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Chapter 7 Motivation Concepts
Motivation Concepts
Chapter Overview
Page 81
Chapter 7
Motivation is one of the major areas of interest in organizational behavior (OB). Properly
motivating a workforce can lead to gains in productivity, innovation, and employee
retention. This chapter will review the basics of motivation, assess the number of
motivation theories, and provide an integrative model that shows how the best of these
theories fits together.
Chapter Objectives
After studying this chapter, the student should be able to:
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7-1. Describe the three key elements of motivation.
7-2. Compare the early theories of motivation.
7-3. Contrast the elements of self-determination theory and goal-setting theory.
7-4. Demonstrate the differences among self-efficacy theory, reinforcement theory,
and expectancy theory.
7-5. Describe the forms of organizational justice, including distributive justice,
procedural justice, informational justice, and interactional justice.
7-6. Identify the implications of employee job engagement for managers.
7-7. Describe how the contemporary theories of motivation complement one another.
Suggested Lecture Outline
Motivation is a problem in the U.S. workforce. Poorly motivated workers express
themselves through detrimental behaviors such as time wasting, absenteeism, and high
turnover. It is important that motivational theories are understood and applied in the
A. Motivation: the processes that account for an individual’s
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intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining
a goal, specifically for OB, toward attaining an organizational
B. Three Key Elements in the Definition:
1. Intensity: how much effort a person puts forth to meet a goal.
2. Direction: efforts are channeled toward organizational goals.
3. Persistence: how long a person maintains effort toward a goal.
Three early theories of employee motivation formulated during
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the 1950s, although now of questionable validity, are probably the
best known. We discuss more valid explanations later, but these
represent a foundation, and practicing managers still use their terminology.
A. Hierarchy of Needs Theory (Exhibit 7-1).
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1. In this, perhaps best known (and least supported) of all motivational theories,
Abraham Maslow proposed that there are five levels of human needs.
2. As each of the lower level needs are satisfied, the next
Exhibit 7-1
unsatisfied need becomes dominant.
a. Therefore, to motivate someone, you need to understand
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what level of the hierarchy that person is on and focus on
satisfying needs at or above that level.
b. Recently, a sixth need has been proposed for a highest level—intrinsic
values—which is said to have originated from Maslow, but it has yet to gain
widespread acceptance.
3. The five needs are:
a. Physiological: lower order need, includes hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, and
other bodily needs. Lower order needs are satisfied externally, through
forces outside of the person.
b. Safety-security: lower order need, includes security and protection from
physical and emotional harm.
c. Social-belongingness: upper order need, includes affection, belongingness,
acceptance, and friendship. Upper order needs are satisfied internally, that
is, from within the person.
d. Esteem: upper order need, includes internal (self-respect, autonomy, and
achievement) and external (status, recognition, and attention) esteem
e. Self-actualization: upper order need, defined as the drive to “be all one can
be,” it includes growth, achieving one’s potential, and self-fulfillment.
B. Two-Factor Theory (Exhibit 7-2).
1. The Two-Factor Theory is a theory that relates intrinsic factors to
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job satisfaction and associates extrinsic factors with dissatisfaction.
2. Frederick Herzberg proposed that an individual’s relation to work is basic and
that one’s attitude toward work can very well determine success or
Exhibit 7-2
failure. In other words, things that people feel good about at work
are motivating and those things they don’t feel good about are demotivating. This two-factor theory is also known as the motivation-hygiene
3. In his research, Herzberg realized that the opposite of satisfaction is not
dissatisfaction; rather there are two different factor scales, one ranging from
satisfaction to no satisfaction and the other from dissatisfaction to no
dissatisfaction. When he related a number of workplace factors against these
two scales, he realized they were very different concepts. He called the first set
of factors motivation factors and the second hygiene factors.
a. Hygiene Factors: Factors such as company policy and administration,
supervision, and salary—that, when adequate in a job, placate workers and
limit job dissatisfaction.
b. Motivation Factors: These are intrinsically rewarding factors in the work
environment such as advancement, recognition, responsibility, and
achievement. Meeting these factors will increase motivation by creating a
satisfying work environment.
4. As with the other two main motivational theories, this very popular theory is
also not well supported in the research literature. There are many criticisms of
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the Two-Factor Theory, mostly dealing with the methodology Herzberg used in
his initial studies.
