Competitive Exams: Conent and Process Theory

Content Theory

The content theories are concerned with identifying the needs that people have and how needs are prioritizes. They are concerned with types of incentives that drive people to attain need fulfillment.

  1. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs theory

  2. Alderfer ERG theory

  3. Herzberg Two-factor theory These fall in this category.

Maslow's Hierachy of needs (in order)

Hierarchy of human needs (theory of human needs) introduced the conc of self-actualization and the potential for people to experience self-fulfillment in their work. Lower order and higher order needs affect workplace behavior and attitudes.

Lower order needs:

  • Deficit principle: A satisfied need is not a motivator of behavior.
  • Progression principle: A need at one level does not become activated until the next lower level need is satisfied.

ERG theory

Developed by Clayton Alderfer.

Three need levels:

  1. Existence needs-desires for physiological and material well-being.

  2. Relatedness needs-desires for satisfying interpersonal relationships.

  3. Growth needs-desires for continued psychological growth and development.

ERG theory?

  1. Any/all needs can influence behavior at one time.

  2. Frustration-regression principle.

  3. An already satisfied lower level need becomes reactivated when a higher level need is frustrated.

Herzberg Two-factor theory

  • Developed by Frederick Herzberg.

  • Hygiene factors

  • Elements of the job context.

  • Sources of job dissatisfaction.

  • Satisfier factors

  • Elements of the job content.

  • Sources of job satisfaction and motivation.

McClelland Acquired needs theory

  • Developed by David McClelland.

  • People acquire needs through their life experiences.

Needs that are acquired

  1. Need for Achievement (nAch)

  2. Need for Power (nPower)

  3. Need for Affiliation (nAff)

Need for Achievement (nAch)

  • Desire to do something better or more efficiently, to solve problems, or to master complex tasks

  • Workers high in (nAch) prefer work that:

  • Involves individual responsibility for results.

  • Involves achievable but challenging goals.

  • Provides feedback on performance.

Need for Power (nPower)

  • Desire to control other persons, to influence their behavior, or to be responsible for other people.

  • Personal power versus social power.

  • Workers high in (nPower) prefer work that:

  • Involves control over other people.

  • Has an impact on people and events.

  • Brings public recognition and attention.

Need for Affiliation (nAff)

  • Desire to establish and maintain friendly and warm relations with other persons.

  • Workers high in (nAff) prefer work that:

  • Involves interpersonal relationships.

  • Provides for companionship

  • Brings social approval.

Process Theories

This theory provides a much sounder theoretical explanation of work motivations. The process theories are concerned with identifying the variables that go into motivation and more importantly how they are related to one another. Unlike the content theory these expectancy models are relatively complex and difficult to translate into actual practice. They have generally failed to meet the goals of prediction and control of organization behavior. The expectancy model of vroom and the extensions and the refinements provided by the porter and Lawler help explain the important cognitive variables and how they related to one another in the process of work motivation

Types of process theories:

  1. Equity theory.

  2. Expectancy theory.

  3. Goal-setting theory.