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Comparison some Theories of Motivation Essay

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What is motivation? People are motivated when they want to do something and make progress. Mixed motives range from conscious to unconscious are necessary for action but not sufficient in themselves, hence “we must judge a person’s motives from their overt actions”(John Adair:1996:19). Motives don’t always correspond with reasons for actions. Motivation also means extending to moving other people to action (J. Adair:1996:19) and covers the reasons which underlie the way in which a person act (J. Adair:1990:1). Who motivates people? What makes them tick? Why do you do anything? This is a subject of perennial fascination.

It is especially important for anyone who works with other people – to think about this question in some depth. Perhaps the first step to answering these questions is to explore the central concept of motivation. Motivation is the word referring the reason of engaging in a particular behavior, especially human behavior as studied in psychology and neuropsychology. The main focus of the essay is to explore Maslow’ s (after Freud and Jung) Hierarchy of Needs. His idea will be compared with those of Friderick Hertzberg’s Theory of Hygiene and F. W. Taylor’s Theory of Motivation.

Perhaps, there is no theory of motivation which has been as much influential on the thinking of managers as an Abraham Maslow’ s hierarchy of needs. A person is motivated by an inner programme of “needs” which are arranged in sets and it suggests that external motives such as rewards or punishment are not a factors of motivation. Because a satisfied need ceases to motivate when one set is satisfied, automatically, another comes into play ( J. Adair:1996:30). Drawn from the work of Maslow makes the point that needs are organized on a priority basis ( J. Adair:1990:7). This fairly definite hierarchy is arranged by the basic needs (A.

H. Maslow:1987:56). But, can human needs be mapped? “Does the satisfaction of one set of conscious needs trigger off into consciousness another set of previously unconscious needs? ”( J. Adair:1996:30) A confident answer on this question is offered by Abraham Maslow: “Man is a wanting animal and rarely reaches a state of complete satisfaction except for a short time. As one desire is satisfied, another pops up to take its place. When this is satisfied, still another comes into the foreground. It is characteristic of the human being throughout his whole life that he is practically always desiring something.

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We are faced then with the necessity of studying the relationships of all the motivations to each other and we are concomitantly faced with the necessity of giving up the motivational units in isolation if we are to achieve the broad understanding that we seek for” (A. H. Maslow:1987:34). Maslow ‘s needs hierarchy identifies five sets of needs from the most biological to the most psychological: “(1) physiological ( such as hunger-thirst ), (2) safety and security, (3) love and belongingness, (4) self-esteem ( achievement, recognition ), (5) self-actualization ( reaching one’s highest potential )” (R. C.

Beck:2000:400). These sets are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency and are in a dynamic relationship. A concept of physiological needs have been taken as the starting point for motivational theory. Basic needs become relatively satisfied where the higher needs come to the fore and become motivating influences because “For our chronically and extremely hungry man, utopia can be defined very simply as a place where there is plenty of food” (G. P. Latham:2007:31). When this need is met then “At once other (and ‘higher’) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism” (G.

P. Latham:2007:31), thus the physiological needs are the most prepotent of all needs (J. Adair:1990:35). Although the physiological needs are relatively well satisfied, unsatisfied need, like safety, love, self-esteem needs, emerges to dominate the organism. Maslow suggest that “…we may still often (if not always) expect that a new discontent and restlessness will soon develop, unless the individual is doing what he or she, individually, is fitted for. Musicians must make music, artists must paint, poets must write if they are to be ultimately at peace with themselves. What humans can be, they must be.

They must be true to their own nature. This need we may call self-actualization” (A. H. Maslow:1987:22). Self-actualization needs “usually rests upon prior satisfaction of the physiological, safety, love and esteem needs” (J. Adair:1990:38). Maslow meant by self –actualization “ a universal urge in any person to grow and develop as a full human person, realizing all the distinctively human potentials within us”( J. Adair:1996:45). The essence of Maslow’ s theory is that the needs lower in the hierarchy have to be at least partly fulfilled before the highest needs – self-actualization needs – become active.

This theory has some limited value: “when this set of condition happens, then this of that factor will become important” (J. Adair:1996:42). In industrial situation, Maslow’ s theory sometimes seems to make sense. For example: lower – level workers are more motivated by money which are needed for food and shelter and seem to not be much motivated to work creatively in their jobs. At higher levels, self – actualization seems more important and there may be more opportunity for self – expression. It is interesting to compare, how does Herzberg’ s motivator-Hygiene Theory relate to

Maslow’ s theory of a Hierarchy of Needs? Clearly they both share in common the concept of self – actualization. Herzberg’ s theory suggests that motivators and satisfiers are some aspects of a job which allow people to satisfy “higher level” needs (R. C. Beck:2000:400). Herzberg argued that “people want more from their jobs than pay, such as recognition, responsibility, feelings of achievement, pleasure from social interactions, prestige, stimulation, and challenge” (R. C. Beck:2000:400). These self – actualizing properties are included to the “growth” dimension of a job.

Absence of some job elements is noticeable and produce dissatisfaction in external conditions: administration, supervising, working conditions, relations with others, job security and status. Satisfaction of above needs is called Hygiene factors and was linked by Herzberg with human tendency to avoid painful or unpleasant situations. Although dissatisfaction may lower performance this hygienic measures will not visibly improve performance(R. C. Beck:2000:400). “All hygiene needs are connected with salary and, because of this, salary is the most visible, communicable and advertised factor in all the world of work.

Salary permeates the thoughts and expressions of people when they view their jobs. In such a circumstance, it is hardly surprising that salary often seems to be a satisfier to the individual. If so many hygiene needs can be fulfilled by money, then it is difficult not to conceive of it as a source of happiness”(J. Adair:1990:57). The need for creativity is fitted by motivators. The hygiene factors satisfy the need for fair treatment, and it is thus that the desired job attitude and job performance is achieved by presenting the appropriate incentive (J. Adair:1996:77).

