I am interested in student aspirations and their motivations. While researching motivation a couple of names came up that I recognised; Taylor, Herzberg, Maslow and Mayo. They were theorists that I researched for my business A Level, but they are also relevant in this context. A great website that I used for business was tutor2u, they gave interesting articles from real businesses and related it to topics that we were studying about. I’ve used the website to help my research now.

Fredrick Winslow Taylor’s theory was that money is the key motivator. If you want your workers to work harder, then paying them more will motivate them to do so. Taylor didn’t account for much in his theory, but he concluded that money was the key to motivating people to work hard to complete a task or reach a goal.

Elton Mayo’s theory challenged Taylor because he believed that it wasn’t just money that motivated people, it was also strong communication between management and their staff. For an employee, knowing that they were doing the right job, having the freedom to converse and just nice encouragement improves the drive of employees to work harder and enjoy themselves more in the job.

Abraham Maslow saw motivation as a personal mentality that drives someone to do a job. He took aspects of both Taylor and Mayo and applied it to a hierarchy of needs. The needs at the bottom are absolutely essential, and at the top they are things that will encourage a strong sense of motivation, but aren’t crucial for the employee.


The hierarchy of needs highlights specific needs for the employee and lists them on their importance. His research is a great tool for employers to reference in their business so that they can address their employees needs more directly.

Finally, Fredrick Herzberg argued that there were certain motivators that would make employees work harder, but equally there were some de-motivators that would distract employees and demotivate them. He calls their hygiene factors. It would motivate employees knowing they were in a safe and clean environment. Herzberg and Maslow work closely together and they both classed money as a hygiene factor because if you have less or more of it, it can influence your hygiene. He also talks about job enrichment, job enlargement and empowering. This would make the employees feel like they were adding more skills, having more contributions, and make them feel in control of their practice.

Even though these theories were specifically related to workers, it still relates to students because students want money after education, they want encouragement from lecturers, they have specific needs and they want good hygiene. These theories have given more of a structure to my research on motivation. It also shows that in terms of motivators, you can see more in an image.


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