Content and Process Motivation Theories

Taylor was the first to identify other than the material the needs of the employees and tried to include them in the motivational process. Among the other, he hired doctors, nurses, and psychologists to his company (Miner, 2005).&nbsp.

Maslow’s theory of motivation: a revolution in organizational science. During 1950s the diverse approaches to human nature were united into a broad organizational approach. This period was the heyday of organizational science as during that time major concepts that motivation was developed. The most important of such theories is obviously Abraham Maslow’s (1954) theory of motivation. Maslow’s “hierarchy of needs” provided a framework for the analysis of why people work and how they may be motivated in the best way (McShane and Von Glinow, 2001).&nbsp.
Abraham Maslow defined five general needs of people: basic needs, safety needs, social needs, need of affiliation, and need of self-actualization. These needs, according to Maslow, represent a triangle where basic needs serve the fundament and the need for self-actualization is the top (Figure 1).Goal-setting theory, developed by Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, implies that the goals are the most important factors affecting the motivation and behavior of employees. This theory emphasizes the importance of specific and challenging goals in achieving motivated behaviour. Specific goals, observing Locke and Latham, usually imply quantitative targets that motivate people to work more effectively. These goals are usually rather achievable, though not easy to achieve. Challenging goals, in their turn, are difficult but not impossible to attain. Empirical research supports the proposition that goals that are both specific and challenging are more motivational than vague goals or goals that are relatively easy to achieve (Miner, 2005. McShane and Von Glinow, 2001).&nbsp.

Self-efficacy is an employee’s belief that he/she can successfully complete a particular task. If individuals have a high degree of self-efficacy, they are likely to respond more positively to specific and challenging goals than if they have a low degree of self-efficacy (Miner, 2005. McShane and Von Glinow, 2001).&nbsp.