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Motivation: The Theories, Stereotypes, and Rewards in The Workplace

Autor:   •  July 26, 2019  •  Term Paper  •  4,379 Words (18 Pages)  •  245 Views

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Motivation: The Theories, Stereotypes, and Rewards in the Workplace


Motivation is a diverse topic that has a wide range of influencers. It is to the benefit of management to know and understand the effect motivation has on employees in the workplace.

This paper investigates the evolution of motivation by examining the progression of the motivation theories from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory that inspired other need-based theories and process theories of motivation. The effect of generational and gender stereotypes on motivation in the workplace is also examined. Managers should be aware of the different generational traits, characteristics, and stereotypes to prevent any intergenerational cohesion, and be conscious of societal gender expectations that cause gender stereotypes in the workplace. Ergo, management should be mindful of these differences but treat everyone the same to prevent possible situations that would demotivate employees. This paper also investigates the effect extrinsic and intrinsic factors have on rewards to increase motivation and performance in the workplace.

Motivation: The Theories, Stereotypes, and Rewards in the Workplace

        What is motivation and what does management do to keep their employees motivated? Work motivation is defined as “the result of a set of internal and external forces” that cause an individual to engage in specific behaviors such as working harder (Newstrom, 2015, pp. 116). This is a general definition as every employee is unique; therefore each employee has their own definition of motivation. To manage employees and have a productive workplace, managers need to know the array of different influencers on motivation that affect performance. This paper aims to review the motivational theories, the generational and gender motivation stereotypes, and reward systems that affect motivation in the workplace.

Motivation Theories

Need-based Theories

        Many motivation theories distinguish different models of motivational drives. The need-based theories focus on the needs that must be met for an employee to be motivated in the workplace (Martin, 2009). Abraham Maslow's motivational theory was the first and laid the foundation for other motivation theories. Maslow's hierarchy of needs identified five levels of need, primary and secondary needs, that have to be satisfied in succession (Maslow, 1943; Newstrom, 2015).  The first two levels focus on satisfying the lower-order needs of life. The first level (physiological needs) involves satisfying primary needs (e.g., need for food, water, air) which are the basic needs to survive. The second level (safety and security needs) involves satisfying the need for safety such as job security. Following the satisfaction of the first two levels, the remaining levels aim to satisfy the higher-order needs. The third level (belonging and social needs) involves satisfying the need for companionship through the development of relationships that provide a sense of belonging in the workplace. The fourth and fifth levels (esteem and status and self-actualization needs, respectively) involve satisfying one's self-worth. Maslow's hierarchy of needs inspired Alderfer’s theory.


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