Modern motivation theory and Buddhist teaching for Motivation

About this essay

One of the most important functions of management is to create willingness amongst the employees to perform to the best of their abilities. Therefore
the role of a leader is to arouse interest in performance of employees in their jobs. The process of motivation consists of three stages:1. A felt need or drive

2. A stimulus in which nodes have to be aroused
3. When needs are satisfied, the satisfaction or accomplishment of goals. Therefore, we can say that motivation is a psychological phenomenon which means needs and wants of the individuals have to be tackled by framing an incentive plan.

Motivation Theories
According to subject of Management have some kind of motivation theories. These theories were introduced by most of scholars in the world. However when considers about history can motivation theories categorize as

 Classical Motivation Theories

 Modern Motivation Theories

Under the classic motivation theories can introduce following three theories.

Classical Motivation Theories
1. The Hierarchy Of Needs Theory
Abraham Maslow is well renowned for proposing the Hierarchy of Needs Theory in 1943.

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This theory is a classical depiction of human motivation. This theory is based on the assumption that there is a hierarchy of five needs within each individual. The urgency of these needs varies.

1. Physiological needs- These are the basic needs of air, water, food, clothing and shelter. In other words, physiological needs are the needs for basic amenities of life. 2. Safety needs- Safety needs include physical, environmental and emotional safety and protection. For instance- Job security, financial security, protection from animals, family security, health security, etc.

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3. Social needs- Social needs include the need for love, affection, care, belongings, and friendship.
4. Esteem needs- Esteem needs are of two types: internal esteem needs (self- respect, confidence, competence, achievement and freedom) and external esteem needs (recognition, power, status, attention and admiration).

5. Self-actualization need- This includes the urge to become what you are capable of becoming / what you have the potential to become. It includes the need for growth and selfcontentment. It also includes a desire for gaining more knowledge, social- service, creativity and being aesthetic. The self- actualization needs are never fully suitable. As an individual grows psychologically, opportunities keep cropping up to continue growing. According to Maslow, individuals are motivated by unsatisfied needs. As each of these needs is significantly satisfied, it drives and forces the next need to emerge..

2. Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory of Motivation
In 1959, Frederick Herzberg, a behavioral scientist proposed a two-factor theory or the motivator-hygiene theory. According to Herzberg, there are some job factors that result in satisfaction while there are other job factors that prevent dissatisfaction.

Herzberg, the opposite of “Satisfaction” is “No satisfaction” and the opposite of “Dissatisfaction” is “No Dissatisfaction”.
Herzbergss view of satisfaction and dissatisfaction

Herzberg classified these job factors into two categories Hygiene factors- Hygiene factors are those job factors which are essential for existence of motivation at the workplace. These do not lead to positive satisfaction for the long-term. But if these factors are absent / if these factors are
non-existent at the workplace, then they lead to dissatisfaction. Hygiene factors include:

1. Pay – The pay or salary structure should be appropriate and reasonable. It must be equal and competitive with those in the same industry in the same domain. 2. Company Policies and administrative policies – The company policies should not be too rigid. They should be fair and clear. It should include flexible working hours, dress code, breaks, vacation, etc.

3. Fringe benefits – The employees should be offered health care plans (mediclaim), benefits for the family members, employee help programs, etc.
4. Physical Working conditions – The working conditions should be safe, clean and hygienic. The work equipments should be updated and well-maintained.
5. Status – The employees’ status within the organization should be familiar and retained. 6. Interpersonal relations – The relationship of the employees with his peers, superiors and subordinates should be appropriate and acceptable. There should be no conflict or humiliation element present.

7. Job Security – The organization must provide job security to the employees. Motivational factors- According to Herzberg, the hygiene factors cannot be regarded as motivators. The motivational factors yield positive satisfaction. These factors are inherent to work. These factors motivate the employees for a superior performance. These factors are called satisfiers. These are factors involved in performing the job. Employees find these factors

intrinsically rewarding. The motivators symbolized the psychological needs that were perceived as an additional benefit. Motivating factors include: 

Recognition – The employees should be praised and recognized for their accomplishments by the managers.

