Analyzing Motivational Theories Research Paper

Length: 7 pages Sources: 7 Subject: Psychology Type: Research Paper Paper: #51234336 Related Topics: Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs, Abraham Maslow, Homeostasis, Motivation Theories
Excerpt from Research Paper :


Integrating Two Theories of Motivational Psychology

Maslow Hierarchy of needs vs. Hull's Drive Reduction Theory

Motivation is common term, but it is not easily defined. This is due to the many studies, which provide different definitions for the term. While some define it as a set of beliefs, values, interests, others define it as a cognitive decision making process. For this paper, motivation is central to a set of processes, which induce, direct, and maintain actions towards an objective. It is not similar to job performance, but it is a contributor to job performance (Linder, 1980). Motivation is a crucial component in the workplace, which explains why organizations are borrowing concepts from the motivation theories. There are many motivational theories, but they either fall under the content or process categories. Content theories assume that individuals have similar needs, and process theories emphasize the importance of cognitive processes in establishing the level of motivation for individuals. In this regard, this study's objective is to explore two motivational theories; the Maslow hierarchy of needs and Hull's drive reduction theories, and subsequently present a base for the assimilation of the two different theories of motivation.

2. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a psychological motivational theory proposed and written by the renowned Abraham Maslow during the Great Depression. The theorist included the theory in his 1943 paper on The Theory of Human Motivation. The theorist wrote the theory based on the conclusions he made after studying the hardships of people who asked for his support. The theory comes with five set of goals, which people endeavor to attain in an effort to satisfy their basic needs (Latham, 2012). Other many things induced Maslow into having such ideas. He was a little Jewish boy in the non-Jewish neighborhood.

This was a little like being the first Negro to be enrolled in an all-white school. In fact, this made him appear isolated and unhappy. His life was lonely, he had no friends, but he grew up in libraries and among books. On the other hand, some works about Maslow reveal that his family was not intact. In this, his father publicly announced that Maslow was ugly, which affected his self-image. His mother, followed suit; similar to the father. Therefore, Maslow grew to hate his parents (Latham, 2012). The readings he did contributed a lot to the development of motivational theories. In fact, motivation has shown to be important since the World War 2.

During the time, employers had not option, but to facilitate the demands of their employees to realize productivity. The theory has made substantial impact in organizations because employers recognize the importance of meeting the needs of their staff to achieve high performance (Latham, 2012). Employees have become essential assets, which explain why their needs, motivation degree, and satisfaction are every employer's priority. Maslow's theory has influenced McGregor's "Theory X and Theory Y" In this context, Theory X comments on the staff being resistant, passive to organizations, particularly when the management does not intervene. He used Maslow's theory to show that Theory x was not appropriate in relation to motivation; therefore, he deduced another theory, "Theory Y"

Analysis of Maslow's Theory

The physiological needs represent the basic human needs, which enhance the survival of the human being. It is the base of the hierarchy, which shows that failure to meet these needs, then, the other needs are non-existent. After realizing the physiological needs, safety needs are the next, which dominate in an individual's behavior. It constitutes of health safety, family safety, and assurance of income. The third level represents the interpersonal needs, and they involve the feeling of belonging (Latham, 2012). Along with the love/belonging, the esteem needs sum up the psychological needs of the individual. The need or desire to feel respected and appreciated are some of the crucial components of the stage. Lastly, there is the self-actualization stage, which defines the person. Owing to this, it qualifies as a self-fulfillment stage.

3. Hull's Drive Reduction Theory

The drive reduction theory comments that behavior is a response to forces or desires such as sexual interest, hunger, thirst and many others. After achieving the desire or goal, there is a subsequent reduction in the drive. Similarly, the theory is central to the principle that organisms are born with particular psychological needs, and there is possible tension, which occurs in case the needs are not met (Hull, 1943). However, when the need is met, the organism returns to homeostasis. In this context, the drive qualifies as a state created through homeostatic disturbance. It is what creates the need to motivate people.

