The factors that affect employee motivation Essay

Motivation has to make with the apprehension of the grounds why human existences act the manner they do - The factors that affect employee motivation Essay introduction. It is said to be the survey of psychological science and is concerned with explicating all signifiers of human behaviors ( Phil Gorman, 2004 ) . Motivation is a really of import facet of psychological science that tries to explicate why worlds or animate beings act in a certain mode ( David A.H, 1995 ) . Motivation surveies have to make with the survey of the Human psychological science and behavioral forms, it is an effort to explicate why and what the grounds are for actions we take.

Mitchell ( 1982 ) suggests that the term motive represents those psychological procedure that cause the waking up, way and continuity of voluntary actions that are end oriented. It is a psychological procedure ensuing from the matching interaction between the person and the environment that affects a individual ‘s picks, attempt and continuity ( Gary P. L and Christopher T, 2006 ) .

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Motivation seeks to explicate the ‘why ‘ of behavior ( Phil Gorman, 2004 ) . When we ask why a individual or animate being behaves in a peculiar mode, we are basically inquiring about motive ( Mook, 1996 ) . Motivation has by and large been related to the demand to accomplish specific ends. It is concerned with purposive behaviors that pushes us towards certain actions and non others and is besides the complex procedure that moves persons towards some ends ( Phil Gorman, 2004 ) . Robbins ( 1993 ) defined motive as the willingness to exercise high degrees of attempt toward organizational ends, conditioned by the attempts and ability to fulfill some personal demands.

Harmonizing to David A. H ( 1995 ) , Motivation examines two facets of behavior ; the way of behaviour – those concerned with the influences which cause specific actions in worlds and the strength of behaviour – concerned with the strength of behavior. It is concerned with what causes specific actions, the grounds for actions we undertake and what determines the strength of such action. Two persons could be motivated towards a specific end, say go throughing an test. They will both be motivated to read, but the grade or strength of motive will normally non be the same for both persons.

Motivation surveies are undertaken in order to explicate the oncoming, the way,

the strength and the continuity of behavior directed towards the attainment of one or more ends or aims ( Mark R. Z,2006 ) .

So many writers have written and established assorted motive theories. The undermentioned chapters in this reappraisal will discourse on the assorted motive theories and parts of celebrated authors in the field of motive surveies.



This theory advocates that all persons are born with natural demands and if these demands are non fulfilled, the person will be motivated to move in a mode that will enable him fulfill them. Maslow A.H ( 1954 ) suggests that all persons have a series of human demands which are prioritised on an go uping graduated table, with basic physiological endurance demands at the underside and the more psychological single demands at the top. Maslow ( 1954 ) ‘s Hierarchy of demands roots from Physiological demands ( endurance ) , Safety needs, Social needs, Esteem needs and Self-actualization at the top.

Harmonizing to this theory, worlds have gone beyond the demand of lone basic endurance demands but are now driven towards greater accomplishments and high demands up boulder clay self realization. Maslow ( 1954 ) ‘s theory besides assumes that these demands are activated in a consecutive order get downing from the underside and a higher demand emerging when the lower demand has been satisfied and that after a demand has been satisfied it ceases to rule behavior.

Physiological demands: These are the basic biological demands of adult male to last. These demands are nutrient, H2O, shelter etc. Maslow ( 1954 ) believes that worlds are likely to be motivated by physiological demands instead than any other demand. Once this demands have been satisfied, he is so motivated by the following degree set of demands.

Safety demands: This refers to the demand for security, freedom from fright and anxiousness, need for stableness and protection. Maslow ( 1954 ) suggests that this safety demands are largely evident in helter-skelter societies and when there is a stable, smooth running and good society, this demand will non be so coveted.

Social demands: This is the demand for love and societal belonging. When these demands are non satisfied, persons will make all in their power to acquire fondness from household and friends ( Maslow, 1954 )

Esteem needs: This refers to the demand for prestigiousness and acknowledgment from others. It refers to the demand for development, care of self-respect and regard from others ( David A.H, 1995 ) .

