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Theories of Motivation Essay

How do these theories of motivation compare and contrast with ideas you read about management in Unit 1 or in MDA 3, e.g., how do they relate to Fordist and Taylorist approaches? Do they relate to these approaches? McGregor management theory involves the idea that there are two types of managers Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X managers assumes that the average human being has an inherit dislike of work and will avoid it if possible. Theory Y managers assumes employees can exercise self-direction, accept responsibility and consider work to be as natural as rest or play. I would consider that Taylor theories fall under theory X.

Taylor’s belief that there is no question that the tendency of the average man is toward working slow that soldiering was a result of natural instinct and the value he placed on monetary motivation seems to conform to McGregors Theory X. However Taylor’s theory differs from Theory X in its belief that workers are not fulfilled solely with monetary rewards. With Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory it classifies the factors needed to motivate people into two categories: hygiene factors and motivating factors, Herzberg’s motivators idea corresponds with Maslow’s Esteem and Self-Actualization needs i.e. they both have the same criteria (recognition, growth, achievement etc…).Both theories are influenced by environmental conditions, employee attitudes and as a result, their motivation. But Maslow says that each stage of the 5 must be fully or largely completed before advancing to the next stage however, Herzberg suggested that there were only 2 stages (hygiene and motivators) instead of 5.

How do the ideas in the reading help you to think about your own management style and ways to manage people in your team or work group? Having reviewed the different theories it is easy to see that there are many different ways to motivate staff. I think motivation is important because even at the most basic level, it costs more to replace staff than to keep them. I also see that I need to use different styles of motivation depending on the member of staff I am dealing with. Staff liked to feel needed and respected and keeping them happy means they’ll stay with you for much longer. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs I try to prioritize the needs of employees as a person will want certain needs to be satisfied before others.

The hierarchy of needs will help determine what’s motivating an employee, and what needs to be addressed. Looking at Herzberg, I think a lot of the traditional benefits in terms of healthcare, cars and holidays, are much more hygiene factors. They are what people look for when they are making an assessment about the competitiveness of employment from one organization to another. In other words, employees might come to expect benefits that typically fit into a package and therefore may fail to be motivated after a time.

What about your own motivations – do any of these ideas and approaches ring especially true in relation to your own experiences? I can probably relate to Herzberg’s theory of motivation the most, factors such as company policy, supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, and salary are no longer motivators to me. The absence of these ‘hygiene factors’ may sometimes create job dissatisfaction, but their presence does not motivate me. In contrast, the motivators that are particularly strong determiners of job satisfaction for me are: achievement, recognition and the work itself. I need any new project to be a sufficient challenge to keep me motivated.


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