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Motivation In The Workplace

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Motivation In the Workplace

Motivation can be properly thought of as a process whereby people take certain available resources- their time- talentand energy, and distribute them as they choose. (Maehr, Braskamp, 1986).

The objective of this paper is to explore the relationships between the individual, the external environment and the business environment and examine how they interact with each other to effect the amount of motivation an employee exhibits on the job. As with most other models we must take into account the Basic Needs Theory of Maslow (Vroom and

Deci, 1970) and after satisfying those needs we intend to mold our model after the Expectancy Theories of Vroom. The Expectancy Theory is a subjective-expected-utility model. It states that the force exerted towards a given act will be a product of the individual's belief that he or she can perform at a certain level (Kleinbeck, Quast, Thierry

Hacker, 1990). The Equity Theory concerns the worker's perception of how she is being treated. The basic idea is that an employ first considers her input (effort) and then her outcomes (rewards). The employee then compares her personal ratio of effort to reward to the ratio of a referent (Invancevich, Lorenzi, Skinner, and Crosby, 1994).

We would also like to point out that Motivation is a "continuously changing variable" as well as a vector quantity. It involves an infinite number of magnitudes and can be exerted in an infinite number of directions. This makes an accurate measurement of motivation very difficult to accomplish (Morris, 1968)a comprehensive model that measures motivation through statistical analysis.

Understanding our model is assisted by the use of circles to exemplify the various categories affecting motivation.


External environment

Business environment

The individual includes such characteristic as personality,

education, experience, work ethics, religious and ethnic

background, goals and past achievement, etc.

The external environment includes such characteristics as

family and financial needs, social contacts and political

beliefs, etc..

The business environment includes wages and benefit

packages, corporate culture, training programs, child-care

facilities, pension and retirement programs, flex-time

scheduling and family care leave time, etc(Kondo, 1991).

As these three different categories begin to interact with

each other you begin to obtain some overlapping. The more

overlapping of the three categories, the higher the degree

of motivation. When all three circles are separated you

have no motivation what-so-ever. When all three circles

overlay each other completely you would have the most

intense motivation possible. We recognize neither scenario

has much probability of occurring but recognize that some

interaction of all three circles is realistic.

Model Explanation

We intent to explore the policies and programs that

businesses can promote to assist in bringing these three

categories, closer together, thereby increasing the amount

of motivation experienced in the workplace. We will also

explore methods of measuring and predicting the amount of

motivation indicated by the overlapping

intersection(Cranny, Smith, Stone, 1992).

Our motivation model consists of three circle areas. Each

circle is perceived by an individual to represent

individual needs, external influences, and business


The area of individual needs and external influences always

overlap because a person is living in a society and his or

her desire is strongly related to external factors such as,

family, status, religion, and so on. The relationship is a

fundamental condition for the individual's motivation to


The overlapping area of individual needs and external

influences indicates the individual motivation to perform

in the society. Size of the area indicates a degree of the

relationship between the various factors (Figure 1, Model

1). The larger the overlapping area becomes, the larger the

degree of interaction and subsequent relationship.

Management's primary goal is to intervene in the already

existing relationship between individual needs and external

influences in order to boost an employees' motivation with

regards to its core operation.

Motivation is based on individual needs, not external



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