Laloumis Athanasios

Tourism and Hospitality Management, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece

Laloumis Dimitrios

Tourism and Hospitality Management, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece

Konstantinos Marinakos

Tourism and Hospitality Management, Technological Educational Institute of Athens, Greece

Stelios Varvaressos

Tourism and Hospitality Management, TEI of Athens, Athens Greece

Marios Sotiriadis

Department of Transport Economics, University of South Africa (UNISA), Logistics & Tourism, Pretoria, South Africa

Sgouro Melisidou

Tourism and Hospitality Management, TEI of Athens, Athens Greece


The tourism business sector is highly dependent on the human factor. The most components of the tourism product are services which are offered by the employees. The services are not what most of us experience. Part of those services, are the polite behavior, honesty, willingness and an attitude that makes the service a positive memorable experience.

The employees need to have the equivalent motivation in order to demonstrate a specific desired behavior and repeat it when necessary. On the other hand there have to be a few anti-motives that will prevent non desired behaviors to be exterminated. The management of a tourism enterprise needs to comprehend the behavior motive and anti-motives to lead the employees to the desired behavior and assure the automatic adjustment of the employee to the given circumstances.

Keywords: Motives, behavior, employee, productivity


The employees’ effectiveness is affected by several factors. Some factors have to do with the working conditions (wages, working environment) and some other have to do with the employee himself (knowledge, ambition).

An enterprise can affect many of those factors both regarding the working conditions and the employee’s psychological elements. For instance larger wages, on the job training, bonuses can increase the employee’s interest in his job.

In cases of a manager who faces non normal behavior from an employee, the questions why it happened and how to react against it have to be answered. Thus the behavioral motives must be known to a manager.

Tourism businesses are those which mostly serve tourists. A major characteristic is the intangibility of the services which makes them consumed at the moment of their production. Therefore the interaction between guests and employees is constant.

Productivity is the quantity and quality of work produced by an employee. Productivity in the tourism sector has a broader meaning since it contains good manners, willingness etc. The extent of productivity’s meaning leads to the need for knowing the behavioral motives, to ensure the guests’ satisfaction.

Another impact of the product’s intangibility in the tourism sector is the up and downs in the work flow. It is essential that the quality is not affected by the increased demand for the offered services.

A manager, needs to know the motive for the employees’ behavior so as to improve the operational policy, select the appropriate candidate for a position, or offer a series of potential benefits to improve productivity.

The motives

Aristotle believed that the reason for our behavior is our needs. Determinism is the fundamental principle for our actions, since there is always a reason for our actions and the final reason is to reach happiness. Plato believed that the behavioral motives are physical (desires) and psychological (knowledge)

A few anti-determinism theories indicate that the human decides for his behavior depending on his reason and emotion. Psychology[1] determined the human behavior as inherent urges that were called instincts. From the 1960’s there are developed several theories regarding the behavioral motives, categorizing them as internal or external, emotions, ideas, outcomes of knowledge or will.

The motives lead to action for the achievement of a goal. The impact of the motive is neutralized when the goal is achieved or abandoned.

For example someone feels hungry. This person heads for the kitchen and finds a desert on the kitchen table and the person satisfies the hunger. On the other hand someone may see the desert on the table and eat it without being hungry. In the first case the motive is internal and in the second case it is external.

Some motives are quickly satisfied (hunger, need for sleep) and some others take longer (professional achievements).

Instincts and urges

Humans are born with their instincts. Instincts are denoted as urges, needs or internal motives. The instincts are noted as urges, needs, and internal motives. Those urges are divided into physical and social. The physical urges are the need for food, water, sleep and the social are the needs for interaction with other humans. Those urges, determine to a great extent the human behavior. Other urges are the mobilizing urge, the self-protection urge and the cohabitation.

Social are the urges of power, ambition and glory. Those urges last for a long time so they are called tendencies.

Conscious and non conscious behavior

The humans do not comprehend the motives[1].They often follow non conscious[1] urges, reacting automatically without considering the outcome of a notion. Non conscious behavior lacks self knowledge and leads to out of control actions

Those non conscious urges release energy for their expression. This energy is motivating. There are a few cases in which someone is withheld by his conscience behaviorally. A waiter is hungry, though the conscience stops him from eating the guest’s food.

The urges lead to vital actions which on the other hand may prove to be harmful. This is where conscience often takes control in order to avoid the harm and satisfy the need. Thus we tend to control our urge and deploy a plan to satisfy our need to the maximum.

There are possibilities that an urge may be suppressed by the conscience and still not be satisfied. In this case the energy waits until externalized. The reaction is having non conscious visions or even physical disease.

An employee may behave oddly. This behavior has a reason that lies in the non conscious part. Even jokes and funny stories contain a non conscious urge that needs to be expressed[1]. Overreactions of employees are expression of a non conscious urge against a task. Extreme reactions are attempts to control those non conscious urges. Those reactions are a wide tank of information for managers regarding the employees’ usage.