C. McClelland's Theory of Needs.
1. David McClelland and his associates created a theory
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based on three subconscious needs, which suggest that
needs are more like motivating factors than strict needs
for survival:
2. Need for Achievement (nAch): the need to excel or to
achieve in relation to a set of standards. High achievers
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perform best when they have a 50-50 chance of success.
High achievers perform best in jobs with a high degree of personal
responsibility and feedback with an intermediate degree of risk.
3. Need for Power (nPow): the need to make others behave in a way they would
not have behaved otherwise.
4. Need for Affiliation (nAff): the desire for friendly and close interpersonal
5. McClelland’s theory has the best research support,] but has the least practical
effect of any of the early motivational theories.
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1. Unlike the historic theories of motivation, these
current theories of motivation do have a reasonable degree of supporting
documentation. It is important to remember that these are still theories. None of
these has been totally proven true.
A. Self-Determination Theory.
1. Self-determination theory, a meta-theory of
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motivation at work that is concerned with autonomy,
intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and the satisfaction of psychological
work needs. This meta-theory is widely used and contains several sub-theories,
including cognitive evaluation theory and self-concordance theory.
a. Cognitive Evaluation Theory. Much research on self-determination theory in
OB has focused on cognitive evaluation theory (CET), which hypothesizes
that extrinsic rewards for behavior tend to decrease the overall level of
motivation, if the rewards are seen as controlling or reducing their sense of
1) When people are paid for work, it feels less like something they want to
do and more like something they have to do.
2) Research suggests that intrinsic motivation contributes to the quality of
work, which incentives contribute to the quantity of work.
a) Intrinsic motivation may be weaker when incentives are directly tied
to performance.
2. Self-Concordance. A recent outgrowth of self-determination theory is selfconcordance theory, which considers how strongly people’s reasons for
pursuing goals are consistent with their interests and core values.
a. If individuals pursue goals because of an intrinsic interest, they are more
likely to attain their goals and are happy even if they do not. Why? Because
the process of striving toward them is fun.
b. OB research suggests that people who pursue work goals for intrinsic
reasons are more satisfied with their jobs, feel like they fit into their
organizations better, and may perform better.
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3. Basic Psychological Needs.
a. There are several basic psychological needs that affect work motivation.
When they are satisfied, we tend to be more motivated; when they are
frustrated, we tend to be less motivated.
1) The need for relatedness is very similar to the nAff as discussed
2) The need for autonomy is the need to feel in control and autonomous at
3) The need for competence is the need to feel like we are good at what
we do and be proud of it.
b. The autonomy need is the most important for attitudinal and effective
outcomes, whereas the competence need appears to be most important for
predicting performance.
c. When using extrinsic rewards, need satisfaction matters less for
performance when the rewards are directly salient and clear.
4. For organizations, this all means managers should provide intrinsic as well as
extrinsic incentives.
a. Managers need to make work interesting, provide recognition, and support
employee growth and development.
b. Employees who feel autonomous and free in what they choose to do are
likely to be more motivated by their work and committed to their
B. Goal-Setting Theory.
a. Goal-setting theory is a theory that specific and
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difficult goals, with feedback, lead to higher
performance. Studies the effects goal specificity,
challenge, and feedback have on performance. The study of goal setting has
created the following general rules:
1. Specificity, Difficulty and Feedback Dimensions. Specific goals increase
performance; difficult goals, when accepted, produce higher performance than
do easy goals; and that feedback leads to higher performance than does nonfeedback.
a. Specific goals explicitly direct attention toward what needs to be
b. Once a difficult goal has been accepted, an employee will exert a high level of
effort to try to achieve it.
c. Feedback guides behavior.
d. Self-generated feedback is more powerful than externally-generated
feedback. The question of whether participative goal setting increases
motivation has not yet been resolved. The assumption is that when
employees are involved in setting the goals, they have greater buy-in and
therefore will have a higher level of commitment. When employees don’t
participate in goal setting, the manager must take pains to explain the
purpose and importance of the goal.
