Discussion On The Theories Of Motivation And Their Application At Modern Workplace Assignment Sample

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Motivation according to various philosophers is the key force that drives the efforts of a person. Without having the slightest of motivation, a person might end up being not taking part in any activities. There are various theories formulated regarding motivation that drives people to take part in activities. These theories are most important with regard to the organizational performance of the workers. Therefore, there are different theories of motivation to suit the need of different people. However, the main driving agent for all of these theories remains the necessity of people. These theories and their applicability are discussed in this essay.

Description of the theories

There are different theories of motivation developed by different people. The most popular theories of motivation are discussed below:

Hierarchy of needs- By Maslow

Hierarchy of Needs by Maslow

Figure 1: Hierarchy of Needs by Maslow

(Source: Zdonek et al. 2021, p. 905)

This theory developed by Maslow states that the performance of a person depends on the needs and their fulfilment by the person. In figure 1 it can be seen that Maslow has differentiated the needs possessed by people into five different categories. These include all the needs starting from the basic psychological needs to that of the needs that are oriented with self-fulfillment (Mullins, 2016, p. 12). According to this theory, a person tries to fulfil the needs that are most important to the person. When a certain level of needs is fulfilled then the person moves towards fulfilling the needs of the second level. Such as, when a person is able to provide food, water, and shelter for his family then the person looks for ensuring the safety of the family and eventually moves towards a higher level of needs.



Figure 2: Motivator-Hygiene

(Source: Zdonek et al. 2021, p. 905)

This is developed by Herzberg and is otherwise known as the Two-factor theory. As it can be seen from figure 2 there are five main factors identified as the motivating factors. These include

  • Achievements of the employee
  • Recognition by the organization
  • The work done by the employee
  • Advancement in the career by the employee
  • Growth made by the employee.

On the other hand, some Hygiene Factors have also been identified (Leatherbarrow et al. 2014, p. 45). These include

  • The conditions at the workplace.
  • Relationship with co-workers.
  • The policies and regulations of the organization.
  • Quality of the supervisors of the organization
  • The basic salary paid to an employee.

Improvements made in these factors would increase the performance level of the employee providing benefits to the organization.

X & Y theories by McGregor

Figure 3: X & Y theories

(Source: Zdonek et al. 2021, p. 905)

According to this theory, the workers are divided into two different groups one being the managers and the others being the ones being managed. Moreover, there are two aspects of the theory one is the ‘X’ and the other one is the ‘Y’. Figure 3 shows that the X component shows the different types of negative behavioral aspects of the management such as depressing organizational culture, behaving in an authoritative manner, and many more. These behavioral aspects of the management are identified to be suppressing the performance of the employees (Cole, 2010, p. 52). On the other hand, the Y component shows the positive behavior attributes such as providing the employees with responsibilities and the chance of continuously improving and many more. These characteristics are identified to be improving the performance of the employees.

Achievement of the needs theory by McClelland

The base of this theory is that some people are rather motivated to perform better towards personal achievements than for gaining some rewards for themselves. In this case, according to McClelland, the main influence is the goals possessed by the person.

Equity Theory

According to this theory, the employees of an organization show motivation towards an organization in accordance with the rewards facing them. This means, the higher the rewards will be, the higher the level of motivation possessed by the employees will be. The better offering of the rewards in this case acts as the factor for increasing motivation among the workers. Moreover, this leads to the satisfaction of the employees (Torringtonet al. 2005, p. 14). Therefore, the employees will also choose the organization offering those better rewards for similar work from various organizations.


The theories of motivation that have been discussed above with the elements mentioned in them. These theories of motivation are implied for various reasons in different organizations. The reasons behind the implementation of these theories in modern workplaces are discussed below:

Hierarchy of needs- By Maslow

According to this theory by Maslow, the workers are motivated according to their most important requirements. In order to increase the level of performance in a modern organization of the employees, it is required to increase motivation among the employees. This theory provides the chance of understanding the most important requirements of the employees of a certain level. On the other hand, this theory also provides the chance of presenting before the employees with more important needs after the previous level of needs of the employees are already fulfilled. If opportunities of fulfilling higher levels of needs of the employees are not presented before them then they might not face growth (Beardwell et al. 2015, p. 36). Modern organizations in order to improve their productivity must provide the employees with the chance of better opportunities to fulfil their goals of the next level. The increased efforts provided by the employees towards achieving their next level goals will also increase the productivity of the organization.


The factors that affect the job satisfaction of an employee play a very important role in the performance and productivity of the employees as well as the organization. This theory provides a clear idea about the behavioral characteristics that must be increased to improve employee satisfaction. On the other hand, the conditions that affect the performance of the employees and are required to be improved are also mentioned in this theory. By taking care of both of these elements the organization must incur positive results. The proper implementation of this theory in an organization will provide the organization with the chance of identifying the factors that generate and increase motivation among its employees (Zdonek et al. 2021, p. 905). On the other hand, this theory also stated the reduction in the performance level of an employee due to the adverse working conditions provided to them. Due to these conditions, the organization would face significant losses also. Therefore, the application of this theory and working on both the positive aspects as well as the negative aspects would improve the work process of organizations to provide them significant benefits.

X & Y theories by McGregor

Modern organizations are incorporating the usage of different communication and employees are recruited from over the whole world. McGregor has provided some negative as well as positive behavioral traits that must be followed by the managers to increase the performance level of the employees. The behavioral traits mentioned in the X part such as authoritative behavior should not be practiced in an organization as it impacts the employees negatively while reducing their motivation to perform. On the other, if the theory is applied properly and the managers of an organization show the behavioral traits mentioned in the Y section might be influential in generating motivation among the employees and the employees will also be motivated to perform better for the organization. This would benefit not only increase the performance of the organization but also will build a good organizational culture among the employees.

Achievement of the needs theory by McClelland

This theory states about the people who are motivated due to their achievements rather than gaining some reward. This theory can also be implemented by the management of a modern organization and achievements must be provided to the sincere workers. This would motivate them to work even harder to fulfil their next achievement. This in turn increases the skill level of the employees as well as the organization.

Equity Theory

This is the most simplistic theory of motivation and is very crucial in the multinational context of present times. When the employees are getting opportunities from across the globe, the organizations must provide a better offering for a job that is being offered by different other organizations. The employees would only join the organizations with the best offering (Zdonek et al. 2021, p. 905). Moreover, this is also important for modern organizations to win the market challenge among similar organizations in the market.

Conclusion and recommendations

Motivations are the factors that influence a worker to either work well work to work slowly. Moreover, the employees are motivated differently according to various different criteria’s oriented with them. The above theories of motivation provide ideas about different ways in which the employees of an organization can be motivated. Moreover, the different aspects of an organization such as work structure; the behavior of the managers, offerings of the organization, and many more impacts the organizational productivity. Different people possess different types of motivating factors and different organizations possess different goals. These factors must be considered while efforts are being made to improve the performance of a modern workplace. These theories of motivation might be significantly helpful.


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