Common-sense Theory: Motivation

Motivation Definition: The reason or reasons to act in a particular way. It is what makes us do things and carry out tasks for the organisation. However, motivation is often used as an excuse, a lack of motivation for not doing anything. This is why in an organisation discipline needs to be used, to inspire the fact that motivation isn’t always needed, but discipline to get the job done is.

Common-sense Theory Definition: McGregor’s theory started off because he believed that every person has a different reason to get out of bed in the morning, a different reason to go to work and earn money. Some people, who are put into the ‘Theory X’, work to just get money, they don’t care about anything else, any other benefits. Others, put into ‘Theory Y’ go to work to get independence and improve their life. The outlines of these theories are shown below;

Common-Sense Approach 1 – Theory X

  • People cannot be trusted
  • They are lazy, irrational and unreliable
  • They need to be controlled, motivated by money and threatened by punishment
  • Without control they will pursue their own goals, which will be contrary to those of the organisation.

Common-Sense Approach 2 – Theory Y

Common-Sense Approach 3 – Paternalism

  • A person’s behaviour influenced most fundamentally by social interactions
  • These can determine sense of identity and belonging at work
  • People seek meaningful relationships at work
  • They are responsive to others expectations, often more than financial incentives.

McGregor (1960)

Key Learning Points

  1. How Would You Define Motivation?
  2. Define the Common-Sense Theory
  3. What are the Three Parts of the Common-Sense Theory?