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Maslow’s hierarchy theory of motivation

Describe about the Mobilizing Organizational Alignment through Strategic Human Resource Development?

Motivation is needed in every organization in which employees work together to accomplish the objectives of an organization. Below mentioned are some of the motivational theories which are very much implemented by all the reputed organizations. The four mentioned theories work with different factors to improve the effectiveness of the companies and enhance the performance of the employees so that they grow professionally along with the growth of the company. Many organizations can improve the usage of these theories by their understanding and also the understanding the environment of the organization. Starting from fulfilling the basic needs to the needs for achievement every individual or an organization can use these models for better results.

Abraham Maslow in his paper introduced Maslow's hierarchy theory of desires; in this theory of psychology anticipated "A Theory of soul inspiration" in Psychological review, Maslow consequently unmitigated the initiative to comprise his annotations of humans' instinctive curiosity (Whiteley, 2002). His theories are comparable to several supplementary theories of psychology relating to human development, a few of which concentrates on elaborating the stages of escalation in humans. The terms "safety", "belongingness", "physiological", and "esteem", "love", "self-transcendence" and  "self-actualization" to explain the prototype that human motivations normally shift from side to side (Amaratunga and Baldry, 2002).

Maslow premeditated, what he used to call commendable people such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Jane Addams, Albert Einstein, and Frederick Douglass relatively than neurotic people or mentality sickness, while inscription "the lessons of crippled, undersized, undeveloped, and harmful specimens can give way only a cripple psychology." Maslow calculated the healthiest 1% of the college scholar people”.

Maslow's theory was entirely articulated in his 1954 volume of Motivation and Personality. The chain of command remains a very famous structure in sociology study, organization preparation (Furnham, Eracleous and Chamorro‐Premuzic, 2009).

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is frequently portrayed in a form of a pyramid where the largest, mainly essential levels of needs at the down and the requirements for self-actualization at the peak (Hatzistavrou, 2006). At the same time as, the pyramid has turn out to be the de facto mode to characterize the hierarchy; Maslow in no way used a pyramid to explain these levels in his writings upon the subject matter (Kaiser et al., 2010).

The main essential and crucial four levels of the pyramid enclose what Maslow used to call "d-needs" or "deficiency needs": esteem friendship and love, security. If these "deficiency needs" are not accomplished – with the exclusion of the main fundamental requirements – here may not be a corporal suggestion, but the human beings will feel nervous and stressed (Lee, 2007). Maslow's theory signifies that the main basic stage of needs have to be met earlier than the human being will stoutly desire, the higher level needs (Mcreynolds, 2012). Maslow also elaborated the term "metamotivation" to explain the inspiration of people who go further than the scale of the essential needs and go all-out for regular betterment (Pereira, de Campos and Camarini, 2012).

The human psyche and intellect are compound and have similar processes operating on the same time (Wickramasinghe, 2010), thus a lot of unusual motivations from a variety of levels of Maslow's hierarchy may happen on the same time (Sevincer, Kluge and Oettingen, 2013). Maslow struts evidently about these levels and their contentment in expressions such as "general," "relative," and "primarily." In its place of stating that the personage focuses on a positive need at any specified time (Werbel and Balkin, 2010), Maslow affirmed that a definite need "dominates" the human mortal (Stone and Lukaszewski, 2009). Thus Maslow recognized the probability that the dissimilar levels of motivation might take place at any occasion in the human brains, but he focused on recognizing the basic kinds of motivation and categorize in which they be supposed to be met (Sambrook, 2011).

Vroom’s theory

Victor H. Vroom defines motivation as a procedure leading choices in the middle of substitute forms of intentional activities, a procedure controlled by the human being. The human beings make choices on the basis of estimation of how fine the anticipated results of specified activities are going to equal up with or ultimately guide to the preferred results. Motivation is a invention of the individual’s expectation that a assured attempt will guide to the planned presentation, the instrumentality of this presentation to achieve a firm consequence, and the predictability of this effect for the person, recognized as valence (Sevincer, Kluge and Oettingen, 2013).

Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory is also known as the dual factor theory; it states that there are some definite factors in the place of work that leads to work satisfaction, whilst a split set of factors may be the reason of dissatisfaction (Poell, 2012). It was improved by psychologist Frederick Herzberg, he theorizes that work satisfaction and job disappointment act separately of each other. Hertzberg called these factors in job satisfaction as motivators and factors that prevent dissatisfaction as hygiene. The factors which lead to the job satisfaction are:

Work itself

The factors that prevent dissatisfaction are.

