Organisation Behavior Topic 4

Organisation Behavior Topic 4

Motivation: Concept, Theories & Importance

“Motivation means a process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired goods.” —William G. Scott

Motivation may be defined as a planned managerial process, which stimulates people to work to the best of their capabilities, by providing them with motives, which are based on their unfulfilled needs.

Efficiency of a person depends upon performance. Performance can be expressed as under:
Performance= Ability × Motivation

Process of motivation:

There are unsatisfied needs. A person remains disturbed till they are satisfied. This disturbance or tension causes disequilibria in human behaviour. More the motivation level, the higher will be efforts to get over the tension and in the process job accomplishment would take place.


Features of Motivation:

  • personal and internal feeling
  • need based i.e. no needs no motivation.
  • continuous process
  • may be positive (through monetary or non-monetary incentives) or negative (threat/fear of paycut).
  • planned process.
  • caused due to anticipated perceived value from an action.

Importance of Motivation:

  • High level of performance
  • Low employee turn over and absenteeism
  • Acceptance of organization change / Change management
  • Good Organizational image
  • Cordial relations between employers and employees (Better Human Relations)

Theories of motivation:

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy

  • Most Popular Theory.
  • based on the human needs.
  • classification of all human needs into a hierarchical manner from the lower to the higher order
  • Maslow believed that once a given level of need is satisfied, it no longer serves to motivate man. Then, the next higher level of need has to be activated in order to motivate the man.
  • Maslow identified five levels in his need hierarchy:

    Physiological Needs: Basic needs like  food, clothing, shelter, air, water etc. Once they are satisfied, they no longer motivate the man.

    Safety Needs: These include economic security and protection from physical dangers.

    Social Needs: Man is a social being. Individuals want to be member of work group and contribute towards it so that the social need of the individual is fulfilled.

    Esteem Needs: These needs refer to self-esteem and self-respect. They include such needs which indicate self-confidence, achievement, competence, knowledge and independence.

    Self-Actualisation Needs: This refers to fulfillment. It is transcended and related to achieving the very best that may
    be possible of human endeavour.

  • Analysis of Maslow’s Need Hierarchy: Maslow has taken a deprivation gratification approach to need satisfaction. Maslow has been criticised for laying down needs in particular order. But in reality it may not be so. It is therefore fair to state that we may not find the needs in the given order and that the strength of particular need is situation-based. Researches show that man’s behaviour at any time is mostly guided by multiplicity of behaviour.

Herzberg’s Two Factor Model

  • Popularly known as Herzberg’s Motivation Hygiene (Two-Factor) Theory.
  • According to Herzberg, the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction.
  • Herzberg concluded that there are two types of needs, independent of each other.

Motivational Factors: These include set of job conditions, which operates primarily to build strong motivation and job satisfaction. These factors have positive effect on morale, productivity, and job satisfaction and over all efficiency of the organization.
These factors are as under:

  • Achievement
  • Advancement
  • Possibility of Growth
  • Recognition.
  • Work Itself
  • Responsibility

Maintenance Factors or Hygiene Factors: There are those job conditions which dissatisfy employees when these conditions are absent. These factors are.
• Company Policy and administration.
• Technical supervision.
• Interpersonal relationship with superiors.
• Interpersonal relationship with peers.
• Interpersonal relationship with subordinates.
• Salary.
• Job security.
• Personal Life.
• Working condition.
• Status.

These factors are necessary to maintain a reasonable degree of satisfaction of employees.

Analysis of Herzberg’s Model: The model suggested by Herzberg is not applicable in all conditions. The theory basically explains job satisfaction, not motivation. This theory neglects situational variable to motivate an individual.

Mcgregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

  • Two distinct views of human being based on participation of workers.
  • One basically negative, labeled Theory X, and the other basically positive, labled Theory Y.


Managers who accept theory X assumptions about human nature usually direct, control, and closely supervise people, whereas theory Y managers are supportive and facilitating.

The fact remains that no organisational man would actually belong either to theory X or theory Y. In reality, he/she shares the traits of both.

