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Expectancy theory

Discuss about the ERG Theory and Problem Definition.

Expectancy theory

The Vroom’s expectancy theory the actions and behavior of an individual is a result of his conscious choice among the available alternatives that aim at maximizing the pleasure of an individual along with minimizing the pain. According to HemaMalini and Washington (2014), the performance of an individual is based upon the factors such as knowledge, skills, abilities and experience. The theory uses expectancy, instrumentality and valence to understand employee motivation. Expectancy is the belief that an action shall result in improved performance. In the given case study, the articled clerks expect proper wages and working hours. However, the improper wages and working conditions lead to dissatisfaction and affects their performance. Instrumentality is the belief that the improved performance shall lead to a valued outcome. The clerks lack instrumentality as they believe that an improved performance shall not lead to desired outcomes that is proper wages and working conditions. Valance refers to the importance that an individual attaches to the outcome (Parijat and Bagga 2014). In this case, the clerks lack valence as they lack the motivation to work harder for a desired outcome.

ERG Theory of work motivation:

The ERG theory of work motivation is an extension of Herzberg motivation hygiene theory and Maslow’s need hierarchy theory. The ERG theory stands for existence, relatedness and growth. These are the three sets of needs, which are the focal point of ERG theory (Lazaroiu 2015). Existence needs are associated with all types of material and psychological desires of an individual that are both work and not work related. Existence needs include fringe benefits, perquisites and physical working conditions. In the given case, the existence needs of the clerks of the organization are not satisfied due to improper remuneration provided to them.  Relatedness needs are related to the need for satisfactory social and interpersonal relationships. The seniors do not provide the clerks with any help. Even the staff does not cooperate with Steven Tully that reflects that there is a lack of relatedness in the organization. These needs depend on the sharing mutual understanding and interactive influence and sharing of thoughts and feelings with family members, co- workers, supervisors and friends. Growth needs is related to the development of an individual’s potential and desire for personal growth and competence (Zeb et al. 2014). In the given case study, the existence needs of the articled clerks were not satisfied as they were not paid fair remuneration. On the other hand, the relatedness and growth needs of Steven Tully were not satisfied as he did not receive the cooperation of his colleagues.

ERG Theory of work motivation

Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory

Herzberg found that there are some job conditions, which primarily operate to dissatisfy employees in case of their absence but their presence does not motivate them in a strong way. Herzberg named some job conditions as maintenance or hygiene factors, which are extrinsic in nature. In the given case study, the articled clerks did not receive fair amount of compensation for their job done that led to dissatisfaction. The articled clerks worked more than 70 hour per week whereas working more than 40 hours per week seemed to be troublesome for them. The inappropriate extra working hours led to dissatisfaction. On the other hand, another set of job conditions primarily operate to build strong motivation and high level of job satisfaction.  Herzberg named such job conditions as motivational factors. According to Lazaroiu (2015), the hygiene or maintenance factors involve company policy and administration, technical supervision, interpersonal relations with the supervisors, interpersonal relations with peers, interpersonal relations with subordinates, salary, job security, personal life, working conditions and status. Whereas the motivational factors include achievement, recognition, advancement, work itself, possibility of growth and responsibility (Miner 2015). On the other hand, the credit for the extra hours worked by the articled clerks was taken by the seniors that led to further dissatisfaction. The seniors did not offer any help to the juniors that led to demotivation among the juniors. Even Steven Tully was dissatisfied from his work as the company did not maintain its hygiene factors as a result of which there was a lack of good interpersonal relationships between the employees of the organization.

Maslow’s need hierarchy theory

According to Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, the needs of men develop in a sequential as well as hierarchical order and an individual will not try to meet his higher level of needs until the basic lower level needs are fully satisfied. Under this theory, once the needs at the particular level in the hierarchy of needs are reasonably satisfied they are no longer a motivating factor. Instead, only the needs, which are not satisfied become the motivators and such needs are capable of motivating individuals. Maslow’s need hierarchy postulates human needs into five levels where each level represents a group of needs. The basic human needs are physiological needs, safety or security needs, social needs, egoistic or esteem needs and self- actualization needs (Taormina and Gao 2013).