Working conditions
Interpersonal relations
Company policy

Motivators are things which allow psychological development and growth in the job. It is very much related to self-actualization.  Hygiene, when applied in an effective way can prevent dissatisfaction in a best possible way and if applied in a poor way then it can result in to negative feelings in the job.

David McClelland focuses on three factors:

  • need for achievement (n-ach)
  • need for affiliation (n-affil)
  • need for power (n-pow)

People with n-ach respond well to the situations where the individuals can take their responsibility for searching solutions to the problems (Noelliste, 2013). This gives them personal satisfaction for the achievements. They dislike situations where failure or success is the consequence of chance (Mcreynolds, 2012). They set high goals for them which need much effort and abilities to achieve. They always want feedback for their performance (Otto and Dalbert, 2010).

People with n-affil want affiliation have the desire to stay in the lime light and liked by others. They want to be in the part of some groups, relationships. They always give importance to relationships than accomplishments and friendship rather than power (Lengnick-Hall et al., 2009). 

People with n-pow have very effective in their position and demonstrate interest for influence people (Liang, Xie and Cui, 2010). It does not imply tyrannical behavior but a need to have an impact and be influential and effective in attaining the organizational goals (McDonnell, 2012).

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s theory of motivation shows a pyramid in which there are set of five of needs which include physical needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and finally the top of the pyramid has self-actualization needs. Each of these levels has different needs which an individual attains. The first need starts with shelter, food, warmth and drink and the last need ends with self-actualization which happens when an individual has personal fulfillment and growth.  Maslow’s theory has also been broadly criticized because the theorist believed that when only one set of need is satisfied than only the next need is to be satisfied and it has however not contributed to the motivation understanding in the workplace (Stone and Lukaszewski, 2009)

Herzberg’s theory

For example, Virgin Media technicians follow the Maslow’s Theory of needs to motivate their employees. They have included “Your story framework” for career progression, which includes frequent meetings to review progression, discuss the performance, and develop the plans that offer a ladder to the employee’s career to enable progress in their professional life which eventually adds to the company’s growth. This step of VM helps the employees ensuring consistency and fairness thereby satisfying every need of the pyramid. Virgin Media believes in creating a work environment where their employees are motivated to work and give best possible results. The company also fulfills its corporate social responsibility ensuring access to the opportunities for employees so that they can meet their self-actualization needs.

Victor Vroom’s Expectancy theory explains that why an individual choose to act in a particular behavior as different from others. This is a cognitive procedure which will evaluate the motivational force to the different options of behavior which is based on individual perception to the probability of attaining his or her preferred outcome. The following equation can be summarized:

            MF= Expectancy x Instrumentality x ∑ (Valence(s))

Google follows Vroom’s Theory by demonstrating a day for their employees, for example “The Google Life”. For Google, employee engagement is very vital. They use three principles to offer innovative work culture which motivate3s its employees with multiple benefits and perks. Vroom’s theory here at Google explains management and motivation in their organization. It believes that expectancy can be defined as the belief that higher efforts will result to better performance. Instrumentality is defined as the notion that an individual if performs well will receive a valued outcome and lastly valence refers to the desirability of the outcome. At Google, some benefits covers lunch or dinner for free, onsite physician and nurses, paid maternity leave, travel insurance, discounted legal aid, etc. Also Google motivates their employees by giving them an opportunity to “not work” for 8 hours of their week of work. They named this program as “innovation time off” where the employees are encouraged to follow their passion and also be done with their lateral projects, while they come up with innovative or creative ideas which will help the company. This theory helps the employees of Google to stay engaged in their work and be loyal to its employer.

TESCO, a British MNC dealing with general merchandise and grocery is the second largest in the world in revenues and the third largest retailer in the world (profits). We all know profits and revenues come to a company because of their goodwill but there is one big factor to add to this notion and that is employees. TESCO admits that it is successful because they have the best employees and they keep their employees motivated so that they don’t deviate from their rank in the market. TESCO knows that keeping the employees happy and motivated will bring more profits to them. Hertzberg defined a model which states that certain factors are motivators which satisfies the employees on the contrary certain other factors like hygiene creates dissatisfactions if they are missing or absent in a company.  If hygiene factors are improve than dissatisfaction could be prevented but the improvements will not give motivation alone.  Frederick Hertzberg showed that to motivate an employee truly a company needs to create a setting that makes the employees feel satisfied in the workplace.

