To understand what motivation is, we need to review very briefly four classic motivation theories.
1、Hierarchy of Needs – Abraham Maslow
Maslow’s theory argues that individuals are motivated to satisfy a number of different kinds of needs; some of which are more powerful than others. Until these most pressing needs are satisfied, other needs have little effect on an individual’s behavior.
Maslow represents this prepotency of needs as a hierarchy. This hierarchy of needs takes the form of a pyramid: in ascending order, the needs are physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization.
2、Dual-Factor Theory – Frederick Herzberg
Herzberg’s two-factor theory of motivation tries to find out what people want from work. According to this theory, two sets of factors influence work behavior: dissatisfies (hygiene factors) and satisfiers (motivators). Hygiene factors relate to the context of jobs and include pay, working conditions, supervision, and so on. They do not motivate. Motivators include factors like achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, growth, and the work itself. Motivators become operational only when dissatisfies are removed.
3、Expectancy Theory of Motivation – Victor Vroom
According to expectancy theory, motivation depends on the expectation that effort will produce performance. Humans form a mental picture about the likelihood that a given level of effort will result in a desired outcome. Various outcomes have different levels of desirability or valence. An individual is motivated to behave in a certain manner because (1) he or she has a strong desire for a certain task outcome and a reasonable expectation of achieving that outcome and (2) because he or she also expects that the achievement of the task outcome will result in reward in terms of pay, promotion, job security, or satisfaction of individual needs – physiological, safety, esteem and so on.
What Vroom suggests is task goals (productivity, quality standards or similar goals attached to jobs) are often means to an end, rather than the end in itself. There is a second level of outcomes which reflect the real goals of individuals and these may be attained, in varying degrees, through task behavior.
M = EPV
4、The Need for Achievement – David McClelland
The need for achievement is the need to do things better than before – to achieve some performance goal. According to McClelland, individuals with a high n-ach have a number of distinctive characteristics which separate them from their peers. First of all, they respond well to situations where they can take personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems. This allows them to gain personal satisfaction from their achievements. A second characteristic of high n-ach people is that they like to set moderately high goals for themselves. These goals are neither so low that they can be achieved with little challenge, nor so high that they are impossible. High n-ach individuals prefer goals that require all-out effort and the exercise of all their abilities. Once again, the achievement of this type of objective results in greater personal satisfaction. A thir distinctive characteristic of high achievers is that they want concrete feedback on their performance. Only certain types of jobs provide this kind of feedback, however, and so some kinds of jobs are unattractive to high achiever.
McClelland has also identified two other types of need, the need for affiliation and the need for power. A need for affiliation manifests itself in a desire to be liked by others, to be part of a group, to enter into warm, personal relationships. High n-affil people value relationships over accomplishments and friendship over power. The need for power, however, is seen as the raw desire to control others or simply to exert authority.