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The Preferable One Among the Four Motivation Theories

Question: What are the four different theories for motivation? Select one theory of motivation, and explain why you prefer it over the other three.

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Basically, there are four main theories of motivation. These are:

1. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
2. Dual Factor Theory
3. McClelland's Theory of Needs
4. Expectancy Theory

Cherry (2012) states that motivation is the force that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors.

1. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (McLeod, 2012)

Abraham Maslow (1954) presents a hierarchy of needs model which can be divided into basic (or deficiency) needs (e.g. physiological, safety, love, and esteem) and growth needs (cognitive, aesthetics and self-actualization).

One must satisfy lower level basic needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. Once these needs have been reasonably satisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.

2. Dual Factor Theory (Anderson, 2012)

Frederick Herzberg's dual-factor theory, or two-factor theory, states that two consistent factors play into motivation, specifically in the workplace: hygiene and motivators. Hygiene factors are those which, if absent from a workplace, cause dissatisfaction. These factors include the environment, level of supervision, pay, etc. Motivators are factors that cause added satisfaction if present in a workplace but do not lower satisfaction levels among employees if not present. These factors include sense of achievement, recognition of abilities, nature of the job, etc.

3. McClelland's Theory of Needs (Net MBA, 2010)

David McClelland proposed that an individual's specific needs are acquired over time and are shaped by one's life experiences. Most of these needs can be ...