Motivation and Reinforcement Theory

In: Business and Management

Submitted By absantos1989
Words 6966
Pages 28
Ropes Paper – Motivation and Reinforcement Theory
Kaitlin Frank
Organizational Behavior
December 14, 2011

What Can’t Be Cured Must Be Obscured
Motivation is what drives people to get something done faster, work harder and accomplish a goal. It is what drives people to do things that they normally would not do. Motivation can extend to any aspect of ones life and drives virtually every decision and action a person takes. People use motivation to overcome an obstacle or for self-improvement and fulfillment. It is very useful in the workplace to make the organization be successful by keeping the workforce motivated, happy and engaged.
Motivation can come in many different forms. Typically, motivation involves incentives—rewarding people after they have accomplished something. Since this reward is desirable, the employee with do whatever it takes to get that reward. Rewards can come in either positive or negative reinforcement. Positive reinforcement is rewarding a good behavior in order to encourage that behavior to continue. This could be giving an employee a raise, a bonus, promotion, recognition, extra vacation time and so forth. Just as rewards can be given for a job well done, punishment can be used as a motivator to change a particular behavior and discourage it from continuing. Negative reinforcement is a negative reaction to a behavior—implementing a punishment when that behavior is done and removing it when the behavior stops. Negative reinforcement would be extending working hours, requiring early or late meetings past the usual “go home time,” the removal of something pleasurable in the work environment and such. Decision-making and motivation are closely related because people will decide a behavior based on their motivation to do so. A person is motivated to wake up at 5a.m. every morning because they want to compete in a marathon. The…...

Similar Documents

Motivation Theories

...Chapter 1: Introduction to Employee Motivation 1.1. Introduction An issue which usually generates a great deal of attention from most managers, administrators and those involved in Human Resources Management is the issue of how to successfully motivate employee. While it is true that aspects like staff recruitment, controlling, managing, leading, and many more are of great importance to the success of an organization, Employee Motivation is generally considered a core element in running a successful business. 1.2. Statement of the Problem This paper attempts to discover the most important theories and approaches behind employee motivation, present different types of motivation, discuss their importance and provide recommendations and solutions to solving problems of de-motivated or unmotivated employees. 1.3. The Nature and Importance of Motivation Managers and scholars alike have long been inspired in attempting to find out why some employees tend to work harder than others. The study of motivation helps managers understand this variance in performance. Furthermore, knowledge of what motivates people allows managers to take ‘constructive steps’ to improve their employees’ work performance[1]. Before understanding the different types of motivation, we need to examine closely the nature of motivation. The term motivation derives from the Latin word movere, meaning, ‘to move’. This means that no one can understand a person’s motivation until that person ‘behaves or......

Words: 6844 - Pages: 28

Theories of Motivation

... Theories of Motivation Abstract Motivation is the enthusiasm that one possesses in order to complete a certain task, action or desired outcome. If one lacks motivation the likelihood of a prolific product or outcome is unlikely. In education, two forms of motivation are focused on in being pertinent to student learning: intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Examining the five theories of motivation: self-determination theory, attribution theory, expectancy-value theory, social-cognitive theory, and the goal-orientation theory gives educators an insight into various factors that influence the motivation or seemingly “lack of” motivation in everyday students. Educators are made aware of techniques they can use and those to avoid helping to influence each student’s academic motivation constructively. Realizing that motivation does not solely come from the student, but that other variables, controllable and uncontrollable, influence the academic motivation of the typical learner will allow educators, parents and the community to ignite an inexhaustible motivation in “all” students. Theories of Motivation Education for all students, regardless of their abilities, is a constant, increasing concern in our nation. Standards have been put in place for “all” students to achieve, despite learning disabilities, special needs, personal interests, backgrounds, or confidence/motivation levels. Many students are labeled as being unmotivated about learning...

Words: 2153 - Pages: 9

Motivation and Theories

...and Differences Edith Woodard Walden University Dr. Chappell PSYC-5240-1 Human Motivation March 13, 2012 Motivational Similarities and Differences 1. Motivational Similarities and Differences Human behavior is something that has become the focus of research all over the world. Everyone who is anyone wants to know what causes us as human beings “to do what we do, and to act the way we act.” Some say that “motivation is also a desire operating on the will and causing it to act.” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2010, p.810). It is also considered to be “the primary driver of our behavior.” In times past “motivated behavior has also been studied as a rational attempt to achieve a specific articulated (or accessible) end or purpose, rather than as an attempt to fulfill an underlying emotionally-charged desire.” (Thrash & Elliot, 2001). “Most researchers believe that motivational theories explain the three interrelated aspects of human behavior which is the choice of a particular action, persistence with it and the effort expended on it, leaving it up to motivational psychologists to attest to these findings.” And to us motivation explains the why of our actions, and addresses the innermost parts of us which are our desires, or those buttons that are sometimes pushed that gives us that driving force to tackle things head on or maybe even act out of character. Our motivations say to us that we can make it especially when others tell us that we won’t, which......

