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Motivation Theories - Understanding The Content Theories Of Motivation

Motivation Theories - Understanding The Content Theories Of Motivation

Ahead of we go into appear at the 4 major content theories of motivation  developed by the theorists,  it is thus crucial to have a general  understanding of what  content theories  are in the initial place. Hence so,  the content theories also identified as the ‘needs theories' are  based on the wants of the individuals. In other words,  these theories fundamentally explain  why the wants of the humans  keep changing overtime  thus focussing on the distinct aspects that motivate them. By doing so, what they attempt to explain is that the wants of the individuals really should be taken into consideration, and thus  be satisfied in order to motivate them. To say, if these requirements of the people are not met or satisfied,  then it is unlikely that the individuals will be motivated to carry out the tasks in order to meet the objectives and objectives. Having said that, let us now appear at every of the four  content theories separately.

The Hierarchy of Requirements theory is 1 of the 4  major content material theories created by Ibrahim Maslow in the year 1943. This theory is based on the truth that it is the unfulfilled wants that leads to motivate the individuals. It also gives an understanding to why the needs of the people keep altering overtime and the significance of identifying what every and every individual is soon after in terms of their needs. This is simply because, it possibly gives an insight to what exactly are the individual requirements that have to be met,  in order to motivate them. Having said that, Maslow  identified 5 levels of requirements which are fundamentally the,

Self Actualization ( level five - highest level)

Self Esteem ( level four )

Social belonging &amp Enjoy needs (level 3)

Safety ( level 2)

Physiology ( level 1)  

According to Maslow, these 5 levels of needs have to be satisfied  if the people are to be motivated. In other words, it is said to believe that motivation is thus driven by the existence of these unsatisfied requirements, meaning to say that unless they have fulfilled  their requirements there are motivated to do so. Nevertheless, his thought was that in order to motivate the individuals the 1st greater level of wants have to be satisfied before the subsequent level of needs. And  only as soon as the lower level of requirements are satisfied the subsequent level of requirements will act as a motivator. For example, a individual who is dying of hunger will at initial be motivated to fulfil his hunger by earning wages/salaries . But once his basic requirements are satisfied,  then this will no longer act as a motivator , but thereafter it is only the second level of needs such as  a very good and safe working environment etc that will lead to motivate him. To say, Maslow pointed out the truth that satisfying  the individual requirements is a step by step procedure that ought to follow from the lowest level to the highest level of requirements and only satisfies  one level of requirements at a time.

Herzberg's Two factor theory is an additional major content theory that focuses on the individual wants of the men and women. According to Herzberg, he basically identified two separate groups of elements that had a strong impact on motivation. His 1st group of elements had been the hygiene variables which consisted of aspects such as working conditions, quality of supervision, salary, status, business policies and administration. What he tend to believed was the fact that hygiene aspects strongly influenced feelings of dissatisfaction among staff thus paving way to impact the job efficiency. He also went in to say that the presence of these variables will not motivate the employees as such, but rather it is needed to have the hygiene elements appropriate in the first place if the staff are to be motivated. What in fact meant by this was that, if these hygiene aspects are not present in the organization then it is not really possible to motivate the staff therefore since it is these factors that act as the foundation for the motivating aspects to be efficient. For example, without a good and safe working environment it is no use giving responsibility to an employee simply because the chances of motivating him are quite low.

 Having stated that, the  second group of aspects  identified were identified as the motivating factors which consisted of factors such recognition, achievement, responsibility, interesting job and advancement to higher level tasks as and growth etc. Herzberg believed that the motivating elements do satisfy staff which will eventually lead to employee motivation. But he also went into say that in order for the motivating elements to act there have to be the hygiene elements present.