2. Goal Commitment, Task Characteristics, and National Culture Factors.
a. Goal Commitment. The individual (1) believes they can achieve the goal,
and (2) wants to achieve it. Goal commitment is most likely to occur when
employees expect that their efforts will pay off in goal attainment, when
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people of higher status are watching and aware of the goal, and when
accomplishing the goal is attractive to them.
b. Task Characteristics. Goals are better in terms of performance on simple
rather than complex tasks, and when the tasks are independent rather than
interdependent. On interdependent tasks, group goals along with delegation
of tasks are preferable.
c. National Culture. In collectivist and high power-distance cultures,
achievable moderate goals can be more motivating than difficult ones.
Assigned goals appear to generate greater goal commitment in high and low
power-distance cultures.
d. Employees and managers should be careful not to overdo goal setting.
1) Goals might impede learning because we become too focused on
2) Choosing the wrong type or form of goal may impede performance, or
lead to escalation of commitment.
3) Research suggests setting a cadence of accountability and monitoring of
goals and publicly announcing progress toward the goals.
3. Individual and Promotion Foci. Research has found that
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people differ in the way they regulate their thoughts and
behaviors during goal pursuit. Generally, people fall into one
of two categories, though they could belong to both.
a. Those with a promotion focus strive for advancement and accomplishment,
and they approach conditions that move them closer toward desired goals.
b. Those with a prevention focus strive to fulfill duties and obligations and
avoid conditions that pull them away from desired goals.
c. Ideally, it’s probably best to be both promotion and prevention oriented.
4. Goal-Setting Implementation (Exhibit 7-3). One of the
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more effective ways to formalize goal-setting theory into
an organization is through management by objectives
(MBO). MBO emphasizes participatively set goals that are
Exhibit 7-3
tangible, verifiable, and measurable. MBO operationalizes
the concept of objectives by devising a process by which
objectives cascade down through the organization. Because lower-unit
managers jointly participate in setting their own goals, MBO works from the
bottom up as well as from the top down. The result of MBO is a hierarchy of
objectives that build toward organizational objectives. It also provides specific
performance goals for individuals.
5. Goal Setting and Ethics. The relationship between goal setting and ethics is quite
complex: If we emphasize the attainment of goals, what is the cost? The answer
is probably found in the standards we set for goal achievement.
a. For example, when money is tied to goal attainment, we may focus on
getting the money and become willing to compromise ourselves ethically.
b. If we are focused on the outcome, this may make unethical behavior more
Unethical behavior through depletion may occur. For example, if the kitchen
staff is exhausted and overloaded, they might be more prone to take
shortcuts in food preparation and cleaning that puts food safety in danger.
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A. Self-Efficacy Theory.
a. Self-efficacy theory (also known as social cognitive theory or social
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learning theory): An individual’s belief of being capable of
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performing a task. Typically, people with high self-efficacy
respond better to challenges and negative feedback than those with low selfefficacy. Self-efficacy can thus begin a positive spiral in which those with
high efficacy become more engaged in their tasks and then, in turn,
increase performance, which increase efficacy further.
1) People who are intelligent, conscientious, and emotionally stable are so
much more likely to have high self-efficacy that some researchers argue
self-efficacy is less important than prior research suggested.
1. Influencing self-efficacy in others (Exhibit 7-4). Goal-setting theory
and self-efficacy theory complement each other. When managers set
Exhibit 7-4
difficult goals for employees, this leads employees to have a higher
level of self-efficacy and they set higher goals on their own. This is because when
managers set difficult goals for people, it communicates their
confidence in those people.
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a. Four ways self-efficacy can be increased:
1) Enactive Mastery: gaining relevant experience with the task or job. Past
success in a task increases future confidence.
2) Vicarious Modeling: enable them to watch someone else do the task.
3) Verbal Persuasion: Reassures the employees, letting them know that
they have “what it takes” to do the task.
4) Arousal: Getting an employee energized will enable the employees to
approach the task more positively. Not always effective in “low key”
b. One of the best ways for a manager to use verbal persuasion is through the
Pygmalion effect, a term based on the Greek myth about a sculptor
(Pygmalion) who fell in love with a statue he carved.
1) The Pygmalion effect is a form of self-fulfilling prophecy in which
believing something can make it true. Here, it is often used to describe
that what one person expects can come to serve a self-fulfilling
c. Training programs often make use of enactive mastery by having people
practice and build their skills. In fact, one reason training works is that it
increases self-efficacy, particularly when the training is interactive and
feedback is given afterward.
