Theories that explain Motivation is the psychological process that arouses and directs behavior

Motivation is the psychological process that arouses and directs behavior. There are three theories that will help us understand the motivation of employees in the workplace.

1. Goal-setting theory – Suggests behavior can be motivated with specific, challenging goals that are obtainable. The key to goal-setting theory is ensuring employees understand what is expected and accept the goals.

2. Self-efficacy – Is the belief “I Can/Can’t Do this Task.” Self-efficacy is the belief in one’s personal ability to do a task. There is a lot to be said to scoring high in this trait. People who are confident about their ability tend to succeed, whereas those who doubt their ability tend to fail.

3. Reinforcement theory – Explains how behavior can be altered by administering positive or negative consequences to actions of employees. Behavior with positive consequences tends to be repeated, and behavior with negative consequences tends not to be repeated.

For this week’s discussion, I want you to take a moment to think about what it would take to motivate you to achieve your goals at work, and what it would take to motivate people that you’ve worked with, or your family or friends, to achieve their goals.

· Of the four areas of study listed above, which would you focus on first?

· Make sure to explain why you chose this area, and why it would take precedence over the other areas.

Response: (350-400 words)

Part 2: Respond to a Peer

Read a post by one of your peers and respond, making sure to extend the conversation by asking questions, offering rich ideas, or sharing personal connections.

**For you to comments as below (For you respond to the peer 2 posts);

Post 1: (200 words)

I think that every person would have a different area of study that would benefit them the most. For me personally, I think that I would focus on goal setting theory first. The reason is that I am a very type A person. I work well with things such as checklist and have high productivity that way. I work the best in situations where my goals and objectives are clear and understandable. When it is any other way, I tend to shut down a bit.

I think that self-efficacy would be a close second. I think that when my confidence is low, I tend to work at a snails pace because I am very worried I am going to mess up. This can make it more challenging to complete tasks because I am spending such a long time to complete my tasks that I am not able to finish all of my work in one day, and it gets pushed to the next day. My productivity wains when my confidence is low.

I think that the reinforcement theory would be the lowest on the totem pole of importance to me. I work great independently and do not like the feeling of being micromanaged. Sometimes if I am getting reinforcement, it can be misconstrued as micromanaging and I get frustrated. This may not have been the intention of my manager, it is just an issue I have in my own head, where I deal with paranoia of being criticized all the time. I am working on that but this is the reason that the reinforcement theory would be of least important to me personally.

Post 2: (200 words)

Leveraging from my Week #3 Discussion Question response, I stated then that I am an administrative assistant currently supporting corporate directors and vice presidents. I also stated that at my very core I have a driving need to positively assist individuals as well as groups with their problem resolutions. This driving need motivates me to serve at my very best in assisting others and, having over 30 years as an administrative assistant, I over that time have be given increased responsibilities, have been promoted, and have been placed in positions where there has been increased growth opportunities (e.g. motivator factors). Additionally, I will have 15 years as of next month with the Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC). I have stayed with NGC as the “motivator factors” as stated on page 104 of our course textbook and as I have stated above have been a constant throughout this time and, the “hygiene factors”, those that can contribute to job dissatisfaction have been for the most part neutralized at NGC. NGC has solid and consistent organizational policies, with supervisors at all levels being held accountable to both their supervisor as well as to those who they supervise. Additionally, working conditions are for the most part equal to and in most cases better that our competitor companies, with competitive salaries at or above industry rates. And for me, the best part is the relationships that employees enjoy with one another – that of a spirit of cooperation and mutual support. It is these attributes of my career that allows me to wake-up, give thanks, and look forward to another day to assist others.

I provide all of the above as a backdrop to say that the motivational theory that I would, and have without realizing, focus on first would be “Self-efficacy”. I say this based on the fact that over these 15 years (as indicated above) I have been able to gain both the ability to and, the increased confidence in myself that I can accomplish any administrative challenge that I am assigned as well as those that come out of left field. I am given renewed opportunities every day to demonstrate this, and as I benefit from continued success – that of continuing to be able to positively contribute to problem solving, both my abilities and confidence continue to grow. This continued growth is derived in part from that fact that my immediate supervisor and I work hand-in-hand to establish realistic goals that are specific and focused, achievable, with stated expectations that are agreed to between the two of us as well as with senior management. Through this process higher performance has been realized fostering greater than expected success, motivating everyone on the team to work to repeat these successes with each subsequent task or problem set. This is not to say that all has been nothing short of a bed of roses, it hasn’t. However, when adversity hits, we work even closer to overcome through persistence and reflection on previous successes thereby motivating each of us to press through to continued success.

Reflecting on my15 years with NGC and in light of participating in this course, I selected “Self-efficacy” Theory of Motivation over both “Goal-setting” and “Reinforcement” Theories of Motivation. I believe that much like Emotional Intelligence attributes starting with us as individuals so too does motivation. We have to believe that we possess the ability (or can acquire the ability) to accomplish certain tasks before goals that are achievable with corresponding expectations can be set. Finally, as one begins and subsequently continues to have success, positive behaviors with positive consequences will become more and more center stage. Therefore, I believe that the “Self-efficacy” Theory of Motivation is fundamental to the other theories of motivation in the workplace as well as in life in general.

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