is a state of being in which one is energized and is directing
and sustaining their behaviour to a certain task. Motivation will
affect whether someone chooses certain behaviour, how much effort
they will put into that behaviour and how long they will keep
on doing that certain behaviour. Motivation is one of three factors
that lead to performance (the other two being ability and situation),
therefore it is very important in considering employee performance
and work motivation. There are certain
theories of that can help to explain motivation.
1) Equity Theory:
One way of looking at motivation
is through an equity theory. Equity theory states that people
look at their job situation in ratios of input and output. Input
is what people think they contribute to an organization. Outputs
are what they think that the organization gives them in return.
The ratio of ones input to ones output is measured by the worker.
They then compare their ratio to another worker of the same position
and knowledge as them. If the ratios are equal (they put in the
same amount and get the same amount as the comparable worker)
then they will not be motivated to change their behaviour. If
the ratios are not equal, then the worker becomes motivated to
bring the ratios of themselves and their co-worker closer to equal.
If two workers put in the same amount of effort and get the same
amount of pay - then the ratios are fair and equitable. If one
worker puts in a full effort and gets a particular paycheque,
whereas another worker puts in half the effort and gets paid the
same then the first worker feels underpaid. If a worker gets paid
more than other workers for the same job effort then they are
When workers feel that they are
underpaid then they will decrease their effort - in both quality
and quantity. When workers feel they are overpaid, it follows
that they should expend more effort and produce a higher quality,
but this is not empirically supported. People are not motivated
to fix overpayment inequity.
2) Reinforcement Theory:
This theory is based on the idea
that behaviour is controlled by its consequences, Something that
will reinforce a behaviour will increase the likelihood of that
behaviour, and punishment are consequences that make behaviour
less likely. Ratio reinforcement is when a person is rewarded
for a certain amount of work (i.e., they write 10 reports, they
get X amount of dollars). Interval reinforcement is when someone
is paid the same amount on a certain schedule (i.e., BI-weekly)
regardless of how much work they actually did. It has been moderately
supported that ratio reinforcement evokes more superior performance
than interval reinforcement.
3) VIE Expectancy Theory:
This theory states that motivation
comes from a relationship between valence (the value or expected
satisfaction of ones outcomes), instrumentality (the expectation
that performance will result in a reward) and expectancy ( whether
you feel that giving good effort will lead to good performance
evaluation). Outcomes are any event that might result from a workers
behaviour - praise, promotion, raise, co-worker ridicule. This
theory provides a basis for why people expend effort. An organization
can increase links between effort and performance evaluation and
performance and outcomes, and can also provide more valued outcomes.
This may lead to an increase in motivation.
As a manager one can increase expectancy
by making sure that employees are able to do their jobs - they
have the appropriate training, supplies, abilities and technology.
Valence can be increased by managers offering appropriate rewards
that their employees value and instrumentality can be increased
by managers ensuring that the link between job performance and
reward is clear and explicit.
4) Goal Setting Theory
Motivation energizes, directs and
sustains behaviours - and goals can influence these three things.
Behaviour is guided by intention, and goals clarify what needs
to be done - they direct the effort and the energy. Goals keep
a behaviour happening when combined with feedback. Performance
will be best when:
* Goals are specific
* Goals are challenging
* Workers have the necessary ability
* Feedback is provided
* Rewards are clearly understood and provided
* Management supports goal attainment (i.e., provides necessary
time and resources)
* Goals are internalized (become personal to the employee) and
accepted by employees.
There is strong empirical support
for this theory. Performance under goal-setting conditions is
almost always superior to settings where no goals are set. This
is very applicable in job atmospheres as employers can set challenging
goals for every job and person.