B. Reinforcement Theory.
a. Reinforcement theory takes a behavioristic view,
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arguing that reinforcement conditions behavior.
1) Reinforcement theory ignores the inner state of the individual and
concentrates solely on what happens when the individual acts.
2) Because it is not concerned with what initiates behavior, it is not, strictly
speaking, a theory of motivation.
3) But it does provide a powerful means of analyzing what controls
behavior, and this is why we typically consider reinforcement concepts
in discussions of motivation.
1. Operant Conditioning/Behaviorism and Reinforcement. Operant conditioning
suggests that people learn to behave a certain way to either get something they
want or to avoid something they don’t want.
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a. Unlike reflexive or unlearned behavior, operant behavior is influenced by
the reinforcement or lack of reinforcement brought about by consequences.
1) The concept of operant conditioning was one of B.F. Skinner’s broader
concepts of behaviorism, which argues that behavior follows stimuli in
a relatively unthinking manner.
2. Social-Learning Theory. Individuals can learn by being told or by observing what
happens to other people, as well as through direct experience.
a. Much of what we have learned comes from watching models—parents,
teachers, peers, film and television performers, bosses, and so forth. The
view that we can learn through both observation and direct experience is
called social-learning theory.
b. Although social-learning theory is an extension of operant conditioning—
that is, it assumes behavior is a function of consequences—it also
acknowledges the effects of observational learning and perception.
c. People respond to the way they perceive and define consequences, not to the
objective consequences themselves.
C. Expectancy Theory (Exhibit 7-5).
a. Expectancy Theory is a theory that the strength of a
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tendency to act in a certain way depends on the
strength of an expectation that the act will be
followed by a given outcome and on the
Exhibit 7-5
attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. The
theory focuses on three relationships:
1) Expectancy is the effort-performance
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relationship. The probability perceived by the
individual that exerting a given amount of effort will lead to
2) Instrumentality is the performance-reward relationship. The degree to
which the individual believes performing at a certain level will lead to
the attainment of a desired outcome.
3) Valence is the rewards-personal goals relationship. The degree to which
organizational rewards satisfy an individual’s personal goals or needs
and the attractiveness of those potential rewards for the individual.
4) This theory helps explain why a lot of workers are not motivated on
their jobs and do only the minimum necessary to get by.
A. Equity theory (Exhibit 7-6) is a theory stating that
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individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with
those of others and then respond to eliminate any inequities.
This theory holds that motivation can be affected by the
Exhibit 7-6
comparisons employees make of their job inputs (such as
effort, experience, and education) and the job's outcomes
(such as pay, promotions, recognition, or a bigger office)
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relative to the inputs and outcomes of other employees. If the
ratios of inputs to outputs are roughly equal between employees, a state of equity is
said to exist.
1. Based on equity theory, employees who perceive inequity will make one of six
a. Change inputs (exert less effort if underpaid or more if overpaid).
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b. Change outcomes (individuals paid on a piece-rate basis can increase their
pay by producing a higher quantity of units at a lower quality).
c. Distort perceptions of self (“I used to think I worked at a moderate pace, but
now I realize I work a lot harder than everyone else.”).
d. Distort perceptions of others (“Mike’s job isn’t as desirable as I thought.”).
e. Choose a different referent (“I may not make as much as my brother-in-law,
but I’m doing a lot better than my Dad did when he was my age.”).
f. Leave the field (quit the job).
2. Although equity theory’s propositions have not all held up, the hypothesis
served as an important precursor to the study of organizational justice, or
more simply, fairness, in the workplace.
3. Organizational justice is concerned with how employees feel authorities and
decision makers treat them. For the most part, employees evaluate how fairly
they are treated as shown in Exhibit 7-6.
B. Distributive Justice. Distributive justice is concerned with the fairness of the
outcome, such as pay and recognition that employees receive.
1. We often think of individuals gauging distributive justice and equity in a
rational, cold way. But individuals actually base distributive judgements on a
feeling or emotional reaction to the way they think they are being treated
relative to others, and their reactions are often “hot” and emotional rather than
cool and rational.
