Theories on motivation – presentation and analysis
In order to understand the potential use of motivational theories in management accounting it would be necessary to refer to the context of ‘motive’, as the basis for the development of motivation, a process causing the willingness of individuals to be engaged or not in a particular activity or to put all their efforts in the achievement of a specific target. In accordance with Singla motive is ‘the latent power in a person which impels him to do a work’.
Different approaches have been developed in literature regarding the explanation of motivation, as a factor influencing the performance of employees in businesses of different characteristics. In accordance with the reinforcement theory, each human is likely to decide considering the consequences of his behaviour. Knowing the results (outcomes) of his behaviour in advance, an individual can plan his behaviour accordingly so that the negative consequences are avoided and, if possible, the expected benefits are achieved. (Gitman et al. 2008). In the context of business environment, the reinforcement theory could have the following explanation: employees are promised specific rewards if they reach a particular level of performance; from a similar point of view, employees may be given a warning that if they fail to reach a minimum level of performance, they will be punished by a decrease in their payment or the deduction of certain of their common benefits – for instance, the monthly subscription to leisure activities and so on. The punishment when used as a threat for pressuring employees to reach a particular level of performance is a policy based on the reinforcement theory, as explained above. In the study of McKenna (2000) reference is made to the theory of McFarlin and Sweeney (1992) on human motivation; in accordance with the above researchers, within modern businesses the motivation of individuals is depended on the following two factors: the distributive justice and the procedural justice; the former is reflected in the payment of equal salaries of employees reaching the same level of performance within the same organization; the latter means that within each organization the measures taken for the rewarding of employees in all departments are similar (McKenna 2000). The existence of distributive just