Hull's drive reduction theory is a significant psychological motivational theory created by Clark Hull in the year 1943. The theory has shown substantial influence in the area of motivation because both managers and employees...


The central idea is drive, which makes employers to provide or reward their employees in an objective to realize high performance or organizational strategies (Hull, 1943). Although developed some four decades ago, the theory is still relevant in a wide variety of practical aspects. Students apply it in school, parents apply it at home, and employers apply it in the workplace. The objective to realize a state of equilibrium, often calls for the application of the theory in various aspects.

Similarly, Hull's theory saw to the development of psychological motivation theories. In this regard, it is imperative to acknowledge that most of the theories are very similar, in that they are central to similar concept. A typical example is the arousal theory. In this theory, there are a variety of similar aspects, which make it possible a deduction of Hull's theory. For example, the theory comments that there is an internal drive, which makes people to aim at maintaining a certain degree of arousal to achieve comfort (Hull, 1943). This shows that it is not entirely similar to the Hull's theory, but the concept of drive makes it a possible deduction of Hull's theory.

4. Empirical Studies: Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

a. Understanding and motivating healthcare employees: Integrating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, training and technology

The integration or borrowing of Maslow's concepts in many and diverse organizational settings, is proof that Maslow's theory is still relevant in motivation. In addition, the studies show that motivation is a significant aspect in employee performance, and obeying or complying with the postulated needs from Maslow's theory is vital in realizing the performance. In Benson, & Dundis (2003), the study applied Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Model to the problems of understanding and motivating employees in the dynamic healthcare industry. In fact, Maslow's model of motivation is essential and can apply in any field; therefore, the investigators applied to find out the many issues in the healthcare sector, which include reorganization, re-engineering, mergers, acquisitions, rise in learning and the growing role of technology in training.

The findings suggest that the healthcare industry will remain a dynamic field, and this is in terms of heightened demand for learning, increase in use of technology. The use of technology will see to faster distribution, innovation and collaboration among the staff (Benson, & Dundis, 2003). However, with this, there is need to motivate the staff to achieve the desired organization strategies. This is why the investigators apply Maslow's Model to provide an approach of comprehending the problems in respect to basic individual needs. In the face of such demands, organizations often have to meet them through their scarce resources. However, by ensuring employee security, appreciation can help organizations to realize the objectives. This shows that considering individual needs, an enhanced approach to employee motivation and commitment will help.

b. Job satisfaction among industrial and technical teacher educators

Maslow's theory has applied in a number of practitioner and scholarly journals, but some of the studies show that there is no model that can integrate all the workplace motivation. In this regard, although teaching is a science and an art, it is certainly central to skills. Therefore, an additional skill that tutors and leaders must be capable of exhibiting is motivation. The desire to motivate is not limited to student education, which shows that administrators must be in a position to find approaches on how to hire, retain, and motivate employees. As indicated, it is imperative to ensure that different needs of the employees are met in order to realize job satisfaction

The findings show that there are inadequate studies on teacher job satisfaction, including the technical teacher educators. Therefore, Brewer & McMahan-Landers (2003) sought to seek filling this gap and found out that the teachers are most satisfied with their work, but least satisfied with the rules and regulations, including the work procedures of their work settings. This shows that it is strategic to employ Maslow's model in an effort to ensure job satisfaction within the workplace. Furthermore, higher job satisfaction is a representation of high performance, which is further a reflection of achievement or…

Sources Used in Documents:


Brewer, E.W., & McMahan-Landers, J. (2003). Job satisfaction among industrial and technical teacher educators. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, 40(2), 65.

Benson, S.G., & Dundis, S.P. (2003). Understanding and motivating health care employees:

integrating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, training and technology. Journal of nursing management, 11(5), 315-320.

Jensen, R. (2006). Behaviorism, latent learning, and cognitive maps: Needed revisions in introductory psychology textbooks. Behavior analysis fall, 29(2), 187-209.

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