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  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6

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Foundations of Employee Motivation



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Major Questions You Should Be Able to Answer

5.1 What is motivation and how does it affect my behavior?

5.2 How would I compare and contrast the content theories of motivation?

5.3 How would I compare and contrast the process theories of motivation?

5.4 How are top-down approaches, bottom-up approaches, and “idiosyncratic deals” similar and different?




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The What and Why of Motivation

Motivation: the underlying psychological influences over our behavior or thoughts





Types of Motivation






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Two Fundamental Perspectives on Motivation

Content theories

Focus on identifying internal factors such as needs and satisfaction


Process theories

Focus on explaining the process by which internal factors and environmental characteristics influence employee motivation




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Test Your OB Knowledge (1 of 4)

Juan is trying to learn how to use advanced spreadsheet features. He is not getting the correct answers but he keeps trying. What is Juan exhibiting?


extrinsic motivation


attention to detail

emotional Intelligence





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The answer is C. Persistence. Persistence represents how long an activity will be the focus of attention.


Content Theories of Motivation (1 of 3)

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X

Employees dislike work.

Can only be motivated with rewards and punishments.

Theory Y

Employees are self-engaged, committed, responsible, and creative.






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Content Theories of Motivation (2 of 3)

Maslow’s need hierarchy


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Content Theories of Motivation (3 of 3)

Using Maslow’s theory

To motivate employees

Remember employees have needs beyond a paycheck.

Focus on satisfying employee needs related to self-concepts.



Satisfied needs lose their potential.

Be careful when estimating employee’s needs.






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Content Theories of Motivation: McClelland’s Acquired Needs Theory


Prefers working on challenges

Best in situations in which performance is due to effort and ability

Prefers to work with other high achievers





Likes to work in teams with cooperation and collegiality

Tends to avoid conflict

Likes to be praised in private



Likes to be in charge

Likes to be in control of people and events

Appreciates being recognized




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Content Theories of Motivation: Self-Determination Theory (1 of 2)


Needs are learned over time.

Three innate needs influence behavior.










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Content Theories of Motivation: Self-Determination Theory (2 of 2)

Using self-determination theory

Managers should influence behavior by creating work environments that support each need.

Provide tangible resources, time, contacts, and coaching to improve competence.

Empower employees and delegate meaningful assignments and tasks to enhance feelings of autonomy.

Use fun and camaraderie to foster relatedness.








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Test Your OB Knowledge (2 of 4)

Self-determination theory focuses on

three innate needs: competence, autonomy, and relatedness.

extrinsic motivation.

lower order needs.

needs for power and affiliation.

basic needs.





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The answer is A. Three innate needs – competence, autonomy, and relatedness.



Process Theories of Motivation

Equity (justice) theory

Equity theory is a model of motivation that explains how people strive for fairness and justice in social exchanges or give-and-take relationships.

The model is based on our evaluation and comparison of outputs and inputs with relevant others.








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Elements of Equity Theory


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Process Theories of Motivation: Justice Theory

Organizational justice refers to the extent to which people perceive that they are treated fairly at work.


Three types of justice

Distributive Justice

Procedural Justice

Interactional Justice







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Process Theories of Motivation: Equity and Justice

Using equity and justice theories

Employee perceptions are what count.

Employees want a voice in decisions that affect them.

Employees should be given an appeals process.

Leader behavior matters.

A climate for justice makes a difference.






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Process Theories of Motivation: Expectancy Theory


Jump to Appendix 3 for description

People are motivated to behave in ways that produce desired combinations of expected outcomes.



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Applying Expectancy Theory

Determine the outcomes that employees value. Reward people for desired performance, and do not keep pay decisions secret.
Identify good performance so appropriate behaviors can be rewarded. Design challenging jobs.
Make sure employees can achieve targeted performance levels. Tie some rewards to group accomplishments to build teamwork and encourage cooperation.
Link desired outcomes to targeted levels of performance. Reward managers for creating, monitoring, and maintaining expectancies, instrumentalities, and outcomes that lead to high effort and goal attainment.
Make sure changes in outcomes are large enough to motivate high effort. Monitor employee motivation through interviews or anonymous questionnaires.
Monitor the reward system for inequalities. Accommodate individual differences by building flexibility into the motivation program.




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Process Theories of Motivation: Goal-Setting Theory


Successful people have one thing in common…

their lives are goal oriented.




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How Does Goal Setting Work?

Goals that are specific and difficult lead to higher performance.


Certain conditions are necessary for goal setting to work.

People need ability and resources.

People need to be committed to the goal.


Performance feedback and participation in deciding how to achieve goals are necessary but not sufficient.


Goal achievement leads to job satisfaction.






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Mechanisms Behind the Power of Goal Setting

Goals direct attention

Goals regulate effort

Goals increase persistence

Goals foster task strategies and actions plans



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Test Your OB Knowledge (3 of 4)

Jane believes if she works hard and takes an online class she will receive a promotion. What element of motivation does this represent?

justice theory

equity theory







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The answer is C. Instrumentality.


