History teaches us that motivation has been a key ingredient proven effective in the accomplishment of tasks, or used to get things done. This paper will discuss the classic and contemporary background/history of motivation. In addition, covered will be the theoretical background and theories, the implications motivation has for leaders, and the motivational tactics used in the working environment that stimulate results.
What is motivation? One could say that it is the reason for doing something – to meet a need, desire, or goal. Some people are naturally motivated to achieve and excel. Others are only motivated to do the minimum to get by or survive. We can motivate each other. Likewise, we can be de-motivated when we perceive that …show more content…
Confucius is still regarded as a great philosopher, and his views on moral motivations are still relevant today.
Guillén et al. (2012) build on the classical theories by Maslow, McClellan, Alderfer, and Herzberg, along with more recent motivational theories by Ryan and Deci and others, to explain that human motivations reach deeply inward and vastly outward. Once basic needs have been met, humans are motivated to achieve goals that are satisfying, not just necessary (Guillén et al., 2012). Above that level, humans demonstrate motivations to achieve moral and spiritual good, which coincides with Confucius’ ideals.
Maslow’s description of motivations range from meeting basic, lower-order needs such as those for safety and physiological needs through attainment of increasingly higher-order needs, such as self actualization and esteem. Maslow’s body of work in the 1940’s proposed that humans are only motivated to achieve the higher level needs after fulfillment of the basic needs and that there is a single path through these (Guillén et al., 2012).
McClellan proposed the theory that people are motivated to fulfill three types of needs: achievement, power, and affiliation (Guillén et al., 2012). Aldefer also proposed three needs, but described them as existence, relatedness, and growth (Guillén et al., 2012). Both of these theories emerged in the 1960’s and provided more flexibility in the
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Maslow’s theory of motivation is called the “hierarchy of needs”. Maslow believes that people have five main needs in the following order of importance;
An aspect of motivation that was answered early on in research was learning to understand individual needs. In early research, it was believed that employees worked or were motivated to do so based upon their needs; they were motivated to satisfy their needs in other words. There are four main need-based theories of motivation include: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the ERG theory, Herzberg’s Dual Factor Theory, and McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory (Carpenter, Bauer, Erodgogan & Short, 2013).
Once that need is fulfilled there is no need for the behavior. The criticism for Maslow’s theory is that measurement of satisfaction of needs is impossible and whether people have been devoid of basic needs, it does not stop them from the pursuit of self-actualization. (Heylighen, Francis (1992) A Cognitive-systemic Reconstruction of Maslow’s Theory of Self-Actualization. P).
As it was mentioned before, the key idea of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory relates to the existence of several sets of motivation and needs that govern human behavior. Hence, the major concepts of this theory include certain needs that are grouped into sets based on their place within the hierarchy of all the needs. The first version of the theory has five needs, which are divided into
Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist who introduced the concept of the motivational needs in his paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” written in 1943. He explains that humans have certain needs that need to be fulfilled and when
Motivation is the number one driving force behind anything and everything an individual does each day. “Motivation is the desire to do the best possible job or to exert the maximum effort to perform an assigned task. Motivation energizes, directs, and sustains human behavior directed towards a goal.” (Honor, 2009). Motivation can determine the outcome of projects, goals, and can set limits on what an individual can obtain or what they believe they can obtain. Motivation often is the deciding factor on how successful a project in an organization is, and an individual’s needs and desires can both influence a person’s motivation greatly. Motivation can also determine how well an individual does in school, college, or university.
Confucius taught that people live their lives within parameters established by both a supreme being and by nature. He revered and respected the spirits that exist around us.
Confucius, who lived from 551-479 BCE, was a Chinese philosopher, teacher, and politician. Confucius had written a set of books or ideas and concepts called The Analects. These were different collections of sayings that Confucius had written to reflect his ideas about different things like politics, family, morality, and many more. Confucius is also the creator of the commonly used “Golden Rule” of “do not do to others what you do not want done to yourself.” Through his teachings, books, and his followers, the philosophy of Confucianism was created. In Doctrine of the Mean, Confucius explains how to perfect oneself and how to become a morally righteous person. He explains how one must maintain a balance into a constant state of equilibrium.
Confucius believed on the concern of others and their rights. “Never do to others what you would not like them to do to you.” He was never concerned about wealth and status. He traveled in hopes to teach his students and followers such honorable beliefs. Many times he questioned how he would fix a world that was falling to pieces. How would he reshape society? How would he make children respect their parents and elders? Filial piety already existed before Confucius. It is the belief of one’s quality and respect for parents and ancestors. “A filial son serves his parents in the following ways: he offers them the utmost respect when at home; he serves them so as to given them the greatest joy; if they are ill; he feels the greatest anxiety.”
Osland, et al. (2007) provide a good introduction to three basic motivational content theories. The first theory is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that proposes man is motivated by a lack in the one or more of the five common needs. The needs that Maslow identifies are physiological, safety, social belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization. Maslow believed that one fills needs from the most basic (like food and water) to the highest level (self-actualization). Maslow’s ideas are easy to relate to and attempt to provide an all-inclusive approach to the concept of motivation; however, there is little evidence to support the idea that man cannot have self-actualization without the other more basic needs first satisfied. The second content theory Osland, et al. discuss is McCelland’s learned needs. McCelland states that man is motivated by one of three things: achievement, power, or affiliation – or a mixture of the three. Each of these needs can possess a negative or positive connotation or implementation, but it is argued that people motivated by affiliation make better leaders. The third theory presented is McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y. McGregor asserts that Theory X people or employees are inherently lazy and must be controlled and forced to act, whereas Theory Y people are self-controlled, motivated, and ambitious.
Clayton Alderfer proposed the ERG theory of motivation. According to Alderfer, there are three groups of core needs: Existence (basic material existence, safety needs); Relatedness (social and self-esteem needs); and Growth: an intrinsic desire to grow and self-fulfillment. Contrary to Maslow’s theory, he proposed that more than one need may be operative at the same time and if the