Motivational Theories

explanatory Essay
1748 words
1748 words

Motivation is the force that makes us do things, whether accomplishing personal goals or completing tasks at work. Most people are motivated as a result of their individual needs being satisfied, which gives them the inspiration to perform specific behaviors for which they receive rewards (Kinicki & Williams, 2011). These needs vary from person to person, as everybody has specific needs to be satisfied. When we consider factors that determine the motivation of employees, many of us think of a high salary. This answer is correct for the reason that some employees will be motivated by money, but mostly wrong for the reason that it does not satisfy other needs to a lasting degree (Bizhelp24, 2010). This supports the idea that human motivation is a personal characteristic and not a one-size-fits-all option. Managers will achieve a better rate of motivation in their employees by identifying the key factors that determine the rate of motivation. These factors are linked directly to the employees’ individual needs, behavior, and attitudes.

There are numerous motivational theories that attempt to explain how motivation works, but the challenge is applying these theories to actual situations or individuals. Many experts believe utilizing a combination of several motivational theories is more effective than selecting a single theory and applying it all-inclusively. To further explore the practical application of motivational theories, we will attempt to apply different theories to an organization that includes several types of employees, including salespeople, production workers, and administrative staff.


Traditionally, sales commissions have been the primary method of motivating salespeople. However, compensation based so...

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Cichelli, D. J. (2010). Are sales people coin-operated? Retrieved May 31, 2011, from

Compensation Today (2009, July 8). Different types of motivation theories [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Kinicki, A., & Williams, B. K. (2011). Management: A practical introduction (5th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Irwin.

Kjeralf, A. (2007, January 8). Motivation for production workers [Web log post]. Retrieved from

Struyk, R. J. (n.d.). Motivating staff for higher productivity and increased retention. Retrieved May 31, 2011, from

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that motivation is the force that makes us do things, whether accomplishing personal goals or completing tasks at work.
  • Explains that there are numerous motivational theories that attempt to explain how motivation works, but the challenge is applying them to actual situations or individuals.
  • Explains that compensation based solely on commissions does not address other motivational factors that will motivate sales staff to peak performance.
  • Explains how a successful motivational program recognizes these factors and combines awards, recognition, and peer pressure. this is consistent with the erg theory developed by clayton alderfer.
  • Explains victor vroom's expectancy theory, which suggests people are motivated by two things: how much they want something, and how likely they think they are to get it.
  • Explains that motivational theories can be divided into two groups: external rewards and enforcements and internal factors. maslow's hierarchy of needs theory illustrates employee needs beyond a paycheck.
  • Explains that human resource management experts believe adequate base pay is essential to retaining employees and basic staff motivation, but it doesn't motivate in the long term.
  • Analyzes how solange de santis' story refutes the stereotypical view of factory workers. they were dedicated, hard-working, highly skilled, and creative, but were locked in a tight battle between management and unions.
  • Explains how american airlines discovered what can happen when they allowed production workers some creativity. they rigged up old machine parts and built "thumping ralph", a drill-bit sharpener.
  • Explains that the brazilian company semco has a large proportion of blue collar workers. they give their workers an unusually large degree of freedom and responsibility, including letting them plan production, set their own work hours, and choose the sites and designs for the factories.
  • Explains that employee motivation is not an absolute science and no single motivational theory will work for all employees.
  • Cites bizhelp24's article, "the art of motivating salespeople." the article is available at
  • Describes compensation today's different types of motivation theories, citing kinicki, williams, and kjeralf.
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