Classification and types of motives, Theories of work motivation, Assessment of motivation



A need or motive directs us to act or behave in a particular way towards a certain goal or in other terms “It indicates the inner state of mind that energizes, activates or moves a person and directs his behavior towards goals.”





There are two types-


Intrinsic and Extrinsic


Extrinsic Motivation is geared toward external rewards and rein forcer’s. Some examples of external rewards are money, praise, awards, etc. Some examples of external rein forcer’s are policy and procedures, disciplinary action, speeding tickets, boundary-setting, etc.


Intrinsic Motivation is geared toward internal rewards and reinforcer’s. Some examples of internal rewards are enjoyment, achievement, a sense of competence. Some examples of internal reinforcer’s are “Shoulds”, “Musts”, & “Oughts”, a guilty conscience, and Toxic Shame.




Psychologists have divided motives into three types—Biological motives, social motives and personal motives!


The goal may be fulfilment of a want or a need. Whenever a need arises the organism is driven to fulfil that want or need. If there is no need in the organism, there will be no behaviour. For example, Horse and water. Horse does not drink water unless it has thirst or if it is not motivated. Unlike the external stimuli, the motives are limited.


The behaviour to fulfil such needs is mechanical and alike in all the organisms. Hunger is a motive which stimulates the organism to have food. We develop hunger when the food that was taken earlier is exhausted.


The need for food drives us to go in search of food and to have it. Here the hunger motive not only initiated the action, but also continued until the goal (having food) is reached. The motives are powerful forces.


They do not allow us to stop our action or behaviour until the need is satisfied. Hence, they are called the ‘dynamos’ of behaviour.



  1. Biological Motivation and Homeostasis:


Biological motives are called as physiological motives. These motives are essential for the survival of the organism. Such motives are triggered when there is imbalancement in the body. The body always tends to maintain a state of equilibrium called “Homeostasis”- in many of its internal physiological processes.


This balance is very essential for the normal life. Homeostasis helps to maintain internal physiological processes at optimal levels. The nutritional level, fluid level, temperature level, etc., are maintained at certain optimal level or homeostasis levels. When there is some variation in these levels the individual is motivated for restoring the state of equilibrium.



  1. Hunger motive:


We eat to live. The food we take is digested and nutritional substances are absorbed. The biochemical processes get their energy from the food in order to sustain life. When these substances are exhausted, some imbalancement exists.

We develop hunger motive in order to maintain homeostasis. This is indicated by contraction of stomach muscles causing some pain or discomfort called hunger pangs. Psychologists have demonstrated this phenomenon by experiments.


  1. Thirst motive:


In our daily life regularly we take fluids in the form of water and other beverages. These fluids are essential for our body tissues for normal functioning. When the water level in the body decreases we develop motive to drink water.

Usually thirst motive is indicated by dryness of mouth. Experiments by psychologists have shown that just dried mouth getting wetted is not enough. We need to drink sufficient quantity of water to satiate our thirst.


  1. Need for oxygen:


Our body needs oxygen continuously. We get it through continuous respiration. Oxygen is necessary for the purification of blood. We cannot survive without regular supply of oxygen. Lack of oxygen supply may lead to serious consequences like damage to brain or death.


  1. Motive for regulation of body temperature:


Maintenance of normal body temperature (98.6°F or 37.0°C) is necessary. Rise or fall in the body temperature causes many problems. There are some automatic mechanisms to regulate body temperature, like sweating when the temperature rises above normal or, shivering when it falls below normal.

These changes motivate us to take necessary steps. For example, opening of windows, put on fans, take cool drinks, remove clothes, etc., when the temperature increases to above normal level; and closing doors and windows, wear sweaters, take hot beverages when temperature falls down. In this way we try to regulate the body temperature.


  1. Need for sleep:


Sleep is an essential process for normal functioning of body and mind. When our body and mind are tired they need rest for rejuvenation of energy. It is observed that there is excess accumulation of a toxin called ‘Lactic acid’ when tired.

