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).”