Here is a term paper on ‘Motivation’ for class 11 and 12. Find paragraphs, long and short term papers on ‘Motivation’ especially written for college and management students.

Term Paper # 1. Definition of Motivation:

1. Motivation to Action:

Motivation causes you to behave (B) in a way that will achieve the task and get the payoff (P) which can be extrinsic (salary, promotion) or intrinsic (satisfaction of a job).

Motivation to Action

This may work for you but how do you motivate the people who work with you and what are their values, attitudes, needs and expectations (VANE) that you can stimulate manipulate?

2. The Motivational Process:


The following diagram of general model of the motivation process, represents the major sets of variables involved in the process:

Building blocks are:

(1) Needs or expectations


(2) Behaviour

(3) Goals

(4) Feedback.

Motivational Process

To reduce the internal state of disequilibrium the anticipation or belief that certain actions should serve this purpose, individuals act or behave in a certain manner that would satisfy their desired goals; This action which may be invited from within the individuals or from their external environment can be ascertained by the feedback information.


All example should clarify this process. Individually who have a strong desire to be with others (that is, have a high need for affiliation) may attempt to increase their interaction with those around them, (behaviour) in the hope of gaining their friendship and support (goal).

Dunnette and Kirchner (1965) and others have identified four complications.

The willingness to exert high level of effort toward organizational goals conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual need.—Stephen Robbins. Motivation is concerned with effort toward any goal, (interest in work-related behaviour) when someone is motivated, he or she puts high levels of effort toward job performance.


Motivation is essentially concerned with attributing causes to and reasons for behaviour. It is concerned with both impulsive and deliberate behaviour influenced by internal and external circumstances. Motivation sets out the process of what makes the person do things.

The basic principles of motivation are proposed by G. Lirwin and R. Stringer in Motivational and Organizational Climate:

1. Human beings have a number of basic motives or needs which can be activated.

2. Motives can be arranged in hierarchy, which reflect different levels of readiness to engage in particular actions.


3. Whether a motive is actualized depends on the situation.

4. Different motives have different implications.

5. Motives lead to different patterns of behaviour.

“A motive is an inner state that energises, activates or moves and that directs or Channels behaviour towards goals”. The key to understanding motivation, it appears, lies in the meaning of and relationship between needs, drives and goals.

In the above motivation process, three interacting and interdependent elements are:

1. Needs:

Need is deficiency; needs are created whenever there is a physiological or psychological imbalance. For e.g., hunger, deprivation of food and water.

2. Drives:


Drives are action-oriented and provide thrust toward goal accomplish­ment.

3. Goals:

At the end of the motivation cycle is the goal which will satisfy needs and reduce a drive.

What being motivated means: the forces that maintain and alter the direction, quality and intensity of behaviour. When you say you are motivated, it means that you are all set to go. There is something you are going to do or at least going to have a good go at.

First, motives can really be informed; they cannot be seen. The reasons are that any single act may express several motives; motives may appear in disguised forms. Besides, culture and personal variations may significantly moderate the modes of expression of certain motives.

The second complication of the model centres around the dynamic nature of motives; but they may be in conflict with each other. For example—a desire to do overtime in office hours. Conflict with desire to spend in family.


Third, considerable differences can exist among individuals concerning the manager in which they select certain motives over others and the intensity with which they pursue such motives.

Managers manipulates these short comings by stimulating a high need for achievement. However, the attainment of certain other goals may lead to an increase in the intensity of some motives. Promotion, for example, may intensify the drive of the employee to work harder in anticipation of the next promotion in conclusion.

Term Paper # 2. The Role of Motivation in Organizations:

The topic of motivation at work has received considerable attention in recent years among both practicing managers and organizational researchers. Every organization needs people in order to function.

Katz and Kahn (1978) put forward the fact that organizations have three behavioural requirements in this regard:

(i) People must be attracted not only to join the organization but also to remain in it.

(ii) People must perform the tasks for which they are hired and must do so in a dependable manner.


(iii) People must go beyond this dependable role performance and engage in some form of creative, innovative behaviour at work.

Motivation as a concept represents a highly complex phenomenon that affects and is affected by number of factors in organizational setting. The question of why people behave as they do on the job (that is the determinants of employee work behaviour). An understanding of the topic of motivation is then essential for managerial process and development of managerial effectiveness (leadership styles job redesign, and salary systems).

Third to maintain organizational effectiveness and efficiency, is the degree of managerial ability to motivate its employees toward organizational goals.

A fourth reason can be found in the increase in technological complexity, insufficient vehicle of effective and efficient operations.

Finally, the organization should be viewed as social systems, comprising many interrelated subsystems, only one of which is a human subsystem. The focus of the human/social subsystem is on the motivation and needs of the members of the organization.

Managerial roles in a social system, according to Chak Adizes, are producing, implementing, innovating and integrating. Each of these managerial roles is clearly related to one of the four social subsystems of an organization. (Administrative/structural subsystem, economic/technological subsystem, informational/decision making subsystems and human/social subsystems).

