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Understanding Motivation Part 3

Fun Workplace Theory

It has been found that incorporating fun in the workplace can have an influence on motivation. Hazelton (2014) noted that positive emotions contribute to productivity and that positive emotions tend to be generated by fun working experiences. Hazelton (2014) also found that having a fun workplace filled with positive emotions could assist in generating creativity, resilience, and good relationships, which in turn can improve motivation. The opposite has also been found to be true in that a workplace that lacks fun can lead to a decrease in motivation in people. This fact could be used by authors to explain how a character goes to work motivated or unmotivated and could be used to alter the storyline with changes to the character's work environment.

Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory

Herzberg's motivation-hygiene theory is based upon the hypothesis that there are two sets of factors, which govern job satisfaction and dissatisfaction known as hygiene factors and motivation factors (Herzberg, Mausner, & Snyderman, 1959). The hygiene factors are extrinsic motivators that represent a person’s basic needs; these factors can include employment security, salary, and benefits (Sachau, 2007). According to Herzberg (1987), hygiene factors and motivation factors have an inverse relationship in that the motivation factors tend to increase motivation when they are present, while the hygiene factors tend to reduce motivation when they are not present. The hygiene factor which I have had the most experience with is salary. I have worked at two different after-school care jobs in two different states and the salary was a big difference. My first job had a good salary and I would get a raise whenever the teachers of the school got a raise. The second job had a minimum wage salary, which was significantly less than the salary I was earning at my first job.

Locke’s goal theory of motivation

Locke’s (1968) goal theory of motivation is based on the belief that once a person decides to pursue a goal, the person then regulates their behavior in an attempt to reach the goal. The use of a goal or goals provides the mechanism through which unsatisfied needs can be translated into action. This theory is great for showing how characters go from deciding on a goal they want to strive for to taking action that will help them reach their desired goal. The theory can also be used to explain how characters or people can help others to become motivated through the creation of goals.

Adams’ equity theory

Adams’ (1965) equity theory focuses on the perception people have in regards to how they have been treated in comparison with the treatment received by others. This theory is based upon the idea that individuals are motivated to maintain a balance between their inputs or contributions and their rewards (Adams, 1965). This means that if a character or person feels that they have been treated unequally then tension could develop and then the character or person would become motivated to reduce the tensions and, in turn, the perceived inequity (Adams, 1965). This theory is great for creating and dealing with high tension situations between characters.


Adams, S. (1965). Injustice in social exchange. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology.

Hazelton, S. (2014). Positive emotions boost employee engagement: Making work fun brings individual and organizational success. Human Resource Management International Digest, 22(1), 34–37.

Herzberg, F. (1987). One more time: how do you motivate employees. Harvard Business Review, 65 (5).

Herzberg, F., Mausner, B. & Snyderman, B. (1959). The Motivation to Work, Wiley, New York, NY.

Jerome, N. (2013). Application of Maslow’s hierarchy of need theory; impacts and implications on organizational culture, human resource, and employee’s performance. International Journal of Business and Management Invention. 2(3),39-45.

Lester, D. (2013). Measuring Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Psychological Reports113(1), 15–17.

Locke, E. (1968). Towards a Theory of Task Motivation and Incentives. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 3.

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W. B., & Leiter, M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 397–422.

Maslow, A. H. (1954) Motivation and personality. New York: Harper & Row.

O'Connor, D., & Yballe, L. (2007). Maslow revisited: Construction a Road Map of Human Nature. Journal of Management Education, 31(6), 738-756.

Redmond, B.F. (2010). Need Theories: What Do I Want When I Work? Work Attitudes and Motivation. The Pennsylvania State University World Campus.

Sachau, D. A. (2007). Resurrecting the motivation-hygiene theory: Herzberg and the positive psychology movement. Human Resource Development Review, 6(4), 377-393. Retrieved from

Waarmoth, A. (1998). Humanistic psychology and humanistic social science. Humanity & Society22(3), 313–319.

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Sefina Hawke