Theories of Motivation

Motivation is a mental attitude that gives one the push one needs to do the actions one knows will get one closer to one's objectives. An individual's level of motivation determines the degree to which they persevere in the face of adversity, maintaining a high level of dedication and concentration in their efforts. As a result of internal drives, people act in certain ways. Motivation, in a nutshell, pushes people to do what they do. A wide variety of factors influence our motives. One of the essential goals of the finest project management instruction is to keep all team members inspired and focused on delivering results. Many motivational theories have been developed as a structured result of psychiatrists' study of human behavior. Learn more about human behavior and what drives us with these motivational ideas.

Explaining Other Theories of Motivation

An individual's motivation and its effect on their actions may be studied using the concept. Its relevance to business and leadership cannot be overstated, but it is still crucial to all of society. A motivated worker is more efficient, which directly translates to more profits. The study of incentives covers a vast amount of territory. Numerous schools of thought in psychology have put forward various explanations for what drives people.

Other Theories of Motivation

It includes −

Herzberg − Frederick Herzberg, a psychotherapist, built upon Maslow's work and proposed a new concept of motivation, today frequently referred to as the "Herzberg Herzberg 's motivation-hygiene Theory." One hundred lawyers and engineers working for companies located throughout Pennsylvania participated in Herzberg's highly publicized motivating research. Findings from the analysis of the replies were found to be both intriguing and rather consistent. It was clear that when people were happy at work, they responded differently than when they were unhappy. Positive emotions were linked to occupational fulfillment, whereas negative ones were related to discontent. Herzberg classified work gratification as a motivator and job dissatisfaction as a maintenance element.

McClelland − In contrast to Maslow's satisfaction-unsatisfaction hierarchy of requirements, McClelland and his colleagues proposed a need-based motivation theory. Henry Murray employed many motivations and visible demands in his preliminary personality work, but McClelland built his concept off those ideas. Since McClelland felt that needs are learned or acquired through the kind of experiences individuals encounter in their context and society, his need theory is strongly related to the cognitive approach.

McGregor − McGregor's theories X and Y were an attempt to dramatize the boundaries within which stereotypically organized guy operates. The truth is that no self-respecting corporate guy would ever identify with any of these schools of thought. The person has characteristics of both. In reality, man's moods and motivations cause him to switch between several sets of attributes.


Argyris's motivation model is predicated on the idea that management techniques impact employee actions and development. According to him, a person reaches maturity after going through seven distinct stages of development. The individual's unique character, in these other words, evolves with time. Argyris believes that management methods like job specialization, chain of command, unified purpose, and a range of management contribute significantly to immaturity in employees inside an organization. He advocates a phased transition away from the current hierarchical organizational structure and toward a humanistic approach, as well as a management style that is more open to employee input and feedback. He argues that this would fulfill their physiological requirements and encourage people to be better prepared to use these requirements. However, it will also inspire people to be ready to employ their full ability to serve the organization's aims.


To this day, Victor Vroom's expectation theory remains one of the most frequently accepted theories on motivation because of its focus on the mental processes involved in the motivational state. The idea is based on the tenets that individuals will be highly motivated to exert themselves if they are led to think that their amount of effort is directly correlated with their level of achievement and the results or rewards they would obtain. The theory is multiplicative; thus, maximum levels for all three factors are required to indicate a desire to do well. If any of the abovementioned factors reaches zero, the likelihood of the prompted behavior likewise approaches zero.


Porter and Lawler's hypothesis has superseded Vroom's expectation theory. They argue that low motivation does not always indicate a lack of effort or productivity. When using their proposed model, it runs into some of the usual, too-simplified assumptions regarding the positive correlation between job happiness and productivity. They presented a multi-factor model considering the connection between contentment and productivity complexities. The key idea behind Porter and Lawler's concept is that there is no direct correlation between effort and outcome. The results one achieves are directly related to the level of effort put forth. They may be about the same, but it is not a given.


Organizational productivity relies heavily on job satisfaction, which is largely influenced by leadership and management styles. Getting the most out of one's staff does not rely solely on monetary incentives. Even though workers bring their demands to the table, management must devise and adopt ideas compatible with maximizing worker satisfaction. Nevertheless, since there is no one perfect theory, it is best to adopt a combination of several ones. Employees should be rewarded and provided a forum to share concerns over how they might be encouraged to strengthen the workplace.

Updated on: 21-Nov-2022


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