Motivation Motivation explains why people behave as they do. Some scientists view motivation as the factor that determines behaviour, as expressed in the phrase All behaviour is motivated.(World Book, 1986, p.721). Other scientists focus on two certain aspects of motivated behaviour, excitement or exhilaration of behaviour, that is motivation arouses an organism and causes it to act, and the direction of behaviour, which is lead by habits, skills, abilities and structural features. (World Book, 1986). This essay aims to describe the four theories of motivation, Instinct theory, Sociobiology, Drive-Reduction theory and Incentive theory.

I will be relating each theory to George`s behaviour and whether they do or do not apply to George`s behaviour. Instinct is behaviour that is inherited rather than learned. Instinct is an inborn tendency/biological force that dominates behaviour. (Weiten, 1995). William McDougall (1908) viewed instincts as unlearned, universal in expression and universal in a species.

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(Weiten, 1995). John Bowlby (1969) views instinct with regards to baby`s attachment to their parents or caregivers, as in-built. His reason for this development is that babies stay close to their parents because they are provided with protection. Human instincts are more flexible and more open to learning experiences than those of other species. Just like the imprinting of baby geese, so too do human babies attach to his/her parents after many hours of interaction. [Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C.

(1999)]. An example of instinctual behaviour is that all ants build anthills in the same way, even when they are not raised together, then the anthill building behaviour is instinctual and not a learned response.(Weiten, 1995). Sex in humans is also instinctual. We are not born with the desire to engage in sexual activities but as we reach puberty, there is a need for sexual stimulation. Even though we might not know what to do, it is instinctual.

But, instincts only describe behaviour, they do not explain why a person engages in behaviour. Therefore with regards to the case study, George`s behaviour, (running the marathon), is not instinctual. Not everyone is born to run a marathon, it is a learned response. (Weiten, 1995). Sociobiology is the study of the biological basis for the social behaviour of humans and other animals.

(Worldbook, 1986). Sociobiologists try to ascertain the function of various types of behaviour in the life of an animal. Sociobiology is based on the theory that the central process of life is the struggle of genes to reproduce themselves. Theorists believe that natural preference favours behaviour that maximises reproductive attainment – transmitting genes to the next generation. According to this theory, an organism inherits inclinations to develop certain types of behaviour, and these behaviour patterns increase an organism`s chances of transferring its genes to the next generation. It is believed that an organism can transmit its genes on, not only by reproducing but also by helping related organisms survive and reproduce.(Weiten, 1995).An example of this would be a bee stinging an intruder bee, in order to protect the life and genes of the queen bee (an organism sacrificing their life, for others, therefore passing on its genes).

A human`s will, for sacrificing their life for a relative or someone they know, is much stronger than that of sacrificing their life for someone they do not know. A lady will not usually sacrifice her life by running across the road to save a child, (that she does not know), in traffic, whereas if it were her own child, she would sacrifice her life in order to save her child`s life and to carry on the genes. (Weiten, 1995). There are ongoing debates about sociobiology and its relevance to human motivation. Some theorists believe that sociobiologists overestimate the influence of biology and underestimate the influence of culture.

(Deverell, A., 1999). In the African culture, African men consider African women with large buttocks appealing, but may be viewed as unattractive in other cultures. [Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C.

(1999)]. George is exhibiting perseverance in the face of everything bad. George`s perseverance is a trait that is beneficial to his survival. George did not run to protect his genes, it was his own motivation that made him run the marathon. Most people would not persevere as George did.

Drive Theory: Clark Hull (1884-1952) defines a drive as an observation that organism`s seek to maintain homeostasis, a state of physiological equilibrium/stability. (Hull in Weiten, 1995, p.378). A drive assists an organism in alleviating inner tension. For example drinking to alleviate thirst. Drive theory explains why people eat, sleep, seek pleasure, avoid pain and engage in sex.

[Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C. (1999)]. According to Hullian theorists, there is a distinction between Primary and Secondary drives.

Primary drives are the most basic, inborn needs in our psychological systems and secondary drives, also known as learned motives, are learned through association with the reduction of primary drives. [Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C. (1999)].

It is understood that most drive theories are unlearned, biological drives, which progressively develop a bigger set of appropriate drives through learning. [Wortman, C. , Loftus, E. and Weaver, C. (1999)]. The sleep motive is an example of drive theory. If a person goes without sleep, for quite a while, they begin to experience some discomfort, tiredness, which is an internal tension and a drive motivates you to obtain sleep.

Sleeping reduces the drive and restores physiological balance. (Weiten, 1995). But drive theories can not explain all facets of human motivation. In George`s case, drive theory cannot explain George`s behaviour, as homeostasis is not maintained. George went beyond the point of pain, he endured extreme pain, which is George`s personal motivation.