C. Procedural Justice. Procedural justice focuses on how outcomes are allocated. The
two key elements of procedural justice are:
a. Employees perceive that procedures are fairer when they are given a say in
the decision-making process. Having direct influence over how decisions are
made, or at the very least being able to present your opinion to decision
makers, creates a sense of control and makes us feel empowered.
b. Employees perceive that procedures are fairer when decision makers follow
several rules. It is important that managers be consistent, unbiased, use
accurate information, and are open to appeals for procedural justice to work.
c. If the process is judged to be fair, then employees are
Exhibit 7-7
more accepting of unfavorable outcomes.
D. Interactional Justice is sensitivity to the quality of interpersonal
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treatment. There are two types: Informational justice and
interpersonal justice (Exhibit 7-7).
1. Informational Justice. Informational justice reflects whether managers provide
employees with explanations for key decisions and keep them informed of
important organizational matters. The more detailed and candid managers are
with employees, the more fairly treated those employees feel.
a. Though it may seem obvious that managers should be honest with their
employees and not keep them in the dark about organizational matters,
many managers are hesitant to share information. This is especially the case
with bad news, which is uncomfortable for both the manager delivering it
and the employee receiving it.
b. Explanations for bad news are beneficial when they take the form of post
hoc excuses rather than justifications.
2. Interpersonal Justice. Interpersonal justice reflects whether employees are
treated with dignity and respect. This is a more interpersonal view of justice,
normally related directly between supervisor and employee.
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E. Justice Outcomes. When employees feel fairly treated, they respond in a number of
positive ways.
a. All the types of justice have been linked to higher levels of task performance
and citizenship behaviors such as helping coworkers, as well as lower levels
of counterproductive behaviors such as shirking job duties.
b. Distributive and procedural justice are more strongly associated with task
performance, while informational and interpersonal justice are more
strongly associated with citizenship behavior. Even more physiological
outcomes, such as how well employees sleep and the state of their health
have been linked to fair treatment.
1. Your coworkers’ reactions to injustice can be just as important as your own,
including third-party, or observer, reactions to injustice.
a. Would you frequent a restaurant chain that announced massive layoffs with
no warning to employees? Probably not.
2. Women are judged more harshly when they violate interactional norms than
when they violate procedural norms.
B. Culture and Justice. Across nations, the same basic principles of procedural justice
are respected, and workers around the world prefer rewards based on performance
and skills over rewards based on seniority.
a. One large-scale study of over 190,000 employees in 32 countries and
regions suggested that justice perceptions are most important to people in
countries with individualistic, feminine, uncertainty-avoidance, and low
power-distance values.
1) Employees in Confucian societies that are high power distance tend to be
less affected by abusive supervision.
b. Organizations can tailor programs to meet these justice expectations.
A. Job engagement is the investment of an employee’s physical,
cognitive, and emotional energies into job performance.
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1. Job engagement has been found to predict higher levels of
task performance and citizenship behavior.
2. The construct is partially redundant with job attitudes like job satisfaction,
organizational commitment, and job involvement.
3. Apart from a proactive personality, conscientiousness, and extraversion, one key
trait predicts job engagement: employees’ tendencies to express positive moods
and emotions (e.g., positive affectivity).
4. Job characteristics and access to sufficient resources to work effectively,
person—organization value fit, and inspirational leadership all affect job
engagement as well.
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A. Our job might be simpler if, after presenting a half-dozen theories,
we could say only one was found valid. But many of the theories in
this chapter are complementary. Exhibit 7-8 integrates much of
Exhibit 7-8
what we know about motivation. Its foundation is expectancy
B. We begin by explicitly recognizing that opportunities can either aid or hinder
individual effort.
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1. Note that the individual effort box on the left also has another arrow leading into
it, from the person’s goals. Consistent with goal-setting theory, the goals–effort
loop is meant to remind us that goals direct behavior.
C. Expectancy theory predicts employees will exert a high level of effort if they
perceive strong relationships between effort and performance, performance and
reward, and rewards and satisfaction of personal goals. Each of these relationships
is, in turn, influenced by other factors.
1. For effort to lead to good performance, the individual must have the ability to
perform and perceive the performance appraisal system as fair and objective.
2. The performance–reward relationship will be strong if the individual perceives
that performance (rather than seniority, personal favorites, or other criteria) is
D. If cognitive evaluation theory were fully valid in the actual workplace, we would
predict that basing rewards on performance should decrease the individual’s
intrinsic motivation.
