Motivation of a work behaviour

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1. Motivation.................2

2. A Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.........2

3. D. McGregor’s theories............5

4. Literature..................8


Motivation is a general term for any part of the hypothetical psychological process which involves the expiring of needs and drives and the behavior that leads to the goal which satisfies them. [11]

Motivation is an attitude that justifies the behavior that arises when employee are given a combination of an ability to do a good job and an opportunity to have a good job. [12]

Motivation describes forces within the individual that account for the leevel, direction and persistence of effort expended at work. [13]

Motivation is concerned with the ‘why’ of human behavior, what it is that makes people do things. [2]

Motivation is inducing a person or group of people, each with his or her own distinctive needs and personality, to work to achieve the organization’s objectives, while also working to achieve his or her own objectives. [1]


He meaning of motivation is described in all definitions. In the first one motivation is described as process (hhypothetical psychological process), in the second one- as an attitude, in the third one- as some kind of forces. In the second definition the focus is set to work (as to do a good job and to have a good jo

ob) In the first and last definitions the goals and objectives are mentioned and that it is important to achieve them due to the fact that satisfy people’s needs.


I prefer the first definition of motivation, because it is clear and easily understandable. I think a motivation is more psychological process than an attitude or the forces.

A Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

D.Maslow classified all human needs in order of importance to the individual and presented as a pyramid. He says these needs form a hierarchy and that each need become active or aroused only when the next lower need is reasonable satisfied.

These needs are:

1. Physiological needs (food, etc.)-the lowest level in Maslow’s hierarchy. There are most basic needs everyone has.

2. Safety needs (a seecure job, etc.)- when the physiological needs are reasonable satisfied then the safety needs become activated.

3. Social needs (friends, etc.)- now the social needs become the active motivation of behavior-needs such as for affiliation and for friendship.

4. Ego needs (recognition, etc.)- One of the big differences between these ego needs and the physiological, safety and social needs is that the ego needs are rarely satisfied.

5. Self actualization needs (becoming the person you know you are capable of becoming)-there is an ultimate need: a ne

eed that only begins to dominate a person’s behavior once all lower level needs are reasonable satisfied. [4]

Another hierarchy of needs model:

1. Physiological needs: For sunlight, sex, food, water and similar outcomes basic to human survival.

2. Safety needs: For freedom from threat from the environment, animals and other people, for shelter, security, other predictability, for an organized world.

3. Love needs: for relationship, affection, given and receiving love, for feeling of belongingness.

4. Esteem needs: for strength, achievement, adequacy, confidence, independence, for a stable, high self-evaluation based on capability and respect from others.

5. Self-actualization needs: for developing of capability to the fullest potential.

6. Freedom of inquiry and expression needs: for social conditions that permit free speech, and encourage justice, fairness and honesty.

7. The need to know and to understand: to gain and to systematize knowledge of the environment, the need for curiosity, learning, philosophizing, experimenting and exploring. [5]

The third hierarchy of needs model:

1. Physiological and biological needs. At the safety and security needs. When the lowest level, but of primary importance when they are not met.(Theoretical: Food drink sex, applied: pay, vocation, rest room)

2. Safety and security needs. When the lowest level are reasonable satisfied, safety needs become important. (Theoretical: protection and stability; applied: Employee development, safe working conditions, pension vesting).

3. Social an
nd belonging needs. Social needs included the need for belonging, association, acceptance by colleagues, and giving and receiving friendship and love. (Applied: formal and informal work group, longevity clubs.).

4. Ego and esteem needs. Above the social needs- in the sense that they do not become motivators until lower needs are well satisfied- are the egoistic needs. (Theoretical: status, pay, recognition; applied: power, ego, promotion, praise).

5. Self- fulfillment and self-actualization needs. There are need for realizing one’s own potentialities, for continued self-development, and for being creative in the broadest sense of that term.(applied: doing creative work, developing skills.) [1]

And the finally hierarchy of needs model:

1. Physiological needs. These include homeostasis (the body’s automatic efforts to retain normal functioning) such as satisfaction of hunger and thirst also sleep activity and arguably sexual desire.