Self realization: This is the single demand of accomplishing 1s full capableness. It is the satisfaction of making what the single believes to be his/her full potency. Maslow ( 1954 ) nevertheless, was of the position that really few people manage to fulfill the highest set of demands such as self realization.

Some strengths of the theory ;

Theory acknowledges that all persons have in-born natural demands and when these demands are non satisfied the person is compelled to move in a mode that will enable him fulfill these demands.

He has been able to unite both physiological and psychological demands in his hierarchy of demands theory. Physiological holding to make with the innate demands and natural thrusts to fulfill these demands in the organic structure. While psychological demands stem from cognitive witting appraisal before actions are taken.

David A.H ( 1995 ) noted that the go uping hierarchy of demands is non a one manner procedure, if lower needs become unsated, the person will travel back towards fulfilling those lower demands.

The theory besides suggests that the hierarchy does non use stiffly to all persons and some persons may seek to fulfill some higher demands at the disbursal of lower 1s ( Maslow. 1954 )

Pointed out below are some failings of the theory ;

Phil Gorman ( 2004 ) pointed out that the theory does n’t look to take history of the possibility that people who make little accomplishments in their lives may experience satisfied and fulfilled believing that they have genuinely achieved their full potency. He suggests that this may be due to limitations placed upon them by their societal background.

The theory does non see that other factors such as environment and society can act upon the person to move in a peculiar mode. Harmonizing to Stanworth and Curran ( 1973 ) the theory ignores the manner the civilization of a society and its subcultures, construction the aspirations and outlooks of persons and groups. Ivan T. R, et Al ( 1992 ) bares the sentiment that Maslow ‘s theory hardly touches on the function of environmental factors in the development of his hierarchy.

The theory is hard to use in some state of affairss. Stanworth and Curran ( 1973 ) besides pointed out that most people who set up concerns would look to be fulfilling the higher degree of demands in Maslow ‘s theory and traveling into a concern is rather a hazardous venture. This means they are more concerned about a higher demand of opening a concern than a lower demand, security and hazard of holding a concern.


This theory is chiefly concerned with motive at the work topographic point. Harmonizing to Herzberg et Al ( 1959 ) there are fundamentally two sets of factors that influence behavior ; Hygiene Factors ( dissatisfiers ) and Motivators ( satisfiers )

Hygiene factors ( dissatisfiers )

These are factors that do non fulfill the persons but merely maintain them from being dissatisfied. The presence of these factors in a work topographic point will intend the persons will non be unsatisfied but they will non be motivated either. These factors include, good working conditions, good wage, supervising, security, relationship with equals, company policy and disposal. Most of these factors are classified as being extrinsic ( David A.H, 1995 ) .

Incentives ( satisfiers )

These are those factors that really motivate the persons in the work topographic point. They give the person a feeling of self satisfaction and accomplishment. These factors are basically internal and illustrations of these incentives are need for acknowledgment, personal development and promotion and the demand for growing. These incentives are related to the content of the occupation that allows the single employee to develop their business as a beginning of personal growing. Employees will be motivated with such factors as they allow them fulfill the demand for self realization ( Herzberg et al, 1959 ) .

Part of the strengths of this theory is that merely like Maslow ‘s theory, Herzberg et Al ( 1959 ) believes that all human existences have physiological demands that can be satisfied with money e.g. Food and H2O and psychological demands such as the demand for self-development and self-actualization. While a major failing is that Herzberg has besides neglected the influence of the environment and social background as possible incentives. Some of his hygiene factors such as good wage which he suggests will merely forestall an person from being dissatisfied, in some instance can really supply motive to the person ( David A.H, 1995 ) .


McGregor ( 1960 ) , suggest that there is a direct relation between the manner directors treat their workers and workers motive. McGregor believes there are two major attacks to the direction of people and they have to make with a director ‘s position on workers attitude towards work. He formulated the theories X and Y.

Theory Ten

In this theory, direction dainties workers with small or no regard. The attitude of directors towards workers in this theory is based on:

The belief that the mean human being dislikes work and will avoid it if possible.