Motivating Employees: Job Design

Altering jobs to improve the quality of employee job experience and level productivity


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Top-Down Approaches to Job Design (1 of 4)

Scientific management

Conducts a business by standards established by facts or truths gained through systematic observation, experiment, or reasoning

Plus: increased efficiency and productivity

Negative: Encourages repetitive jobs which may lead to job dissatisfaction, poor mental health, stress, and a low sense of accomplishment and growth




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Top-Down Approaches to Job Design (2 of 4)

Job enlargement

Involves putting more variety into a worker’s job by combining specialized tasks of comparable difficulty


Job rotation

Calls for moving employees from one specialized job to another

Advantages of job rotation

Engagement and motivation increased

Increased worker flexibility and easier scheduling

Increased employee knowledge and abilities





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Top-Down Approaches to Job Design (3 of 4)

Job enrichment

Entails modifying a job such that an employee has the opportunity to experience greater



Stimulating work







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Top-Down Approaches to Job Design (4 of 4)

The Job Characteristics Model


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The Job Characteristics Model

Linked to

Increased job satisfaction

Enhanced employee intrinsic motivation

Increased performance

Reduced stress

Lower absenteeism






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Bottom-Up Approaches to Job Design

Job crafting

Represents employees’ attempts to proactively shape their work characteristics, including

Scope, number and types of tasks

Quality and amount of interaction with others

Cognitive crafting: perception of or thinking about tasks and relationships in job




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Motivating Employees Through Job Design

Idiosyncratic Deals (I-Deals)

The employment deals individuals negotiate for themselves, taking myriad forms from flexible schedules to career development

Drives employee intrinsic motivation




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Test Your OB Knowledge (4 of 4)

Jorge would like to increase intrinsic motivation by giving his employees independence and discretion in certain aspects of their job. According to the job characteristics model, which core job dimension is he using?

task identity

task significance



skill variety





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The answer is C. Autonomy.


Employee Motivation: Putting It All in Context

Figure 5.11 Organizational Framework for Understanding and Applying OB

Jump to Appendix 6 for description

Copyright 2014 Angelo Kinicki and Mel Fugate. All rights reserved. Reproduction prohibited without permission of the authors.



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Appendix 1 Content Theories of Motivation (2 of 3)

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Maslow’s need hierarchy is represented with a pyramid.

Bottom level: Physiological, the most basic needs. Entails having enough food, air, and water to survive.

Next, going up: Safety, consists of the need to be safe from physical and psychological harm.

Next: Love, the desire to be loved and to love. Includes the needs for affection and belonging.

Next: Esteem, need for reputation, prestige, and recognition from others. Also includes need for self-confidence and strength.

At the top, self-actualization: Desire for self-fulfillment, to become the best one is capable of becoming.


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Appendix 2 Elements of Equity Theory

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The graphic outlines a person’s perceptions.

Outputs being pay, benefits, assignments, and the like. My ratio, “What am I getting out of my job?” versus Others’ ratio, “What are others getting out of their jobs?”

Inputs are time, skills, education, and the like. My ratio, “What am I putting into my job?” versus Others’ ratio, “What are others putting into their jobs?”

The results are Equity, “I’m satisfied. I see myself as faring comparably with others.” Negative inequity, “I’m dissatisfied. I see myself as faring worse than others.” Positive inequity, “Am I satisfied? I see myself as faring better than others.”


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Appendix 3 Process Theories of Motivation: Expectancy Theory

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Expectancy, “What are the chances of reaching my performance goal?”

Performance Goal

Instrumentality, “What are the chances of receiving various outcomes if I achieve my performance goals?”


Valence, “How much do I value the outcomes I will receive by achieving my performance goals?”



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Appendix 4 Motivating Employees: Job Design

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The graphic shows the three different approaches to job design.

Historical, was a top down approach. Management designs the job.

Recent, is a bottom up approach. Employee or work teams design the job.

Emerging, is an idiosyncratic deal, or I deals, approach. Employee and management design job.


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Appendix 5 Top-Down Approaches to Job Design (4 of 4)

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Moderators. Not everyone wants a job covering all five characteristics. Job design is moderated by, 1, knowledge and skill, 2, growth need strength, 3, context satisfactions. These moderators will affect or moderate both the critical psychological states and the outcomes.

Core job characteristics Critical psychological states Outcomes
Skill variety, task identity, task significance Experienced meaningfulness of the work. High intrinsic work motivations. High growth satisfaction. High general job satisfaction. High work effectiveness.
Autonomy Experienced responsibility for outcomes of the work. High intrinsic work motivations. High growth satisfaction. High general job satisfaction. High work effectiveness.
Feedback from job Gained knowledge of the actual results of the work activities. High intrinsic work motivations. High growth satisfaction. High general job satisfaction. High work effectiveness.


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Appendix 6 Employee Motivation: Putting It All in Context

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The Organizing Framework for Understanding and Applying OB shows the relationship between the three categories Inputs, Process, and Outcomes.


Person factors: personality, personal attitudes, values (Theories X and Y), needs

Situation factors: hygiene factors, motivating factors, job characteristics, job design, leadership, organizational climate

Leads to


Individual Level: equity and justice, expectancy processes and goal-setting processes, and voice

Group/Team Level: climate for justice

Organizational Level: climate for justice

Leads to


Individual Level: intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, task performance, work attitudes, citizenship behavior, counterproductive behavior, and turnover

Group/Team Level: group and team performance

Organizational Level: customer satisfaction


In return, Outcomes relates to both Inputs and Processes.


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