The ERG theory is another form of content material theory developed by Alderfer. This is also based on the needs of the people. To say, the ERG theory was  proposed  therefore thinking that it will essentially overcome the limitations of the Maslow's hierarchy of wants theory. Nonetheless, this too is in the form of a hierarchy but only comprising of three levels. In other words, as opposed to the Maslow's theory  which has 5 levels of wants the ERG theory has simplified the levels of individual needs in to just three levels. The three levels of needs identified by Alderfer  are,

Existence ( Physiological &amp Safety requirements) Relatedness ( Social &amp External Esteem needs) Growth ( Internal Esteem &amp Self-Actualization wants )

Alderfer  basically  reduced the number of levels in his hierarchy thus combining every of the levels together. In other words, the initial level in his hierarchy was formed by grouping each the physiology and safety requirements together. Then he combined the social and external esteem wants as the second level and last  of all the internal esteem and self-actualization wants as the third and final level. Nonetheless, he went into say that  the 1st level of wants which is existence nonetheless have the priority over the other two levels of needs. And hence, the order of the wants could not precise be the same for all people and therefore could rather alter depending on the individual. It does not always occur that the people are motivated  to satisfy the lower level first in order to go to the subsequent level as in the Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory. For example, an individual will be motivated to perform the tasks simply because  of his need to have for recognition is fulfilled rather than for a safer working environment. In contrast to in Maslow's hierarchy, the ERG theory enables for distinct levels of wants to be pursued simultaneously. He further went into say that, according to his theory the people may possibly expect to satisfy a higher level of wants and those who are unable to  satisfy that level ( frustration regression process) will ultimately be frustrated and look to satisfy the lower level that appears to be significantly far more easier to satisfy in order to  motivate them. This will motivate the people for the moment with the hope that they could satisfy the higher level in the times to come. In such scenarios, it is thus critical for the employers to identify this and assist them to satisfy the lower level of needs in order to motivate them.

The three Wants theory also recognized as the Acquired  theory or the Learned theory, is another content material theory created by McClelland around 1961.  Like the other content theories, this theory is also based on the requirements of the individuals. In his theory, what McClelland tries to clarify is the reality that motivation of an individual could essentially result from three dominant requirements. The three dominant needs identified are,

The need for achievement The need for energy The need to have for affiliation

According to McClelland, human motivation is therefore dominated by these three requirements. In other words, some people will appear for tasks that will support them to  achieve some thing, paving way to  motivate them. Likewise some others  may possibly need to have energy and some may look for affiliation. However, he also went into say that even although all these  requirements are present in each and each and every individual, there is fundamentally one require that dominates the people when it comes to most men and women. For example, an individual will want to accomplish specific things, will want to preserve good  relations  with other people but at the exact same time, a lot more than anything  else they could want lead the other people in order to motivate them.

The want for Achievement

Having stated that, the need to have for achievement basically indicates  the extend to which an individual desires to perform tasks that are hard and indeed challenging. To say ,  in order to motivate an  individual  with a want for achievement  they almost certainly have to be given challenging  and challenging tasks. They will basically go to accomplish goals that are challenging and realistic. In other words, what they genuinely want is good results and positive feedback, avoids each the low-risk and high-risk situations, and prefer to work alone rather than in a team with other high achievers. That way, they genuinely tend to be  motivated if they take place to believe the tasks they are given to carry out are indeed challenging.

The need to have for power

Likewise, people with the require for energy will essentially want to lead the other people. This might be two kinds meaning to say individual and institutional. . In other words, some people will look for personal energy while the other may possibly want for institutional energy. People with a need to have for personal energy will therefore want to direct and influence others. What in fact mean by this is that, if they are not allowed to lead the other people then they most likely will be de-motivated. Saying that, people with a high want for institutional energy wants to organize the efforts of others for the good results of the organization. For example, individuals with the require for institutional energy are far more likely to be motivated if they are supplied with status oriented positions, managerial posts and leadership.

The want for Affiliation

And to say, individuals with the require for affiliation fundamentally appear for good, friendly  interpersonal  relationships with other people. In other people words, they truly want to feel like that they are accepted by others and liked by other people, they basically strive to maintain very good relationships by way of trust and understanding, they prefer cooperation much more than competition, As a result, individuals with a high need for affiliation do prefer to function as a team and function in customer service  environments which will lead to motivate them.

And finally, it really should be stated that all of the content material theories are based on the reality that in order to motivate the folks their needs have to be satisfied or fulfilled. Individual need to have do vary from 1 individual to yet another, and that is why it is crucial to comprehend these theories correctly in order to motivate the individuals effectively.


By shameena Silva

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