Porter and Lawler Model of Motivation

Lyman Porter and Edward Lawler came up with a comprehensive theory of motivation, combining the various aspects. Porter and Lawler's model is a more complete model of motivation. This model has been practically applied also in their study of managers. This is a multivariate model which explains the relationship that exists between job attitudes and job performance. This model is based on four basic assumptions about human behaviour :

(i) As mentioned above, it is a multivariate model. According to this model, individual behaviour is determined by a combination of factors in the individual and in the environment.

(ii) Individuals are assumed to be rational human beings who make conscious decisions about their behaviour in the organizations.

(iii) Individuals have different needs, desires and goals.

(iv) On the basis of their expectations, individuals decide between alternative behaviours and such decided behaviour will read to a desired outcome.

The various elements of this model are explained in the Fig. 5.11.

In fact, Porter and Lawler's theory is an improvement over Vroom's expectancy theory. They say that motivation does not equal satisfaction or performance. The model suggested by them encounters some of the simplistic traditional assumptions made about the positive relationship between satisfaction and performance. They proposed a multivariate model to explain the complex relationship that exists between satisfaction and performance. What is the main point in Porter and Lawler's model is that effort or motivation does not lead directly to performance. It is, in fact, medicated by abilities and traits and by role perceptions. Ultimately, performance leads to satisfaction. The same is depicted in Fig. 5.11.

Parter and Lawler Motivation Model.

Fig. 5.11: Porter and Lawler Motivation Model.

The Various Elements of Porter and Lawler Model

1. Effort,

2. Performance and

3. Satisfaction.

Let us briefly discuss the main elements of the model :

Effort : Effort refers to the amount of energy an employee exerts on a given task. How much effort an employee will put in a task is determined by two factors: (i) value of reward and (ii) perception of effort-reward probability.

Performance : One's effort leads to his/her performance. Both may be equal or may not be. However, the amount of performance is determined by the amount of labour and the ability and role perception of the employee. Thus, if an employee possesses less ability and/or makes wrong role perception, his/her performance may be low in spite of his great efforts.

Satisfaction : Performance leads to satisfaction. The level of satisfaction depends upon the amount of rewards achieved. If the amount of actual rewards meet or exceed perceived equitable rewards, the employee will feel satisfied. On the contrary, if actual rewards fall short of perceived ones, he/she will be dissatisfied.

Rewards may be of two kinds - intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Examples of intrinsic rewards are such as a sense of accomplishment and self-actualization. Extrinsic rewards may include working conditions and status. A fair degree of research supports that the intrinsic rewards are much more likely to produce attitudes about satisfaction that are related to performance.

Porter and Lawler Motivation Model (Adapted from L.W. Porter and E.E. Lawler Managerial Attitude and Performance, Richard D. Irwin, Homowoxi III, 1968, p. 195).

Fig. 5.12: Porter and Lawler Motivation Model (Adapted from L.W. Porter and E.E. Lawler Managerial Attitude and Performance, Richard D. Irwin, Homowoxi III, 1968, p. 195).

There is no denying of the fact that the motivation model proposed by Porter and Lawler is quite complex than other models of motivation. In fact, motivation itself is not a simple cause effect relationship rather it is a complex phenomenon. Porter and Lawler have attempted to measure variables such as the values of possible rewards, the perception of effort-rewards probabilities and role perceptions in deriving satisfaction. They recommended that the managers should carefully reassess their reward system and structure. The effort-performance-reward-satisfaction should be made integral to the entire system of managing men in organizations.

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