 Sense of achievement – The employees must have a sense of achievement. This depends on the job. There must be a fruit of some sort in the job.

 Growth and promotional opportunities – There must be growth and advancement opportunities in an organization to motivate the employees to perform well.

 Responsibility – The employees must hold themselves responsible for the work. The managers should give them ownership of the work. They should minimize control but retain accountability.

 The meaningfulness of the work – The work itself should be meaningful, interesting and challenging for the employee to perform and to get motivated.

3. Theory X and Theory Y
In 1960, Douglas McGregor formulated Theory X and Theory Y suggests two aspects of human behavior at work, or in other words, two different views of individuals (employees): one of which is negative, called as Theory X and the other is positive, so called as Theory Y. According to McGregor, the perception of managers of the nature of individuals is based on various assumptions.

Assumptions of Theory X
 An average employee intrinsically does not like work and tries to escape it whenever possible.

 Since the employee does not want to work, he must be persuaded, compelled, or warned with a punishment so as to achieve organizational goals. A close supervision is required on the part of managers. The managers adopt a more dictatorial style.

 Many employees rank job security on top, and they have little or no aspiration/ ambition.

 Employees generally dislike responsibilities.

 Employees resist change.

 An average employee needs formal direction.

Assumptions of Theory Y
 Employees can perceive their job as relaxing and normal. They exercise their physical and mental efforts in an inherent manner in their jobs.

 Employees may not require only threat, external control and coercion to work, but they can use self-direction and self-control if they are dedicated and sincere to achieve the organizational objectives.

 If the job is rewarding and satisfying, then it will result in employees’ loyalty and commitment to the organization.

 An average employee can learn to admit and recognize the responsibility. In fact, he can even learn to obtain responsibility.

 The employees have skills and capabilities. Their logical capabilities should be fully utilized. In other words, the creativity, resourcefulness and innovative potentiality of the employees can be utilized to solve organizational problems.

Thus, we can say that Theory X presents a pessimistic view of employees’ nature and behavior at work, while Theory Y presents an optimistic view of the employees’ nature and behavior at work.

Modern Motivation Theories
Under the modern motivation theories can illustrate following six theories. 1. ERG Theory
To bring Maslow’s need hierarchy theory of motivation in synchronization with empirical research, Clayton Alderfer redefined it in his own terms. His rework is called as the ERG theory of motivation. He recategorized Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into three simpler and broader classes of nodes:

 Existence needs- These include the need for basic material necessities. In short, it includes an individual’s physiological and physical safety needs.

 Relatedness needs- These include the aspiration individual’s have for maintaining significant interpersonal relationships (be it with family, peers or superiors), getting public fame and recognition. Maslow’s social needs and external component of esteem needs fall under this class of need.

 Growth needs- These include need for self-development and personal growth and advancement. Maslow’s self-actualization needs and intrinsic component of esteem needs fall under this category of need.

Managers must understand that an employee has various needs that must be satisfied at the same time. According to the ERG theory, if the manager concentrates solely on one need at a time, this will not effectively motivate the employee. Also, the frustration- regression aspect of ERG Theory has an added effect on workplace motivation. For instance- if an employee is not provided with growth and advancement opportunities in an organization, he might revert to the relatedness need such as socializing needs and to meet those socializing needs, if the environment or circumstances do not permit, he might revert to the need for money to fulfill those socializing needs. The sooner the manager realizes and discovers this, the most immediate steps they will take to fulfill those needs which are frustrated until such time that the employee can again pursue growth.

2. McClelland’s Theory of Needs
David McClelland and his associates proposed McClelland’s theory of Needs / Achievement Motivation Theory. This theory states that human behavior is affected by three needs – Need for Power, Achievement and Affiliation. Need for achievement is the urge to excel, to accomplish in relation to a set of standards, to struggle to achieve success. Need for power is the desire to influence other individual’s behavior as per your wish. In other words, it is the desire to have control over others and to be influential. Need for affiliation is a need for open and sociable interpersonal relationships. In other words, it is a desire for a relationship based on co-operation and mutual understanding.