That most people have to be controlled, forced, directed and punished to acquire them to set equal attempts towards the accomplishment of administration aims.

That the mean human, prefers to be directed wish to avoid duty and wants security above all ( Evans D, 1990 ) .

Theory X is sponsoring and makes no allowance for workers individuality. It is based on facets of direction such as subject and control ( David A.H, 1995 ) .

Theory Yttrium

This theory concentrates on deputation, decentalisation, engagement and audience. The features of direction here are as follows:

External control and the menace of penalty are non the lone means of conveying out attempts towards accomplishing administration aims.

Peoples are committed to aims in proportion to the wagess associated with accomplishing the aims.

That the mean human being learns, under proper conditions non merely to accept but to seek duty ( David A.H, 1995 ) .

The theory encourages participative direction and suggests that for workers to be motivated it is necessary to let them utilize their accomplishments within the work topographic point. This will do them experience involved as portion of the administration.


This theory advocates that in the effort to accomplish single satisfaction, people are motivated to move in a specific mode ( Aldefer C.P, 1972 ) . He suggests that satisfaction relies on the fulfillment of natural demands such as being, relatedness and growing. Persons invariably interact with their environment which as an consequence in their behavior. He believes that these 3 sets of demands are able to be at the same time and can be satisfied in a flexible order.

Being demands: These demands are concerned with physiological and material factors related to survival such as hungriness, thirst, salary and on the job conditions.

Relatedness: This has to make with the demand to associate with others in the society. Persons are motivated to seek satisfaction in their societal relationships.

Growth needs: This refers to making the optimal usage of bing capacities and the development of new capacities. Satisfaction of growing demands depends on the single developing to their full potency ( Alderfer C.P, 1972 ) .

This theory does propose a stiff hierarchal construction and does non suggest that an person will seek to fulfill one set of demands at a clip ( David A.H, 1995 ) .


This theory is besides based on three innate demands which are of optimal importance. They are the demand for accomplishment, association and power ( McClelland, 1961 ) . Robbins ( 1993 ) believes that those who have strong thrusts to win are seeking for personal accomplishments instead than wagess. They have the thrust to better on better ways of making things.

Need for accomplishment ( N.arch ) : This can be described as the demand for success and high criterions of personal excellence ( David A.H, 1995 ) . It is the thrust to accomplish success.

Need for association: This is the demand for a good relationship with other persons.

Need for power: This is the demand to desire to act upon and exercise some degree of control over others.

McClelland ( 1961 ) believes that all persons have each of these demands although the degree of strength of the demands varies between each individual. This means that some people might hold high demands of some and low of the others. Harmonizing to McClelland et Al ( 1953 ) , any effort to understand a individual ‘s motive to accomplish must take into history both the personality and state of affairs the single finds him or herself in. He besides suggested that the desire for accomplishment in a society could be measured from the sort of achievement imagination presented to the kids ( McClelland, 1961 ) .

Stanjworth & A ; Curran ( 1973 ) , pointed out that McClelland ‘s theory considers differences between groups in motivational form and relates this to societal and cultural factors.

EDWARD TOLMANS ‘S – Anticipation Theory

Tolman E.C ( 1948 ) , theory suggests that the motive of persons is non based on demands or thrusts but is determined by the presence of ends and the anticipation that their behavior will take to the attainment of this end. He believes that human existences will be motivated in a specific mode when they are convinced that the consequences of the behavior will be desired by them. The theory fundamentally harps on single motive and the influence of the society.

Tolman ‘s theory recognises that people have different types of demands, desires and ends and proposes that the sum of attempt people are prepared to set in undertaking depends on whether the attempt will bring forth better public presentation ( Ivan T.R et Al, 1992 ) .


This theory stems from Tolman ‘s anticipation theory but in add-on to expectancy Vroom added valency and instrumentality as determiners of motive.

Anticipation: Vroom & A ; Edward ( 1970 ) suggests that anticipation is a fleeting belief refering the likeliness that a peculiar act will be followed by a peculiar result.