George`s running the marathon has nothing to do with stability/equilibrium. (Weiten, 1995). Incentive Theory is striving towards attaining external goals. Incentive theorists believe that the source of motivation is external, in the environment, Incentives pull you to act, whereas drives push you to act. Incentive theory is not related to the principle of homeostasis, it emphasises environmental factors. (Weiten, 1995). Not everyone can always achieve his or her desired goals.

Expectancy-value models explain one`s motivation to persevere in two ways, the merit of the incentive, if it appeals to you, and the probability of one`s chances attaining the incentive. Gambling at a casino is an example of incentive. Your motivation to gamble will depend on the amount of money you could win and on your chances of winning. To draw people to gamble, large amounts of money are offered as the prize, making the incentive value high. (Weiten, 1995). Incentives can be both positive and negative.

A positive incentive is a pupil knowing that they will receive a reward if they obtain a good result for an exam and a negative incentive is a pupil knowing that if they fail the exam, they will be deprived of something they value. (Weiten, 1995). In relation to George, incentive theory is very suitable to his behaviour. George`s behaviour is highly individualistic. Very few people would subject themselves to what George did. George persevered, ran the marathon, and achieved his goal.

George`s incentive was an external psychological motivation. (Weiten, 1995). Through the different theories of motivation we can see that motivators can be internal and external. We have seen that instinct; sociobiology and drive theories do not explain George`s behaviour. Incentive theory explains George`s behaviour best. Some psychologists believe that happenings, that we no longer remember, can still affect our lives and can influence behaviour motives.


Motivation Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual needs (Robbins, 168). For some business analysts, employee motivation is a good way to increase productivity in an organization. When people get motivated, they will have a reason to put more efforts on what they are doing. Motivation is a crucial management tool in lifting the organization’s work force’s ability. There are many different ways to motivate employees. Employers can motivate their workers as individuals, groups, teams, or the organization as a whole. Motivation takes forms like offering rewards, improving working conditions, or employee recognition. However, which approach should employers try? Team-based reward systems have been raised as an issue in work management areas.

Many people prefer team-based reward systems to an individual approach. San Diego Business Journal, issued on Oct. 6, 1997, published an article titled “Team-Based Productivity Incentive System.” This article summarized the ideas that supported the team-based approach. The author, Bob Harrington, opposed the individual reward system. As he stated, individual reward systems create unnecessary competition and reduce cooperation between employees. It also reduces creativity because employees will only do what is necessary to get rewarded.

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Moreover, Harrington said team-based incentives influence individuals to work well together and cooperate with one another. No longer are employees and management measured purely against financial information. Instead, outstanding performance is based on a combination of items that measure the strategic objectives of the corporation. This paper will see if the team-based incentive systems are the best approach for business environments as Harrington discussed. Medical insurance and educational opportunities, among others are all common benefits in compensation programs for many manufacturers. Many people argued that these benefits attract and retain employees, but have little to do with work performance. Some also believe that if these benefits are spread out among workers in general, these kinds of work incentives will not guarantee good performance.

Well Pay vs. Sick Pay is an example of how an incentive program reinforces wrong behavior and reduces productivity. Manufacturers with incentive systems that reward employees for achievements and growth can increase their competitiveness and profitability in today’s global market. Yes, it is true that organizations need to have incentive systems to satisfy their work force. Team-based incentive systems such as gain sharing, profit sharing, etc., become increasingly popular in work environments. People now are required to work as a team, and altogether help each other to achieve an objective.

Your work is my work, and your responsibility is mine. People will become more cohesive as working in a group or a team. Team-based incentives offer several advantages. However, I do not totally agree with Harrington that individual incentive systems do not have any good influence over workers’ performance. Some people are extremely successful when they work on their own. People, who are raised in an individualistic culture, might not benefit from working in a group.

So, individual incentive systems do play an important role in increasing a work force’s productivity as long as the employers know how to use this reinforcement system properly. If organizations set a standard to measure individual achievement and reward that individual on what he (she) perform, then, the individual incentive system might work as well as the team-based one. Moreover, managers need to realize that team-based incentive systems might cause Social Loafing effect in the work force – the tendency for individuals to expend less effort when working collectively than when working individually (Robbins, 260). Motivations are necessary in a working environment to increase the productivity of the work force. Reward systems must create a win-win situation for employees and employers. Team-based incentive systems might work very well and are a preferred process for many organizations in today’s work market; however, managers should adopt individual incentive systems in many cases, when employees are more skillful, efficient, and effective as working individually. The major purpose of the incentive system is to motivate and organize employees.


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