Words: 1992 - Pages: 8

Motivation Theory

...McGregor’s X,Y Theory of Motivation In his 1960 management book, The Human Side of Enterprise, Douglas McGregor made his mark on the history of organizational management and motivational psychology when he proposed the two theories by which managers perceive employee motivation. He referred to these opposing motivational methods as Theory X and Theory Y management. Each assumes that the manager's role is to organize resources, including people, to best benefit the company. However, beyond this commonality, they're quite dissimilar. Theory X Management According to McGregor, Theory X leadership assumes the following: • Work is inherently distasteful to most people, and they will attempt to avoid work whenever possible. • Most people are not ambitious, have little desire for responsibility, and prefer to be directed. • Most people have little aptitude for creativity in solving organizational problems. • Motivation occurs only at the physiological and security levels of Maslow's Needs Hierarchy. • Most people are self-centered. As a result, they must be closely controlled and often coerced to achieve organizational objectives • Most people resist change. • Most people are gullible and unintelligent. Essentially, theory x assumes that the primary source of most employee motivation is monetary, with security as a strong second. The Hard Approach and Soft Approach Under Theory X, management approaches to motivation range from a......

Words: 1905 - Pages: 8

Motivation Theories

... Life Span Perspective Malisa Morris PSY/375 October 2, 2013 Mr. Amanze Ihedioha Life Span Perspective Life Span Development is a concept of understanding why people grow and change over a period of time. Human Development begins at birth and throughout all of life. People of all ages, all over creation, change at some point and time. Scientifically, the human body is designed to experience change. Human growth development has several perspectives and characteristics to explain lifespan. The following essay will explore five developmental perspectives and explore two theories of life span development. These perspectives include; Multidirectional, Multicontextual, Multicultural, Multidisciplinary, and Plasticity lifespan development. Explanations will also explain how heredity and the environment interact to produce individual differences in human development. Life Span Perspective Developing human beings of every age, culture, and experiences demonstrate to us what is widespread as well as what is distinctive. Some periods of life are life-threatening and complex at times, yet the interaction between the environment and family is always evident. Differences among people are not essentially necessary, although some people mistakenly assume that their own path is best for everyone. Change is ongoing, and dynamic throughout the entire life span. Life span development occurs in several directions. These perceptions are Multidirectional, Multicontextual, Multicultural,......

Words: 921 - Pages: 4

Theories of Motivation

...Motivation is the force that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. It is what causes us to take action, whether to grab a snack to reduce hunger or enroll in college to earn a degree. The forces that lie beneath motivation can be biological, social, emotional or cognitive in nature. Researchers have developed a number of different theories to explain motivation. Each individual theory tends to be rather limited in scope. However, by looking at the key ideas behind each theory, you can gain a better understanding of motivation as a whole. Instinct Theory of Motivation Poncho/Digital Vision/Getty Images According to instinct theories, people are motivated to behave in certain ways because they are evolutionarily programmed to do so. An example of this in the animal world is seasonal migration. These animals do not learn to do this, it is instead an inborn pattern of behavior. William James created a list of human instincts that included such things as attachment, play, shame, anger, fear, shyness, modesty and love. The main problem with this theory is that it did not really explain behavior, it just described it. By the 1920s, instinct theories were pushed aside in favor of other motivational theories, but contemporary evolutionary psychologists still study the influence of genetics and heredity on human behavior. Incentive Theory of Motivation The incentive theory suggests that people are motivated to do things because of external rewards. For......

Words: 559 - Pages: 3

Motivation Theory

...MOTIVATION AND MOTIVATION THEORY  The term motivation is derived from the Latin word movere, meaning "to move." Motivation can be broadly defined as the forces acting on or within a person that cause the arousal, direction, and persistence of goal-directed, voluntary effort. Motivation theory is thus concerned with the processes that explain why and how human behavior is activated. The broad rubric of motivation and motivation theory is one of the most frequently studied and written-about topics in the organizational sciences, and is considered one of the most important areas of study in the field of organizational behavior. Despite the magnitude of the effort that has been devoted to the study of motivation, there is no single theory of motivation that is universally accepted. The lack of a unified theory of motivation reflects both the complexity of the construct and the diverse backgrounds and aims of those who study it. To delineate these crucial points, it is illuminating to consider the development of motivation and motivation theory as the objects of scientific inquiry. HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT Early explanations of motivation focused on instincts. Psychologists writing in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries suggested that human beings were basically programmed to behave in certain ways, depending upon the behavioral cues to which they were exposed. Sigmund Freud, for example, argued that the most powerful determinants of individual behavior were......

