Theories of motivation

1. Apply each of the various theories to describing/explaining your own level of motivation at school or at work. Which model gives the best explanation for your personal motivation?

2. Basic need theories, goal-setting theory, and reinforcement theory are very general models of work motivation. What are the strengths and weaknesses of such general theories?

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Some theories of motivation have led to successful strategies for enhancing work motivation, whereas others have not.

What are some of the factors that distinguish the more successful theories from the less successful?

Matt is the star of his high school’s basketball team. The team is doing very well this year, in large part because of Matt’s performance. This makes him a very popular student. About halfway through basketball season, Matt decides to shave his head. Soon other members of the basketball team shave their heads. Then the trend spreads to the rest of the school. By the end of February, 30 percent of the male students in the school have shaved heads. According to Bandura’s social cognitive theory, what is the most plausible explanation for the students’ behavior?

a. Matt is a high-status role model.

b. Matt was not punished.

c. Matt was positively reinforced.

d. Matt’s self-efficacy was raised.

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