Discuss one or two motivation theories and how intrinsic and extrinsic rewards can be motivators?
Category : Motivation Theories
Discuss one or two motivation theories and how intrinsic and extrinsic rewards can be motivators?
The word “motivation” is derived from the word “motivate” which means to move, impel, or induce to act to satisfy a need or want (1999). Any consideration, idea or object prompting or exciting the individual to act or move him to do what his leader wants to be accomplished is what motivation is. Motivation may therefore be defined as a willingness to exert effort to achieve a goal or objective for rewards, whether intrinsic or extrinsic. Motivation implies a promise or expectation of reward as a result of an individual’s action. Without motivation or the will to do, not much by way of accomplishment can be made.
Several research studies on motivation have been undertaken by industrial psychologists and behavioral scientists. As a result, some theories about motivation and human behavior have been developed by researchers like (2002).
For this paper, only two theories on motivation will be discussed with emphasis on an organization environment. Motivation is a very important component of organizations and jobs, anything that is designed to make the individual or group of individuals attain or satisfy their needs is motivation. The two theories to be discussed are Two-Factor Theory and ’ Equity Theory. Situational examples based on organization events and elements will be given to further discuss these two theories on motivation. Furthermore, extrinsic and intrinsic rewards as forms of motivators will be discussed.
Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory
Herzberg developed this theory from his research in the 1950’s when he and his associates conducted interviews on the problem of attitudes with two hundred engineers and accountants who worked for eleven different companies in the Pittsburg area. Herzberg asked his subjects to tell about the times when they especially liked their jobs and listed the incidents that they mentioned. Then he asked the same people to tell him about the times when they strongly disliked their jobs and, again, he listed the circumstances they mentioned.
After the data gathered from the interviews were analyzed, Herzberg concluded that people have different categories of needs that were essentially independent of each other and which affect them in different ways. He classified these into two groups; the first group he termed Motivation Factors. These factors were found to be important in motivating employees to superior performance and in improving productivity. The findings indicated that when the employees felt good about their jobs they were motivated to work because they found the job challenging and satisfying with the expectation of accomplishment and rewards (1991).
The following factors were found to motivate employees to do superior performance:
1. Achievement – a feeling of personal accomplishment or the feeling of having done a job well.
2. Recognition – being recognized for doing a job well such as being complimented by the boss or receiving a company reward, promotion, or salary increase.
3. Participation – being personally involved in one’s work; having some responsibility for making decisions about one’s job.
4. Growth – challenge of the job itself; and the chance to learn skills, acquire knowledge, and achieve development and advancement. As more varied tasks are included in the job under the job enrichment program, the work is made more interesting and challenging, the job becomes more satisfying and the employees more productive.
With the second question which asked about the times that the subjects felt they were dissatisfied with their jobs, Herzberg arrived at a second list of factors which he termed hygiene or maintenance factors because the presence of these conditions only maintained current levels of efficiency and production or to better job performance (2006). Said conditions concern the environment in which they were working such as company policy, supervision, salary, interpersonal relations, and working conditions.
Since people feel dissatisfied with these conditions or factors were not satisfactory, they are also called dissatisfiers. Thus, if the employee’s salary, fringe benefits, and working conditions, and the company policies are inadequate, the workers will feel dissatisfied.
In other words, when the hygiene or maintenance factors were not satisfactory, productivity decreased. Examples would be when people felt they weren’t paid enough, didn’t like their supervisors, were not happy about their working conditions or were insecure in their jobs. However, if they felt that the maintenance factors were satisfactory, that is, their pay and other working conditions were good, they only maintained current levels of production and efficiency.
Herzberg classified these two factors as follows:
Hygiene or Maintenance Factors
Company policy and administration
Growth and advancement
In applying Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory to create a high level of performance, certain measures must be adopted by management such as job enrichment or restructuring the job to make it more interesting and challenging to the worker. Some authors have criticized Herzberg’s theory because of his research method. However, his job enrichment program has been found effective in application. This application of job enrichment is popular because it can easily be adopted by all levels of management, payoffs can be realized in a relatively short time span, and it cam be measured in specific terms.
Adams’ Equity Theory
Later in the 1950s and 1960s, psychologists began to focus on the role of motivation in the work place, specifically in the areas of job satisfaction and job performance resulting in a variety of equity-based orientations as that of Adams ( 1994). asserts that when people work in exchange for pay, they tend to think of their contribution to the job (inputs) in relation to what they get for working (outcomes). Inputs are anything workers perceive as deserving of a payoff such as education, experience, skill, job effort, and seniority among many other things. Outcomes on the other hand, refer to factors individuals see as payoff for their invested efforts. Examples are pay, fringe benefits, job status, seniority benefits, and job perquisites.
