All right, so there's two basic ways in which People have thought about motivation One class is theories about content This is the question about what motivates people What are the carrots and sticks that cause people to exert effort or That spurs motivation? Or curbs motivation in some cases And then there's the process theories, which is more concerned with the steps that people go through as they exert effort or as they determine how much effort they should be exerting in the first place So the content theories are the question about what motivates people and The process theories are about how people are motivated Neither clause I find particularly useful as a prescriptive tool There is so much complexity in what really determines you motivation as we'll see as We discuss those That they can't provide a full solution. But I do find them helpful as a point of reflection to really think about what can determine an individual's motivation Okay, so let's start with the content theories The most famous content theory of them all is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs This is the one that is mostly widely taught, but Also the one that is most highly criticized and most beaten and battered We'll come to the criticism in a moment The basic proposition is this: human beings have a certain set of needs and They are hierarchically ordered You basically try to fulfill lowest level needs and Then you proceed to the next level Maslow suggested five levels Starting at the lowest level of needs, the lowest tier of needs. Those are basic needs for survival. So physiological needs. This is air, water, food, sex and the organizational implications for that last one were always unclear to me. How should leaders deal with that? I don't know. Can't help you there. The next level up is security needs, safety needs. So this is the need for shelter to be safe from threats essentially. The next level up is affiliation. So you want to have relationships, you want to belong to a group. That's a important category of needs. And above that are Esteem Needs. This recognitions, status and such. And so on then on the highest level, we have self actualization. So this is to have a feeling that you're realizing your full potential. So these are the five levels. And again, the idea is that you kind of go through one by one. So this idea of linear progression that you go from one level of needs to another is something that has parallels in developmental psychology. And Maslow has a great quote to explain this single minded focus on one level after another rather than a simultaneous focus on all kinds of needs. And he says that, ”For the man is extremely and dangerously hungry, no other interests…” For the man who is extremely and dangerously hungry, no other interest exists but food. He dreams food, he thinks food, he perceives food, he wants only food. Such a man can be said to exist on bread alone. So that's the idea If you don't have your basic needs met, you don't even think about these other needs at all. So people have tried to translate this idea of a hierarchy of needs to an organizational context Originally this was a theory for human motivation plain and simple and people have tried to see what that would mean for the organizational context. What that would mean for leaders that want to instill motivation. So the organization equivalent to the personal physiological need could be salary. This is what you use to buy food and water. The parallel for safety needs could be job security, a certain level of trust in the organization that you enjoy. Belonging needs could be acceptance, inclusion in teams and task forces. The esteem needs could be recognition for your efforts at work being given more responsibility as a result of that. And lastly, self-actualization could be the seeing a sense of purpose in the work that you do. So those are not easy translations to make necessarily and So those are not easy translations to make necessarily and one issue that I always have is actually with the salary part because the argument can be made that money that you get for the work that you do can actually, maybe buy you a number of the other needs as well. Safety needs, yeah, you can buy that with money. Belongingness, that's a little bit more difficult. But, arguments can be made that, If you are more affluent that impacts also the facility that you have in actually, getting access to certain circles. Achievement money could be seen as a sign of achievement in and of itself and your self-actualization. Well, if you have a lot of money, you can go to self-help courses and buy self-help books, so maybe that helps. So what I'm saying is that Maslow's hierarchy of needs, the issue of money is actually not trivial. So that's one of the things that he doesn't explicitly theorize about. Okay, so where is the criticism for this theory? Maslow's proposition is essentially that there is a universally applicable set of needs and that there is a universally applicable hierarchical ordering of those needs, but the empirical record for that is mixed. Sometimes, people don't find that there is really a particular set of needs that applies to different cultures. And in some case, they don't even see that there is a consistent hierarchical ordering of those needs. Some people have made the argument though, that in particular culture there's a tendency, there's this systematic tendency to value some needs over others. So, in collective societies, studies have found that people actually prioritize needs with regards to the group. So the the social needs, the belonging needs are a lot more important than the self-focused needs such as self-actualization. That’s lead people to say that maybe Maslow's theory has a Western bias, That is puts at the apex of the pyramid the self-actualization. But there are other influences that could also change the pyramid or the particular needs that people have. There could be situational pressures. So in many cases and studies have looked at this in war time and in peace time, the needs that people have and the priority ordering of those needs can be very different. I never had to live through a period of war, but I changed my ordering of needs when I started a family. So the prioritization or self-actualization versus safety all of a sudden changed. So safety had a much higher priority for me, because I now I had to be the reliable provider. And sometimes is really just idiosyncratic choices that people make and idiosyncratic tradeoffs that people make with regards to the ordering of the needs that they have. So many friends of mine that have worked on consultancy and investment banking actually have traded their high paying jobs and relative job security for jobs that were much less secure. But that they felt are more meaningful, so they do make a trade off there. Okay, so those are the criticisms of Maslow's theory. So the theory is rubbish We should throw it out. Well, not so quick, there is some empirical evidence that might bright it back and that would make Maslow very happy. Israeli psychologist Shalom Schwartz has spent many years now. Basically, serving across many different countries, people on human value inventory that he has developed. And the idea of these values as drivers for motivations, actually very similar to Maslow's conceptions of needs as the drivers for human motivation. And what he has found is that yes, there is a lot of variance kind of within and across cultural groups with regards to