The individuals with high achievement needs are highly motivated by competing and challenging work. They look for promotional opportunities in the job. They have a strong urge for feedback on their achievement. Such individuals try to get satisfaction in performing things better. High achievement is directly related to high performance. Individuals who are better and above average performers are highly motivated. They assume responsibility for solving the problems at work. McClelland called such individuals as gamblers as they set challenging targets for themselves and they take the deliberate risk to achieve those set targets. Such individuals look for innovative ways of performing the job. They perceive achievement of goals as a reward, and value it more than a financial reward.

The individuals who are motivated by power have a strong urge to be influential and controlling. They want that their views and ideas should dominate and thus, they want to lead. Such individuals are motivated by the need for reputation and self-esteem. Individuals with greater power and authority will perform better than those possessing less power. Generally, managers with high need for power turn out to be more efficient and successful managers. They are more determined and loyal to the organization they work for. Need for power should not always be taken negatively.

It can be viewed as the need to have a positive effect on the organization and to support the organization in achieving its goals. The individuals who are motivated by affiliation have an urge for a friendly and supportive environment. Such individuals are effective performers in a team. These people want to be liked by others. The manager’s ability to make decisions is hampered if they have a high affiliation need as they prefer to be accepted and liked by others, and this weakens their objectivity. Individuals having high affiliation needs prefer working in an environment providing greater personal interaction. Such people have a need to be on the good books of all. They generally cannot be good leaders.

3. Goal Setting Theory
In 1960’s, Edwin Locke put forward the Goal-setting theory of motivation. This theory states that goal setting is essentially linked to task
performance. It states that specific and challenging goals along with appropriate feedback contribute to higher and better task performance. In simple words, goals indicate and give direction to an employee about what needs to be done and how much efforts are required to be put in. The important features of goal-setting theory are as follows:

 The willingness to work towards attainment of goals is the main source of job motivation. Clear, particular and difficult goals are greater motivating factors than easy, general and vague goals.

 Specific and clear goals lead to greater output and better performance. Unambiguous, measurable and clear goals accompanied by a deadline for completion avoids misunderstanding.

 Goals should be realistic and challenging. This gives an individual a feeling of pride and triumph when he attains them, and sets him up for attainment of the next goal. The more challenging the goal, the greater is the reward generally and the more is the passion for achieving it.
 Better and appropriate feedback of results directs the employee behavior and contributes to higher performance than the absence of feedback. Feedback is a means of gaining reputation, making clarifications and regulating goal difficulties. It helps employees to work with more involvement and leads to greater job satisfaction.

 The employee’s participation in goal is not always desirable.

 Participation of setting goal, however, makes the goal more acceptable and leads to more involvement.

 Goal setting theory has certain eventualities such as: Self-efficiency- Self-efficiency is the individual’s self-confidence and faith that he has potential of performing the task. The higher the level of self-efficiency, greater will be the efforts put in by the individual when they face challenging tasks. While, lower the level of self-efficiency, less will be the efforts put in by the individual or he might even quit while meeting challenges.

Goal commitment- Goal setting theory assumes that the individual is committed to the goal and will not leave the goal. The goal commitment is dependent on the following factors:
1. Goals are made openly, known and broadcasted.
2. Goals should be set-self by individual rather than designated. 3. Individual’s set goals should be consistent with the organizational goals and vision.

4. Reinforcement Theory

Reinforcement theory of motivation was proposed by BF Skinner and his
associates. It states that an individual’s behavior is a function of its consequences. It is based on “law of effect”, i.e, individual’s behavior with positive consequences tends to be repeated, but individual’s behavior with negative consequences tends not to be repeated. Reinforcement theory of motivation overlooks the internal state of individuality, i.e., the inner feelings and drives of individuals are ignored by Skinner. This theory focuses totally on what happens to an individual when he takes some action.

