Process and content theories of motivation Essay Example

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The main role of leaders in an organization after setting the goals, objectives, mission and vision, and the time frame, within which they should achieve the set goals, is to organize the work force in a manner that will force employees to work. People are known to dislike work, and especially when there is no motivation (Miner 1994, pp. 10-15). Therefore, managers must look for ways to motivate employees and induce action. Motivation, therefore, refers to a way of encouraging yourself and others to work towards achieving the set goal. In an organization, the key motivating factor is salary. Although there are other motivating factors that may increase employees’ desire to work, money is the key factor.

Content based theories of motivation are based on certain needs that people possess that direct how they behave. Content based theories are connected to the human needs and wants, and, how people’s needs influence people’s motivation. Human needs can be physiological or psychological. Human needs cannot be directly observed, but they can be seen from people’s reaction and behavior. The manner in which people behave may show that they are deprived of something, or they are satisfied. For example, employees in an organization may decide to go slow in order to raise an alarm and communicate something to the employer. Employers can learn from such signs, and, therefore, address the problem before it aggravates. Maslow hierarchy of needs theory is one of the main content theories. This theory holds that the most basic individual needs must be met first before an individual desires for other secondary wants. This theory gives us a clear understanding of why the needs of individuals are not constant and why they keep on changing. As the needs keep on changing so do the behaviors of individuals (Silva 2009). According to Maslow, it is only after satisfying the basic needs that an individual will desire to achieve the secondary needs. Satisfying individual needs is, therefore, a process that should follow from the most basic needs to the highest level needs. One level must be fully satisfied before going to the next level.

Process theories, on the other hand, are those theories that highlights thought patterns that inspire individual decision on whether to engage in a certain behavior or not. They include theories such as the Vroom Expectancy Theory, the reinforcement theory of motivation, the Adams’ equity theory, and the needs goal setting theory. Unlike, content theories, process theories focus on how workers needs affect their own behavior. They focus on how employees work together as a team, for instance, how people relate with each other in group meetings. Process in a group, though, overlooked by many leaders is what determines the decision made in the meeting. It also determines the performance and the results obtained by the group at the end (Silva 2009). Many innovations in an organization are realized through teams and groups. How members in a group interact or relate with one another, will determine the success of any project undertaken. According to the Vroom expectancy theory, the strength of motivation is determined by the expectation people have of performing a certain task. For example, if they expect a large reward from their performance, they become motivated and tend to work hard to achieve the desired results (DuBrin 2008, pp. 389-390).

List of References

Stamford, Cengage Learning.Essentials of Management,DuBrin, AJ 2008,

, Routledge, London.Role Motivation TheoriesMiner, JB 1994,, Viewed motivation theories –understanding the content theories of motivationSilva. S 2009,