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Theories of Motivation

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Theories of motivation

Motivation is the will to work. It is also the reason for doing a work. Managers spend considerable time working out how best to motivate their workers and there are a number of different ways about how this can be done.

There are a number of different theories as to what motivates workers. Some famous theories of motivation are:

1. Taylor's scientific management

2. Maslow's hierarchy of needs, and

3. Herzberg's two-factor theory

The above mentioned theories are discussed below:

1. Taylor's scientific management- Frederick Taylor said that workers are motivated mainly by pay. His Theory of Scientific Management argued that workers do not naturally enjoy work and so need close supervision and control. Therefore managers should break down production into a series of small tasks. Workers should then be given appropriate training and tools. Workers are then paid according to the number of items they produce in a set period of time- piece-rate pay. Henry Ford used the idea of Taylor's scientific management to design the first ever production line, making Ford cars.

2. Maslow's hierarchy of needs- Abraham Maslow put forward a theory that there are five levels of human needs which employees need to have fulfilled at work. As per his theory this needs are :

(i) physiological needs

(ii) security or safety needs

(iii) social needs

(iv) esteem needs

(v) need for self-actualization

All of the needs are structured into a hierarchy and when a lower level of need has been fully met, a worker would be motivated by the next need up in the hierarchy. For example a person who is dying of hunger will be motivated to achieve a basic salary in order to buy food before worrying about having a secure job contract or the respect of others.

3. Herzberg's two-factor theory

Frederick Herzberg argued that there were certain factors that a business could introduce that would directly motivate employees to work harder, which are called Motivators. However there were also factors that would de-motivate an employee if not present but would not in themselves actually motivate employees to work harder. They are called hygiene factors.

The motivation factors are: achievement, recognition, the work, responsibility, and advancement and growth.

The hygiene factors are: supervisors, working conditions, interpersonal relationships, pay and security, and company policies and

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