+
3 Tutorials that teach Contemporary Motivation Theories
Take your pick:
Contemporary Motivation Theories

Contemporary Motivation Theories

Author: James Howard
Description:

This lesson discusses the major modern theories of motivation relevant to business.

(more)
See More
Try a College Course Free

Sophia’s self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

25 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

221 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 20 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.

Tutorial

Video Transcription

Download PDF

Hello and welcome to this tutorial on contemporary motivation theories. Now let me ask you a question once again. What motivates you? We talked a little bit in a tutorial before about classical motivation theories or motivation theories in the mid to early 20th century. Now what we're going to be looking at today is contemporary motivation theories. We're also going to be taking a look again at motivation.

Now the key terms we're going to be using in this lesson are expectancy theory, equity theory, goal setting theory, Management by Objectives or MBO, and participative management and empowerment. So let's get started with taking a look at some motivational theories and just kind of the difference between those ones that we call classical or early to mid 20th century and the contemporary ones today.

Now historic theories are important, because they help us understand what it is that motivates us. Well, with contemporary motivational theories, we're looking at why. Because what we found with those classical theories is they didn't really address why we are motivated. The first one we're going to look at is called expectancy theory. Expectancy theory is a theory of motivation, which argues that individuals will work harder if they believe that what they expect and want will actually happen.

Now the idea here is that people are motivated and try to get rewards that they expect that they can attain. If we look at the graph, we notice that first we have effort. Effort leads to performance. And performance leads to outcome. And that outcome is something that they expect will actually happen-- that they will want that to happen. And this, according to expectancy theory, is what leads to motivation. Now this can be useful with human resources management, because we can set goals and rewards that folks can attain for that effort, performance, and outcome.

Equity theory is a theory of motivation, which argues that employees will work more consistently and generally enjoy their job more, if they believe all employees are being treated in the same manner. And it's important here that people don't feel like they're getting the short end of the stick or a raw deal. If they believe they've been treated unequitably, their motivation goes down, because they feel like someone else is getting a better deal than they are. And this is based on the employees behalf at least on a comparison with their fellows relative to the inputs that they put in and the outputs that they receive. So here it's important for a human resource to make sure that all the benefits and pay are equitable across the employee base.

Now goal setting theory is a theory of motivation, which argues that setting meaningful goals will increase productivity. And here it's important for managers to set goals that are meaningful to the employee and meaningful to the goals of the organization. If we set goals that really don't have anything to do with anything, then employees tend not to be motivated by those goals.

Now a goal should be S.M.A.R.T. And what we mean by smart is they should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time targeted. They should be goals that are not just, well, we'll just do better next year. That's not really a S.M.A.R.T goal. A S.M.A.R.T goal will be we're going to increase something by a certain amount in a certain time that's achievable, not right now or tomorrow. It's relevant to what we're doing at a company, and it's time targeted. For instance, we're going to increase employee output by next year on this particular product.

So let's talk about motivation a little more deeply as it concerns the contemporary motivation theories. A lot of people still think that, according to that classic theory, that money is still the only motivator. And it's really not. There are two modern options that we can use or we can look at as a basis for how we can motivate people without necessarily money and still get a very, very good result. One is Management by Objective. Now Management by Objective is a system of management which argues that if both managers and employees understand and agree upon the organizational objectives, then there will be higher motivation and productivity.

Now Management by Objectives takes the form of five basic steps. Those steps are top management support-- whatever the objective is that the managers and the employees are ascribing to has to be supported not only lip service by top management-- they have to get behind this objective. It's important here to also set basic goals-- nothing pie-in-the-sky, nothing really, really elaborate, but basic goals that we can achieve.

It's important then to communicate with each employee what those objectives are, then to do a periodic review not only to just tell people when they're not doing well, but also to reward people or encourage them when they're doing better. And if we can't hit this particular objective, then it may be important to then make a change to those objectives along the way.

Lastly, it's evaluation at a set time. We know we're going to evaluate people every quarter, or every month, or every year so that people know when the evaluation is coming up, and they can set their targets and work to that particular schedule. Now another one is participative management and empowerment. And this is a system of management which argues that engaging employees in decision making about their work will increase job satisfaction.

And this is where employees are given a say in how they would like to do their job and what their goals are. Now this theory postulates that individuals are going to be more invested if they have a say in their own goals and participate in the design of those goals. Now companies may want to use either one of these methods in order to increase employee motivation. Because if you increase employee motivation, then typically, you increase worker output and higher morale in the companies also.

Now also more autocratic managers, or people who really, really like to dictate what's going on, may prefer MBO or Management by Objective. Whereas more democratic and free reign managers may prefer participative management and empowerment, because then they're seeking input that let's take a vote from their employees. So what is it we looked at today in this lesson? Well, we looked at contemporary motivation theories and the theory of why people are motivated, instead of just how people are motivated. And we also looked at motivation. As always, I want to thank you for spending some time with me today. Have a great day.

TERMS TO KNOW
  • Expectancy Theory

    A theory of motivation which argues that individuals will work harder if they believe that what they expect and want will actually happen.

  • Equity Theory

    A theory of motivation which argues that employees will work more consistently and generally enjoy their job more, if they believe all employees are being treated in the same manner.

  • Goal Setting Theory

    A theory of motivation which argues that setting meaningful goals will increase productivity.

  • Management by Objectives (MBO)

    A system of management which argues that if both managers and employees understand and agree upon the organizational objectives then there will be higher motivation and productivity.

  • Participative Management and Empowerment

    A system of management which argues that engaging employees in decision making about thier work will increase job satification.