Much after the propositions of theories X and Y by McGregor, the three theorists Urwick, Rangnekar, and Ouchi-propounded the third theory labelled as Z theory.

Theory Z is based on:

  • Strong Bond between Organisation and Employees
  • Employee Participation and Involvement
  • No Formal Organisation Structure
  • Human Resource Development

Ouchi’s Theory Z represents the adoption of Japanese management practices (group decision making, social cohesion, job security, holistic concern for employees, etc.) by the American companies. In India, Maruti-Suzuki, Hero-Honda, etc., apply the postulates of theory Z.

ERG Theory

  • Based on further studies on Maslow’s Theory by Clayton Alderfer.
  • He identified three basic needs of human being:
  1. E-Existence need – There are related to provision of basic material requirement of human being and are related to Maslow’s Physiological and safety needs.
  2. R-Relatedness – This need is related to desire of an individual to maintain sound interpersonal relationship. It is related to Maslow’s Social needs and external components of Esteem need i.e., status, recognition and attention.
  3. G-Growth – Growth is an intrinsic desire for personal development. It is related to intrinsic component of Esteem Need like advancement, self respect, autonomy, achievement and self-actualization need.

Further, more than one need may be operative at any one time. If gratification of higher need is stifled, the desire to satisfy lower level need may increase.

Expectancy Theory

  • Vroom has propagated Expectancy Theory based on employee expectancy
  • Employee is motivated to exert high level of efforts when he believes that efforts will lead to good performance and therefore organizational rewards that will satisfy achievement of personal goals.


This theory is based on following three elements:

(a) Efforts – Performance relationship. It is related to the probability perceived by individual that exerting a given amount of efforts will lead to performance (Expectancy).
(b) Performance – Reward Relationship. The degree to which the individual believes that performing a particular level will lead to attainment of desired outcome (Instrumentality).
(c) Reward-personal goal relationship. The degree to which an organizational reword will satisfy individual needs and its attractiveness for the individual (Valence).

The theory is criticised on the ground that it does not describe individual and situational differences.The assumption that people are rational and calculating makes the theory idealistic.

Porter and Lawler Model

  • An improvement over Vroom’s expectancy theory.
  • Multi-variate model to explain the complex relationship that exists between satisfaction and performance.
  • There are three main elements in this model:
  1. Effort: How much effort an employee will put in a task is determined by two factors- Value of reward and Perception of effort-reward probability.
  2. Performance: It is determined by the amount of labour and the ability and role perception of the employee.
  3. Satisfaction: It depends upon the amount of rewards one achieves. If the amount of actual rewards meet or exceed perceived equitable rewards, the employee will feel satisfied. Rewards may be of two kinds—intrinsic (sense of accomplishment and self-actualisation) and extrinsic rewards (working conditions etc)There is no denying of the fact that the motivation model proposed by Porter and Lawler is quite complex than other models of motivation.

Equity theory:

This theory states that the employees perceive what they get from a job situation (outcomes) in relation to what they put into it( inputs) and then compare their inputs- outcomes ratio with the inputs- outcomes ratios of others.

If the person perceives the rewards as equitable, he/she probably will continue at the same level of output.

If the person feels that he/she is inequitably rewarded, he/she may be dissatisfied, reduce the quantity or quality of output, or even leave the organization.

If the person thinks that the rewards are greater than what is considerable, he/she may work harder.

Concluding remarks: In sum and substance, the need for and significance of motivation for an organisation can be put as follows:

“If we compare management with driving, while the organisation is the vehicle, then motivation is the power or fuel that makes the vehicle moving”.


  1. Explain the following – Equity theory of work motivation. (2013)
  2. Critically examine the inter-linkages of three main aspects of Expectancy model of motivation. In what ways does this model value human dignity. (2010)
  3. Most of the theories of motivation are complementary, but not competitive to each other. Hence, there is a need to understand their interrelationships and integrate them. Discuss the statement and suggest action plan for integration. (2014)
  4. What are the various elements in the porter lawler model of motivation. What are the implications of these elements in motivating a person? (2016)
  5. Discuss the importance of motivation in today’s organisations.

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