Organization and Behaviour Theories Essay


Organization and Behaviour Theories


According to Vroom (1964) motivation is the process governing choice made by persons or lower organisms among alternative forms of voluntary activity. Motivation can also be regarded as the contemporary influence on the direction, vigor and persistence of action. It is a psychological feature arousing an organism to respond to desired elicits and goals, controls, and sustains certain goal-directed behaviors. It can be said to be a psychological driving force compelling or reinforcing actions towards desired goals.

Motivation has strongly embedded itself in physiology, behavioral, cognitive, and social areas and it can be rooted to a basic impulse of optimizing well being, minimizing physical pain and maximizing pleasure. It can also be said to be an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner for example, the difference between waking up in the morning at dawn to pound on the pavement and lazing around the house the whole day.

Theories of motivation

Different types of theories and models have been used to try and explain motivation and they can be classified into mono – motivational theories and conscious and unconscious motivations. Mono – motivational theories form a class of theories explaining why people do things that seeks to reduce the number of factors to just one and explain all behavior through that single factor. Such example is used in the criticism of economics where it’s claimed that self – interest is the only mono – motivational theory. These forms of theories are often criticized for being too reductive and abstract. Conscious and unconscious motivations on the other hand are a number of motivational theories that tend to put emphasis on the distinction between conscious and unconscious motivations. The ultimate unconscious motivation in evolutionary psychology may be a cold evolutionary calculation, the conscious motivation could be more benign or even positive emotions e.g. as much as it is in the best interest of male’s genes to have multiple partners and thus breaking up or divorcing one before moving onto the next, the conscious rationalization could be “I loved her at the time”.

Organizations seek to motivate their workers towards set or desired goals by awarding them when they do a good job. Various theories have been advanced explaining how motivation can be achieved. These may include the following;

Maslow’s theory

This theory includes both Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and Herzberg’s two factor theory and it recognizes the fact that there is a hierarchy of needs. It outlines the higher and the lower order needs in an hierarchy of needs consisting of hierarchic classes. The needs, listed from basic (lowest – earliest) to most complex (highest – latest) are as follows: physiology (hunger, thirst, sleep, etc), safety/security/shelter/health, belongingness/love/friendship, self – esteem/recognition/achievement, and self actualization. According to this theory, motivation is achieved through satisfaction all order needs. However higher needs cannot be achieved before achieving the lower order needs. This theory outlines the hierarchy of needs as ranging from the simple physiological needs to the complex self-actualization needs. The theory uses an equilateral triangular model with the base beginning with physiological needs followed by esteem needs then social needs, safety needs and finally self actualization needs.

Motivation according to this theory is achieved systematically by first achieving the lower order needs and then to the higher order needs. Once all or majority of the lower order needs have been satisfied then they cease to be the motivating factors. This theory is summarized as follows:

  • Human behaviors are influenced by their desires and wants and only those unsatisfied are influential.
  • Needs come in accordance to their importance and urgency from basic to complex.
  • One advances to the next level only after the lower level need is at least minimally satisfied.
  • The further the progress up the hierarchy, the more individuality, humanness and psychological health a person will show.

Herzberg theory

This theory bears similarity with Maslow’s theory but differs too in its approach to explaining how motivation can be achieved and was brought about by Frederick Herzberg. It is a two factor theory i.e. intrinsic/extrinsic motivation and it argues that there are certain things that if introduced would in themselves induce employees to work harder. He asserts that some factors in the workplace result in job satisfaction but if absent, they don’t lead to dissatisfaction but no satisfaction (Lepper M., 1973). These motivating factors can change over the lifetime of these people and according to Herzberg are referred to as motivatorsHowever there were also factors that could de-motivate employees if not present but would not in themselves motivate employees to work harder. These He refers to them as ‘Hygiene factors’ and they include status, job security, salary, and fringe benefits. Motivators are actually concerned with the job itself. For instance they could include, how interesting the work is, how much opportunity it gives for extra responsibility, recognition and promotion. Motivators could include; additional responsibility or even the feeling o recognition. Hygiene factors are those factors that surround the job other than the job itself. Hygiene factors on the other hand could include; job security, organizational policies, working conditions and even the quality of technical supervision (Moen, R., & Doyle, K. O., 1978).

Motivation according to Herzberg can be achieved through managers ensuring that hygiene factors are adequate and then build satisfiers into the job. The name hygiene factor is used because, like hygiene, the presence will not improve health, but absence can cause health deterioration. Herzberg’s theory has found application in such occupational fields as information systems and in studies of user satisfaction such as computer user satisfaction.

McClelland’s acquired needs theory.

McClelland proposed that an individual’s specific needs are acquired over time and are shaped by one’s life experiences. This theory basically acknowledges the fact that individuals prioritize needs differently. Much as individuals may not be born with these needs, they actually learn them through life experiences.  McClelland outlines three specific needs which are; the need for achievement which is the drive to excel, the need for power which is the desire to influence others to behave in certain manner and the need for affiliation which basically is that desire to co-exist with other people without conflict. People with a higher affinity for achievement seek excellence and thus tend to avoid both low – risk and high – risk situations. Many excellence oriented people avoid low – risk situations because they term easily attained success as not genuine achievement. High – risk projects present to achievers an impression of a chanced outcome rather than effort oriented outcome. Individuals with higher needs for achievement prefer work with moderate probability for success ideally a 50% chance and many achievers need a regular feedback in order to monitor the progress of the indulgences. They mostly prefer to work alone or with other high achievers.

Those with a higher need for affiliation often need harmonious relationships with other people and need to feel accepted by other people. They tend to conform to the norms of their work group. They prefer work that provides significant personal interaction and they perform well in customer service and client interaction.

