clothing, food, thirst, sleep etc.

A person who is dying of hunger, for instance, would be ready to art with the costliest possession in order to get food to eat and be alive.

2. Safety Need: Expresses the need for security and protection from physical and emotional harm and the fear of lose of job, food, shelter etc.

3. Social Need: Expresses the need for love, affection and togetherness with one’s group. Acceptance of group norms is a good example of this.

A worker who ignores group norms may earn what he can under an incentive scheme, but may suffer severe deprivations not only socially but possibly physiologically.

4. Esteem Need: This incudes internal esteem factors (such as self respect, autonomy, and achievement) and external esteem factors (such as status, recognition). Opportunities within an industrial organization for the satisfaction of esteem needs of the staff employees, are limited.

5. Self Actualization: This reflects the desire to become accomplished in one’s chosen field of endeavour. It is the highest need in the hierachy of needs. As more people have their lower needs increasingly satisfied, the desire for self actualization will be an increasing powerful motivating force.

Hence, self actualization has the most potent motivating possibilities and should be the most pursued.

As each of these levels of needs becomes satisfied, the next need becomes dominant. Therefore, for a manager to motivate a staff, he/she needs to understand the personality, wants and the needs level of the individuals.

The Theory Of Motivation By Herzberg

Herberg’s Two Factor Theory Of Motivation

Fredrick Herzberg, an American psychologist, in his book “Work and the Nature of Man (1966)” advanced the view that an employee derives job satisfaction from two separate sources:

1. Hygiene (Maintenance) Factor And
2. Motivators

1. Hygiene Factor

The ‘hygeine’ or ‘maintenance’ factors are matters not directly connected with the task to be performed in the job. The hygiene factors he listed include: working conditions, status, job security, salary, personal life, quality of supervision, interpersonal relationships and managerial styles of superiors.

Herzberg suggests that if these factors do not reach a certain standard then, they will cause dissatisfaction but that when they are at an acceptable standard they will not contribute to satisfaction.

(In other words, the hygiene factors do not positively motivate people, but if they are unsatisfactory or inadequate people become dissatisfied with their work). Inadequate hygiene factors contribute to job dissatisfaction and thus affect job attitudes.

2. Motivators

The ‘motivators’ are concerned with the work to be performed. Motivators are aspects of work personal to an individual. e.g. job enrichment. They include: the nature of the work itself, the possibility that the job offers for career advancement, recognition, growth, company policy and administration, the opportunity and the challenges of the work.

If these factors are good then they will cause satisfaction but if they are poor it is unlikely they will cause dissatisfaction. Motivators are linked to the job specifications and the extent each individual perceives he has achieved in meeting the requirements.

Herzberg’s work has been criticized on two grounds: the method of enquiry by which he obtained his results, and the fact that by concentrating on the satisfaction and dissatisfaction elements of the job, he ignored the wider behavioural aspects.

Yet his theories provide useful insight for managers, in drawing attention to the contribution of ‘job enlargement’ and ‘job enrichment’ to job satisfaction.

Vroom And Expectancy Theory Of Motivation

Victor Vroom in his book Work and Motivation (1964) argued that people follow certain courses of action, or react to certain instruction from managersm if they believe or expect that their actions will help them achieve desired goals or objectives.


This theory highlights the facts that differing individuals have different needs and motivators and that these differe from those of the organization an individual works for.

A skillful manager will offer the inducements needed to ensure that satisfying these needs benefits both the individual and the organization. For example, proper incentive payments system can give the employee a higher income and give the organization, through a higher output, higher profits.

Theory Of Motivation By Douglas McGregor

The relationship between the psychological needs of people and their particular jobs was further investigated by the Douglas McGregor. In 1961, he proposed theories X and Y. McGregor looked at the various forms of management.

He identified the old and the hedonistic view of people as the basis on which traditional management was founded.

Hedonics is the study of the relationship between duty and pleasure. It is a branch of psychology concerned with explaining human motivates in terms of desire for pleasurable sensation and avoidance of painful ones.