After sleep it disappears and the person becomes active. Sleep deprivation also leads to psychological problems like confusion, inability to concentrate, droopy eyelids, muscle tremors, etc.


  1. Need for avoidance of pain:


No organism can continue to bear pain. Whenever we experience pain we try to avoid it. We are motivated to escape from painful stimulus. For example, when we are under hot sun we go to shade. When something is pinching we avoid it.


  1. Drive for elimination of waste:


Our body cannot bear anything excess or anything waste. Excess water is sent out in the form of urine or sweat. So also digested food particles after absorption of nutritional substances are sent out in the form of stools. We experience discomfort until these wastes are eliminated.


  1. Sex motive:


This is a biological motive, arises in the organism as a result of secretion of sex hormones-like androgens and estrogens. Sex need is not essential for the survival of the individual, but it is essential for the survival of the species. However, fulfilment of the sex need is not like satisfying hunger or thirst.

The society and the law exercise certain codes of conduct. Human being has to adhere to these rules. Usually this need is fulfilled through marriage.


  1. Maternal drive:


This is an instinct or an inborn tendency. Every normal woman aspires to become a mother. Psychologists have Motivation, Emotion and Attitudinal Processes.  It is learnt from related studies that, this is a most powerful drive. That is why in many cases the women who cannot bear children of their own, will sublimate that motive and satisfy it through socially acceptable ways, like working in orphan schools, baby sittings or adopting other’s children.


  1.  Social Motives:


Physiological motives discussed above pertain to both animals as well as human beings, but the social motives are specific only to human beings. These are called social motives, because they are learnt in social groups as a result of interaction with the family and society. That is why their strength differs from one individual to another. Many social motives are recognised by psychologists. Some of the common social motives are:


  1. Achievement motive:


Achievement motivation refers to a desire to achieve some goal. This motive is developed in the individual who has seen some people in the society attaining high success, reaching high positions and standards.


  1. Aggressive motive:


It is a motive to react aggressively when faced frustrations. Frustration may occur when a person is obstructed from reaching a goal or when he is insulted by others. Even in a fearful and dangerous do or die situation the individual may resort to aggressive behaviour.


  1. Power motive:


People with power motive will be concerned with having an impact on others. They try to influence people by their reputation. They expect people to bow their heads and obey their instructions.


  1.  Acquisitive motive:


This motive directs the individual for the acquisition of material property. It may be money or other property. This motive arises as we come across different people who have earned a lot of money and leading a good life. It is a human tendency to acquire all those things which appear attractive to him.


  1.  Curiosity motive:


This is otherwise called stimulus and exploration motive. Curiosity is a tendency to explore and know new things. We see people indulge in a travelling to look at new places, new things and new developments taking place outside their environment.


In addition to the above there are some other social motives like need for self-esteem, social approval, self-actualization, autonomy, master motive, combat, defense, abasement, etc.


  1.  Personal Motives:


In addition to the above said physiological and social motives, there are some other motives which are allied with both of the above said motives. These are highly personalized and very much individualized motives. The most important among them are:


  1.  Force of habits:


We see different people having formed different habits like chewing tobacco, smoking, alcohol consumption, etc. There may be good habits also like regular exercising, reading newspapers, prayers, meditations, etc. Once these habits are formed, they act as drivers and compel the person to perform the act.


  1. Goals of life:


Every normal individual will have some goals in the life. They may be related to education, occupation, income, sports, acquisition of property, public service, social service, etc. Once a goal is set, he will be motivated to fulfil that goal. The goals people set, depend upon various factors like knowledge, information, guidance, support, personality, facilities available, aspirations, family and social background, etc.


  1.  Levels of aspirations:


Aspiration is aspiring to achieve or to get something or a goal. But such achievement depends upon the level of motivation the individual has. Every individual will have a goal in his life and strive to reach that goal. But the effort to attain that goal varies from one individual to another. The amount of satisfaction he gains depends upon his level of aspiration.