McClelland’s Theory

By paying attention to enabling satisfiers and hygiene factors, TESCO aspires to motivate its employees. It empowers the employees by providing timely and appropriate communication, involving staff in the decision making process and delegating responsibility. It organizes forums each year where staffs will be a part of the discussion and arguments on pay rise. By this it shows the recognition of work the people of TESCO does and also rewards them. The employees of TESCO can also have an impact on what food will go into the restaurant menu. Thus the employees get motivated because they are able to make choices which will augment and boost up their use in the restaurant. TESCO also provides chances to its managers and the staff to take a greater interest and share in their particular employment. As all employees is an individual with their own aspirations and needs, personal development and the procedure of reviews let recognition of their achievements and abilities with probable development. The following diagram shows the two factors that and the sub-factors under each factor that constitutes the Two-Factor Theory of Motivation.

David McClelland theory of motivation proposes three types of needs. They are:

  • Need for achievement
  • Need for affiliation
  • Need for power

These three needs help in motivating the employees of an organization. Firstly, employees with need for achievement have the strong urge to be successful. These are employees who have high satisfaction to meet deadlines and targets, planning his career move. Secondly, employees with need for affiliation have the want to be accepted and liked by others. They prefer to interact with other staffs and be surrounded with friends. Finally, employees with high need for power controls and have an influence on others. It may be destructive and can hamper the environment of the company but if taken out in a proper way it will have positive impact.

Multinational company Apple is famous for its product and services. They motivate their employees through motivational talk which leads them to achieve in their profession. They offer their employees with their products and services which make them feel wanted and accepted in the environment. This suffices the need for achievement. All the benefits such as discounts, insurance holidays, and gifts make the employees of Apple feel valued. This suffices their need for affiliation. Apart from the benefits and packages the employees receive they are also entitled to competitive pay. Some employees are also given the opportunity to train and motivate other staffs so as to increase the work quality of Apple. This suffices the need for power where one employee is influenced by the others. 

The above explained theories of motivation have helped these organizations with various positive results. Motivation leads to increase in employee satisfaction which in turn leads to higher productivity and maximization of profits. Starting from Virgin Media to Apple, implementation of the respective above mentioned theories have increased the satisfaction of their employees.  In a recent survey on employee satisfaction the employees of these companies laid down their views as to why they don’t want to leave their respective companies. Employees of Virgin Media are motivated to stay in their company because they think that their needs are been taken care of by the company management. They say that the company offers some very good benefits which motivate them to work here. They have the permission to think and do things differently. The salary they get is very lucrative and they are surrounded with great work culture. The employees of Google are not far in praising their employer. Research has confirmed that Google knows that they greater the employee happiness results to high productivity. Vroom’s theory of motivation followed by Google, has increased to employee instrumentality and valence. The employees at Google now know that if they perform they will be valued and rewarded which acts a great motivational factor. Google has invested more in their employees and the results are very good. Motivation has led to a driving force in the employees which make them happy and deliver work effectively. TESCO motivates their employees by way of Hertzberg Theory of motivation. They are trained in their skills, knowledge and job satisfaction so that they work well as a result the customers is satisfied. They look into the motivators and prevent dissatisfaction in hygiene. Timely reward and recognition are two factors which prevents their employees from dissatisfaction. Lastly Apple is a successful company for its satisfied employees. The company practices radical management and their motto is to delight the customers. Employees of Apple get satisfied with the motivational speeches given by Steve Jobs; they say that their senior employees are very motivating. They make them feel wanted in the office environment. They are also happy with the competitive pay which makes them feel the need for affiliation.

Maslow’s Theory for motivation has given many companies a wide range of satisfied employees which has increased the productivity of the company. Virgin Media should also look into the other needs in the pyramid apart from physical need and self-actualization need so that there is a balance between all the levels in the pyramid.

An assessment of the techniques used to implement each of these theories to a real-life organization of your choice

Employees of Google never complain about their employer. They are satisfied with the motivational theory carried out by the company. Apart from Vroom’s motivation theory, Google should also take the help of other motivational theories which will help them and also their employees. Maslow’s theory of motivation can be of help where the company can focus on the self actualization need of the employees.

Apart from focusing on enhancing on skills and knowledge of the employees, TESCO should also give high focus on the hygiene factors. They should make changes in their company policy which will suit the employees and give them job satisfaction.

Apple is a fun place to work. Only speeches cannot always motivate employees so the company should think on increasing the pay for the lower level people or the new joinees so that they get motivated and deliver better results.


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