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Motivation Theories - Essay Example

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This paper explores published articles obtained online and through related books as also from research conducted via questionnaires filled up by 10 odd, working individuals below the age of 30. This essay examines the writings of Abraham Maslow and Frederick Herzberg on their theories on motivation and their relevance to the present organizational environment.
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Motivation Theories
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Download file to see previous pages 121-123). In fact, without this fuel human beings would be inactive, leading a mundane life. According to the dictionary meaning of motivation, it is 'an internal state or condition (sometimes described as a need, desire, or want) that serves to activate or energize behavior and give it direction'. In the field of psychology, human motivation has long been studied as a way to explain an individual's behaviour. In reality, motivation is inferred rather than measured. The inference is made due to behavioural changes that result from external stimuli. It is also a performance variable because changes in a person's motivation are frequently of a temporary nature; with many people, what is high priority today may become singularly unimportant tomorrow.
Abraham Maslow first introduced the theory of Motivation in the year 1954 in his book Motivation and Personality which stated how people satisfied various personal needs in the context of their work. He postulated, based on his observations as a humanistic psychologist, that there is a general pattern of needs recognition and satisfaction that people follow in generally the same sequence. He also theorized that a person could not recognize or pursue the next higher need in the hierarchy until her or his currently recognized need was substantially or completely satisfied, a concept called Prepotency (Gawel, 1997). His theory influences a number of fields, including education. This wide influence is due in part to the high level of practicality of Maslow's (1954) theory. Many people find they can understand what Maslow (1954) says. They can recognize some features of their experience or behavior which is true and identifiable but which they have never put into words. Below is given the original model of Maslow's hierarchy of needs (1954).
According to Maslow et al. (1954), there seems to be a hierarchy into which human needs arrange themselves, as per the above figure. The psychological needs form the base of the model and hence require being satisfied first. These are the basic human needs to sustain life itself-food, clothing, and shelter. Until these basic needs are satisfied to the degree needed for the sufficient operation of the body, the majority of a person's activity will probably be at this level, and the others will provide little motivation. When these needs are somewhat satiated, other needs emerge. Once physiological needs become gratified, the safety, or security needs become predominant. These needs are essentially the need to be free of the fear of physical danger and deprivation of the basic physiological needs. In other words, this is a need for self-preservation. In addition to the here and now, there is a concern for the future. Once physiological and safety needs are fairly well satisfied, social or affiliation will emerge as dominant in the need structure. Since people are social beings, they have a need to belong and to be accepted by various groups. When social needs become dominant, a person will strive for meaningful relations with others. After individuals begin to satisfy their need to belong, they generally want to be more than just a member of their group. They then feel the need for esteem- both self-esteem ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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