Lesson 2 theorists HL ONLY

Learning Objectives
To be able to apply the content theories
of Mayo and McClelland and the process
theories of Vroom and Adams
Elton Mayo(1880-1949)
In the 1920s Elton Mayo, a
professor of Industrial
Management at Harvard Business
School led a landmark study of
worker behavior at Western
Electric, the manufacturing arm of
Hawthorne experiments(1924-1932)
Western Electric,
telephones, cables,
equipment, and
Airplane View of Hawthorne Works, 1925
Hawthorne experiments
Hawthorne Works had
commissioned a study to see
if its workers would become
more productive in higher or
lower levels of light
Airplane View of Hawthorne Works, 1925
Many types of experiments were
Western electric company,Illionis
Illumination Studies, 1924 -1927
This forced Mayo to accept that
The initial purpose was to study the effects
of lighting on worker productivity
• Working conditions in themselves were not that important in determining
Researchers found that productivity
productivity levels
almost always increased after a change in
• Other motivational factors needed to be investigated further before
illumination but later returned to normal
could be drawn
levels. This effect was observed for minute
increases in illumination
Donald Chipman, Supervisor, Western Electric, 1931
Illumination Study, 1926
• Changes in working conditions and financial
rewards have little or no effect on productivity
• When management consult with workers and
take an interest in their work, then motivation
is improved
• Working in teams and developing a team spirit
can improve productivity
• Control of workers such as breaks can have a
positive motivational effect
Evaluation of Mayo’s research
in today’s businesses
• Trend towards giving workers more of a role in
a business – participation
• Personnel (human resources) departments
being established
• Team and group working
• ‘people’ side of business
David McClelland(1917-1998)
American Psychologist
• Stated that these three needs are found to
varying degrees in all workers and managers
• The mix of motivational needs characterise a
person’s or manager’s behaviour, both in terms of
what motivates them and how they believe other
people should be motivated
• McClelland firmly believed that ‘achievement
motivated’ people are generally ones that make
things happen and get results
• However they can demand too much of their staff
Process Theories
Emphasise how and why people choose
certain behaviours in order to meet their
personal goals and the thought processes
that influence behaviour.
Process theories study what people are
thinking about when they decide whether or
not to put the effort into a particular activity
Victor Vroom(1964)
Expectancy Theory
Victor Vroom
• Suggested that individuals choose to behave in ways
that they believe will lead to outcomes they value
• His expectancy theory states that individuals have
different sets of goals and can be motivated if they
believe that
There is a positive link between effort and performance
Favourable performance will result in a desirable reward
The reward will satisfy an important need
The desire to satisfy the need is strong enough to make the
work effort worthwhile
Expectancy – people have different
expectation about their experience,
capability and level of self confidence
in tackling a task
Instrumentality – people hold the
meet conditions or beliefs are
if justthat
oneif they
of these
they workers will not
Vroom then
will be rewarded
have the motivation to do the job well
Valence – people place different values
on different rewards. They will think
about the extra effort in terms of
intrinsic and extrinsic rewards
Adam’s Equity Theory(1963)
The degree of equity in rewarding efforts will
have an impact on the level of motivation.
There is inequality if those who contribute
more are paid less.
 Workers will
compare their
efforts and
rewards to
those of others
in the
 Each worker
should receive
a remuneration
package that
reflects his or
her efforts