Physiological needs are primarily the needs arising out of physical survival. These needs are the most basic and powerful and form the foundation of the hierarchy. These needs are need for food, thrust, sleep, clothing and shelter, which arise out of physiological or biological tension (Rasskazova, Ivanova, and Sheldon 2016). Until these basic needs of physiological drives are reasonably satisfied to the degree needed for the proper functioning of the body then the upper levels of needs will provide him with little motivation. In the given case study, the basic needs of the employees of Acme and Associates were not satisfied. The basic physiological needs were not met as they were not paid a fair remuneration.  Once the physiological needs are reasonably met, safety or security needs become predominant and become motivators. These include both emotional and physical dimensions as security from loss of satisfaction of physiological needs, need for protection against danger, threat, loss of job and property stability and also an orderly environment. Since the physiological needs of the articled clerks were not met, the need for security and safety did not arise. When both the physiological and safety needs are reasonably met we need for belongingness becomes uppermost (Maslow 2013). These needs include the need for meaningful relations with others, friendship, love, affection, respected place in the group, trust, admiration and social intercourse. In case of Steven Tully, his need for belongingness was not satisfied as the seniors staff in Acme and Associates did not put their clients through him. This caused dissatisfaction in Tully. When the physiological, safety and need for belongingness are reasonably satisfied, egoistic or esteem needs arise. These needs are basically concerned with a feeling of self- confidence and self- worth, achievement, status, prestige, reputation, competence and power. In this case study, none of the employees of the organization reach the stage of esteem or egoistic needs as their lower level needs are not satisfied. The self- actualization needs are the highest level of need in Maslow's model of Hierarchy. When all other needs in the hierarchy have been reasonably met, the need for self- actualization comes in the hierarchy of needs that refers to the desire for self- development to realize one’s own potentialities (Kaur 2013).

Primary Problems

Secondary Problems

  • Lower wages provided to the clerks
  • Inappropriate reward system  
  • Inappropriate job design.
  • Lack training and cooperation among the employees and absence of help from the seniors 
  • Inappropriate planning
  • Inability of the employees to satisfy the changing desires and needs of the customers
  • Lack of experience in mining industry
  • Decreased profits
  • Fall in the employee productivity
  • High rate of employee turnover
  • Increase in the number of customer complaints
  • Poor quality of services

Table 1: Main problems defined

(Source: Author’s work)

References

HemaMalini, P. H., and Anthea Washington. "Employees' motivation and valued rewards as a key to effective QWL-from the perspective of expectancy theory." TSM Business Review 2, no. 2 (2014): 45.

Kaur, Avneet. "Maslow’s need hierarchy theory: Applications and criticisms." Global Journal of Management and Business Studies 3, no. 10 (2013): 1061-1064.

Lazaroiu, George. "Employee Motivation and Job Performance." Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations 14 (2015): 97.

Lazaroiu, George. "Work Motivation and Organizational Behavior." Contemporary Readings in Law and Social Justice 7, no. 2 (2015): 66.

Maslow, Abraham Harold. A theory of human motivation. Simon and Schuster, 2013.

Miner, John B. Organizational behavior 1: Essential theories of motivation and leadership. Routledge, 2015.

Parijat, Pranav, and Shilpi Bagga. "Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory of motivation–An evaluation." International Research Journal of Business and Management (IRJBM) 7, no. 9 (2014): 1-8.

Rasskazova, Elena, Tatiana Ivanova, and Kennon Sheldon. "Comparing the effects of low-level and high-level worker need-satisfaction: A synthesis of the self-determination and Maslow need theories." Motivation and Emotion 40, no. 4 (2016): 541-555.

Taormina, Robert J., and Jennifer H. Gao. "Maslow and the motivation hierarchy: Measuring satisfaction of the needs." The American journal of psychology 126, no. 2 (2013): 155-177.

Zeb, Alam, S. Rehman, Gouhar Saeed, and H. A. Ullah. "Study of the Relationship between Reward and Recognition and employees Job Satisfaction: A Literature Review." Abasyn Journal Of Social Sciences 7, no. 2 (2014): 278-291.

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