5 best Motivation Theory in Management

5 best Motivation Theory in Management

There is always a question in the employer’s mind that how to motivate employees. Lack of motivation in employees is always a concern for a manager or management staff. This post is totally dedicated to some popular and effective motivation theory in management. These theories will help you out to understand how people behave, what motivates them and how can you pump motivation in employe’s veins.

Motivation is a state of our filled with positive energy and passion, which lead a person to achieve their desired target or goals they set for themselves. Motivation helps you to do things even if the conditions are against you.

motivation theory in management
motivation theory in management

Deficiency of motivation in employees is not good for any organisation or company. It leads to a bad atmosphere for work, degrade performance, low productivity. If the employees of any organisation always are motivated toward their work then automatically helpful to the company for growth.

For the number of years researcher study on what motivates the person’s behaviour and how it works. Today we gonna discuss some motivation theory in management and how they work and how can you apply them for your benefits.

Best Motivation theory in Management

This motivation theory in management will help you to improve your management of your employees and achieve your targets.

1. Maslow’s motivation theory in management – Needs hierarchy theory

This one is one of the most popular motivation theories and can be applied in any field. Abraham Maslow (is an American psychologist 1908 – 1970) explained the human need through a hierarchy model. Its is a five-tier model of human need in the shape of a pyramid. This model proposed that first, you have to satisfy the lower level before jump into the next one.

motivation theory in management

The model is divided into 5 sections

Psychological Needs

There are some basic needs required for the proper functioning of the human body like air, food, clothes, shelter, sleep. If these needs are not fulfilled the human body can’t work properly.

Maslow termed these psychological needs as the most important needs for human. If these needs are fulfilled then go for the next stage.

Safety Needs

Once the person satisfies his/her psychological needs then needs for their safety become essential. These needs fulfilled through family and society like education, medical care, employment etc.

Love and Relationship Needs

After satisfying your safety need the next step according to Maslow’s need hierarchy theory is Love and Relationship needs. This section about the relationship and belongingness of the person like friends, family. intimacy and social relations.

Esteem Needs

The fourth section in the maslow’s need hierarchy theory is divided into two sections

Esteem for oneself – a person’s esteem for self (mastery, independence, dignity, achievement)

Esteem for others – a person’s desire for reputation and respect from others (prestige, status)

Self actualization Needs

This one is the highest level of the pyramid. This section refers to the realization of a person’s potential, self-fulfilment, seeking individual growth and best experiences.

According to Maslow’s needs of hierarchy theory, a person must have good health, shelter and relationships before go for the higher achievement you want to achieve.

How to apply Maslow’s motivation theory in management in your work

According to chip Cloney, founder of the 5-star hotel chain that Maslow motivation theory in management will be helpful in your business. He used the Hierarchy of Needs pyramid to evolve his business. According to Cloney, almost every managers struggle with the abstract concept of self-actualization and so focus on initial levels of the pyramid instead.

In order to get the maximum from your team, you should also make sure you are being supportive to them in other issues of their lives outside work. Perhaps you could offer flexible working hours to give employees time to focus on their personal life and make sure they are paid well according to their jobs to help them feel financially stable.

2. Hertzberg’s Motivation Theory in Management – Two factors Theory

Hertzberg’s two-factor theory state that basic factors like safety and salary need to be satisfied to prevent dissatisfaction at work, but that another set of higher-level motivating factors like autonomy and recognition are required to create real happiness at work.

According to Hertzberg’s motivation theory in management, the satisfaction and dissatisfaction in your work are created by two different factors. He uses the term “motivating factors” to explain things that, when person, have the ability to make himself satisfied or even happy at work. He also uses the term “hygiene factors” to explain things whose absence has the ability to make a person unsatisfied or unhappy at work.

motivation theory in management

The main point of Hertzberg’s two-factor theory is that both the factors Hygiene and motivating factors are opposite to each other.

Hygiene factors are important in helping someone to stop being dissatisfied at work. But actually, no matter how great these Hygiene factors are, they alone will never help out a person reach high levels of satisfaction at work.

Motivating factors are almost opposite to hygiene. Motivating factors are important in helping a person become highly satisfied at work, but their absence will never cause a person to become extremely unsatisfied at work.

Hygiene Factors

Hygiene factors are those factors which prevent the satisfaction at work. But it alone is not well enough to achieve full satisfaction at your work.

Motivating Factors

Motivating factors will be helpful for extreme satisfaction at your work. But the absence of these factors can’t lead you to a complete dissatisfaction.

How to apply Hertzberg’s Motivation Theory in Management in your workplace

You can easily understand how to use this at your workplace through the chart mentioned below

According to this theory to create the most effective and productive environment at your workplace, you have to work on both the hygiene as well as motivating factors in the organisation.

To prevent the dissatisfaction at work, make sure that all the employees treated well and fairly paid. Try to create a good working environment and always being supportive of them.