Words: 2377 - Pages: 10

Goal Setting Theory vs Reinforcement

...Encore "Reinforcement" in Behavior Theory William N. Schoenfeld Queens College, City University of New York, and Cornell University Medical College In its Pavlovian context, "reinforcement" was actually a descriptive term for the functional relation between an unconditional and a conditional stimulus. When it was adopted into operant conditioning, "reinforcement" became the central concept and the key operation, but with new qualifications, new referents, and new expectations. Some behavior theorists believed that "reinforcers" comprise a special and limited class of stimuli or events, and they speculated about what the essential "nature of reinforcement" might be. It is now known that any stimulus can serve a reinforcing function, with due recognition of such parameters as subject species characteristics, stimulus intensity, sensory modality, and schedule of application. This paper comments on these developments from the standpoint of reflex behavior theory. From its modest beginnings in behavior science, the term "reinforcement" has come to play a central role in modern behavior theory. Like so many others in psychology, the verb "to reinforce," and its cognate nouns and adjectives, were an importation from common usage in which they had seen broad service: reinforced concrete; reinforcing a conclusion; reinforcing a fence; and so on. In acquiring their new dignity in science, they have also acquired some status adjectives like "positive" and "negative."......

Words: 8155 - Pages: 33

Motivation Theories

... SOCIAL EXCHANGE AND EQUITY THEORY Social exchange and equity theory revolve around the balance between efforts and rewards in organizations. The individual-organization exchange relationship addresses the contributions and demands that each party makes in the relationship. A. Demands and Contributions 1. Demands Needs form the basis for the expectations or demands placed on organizations by individuals. Organizations express demands on individuals through job expectations, mission statements, and performance feedback. 2. Contributions Contributions are the basis for satisfying the demands expressed by the other party in the relationship. Individual contributions include knowledge, skills, abilities, and professional contacts. Organizational contributions include status, benefits, income, and affiliation. B. Adams’s Theory of Inequity Adams's developed a theory of social exchange that analyzes inequity in the workplace. Specifically, inequity is the situation in which a person perceives he or she is receiving less than he or she is giving, or is giving less than he or she is receiving. Individuals calculate an inputoutcome ratio for themselves and compare it with an inputoutcome ratio for another person. If the ratios are not equivalent, perceived inequity results. C. The Resolution of Inequity Individuals seek to resolve inequity because it produces tension. The seven......

Words: 531 - Pages: 3

Theories of Motivation

...Theories of Motivation In the workforce today, there are many different viewpoints behind what motivates workers in their respective job functions. The work of Frederick Taylor, Abraham Maslow, David McClelland, and Frederick Herzberg have some of the most popular theories behind the motivation of workers and have been developed over the course of the past 100 years or so. However, it should be noted that all four of these respective theoretical approaches do not reach the same conclusions. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the views and theories of the four individuals mentioned above and to compare and contrast some of the similarities and differences as it pertains to the theories of motivation. The first theory of motivation that will be examined is the work of Frederick Taylor. Taylor put forward the idea that workers are motivated mainly by pay and financial income. His Theory of Scientific Management argued that workers need to be closely supervised because they do not naturally enjoy work. He argued that managers should break down production into a series of small tasks and that workers should then be given appropriate training and tools so they can work as efficiently as possible on one task at a time. Workers should be paid based off the number of items they produce in a set period of time. As a result workers are encouraged to work hard and maximize their productivity which equals a higher pay (Rue & Byars, 2014). Taylor's methods were widely......

Words: 1368 - Pages: 6

Motivation Theory

...Motivation How important is pay for motivating workers? Motivation Studies Findings: * Pay and benefits are important in encouraging staff to work well * most important: work enjoyment, work challenges and recognition Points to think about * why do you think that pay and bonuses are not the most important factor for all workers? * explain why “loyalty” and “working harder” are important to a business * why do you think “recognition” is important to many workers? is it important to you? Motivation The intrinsic and extrinsic factors that stimulate people to take action that lead to achieving a goal. Intrinsic motivation Comes from within satisfaction derived from working on and completing a task. Extrinsic motivation Comes from outside external rewards associated with working on a task (pay and recognition). Indicators of poor staff motivation Unmotivated or demotivated staff will not perform effectively, offering only the minimum of what is expected. This will impact productivity levels and the competitiveness of the business. Signs will include: * absenteeism * lateness * poor performance * accidents * labour turnover * grievances * poor response rate Motivation theories Content theories Individuals are motivated by the desire to fulfil their inner needs. They focus on the human needs that energise and direct behaviour and how managers can create conditions that allow workers to satisfy......