Term Paper # 3. Theories of Motivation:

Content theories of motivation describe the psychological sustain behaviour. In other words, content theories examine the specific things inside individuals that motivates them. Luthan while discussing about content theories of work motivation, puts the question “what it is that motivates people at work”? The content theorists are concerned with identifying the needs drives that people have and how these needs/drives are prioritized.


Early theories of motivation were based on the assumption that people are essentially rational beings with conscious desires and capacities to fulfill these desires. There ideas were central to the thinking of ancient philosophers such as Aristotle and Plato and more recent philosophers such as Descantes, Hobbes, and Spiroza.

Will was considered to be one of the faculties of the mind, simpler to thought and feelings. If a manager is to convince an employee, he should change their will. Since people had the capacity to control their own will, they were responsible for their actions.

However the concept of will was never very adequate for explaining human behaviour. At first money was felt to be the only incentive (scientific management) and then a little later it was felt and human relations.

The content theories, so depict the higher level needs or motives such as esteem and self- actualization (Maslow) recognition, achievement and advancement. (Herzberg) and growth and personal development (Alderfer). These theories contribute to the understanding of work motivation.

Specifically these theories explain motivation in terms of the satisfaction of basic human need.

1. Maslow Need Hierarchy Theory:


Maslow was a clinical psychologist who introduced a theory of personal adjustment known as need hierarchy theory based on his observations of patients throughout the years. His premise was that if people grow up in an environment in which their needs are not met they will be unlikely to function as healthy, well-adjusted individuals. Maslow’s approach is based on applying the same idea in organizations. That is unless people get their needs satisfied on job, they will not function as effectively as possible.

Maslow theory specifying that those are five human needs (physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization) and that those are arranged in such a way that lower, more basic needs must be satisfied before higher-level needs become activated. This means that the needs are aroused in a specific order from lowest to highest and that the lowest order need must be fulfilled before the next higher-order and is triggered and so OK.

The five major categories of needs are listed:

i. Physiological Needs:

The lowest order, most basic needs specified by Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, including biological drives such as the need for food, air, water and shelter. At the bottom of the hierarchy are physiological needs, specified by Maslow. These refer to satisfying fundamental biological drives, such as need for food, air, water and shelter.

To satisfy such needs, organizations must provide employees with a salary that allows them to afford opportunities to rest {e.g., coffee break) and to engage in physical activity (e.g., fitness and excise facilities) also are important for people to meet their physiological needs. The rationale is quite simple people who are too hungry or too ill to work will hardly be able to make much of a contribution to their companies.


ii. Safety Needs:

Safety needs include the need for safety as secure environment to be free from threats of physical or psychological harm. The second level of need in Maslow’s hierarchy, safety needs is activated after physiological need, are met. It refers to the need for a secure environment that is free from threats of physical or psychological harm.

Organization can do many things to help satisfy safety needs, (e.g., hard hats and goggles) similarly jobs that provide tenure (such as teaching) along with security blanket helps safety needs, (work in safe and secure atmosphere).

iii. Social Needs:

In Maslow’s need hierarchy theory the need to be afflictive—that is to have friends and to be loved and accepted by other people. Maslow’s third level of need, social needs is activated after safety needs have been met. To help meet social needs, organizations may encourage participation in social events, such as office picnics or parties.

Taken together as a group, physiological needs safety needs and social needs are known as deficiency needs. Maslow’s idea was that if these needs are not met an individual will fail to develop into a healthy person—both physically and psychologically.

iv. Esteem Needs:

The fourth level of needs is esteem needs—the need to develop self-respect and to gain the approval of others. The desire to achieve success to have prestige and to be recognized by others falls into this category. Example, awards for achievements, monetary bonuses, recognition of employees’ merits etc.

v. Self-Actualization Needs:

The need to discover who we are and to develop ourselves to the fullest potential. This refers to the need to become all that one is capable of being, to develop one’s fullest potential. Employees who are self-actualized (creative potential) can be extremely valuable assets to their organizations. These people work at their peak and represent the most effective use of an organization’s human resources.

Self-Actualization Needs

As each of these needs becomes substantially satisfied, the next becomes dominant. From the standpoint of motivation, the theory would, say that no need is never fully gratified. According to Maslow, you need to understand what level of the hierarchy that person is currently on and focus on those needs.

Maslow separated the five needs into high order and lower order. Needs that are satisfied externally (physical and safety needs) are lower order needs. Needs that are satisfied internally, are social, esteem and self-actualization. But unfortunately however research does not generally validate the theory. Maslow provided no empirical evidence.

Henery Murray:

Henery Murray believed that needs are mostly learned rather than inherited and are activated by eves from the external environment. For example, an employee who has a high need for affiliation will pursue that need by associating with others. When the need is not end, the need is social to be latent or not activated. Murray developed a list of fifteen need that were classified as primary and secondary.

According to Maslow, these five needs are arranged in a hierarchy of importance which he called prepotency. Higher level needs are not important and are not manifest until lower- level needs are satisfied. Once lower-level needs are satisfied, needs to the next highest level emerge and influence behaviour. The levels of the need hierarchy are overlapping.