Herzberg in “The Motivation to Work” discusses about Maslow’ s theory as a brief and unsatisfactory and does not agree that the predominant needs of individuals might change and develop, rather than being seen as relatively fixed and immutable (J. Adair:1990:55). In contrast to the predominantly holistic bias of Maslow’ s mind, Herzberg’ s approach is dichotomized into two. In Maslow’ s theory, if physiological, safety and social needs were not met it might create dissatisfaction, but –according to Herzberg – is possible to afford satisfaction by these needs.

By contrast, more positive sense of satisfaction needs could lead to the meeting of esteem and self – actualization or professional growth. These two approaches of Maslow and Herzberg could be reconciled. (J. Adair:1996:78) Moreover, the absence of a potential for self – actualizing progress, in Herzberg’ s theory, can not create conscious dissatisfaction, thus did Herzberg only develop the hint in Maslow that a poor model for the ‘higher’ needs in the hierarchy are formed by the physiological needs?

To follow a topic, an individual’s internal rating of ‘satisfiers’ and ‘dissatisfiers’ might reflect to personality development, which means progress in gratifying the hierarchy of basic needs, is also accepted by Herzberg. Allowing for the respective intellectual biases of the two psychologists as well as for the application to the work situation in particular, concluding, the similarities between the approaches of Maslow and Herzberg outweigh their dissimilarities (J. Adair:1990:56).

The most interesting could become a comparison Maslow’ s and Herzberg’ s theories with Friderick W. Taylor’s, the American engineer, Theory of Motivation (J. Adair:1996:119). Although Maslow’ s and Herzberg’ s theories, as psychologists, are based upon some sort of empirical evidence, however both of them openly confess to propagating and holding certain philosophical assumptions about the nature of man (J. Adair:1990:65). In turn, F. W. Taylor, the father of scientific management, is credited with dehumanizing factories, making men into automatons (M. Smith:2007:34).

Barber and Bretz (2000) certified that the most important factors why people choising a job and take into account in seeking and accepting a job offer, is a wage(G. P. Latham:2007:99). But does it have an influence on effort and persistence and to what extent? Taylor (1911) claimed that in the first quarter of the 20th century, there was concluded by engineers, that the primary incentive for engaging in efficient and effective behavior are money (G. P. Latham:2007:99).

The father of scientific management (1911) certified that if organization adopted scientific management, this would be a mental revolution between workers’ behaviours, relations and outlook toward employers (G. P. Latham:2007:11). There is four Taylor’s principles: offering to workers a monetary incentive; training and development the workers following by scientific selection; democratically division of work between workers, foreshadowing goals to workers(G. P. Latham:2007:12).

Taylor (1911) claimed that following this principles give a revolutionary outcome, employers and employees are able to see that satisfaction money can be made without occasion to quarrel (G. P. Latham:2007:12). Moreover, paying substantial bonuses by employers to employees for efficiently and effectively achieved goal, is the way to satisfied workers (G. P. Latham:2007:12). Herzberg’ s theory establishes to Maslow’ s Hierarchy of Needs does not follow Taylor’s attitudes. Moreover, Herzberg put forward a hypothesis that job can affect a person’s mental health and cause long – term physical health problem.

Although, Herzberg (1966) certified that money could have opposed effect on job dissatisfaction, do not have effect on job satisfaction(G. P. Latham:2007:99). Concluding, ‘If F. W. Taylor was the equivalent of Hobbes in industry, then Herzberg stands firmly in the tradition of Locke’(J. Adair:1990:73). In summary, there is a lot of theories what motivates people toward certain actions. One, probably the most influential on managers, Maslow’ s Hierarchy of Needs, sensible and interesting, was made up through the human experience.

This American Physiologist worked very hard to find that firstly people satisfy basic needs before even thinking of satisfying more complex needs. As Maslow theory was made through the human experience as Herzberg’ s Theory of Hygiene as well. Similarities between these two theories outweigh their dissimilarities. Making a survey, Herzberg investigated what people liked or disliked about their jobs. One of Herzberg’ s Hygiene Factors is pay. As contrasted with Taylor’ s attitudes about job satisfaction, Herzberg certified that money do not have effect on job satisfaction.

In Taylor views, just wage is motivated for workers and satisfaction money can be made without occasion to quarrel. In conclusion, there is even more that Maslow’ s, Herzberg’ s or Taylor’ s theories what is motivation and who motivates people or what makes them tick and why do they do anything. But Maslow’ s Hierarchy of Needs clearly and since the beginning, help us all be more understanding of others around us. This theory is normally drawn as a triangle, because the author believed that it showed what people wanted form the job.

Everybody start at the bottom and then work their way up, to the top, to self – actualization. But different people have different needs, moreover people are not fit in the same pattern. That makes Maslow’ s theory not perfect. Although that many great physiologists tried to find the best theory of motivation, although that most of managers are based on these theories, although that one must work hard to obtain willful goal and raises knowledge along the way to success, these all theories do not negate the fact that nowadays, nepotism plays a prominent role in the employment stakes.

Bibliography: 1. Adair, J (1990) “Understanding motivation”, The Talbot Adair Press, Surrey, 2. Adair, J (1996) “Effective motivation”, Pan Books, London, 3. Beck R. C (2000) “ Motivation: Theories and Principles”, Pearson Education, Inc. , New Jersey, 4. Latham G. P (2007) “ Work Motivation”, Sage Publication, USA, 5. Maslow A. H (1987) “ Motivation and Personality”, Harper & Row, New York, 6. Smith M. ( 2007) “ Fundamentals of management”, McGraw – Hill Education, Berkshire. (2085 words)

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