Motivation has been derived from the word
‘motive’ which means any idea need or emotion.
Motivation is defined as “inner burning passion
caused by need, wants and desire which
propels an individual to exert his physical and
mental energy to achieve desired objectives”.
Mc Farland has defined “motivation as the
way in which urges, drives, desires,
aspirations, strivings needs direct, control
or explain the behaviour of human beings”.
High level of performance
Low employee turn over and absenteeism
Acceptance of organization change
Helps in achieving goals
When you're extrinsically motivated, your behavior is
motivated by an external factor pushing you to do
something in hopes of earning a reward - or avoiding a
less-than-positive outcome. Extrinsic motivators are
tangible and visible to others.
Intrinsic motivation are internally generated (i.e., within the
Intrinsic rewards denote the pleasure or value one receives
from the content of a job.
Examples of intrinsic motivation could include:
Reading a book because you enjoy the storytelling
Exercising because you want
to relieve stress
Cleaning your home because
it helps you feel organized
Intrinsic Motivation Extrinsic Motivation
Participating in a sport because you
find the activity enjoyable
Participating in a sport to win awards
Cleaning your room because you like
Cleaning your room to avoid being
reprimanded by your parents
Solving a word puzzle because you
find the challenge fun and exciting
Competing in a contest to win a
Studying a subject you find fascinating Studying because you want to get a
Extrinsic and intrinsic motivators are not completely distinct
from each other. Some motivators have both intrinsic and
For example, a sales person who wins a sales contest gets
the cash award (i.e. extrinsic motivator). At the same time,
winning in a competitive environment may be a very powerful
internalized motive(i.e. intrinsic motivator)
The following theories are considered
contemporary or modern not only because they
necessarily were developed recently, but because
they represent the current state of the art in
explaining employee motivation.
Vroom’s Valence Expectancy Theory
Porter and Lawler Expectancy Theory
Goal Setting Theory
Vroom realized that an employee's performance is based on
individual factors such as personality, skills, knowledge,
experience and abilities. He stated that effort, performance
and motivation are linked in a person's motivation. He uses
the variables Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence to
account for this.
Valence is the importance that the individual places upon the
expected outcome. For the valence to be positive, the person must
prefer attaining the outcome to not attaining it. For example, if
someone is mainly motivated by money, he or she might not value
offers of additional time off.
The value of a person for a goal may be positive or negative
depending upon his positive or negative preferences for his goal.
Thus, the total range of valence is from -1 to +1.
Expectancy is the idea that increasing the amount of effort will
increase performance (if I work harder then I will perform better).
This is affected by:
Having the right resources available (e.g. raw materials, time)
Having the right skills to do the job
Having the necessary support to get the job done (e.g. supervisor
support, or correct information on the job)
Instrumentality is the idea that if you perform better, then the
outcome will be achieved (If I perform well, there I will achieve the
This is affected by:
A clear understanding of the relationship between performance and
outcomes – e.g. the rules of the reward 'game'
Trust in the people who will take the decisions on who gets what
Transparency of the process that decides who gets what outcome
These three factors in the expectancy model may exist in infinite
number of combinations depending upon the range of valence and
the degree of expectancy and instrumentality. Vroom’s model
attempts to explain how individual’s goals influence his efforts and
reveals that individual’s behavior is goal-oriented.
Porter and Lawler Model is an improvement over Vroom’s Expectancy
Model. This is a multi variate model which explains the relationship
that exists between job attitudes and job performance.
This model is based on four basic assumptions about human
i. As mentioned above, it is a multi variate model. According to this
model, individual behaviour is determined by a combination of
factors in the individual and in the environment.
ii. Individuals are assumed to be rational human beings who make
conscious decisions about their behaviour in the organisations.
iii. Individuals have different needs, desires and goals.
iv. On the basis of their expectations, individuals decide between
alternate behaviours and such decided behaviour will lead to a
Adam’s Equity Theory, also known as the Equity
Theory of Motivation, was developed in 1963 by
John Stacey Adams, a workplace behavioral
Equity theory states that if an individual identifies an
inequity between themselves and a peer, they will
adjust the work they do to make the situation fair in
their eyes. As an example of equity theory, if an
employee learns that a peer doing exactly the same
job as them is earning more money, then they may
choose to do less work, thus creating fairness in
To understand Adam’s Equity Theory, we need to first
define inputs and outputs.
Inputs are defined as those things that an individual does
in order to receive an output. They are the contribution
the individual makes to the organization.
Outputs (sometimes referred to as outcomes) are the
result an individual receives as a result of their inputs to
the organization. Some of these benefits will be tangible,
such as salary, but others will be intangible, such as
Now that we understand inputs and outputs, we’re in a position to
Equity is defined as an individual’s outputs divided by that same
Adam’s Equity Theory states that individuals don’t just understand
equity in isolation, instead they look around and compare
themselves to others. If they perceive an inequity then they will
adjust their inputs to restore balance. This is illustrated in the
following equity theory equation.
So, if an individual believes their outputs are lower than their inputs
relative to others around them they will become demotivated.
Likewise, an individual may need to increase their inputs if their
outputs are greater than those doing exactly the same job.
Essentially, an individual within an organization will always try
to keep fairness (equity) in balance
The employees who perceive inequity and are under
negative tension can make the following choices:
Change in input (e.g. Don’t overexert)
Change their outcome (Produce quantity output and
increasing earning by sacrificing quality when piece rate
incentive system exist)
Choose a different referent
Change self perception (For instance - I know that I’ve
performed better and harder than everyone else.)
Change perception of others (For instance - Jack’s job is
not as desirable as I earlier thought it was.)
Quit the job
In essence, the Equity Theory of Motivation proposes that
high levels of employee motivation in the workplace can
only be achieved when each employee perceives their
treatment to be fair relative to others.
Reinforcement Theory of motivation aims at
achieving the desired level of motivation among
the employees by means of reinforcement,
punishment and extinction.
The Reinforcement Theory was proposed by
B.F. Skinner and his associates. It is based on
the concept of “Law of Effect”, i.e., the behavior
of individual towards positive consequences
tends to repeat, but the behavior of individual
towards negative consequences tends not to
Goals influence the behaviour of employees and also their
motivation. Edwin Locke studied the processes by which
employees set goals. Their are four elements of goal-
Managers should follow a participative approach in
setting the goals for the subordinates. When the
employees are involved in goal-setting, they accept the
goal and take step to realise them.
Specific goal reduce ambiguity and each employee gets a
very clear idea as to what is expected of him. This results
in improved performance.
Difficult but feasible goals provide more challenge than
easy goals. However, even the challenging goals
must be achievable, given the capability and
experience of the individual and the resources
Performance feedback tends to encourage better job
performance and self-generated feedback is an
especially powerful motivational tool.
Goal setting theory proposed that challenging and
specific goals are more likely to lead towards better
performance. Proper feedback can sustain motivation
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