Motivation

4 April 2015
A discussion of motivation and the theories of motivation.

This paper is a brief discussion of motivational theory. Various theories of motivation are outlined, including the most widely recognized modern motivational theory of opportunity-cost. The importance of motivation is also discussed.
“Motivation is the study of what makes us do things. Every day we are faced with many decisions. What choice we make is the study of motivation. There are several theories of motivation, the theory of opportunity-cost is the most widely recognized. This paper will discuss the major forces that drive us and influence our decisions.
The advent of the industrialized age forced many companies to study what motivates their workers in an attempt to boost production. It was believed that money was the key motivational factor in driving employee performance. It was later found that other factors besides money effect their attitudes and work ethics (Lindner, 1998). This led to further studies in an attempt to understand the factors that motivate employees.

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These included Maslow’s need-hierarchy theory, Herzberg’s two-factor theory, Vroom’s expectancy theory, Adam’s equity theory, and Skinner’s reinforcement theory (Lindner, 1998). All of these theories centered on one factor. Modern motivational theory believes that all of these theories are summarized in one idea, opportunity-cost (Lindner, 1998). This idea is centered on the idea that every action has a cost. This cost may be time, money, or emotional. In making our decisions we weigh the potential gain from the action against the cost (Lindner, 1998).”

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