2. Safety needs.These includes freedom from pain or threat of physical attack, protection from danger or deprivation.

3. Love needs. These includes affection, sense of belonging, social activities, friendship.

4. Esteem needs. These include both self-respect and the esteem of others. Self- respective involves the desire for confidence, strength, freedom, and esteem of others involves reputation or prestige, status attention.

5. Self-actualization needs. This is the development and realization of one’s full potential. [6]


A Maslow classified all human needs in
n order of importance to the individuals and he presented five levels of needs: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, ego needs, self actualization needs in another source seven innate needs are given. They are: physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, esteen needs, self-actualization needs, freedom of inquiry and expression needs and the last one- the need to know and to understand. The last tow needs are often missing from textbook account of Maslow’s theory.


To sum up everything I think that all human needs are classified in similar way in different descriptions. Just the names of needs are different; some of them could be included in wider function. E.g. love needs- it is too narrow, but we can define them as social and belonging needs. The best way of classification in my opinion should be as follows: Physiological and biological needs, safety and security needs, social and belonging needs, ego and esteem needs, self- fulfillment and self-actualization needs, freedom of inquiry and expression needs and the need to know and to understand.

D. McGregor’s theories

Moslow’s ideas about motivation influenced the thinking of D. McGregor, who crafted a philosophy based on different managerial practices. McGregor presented a sharp contrast between two different sets of managerial assumptions about people, reasoning that a manager’s ideas about people influence how he or she attempts to manage. McGregor stated that that the extreme in contrasting attitudes among managers could be classified as Theory X and Theory Y.

Theory X

1. The average human being has an inherent dislike of work and will avoid it if possible.

2. Because of this characteristic dislike of work, most people must be coerced, controlled, directed, and threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort toward the achievement of organizational objectives.

3. The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid r

. . .


In all sources D. McGregor’s theories are introduced similar. The differences can found only within the D. McGregor’s theory X and theory Y. Theory X- a managerial assumption that people act only to realize their basic needs and therefore do not voluntary contribute to organizational aims. Theory Y – a managerial assumption that people are motivated by higher-order growth needs and they will therefore act responsibility to accomplish organizational objectives.


In summary the aim of theory X is to show that human being has an inherent dislike of work that people must be controlled in order to achieve the goals or objectives and they want to avoid responsibility but have security above all. They are passive and they are by nature resistant to change. And theory Y believes that people seek responsibility, they are not passive by nature, and work is as natural as rest and employees dislike threats.


1. Leon C. Megginson, Donald C. Mosley, Paul H. Pietri “Management concepts and applications”. Third edition. USA 1989. 318-322p.

2. Donnelly Gibson Ivancevich “Fundamentals of management”. Third edition. USA 1990. 180-182p.

3. Andrew D. Szilagyi, JR. “Management and performance”. Third edition. USA. 61p.

4. Gary Dessler “Management fundamentals; Modern principles and practices “. Third edition. USA. 356-358p.

5. Andrzej Huczynski and David Buchanan “Organizational behaviour”. Second edition. USA. 53-54p., 59-62p.

6. Lauriej Mullins “Management and organizational behaviour”. Second edition. 302-304p.

7. Koontz and O’Donnell “Principles of Management. An analysis of managerial functions”. Fourth edition. New York 571-573p.

8. Haimann Hilgert “supervision: concepts and practices of management”. 4th edition. 69-71p.

9. Curtis W. Cook, Phillip L. Hunsaker, Robert E. Coffey “Management and organizational behavior”. Second edition. 192-193p.

10. Micholas C. Sviopolis “Small business management” Third edition. USA 1989. 491-493p.

11. David A. Statt “The concise dictionary of management:”

12. John M. Ivancevich, Michael T. Matteson “Organizational behaviour and management”. 157p.

13. John R. Schermerhorn, Jr “Management for productivity”.

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