Motivation Theories Explaining Individual Behavior

Understanding the factors that motivate employees to perform and deliver better results is inherent to successfully manage organizational issues and meeting the set goals. However, motivational theories are numerous and varied, providing different perspectives on how staff members can be encouraged to perform better and attain stellar results. Although delivering impeccable performance is hardly possible, a manager should inspire employees to attain better results to meet the ever-increasing demand for quality and promote professional growth in employees (Miner, 2015). To succeed in motivating employees, a manager has to shape their attitudes toward their job and workplace responsibilities, thus altering their individual behaviors.

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It is worth noting that the task of a manager also includes ensuring that the selected motivational approaches delve into the nature of employees’ behaviors and help a manager understand the factors that shape these attitudes. The described process requires a cultural insight and an individual approach so that each employee could accept the suggested corporate behaviors and attitudes as an integral part of their workplace philosophy. Only once staff members incorporate the proposed values and standards as a part of their values, positive change and a rise in motivation levels will become possible.

Concrete Experience and Reflective Observation

As a manager at Bridgestone Aiken plant (BAP), I need to ensure that the levels of performance delivered by the staff at the Mixing Department meet the set standards. However, there have been certain challenges in boosting the levels of engagement among staff members and encouraging them to meet the ever-changing quality demands. Because of the pressure that the employees have been experiencing, including the increased workload, the necessity to introduce the concepts of interdisciplinary collaboration, knowledge sharing, and communication, in general, have emerged. The specified requirement has been addressed by evaluating the factors that shape the employees’ motivation and engagement, including internal and external influences.

Theories and Principles/Abstract Conceptualization

Employees’ motivation rates hinge on a plethora of factors, including external and internal ones. While the former is shaped comparatively effortlessly with a well-designed management approach, the latter is tied intrinsically to an employee’s personal beliefs and culture, introducing changes to which is a rather demanding task. Therefore, a combination of several motivational theories can be deployed to manage the problem of motivation among staff members.

Among need-based theories of motivation, one should single out Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The theory suggests that one is driven by six types of needs, the physical ones being the foundational requirements. However, one should not underestimate the esteem-related concerns and the need for self-actualization, either (Velmurugan & Sankar, 2017). With the specified components addressed, one can satisfy the needs of employees.

The ERG Theory is another platform for meeting staff’s needs. Embracing the notions of existence, growth, and related needs, the framework allows addressing social issues in the workplace and managing the issues associated with social aspects of the staff’s interactions. Because of the ability to focus on the individual needs of staff members, the ERG Theory is often viewed as superior to Maslow’s hierarchy.

Among behavioral theories of motivation, Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory (TFT) could be selected as a possible method of affecting the rates of enthusiasm among staff members. The proposed framework implies the necessity to control the factors that encourage staff members (motivational factors) and reduce their levels of enthusiasm (poor hygiene factors).

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Testing and Application/Active Experimentation

Applying the selected theoretical frameworks to the Mixing Department at the Bridgestone Aiken plant (BAP), one will have to introduce the principles of diversity into the target setting. As a result, opportunities for appealing to the unique needs and demands of individual employees will be created. Currently, it is critical to encourage team members to become invested in the company’s growth and market performance to increase its profit margins. In addition, it is required to attract new buyers and investors to BAP to meet the changing quality standards that require significant improvements in BAP’s quality management. Therefore, as a manager, I have to foster the values and traits needed for employees to become Crew Leaders. Thus, applying a combined framework consisting of TFT, ERG, and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is required. Furthermore, the integration of the selected tools will help [promote the concept of corporate loyalty to employees, assisting them in developing corporate social responsibility and encouraging them to monitor the quality of the produced goods more actively.

The ERG framework has also helped in increasing the levels of cooperation between managers and employees at BAP. Specifically, adopting the described concepts has led to a closer connection between managers and employees, with the amount and detail of feedback received from staff members increasing exponentially. Consequently, opportunities for creating a better environment for staff members to operate in emerged and were used accordingly by the company.

In hindsight, the integration of Maslow’s hierarchy into the corporate framework and the promotion of self-actualization could have involved a greater extent of initiative in the workplace. However, due to the rigid standards for workplace performance and the set principles of production, on-incremental changes spurred by a pried increase in the initiative rates among employees may have a detrimental effect on the company’s performance in the selected market. Therefore, the company should focus on creating opportunities for employees’ professional growth and the rise in their competencies. Furthermore, it is necessary to enhance the quality of communication between the employees and the managers. Finally, creating proper workplace conditions will become a possibility with the implementation of the ERG framework, which will introduce the required balance into the organization and incentivize staff members to adopt the proposed behaviors to address workplace issues. Specifically, the management of product quality and the identification of defects in the produced tires will be enhanced once the specified principles are integrated into the BAP setting.


Miner, J. B. (2015). Organizational behavior: Essential theories of motivation and leadership (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Routledge.

Velmurugan, T. A., & Sankar, J. G. (2017). A Comparative Study on Motivation Theory with Maslow’s Hierarchy theory and Two-factor theory in Organization. Indo-Iranian Journal of Scientific Research, 1(1), 204-208.

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