Motivation Theories


Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow studied the reasons why people worked and ranked their needs in order of importance with the most basic needs at the bottom of a pyramid and the most critical at the top. Maslow said that workers must have their basic needs met and once these are met, people will stive for the higher-orders needs. He ranked people's needs as follows: self-fulfilment being most important for people to reach their potential (challenges and the chance to develop new skills), followed by self esteem and a sense of status within a company (recognition and trust), social needs were next as most people needed positive relationships with their colleagues, safety in the form of job security and pensions followed and finally basis needs where last (these include food and sheltion or money to obtain these).

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Herzberg's Two Factor Theory of Motivation

Herzberg said hygeine factors such as money and working conditions were important and if not right would create dissatisfaction but didn't in themselves motivate people. Motivatiors such as recognition, achievement and succssful training, were what according to Herzberg was needed to really satisfy people. He believed there were two factors that if present would lead to job satsfaction. They are motivation and hygeine factors. He believed that motivation factors would directly motivate someone, where as hygiene factors, if not present would de-motivate someone.


  • Achievement                                                            
  • Recognition for achievement
  • Meaningful, interesting work
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement (Psychological, not just a promotion)


  • Company policy and adminstration
  • Supervision (especially being over-supervised)
  • Pay
  • Interpersonal relations (with supervisor, peers, or even customers)
  • Working conditions
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F W Taylor - Principals of Scientific Management

The manager's job is to decide how each task should be completed most efficiently. Experiments could find the best way of doing a job. 

He believed peeople are motivated by economic interests ad therefore financial rewards is the best way of motivating people. Maximising efficiency will maximise profits and hence alow the firm to pay its workers more.

McDonalds employ this style of management0 there is a pescribed way of doing everything. Frd used his principles in developing the division of labour and prducing the first ever production line car.

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Motivation and Pay

Motivation means providing encouragement and incentives for workers. This can be achieved through a variety of measures that are either financial or non-financial. Motivational theoriests suggest people have different reasons for working which include: earning enough money to survive and pay for interesting activities outside of work hours, gaining social contact with people and give to give a vocation and a purpose to life. The purpose of incentives therefore is to improve people's commitment to work but theoriests say incentives will differ according to the person's reason for working.

Financial incentives should include: higher wages, bonus payments, fringe benefits (free meals for instance), extra payments (over time), commission based on the number of goods sold and a long term contract. Non-financial incentives include: varied and interesting work, responsibility to make decisions, praise, promotion opportunities, feeling valued, a positive working environment and a challenging role.

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Motivation and Pay 2

Different pay systems can influence the commitment of workers. Diferent pay systems include:

  • Wages and Salaries - Most manual workers are paid wages based on an hourly rate and are paid weekly, most non manual workers are paid salaries and these are based on yearly figures and are paid monthly.
  • Time Rate- Payment taken for the time to finish a job. This can encourage people to take longer to finish a job to boost their pay.
  • Overtime- This is paid when a job cannot be completed in normal time and is normally  higher rate.
  • Pieve Rate- Payment according to the number o products finished. This may increase work rate but decreases quality.
  • Bonus Payments- Extra payments if a job is finished earlyor by a specific deadline.
  • Commission- Payment of a low, basic wage plus a percentage of the total value of prroducts sold. 
  • Performance Related Pay- Pay is linked to results and achieving specific targets.
  • Profit Sharing- Extra profits based on a company's profits over a given time.
  • Fringe Benefits- These include company cars, pensions, private health care and cheap loans. 
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Businesses need to communicate internally with staff and with customers and suppliers externally. Good communication means workers do their job effectively and motivation remains high, individuals and departments withina business work towards the same objectives, JIT production is possible, relationships with Trade Unions remain good and suppliers and customers stay loyal. Poor communication leads to low motivation, a breakdown of relationships internally and/or externaly (between workers and management for example or a firm and its suppliers), delays in production, increased costs, loss of customers and prodits and industrial between employers and employees.

ICT means documents can be word-processed, databases and spreadhseets can be produced quickly and email facilities means informtion can be sent and received quickly. Modems allow workers to save costs and give more flexibility as employees can work from home. Websites also provide a place for suppliers and customers to contact and arrange orders.

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