This paper discussed and analyzed several theories of motivation that are available to the manager. The lessons learned from the discussion and the analyses were then synthesized to determine the most effective method of motivation.
Analyzing the methods of motivating employees requires discussion on the theoretical foundations of employee motivation. Scientific research concerning management and motivation is a relatively new phenomenon in spite of the fact that management of people is as old as history. In the following discussion, the theoretical foundations of modern day motivational methods will be provided and the knowledge of these can provide us a measure of evaluating the effectiveness of motivational techniques.
There have been several attempts to provide a theory that would explain and capture the essence of how employees can be made to perform. In Deci et al (2005), it is stated that the first significant theory is the traditional Theory X attributed to Sigmund Freud. This thought considered people as lazy, irresponsible individuals who will work only if coerced, intimidated, punished or promised with a reward. In management, this is more termed as ‘carrot and stick’ style where managers would need to constantly police workers to ‘motivate’ them to work. (p. 13)
Mc-Gregor formulated the Theory Y and has principles that are in sharp contrast to the Theory X. In this line of thinking, the individuals are considered to be self disciplined and hungry for self and professional development. Motivation does not come by financial compensation alone but also in the feelings of competence when a work is successfully accomplished. The manager’s job is to provide measures that can fulfil and address this innate desire for self-development.
The most celebrated theory regarding motivation today is that of Abraham Maslow with his work entitled “A Theory of Human Motivation”. In
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