Motivation Theories and Their Application in Organization

Theory X and Y are theories of employee motivation and management created by Douglas McGregor, who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the 1950s and 1960s. The two theories portray contrasting models of employee motivation used by managers in employee behavior and human resource management. Though both approaches assume that managers are responsible for identifying people and resources that best suit the organization, theory Y is the best model for employee motivation.

Theory Y assumes employees use self-control; hence, they do not require supervision, threats, and punishment to meet their objectives. In addition, employees willingly accept work and responsibility as they perceive work as relaxing as play (Prasad, 2020). Employees are committed and loyal to the organization’s goals if rewards go along with their achievements. Employees additionally are creative and can handle ambiguous problems with ease without direction. Theory Y managers acknowledge their employees as essential assets in driving company goals.

According to the website searched, all the writers acknowledge that employees belonging to theory X dislike work and are generally lazy. They lack the ambitions and influence to take up responsibilities and are always coerced, and threatened with punishment to meet organization objectives. In most cases, theory X managers use punishment, strict supervision, and intimidation to implement the theory and leniency and harmony to create a cooperative work environment.

In contrast to theory X, theory Y is characterized by motivated and ambitious employees who enjoy their work. They tend to seek responsibility and do not rely on much guidance from their supervisors. Additionally, the employees are creative and can solve problems imaginatively and within time. Theory Y managers drift towards building a healthy relationship between bosses and employees at a personal level in the workplace.

Being a teacher is more of a career calling than career orientation; a teacher influences the learner to succeed, learn new skills, and build confidence in the child. Nothing motivates a teacher more than when the learner gets the concept and improves in performance. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation theory best suits teachers because of their selflessness and great passion for improving learners’ skills. Intrinsic motivation comes from internal factors and arises due to the personal satisfaction that it brings. Here, the teacher likes to do the work and enjoys it without extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation is applied by recognizing the efforts and achievements of the teacher in improving learners’ performance. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation is when one involves in behavior to earn something in return, either as a reward or to avoid punishment.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs proposed by Abraham Maslow implies that people desire to accomplish in life, and their needs are prioritized according to their significance (Hopper, 2019). The five requirements include physiological conditions; food, clothing, and shelter. Second are safety and security needs, social needs, self-actualization, and desire to accomplish. A secretary, like everyone else, has physiological needs, protection, love, and belonging but also requires recognition and appraisal of colleagues and supervisors. Maslow suggested that to meet the five needs, there existed several preconditions to be first met. For instance, things having the freedom to speak one’s mind and expressing one’s self are not among the hierarchical needs but having them makes it easier for individuals to meet their needs. In conclusion, it is essential to reward based on employees’ needs and what brings a sense of job satisfaction.


Hopper, E. (2019). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explained. Viitattu, 12, 2019.

Prasad, L. M. (2020). Principles and practice of management. Sultan Chand & Sons.

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