Types of Motivation - Positive and Negative Motivation | Human Resources Management Notes

Human Resource Management

Types of Motivation - Positive and Negative Motivation | Human Resources Management Notes

Types of Motivation - Positive and Negative Motivation

Types of motivation

a.Extrinsic motivation: It is external in nature, money related and is provided by management to employees. E.g. pay, incentive, benefits etc. Usually, extrinsic motivation is short-term.

b.Intrinsic motivation: It is job related motivation. It is a sense of satisfaction on job. It can be achieved through job enrichment, participation, and management by objectives.

Positive and Negative Motivation:

a.Positive Motivation: It is the reward based motivation which tires to create willingness to perform better. It improves performance, increase mutual cooperation and develops trust between employees and management. Positive motivation may take the form of monetary, nonmonetary or both. Examples Monetary Incentive:- pay increment, cash reward, bonus payment, leave with pay, profit sharing scheme, retirement benefit and Non monetary Incentive:- promotion, participation in decision-making ,recognition, autonomy or freedom to work, challenging work.

b. Negative Motivation: Negative motivation means the act of forcing employees to work by means of threat and punishment. It involves disciplinary actions. Examples: Monetary: - fines, penalties, pay cut, Non-monetary:- demotion, threat of dismissal from job, transfer to remote areas, and group rejection. Since, this is not good practice. However, sometimes manager may be compelled to use this technique with a view to prevent them from undesirable behavior.

Motivation Theories:

Early Theories Contemproary Theories
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Mc Clelland’s Three needs Theory
McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y Vroom’s Expectancy Theory
Herzberg’s Two factor Theory J.S Adam’s Equity Theory
  Clayton Alderfer’s ERG Theory

1. Early Theories:

A. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Abraham Maslow): Maslow hypothesized that within every human being, there exists a hierarchy of five needs.

  1. Physiological: Includes hunger, thirst, shelter, sex and other bodily needs.
  2. Safety: Security and protection from physical and emotional harms.
  3. Social: Affection, belongingness, acceptance and friendship.
  4. Esteem: Internal factor such as self respect, autonomy and achievement and external factors such as status, recognition and attention.
  5. Self- actualization: Drive to become what one is capable of becoming: includes growth, achieving one’s potential and self fulfillment.

Maslow separated the five needs into higher and lower orders.

  1. Lower order needs: The needs that are satisfied externally and lower order needs, such physiological needs, and safety needs.
  2. Higher order needs: The needs that are satisfied internally, such as social, esteem and self-actualization needs. 

B. Herzberg’s Two factor Theory ( Motivation –Hygiene theory)(Friderick Herzberg)

According to Herzberg, the factors that lead to job satisfaction are separate and distinct from those that lead to job dissatisfaction.

Psychologist Friderick Herzberg proposed the two factor theory believing that an individual’s relation to work in basic and one’s attitude toward work can very well determine success or failure. This theory has emphasized the role of two set of factors.

  1. Hygiene factors (maintenance factors/job context): This factors results in dissatisfaction when they are not present but this do not necessarily motivated employees. E.g. Salary, job security, working condition, status, company procedure, technical supervision interpersonal relation among superior, peer and subordinates.
  2. Motivating factors (job content): This factor satisfies the employee’s needs for self actualization. E.g. achievement, recognition, responsibility, advancement, the work itself, the possibility of the personal growth.( it is the outcome of the job)
Satisfaction –no satisfaction
Dissatisfaction –no dissatisfaction.
What the person want from their job?
What situation they felt good and bad about the job?

C. McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y:

Douglas McGregor invented the Theory X and Theory Y, also known as “hard guy, soft guy” approaches of managing people in the organization. It states that, people’s commitment to work in organization is influenced by assumptions managers make about people. One set of assumption is called theory X, which describes employees with relatively negative view. And another set of assumption is called theory Y, which describe employees positively.

McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X (Traditional View) Theory Y (Contemporary View)
1. The average person dislikes work inherently. 1. The average person does not  inherently dislike work but depending on condition may find work to be satisfying or punishment.
2. The average person will avoid work if he or she can. 2. People will exercise self-direction and self- control to achieve organizational objectives under certain conditions.
3. Most people must be coerced, controlled or threatened with punishment to get them to work toward the achievement of organizational goals. 3. People will seek to attain their firm’s objectives if there are sufficient rewards provided.
4. The average person prefers to direct to avoid responsibility. 4.    Under    proper    conditions    the       average individual will seek responsibility.
5. The average individual has relatively little ambition and wants security above all. 5.   The    capacity    to   use      imagination       and originality is widely found in the people.

1. Contemporary Theories:

A. McClelland Three Needs Theory (David McClelland): This theory divides human needs in following category:

  1. Need for Power: A need that concerns an individual’s need to make an impact on others, influence others, change people or events, and make a difference in life.
  2. Need for affiliation: A need that concerns individual’s need to establish and maintain warm, close, intimate relationship with others.
  3. Need for achievement: A need that concerns individual’s issues of excellence, competition, challenging goals, persistence and overcoming difficulties. It is the extent to which people want to perform challenging or difficult tasks on a high level.
  • McClelland asserted (stated) that, a person’s needs are influence by their cultural background and life experiences.
  • A person’s motivation and effectiveness can be increased through an environment, which provides them with their ideal mix of each of three needs.
  • Needs can be created and changed through training and education program.

B. Expectancy Theory (Victor Vroom): This theory states that, an individual behavior is deriving by the expectation of desired outcome from the activities s/he perform. It assumes that, each individual are rational and s/he takes decision with full conscience.

