Theories Of Motivation In The Workplace

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Motivation in the Workplace

Motivation is referred to as “internal factors that impel action and to external factors that can act as inducements to action” (Locke and Latham 2004, p388). Motivation is an intrinsic part of any successful business, creating a work environment which not only pushes employees to reach their full potential but also nurtures their physiological and psychological needs. I will examine two motivational theories, firstly Herzberg’s Hygiene Theory, followed by Equity Theory. I will conduct a critical analysis of both theories highlighting the benefit of each theory from a managerial perspective and also bring forward any flaws or weaknesses I find. I will look at extrinsic motives; tangible/physical things e.g. pay or promotions, and intrinsic motives; intangible/abstract factors e.g. responsibility or achievement (Luthan 2010, pp160-161)
Herzberg’s Hygiene Theory, also known as the Two Factor Theory, falls into the broader Need Theories. Need theories are those which concern the basic human needs in order to motivate and provide satisfaction. Herzberg’s theory is one of the most controversial motivational theories within the organisational behaviour community. He challenged common beliefs about job satisfaction and motivation, in short, saying pay has little effect on job satisfaction (Sachau 2007). He “conducted extensive interviews with two hundred engineers and accountants using the critical-incident method for data collection” (Maidani 1991).
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