If a person feels that, in comparison to others, what he or she is giving to the organization is equal to what is being received, equity exists. In essence, it is defined by the following equation:
Person’s outcomes = Other’s outcomes
Person’s inputs Other’s inputs
Four basic postulates are propounded, thus:
1. Individuals strive to create and maintain a state of equity.
2. When a state of inequity is perceived, it creates tension which the individual is motivated to reduce or eliminate.
3. The greater the magnitude of the perceived equity, the greater the motivation to act to reduce the state of tension.
4. Individuals should perceive an unfavorable equity (e.g. getting a very low pay) than a favorable one (e.g. receiving too much pay).
As an example, imagine that you work as a job analyst with another individual in a company. You think you have higher inputs than a fellow worker in the same unit. You have a masters degree in Industrial Relations, trained in computer programming, you have more experience in the rudiments of job analysis and job evaluation, and have worked in the same company longer. However, the other person, who happens to be a relative of the boss’ wife, receives more pay and has a higher status (higher outcomes) than you.
This situation makes you feel that you are being treated unfairly, since you think that your inputs are not being rewarded in the same degree as the other job analyst. Equity theory predicts that you should act to eliminate the tension you feel as a result of perceived inequity.
There are several alternative ways to reduce inequity, with the individual using more than one if the tension is very strong:
1. reducing work output
2. reducing the quality of work
3. convincing the boss to give a raise
5. selecting another comparison person
6. distorting inputs or outcomes as well as those of the comparison person
7. harassing the comparison person
These alternative ways are predicted behaviors and is not used in this context as encouraged ways for workers to behave when they feel that inequity persists in their organization, particularly concerning themselves.
Empirical studies strongly support equity theory predictions, particularly in relation to money outcomes. For example, (1971) noted that hourly paid subjects who feel underpaid produce fewer units of work and the quality of their work is inferior than those who feel equitably paid. Research results indicate that employees do act to reduce perceived inequities over time, and that they are motivated by considerations of equity. Unfortunately, however, it has been criticized for being vague about certain concepts like mode of inequity reduction an individual will employ and the manner in which a comparison person is chosen.
Intrinsic Rewards as Motivators
The best form of motivation is self-motivation with proper attitudes toward his or her work, co-workers and the management because this comes from within the individual. An individual’s own motivators and rewards are his or her own personal drives to achieve his ambition and goals. An individual could reward himself or herself with a vacation for a job well done as an intrinsic motivator. The company may provide the necessary motivations such as good pay, excellent benefits, and good environment but if he or she lacks personal drive, or the will to forge ahead, no amount of motivation will make him strive to great achievement. The employee needs personal initiative and motivation to achieve superior performance. Management should develop in the employees good work attitudes and proper behavior through seminars, conferences, workshops, and consultations.
Extrinsic Rewards as Motivators
There are many positive factors in motivating people, among them is the utilization of extrinsic rewards. Extrinsic rewards can come in many forms like monetary incentives, job security, praise and recognition, sense of belonging, employee participation, and competition among many others (2002). It is up to the management to carefully balance their application because overdoing the use of any can also bring bad results.
The most commonly used incentive to stimulate the worker to greater production and efficiency is monetary renumeration. Money is unquestionably the single most powerful extrinsic motivator for most people (1992). Unions usually ask for increased pay as a part of their bargaining demand knowing this is what the employees want. While money is important for providing what people need in everyday life, its effect upon work does not last long.
Several research studies showed that workers do not work harder just for the purpose of making more money alone, but are motivated also by intrinsic rewards such as the desire for accomplishment and success in their job. In other studies, majority of workers feel that they will be most motivated to do their best by monetary rewards.
Another extrinsic reward as motivator is praise and recognition. Whenever an employee accomplishes a good job, it is good that management recognizes such accomplishment by praising or rewarding the employee so that he or she would be motivated to always do a good job.
If an employee feels that he or she does not belong to the group, he or she will get dissatisfied and disappointed instead of being motivated. Thus the importance of the sense of belonging within an organization so as an employee will feel motivated. The induction or orientation of a new employee in an organization will make the new employee welcome and make him feel that he is part of the group and that the group accepts him as a member of the team. Any employee who works in an environment where he or she doesn’t feel welcomed will definitely not have the motivation to do their job.
Making employees participate in meetings, conferences, and work in committees are forms of employee development and can be a string motivator. Participation in decision making stimulates the interest of the employee for greater production, provides job satisfaction, and creates in him or her the feeling of importance.
Competition, although it sounds like a monster, is also a good extrinsic motivator. When done properly, competition can be a good motivator for the employees because it encourages them to use creativity, initiative, better performance, and improved production. With the use of records and charts, management can encourage their employees to work harder to beat their previous records of performance.
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