Motivation theory

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Motivation theory
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Motivation in a theoretical way explains people's behaviour. It expresses the reasons why people act in a specific way. It can also be understood as a desire or lack of will to do a specific action again. A motive is an element that induces to act in a certain way [1].

We can distinguish a few basic theories of motivation [2]:

  • Maslow's need hierarchy theory,
  • Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory,
  • Theory X and Theory Y.

Maslow's need hierarchy theory

One of the best-known theories of motivation is Maslow's theory of motivation. It distinguishes five levels of needs, which it arranged in the form of a pyramid. It is based on physiological needs, which include food, drink, shelter, sleep, etc. The pyramid is based on the five levels of needs that it has arranged in the form of a pyramid. In order for a person to fulfill his or her next needs, it is necessary to satisfy the needs of everyone on the first level of the Maslow pyramid. Another group of needs are security needs, which means a sense of security resulting from the absence of a threat from the environment to a particular individual and his or her family. Security can also mean security funded for the future. The needs of belonging are the next step in Maslow's pyramid theory. They are understood as being loved, being part of a specific group, e.g. employees or social groups. Next level is the need for esteem, expressed in a high level of self-esteem and self-respect. In addition, it is expressed by the respect shown to us by others, such as family, friends, colleagues, etc. The last element of the hierarchy of needs is the need for self-actualization. At this stage, people use their talents and strive to develop them. Continuous development and the acquisition of new competences play an important role here [3].

Herzberg's Two-Factor Theory

The theory created by Herzberg is linked to the previous hierarchy. Unlike Maslow's theory of needs, it says that the satisfaction of lower-order needs (physiological, safety) is only a source of satisfaction, not an incentive to take action. In order to motivate employees, it is necessary to satisfy so-called higher-order needs, such as the need for self-fulfilment or belonging [4] .

Theory X and Theory Y

The theory proposed by Douglas McGregor divides employees into two categories. According to the X theory, employees are people who don't like to take responsibility and need to be led by someone else. In contrast, Y theory employees are people who like to take risks, want to act and lead a team, create new ideas [5].



Author: Julia Kręcioch