Motivation Theories Essays Examples

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Theory, Waitress, Services, TIP, Pile, Motivation, Performance, Criminal Justice

Pages: 3

Words: 825

Published: 2020/12/04

In the goal to comprehend motivation theories the class is assigned the project to watch a show called, 3rd Rock From The Sun. In the show one of the main characters named, Dick Solomon is out to dinner with his girlfriends and learns the concept of tipping. He struggles with the idea that a person gets and additional reward for a job they are expected to do. As the show proceeds, Dick comes up with a system for tipping that he finds justifiable. He is on a date with his girlfriend Mary and has decided to implement this ‘new’ plan of tipping. Dick places a stack of one dollar bills and explains to the waitress that her tip will be based on her performance. If she does good, the pay increases, if the service is unsatisfactory Dick removes money from the pile. With this scene as the example, I will pick three different motivation theories that have been discussed in class to explain and describe how the behaviors of the characters show traits of the various theories.

Reinforcement Theory

The first theory that I find appropriate in describing the behavior and interaction of Dick and the waitress is through the Reinforcement Theory. Dick’s decision to place the stack of one dollar bills was with the intent of the positive and negative aspects of reinforcement as the method to motivate the waitress to provide excellence in her service. Dick assumes that his pile will encourage good service so that she is rewarded with a good tip. When he is dissatisfied he clearly delivers punishment by removing money from the ‘potential tip’ pile to discourage her from providing less than desirable service. The problem is that instead of the negative reinforcement that may have worked towards Dick receiving good service, his decision for immediate punishment made the waitress less likely to want to do a good job considering Dick’s ridiculous critiquing.
The reinforcement motivation theory did not work out so well for Dick when he chose to place the money in view and treat the waitress like a child. The setting for the execution of the reinforcement motivation technique was disrespectful instead of useful in the scene at the restaurant.

Expectancy Theory

The next theory that seemed to fit the situation well in terms of understand how the motivational theory application looks in a scenario like the scene of Dick and the waitress in the restaurant. Based on the Expectancy Theory, the waitress must not have had very high expectations of the end result on the tip she would receive. Her willingness to provide great service was not highly motivated considering almost every step of the way she disappointed Dick. The context of the entire scenario as Dick explained how the tipping would work right in the beginning of the meal was probably enough allow the waitress to drop her expectations of a rewarding tip. Anyone who would set up a tipping pile was already showing signs of frugal behavior so why would there be any expectation of receiving a great tip. One problem is that the waitress had known from the past that this couple was infamous for not tipping, so there was hardly any drive on her part to be meticulous with her performance. The other issue was that there was already this pre-determined amount that she knew would be the maximum amount that she would receive, so regardless of the level of performance the pay was going to be more or less from a set amount.

Equity Theory

The Equity Theory is used to address the scene in the show when Dick and Mary declare that their drinks taste funny. It is my understanding that the waitress did not appreciate the gesture that Dick set the dinner up with by putting these rules out in how she would earn her tip. In response to the insulting experience of the reward and punishment system he set up, she decided to take matters into her own hands through the injustice of the situation she was experiencing. She clearly tampers with the drinks that she serves Dick and Mary because she knows her service was not valued, therefor she was not valuing their experience. The distress of believing she would be under-rewarded motivated her to put something strange in their drinks to make herself feel she was on equal terms now through giving them the service she felt they deserved for how the tip pile was used against her.
Each of these theories proves that Dick’s tip pile was not an efficient motivator. If anything it made the service worse and did not provide the waitress with a reason for excellence in her job performance.

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WePapers. (2020, December, 04) Motivation Theories Essays Examples. Retrieved June 08, 2023, from
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"Motivation Theories Essays Examples," Free Essay Examples -, 04-Dec-2020. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 08-Jun-2023].
Motivation Theories Essays Examples. Free Essay Examples - Published Dec 04, 2020. Accessed June 08, 2023.

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