Maslow's theory of motivation claims that human motives develop in sequence according to five levels of needs. These needs are: psychological (hunger, thirst), safety (protection), social (be accepted, belong to a certain group), esteem (self-confidence, achievements, respect, status, recognition), and self-actualization (realizing one's potential for continued self-development) (Maslow, 1970). For employees to be productive in an organization, they need to hold positive attitudes toward the elements of organizational life. For example, one should view such factors as work, authority, taking risks in decision making, the need for control, and the need for change in a positive way. A negative attitudinal posture toward these factors will keep one's job satisfaction continually low as well as stimulate considerable resistance to many normal organizational processes and activities. Someone with the wrong attitudes shies away from high effort because the performance it yields is not perceived as worthy. It is not "real" performance from the viewpoint of the employee (Armstrong, 2003).
For employees to exert high effort, they must see that it makes a difference in their performance. Employees must sense that effort will pay off in terms of performance--that it is highly correlated with performance and that higher effort will yield better performance. The stronger the perceived correlation, the stronger the motivation. Employee-job performance is a function of ability, job design, and motivation. If the employee has adequate ability and the job is designed well, then performance is solely dependent on the level of motivation. Assuming ability and job design are in order, high motivation becomes a necessary and sufficient condition for high performance. If employees know their ability is high and the design of their job is "top notch," then high performance is perceived as indeed possible and perceived to depend on their efforts. On the other hand, low ability and faulty job design limit the effect of effort on performance. They reduce the perceived correlation between effort and performance and, thus, the slope of the effort-reward function. When the slope of the reward curve decreases, motivation decreases (Simon, 1997).
One of the most popular motivation theories is expectancy theory. Following expectancy theory of motivation, people act only when they have reasonable expectation that their actions will lead to desired goals (Simon, 1997). They will perform better if they believe that money will follow effective performance, so if money has a positive value for an individual, higher performance will follow. This theory places emphasis on performance noting that there must be a clearly recognized goal and relationship between performance and result. In general, this theory explains that motivation is a function of the expectancy of attaining a certain outcome in performing a certain act multiplied by the value of the outcome for the performer (Armstrong, 2003). Outcomes that are highly valued and having higher expectations of being realized will direct a person to make a greater effort in his task. Outcomes with high expectations which are less highly valued (or even disliked) will reduce effort expended. Other studies on