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This is the home page for the PSYCH 484: Work Attitudes and Job Motivation.

In this space students and instructors will create pages that highlight the theories of work attitudes and job motivation (see specific theories in Children below). If you are new (or want to remember how to do something), please go to the Getting Started page.

 Course Description

This course is designed to examine issues related to employees' work motivation and job attitudes, and will focus on both the causes and consequences of these constructs. Because there are many different approaches to the study of motivation, the first portion of the course will be spent examining various theories. The latter portion of the course will be devoted to examining the factors that affect motivation and to understanding job attitudes and outcomes. Major topics include the nature of human needs, reward structures, cognitive models of motivation (e.g., expectancy, equity, and goal setting theories), and job attitudes (e.g., satisfaction, commitment).

 Course Objectives

  • define motivation and job attitudes in a work context and understand how individual characteristics, work characteristics, and organizational characteristics are interrelated in motivating workers;
  • offer explanations as to what (the factors that motivate), how (mechanisms by which people are motivated), when (under what conditions) and who (individual differences, leaders) of motivation through theories and research presented in the course;
  • understand the major components of each motivational approach and assess its strengths and weaknesses;
  • evaluate each motivational approach from the perspectives of a scientist (How much research support does the theory have?) as well as a practicing manager (How can/has the theory been utilized in organizations?);
  • learn how research is conducted in this area by reading and evaluating journal articles;
  • apply the motivational approaches to work settings to understand what improves and hinders employee motivation; and
  • compare and contrast approaches to motivation to understand the unique perspective each contributes to an overall understanding of motivation.