In other words, Expectancy Theory states that an individual tends to act in a certain way based on the expectation that the act will followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual. It includes three variables or relationship. They are:

  1. Expectancy or effort-performance linkage (E P): It is the probability perceived by the individual that exerting a given amount of effort will lead to a certain level of performance.
  2. Instrumentality or performance-reward linkage (P O): It is the degree to whichthe individual believes that performing at a particular level is instrumental (means) in attaining the desired outcome.
  3. Valance or attractiveness of reward (V): It is the importance that the individual places on the potential outcome or reward that can be achieved on the job. Valance considers both the goals and needs of the individual.

The key factor of expectancy theory is, understanding an individual’s goal and the linkage between effort and performance, between performance and rewards and finally, between rewards and individual goal satisfaction. It emphasis on reward and the individual’s perception on reward, that, determine the degree of motivation.

The conclusions of this theory are:

  • No universal principle for explaining what motivates an individual.
  • An individual should know about, what behavior is expected from his/her by an organization and how s/he is evaluated.
  • An individual’s perception on reward and goal drive his/her performance not the reward itself.

C. ERG Theory (Clayton Alderfer ): This theory tries to overcome the problem of Maslow’s Theory. According to this theory there are three categories of human needs hey are:

  1. Existence needs: It is related to physiological and safety needs of human beings. E.g.  food, shelter, safe working environment etc (basic requirement for existence)
  2. Related needs: It is related to human desire to satisfy interpersonal relationship. These types of needs can be fulfilled by interacting with other people, creating relations, interpersonal safety etc.
  3. Growth needs: It is related to achieve growth and development while working in organization.

As contrast to Maslow, this theory states that:

  1. An individual may have both higher order and lower order needs at the same time.
  2. Maslow states that only unfulfilled needs are the prime motivator, however, Aldefer states that, if a person continuously fails to satisfy hi/her higher needs, s/he might return to satisfy lower order needs (i.e. there will be frustration – regression process sin the satisfaction of needs.)
  3. Needs will not follow the rigid hierarchy as Maslow stated in his theory.

D. Equity Theory (J. Stacy Adams): The term “equity “is related to the concept of fairness and equitable treatment compared with others who behaves in same way. Equity Theory proposes that, employees compare what they get form a job situation (outcomes) in relation to what they put into it (inputs) and then compare their inputs-outcomes ratio with the inputs-outcomes ratio of relevant others. If an employee perceives his/her ratio to be equitable in comparison to those of relevant others, s/he perceives that his/her situation is fair. However if the ratio is inequitable, s/he views himself/herself as under- rewarded or over-rewarded.

When inequities occur, employees attempt to do something about it and as per the equity theory they may do the followings:

  1. Distort either their own or others’ inputs or outcomes.
  2. Behave in some way to induce others to change their inputs or outcomes.
  3. Behave in some way to change their own inputs or outcomes.
  4. Choose a different comparison person.
  5. Quit their jobs.

The referent with who an individual compare are:

  1. The “person” category includes other individuals with similar jobs in the same organization. It also includes friends, neighbor or professional associates.
  2. The “system” category includes organizational pay policies and procedures and the administration of the system.
  3. The “self” category refers to inputs-outputs outcomes ratio that is unique to the individual. It reflects post personal experiences and contacts and is influence by criteria such as post jobs or family commitment.
Perceived ratio comparison Employee assessment
a. Outcome A/ Inputs A < Outcome B/Input B Inequity (under-reward )
b. Outcome A/Inputs A = Outcome B/ Input B Equity
c. Outcome A/ Input A > Outcome B/ Input B Inequity (over-reward)

When employees perceive inequity, they will act to correct the situation. The result might be lower or higher productivity improved or reduced quality, increased absenteeism or voluntary resignation.

Frustration (to cause stress or panic):

Frustration is an obstruction or blocking to goal-attainment (oriented) behavior. This is the result of intra-personal conflict rather than external conflict. When a motivated drive is constrained by barriers before it reaches to desired goal, the situation of frustration arises.

A Model of Frustration


  1. Overt: It is external. Money, resources, other interferences.
  2. Covert: It is internal. Restlessness, low patience, tolerance, higher expectation, hesitation, inferiority complex.

Defense mechanisms:

  1. Aggression: It is an unpleasant action such as reaction physically by attacking the  barrier. An angry employee ay break tools and equipments may hurt his/her boss by behaving roughly etc.
  2. Withdrawal: It is giving up or quitting. Such situation arises when the individual fails to achieve his/her goal for a long time.
  3. Fixation: In this situation, an individual continuously try to achieve the goal, even though there is less possibility of achieving the goal.
  4. Compromise: The situation where an individual choose a different way or substitute his old goal by new one.

There are the different defense mechanisms that an individual shows in frustration. So manager should carefully diagnose frustration to take action at right time.

Job Satisfaction

It is defined as the employee’s attitude towards the job. These attitudes are shape by pay, supervisory style and age factors. According to Newstrom and Davis, “Job satisfaction is a set of favorable or unfavorable feelings with which employees view their work.”

Thus job satisfaction is an intrinsic realization in which an individual value his/her job components and situation. The job satisfaction level is determined by the differences between job’s expectations and actual job conditions.

Factors related to job satisfaction:

  1. Pay: -can fulfill and individual basic needs. Equitable and fair (provision of fringe benefits like allowance, insurance, transportation)
  2. Job : -components/ physical or intellectual- autonomy/opportunities to use own skills- making decision-job load
  3. Promotion: provision of promotion
  4. Work group: relation between peers, support from colleagues.
  5. Working conditions: clean and safe/physical comfort etc.

You may also like to read:

Join with us on social media to see our updates on your feed.
facebook logo twitter logo