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LEVEL 2:1 ?
Q) Evaluate any two early theories of motivation and their applicability in today’s management. (25)
Many scholars and practitioners (e.g. Appleby 2013; Grammatikopoulos et al. 2013) regard motivation as the most important factor in influencing individual and organisational success. Over time, various models and approaches have been proposed by management theorists, with a common theme being their constant attempts to present an all-inclusive, general or universal model of motivation (Mawoli and Babandako 2011). Although the word motivation may mean many different things, the purpose of motivation is, in essence, to stimulate, influence, trigger or push (Carmen and Elena 2011; Manzoor 2012) an employee towards achieving an organization goal or objective. Hence it is the duty of this discussion to present two of these early models and their influence or applicability to today’s management.
Definition of key terms
? Motivation is the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal
? According to Gorn and Kanungo (1980), Moch (1980) and Mol (1992), motivation is a form of total involvement.
? A theory is a group of linked ideas intended to explain something
? Management is a unique and distinctive process consisting of actions of planning, organizing, and mobilization and controlling performed to determine the direction and achieve predetermined objectives through the use of human resources and other resources, according to Lawrence A. Appley
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
This theory was brought forward by Abraham Maslow an American Psychologist; he theorized that a specific series of needs must be met for a person to be healthy and well-motivated in an organization so that the organization can reach its objectives and goals. The series of needs to be met resulted in famous pyramid which consist of Self-Actualization at the far top, Esteem, social, Safety and Physiological needs at the bottom.
A need is a physiological or psychological deficiency that makes certain outcomes seems attractive. Abraham Maslow considered these needs because he understood that people can operate better when they are problem free.
Assumption of the hierarchy of needs theory
Abraham Maslow assumed that people’s behavior is based on their needs, meaning if those needs are satisfied, employee’s action and behavior will be greatly influenced, there by aiding an advantage to an organization of reaching its goals and objectives. He also assumed that people’s needs are in hierarchical order, starting from basic needs to other higher level needs, hence he put forward Physiological needs at the bottom and these are things such as food, water, air and sleep. At top of the hierarchical there is self-actualization which is the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone.
Abraham Maslow also assumed that satisfied need can no longer motivate a person; only next higher level need, can motivate a person hence there was a pyramid in his theory and also he assumed that a person can only move to the next higher level of the hierarchy only when the lower need is satisfied, which means that if a need is not met an individual can remain on that need until its met.
Hierarchical of needs (pyramid)
Physiological needs
This is the foundation of the pyramid that Abraham Maslow’s theory proposes that humans must have their most basic physical needs met in order to move on to other needs and this level includes things like such as food, water, clean air, temperature, sleep, medical needs to only mention a few. If an employee is hungry, sick, sleep deprived, an employee is unlikely to be able to to meet the next level of needs and do organizational work effectively so they become stuck at this need hoping to just survive
Safety Needs
If an employees physical needs are met, in most cases employees they move to this level which is Safety. This need includes feeling secure thus free from danger and harm, and feeling safe with the employees around that particular employee. If an employee does not ever feel safe it reduce their concentration on their work and they live on high alert, and may not be able to move onto the next level of needs. This may also have a negative impact on the organization.
Social Needs
Once a person’s physical needs and needs for safety are met then they are able to focus on this level called social needs, The need to socialize and to be feel loved, to feel like you belong, are part of a group and are important to people, to have friends and to feel loved and give love, if a person is able to feel that they are loved and that they belong, then they can move to the next level and they can bring in new ideas meaning they will be free to express themselves in an organization, this can then motivate the employees since they could have that feeling of being part of the organization
Esteem Needs
All employees in an organization need to feel valuable and important and have confidence in who they are, recognition for word done may be the goal on this need, thus an employee need respect, awards for work done and promotion in the organization, for many employees the self-esteem needs won’t be fully fulfilled, for some they will move beyond self-esteem to the next level which is self-actualization.
Only a few can reach this level according to Abraham Maslow, after all needs are met employees will aim for self-fulfillment thus living to their full potential, to live as though they have a purpose in life and to be truly themselves and this is the need at the top of the pyramid and the fact that only a few can reach this level is shown by the shape of the pyramid.