Thus, according to Skinner, the external environment of the organization must be designed effectively and positively so as to motivate the employee. This theory is a strong tool for analyzing controlling mechanism for individual’s behavior. However, it does not focus on the causes of individual’s behavior. The managers use the following methods for controlling the behavior of the employees: 

Positive Reinforcement- This implies giving a positive response when an individual shows the positive and required behavior. For example – Immediately praising an employee for coming early for the job. This will increase the probability of outstanding behavior occurring again. The reward is a positive reinforce, but not necessarily. If and only if the employees’ behavior improves, the reward can said to be a positive reinforcer. Positive reinforcement stimulates occurrence of a behavior. It must be noted that more spontaneous is the giving of reward, the greater reinforcement value it has.

 Negative Reinforcement- This implies rewarding an employee by removing negative / undesirable consequences. Both positive and negative reinforcement can be used for increasing desirable / required behavior.

 Punishment- It implies removing positive consequences so as to lower the probability of repeating the undesirable behavior in future. In other words,
punishment means applying undesirable consequence for showing undesirable behaviors. For instance – Suspending an employee for breaking the organizational rules. Punishment can be equalized by positive reinforcement from an alternative source.

 Extinction- It implies absence of reinforcements. In other words, extinction implies lowering the probability of undesired behavior by removing the reward for that kind of behavior. For instance – if an employee no longer receives praise and admiration for his good work, he may feel that his behavior is generating no fruitful consequence. Extinction may unintentionally lower desirable behavior.

5. Equity Theory of Motivation
The core of the equity theory is the principle of balance or equity. As per this motivation theory, an individual’s motivation level is correlated with his perception of equity, fairness and justice practiced by the management. Higher is an individual’s perception of fairness, greater is the motivation level and vice versa. While evaluating fairness, employee compares the job input (in terms of contribution) to outcome (in terms of compensation) and also compares the same with that of other peer of equal cadre/category. D/I ratio (output-input ratio) is used to make such a comparison.

An employee might compare himself with his peer within the present job in the current organization or with his friend/peer working in some other organization or with the past jobs held by him with others. An employee’s choice of the referent will be influenced by the appeal of the referent and the employee’s knowledge about the referent. Moderating Variables: The gender, salary, education and the experience level are moderating variables. Individuals with greater and higher education are more informed. Thus, they are likely to compare themselves with the outsiders. Males and females prefer same sex

comparison. It has been observed that females are paid typically less than males in comparable jobs and have less salary expectations than males for the same work. Thus, a woman employee that uses another women employee as a referent tends to lead to a lower comparative standard. Employees with greater experience know their organization very well and compare themselves with their own colleagues, while employees with less experience rely on their personal experiences and knowledge for making comparisons.

Choices: The employees who perceive inequity and are under negative tension can make the following choices:

 Change in input (e.g. Don’t overexert)

 Change their outcome (Produce quantity output and increasing earning by sacrificing quality when piece rate incentive system exist)

 Choose a different referent

 Quit the job

 Change self perception (For instance – I know that I’ve performed better and harder than everyone else.)

 Change perception of others (For instance – Jack’s job is not as desirable as I earlier thought it was.)

6. Expectancy Theory of Motivation
The expectancy theory was proposed by Victor Vroom of Yale School of Management in 1964. Vroom stresses and focuses on outcomes, and not on needs unlike Maslow and Herzberg. The theory states that the intensity of a tendency to perform in a particular manner is dependent on the intensity of an expectation that the performance will be followed by a definite outcome and on the appeal of the outcome to the individual.

The Expectancy theory states that employee motivation is an outcome of how much an individual wants a reward (Valence), the assessment that the likelihood that the effort will lead to expected performance (Expectancy) and the belief that the performance will lead to reward (Instrumentality). In short, Valence is the significance associated with an individual about the expected outcome. It is an expected and not the actual satisfaction that an employee expects to receive after achieving the goals. Expectancy is the faith that best efforts will result in better

performance. Expectancy is influenced by factors such as possession of appropriate skills for performing the job, availability of right resources, availability of crucial information and getting the required support for
completing the job.

