According to James, individual and team behaviors and motivations have been and are still a conundrum for most people in different organizations. For instance, one may wonder, why does this team always seem to loose whereas another team always seems to win in an organization? Or why would someone dedicate his entire life into a sport like athletics whereas another individual who has the same capability and potential does completely nothing about the talent he or she has. The key factor that drives the understanding of these different individuals or teams is the motivation part of them. Motivation helps an individual to act upon something in time. In order to understand motivation, let us look at the theories of motivation which are the Maslow’s theory, the two- factor theory, the goal setting theory and the reinforcement theory.
The Maslow’s theory of motivation entails the five basic needs, at the lowest level; there exists the physiological needs which include the need for food, water and shelter. The second level comprises of the safety needs which are normally evident in an enlightened society. The third level comprises of social needs that entail the natural feeling of loving and the desire of being loved back and shown affection. The fourth level comprises of the desire for self esteem that includes respect and appreciation from the surrounding members and the need for freedom and independence. At the highest level entails the self actualization which includes the need for satisfying one’s capability and at the end fulfilling his or her passion. This theory suggests that if the lower needs are not satisfied the person will emphasize on first satisfying them before he satisfies the higher levels (James 1998).
For instance, employees in a given organization show a variety of professionalism and staffs who have the dedication to improve their skills in their respective fields. The motivation that they have in improving learning and maintaining their skills. In this case the self-actualization aspect drives the individual’s motivation to acquire the knowledge (James 1998).
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The second motivational theory is the Frederick Herzberg’s theory, also known as the two-factor theory, this categorized the Maslow’s theory into two levels namely the bottom level also termed as hygienes, and the upper two levels are known as motivators. This theory suggested that employees in any organization need to have the satisfaction of the hygiene factors which include the working environment, salary and inspiration. When these named factors are enhanced the employers on the also rapidly become contented. The workers will then want more due to the lack of fulfillment of the motivating factors making the employer accentuate on the intrinsic factors that include the need for difficult jobs that give the employee a chance to attain his or her self actualization. Therefore this theory suggests that an employee in any organization obtains pleasure from the accomplishment, that accomplishment is the key motivation to performing the job well. This theory on behaviors of an individual implicates that making use of rewards that only meet the hygiene needs will not totally convince the employees. Therefore it is essential to meet the two levels in order to meet the employee’s wants and objectives (Drillings, 1999).
The goal setting theory was applied as a psychological theory of employee motivation. The theory suggests that goals in an organization motivate the behavior of the employee when they are demanding. It also suggests that setting obvious and considerable goals motivates workers to an elevated performance. Motivation pay is effortlessly imbedded in an objective setting theory. The final conclusion of the theory states that the motivation in a group of workers will be great in cases the goals and rewards are joined together in a performance reward instead of separating the two issues (Drillings, 1999).
Another theory of motivation is the reinforcement theory that states that any behavior of an individual or a group in an organization is a meaning of its consequences. T his means that individual do things bearing in mind other things will follow.
Therefore, depending on the category of consequence that follows, individuals will either practice a behavior or renounce it. The three basic consequences include the positive, negative and none. However, this theory is functional as it workings are characterized by their nature and not their structure. This means that consequences can occur to different individuals and on different organizations that are on differing environments (James 1998).
Having looked at the above theories, we can now look at the difference between the individual versus team motivation. Team motivation entails the extra task distinctiveness of the team that enables it to acquire the competency part of it. This includes the team spirit value, communication level and leadership that restrain or makes the progress of the team performance. The individual entails the goal that is being aimed at. These goals normally refer to the standards of behavior which influence the person’s efforts in achieving the job at hand. In the individual motivation it is precise to the specific person the goal is applying to. Contrary to this, at the group level the objective in question are not applicable to al team members. Within a team setting the issue of objective are needs to be addressed on many individuals (Mullins, 2005).