Motivation is “the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal”. According to Maslow’s theory, human beings have five needs, which influence their behavior. Those five needs are Physiological, Safety, Social, Esteem, and Self-actualization needs. In theory X and Y, McGregor argued that a manager’s view of the nature of human beings is based on a certain grouping of assumptions and he or she tends to mould his or her behavior toward employees according to these assumptions. Herzberg (1959) constructed a two-dimensional paradigm of factors affecting people's attitudes about work. These two factors are motivators and hygiene factors and this theory is also called motivation-hygiene theory.
Alderfer classified needs into three categories into hierarchical order. They are: the existence category, the Relatedness category and the Growth category. This theory is very similar to Maslow’s theory. Existence need corresponds with Maslow’s physiological and safety needs, Relatedness need corresponds with Maslow’s social needs and Growth need corresponds with Maslow’s esteem and self-actualization needs. McClelland’s theory focuses on three needs: achievement, power, and affiliation. According to this theory, people with high need for achievement have a compelling drive to succeed. Individuals high in need for power enjoy being “in charge” of any situation. Individuals with high need for affiliation motive strive for friendship, prefer cooperative situations rather than competitive ones, and desire relationships that involve a high degree of mutual understanding.
Cognitive Evaluation theory proposes that when extrinsic rewards are used by organizations as payoffs for superior performance, the intrinsic rewards, which are derived from individuals doing what they like, are reduced. Goal- Setting Theory proposes that challenging goals produce a higher level of output than do the generalized goals. More difficult the goal, the higher the level of performance will be. Reinforcement theory argues that reinforcement conditions human behavior. According to this theory, behavior is a function of its consequences. Behavior is environmentally caused.
According to Equity theory, employees make comparisons of their job inputs and outcomes relative to those of others. If, an individual perceives the input-outcome ratio to be equal to that of the relevant others with whom he/she compares his/herself, a state of equity is said to exist. He/she perceives the situation as fair. If the ratio appears to be unequal, the individual experience inequity. Expectancy theory argues that the strength of a tendency to act in a certain way depends on the strength of an expectation that the act will be followed by a given outcome and on the attractiveness of that outcome to the individual.