Applicability of Abraham Maslow
Maslow’s theory to organizational development lets you ensure that your organizational structure encourages employees to reach their full potential. While most organizations are flexible enough for employees to satisfy the basic Maslow needs, promoting self-motivation through opportunities to satisfy the higher-level needs is more challenging.
The needs hierarchy is based on US cultural values which are basically individualistic. Outside USA, this theory has found little support. In countries such as China, Japan and Korea, which have collectivist cultures, belonging and security are significantly more important than growth or self-actualization. Therefore, although the needs that Maslow identified may be universal, the logic or sequence of the hierarchy differs from culture to culture. And also people can also operate on more than one needs level simultaneously or may move to a lower level of needs if their life circumstances change. For example during recession in Zimbabwe, when many jobs were cut, suddenly lower order needs became dominant over higher order needs.
Taylor’s scientific management theory
The scientific management theory was developed by Fredrick Taylor in his quest to find the most useful way of doing any job through the motivated of employees. Taylor assumes that employees are primarily motivated money thus wages and salaries they are meant to receive and he believed that employees don’t like to work and management need to closely monitor and control every support his theory Taylor passed forward the piece rate system.
The piece rate system
Fredrick Taylor introduced the piece rate system, postulating that workers should receive payments according to work done per day, meaning only those who worked harder and much greater than other could receive high wages. Considering what he had said, people are motivated by money and they don’t want to work, his assumption seems to be in hand with what he had put forward. Employees where to work more so as to receive more of the wages and salaries, thus by doing so the organization will be benefiting.
Assumptions of Taylor’s motivation theory
Taylor assumed that the primary goal of labor and thought is efficiency, and also that workers do not naturally enjoy work and they need close supervision and control. Due to that task should be broken down into smaller task thus division of labor. This then influence time rate
System, which encourage workers to paid according to their output. Again Taylor assumed employee’s judgment cannot be trusted because it is plagued by laxity, ambiguity, and unnecessary complexity, that which cannot be measured, either does not exist or is of no value.
Relevance of the Taylor’s scientific management theory
Taylor’s scientific management theory is still relevant to today’s management, in the sense that even though other writers still find it to believe money thus salaries and wages still remain the main motive for ones search for employment, meaning organization still find useful to use Taylors thoughts to boost their production especially in farms. Taylor’s (1903, 191 1) ideas have had profound impact as a result of his two main texts on the scientific organization of work, i.e., Shop Management and The Principles of Scientific Management (Cossette, 2002; Payne, Youngcourt, ; Watrous, 2006; Wren, 1994). Taylor (191 1: 140) used his books to advocate his scientific management philosophy which is based on “science over rule of thumb; harmony, not discord; cooperation, not individualism; maximum output, in place of restricted output; and the development of each man to his greatest efficiency and prosperity.”
Taylor’s Scientific Management put unnecessary pressures on the employees to perform the work faster. Importance was given to productivity and profitability. This resulted in exploitation of the employees. Therefore, many employees joined trade unions. This also resulted in mistrust between management and employees which again instead of motivating end up demotivating employees. Again Taylor’s scientific management has narrow application. It can be applied only when the performance of the workers can be measured quantitatively. It can be applied only for factories where the performance can be measured quantitatively. It cannot be used in the service sector because in this sector the performance of a person cannot be measured quantitatively such factors are banks schools, and Taylor assumed that workers are motivated only by financial gains. However, in reality, workers are motivated not financial incentives but also by social needs and personal egos for example what Abraham Maslow is his theory.
To conclude, both theories by Abraham Maslow and Fredrick Taylor are still valid to this day and organizations are still using them even though they were brought forward many years ago. And both theories have their advantages and disadvantages meaning organization should pay a close look before adapting them.

Reference list
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? Berman, E. M., Bowman, J. S., West, J. P., & Wart, M. R. V. (2010). Motivation: Possible, Probable or Impossible? Human Resource Management in Public Service: Paradoxes, Processes and Problems. California: Sage.


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