Chapter 10: Motivating and Rewarding Employees

Chapter 10: Motivating and Rewarding Employees
Section 10.2 - Contemporary Theories of Motivation
Key Terms
 Three-needs theory
 Need for achievement
 Need for power
 Need for affiliation
 Equity theory
 Referent
 Job characteristics model (JCM)
 Job enrichment
 Expectancy theory
The following theories represent the contemporary views of employee motivation.
McClelland’s three-needs theory maintains that there are three major relevant motives or
needs in work situations: 1) need for achievement, 2) need for power, and 3) need for
affiliation. Need for achievement (nAch) refers to the drive to excel, to achieve in relation
to a set of standards, and to strive to succeed. Need for power (nPow) captures the need to
make others behave in a way that they would not have behaved otherwise. Need for
affiliation (nAff) is the desire for friendly and close interpersonal relationships.
Equity theory, developed by J. Stacey Adams, says that employees perceive what they get
from a job situation (outcomes) in relation to what they put into it (inputs) and then
compare their input-outcome ratio with the input-outcome ratios of relevant others. If
workers perceive their ratio to be equal to those of the relevant others with whom they
compare themselves, a state of equity exists.
The referent with which employees choose to compare themselves has been classified as
“other,” “system,” and “self.”
 The other category includes individuals with similar jobs in the same organization
and friends, neighbors, or professional associates.
 The system category considers organizational pay policies and procedures and the
administration of that system.
 The self category refers to input-outcome ratios that are unique to the individual.
It reflects personal experiences and contacts.
Equity theory recognizes that individuals are concerned not only with the absolute
rewards they receive for their efforts, but also with the relationship of those rewards to
what others receive. When people perceive an imbalance in their input-outcome ratio
relative to others, they experience tension. This tension provides the basis for motivation
as people strive for what they perceive to be equity and fairness.
The theory establishes four propositions relating to inequitable pay:
 If paid according to time, over rewarded employees will produce more than
equitably paid employees
 If paid according to quantity of production, over rewarded employees will
produce fewer but higher-quality units than equitably paid employees
 If paid according to time, under rewarded employees will produce less or poorquality output
 If paid according to quantity of production, under rewarded employees will
produce a large number of low quality units in comparison with equitably paid
The job characteristics model (JCM) describes jobs in terms of the following five core
job dimensions: 1) Skill variety, 2) Task identify, 3) Task significance, 4) Autonomy,
and 5) Feedback.
The most comprehensive and widely accepted explanation of motivation to date is Victor
Vroom’s expectancy theory. Vroom’s theory states that an individual tends to act in a
certain way, in the expectation that the act will be followed by given outcome, and
according to the attractiveness of that outcome. It includes three variables or
relationships: 1) effort performance linkage, 2) performance reward linkage, and 3)
Section Outline
Contemporary Theories of Motivation
A. What is McClelland’s Three-Needs Theory?
B. How do inputs and outcomes influence motivation?
C. Does job design influence motivation?
D. Why is expectancy theory considered a comprehensive theory of motivation?
1. How does expectancy theory work?
2. How can expectancy theory be applied?
Integration of Contemporary Theories of Motivation