Theories of Human Motivation Essay

5551 WordsMar 29, 201423 Pages
Theories of Human Motivation For years, managers, psychologists and academics have been interested in theories about motivation - why we get out of bed and go to work every morning; why some people are willing to do a great job despite being faced with huge challenges on a daily basis; why others can't do even the simplest thing without making mistakes; and why seemingly small things such as the removal of a water-cooler in the canteen can have hugely detrimental effects on work performance. A large body of research has been written attempting to tackle these issues - some of which have gained considerable currency inside businesses as they try to get the most from their workforce. This article introduces a few of the more established and popular theories. Money as a Motivator This theory states that all workers are motivated primarily by the need for money; so if you want to get the most out of your workforce, you pay them more. This has particular effectiveness in areas where payment is directly linked to the accomplishment of objectives. This theory is prevalent in many businesses in the form of performance-related pay, incentives, bonuses and promotion schemes. While few would argue that it does not have some validity (indeed it is the driver behind most sales forces the world over), it is not an all-encompassing theory. It doesn't really address the sometimes complex reasons why people are motivated by money. It excludes people who are not driven primarily for money. It does not, for example, apply to voluntary organisations. In addition, it may not work if meeting the financial objectives might threaten other entitlements, creature-comforts or rights, such as an employee's location, network of friends, employment conditions or current level of job satisfaction. The Hierarchy of Needs This theory is probably the best-known motivation theory. It was coined

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