Instrumentality: This assumes that the behavior of persons is influenced by the grade to which extra desired ends can be attained as the direct consequence of such behaviors ( Vroom & A ; Edward, 1970 ) . The theory suggests that the sum of attempt people are willing to set in a undertaking depends on whether the public presentation when achieved will pay off in footings of results ( Ivan T.R et Al, 1992 ) .

Valence: This refers to the value of the results. Vroom & A ; Edward ( 1970 ) suggests that persons value some results extremely and therefore want them and can value outcomes lowly and seek to avoid them. He states that we are motivated by the fact that we expect specific behaviors to ensue in specific results and that such results will hold a grade of valency.

The chief motive points of Vroom harmonizing to David A.H ( 1995 ) are

The anticipation that specific behavior will ensue in that attainment of a specific end, the value of the coveted end and the grade to which such behavior is instrumental to the attainment of other extra ends.


Basically this theory looks at motive from the angle of actuating the employer. It suggests that when specific ends and marks are set out for persons, they become motivated in order to accomplish the ends. This theory has identified that human existences act in a specific manner when they are faced with a peculiar end ( Locke E.A, 1968 ) .

The high spots of this theory are that hard ends should be set because they result in higher public presentation, employees should be portion of the end scene and that there should be equal feedback with counsel and advice ( Locke & A ; Latham, 1984 ) . Locke pointed out that inducements such as money, engagement, competition and congratulations can act upon ends. Harmonizing to Ivan T. Robertson et Al ( 1992 ) ends have been demonstrated to impact public presentation through four mechanisms:

Directing attending and action.

Mobilizing attempt

Increasing undertaking continuity.

Motivating the hunt for appropriate public presentation schemes.

Ivan T. Robertson et Al ( 1992 ) besides added two end properties that could be relevant for motive.

Goal content – the degree of end trouble and how specific it is and

Goal strength – strength and committedness attached to the end.


The recent theories on motive have n’t truly come up with any new thought really different from what other older authors on the topic have written ; alternatively they have built on it to do it more adaptable to the altering environment and human position.


They gathered a list of factors that affected motive in the work topographic point and eventually trimmed them down to 12 basic factors. Their observation method was to make a self appraisal profile which was developed in other to happen out what motivated people and besides to burden the factors against each other. Their consequence was a alone motivational profile for each individual which gave the comparative strength of each factor when compared to each other. The 12 factors were developed from older theories of motive ( Sheila R & A ; Peter M, 1999 ) .

The 12 factors of motive pointed out by Sheila R & A ; Peter M ( 1999 ) where:

Money and touchable wagess: This is where money and touchable consequence is the overpowering drive force. Where money is the incentive, people so inclined will be ready to digest any sum of ennui, work long hours. Undertake insistent undertaking over periods of months and old ages and even put work before household. Peoples who have high money demands will see their physical conditions at work with complete indifference. This factor relates to Tolman and Vroom ‘s anticipation theory where they suggest that persons act in a peculiar manner when they expect a sort of wages that, they value ( Vroom & A ; Edward, 1970 ) .

Physical status: In their theory, physical conditions have to make with those physical factors that could actuate in a work topographic point. This touches on the work infinite, work environment and how comfy it is. Some people could be motivated by the female horse fact that they work in a really comfy and beautiful environment. However, they pointed out that physical factors in relation to other motivative factors are non seen as really of import.

Structure: This has to make with the organizational construction and disposal of a work topographic point. They believe that people with differing construction demands need to be motivated in significantly different ways, the right attack motivates and the incorrect attack will de-motivate. They suggest that really high structured people need to cognize where they stand. They need to cognize the regulations and be assured that they have followed the right processs. Anxiety may be the root cause of their desire for construction and may happen a deficiency of construction really nerve-racking. Some characteristics of construction include timing, regulations and processs, society ‘s norm and outlook, planning, good communicating and information circulation etc ( Sheila R & A ; Peter M, 1999 ) .