E. The final link in expectancy theory is the rewards–goals relationship. Motivation is
high if the rewards for high performance satisfy the dominant needs consistent with
individual goals.
F. A closer look at Exhibit 7-8 also reveals that the model considers achievement
motivation, job design, reinforcement, and equity theories/organizational justice.
1. A high achiever is not motivated by an organization’s assessment of
performance or organizational rewards, hence the jump from effort to personal
goals for those with high nAch.
2. Remember, high achievers are internally driven as long as their jobs provide
them with personal responsibility, feedback, and moderate risks.
3. They are not as concerned with the effort–performance, performance–reward,
or rewards–goal linkages.
G. Reinforcement theory enters the model by recognizing that the organization’s
rewards reinforce the individual’s performance.
1. If employees see a reward system as “paying off” for good performance, the
rewards will reinforce and encourage good performance.
2. Rewards also play a key part in organizational justice research. Individuals will
judge the favorability of their outcomes (for example, their pay) relative to what
others receive but also with respect to how they are treated: When people are
disappointed by their rewards, they are likely to be sensitive to the perceived
fairness of the procedures used and the consideration given to them by their
A. Motivation describes the processes underlying how employees and other
individuals in the workplace direct their efforts toward a goal. Many early theories
focused on needs of employees and the consequences of need satisfaction. More
contemporary theories focus on topics such as intrinsic and extrinsic motivation,
setting goals in organizations, self-efficacy, reinforcement, and our expectancies.
Various forms of organizational justice are important for motivating employees.
Motivation is key to understanding employees’ contributions to their work,
including job engagement. Motivation underlies employees to exert effort to engage
in performance activities, which in tun meet personal or organizational goals.
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A. Make sure extrinsic rewards for employees are not viewed as
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coercive but instead provide information about competence and
B. Either set or inspire your employees to set specific, difficult goals and provide
quality, developmental feedback on their progress toward those goals.
C. Try to align or tie employee goals to the goals of your organization.
D. Model the types of behaviors you would like to see performed by your employees.
E. Expectancy theory offers a powerful explanation of performance
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variables such as employee productivity, absenteeism, and
F. When making decisions regarding resources in your organization, make sure to
consider how the resources are being distributed (and who is affected), the fairness
of the decision, and whether your actions demonstrate that you respect those
G. Try to foster conditions that help improve job engagement and harness your
employees’ traits to facilitate job engagement.
Discussion Questions
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1. Describe the three key elements of motivation.
Answer: The three key elements of motivation are: (1) intensity: how much effort a
person puts forth to meet a goal, (2) direction: efforts are channeled toward
organizational goals, and (3) persistence: how long a person maintains effort
toward a goal.
2. Describe one of the three early theories of motivation and evaluate its applicability
Answer: Answers will vary depending on which of the theories (Maslow, Hertzberg,
or McClelland) is selected. Maslow and McClelland are generally not very valid
explanations of motivation, although McClelland’s theory of the relationship
between achievement and productivity comes the closest. Both Maslow’s and
McGregor's theories, although popular, are not particularly useful or supported by
3. Describe the relationship between goal-setting theory and self-efficacy theory.
Answer: Goal-setting theory and self-efficacy theory complement each other. When
managers set difficult goals for employees, this leads employees to have a higher
level of self-efficacy and they set higher goals on their own. This is because when
managers set difficult goals for people, it communicates their confidence in those
4. Explain why organizational justice can be considered a refinement of equity theory.
Answer: Equity is closely tied to a desire for fairness and fairness is normally
associated with justice. Of the four views of justice, one relates closely to equity
theory: organizational justice. In this view of justice, justice is the employee’s overall
perception of what is fair in the workplace. Its view of justice is multidimensional
and includes both distributive justice and procedural justice.
5. Describe the key relationships in expectancy theory.
Answer: There are three key relationships in expectancy theory:
a. Effort-Performance Relationship. Defined as the probability perceived by the
individual that exerting a given amount of effort leads to successful
performance. If the employee believes that effort will not result in successful
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performance or that the performance will not be accurately reflected in the
performance appraisal, little effort will be expended.
b. Performance-Reward Relationship. The degree to which the individual
believes that performing at a particular level will lead to the attainment of a
desired outcome. Unless the relationship between strong performance
appraisals and rewards is clear, little effort will be expended to achieve
those high appraisal marks.
c. Rewards-Personal Goals Relationship. The degree to which organizational
rewards satisfy an individual's personal goals or needs and the
attractiveness of those potential rewards for the individual. Unless
organizational rewards are tailored to individual employee wants and needs,
they will not be very motivational and little effort will be expended.