  1.  Attitudes and interests:


Our attitudes and interests determine our motivation. These are specific to individual. For example, a person within the family, may have positive attitude towards family planning and all others having negative attitudes.

So also, interests differ from one individual to another. Example, interest in sports, T.V, etc. Whenever we have a positive attitude, we will have motivation to attain. In negative attitude, we will be motivated to avoid. If a person is interested in music, he will be motivated to learn it. In this way, our personal motives determine our behaviour.







  1. Maslow Need Hierarchy:


    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.


    1.  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.


    1.  Social needs- Social needs include the need for love, affection, care, belongingness, and friendship.


    1. 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).


    1.  Self-actualization need- This include the urge to become what you are capable of becoming / what you have the potential to become. It includes the need for growth and self-contentment. It also includes desire for gaining more knowledge, social service, creativity and being aesthetic. The self- actualization needs are never fully satiable. As an individual grows psychologically, opportunities keep cropping up to continue growing.


  1. ERG Theory of Motivation:


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 ERG theory of motivation.


He recategorized Maslow’s hierarchy of needs into three simpler and broader classes of needs:


    1. Existence needs-

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


    1. 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.


    1. 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.


  1. Theory X and Y:


Douglas McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, first published in 1957 in his book “Human side of enterprise”. These two theories clearly distinguished traditional autocratic assumptions about the nature of people (Theory X) from more behaviourally based assumptions (Theory Y). The usefulness of the McGregor theories is his convincing arguments that most management actions flow directly from whatever theory of human behaviour managers hold.


    1.  Theory X Assumptions: The average human being is inherently lazy by nature and desires to work as little as possible. He dislikes the work and will like to avoid it, if he can.
    2. Theory Y Assumptions: Work is as natural as play, provided the work environment is favourable. Work may act as a source of satisfaction or punishment. An average man is not really against doing work.



  1. Herzberg’s two factor theory of motivation:


 Herzberg extended work of Maslow and developed a specific content theory of work motivation. Herzberg interviewed 203 engineers and accountants. They were asked to recall a time when they felt exceptionally good for their work and the feeling associated.


    1.  Hygiene factors-


Hygiene factors are those job factors which are essential for existence of motivation at workplace. These do not lead to positive satisfaction for long-term. But if these factors are absent / if these factors are non-existant at workplace, then they lead to dissatisfaction. In other words, hygiene factors are those factors which when adequate / reasonable in a job, pacify the employees and do not make them dissatisfied. These factors are extrinsic to work. Hygiene factors are also called as dissatisfiers or maintenance factors as they are required to avoid dissatisfaction. These factors describe the job environment / scenario. The hygiene factors symbolized the physiological needs which the individuals wanted and expected to be fulfilled. Hygiene factors include:


Pay, Fringe benefits, Status, Job security, Interpersonal relations, Physical working conditions.


    1. 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. Motivational factors include:


Recognition, Sense of achievement, Growth and promotional opportunities,Responsiblities, meaningfulness of the work.


The result to two category:


Job Satisfiers (Motivators)


Job dissatisfier (Hygiene Factors)


Motivators are things that create positive feelings; hygiene factors were associated with work context and environment.


  1. Vroom’s Valence Expectancy Theory :


Victor vroom presented an Expectancy theory (1964) for understanding the human behavior and motivation.

Vroom’s Motivation Formula: Force(motivation)=Valence(value) x Expectancy (probability) x Instrumentality(relationship between performance and reward)

 The Expectancy theory is based on three important propositions, these are: valence, expectancy and instrumentality.


    1. Valence: Valence refers to the emotional orientations people hold with respect to outcomes [rewards]. Management must discover what employee’s value.


    1.  Expectancy: Employees have different expectations and levels of confidence about what they are capable of doing. Management must discover what resources, training, or supervision employees need.


    1. Instrumentality: The perception of employees as to whether they will actually get what they desire even if it has been promised by a manager. Management must ensure that promises of rewards are fulfilled and that employees are aware of that.



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