Process and Content Theory of Motivation and How They Apply to the Work Place

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The term motivation can be described in many different formats and views, but according to Dr Stephen P. Robbins, this is the process that account for an individuals intensity, direction and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal (S. P. Robbins, Organizational Behaviour 9ed, p.155). However, I will describe motivation as any factor which will cause an increase in my normal input into doing something, and with the knowledge and hope that a reward will be gained afterwards.

Below are a description of what a process and a content theory of motivation are, their features and how each applies to the workplace. A process theory define motivation as a rational cognitive process occurring within the individual e.g. Adams’ Equity
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An example is that an employee with large income is less likely to be motivated by money, and will be highly motivated by career development and social needs. Lastly, Valence is the strength of an individual’s preference for a particular outcome (Armstrong, & Dawson, p97 & 98).
The importances of these features are essential to work place motivation, because firms rely on a motivated workforce to sustain the business position, to survive or reach the business objective(s).

Adding to the above, a study by Stolovitch, found that tangible incentives i.e. perks greatly increases employees performance, and workers are likely to be motivated by this.
He also stated that incentives destroy personal, intrinsic interest in work and long term incentives programs have a stronger impact than short-term ones. (Anonymous, Sept 2004, Pg.1-4)

Further to this, if an employee does not value the reward for a certain performance highly enough, it is likely that he or she is unlikely to will not increase their performance level.

In terms of looking at Dr Vroom’s expectancy theory, the main critic is that his model only indicates the conceptual determinants of motivation.

His work does not provide an actual answer to how workers are motivated, but gives a set of guideline for managers to follow in a way that by knowing that each individual within an organisation is unique, different solutions could be implemented by managers to deal with each individual needs and
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