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Theories of Motivation

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Education + TrainingTheories of MotivationLyndon Jones, Denys Page,Article information:To cite this document:Lyndon Jones, Denys Page, (1987) "Theories of Motivation", Education + Training, Vol. 29 Issue: 3, pp.12-16, https://doi.org/10.1108/eb017334Permanent link to this document:https://doi.org/10.1108/eb017334Downloaded on: 22 June 2019, At: 06:21 (PT)References: this document contains references to 0 other documents.To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.comThe fulltext of this document has been downloaded 9303 times since 2006*Users who downloaded this article also downloaded:(1997),"What motivates employees according to over 40 years of motivation surveys", International Journalof Manpower, Vol. 18 Iss 3 pp. 263-280 <a href="https://doi.org/10.1108/01437729710169373">https://doi.org/10.1108/01437729710169373</a>(2005),"Does Herzberg's motivation theory have staying power?", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 24 Iss 10 pp.929-943 <a href="https://doi.org/10.1108/02621710510627064">https://doi.org/10.1108/02621710510627064</a>Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by emerald-srm:450280 []For AuthorsIf you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for Authors serviceinformation about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines are available for all. Please visitwww.emeraldinsight.com/authors for more information.About Emerald www.emeraldinsight.comEmerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio ofmore than 290 journals and over 2,350 books and book series volumes, as well as providing an extensive range of onlineproducts and additional customer resources and services.Emerald is both COUNTER 4 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on PublicationEthics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation.*Related content and download information correct at time of download.Downloaded by University of Hertfordshire At 06:21 22 June 2019 (PT)

Theories of Motivation This introduction to behavioural science, which deals with the principles and practice of motivation, is a joint effort by-Lyndon Jones (Principal, South West London College and Chairman, Association of Business Executives — ABE) and Denys Page (former Training Advisor, Barclays Bank Group). Human resource management is becoming more and more complex as society develops. Seldom is it possible nowadays for a boss to behave like the old-fashioned sergeant-major whose subordinates jump to attention whenever a command is barked out. Moreover the answers to apparently simple questions, such as "Why do I work?" and "Why do others work?" , becomes increasingly complicated when the opportunities for meaningful work wax and wane with successive booms and recessions. Psychological thinking has produced a veritable jungle of theories which try to explain human behaviour in general and employee motivation in particular; but basically these theories can be divided into two major conceptions — the "internal" set of theories and the "external" set. Each of these conceptions produces its own dilemmas, as will be seen below. The Internal Theories The internal set of theories (otherwise known as nativistic, or humanistic) stem from the works of Kant, which are supported by Freud, Maslow, McGregor and Herzberg. In these, man is seen as capable of developing physiologically and psychologically from biological essentials. Therefore, it is argued, the focus should be on stimulating the growth of internal capacities which give rise to feelings, attitudes and the like. More recently this field has been expanded by the addition of cognitively-based motivational theories such as Vroom's expectancy theory and Adam's equity theory. A more detailed look at these various internal theories of motivation is given in Appendix I. Certainly the internal theory has held sway ever since the Hawthorne Experiments back in the 1920s. Trainers are charged with the task of designing courses to help bring about attitude change. This stemmed from the traditional belief that by changing attitudes one could bring about a desired change in behaviour, as in Figure 1 below: Similarly organisational development techniques — work structuring, team building and the like — have been heavily biased towards the antecedent side of behaviour. A great deal of time has been spent looking beneath the surface to the inner self. But the dilemma of this type of approach is: How many managers are trained or have the time to analyse their subordinates' inner needs? Very often the existence of this dilemma blocks any attempt to find out what these needs are, and provides an excuse for the continuance of primitive managerial behaviour. But there may be a third way, as we shall elaborate later. The External Theories For the moment, therefore, let us briefly examine the background to this third approach, based on the external or environmental theories of learning. These stem from the work of Locke, supported by such persons as Thorndike, Watson and more recently Skinner, who have argued that man's motivation and behaviour are shaped primarily by forces outside himself. At the turn of the century Thorndike formulated the Law of Effect; this states that behaviours with rewarding consequences tend to be repeated, and behaviours with punishing effects tend to disappear. More recently Skinner summed it up by saying: Behaviour is determined by its consequences. If one accepts that behaviour is learnt, then it follows that an employer has two choices: — To hire workers with the desired behaviour patterns. — To develop or modify the present behaviour of employees so that they are in line with the objectives of the organisation. But this poses the second dilemma: Is it legitimate to attempt to change an adult person's behaviour without his or her consent and, if so, is it really possible? One answer to this is that we do, as a matter of course, consciously or unconsciously change the behaviour of others in our role



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