what values or needs are prioritized, but there are also some similarities. And there is a consistency in what kind of values people actually put higher relatively to others and this is across cultures. So what he found, for example, is that benevolence, self-direction and universalism, all those three are usually higher than some of the other values in the value inventory. And that power, tradition, and stimulation are usually lower than the other values across a cultures. So there's a certain consistency there. There's a certain level of agreement of what matters more and that actually applies across cultures. And there are some values that there's actually no consensus on like hedonism. And there are some values that there's actually no consensus on like hedonism. I'd say, hedonism cultures may disagree on whether it should is a high value or is really a low value relative to others. Okay, let's move on to the next content theory. Okay, quantum theory number two. This is Douglas McGregor's, theory X, theory Y. This was developed by Ewan McGregor's grandfather in 1960. And basically is a lot more focused than Maslow's universalist system of all of human needs. It really focuses on an organizational context, as well. His suggestion is that when managers try to motivate people, they have two alternative theories implicitly in mind. Theory X and theory Y. Theory X is that in order to motivate people, you need direct supervision and control. It rests on the assumption that people are fundamentally lazy and they need a strong hand to guide them and to make them work and theory Y is exactly the opposite. There, the belief is that, in order for people to, work hard to exert effort, you have to give them autonomy. You have to give them the ability to direct their own efforts. Now, I have experienced both of these systems in my own life. My very first job when I was 15 was with a computer graphics company and the first, highly creative job I was given at the company was stuffing printed material into envelopes. And I had very clear instructions of how to do that, how to order the material. How to handle it, so not to crease it, not to put finger print smudges on the material and I was checked on regularly by the secretary of the company. So that's clearly theory X. My current job is very theory Y, I'm given a lot of freedom of what I research and teach and how I do it that is usually. At the moment, I'm shooting 15 takes of a video on motivation I'm told very specifically of where to stand and how to fit into the frame. But the question is which of those two, theory x or theory y is actually more motivating for most people? We ask ourselves that a lot here at Bocconi What is better for our students? Should we give them a test every single session to keep them on the ball to make sure that they are learning the material? Or should we basically, give them a lot of freedom to explore how they want to proceed through the material. And write an interpretive essay at the end of the lecture. Very often, it's a combination of both You want to find some kind of balance, but there are some cultural tendencies. So cultures that are high on power distance will have a higher tolerance, also for theory X. The one that's more on supervision and direct control and cultures that are more masculine oriented and more achievement oriented. They will have a lower tolerance for theory X, because people want to have the freedom to prove what they can do and to kind of set their own goals and achieve them. Okay, so that's McGregor. Content theory number three, this is Frederick Herzberg's two factor theory developed in 1968. And the proposition here is that, there's not just one set of factors that determines motivation. There are two: hygiene factors and motivators. Hygiene factors are those issues that if unmet, actually make people dissatisfied, frustrated in the workplace. And that could be conflict with coworkers, poor supervision, insufficient salary. So Herzberg identified those as more intrinsic factors to the work. If you don't meet them, you create dissatisfaction. But if you fully meet them, if you fully satisfy them on those dimensions, it's not sufficient according to the theory to actually instill motivation, to increase effort for the for the workers For the people that work in the organization. For that increase of effort, you actually need the motivators. And what Herzberg was suggesting as motivators, were things like challenging meaningful work and the opportunity to grow develop your skills. So things that are more intrinsic to the job. So that's the idea and this general line of thinking has led to job enrichment initiatives. Basically, throughout the world in companies and organizations, large and small. So does this hold up empirically? People have looked at this across different cultures and they found some support that indeed, bad working conditions are associated with dissatisfaction and an emphasis on growth needs is associated with motivation. But there has been some criticism that just like Maslow's theory Herzberg's theory also has a Western bias. Because that there's emphasis on personal growth, my own self-needs. So there is an argument that can be made that in cultures that are more relationship oriented that put the group goals above the individual goals That what traditionally would be considered hygiene factors, like harmony in the workplace is actually a motivator. So you don't just want to fulfill that up to a certain satisfactory level, boosting that beyond that level could actually instill actual motivation, an actual increase of effort. What do we make of this long discussion? It's already getting dark outside. Maslow is suggesting that there is a universal hierarchy of needs, but empirically, there is none or is there? McGregor, who is not really Ewan McGregor's grandfather, suggests that there's two diametrically opposed approaches to motivation. Control and supervision, freedom and autonomy and you might have to strike an illusive balance between. And Herzberg suggests that there are hygiene factors and motivators, but one person's hygiene factor is another persons motivator and vice versa. If you were expecting a simple answer of what carrots and sticks to use to motivate people, there is no such clear cut answer. But there is an important insight to be gained from this discussion and that is for international leaders, for leaders that are in an intercultural context, the safest default assumption is that individual motivations are complex and they vary widely across and within cultures. And they are determined not just on the particular cultural context, but also by a host of other factors, such as education, lifestyle, personal experiences, career ambitions and the list goes on. Values within and across cultures are not universal. That means there's no one size fits all approach to motivation. But content theories can still be useful for leaders, for them to develop a mindset and an eye to identify and to understand the individual and potentially unique priorities and needs of their followers and to think about what issues might be causing dissatisfaction. So to be attuned to these issues is an important part of intercultural competence and cultural intelligence and having this conversation about the fundamental motivational issues and dissatisfactions can actually be a starting point for a better understanding of cultural beliefs and values and a better understanding of the people we work with.