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Motivation is the state of mind, often filled with enthusiasm and energy that drives a person toward achieving a particular goal (Lăzăroiu, 2015). Motivation is the driving factor that makes a person accomplish a particular task in real-time. Motivation is a larger filed that has been studied deeply by psychologists and translated to the business contents to aid the achievement of the organizational goals and visions. The motivated employee often values the organization’s efforts and works to prove that they are worth the motivation. The result is a high production, the sustainability of the business, and enhancement of the competitive advantage. From the employees’ side, motivation enhances work satisfaction (Varma, 2017). Examining the motivation theory, their function, merits, and effectiveness are necessary for promoting their application in the business context.

Theoretical Analysis

Several theories exist explaining the motivation. The major ones include Maslow’s needs hierarchy, Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory, and McClelland’s theory, among others. The individual theory examines how motivation can be achieved successfully to ensure that the individuals involved work towards achieving the designed goal. Maslow’s need hierarchy theory is based on the satisfaction of human needs that are arranged hierarchically. The most desired need is physiological needs like food, shelter, and clothing for the employee to perform effectively within the organization (Singh & Behera, 2016). After satisfying the employee’s physiological needs, other needs like safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization can look forth. Motivating the employee through numeration satisfies the physiological needs, thus motivating them to achieve the target.

Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory explores the good and bad things about the job. Herzberg referred to hygiene as a dissatisfying factor in job and motivators as job satisfying factors (Alshmemri et al., 2016). The motivators identified included recognition, growth, work itself, and achievements. The hygiene included working conditions, salary, interpersonal relations, among others. When hygiene is improved to favor the workers, they become motivated to achieve firm goals. The last motivating theory worth examining is McClelland’s theory that believes that three factors inherently motivate people (Verma, 2017). The factors include an achievement that demonstrates competency, an affiliation that makes employees seek love and relatedness, and the power to control their work and others’ work. These motivators develop with time and can be acquired by everyone irrespective of the age.

Purpose and Function of Motivation Theory

Self-driven motivation from the employee arising from McClelland’s theory of motivation increases the employee’s feeling to accomplish a certain role. Motivation within the employees is often referred to as intrinsic. Nevertheless, the extrinsic motivation brought about by external factors like rewards, recognition, and remunerations boosts the employees’ morale and desire to deliver in the organization (Churcher 2019). In a normal situation, the employees often work for salaries; nevertheless, further progress in a job is determined by the management’s motivating factor. Motivation also ensures the security of the job and safety in the working environment that facilitates the employee’s satisfaction (Idris et al., 2018). The motivated employees have a sense of belonging and loyalty to the organization, thus working hard is part of them to ensure that the deliverable required are met. Motivation also works to reduce employee turnover. According to Khan et al. (2017), the motivated employee is easy to retain because of their high morale to work for the institution. Low employee turnover makes the management attend to other important issues worth promoting further strategy for development.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Motivation Theory

The individual theory has weaknesses and strengths. For instance, Maslow’s theory offers the dynamics of changing motivations based on levels to promote work satisfaction. The theory also accounts for the inter-personal and intra-personal variation of the employees’ behavior. The major weaknesses of the Maslow theory is that the hierarchy highlighted does not often apply in all cases (Fallatah & Syed, 2018). Some employees prefer the safety in working condition than physiological needs, other even prefer self-esteem than the pay rise. Herzberg’s theory of motivation focusses on motivation from within thus promoting the employee’s self-ability to find satisfaction within themselves. The theory also motivates the company to dwell on the employees’ problem while making the monetary reward the last resort. The weakness of Herzberg’s theory is that it focuses on job satisfaction rather than motivation. McClelland theory offers the employees tasks based on their needs; thus, offering them support to carry their duties successfully (Rybnicek et al., 2018). However, the weakness relies on finding the position matching the needs of employees in a diverse company.

The motivation theory is geared at connecting the employees of an organization to the firm’s mission and vision. Feeling to be part of the firm gives the employees morale to keep good work for their benefits and the benefits of the company. Every theory explaining employee motivation needs to create a conducive environment for the employees that lure them to dedicate their time, skills, and efforts towards organizational improvement. Monetary rewards and recognition often uplift the employee’s commitment to innovation, thus benefiting the company directly in terms of production.

Theory Evaluation from Scripture

Motivation theory is not only supported by the psychological point of view but also the scripture. The Christian religion basing their teachings from the bible supports motivation. The book of Colossians 3: 23 in the New Testament motivated the workers or people in general that whenever they work, it should be done with all heart as if the individual is working for God. The inheritance of the work is only receivable from God but not men people work for (Dakung et al., 2016). The biblical motivation is intrinsic and does not look forth to the monetary allocation. Nevertheless, motivation may arise from good work. The motivation theory is also evident in the holy book of the Quran. Quran 262 highlights that, however, believe in Allah, the last day and work righteousness shall have their reward in the Lord (Kamarulzaman, 2012). The Quran also motivates intrinsic motivation and doing right before getting the reward.

Methods of scripture evaluation

Scriptures are purely based on faith. The more a person believes in the Supreme Being, the more they can gain the inner-urge of making things work best towards the achievement of the work goals. In the biblical and Quran reference, hopes are given to the persons who work wholeheartedly because they will receive God’s rewards. The core statement of effectiveness in motivation from scripture is self-motivation with an expectation of divine rewards.


Technology is replacing human labor in companies. This makes it unnecessary for the employees to be motivated to get the work done. The few chances of employment will require intrinsic motivation and work wholeheartedly as proposed in the scriptures before receiving the rewards. From the company’s side, there is a need to ensure that the employees are motivated according to ascertain goo working conditions for expressing their potentials. Financial results are not necessarily needed; rather, good working conditions are necessary for motivating the workers.


Different theories explain the need for motivation to promote the achievement of organizational goals. Though employers’ need to motivate their employees to improve their morale towards delivering the required services, they also have an intrinsic urge to keep safe delivery in schools. As the scripture highlight, the master sees people in secret, and whatever they accomplished in work need to be done perfectly before receiving the reward.


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Dakung, R. J., Soemunti, T. W., & Ahmed, A. (2016). Entrepreneurial behaviour among catholic Christians in plateau state-Nigeria. World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development.

Fallatah, R. H. M., & Syed, J. (2018). A critical review of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. In Employee Motivation in Saudi Arabia (pp. 19-59). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

Idris, I., Zuhri, S., & Efendi, M. (2018). Determinants of employee work satisfaction. International Review of Management and Marketing, 8(6), 47.

Kamarulzaman, W. (2012). Theories of motivation from Western and Islamic perspectives: A theoretical framework. Available at SSRN 2232841.

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Rybnicek, R., Bergner, S., & Gutschelhofer, A. (2019). How individual needs influence motivation effects: a neuroscientific study on McClelland’s need theory. Review of Managerial Science, 13(2), 443-482.

Singh, T., & Behera, M. P. (2016). Application of the Maslow’s hierarchy of need theory: Impacts and implications on employee’s career stages. Training & Development Journal, 7(2), 43-52.

Varma, C. (2017). Importance of employee motivation & job satisfaction for organizational performance. International Journal of Social Science & Interdisciplinary Research, 6(2).

Verma, N. (2017). A profile based study on McClelland’s needs. Journal of Management Research, 17(2), 65-73.