Motivation Theories and Employee Performance Essays

Motivation Theories and Employee Performance Essays

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In an organization, it is very important to learn how to motivate employees. Motivation refers to the set of forces that influence people to choose various behaviors among several alternatives available to them. The performance of an employee is definitely affected by motivation, his capabilities, and the work environment (Shanks, 2007). The management of an organization is constantly under the challenge of motivating the workforce for two purposes. The first reason is to motivate employees into actively and willingly participating in the achievement of organizational goals. Second is to motivate employees into to attaining personal goals (Shanks, 2007). This paper aims at exploring the behavior based, need based, and job based theories of motivation that can aid management in motivating their employees.
Behavior Based Motivation Theories
Behavior based motivation is built on the theory that employee behavior is directly linked to the consequences of their actions. As noted by Satterlee, the behavioral based methods of motivation “involve responding to subordinate behavior with positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, punishment, or extinction” (2009, p. 170). It has been proven through experiments that positive and negative reinforcement create positive behavior. Punishment and extinction have been shown to stop behaviors but also have been shown to have a negative effect on the employee’s morale.
Equity Theory
The Equity Theory is based on the idea that the reward potential of employees is compared with the effort they must put in work. Equity is attained when the rewards offered are equal to the effort that is put in work. In this theory, employees are not just concerned about their rewards but those of others as we...


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Manion, J. (2005). From management to leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Nicholson, N. (2003). How to motivate your problem people. Harvard Business Review, 81(1), 57-65. Retrieved February 21, 2012 from http://rx9vh3hy4r.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=How+to+motivate+your+problem+people&rft.jtitle=Harvard+business+review&rft.au=Nicholson%2C+Nigel&rft.date=2003-01-01&rft.issn=0017-8012&rft.volume=81&rft.issue=1&rft.spage=56&rft_id=info:pmid/12545923&rft.externalDocID=12545923
Satterlee, A. (2009). Organizational management and leadership: a Christian perspective. Roanoke, VA: Synergistics.
Shanks, N.H. (2007). Management and motivation. New York: Jones and Barlett.

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