6. How are motivational theories culturally bound?
Answer: The motivational theories described in the text were created out of the U.S.
culture and significantly reflect its values. For instance, both goal setting and
expectancy theories emphasize goal accomplishment and rational individual
thought. Maslow's hierarchy may not appear in the same order in other cultures.
McClelland's need for achievement presupposes a cultural desire for a moderate
degree of risk acceptance and a concern with performance. Adams' equity theory is
very closely tied to American pay practices and may not be relevant in collectivistic
or former socialistic cultures in which there is more of a sense of entitlement or the
desire to be paid based on need rather than performance.
1. Self-analysis. After reviewing all of the motivational theories of this chapter, select
the one you believe to be the most accurate in describing human behavior. Justify
your selection and describe how the motivational theory would explain the actions
you have taken in your own life.
2. Web Crawling. Using your favorite search engine, find webpages that relate to
McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y. Read five of the most interesting pages. What
overall impressions do you get on the perceived validity of this theory on those
pages? Did everyone explain the theory in the same way? What may have caused the
differences if there were any?
3. Teamwork. In small groups, discuss the motivations that each of you had when you
made the decision to attend this college and this class in particular. Were they the
same motivations? What motivates you to expend more effort in this class? What
motivates you to continue to attend college and expend the effort necessary to
As a group, decide which motivational theory best fits the results of your discussion.
Be ready to give a short description of the most common motivators found in your
group. Justify your application of the chosen motivational theory.
What motivational suggestions would your team make to your professor or the
college administrators to increase the likelihood of student performance, that is,
successful graduation or increased study?
4. Analyzing Your Organization (Cumulative Project). Discuss with your manager the
various motivational theories outlined in this chapter. Interview the manager to
determine his or her beliefs regarding the validity of each of these theories. How
might these beliefs affect organizational effectiveness? Be prepared to present your
findings either orally in class or as a paper.
Copyright ©2022 Pearson Education, Inc.
Chapter 7 Motivation Concepts
Page 93
5. An Application of Motivation—Management by Objectives (MBO). Instructor notes:
The goal here is to help students apply MBO. The emphasis should be on creating
measurable realistic objectives. You may wish to use this as part of your grading for
the course by holding the students accountable for their objectives at the end of the
Review the principles of MBO with the class. Carefully describe the nature of
effective outcomes. The criteria for effective objectives are that they should be
specific, challenging, and measurable. Generalized outcomes, with no means of
measuring their accomplishment, should not be accepted.
As writing effective objectives is quite often a difficult task for both students and
managers, it is strongly recommended that the first objective is written as a class
activity. Typically, the students’ first version of an objective is “Get an A in the
course.” Be gentle as you point out why this is not an effective objective.
Suggested Assignment
a. Review the course objectives (outcomes) as given in the course materials.
b. Create five personal objectives relating to the successful completion of this course’s
objectives. Submit the objectives to your instructor, retaining a copy for yourself.
c. In small groups, share your objectives and discuss. Present the five best objectives
from the group to the class.
d. At the end of the course, when the instructor directs, write a short paper describing
how well you believe you have met your own objectives.
Other Teaching Resources
1. (Small group exercise) For a 75-minute classroom activity to learn about equity and
expectancy theories using a basketball simulation, please see:
Swain, J., Kumlien, K., and Bond, A. (2020). An experiential exercise for teaching
theories of work motivation: using a game to teach equity and expectancy theories.
Organization Management Journal 17(3), 199-132. DOI 10.1108/OMJ-06-2019-0742
2. (Small group exercise) For an 80-minute classroom activity to learn about
organizational justice using a 2-person role-play exercise, please see:
Caza, A., Caza, B., and Lind, E. (2011). The Missed Promotion: An Exercise
Demonstrating the Importance of Organizational Justice. Journal of Management
Education, 35, 537-563. DOI: 10.1177/1052562910381875.
Copyright ©2022 Pearson Education, Inc.