Peoples Contact: Peoples with this factor enjoy covering with other people and derive comfort and satisfaction from holding a figure of others around them. They would prefer to work with other people nearby instead than on their ain. Most are likely to be extremely tolerant with the rowdyism that working with others entail and will even execute better in such state of affairs ( Sheila R & A ; Peter M, 1999 ) . This in a manner is related to Maslows hierarchy ‘s 3rd phase that refers to the demand for love and human relationship.

Relationship: This has to make with those motivated by the demand for relationships. They suggest that this demand can be satisfied outside the work topographic point but for administrations based on committedness and trust between employees will necessitate long term relationships between employees. Harmonizing to Sheila R & A ; Peter M ( 1999 ) , this peculiar demand normally depends on the administration in inquiry. Administrations were members of staff are interchanged, work displacements and degree of accomplishments are low, will non be in demand of long term relationships. This is besides related to Maslow ‘s demand for love and relationship demands.

Recognition: This factor harps on the demand for attending and congratulations. Sheila R & A ; Peter M ( 1999 ) pointed out that high acknowledgment demands can do people so dependent on others for blessing, that in occasions where there is no acknowledgment, they are unable to move independently. Peoples with high demand of this will ever take attention that they meet outlook.

Accomplishment: Sheila R & A ; Peter M ( 1999 ) suggests that a strong features of those with a high accomplishment thrust is that they which to make things on their ain. Peoples with this demand can happen themselves voluntarily working long hours and driving themselves difficult. They have to be satisfied that the marks they are taking are accomplishable. High winners are likely to be motivated, if they are non accomplishing they are likely to experience worthless. They will make whatever it takes to accomplish their ends. Motivating such people has to get down with the definition of the mark ( Sheila R & A ; Peter M, 1999 ) .

Power and Influence: This is the demand to possess power and influence others. The ability to take and act upon people used decently harmonizing to Sheila R & A ; Peter M ( 1999 ) is one of the most desirable human qualities. The difference of this factor from others is that it involves people encroaching straight on other people. They pointed out that here is besides an component of hazard that other people might non respond favorably.

Assortment and alteration: This is the demand to ever desire to make something different. This sort of people we need stimulation to travel on to something different with ennui puting in after an initial discharge of energy. These persons cope better where there is changeless demand for new energy and new enterprises. Sheila R & A ; Peter M ( 1999 ) , pointed out that the job with this factor is that since the stimulation to alter does non ever arise, there is ever the likely goon of incomplete concern or no motive.

Creativity: This concerns the original thought and the development of the new out of the old. They believe that the originative thrust has a really of import portion to play in the administration. They advocate that those who have the demand for creativeness to be given an enabling environment for them to run ( Sheila R & A ; Peter M, 1999 ) .

Self development: This factors shows that people who have high ego development demands will judge their work in footings of what it does for them. These persons are non motivated except it has something to make with their ego development. Motivating such people requires an apprehension of what they are looking for and an ability to associate what the administration requires to what the demand ( Sheila R & A ; Peter M, 1999 ) .

Interest and utility: Sheila R & A ; Peter M ( 1999 ) believes that the demand for occupation involvement or utility is higher on norm than the demand for any other incentive. They stated that Professional and managerial people are more motivated for illustration by feeling of usefulness or involvement than for chances to act upon, accomplish or be recognised. This factor suggests that the work topographic point has to be structured in such a manner that the employees find it utile and interesting and that in the absence of this factor, all other incentives will non work to full potency. ( Sheila R & A ; Peter M, 1999 ) .

These 12 factors have covered in a manner most motivative factors talked about by early research workers in the subject.


Harmonizing to Reiss and Havercamp ( 1996 ) , sensitiveness theory suggests that persons differ in both the types of support they desire and in the type of support they need to fulfill them and that people crave excessively much love, attending, credence, company or excessively much of some other cardinal reinforce are at the hazard for curious behavior because normative behavior does non bring forth the coveted sum of support. This theory by and large postulates the thought of single differences in support effectivity. In discoursing the theory, Reiss and Havercamp ( 1996 ) defined the construct of reinforcement sensitiveness as an single difference in the reenforcing effectivity of a cardinal incentive. They mention three cardinal stages of this theory: Reinforcing effectivity, Individual difference and cardinal motive.