Words: 1016 - Pages: 5

Motivation Theory

...literature review As pointed by Vroom [1964], motivation is derived from the Latin word “movere”, which means “to move”. It is an internal force, dependent on an individual’s needs which derive him/her to achieve. Shulze and Steyn [2003] affirmed that in order to understand people’s behavior at work, managers or supervisors must be aware of the concept of needs or motives, which will help ‘move’ their staffs to act. According to Robbins [2001], motivation is a need-satisfying process which means that when an individual’s needs are satisfied or motivated by certain factors, the individual will exert superior effort toward attaining organizational goals. People primarily do what they do to meet their needs or wants. Understanding that people are motivated by self-interest is the key to understanding motivation. Theories of motivation can be divided to explain the behavior and attitude of employees. These include content theories, based on the assumption that people have individual needs which motivate their actions, and theorists such as Maslow [1954], McClelland [1961], Herzberg [1966] and Alderfer [1969] are renowned for their works in this field. In contrast to content theories, process theories identified relations among variables which make up motivation and involve works from Heider [1958], Vroom [1964], Adams [1965], Locke [1976], and Lawler [1973]. In addition, reinforcement theory [B.F.Skinner, 1938] that proposes the consequences of the behaviors that motivate the...

Words: 1994 - Pages: 8

Theories of Motivation

...Islands Tobacco (SITCO), uses theories of motivation to motivate his staff to achieve these goals and objectives of the BAT Group. 2.0 How the Manager attracts and retains his employees to work with his organization A Manager must always be equipped with ways of how to attract and retain employees in his or her organisation. The Manager must not always think that employees are attracted to only making money. They must also consider the feelings of employees and see them as complete human beings. According to an internet article titled “Loyal following: Treat employees fairly and they’ll stay”, people will be attracted and remain in an organisation if they feel that they are treated fairly at work and they experience a feeling of belonging and being cared for, rather than just being considered as an employee number. One of the main ways the General Manager (GM) retains his employees is by applying a reinforcement theory technique called positive reinforcement. According to a management study website, positive reinforcement involves giving a positive response when an individual shows positive and required behaviour. For example, immediately praising an employee for turning up to work on time. This increases the chances of positive behaviour happening again from the employee. Positive reinforcement stimulates the occurrence of a particular behaviour. It must also be said that the more spontaneous or ‘out of the blue’ the reward is, the greater reinforcement value or the......

Words: 3393 - Pages: 14

Theories of Motivation

...Chapter 5Theories of Motivation LEARNING OBJECTIVES After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: 1. Understand the role of motivation in determining employee performance. 2. Classify the basic needs of employees. 3. Describe how fairness perceptions are determined and consequences of these perceptions. 4. Understand the importance of rewards and punishments. 5. Apply motivation theories to analyze performance problems. What inspires employees to provide excellent service, market a company’s products effectively, or achieve the goals set for them? Answering this question is of utmost importance if we are to understand and manage the work behavior of our peers, subordinates, and even supervisors. Put a different way, if someone is not performing well, what could be the reason? Job performance is viewed as a function of three factors and is expressed with the equation below. [1] According to this equation, motivation, ability, and environment are the major influences over employee performance. Performance is a function of the interaction between an individual’s motivation, ability, and environment. Motivation is one of the forces that lead to performance. Motivation is defined as the desire to achieve a goal or a certain performance level, leading to goal-directed behavior. When we refer to someone as being motivated, we mean that the person is trying hard to accomplish a certain task. Motivation is clearly important if someone is to perform......

Words: 14120 - Pages: 57

Reinforcement Versus Goal Theory

...Reinforcement versus Goal Theory Lorraine Patterson OMM 625 Learning Organizations & Effectiveness Professor Renee Hill January 30, 2012 According to Edwin Locke the goal setting theory is a tool used for motivation. The theory states that goal setting is linked to task performance. The goal states “specifically challenging employees while using feedback will contribute to a higher and better performance while completing a task.”(Pane, S) The idea of working towards an accomplishment of a goal is a primary source of job motivation. Following successful performance, individuals gain confidence and will set higher goals. Research suggest that difficult goals will create a high level of performance than having to work on easy goals that, for which the challenges will allow an employee to feel that they did their best. Goal setting theory is broken down in the following manner. Managers must be specific and clear, as well as realistic yet challenging. Appropriate feedback of results directs employee to behave and contribute to a better performance. Feedback will gain reputation will develop clarification of a goal as well as regulate difficulties. (Sayer, S) Employee participation of setting goals is more acceptable and lead to more involvement. According to Sameed Sayer, the advantages of Goal Setting theory are as follows: * Goal setting theory is a technique used to raise incentives for......

Words: 713 - Pages: 3