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Compare And Contrast Two Theories Of Motivation. Suggest How A Team Leader Might Use These Theories To Motivate The Team

2206 words - 9 pages

Compare and contrast two theories of motivation. Suggest how a team leader might use these theories to motivate the team.In this essay, I will be discussing what motivation means. I will then explain the content and process theory of motivation, and within each respective category, I will provide a detailed explanation of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Vroom's expectancy theory. Thereafter, the essay will examine how a team leader can apply and execute these strategies suggested by the relevant theories effectively within the workplace in efforts of motivating his/her team. Throughout the essay, definitions and arguments will be presented and supported by academic literature prior to ...view middle of the document...

This was during an era of assembly line manufacturing, workers had to one task repeatedly, day in and day out. Sonnenfield (1985: 125) reports, 'instead of treating the workers as an appendage to 'the machine' this studies revealed aspects such as motivational influences, job satisfaction, resistance to change, group norms, worker participation and effective leadership.' From then on, there have been a countless number of motivational definitions and theories.Motivational theories are notions that help in differentiating between why one employee works harder than another and what needs to be done to get that employee to work in an effective way. Invariably, for such a complex subject, there are bound to be scores of theories and processes competing to shed light on the subject in different ways. It is therefore essential to clarify that no one theory is conclusive and all-encompassing. The best way of understanding the main theories of motivation is to classify it into two key notions - content and process motivational theories. French et al. (2011: pp. 161- 162) describes them as two discrete theories as follows... content theories are primarily concerned with individual needs and motives. It therefore aims to address the 'what' motivates individuals to behave in a given way. On the other hand, process theories are aimed at understanding the process of motivation and address the 'how' motivation transpires. For instance, a content theory may highlight that security is an important need. Process theory would go further in addressing how and why a need for security could be linked to specific rewards and to the specific actions that the employee may need to perform to achieve these rewards. Within each category, I will examine one theory from each category and evaluate its effectiveness. In regards to the Content Theory, I will evaluate Abraham Maslow's theory of motivation which is based on a hierarchy of needs. For the Process Theory, I shall be evaluating Victor Vroom's Theory on Expectancy.Abraham Maslow (1943) introduced this theory in an article and is considered the first theory of motivation. Maslow's theory suggests that 'human needs' arrange themselves into hierarchies, where as soon as an individual's 'basic needs' are satisfied, they seek to satisfy 'higher needs'. The hierarchy is often shown as a pyramid of five levels. The first four, which are at a lower level, are termed 'deficiency needs' or 'D - needs' as described by Maslow. The top level is related to 'growth needs'. The notion is that is the higher needs only become active, once the needs at the lower spectrum of the pyramid are satisfied. The D-needs are categorised as:Psychological needs - Physiological: hunger, thirst, bodily comforts, etc.Safety/security: physical, emotional and psychological securityBelongingness and Love: affiliate with others and be accepted.Esteem: to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition.The next level, which is the top level, deals...

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