Describe, compare and contrast one process and one content theory of motivation. Evaluate how appropriate they are for organisations today.
Motivation is the desire or willingness of someone to do something. Craig C. Pinder (1998) defined work motivation as a “set of internal and external forces that initiate work related behaviour and determine its form, direction, intensity and duration.” Motivation plays an important role in a business environment, as employee motivation is believed to improved work performance.
Discussed in this essay are two types of motivation theories; Content theory which tries to identify specific needs that motivate people and Process theories which is based on developing models relating needs, motives and
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managers. The other nationalities showed more or less deviant patterns.’ Hoftsede argues that Maslow’s theory is based on an individualistic society seeking self-actualisation as their most important goal/need. However, in collectivist societies such as China seeking “harmony” or “family support” or job satisfaction, which are not represented in the hierarchy of needs, are seen as their necessary goals. Nevis (1983) study emphasises that Maslow’s Hierarchy is not relatable to Chinese culture. His main observations were that there was a difference in the cultures in terms of belonging; Individualistic society as opposed to collectivist societies seeks belonging, whereas collectivist societies basic needs only emerge after they have satisfied their need to belong. This indicates Maslow’s theory is not appropriate to all cultures, however, there is a predominant relationship illustrating the need for equity in business environments.
Empirical support for Maslow’s Theory is lacking (Murcell 1976), Maslow himself admitted in 1962: ‘my motivation theory was published 20 years ago… nobody repeated it, tested it, or really analysed or criticized it.’ Lowry (1982: 63). Another criticism discussed (McLeod 2007) concerning the assumption that the lower needs must be satisfied before a person can achieve their full potential and self-actualise.