Process Theories of Motivation

Innovation oftentimes happens through teams both in the workplace and in projects. Therefore, I wanted to take a minute and discuss different motivation theories that might be helpful in examining exactly what it will take for your team to succeed.

Process Theories of Motivation:

  1. Needs-Goal Theory – Motivation begins with an individual feeling a need. This need is then transformed into behavior directed at supporting, or allowing, the performance of goal behavior to reduce that felt need. Theoretically, goal supportive behavior and goal behavior itself continue until the felt need has been significantly reduced.
  2. Vroom Expectancy Theory – Like the needs-goal theory, motivation strength is determined by the perceived value of the result of performing a behavior and the perceived probability that the behavior performed will cause the result to materialize. As both of these factors increase, so does motivation strength, or the desire to perform the behavior. People tend to perform the behaviors that maximize their rewards over the long term.
  3. Equity Theory – Equity theory looks at an individual’s perceived fairness of an employment situation and finds that perceived inequalities can lead to changes in behavior. When individuals believe that they have been treated unfailry in comparison with their coworkers, they will react in one of four ways:
    1. Changing their work inputs to better match the rewards they are receiving.
    2. Ask for a raise or take legal action.
    3. Change their own perception of the situation.
    4. Quit.
  4. Porter-Lawler Theory – The Porter-Lawler Theory accepts the premises that felt needs cause human behavior and that the effort expended to accomplish a task is determined by the perceived value of rewards that will result from finishing the task and the probability that those rewards will materialize.

Theories extracted from Modern Management

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