Motivation Theories

Updated: Sep 16, 2020


In the 1950s three specific theories were formulated and are the best known:

  1. Hierarchy of needs theory

  2. Theories X and Y

  3. The two-factor theory

These early theories are important to understand because they represent a foundation from

which contemporary theories have grown. Practicing managers still regularly use these theories

and their terminology in explaining employee motivation.


The following theories are considered contemporary not because they necessarily were developed recently, but because they represent the current state of the art in explaining employee motivation.

  1. ERG Theory

  2. Mcclelland's Theory of Needs

  3. Cognitive Evaluation Theory

  4. Goal Setting Theory

  5. Reinforcement Theory

  6. Job Design Theory

  7. The Job Characteristics Model

  8. Social Information Processing Model

  9. Expectancy Theory

Each theory is explained in detail with a separate post. Please refer those post for more details.

Thank You ...

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