Instrumentality is the faith that if you perform well, then a valid outcome will be there. Instrumentality is affected by factors such as believe in the people who decide who receives what outcome, the simplicity of the process deciding who gets what outcome, and clarity of the relationship between performance and outcomes. Thus, the expectancy theory concentrates on the following three relationships:

 Effort-performance relationship: What is the likelihood that the individual’s effort to be recognized in his performance appraisal?

 Performance-reward relationship: It talks about the extent to which the employee believes that getting a good performance appraisal leads to organizational rewards.

 Rewards-personal goals relationship: It is all about the attractiveness or appeal of the potential reward to the individual.

Vroom was of view that employees consciously decide whether to perform or not on the job. This decision solely depended on the employee’s motivation level which in turn depends on three factors of expectancy, valence and instrumentality.

Buddhist Teaching For Motivation

“ hi passik” = “come and see”
When consider about Buddhist teachings can identify good management systems focusing on various subject. According to the Buddhist teaching for
motivation can not be categorized or can not be compared with modern or classic motivation theories. However as a teacher Buddha mentioned about his damma as “ hi passik”. That mean “come and see”. According to that Buddha mentioned mainly self motivation. In most of the occasions the Buddha explains about self motivation is only way to get rid of that Samsara. As a result of that the teaching of Buddha mostly depends on self motivation. When examining about Tipitaka, gives lots of Damma preached about motivation.

In the Kalama Sutta mentioned about self motivation as follows Kalamas, as you yourselves say, do not follow the leader, do not go by the examination of reasons, do not stick to wrong views, don’t go by this has to be so, don’t go by the words of your teacher, the recluse. Kalamas, you, yourselves should know: these thoughts are demerit, these thoughts are faulty, these thoughts are blamed by the wise, these thoughts undertaken and accomplished are not for welfare, they conduce to unpleasantness: Kalamas, then you should dispel them. If it was said, it was said on account of this.

Come Kalamas, do not go on filling your mind persistently with what you hear, do not go by tradition, do not guess, do not go on the grounds of authority, do not turn to logical thinking, do not follow the leader, do not go by the examination of reasons, do not stick to wrong views, don’t go by this has to be so, don’t go by the words of your teacher, the recluse. Kalamas, you, yourselves should know: these thoughts are meritorious, these thoughts are not faulty, these thoughts are not blamed by the wise, these thoughts undertaken and accomplished are for welfare, they conduce to please: Kalamas, then you should grow them. (Anguttara Nikaya. Thika niapata.

In Mahāgopālaka sutta mentioned these eleven factors, it is possible that the bhikkhu could come to growth and increase in this Teaching and Dispensation Bhikkhus,
1. How does the bhikkhu know matter. The bhikkhu knows as it really is, that all matter, is a matter of the four great elements and the matter that is held as mine. Thus, the bhikkhu knows matter.

1. How is the bhikkhu clever in marks? The bhikkhu knows as it really is, the fool by his actions, and the wise one of his actions. Thus the bhikkhu is clever in marks. 3. How does the bhikkhu dispel nits. Here the bhikkhu does not endure sensual thoughts chases them out, and makes them not rise again. Does not endure angry thoughts, chases them out, and makes them not rise again. Does not endure hurting thoughts, chases them out, and makes them not rise again. Does not endure arisen demerit chases it out, and makes it not rise again. Thus the bhikkhu dispels nits.

4. How does the bhikkhu dress the wounds? Seeing a form with the eye does not take the sign and details. To one abiding uncontrolled in the faculty of the eye, evil demerit of covetousness and displeasure may trickle down, to its control he feels, protects the faculty of the eye. Hearing a sound with the ear-Cognizing a smell with the nose-Coignizing a taste with the tongue, -Cognizing a touch with the body, Cognizing an idea with the mind, does not take the sign or the details. To one abiding uncontrolled in the faculty of the mind, evil demerit, of covetousness. and displeasure may trickle down. To its control he feels, protects the faculty of the mind. Thus the bhikkhu dress wounds.

5. Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu make smoke? Here the bhikkhu, explains the Teaching to others as he has learned and experienced, Thus the bhikkhu makes smoke. 6. Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu know the ford: The bhikkhu approaches learned bearers of the Teaching and Discipline, who know the headings, from time to time, to question and cross question, to know the meanings. So that those venerable ones would explain the hidden meanings and would dispel doubts. Thus the bhikkhu knows the ford. 7. Bhikkhus, how does the bhikkhu experience joy? In the Teaching and Discipline declared by the Thus Gone One the bhikkhu experiences meanings, in the Teaching and the resulting joy from it. Thus the bhikkhu experiences joy.

8. How does the bhikkhu know the paths. Here the bhikkhu knows the noble eightfold path as it really is. Thus the bhikkhu knows the path.
9. How is the bhikkhu clever in finding pastures? Here the bhikkhu knows, as it really is, the four establishments of mindfulness. Thus the bhikkhu is clever in finding pastures. 10. How does the bhikkhu make no mistake of not
leaving a reminder? Here the bhikkhu accepts robes, morsel food, dwellings and requisites when ill, offered by householders out of faith, knowing the amount to accept. Thus the bhikkhu makes no mistake of not leaving a remainder.

11. How does the bhikkhu not pay attention to the forefathers of the Community. Here the bhikkhu attends with bodily actions of loving kindness, verbal actions of loving kindness, and mental actions of loving kindness, towards the leaders of the Community. Those with a long standing and needing special attention. Thus the bhikkhu attends to the forefathers of the Community.

It is possible that the bhikkhu endowed with these eleven characteristics should come to growth and development in this Teaching and Discipline.
(Majjima Nikaya, Mahāgopālaka sutta Vol.i,4,3)As well as most famous venerable chulla panthaka’s story also mentioned that the Buddha only teaches the way to get rid of Samsara. Because in that story mentioned chulla panthaka there also learn in self motivation. Not only that story Kisa gothami, Patachara , Khema, stories also mentioned Buddha saw the only way of getting rid of that Samsara for those people.

According to above mentioned statement illustrate self motivation is most important thing to understand the Buddhist teaching. In Dhammapada which is Most famous as Handbook of the Buddhist also mentioned some kind of motivation facts in their verses. The glory of him who is energetic, mindful, pure in deed, considerate, self-controlled, right-living, and heedful steadily increases. (Dhammapada 24) By sustaining effort, earnestness, discipline, and self-control let the wise man make for himself an island, which no flood overwhelms. (Dhammapada 25) Indulge not in heedlessness; have no intimacy with sensuous delights. Verily, the earnest, meditative person obtains abundant bliss. (Dhammapada 27) Heedful amongst the heedless, wide awake amongst the slumbering, the wise man advances as do a swift horse, leaving a weak guard behind. (Dhammapada 29) Even as rain does not penetrate a well-thatched house, so does lust not penetrate a well-developed mind. (Dhammapada 14)

Though little he recites the Sacred Texts, but acts in accordance with the teaching, forsaking lust, hatred and ignorance, truly knowing, with mind well freed, clinging to naught here and hereafter, he shares the fruits of the Holy Life. (Dhammapada 20)

Make haste in doing good; check your mind from evil; for the mind of him who is slow in doing meritorious actions delights in evil. (Dhammapada 116) Should a person commit evil, he should not do it again and again; he should not find pleasure therein: painful is the accumulation of evil. (Dhammapada 117) Should a person perform a meritorious action, he should do it again and again; he should find pleasure therein: blissful is the accumulation of merit. (Dhammapada 118) The flickering, fickle mind, difficult to guard, difficult to control – the wise person straightens it as a fletcher straightens an arrow. (Dhammapada 33)

As a conclusion Buddhist teaching for motivation basically mean self motivation. It is helpful to the people to fulfil their aims and goals certain. “atthi attano nto- kohi nto parosiy” hoping someone’s help is useless. Because of that we can get only help from ourself. If someone can think like that he absolutely attains his goals without any barriers.

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Modern motivation theory and Buddhist teaching for Motivation. (2016, Apr 17). Retrieved from

Modern motivation theory and Buddhist teaching for Motivation
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