The high points of the theory harmonizing to Reiss and Havercamp ( 1996 ) are that the theory identifies single differences in coveted sum of support that is single differences in rates of satisfaction, as an understudied and potentially of import variable, proposing that because people spend considerable clip and energy seeking the support they desire, these single differences may foretell some person-environment interactions. Second, the theory suggests the demand for research to place the cardinal beginnings of motive. And eventually, that a new theory in the development of abnormal psychology is suggested based on the premise that different persons non merely want different types of support but besides desire widely changing sums of each cardinal reinforcing stimulus.



The Built Environment and Construction industry is a labour intensive industry ; therefore the application of motive theories ca n’t be ignored. The nature of the building industry is different in the sense that it offers occupations which appeal to many people because of their interesting, disputing and honoring nature ( Birchall D.W 1977 ) .

Harmonizing to Olomolaiye & A ; Ogunlana ( 1988 ) building operatives in developing states are faced with many jobs unlike those experienced by their opposite numbers in developed states. They believe the building environment is different in footings of site administration, quality of supervising and handiness of production resources, so besides is their socio-economic environment. This environment produces a different worker likely motivated by different factors. In this state of affairs, even when we have extremely motivated labor force, it is non right to presume that their motive will take to higher productiveness. Inability to bring forth as expected, could take to defeat and de-motivation. Basically, extrinsic factors such as good working status, handiness working stuffs and resources can travel a long manner in motive building workers in developing states.

In the building industry like every other industry productiveness is paramount. The motive theories discussed in the earlier chapters have shown that productiveness of workers is straight related to motive. When workers are extremely motivated the will set more attempts in order to accomplish self-fulfilment from making so, and thereby ensuing in higher productiveness ( Lam and Tang, 2003 ) .

Lam and Tang ( 2003 ) , besides added that motive theories such as Maslow ‘s hierarchy of demands, Herzberg ‘s Hygiene theory, McGregor ‘s Ten and Y theories, Vrooms ‘s anticipation theory, etc. are frequently applied to increase productiveness in building undertakings.

Borcherding and Gamer ( 1981 ) in their position, have pointed out that there are certain factors that will do dissatisfaction amongst building workers. The factors include material handiness, tool handiness, overcrowded countries, review holds, incompetency of chiefs, etc. and they besides suggested that factors like good craftsman relationship, good orientation plan, wage. Recognition, defined ends and undertakings good planned can actuate building employees.

In the application of motive theories to the building industry, Maslow and Herzberg ‘s theories form the footing. Once a worker satisfies his/her physiological demands, he will endeavor towards fulfilling safety and societal demands. And so subsequently on seek to fulfill the demands of societal belonging and self-actualization. In order to fulfill the building worker ‘s physiological demands and increase motive a suited salary strategy and employment policy should be established ( Lam and Tang, 2003 ) . Lam and Tang ( 2000 ) besides noted that though bizarre wagess such as salary and fiscal benefits do non actuate employees to high work public presentation, they could take down employee dissatisfaction.

Construction companies should keep a high degree of security, wellness and safety policy at work environment in order to fulfill the safety demands of workers. Effective communicating will besides give them a g=feeling that their occupations are secured.

For societal and relationship demands to be satisfied in the building industry, initiation plans for new employees should be organised to present them to company aims, other co-workers, the installations and the on the job environment.

The constructs above will actuate the building workers in the short term.

Lam & A ; Tang ( 2003 ) besides suggested that to actuate the building employees on the long term, the below listed attacks will come in ready to hand:

Proper resource direction and occupation design.

Life-long acquisition plans.

‘Open door ‘ communicating.

Effective honoring systems.

Diverse and eventuality manner of leading.

Empowering and valuing building employees.

Continual appraisals and betterment of motive plans.

In summary the survey and application of motivational theories in direction is a really indispensable tool for all directors in all plants of life, particularly when there are direct interactions with human existences.

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