Thus it is possible for a higher-level need to emerge before a lower-level need is completely satisfied. Maslow estimated that average working adults have satisfied about 85 per cent of their physiological needs, 70 per cent of their safety needs, 50 per cent of their social needs, 40 per cent of their self-esteemed needs and 10 per cent of their self-actualization needs. Although Maslow never collected data to support their estimates. Numerous studies have found that lower-level needs are more satisfied than higher-level needs.

Maslow’s theory has been widely adopted by organizations and is frequently used as the foundation for organizational development programs such as participative management, job enrichment, and quality of work life projects.

In Maslow’s need hierarchy the effects of money are not clear. Money is mostly related to the needs of physiological and security needs since money contributes significantly to securing a comfortable and safe environment. Money is not so important to higher-level needs. So in Maslow’s need hierarchy, money is not considered an effective motivator.


Maslow’s Linique contribution to motivation theory was his description of self-actualization. It refers to the process of developing our true potential as individuals to the fullest extent and expressing our skills, talents and emotions in the most personally fulfilling manner. The need for self-actualization tends to increase in potency. It is an ongoing process to achieve self-fulfillment.

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing People:

i. Superior perception of reality.

ii. Increased acceptance of self, of others and of nature.

iii. Increased in problem-centering.

iv. Increased detachment and desire for privacy.

v. Increased autonomy.

vi. Greater freshness of appreciation and richness of emotional reaction.

vii. Improved interpersonal relations.

viii. Greatly increased creativity.

ix. Careful about the systems of value.

2. Alderfer’s ERG Theory:

In response to these criticism, an alternative formulation has been proposed by Alderfer. His approach known as ERG theory, is much simpler than Maslow’s.

ERG Theory:

Is a modified Maslow’s need hierarchy, Similar to Maslow, and Herberg, he does assert that there are three need relationships in categorizing basic human needs which condenses Maslow’s five needs into: Existence, relatedness and growth (between lower-order needs and higher-order needs).

In fact Alderfer postulates that any need may be activated in any time. Existence needs correspond to Maslow’s physiological needs and safety needs. Relatedness needs correspond to Maslow’s social needs, and social relationships. Finally growth needs corresponds to the esteem needs and self-actualization needs in Maslow’s theory.

Alderfer did not believe that one level of needs had to be satisfied before the next level need would emerge. All of the needs could be simultaneously active for as given individual. Studies examining the ERG theory using bank employees, nurses, and life insurance personal seem to suggest that Maslow’s theory can be condensed from five needs to three. Most of the researchers support Alderfer’s theory over Maslow’s and Herzberg’s.

ERG Theory

Motivation-Hygiene Theory:

This theory is proposed by psychologist Fredrick Herberg. He extended the work of Maslow and developed a specific content theory of work motivation. Herberg investigated the question “what do people want from their jobs”? People feel good or bad about the job and at times indifferent to the jobs they perform. These responses call for the factors affecting job attitudes.

Hygiene Theory:

Intrinsic factors are related to job satisfaction while extrinsic factors are associated with dissatisfaction. This theory is concerned with job content and job context. Job content consists of tasks/ activities the job-holders do formally in their positions.

On the other hand, job context refers to the working condition, organizational climate, culture etc. Intrinsic factors such as achievement, recognition, the work itself, responsibility advancement and growth seem to be related to job satisfaction.

Extrinsic factors such as company policy and administration, supervision, interpersonal relations etc. Opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction. Removing dissatisfaction characteristics from a job does not necessarily make the job satisfying. The opposite of satisfaction is ‘no satisfaction’ and the opposite of “Dissatisfaction is no dissatisfaction”.

3. Herberg’s Two-Factor Theory:

These hygiene factors prevent dissatisfaction but they do not lead to satisfaction. They prevent the causes of dissatisfaction and serve as the path to motivation, (motivate human on the job)

Herberg’s two-factor theory cast as new light on the content of work motivation.

Even though management pays higher wages/salaries still employees are not willing to work i.e., not motivated. Herberg’s theory offers on explanation for this problems. By concentrating only on the hygiene factors, management are not motivating their personnel.

But motivators such as achievement, recognition and congeal climate to motivate employees in the organization. Both are complementary to each other.


Herberg’s two-factor theory, though popular and accepted by practitioners, it over simplifies work motivation. Victor Vroom stated that the two-factor theory attempts to identify what motivates people at work. But process theorists on the other hand, are more concerned with the cognitive antecedents that go into motivation or effort, (e.g., that is the knowledge is acquired including perception, reasoning, intuition before some events occurs).

Vroom explains it through his Expectancy model. (Valence, expectancy and instrumentality the basic assumption among alternative causes of actions are related to psychological events occurring with behaviour. The question of satisfaction and dissatisfaction in regard to Two-factor theory is dependent on the nature of the content and context of the work roles of the respondents. The job design technique of job enrichment is also one of Herberg’s contributions.