Motivation In The Workplace

Last Updated: 13 Oct 2020
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Motivation and the Workplace What is motivation? According to Schermerhorn, “Motivation is an internal force that accounts for the level, direction, and persistence of effort expended at work,” (116). What do level, direction, and persistence refer to? Level is “the amount of effort a person puts forth,” direction is “an individual’s choice when presented with a number of possible alternatives,” and persistence which is “the length of time a person sticks with a given action,” (Schermerhorn, 102).

When we look into motivation theories we see that there are content theories and process theories. We find that content theories “focus primarily on individual needs-physiological or psychological deficiencies that we feel a compulsion to reduce or eliminate,” (Schermerhorn, 102). Process theories “focus on how cognitive processes as thoughts and decisions within the minds of people influence their behavior,” (Schermerhorn, 102).

These theories bring us functional self-awareness to different theories where we are able to “identify their key management implications,” (Schermerhorn, 102). We start with ‘Needs Theories of Motivation’ which are content theories that “suggest that motivation results from our attempts to satisfy important needs,” (Schermerhorn, 103).

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One part of the ‘Needs Theories of Motivation’ is the acquired needs theory which consists of the need for achievement (nAch), “the desire to do something better or more efficiently, to solve problems, or to master complex tasks,”(Schermerhorn, 104); the need for affiliation (nAff), “the desire to establish and maintain friendly and warm relations with others,” (Schermerhorn, 105); and the need for power (nPower), “the desire to control others, to influence their behavior, or to be responsible for others,” (Schermerhorn, 105).

These needs are something found in the workplace, someone with the need for achievement is someone who likes to be challenged and loves to receive what feedback they can get. Someone with the need for affiliation is someone who likes to be able to communicate and have social relationships and someone with the need for power wants attention and people to answer to them. “These three needs are acquired… [and] believed it may be possible to teach people to develop need profiles required for success in various types of jobs,” (Schermerhorn, 105).

Another part of the ‘Needs Theories of Motivation’ is the two-factor theory “also known as the motivator-hygiene theory,” (Schermerhorn, 106). This theory consists of hygiene factors, “sources of job dissatisfaction, and they are found in the job context or work setting,” (Schermerhorn, 106) and the motivator factors, “sources of job satisfaction,” (Schermerhorn, 106). According to Schermerhorn, the hygiene factors or job dissatisfactions are things like organizational policies, quality of supervision, working conditions, relationships with co-workers, status and security, and base wage or salary (106).

The motivator factors or job satisfaction are things like achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement, and growth (106). According to Herzberg, “If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do,” (Schermerhorn, 107). We now move onto the ‘Equity Theory of Motivation’ which “argues that any perceived inequity becomes a motivating state of mind,” (Schermerhorn, 107).

Procedural Justice “is the degree to which the rules and procedures specified by policies are properly followed in all cases to which they are applied,” (Schermerhorn, 109); Distributive Justice “is the degree to which all people are treated the same under a policy, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, age, or any other demographic characteristic,” (Schermerhorn, 109); Interactional Justice “is the degree to which the people affected by a decision are treated with dignity and respect,” (Schermerhorn, 109); and Commutative Justice “is the degree to which exchanges and transactions among parties is considered free and fair,” (Schermerhorn, 109). Do we need motivation in our workplace? Are we able to really see the effort people will put forth or the choices people will decide to use or how long people will work on something? We are able to see how to determine if someone is in need of achievement, affiliation, and power. We are also able to understand job dissatisfactions and satisfactions, and how people view what’s going on in their workplaces. Works Cited Schermerhorn Jr, J. R. , Osborn, R. N. , Uhl-Bien, M. , & Hunt, J. G. (2012). Organizational behavior. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons, Inc

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Motivation In The Workplace. (2017, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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