Motivation theory
Motivation theory
What is motivation?
The process of stimulating workers to the act of work.
Motivation is defined as the process that initiates, guides, and
maintains goal-oriented behaviours
Motivation theory
What does the examiner expect?
Although specific theories of motivation will not be examined,
the candidates should have a good understanding of these
theories to support their arguments to consider the influences
on motivation.
Motivation theory
Motivational theorists?
There are some key theories that need to be considered:
• McGregor’s theory X and theory Y
• Taylor and scientific management
• Mayo and the human relations approach
• Herzberg’s two factor theory
• Maslow and the hierarchy of needs
Motivation theory
McGregor’s theory X and theory Y (1)
Theory X and theory Y are theories of motivation
created by Douglas McGregor in the 1960’s. They
describe two different management viewpoints of
the workforce and how it impacts motivation.
Motivation theory
McGregor’s theory X and theory Y (2)
Theory X managers believe employees:
• need to be controlled
• don’t like work
• need to be pushed to be more productive
• need incentive schemes
• have to be directed to do things they don’t enjoy
Motivation theory
McGregor’s theory X and theory Y (3)
Theory Y managers believe employees:
• want to be involved
• can think for themselves and make decisions
• share ownership of tasks
• will find work more rewarding if given
responsibility and a variety of tasks
• have good ideas
• can engage in some form of self-management
Motivation theory
McGregor’s theory X and theory Y (4)
☹ Theory X workers tend to be unhappy in the
☺ Theory Y workers are more productive and
Motivation theory
Taylor and scientific management
Taylor thought that workers were motivated by money. He
advocated a ‘fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work’. However, he
believed workers would do the minimum amount of work if left
to their own devices.
Taylor did time and motion studies in a pin factory using a
stopwatch. He favoured division of labour and breaking work
down into small tasks. This enabled scientific management to
know how efficiently workers were carrying out tasks.
Motivation theory
Mayo and human relations
Elton Mayo found that people achieved more when they got
positive attention. His studies on human relations found two
key areas that motivated workers:
1. Good communication and being involved in decision
making. Mayo believed that managers needed to pay
attention to each individual and involve them within the
business decisions.
2. Group work is key. Mayo thought that workers should
socialise together and he encouraged group activities and
company social events. If workers feel part of the business
they should perform better.
Motivation theory
Herzberg’s two factor theory
In the 1960s Frederick Herzberg interviewed
accountants and engineers to find out what
motivated and satisfied them at work. He identified
two groups of factors that influenced the motivation
of workers.
Motivation theory
Herzberg: hygiene factors
These don’t motivate as such, but if they are not good,
workers will be unhappy:
• company policy
• working conditions
• pay
• supervision
• good relations with other workers
For example, a worker expects good working conditions. If they
are in place they do not motivate but if they are poor then
dissatisfaction occurs.
Motivation theory
Herzberg: motivators
These factors do motivate, but only if the hygiene factors are in
• interesting work
• achievement
• recognition
• personal development and promotion
• more responsibility (empowerment, see next slide)
Motivation theory
Empowering employees
Empowerment means giving employees the means by which
they can exercise power over their working lives. It can be
achieved through informal systems or through the more formal
system of autonomous work groups. It involves:
• recognising that workers are capable of doing more
• making workers feel trusted and confident to carry out jobs
and make decisions without supervision
• recognising workers’ achievements
• creating an environment where workers wish to contribute
and be involved
Motivation theory
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (1)
Maslow stated that workers have unsatisfied needs
that must be met in order to motivate them.
Motivation theory
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (2)
Maslow said that people
start by meeting the needs
at the bottom of the
pyramid. Once they have
sorted out those needs,
they can move on to the
needs of the next level up.
Motivation theory
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs (3)
Physiological needs: basic life needs (air, food, shelter etc.)
Safety needs: protection, security, order, law, limits, stability.
Social needs: family, love, relationships, work group, affection.
Esteem needs: achievement, status, responsibility, reputation.
Self-actualisation: personal growth and fulfilment.