3. Vroom’s Motivation theory in management – Expectancy theory

Theory of expectancy developed by Vroom (professor in business school at yale’s school of management). This expectancy theory separates effort, performance, and outcomes. According to vroom employee’s performance is based on personal factors such as knowledge, experience, personality, skills and abilities. He stated that effort, performance and outcomes are linked in a person’s motivation. He uses the terms Expectancy, Instrumentality and Valence to account for this.

motivation theory in management


Expectancy in Vroom’s motivation theory in management is the belief that increasing the efforts will increase the performance means if you work hard on something you get the better results. This is affected by such things as:

  1. Having the good resources available to start something like raw materials, time
  2. Having a better skill set to do the job
  3. Need a great team to get the job done like managers and correct information about the job


In this motivation theory in management instrumentality is the belief that if you perform well in work you will definitely get the valued results. This is the degree to which a first level results will lead to the second level results like if I do a job and there is something in it for me. This is affected by such things as:

  1. A clear understanding of the relationship between efforts and the results like the rules of any reward ‘game’
  2. Show the Trust in the people who will work on it.
  3. Transparency of the process is essential that decides who gets what results.


In this theory valence is the importance that the individual places upon the expected results. For the valence to be positive, the person must prefer graving the results to not graving it. Like if a person is mainly motivated by money, he or she might not value offers for the additional time off.

The three elements are important behind choosing one element over another because they are clearly defined:

E>P expectancy: Effort-performance expectancy our assessment of the probability that our efforts will lead to the essential performance level.

P>O expectancy: Performance-outcome our assessment of the probability that our successful performance will lead to some specific results.

How to apply Vroom’s motivation theory in management at your workplace

This theory showed that if you want good results you have to set possible goals for your employees and give them a reward after they achieve that particular target.

Avoid rewards like upraised in salary, paid holiday or any kind of bonuses and go for like the employee of the month to boost the working spirit between employees.

4. McClelland’s motivation theory in management – Needs theory

McClelland’s needs theory opposes the theory of hierarchy and based on non-hierarchy needs. This theory divided the human needs into three parts – need of achievement, need of power and need of affiliation.

motivation theory in management
motivation theory in management

Need of Achievement

As the title suggests that the need for achievement is the desire to achieve something in the field you work. Like if you are an actor then you want to be featured in a famous film or if you are a singer then you definitely want to record a famous song.

This is the need that drives a person to work hard for the achievements he/she wants to achieve. The people who possess high achievement needs are the people who work harder. Such people avoid low-risk conditions because there is a lack of the success that they are obsessed with.

These people will find innovative and clever ways to achieve their goals and find these achievements better than the financial one.

Need of Power

This is the desire of a person to hold someone else, having authority overpeoples or organisation and influence their decision according to your own desire.

These people are strong leaders having leadership skills and best suited to leading positions. They generally belong to Personal or Institutional power motivation groups. If they are a personal power motivator they would have the need to control other people through their knowledge and an institutional power motivator they would have to lead and coordinate a team towards a fruitful end.

Need of Affiliation

The need of affiliation is the desire of a person to have interpersonal and social relationships with other people or a particular set of people. They seek to work in groups by creating good and lasting relationships and has the will to be liked by others. They tend to like collaborating with other peoples to competing with them and usually avoids high-risk situations and uncertainty in their goals.

They are not risk takers and are more cautious in their approach toward work. These individuals work properly in roles based on social interactions, for instance, client service department and other customer interaction positions.

How to apply McClelland’s motivation theory in management at your workplace

  • Identify the motivational needs of the team – Examine your team and determine which of the needs act as a motivator to a person and try to build good relation with the employees outside the profession.
  • Assigning tasks according to their need types – Handover the particular task to a person who feels more motivation towards it. If something is not fit for any individual then try to assign more than one persons for that one.

5. McGregor’s motivation theory in Management – X-Y Theory

This motivation theory in management by McGregor( was a management professor at MIT and a student of Abraham Maslow) describes the two different approaches or attitude toward the work. These approaches are termed as Theory X and Theory Y. Both the theory shows the opposite attitude and management style.

motivation theory in management

McGregor’s X-Y theory in management is a salutary and exact reminder of the natural terms for managing people effectively, which under the pressure of daily business are all too easily forgotten.

X – Theory

Theory X describes the kind of workers as people who have very little to no ambition, always avoid responsibility, and are more focused on their individual or personal life goals. Managers, as a consequence, are focused on overcoming employees’ laziness and pursuit of their self-interest by closer supervision, strict measures, complete management of all work aspects, and direct rewards for wanted behaviour.

Number of managers go for the X- theory and got poors results.

Y – Theory

Theory Y already assumes that employees are motivated to achieve their team goals, like what they do, and don’t need direct rewards or punishments to work effectively. Theory Y managers are focused on preparing team goals to their employees, building good relationships at the workplace as well as in personal life, and granting fair pay to workers.

Successful managers use the theory Y and got better results, boosted atmosphere to work better and create the opportunity to others also.

How to apply Mcgregor’s motivation theory in management at your workplace

Both the theories X and Y will help you out to choose a better management style for yourself. And while Theory Y looks like ideal, it’s not always possible to follow this. Most often, the combination of both is used, with proportions depending on employees skills, manager’s leadership style, conditions of workplace, organizational regulations, etc. These two theories should not be seen as two sides of the same coin and more like two separate concepts themselves.

So these are some best motivation theory in management and hope will be helpful to you to improve the atmosphere of your workplace.

Tell us in the comment section which one you find interesting


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