Learning Objectives

11-1. Illustrate the motivation process, and explain the performance formula and how to use it.

Employees go through a five-step process to meet their needs beginning with a need that motivates behavior that leads to a consequence and satisfaction or dissatisfaction on meeting the need, and there is feedback throughout the process. Note that this is a cyclical process, because needs recur. The performance formula proposes that performance is based on ability, motivation, and resources. For maximum performance, all three factors must be high. When performance is not optimum, managers need to determine which factor of the performance formula is weak and take appropriate action to correct the problem.

11-2. Compare the four content motivation theories.

The similarity among the four content motivation theories is their focus on identifying and understanding employees’ needs. The theories identify similar needs but differ in the way they classify the needs. Hierarchy of needs theory classifies needs by five levels as physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. ERG theory proposes existence, relatedness, and growth needs. Two-factor theory proposes that employees are engaged by motivators (higher-level needs) rather than by maintenance factors (lower-level needs). Acquired needs theory includes achievement, power, and affiliation needs; it includes no lower-level needs.

11-3. Compare the three process motivation theories. .

The similarity among the three process motivation theories is their focus on understanding how employees choose behaviors to fulfill their needs. However, they are very different in how they perceive employee motivation. Equity theory proposes that employees are motivated when their perceived inputs equal outputs. Goal-setting theory proposes that achievable but difficult goals motivate employees. Expectancy theory proposes that employees are motivated when they believe they can accomplish the task and the rewards for doing so are worth the effort.

11-4. Explain the four types and two schedules of reinforcement.

Positive reinforcement is rewarding desirable behavior. Avoidance reinforcement (also called negative reinforcement) is the use of the threat of a negative consequence to prevent undesirable behavior; the negative consequence is not used as long as the behavior is desirable. Punishment is the actual use of a negative consequence to decrease undesirable behavior. Extinction is the withholding of reinforcement in order to reduce or eliminate (extinguish) a behavior. The two schedules of reinforcement include continuous, in which every behavior is reinforced; and intermittent in which reinforcement is given based on the passage of time (interval) or output (ratio).

11-5. Contrast content, process, and reinforcement theories.

Content motivation theories focus on identifying and understanding employees’ needs. Process motivation theories go a step further to understand how employees choose behavior to fulfill their needs. Reinforcement theory is not concerned about employees’ needs; it focuses on getting employees to do what managers want them to do through the consequences provided for their behavior. The use of rewards is the best means of motivating employees.

11-6. Identify some of the rewards and recognitions organizations use to motivate employees.

To motivate employees, organizations use good compensation packages with incentives, flexible work schedules, and pay for performance (bonuses, profit sharing, and stock options). Giving praise is also a quick and no-cost motivator.