Assignment: Describe how a manager of a small business can utilize.
theories of motivation to create a motivating work environment conducive to conditions for high performance.
Word Count: 2 779.
An organization's productivity is determined by many factors; employee motivation and satisfaction are only two of them. However, they are very important factors in any business. Motivation is a "person's drive to take an action because that person wants to do so" (Werther and Davis, 1985: 399). If people are pushed or forced, they are merely reacting to pressure, and act because they feel they have to. However, if they are motivated, they make a positive choice to do something because they see this act as meaningful to them. When a manager considers the concept of motivation, and aims to apply it to his/her workforce, he or she should be primarily concerned with (1) what energizes human behaviour, (2) what directs or channels such behaviour, and (3) how this behaviour is maintained or sustained (Steers, Porter and Bigley, 1996: 8). Many theories have been developed in an attempt to deal with these specific issues related to motivation. A manager can become familiar with and make use of these theories in order to create a motivating work environment that will induce high performance.
In classifying motivational theories, one can broadly divide them into content, process, and reinforcement theories. The content theories of work motivation assume that factors exist within the individual that energize, direct, and sustain behaviour (Steers, et al., 1996: 9). These approaches to motivation are concerned with identifying important internal elements and the explanation of how these elements may be prioritized within the individual. On the other hand, process theories try to analyze the process or manner in which people become motivated, focusing on the question: "How are people motivated?" (Swanepoel, 1998: 350).