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Motivation of Employees

Provide a broad overview of several approaches to human motivation. Some even include a contemporary, critical review of hallmark theories of the past (e.g. House, 1996; Blanchard & Hersey, 1996). Review this rich body of literature. Compare and contrast three of the major theories of motivation you come across.

Choose one theory that you can support as both effective and practical in contemporary organizations. Present a well-supported argument that shows its usefulness in an organization familiar to you. Why will the other theories not be as effective or practical for this organization? Provide a rationale for your opinion.

Criteria for Question Response:

- Identified one theory that you can support as both effective and practical in contemporary organizations.
- Discussed, offering reasoned supports for why the theory selected is both effective and practical in an organization familiar to you.
- Explained why the other theories are not effective or practical for this organization.
- Provided a rationale for your opinion.

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Early in the previous century, motivation theories considered work to be undesirable and that workers tried to work as little as possible. The motivation theories of that time recommended a reward-punishment policy in which firms tried to increase motivation by rewarding employees with enough compensation but also punishing employees that did not comply. Later during 1940s and 1950s the motivation theories emphasized making workers feel valued and esteemed. In 1954, Abraham Maslow published Motivation and Personality in which he proposed a hierarchy of needs (Petri. H, & Govern. J, 2004). After physiological and safety needs were fulfilled, an individual sought to satisfy his social, esteem, and self-actualization needs.

Formally, the earlier assumptions about employees disliking work were overturned with the publication of The Human Side of Enterprise in 1960 by Douglas McGregor. His theory X and theory Y assumed that people view work as being natural as play and rest. He proposed that people exercise self-direction, self-control, and seek/accept responsibility. Employee needs became the center of discussion when David McClelland published The Achieving Society in 1961. He proposed that the need for achievement, personal responsibility, feedback, and moderate risk led to higher levels of achievement. In 1964, Victor Vroom in Work and Motivation established the link between effort and performance and how performance was linked to reward. An important factor, namely the ...

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