The need for power can be of two types – personal and institutional, personal power being the need to direct others a need that’s perceived undesirable. Those in need of social/institutional power want to organize the efforts of other people to further the goals of the organization. Managers with need for institutional power often prove to be more effective than those with need for personal power.

The theory thus advances the belief that individuals have to be understood in terms of their specific needs as to be motivated. For example, individuals who are achievement oriented tend to seek personal responsibility for finding solutions to problems. As such these individuals need to be constantly given feedback of their progress. Individuals whose key motivator is power enjoy being in charge, influence others and thus prefer being placed in competitive and status oriented situations. Individuals who are driven with affiliation are thus constantly in need of friendship, they prefer co-operative situations rather than competitive ones and hence they desire relationships involving a high degree of mutual understanding.

Managers who ascribe to this theory of motivation should be keen to identify the specific needs of people and ensure that they help their employees achieve these needs with a lot of ease and hence achieving the ultimate corporate goals.

Vroom’s theory of motivation Victor H Vroom holds in his theory dubbed the Expectancy theory of motivation that people will be motivated to do all they can to attain certain goals if they if they believe in the worth of that goal and if they can see that what they do will help them in achieving the goal. The theory advances its attestation to the fact that individuals’ motivation will be determined by the value they place on the outcome of their effort multiplied by the confidence they have that their effort will materially aid in their achieving the goal. (Force= Valence * Expectation); where Force is the strength of a person’s motivation, Valence is the strength of an individuals’ preference for an outcome and expectancy is the probability that a particular action will lead to the desired outcome. It’s worth noting that this theory recognizes the importance of the individual needs and motivations.

Process theories of motivation

Professor Charles Handy in this theory recognizes the fact that for every individual there is the conscious or unconscious assessment of three factors namely; the individual’s needs, the desired results and the E- factors. The theory explains that motivation in an organization is increased when intended results are made clear and when there is immediate feedback on performance. The theory further advances the fact that individuals are more committed to goals they themselves have set. This theory bears similarity with the Vroom’s process theory in that they both emphasize that motivation is dependent on some form of calculation whereby an individual weighs the potential rewards and the effort required to achieve those results.

The usefulness of McClelland’s theory to managers

McClelland theory tries to explain that individual tend to attain satisfaction based on their satisfaction of the specific needs namely. Need to excel, the need for power and the need for affiliation. Managers who use this theory as the guiding tool in their quest to have motivated employees therefore need to acquaint themselves with the specificity of these needs. They need to understand that indeed in the quest to achieve optimal organizational goals they need to strike a balance between corporate goals and individual needs. They need to provide these individuals with the best environment that will facilitate achievement of these goals.

To those individuals whose specific goals are aligned to excellence for example, managers should assign more responsibility to them. Managers should also ensure that they give them adequate feedback as regards to their performance.

For those individual whose key drive is power, managers should place them in positions where they feel in charge, where these individuals will have the direct influence over others decisions and where they will feel that their statuses are upheld.

Managers should also give employees who have the motivating factor the best and conducive environment to interact. This can be achieved by laving such individuals constantly to work in teams.

In togetherness, all the corporate goals will be achieved fully striking that balance of satisfying individual needs as well as the corporate goals.

The Nature of Groups and Group Behavior

Tuck man listed five stages through which a group progresses namely; forming. Storming, forming, performing and adjourning. 


This is that stage in a group that essentially all members tend to identify one another and the roles they intend to play within the group. Here normally all the group members are keen to ensure that they conform to the set rules within the group. Here individuals synthesize information they receive in an effort to determine the potential norms and roles.


This is the most critical stage of group dynamics characterized oftenly with tension surrounding the development of group goals, roles, norms and decision making. This marks the point of make or break. He way members of such groups handle themselves will always determine ultimate success. Here conflict is inevitable. However, most decisions are always achieved through consensus.


At this stage, rules are set up; the group is able to agree up. Group members agree on penalties and ways of functioning towards effective performance. People take responsibilities. Leadership becomes eminent at this stage. However the norms may be helpful or destructive.

Performing stage

At this stage group members are organizing themselves to meet group goals. It is the stage of maturity because groups functioning well at this stage often harmonize their energies to achieve. Members care for each other. They help one another. They plan, strategize, debate and implement issues discussed. Members also celebrate the achievements of the group.

The adjourning or mourning stage

At this stage the group is disbanded having achieved its goals. This stage marks the end of project or relationship. The group loses the strong bonding. Many become reluctant to part ways. There is also the feeling of unfinished business.

Factors that promote group development

Factors promoting effective teamwork may include among others; diversity, communication, leadership and team building exercises.


Effective teams embrace and are constituted by a diversity of cultures, talents and personalities. Teams that lack diversity can find it difficult to solve particular problems.


Effective teamwork is supported by effective leadership. Leaders can support collaboration by coordinating the efforts of team members and encouraging team m embers to speak their minds during team meetings.


Effective teamwork is facilitated by clear and open communication. All team members should always read from the same script. This breeds cohesion and thus increases relevance and coherence in all the group assignments.

The role of technology in advancing teamwork

Technology has in the recent past highly facilitated teamwork. Various techniques have been adopted that enhance teamwork. These may include among others, e-mail, internet, video conferencing and mobile technology. This has led to globalization hence making the world appear like a small village. In these groups, technology has helped enhance communication as the key tool facilitating effective teamwork.


In carrying out the group assignments, groups can adopt the use of e-mails as the fastest means of communication. This for instance can be used in collaborating information from among the group members. Tasks can be spread or even solutions shared quickly by adopting this mode of communication.


This is a mode of communication where the parties communicating are constantly in touch by electronic means. Video conferencing facilitates detailed communication as the parties communicating are able to observe each other’s reactions.


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