Contemporary Theories of Motivation

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Theories of Motivation 

This section presents the current situation of motivation of employees. These findings are not so well known but they are highly supported by research. Some of the theories of this approach are the goal-setting theory, job design theory, reinforcement theory, expectancy theory and equity theory.

Goal setting theory

In order to make work progress more and efficient few companies have established bonuses if the work is done properly. Just saying do your best at work will not work properly because, the employee is not motivated enough. However, if the teacher of a class had said that you need to bring at least 93 percent to keep you’re A in the class then the student will be highly motivated to finish the work and bring good results.

As the name suggests, setting a particular goal will help you a lot, you will get to know a lot and at the same time your motivation level will be very high. Now comes the question whether setting goals will help the employees to participate more? The answer to this is, not always. In some cases, you will employees will resist participating in the work because he or she needs to do a lot of work to attain certain work. However, it is very obvious that an employee will perform better if he or she gets appreciated for the kind of work she is doing.

Next comes the factor of self-efficacy, this term refers to belief or the capacity of a person of being able to finish the job and being satisfied at the same time.  The goal setting culture is very nicely adapted by the North Americans because this idea goes very well with their culture. Therefore, it is best not to expect high performance from people belonging from other countries where the work culture does not fit well with this kind of characteristics.

Contemporary Theories of Motivation 6Reinforcement theory

According to this theory, the behavior of a person is a function of the consequences. Therefore, the consequences which are a direct product of the behavior will lead to the repetition of that behavior over and over again. For example, at Walmart those employees who provide an excellent customer service gets cash bonus and the main idea and reason behind this was to keep the employees motivated so that they keep performing well.

Therefore, managers can help motivate employees by providing positive reinforces. However, this is not the reason behind ill-performance of the employee.

Designing motivating jobs

It is necessary to motivate employees or individual to perform well during their work. The term job design is used to refer to the way how every task is designed to make a single job. The jobs should be designed in such a manner so that it reflects the skill and hard work of every employee. Here are a few ways in which managers can design jobs to motivate people.

Job enlargement

This is one of the most effective ways in which in which the drawbacks of job specialization can be overcome. However, those job enlargements whose only focus was to increase the number of tasks is not good because, research have proved that increasing the same task has led to dissatisfaction among the employees. Thus, if the job is enlarged in different aspects then it might be good because there will be more job satisfaction and less number of errors.

Job enrichment

In this case, the employees can do their work with more freedom and independence. The employees feel more empowered and can also evaluate their own performance. The activity of doing work becomes more interesting for the employees. This leads to motivation, more job satisfaction and better quality of work. This also gives the workers a huge opportunity to improve their own work performance.

Job characteristics model

Skill variety: this is defined by the degree to which a particular job requires a number of activities so that an employee can showcase his various talents and skills.

Task significance: this is defined by the degree by which a task has an impact on the lives of other people at work.

Autonomy: this is defined by the amount of freedom and independence a wok provides during its scheduling.

Feedback: this is defined by the amount of activities that is required by a job which becomes the result of his r hers work performance.

The image given below exhibits the three dimensions required to make something meaningful. The employees are likely to be highly motivated when they learn something meaningful and when the work tests their skills.

Contemporary Theories of Motivation 7Redesigning approaches for job approach

Each and every work has a relational perspective. It focuses on the facts that jobs that are given to employees’ increases social relationship. This perspective is known as the relational perspective of work design.

The other perspective also known as the proactive perspective of work design defines how the employees are taking several initiatives to bring change in the way how they perform their own work. They get very much involved in the decisions and actions that are taken and also how it affects their own work. This is highly relevant to ‘high involvement work practices.’

Contemporary Theories of Motivation 8Equity theory

We always wonder how the person sitting next to us at work performs in their assignment. Equity theory is very much similar to that. This was developed by J. Stacey Adam as; according to this theory the employees have a tendency to compare their outcomes of the work with their inputs into the work. Moreover, they also compare their inputs and outputs with other people’s inputs and output. Whenever, the ratio cannot be obtained, the employee starts viewing him or her as over rewarded or under rewarded.

Actually, equity theory focuses on distributive justice. This is basically described how the rewards are allocated to individuals on a fair basis. It also focuses on procedural justice in whom the employees or the workers view their bosses as well as their organization with a positive approach.

Contemporary Theories of Motivation 9Expectancy theory

This theory includes three variables or proper three relationships, these are as follows:

  • Linkage of effort and performance: the probability of an individual that a certain amount of effort might give a certain amount of performance.
  • Linkage of performance and rewards: this defines the degree to which an employees’ performance gets affected by the amount of rewards he is supposed to get.
  • How attractive is the reward: there are various employees who do their work only depending on the fact how attractive their reward is.

The only way to understand expectancy theory is to understand the exact relation between the effort of the employee and the performance of the employee. The outcomes and performance will determine how the employee is motivated to do their work.

Contemporary Theories of Motivation 10Integrating contemporary theories of motivation

The exhibit below shows how the contemporary theories of motivation are integrated.

Therefore, in a nutshell we understand that jobs which offer rewards, autonomy, feedback and other such similar characteristics satisfy individual goals because they have more control over the work they are being assigned to.

Contemporary Theories of Motivation 11


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