A test of three approaches to motivation in a manufacturing concern

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Pecenka, Joseph O.

Degree Name

M.B.A. (Master of Business Administration)

Legacy Department

Department of Business Administration


Psychology; Industrial; Motivation (Psychology)


This study analyzes and compares three approaches to human motivation in the same industrial setting. The need satisfaction approach to motivation provides a simple subtractive technique developed by Lawler and Porter for measuring motivation by means of a need hierarchy similar to that of Maslow. The need instrumentality-expectancy approach developed by Vroom utilizes the same Maslow-type need categories but provides an explicit linkage between need satisfaction and performance by measuring valence, instrumentality, and expectancy for each need item. The reward instrumentality approach, also based on Vroom's theories, specifically determines what rewards motivate an individual and also provide a linkage between motivation and performance by measuring valence, instrumentality, and expectancy. All of these approaches to motivation have been found to be significantly related to job performance in various organization settings, however, only one previous study has attempted to determine which of these approaches is the best predictor of managerial performance in the same organizational setting. The results of that research were inconclusive, hence this follow-up study. The specific hypotheses tested in this study were: 1) The degree to which an individual manager is motivated is significantly related to managerial performance. 2) Satisfaction of higher order needs is more closely related to managerial performance than the satisfaction of lower order needs. 3) No differences exist in the predictability of the three approaches to motivation analyzed in the study. Data was collected from 80 first and second level managers in a large northern Illinois manufacturing firm. The managers came from two geographically separated operating divisions of the firm, and represented many functional areas, such as: Manufacturing, Accounting, Production, Data Processing, and Industrial Engineering. The questionnaire was patterned after those used by previous researchers in their individual efforts to measure specific approaches to motivation and was designed to provide a self-rating of the individual's job performance as well as measurement of motivation. Additional job performance data was obtained in the form of annual performance ratings on each of the subjects. This job performance data was converted into performance criteria through factor analysis. Multiple regression analysis was used to permit a determination of the relationship between the measures of motivation and the performance criteria. The results of this analysis added little support to the hypothesized relationships between motivation and performance. They provided no support for the hypothesized relationship between higher order needs and managerial performance. They also indicated that, at least in this study, there are great differences in the predictability of the three approaches to motivation chosen for analysis.


Includes bibliographical references (pages 43-46)


68 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type


This document is currently not available here.