5 Motivation Theories from Famous Psychologist

The forms of motivation are very diverse, not only in words. Reason can also be in the form of a strong desire and encouragement from within oneself. Someone with motivation will automatically set targets and hope to quickly finish what they started.

This motivation has several theories that have been created by several experts. It was recorded that there were more than ten theories we succeeded in getting, and almost all of the motivational theories made had the same subject, namely, the relationship between needs and motivation.

These motivational theories continue to grow and become more and more from year to year. Many of these motivational theories are caused by the times, thus making motivational theories continue to adapt to the times as well.

Motivation Theory Overview

Motivation is a powerful force that drives individuals to work with energy, enthusiasm, and focus towards achieving their desired goals.

This inner drive shapes the way a person acts and influences their level of commitment and dedication, even in the face of challenges. In essence, motivation is the driving force behind human actions.

There are numerous factors that contribute to an individual’s motivation, and it is critical for organizations to ensure that all team members are motivated and aligned with the company’s goals.

Psychologists have studied human behavior and developed various motivational theories to provide a deeper understanding of what motivates people.

Motivation theory is a tool used to examine and understand an individual’s motivation and how it affects their behavior, both personally and professionally.

This concept is crucial to every sphere of society, but particularly in business and management. A motivated employee is more productive and contributes to the overall profitability of the company, making motivation a key factor in business success.

What are the Types of Motivation?

According to our sources, motivation is divided into two types based on the head. Namely, inspiration comes from intrinsic, and the second motivation comes from extrinsic. In the following, we will describe the meaning of these two types of encouragement, along with examples.

1. Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchical Needs 

Abraham Maslow proposed that a person’s motivation is fueled by the fulfillment of their needs. He argued that individuals work not only for security or financial gain, but to utilize and develop their skills and make a contribution.

To illustrate this, Maslow created a pyramid showcasing how motivations drive behavior, emphasizing that before one can pursue higher-level needs, the lower-level needs must first be met.

The base of the pyramid represents fundamental necessities and without their satisfaction, individuals are unable to strive for higher-level needs.

The hierarchy of needs is as follows:

  1. Physiological: Essential survival needs such as air, food, water, sleep, shelter, clothing, and sex.
  2. Safety: Protection from harm, danger, and deprivation, including security in health, employment, and property.
  3. Social: The need for relationships, affiliation, and friendship.
  4. Self-esteem: The need for respect and recognition.
  5. Self-actualization: The chance for personal growth, learning, and fulfilling work experiences, including creativity and challenges. This is the highest level of human aspiration.

2. Hertzberg’s two-factor Theory 

Hertzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, also known as the Hygiene Theory or Motivation-Hygiene Theory, is a psychological theory of motivation that explains the factors affecting job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction.

It states that an individual’s motivation is influenced by two types of factors: hygiene factors and motivators.

Hygiene factors are the basic needs that must be met in order for an individual to be satisfied at work, but they do not necessarily lead to motivation. Examples include salary, working conditions, company policies, and job security.

Motivators are factors that drive individuals to perform at a higher level and are related to the actual job itself. Examples include recognition, achievement, growth opportunities, and meaningful work.

The theory suggests that addressing only the hygiene factors will only lead to job satisfaction and not necessarily job motivation. To truly motivate an individual, the motivators must be present and the hygiene factors must be adequately addressed.

Herzberg’s two-factor principles
Influenced by Hygiene Factors (Dis-satisfiers) Improving motivator factors increases job satisfaction Influenced by motivator factors (Satisfiers) 
  • Working condition
  • Coworker relations
  • Policies & rules
  • Supervisor quality
Improving the hygiene factors decreases job dissatisfaction
  • Achievements
  • Recognition
  • Responsibility
  • Work itself
  • Personal growth

3. McClelland’s Theory of Needs 

McClelland’s Theory of Needs, also known as the Three Needs Theory, suggests that a person’s behavior and motivation are influenced by three needs: achievement, affiliation, and power.

According to the theory, people have different levels of need for achievement, affiliation, and power and these needs influence their behavior and their success in life.

  • Achievement need refers to a person’s desire to accomplish goals, attain excellence and demonstrate their ability.
  • Affiliation need refers to a person’s desire for social interaction and forming relationships.
  • Power need refers to a person’s desire for control, influence and leadership over others.

The theory suggests that individuals who have a high need for achievement are likely to be goal-oriented, work well under pressure, and strive for excellence.

Those with a high need for affiliation seek social interactions and working with others to achieve their goals, while those with a high need for power are likely to be in leadership roles, seeking control and influence over others.

4. Vroom’s Theory of Expectancy 

Vroom’s expectancy theory states that a person’s motivation is influenced by their expectations about the future. It suggests that an individual’s motivation is determined by three factors: Expectancy, Instrumentality, and Valence.

Expectancy: The belief that increased effort will result in better performance, affected by having the necessary resources, management skills, and support.

Instrumentality: The belief that good performance will lead to a valuable outcome, influenced by understanding the relationship between performance and outcomes, trust in decision-makers, and transparency in the process.

Valence: The level of importance an individual places on the expected outcome, which may vary based on personal values and goals. For instance, an individual motivated by money may not value offers of extra time off.

5. McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y 

Theory X and Theory Y, described by McGregor in “The Human Side of Enterprise,” are two management styles: authoritarian (Theory X) and participative (Theory Y).

Theory X:

Managers who adhere to this theory believe that employees dislike work, lack motivation, require constant supervision, are unable to take responsibility, and tend to avoid work. As a result, these managers adopt a controlling, micromanaging approach to ensure work is done properly.

Theory Y:

Managers who embrace this theory believe that employees are capable of self-direction, taking pride in their work, and seeking challenges and growth. These managers use a decentralized, participative style that allows employees to take ownership and responsibility for their work.

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