Motivation describes an inner state that energizes, activates, moves and directs out behavior towards goals and occurs when a need is aroused that the individual wishes to satisfy. It satisfies either utilitarian or hedonic needs . Utilitarian needs imply that we emphasize the objective, tangible attributes of products (e.g. fuel economy in a car). On the other side, hedonic needs imply that we emphasize the subjective and experiential aspects (e.g. self-confidence). Besides the utilitarian or hedonic needs, there are also other needs which play a role for the motivation. Such as biological vs. learned needs and biogenic vs. psychogenic needs .

Biological needs are based on the drive theory , which focuses on biological needs that produce unpleasant states of arousal. Learned needs are led by the expectancy theory , which suggests that behavior is largely governed by expectations of achieving desirable outcomes – positive incentives rather than pushed from within.

Biogenic needs indicate that people are born with a need for certain elements necessary to maintain life (e.g. food, water, shelter). Contrary to this, psychogenic needs are acquired in the process of becoming a member of a culture (e.g.status, power, affiliation).

Motivational conflicts[edit | edit source]

Motivational conflicts can be cause by different goals. There are amongst other two main goals which have an influence on the motivation. "Positively valued goals" , where consumers are motivated to approach the goal and will seek out products that will be instrumental in attaining it, and the "Avoiding negative goals" , where consumers are motivated to avoid a negative outcome structuring their purchases or consumption activities.

There are three types of motivational conflict. Approach-approach tells, that the organism is forced to choose between two different desirable stimuli. Approach-avoidance indicates, that the organism is attracted and repulsed by the same stimulus or situation and avoidance-avoidancepoints out that the organism is forced to choose between two different undesirable alternatives.

Theories of Motivation[edit | edit source]

Maslow's hierarchy of needs[edit | edit source]

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a hierarchical approach which implies that the order of development is fixed. At the bottom of the pyramid are Basic needs which can be divided in physiological needs such as food,water or rest. Going upwards the pyramid, the next level are Safety needs such as security and safety. Thereupon follow Psychological needs . Those include belongingness and love needs (e.g. friends, intimate relationships) as well as esteem needs (prestige). The highest level of the pyramid are Self-fulfillment needs , which represent the achievement of one's full potential, also called the self-actualization .

Murray's psychogenic needs Theory[edit | edit source]

Murray's psychogenic needs include various needs such as needs which

  • are associated with inanimate objects (acquisition, conservancy, order, retention, construction)
  • reflect ambition, power (accomplishment and prestige)
  • are connected with human power (dominance, deference, similance, autonomy, contrariance
  • are sado-masochistic (aggression, abasement)
  • are concerned with affection between people (affiliation, rejection, nurturance, play)
  • are concerned with social intercourse (cognizance, exposition)
Freudian Theory[edit | edit source]

The Freudian Theory indicates that human behavior stems from a fundamental conflict between a person's desire to gratify his physical needs and the necessity to function as a responsible member of society. It can be divided into three internal systems. The ID , which is the immediate gratification, directing a person's psychic energy towards pleasurable acts without regard to the consequences; the SUPEREGO , which is the person's conscience working to prevent the ID seeking selfish gratification; and the EGO , which is mediating between the other two.

Hertzberg's Motivation/Hygiene Theory[edit | edit source]

The Hertzberg's Motivation/Hygiene Theory comprehends factors related to the job itself, called Motivation Factors and factors related to the work environment, known as Hygiene Factors .

Motivation Factors can be:

  • Achievement
  • Recognition
  • The work itself
  • Responsibility
  • Advancement
  • Growth

Hygiene Factors can be:

  • Supervision
  • Working clothes
  • Interpersonal relationship
  • Pay and security
  • Company policies/ administration
McClelland's acquired needs Theory[edit | edit source]

Due to McClelland's acquired needs Theory , needs for achievement, affiliation and power are learned or acquired from our environment. This can be for example be influenced by culture. Furthermore, it is stated that the need for achievement is learned when we are young. McClelland notes in his theory, that there is a Trio of needs which includes power"" (individual’s desire to control environment), affiliation (need for friendship, acceptance and belonging) and achievement (need for personal accomplishment; closely related to egoistic and self-actualization needs).

Vroom's Expectancy Theory[edit | edit source]

Vroom's Expectancy Theory says that motivation is determined by how much people want a particular outcome and how likely they think they are going to get it. Therefore, there are four assumptions, which have to be considered.

    • Behavior is determined by the combination of forces within the individual and the environment.
    • People make their own decisions about behavior.
    • Different people have different needs, desires and goals.
    • People make choices based on their perceptions of the extent to which behavior leads to desired outcome.
Mid-range Theories of Motivation[edit | edit source]

The Mid-range Theories of Motivation consists of the following components: thePsychological Reactance which describes the motivational arousal due to threat of behavioral freedom; the Opponent Process Theory which states extreme initial reactions may be followed by extreme opposite reaction, and the Optimum Stimulation Level which is the desire to maintain a certain level of stimulation that the consumer considers to be optimal.

Equity Theory by J.Stacy Adams[edit | edit source]

Regarding to the Equity Theory by J.Stacy Adams , people are motivated to seek social equity in the rewards they receive for performance. Equity is the individual’s belief that he is being treated fairly relative to the treatment of others.