Some persons face their non conscious urge sand use the conscious to satisfy their needs. Those persons tend to take action and face each situation realistically[1].Some other persons give up easily on the satisfaction of their urges and the tend to be lazy and avoid reality..

Physical urges

Part of the physical urges is the wages receiving. The satisfaction of the physical urges, have a quantitative and a qualitative perspective. The wages are connected with the social urges’ satisfaction to some extent.

An important urge is the economy urge, which aims for the maximum effect with the minimum effort. This urge can clarify the behavior of employees who tend to maximize their gain with the least possible offer. This urge tends to be manipulated by the conscience.

Humans tend to economize but tend to put the demanded effort for a certain outcome. The gain (wages, bonus) for an employee should be connected with his productivity. His urges will lead to intense actions in order to maximize the gain and at the same time increase the effort and his efficiency.

The employee tends to be non efficient under the condition of not having penalties for the reduced productivity. A manager can react by three main models. The manager can check the employee on the job, manipulate the employee’s gain and generate positive urges towards the actual work. The recognition of an employee’s value, a promotion, the good social positioning among the colleagues are key urges that can lead to specific behavior.

The sexual prototypes and the acceptable sexual behavior in the working environment can lead to certain behaviors and they are related to each social environment[1].

Sexual urges can lead to behavioral mistakes. The sexual urges are based on strong feelings and emotions. Erotic relations among the employees can be a ticking bomb for a tourism enterprise. Several companies prohibit the sexual relations among the members of the personnel. The sexual urge contains some energy. This energy has to be exterminated under some control[1]. The opposite will lead to non comprehensible behaviors within the enterprise which will neglect the management.

The self protection urge[1] tends to function in an aggressive manner. The pressure, the competition and cut wages lead to aggressive behavior. This behavior tends to be expressed to both colleagues and gests with negative outcomes[1].

The social urge is important for the tourism sector. This urge tends to lead persons to behave in a manner that will form a group. That behavior is crucial in servicing.

The urge of motion leads humans to act since action is a meaning of life. Persons motivated by the urge of motion are highly effective in any working environment.

The urge of curiosity can lead to an exploring behavior. It is important though, not to invade the guests’ personal space. Employees like waiters or barmen who tend are obliged to converse with the customers under difficult conditions such as drunkenness[1].

Social urges or tendencies

Those tendencies are developed from the cohabitation of the humans. They have a more permanent nature and they assist the physical to some extent.

The tendency of possession leads to acquisition of items that will satisfy a physical need.

Humans are affected by the tendency of power. That tendency leads a human to controlling his environment[1] and is often seen in a working place when an employee tends to control the rest of the team. Some cases are normal like a superior controlling his inferior. In cases when this is not happening there is a hierarchical disruption. That hierarchical disruption leads to anarchy and poor performance.

The tendency for ambition is close to the tendency of power. Ambition is a positive urge. The ambition should be manipulated in order to avoid negative behaviors regarding the means of achieving that goal. Flattery and slander can disorganize an enterprise.

The tendency for recognition leads the employees to improved performance, since this results in the team’s recognition to a person.[1]. Increased wages, bonuses and material items are often used in proclaiming that recognition[1].

Humans demonstrate cultural tendencies. Justice, truth, knowledge, moral satisfaction, avoiding guilt and aesthetic enjoyment are some of those tendencies. Those tendencies are crucial for the tourism enterprise since they determine the cultural level of the enterprise via the cultural level of the employees.

Justice means more than a cultural tendency. Justice is a factor that can make the difference from failure to success. A just enterprise can provide the employees with the motive to improve their productivity and invest much more effort in their work[1].

The moral satisfaction can lead to increased performance. This tendency is equally valuable to the employee as the wages.

The force of habit

The urges can be taught to humans. This tuition leads to developing a habit. Those habits lead to specific behaviors. The employees use the most efficient habits. The more efficient a habit, the more usable it becomes.

External conditions lead the employee to select a habit as a reaction. Habits can provide a manager with the expected reaction from a person in a given set of conditions.

Behavioral motives are a combination between habits and urges. The more intense the urge, the stronger the habit becomes[1]. A hard working employee works overtime (habit) and he needs money (urge). An extra paid shift will increase his excitement. The wages are dependent on the productivity, thus the employee will try harder. An employee is acting when the urge is strong enough.

The level of tension of an urge can lead to stress[1]. Stress can lead to incorrect reaction and finally the opposite outcome[1].

Stress can lead to wrong estimation of the effort and time needed for a task to be completed. Easier and known tasks are preferred and new unknown ones are treated alike the old tasks. The employee needs to pay attention to any differences in the production process in order to avoid the increase of the stress’s level[1].

Employees with lower levels of stress should be appointed with more demanding tasks compared to persons with higher level of stress who should be appointed with less demanding tasks[1].

Habits in the working environment are a tool that allows an employee to execute a task with automatic notions. That can diminish the time needed for that task, improve performance and guarantee a certain result.

Habits can provide the employee with confidence that a demanding task is easily executed[1]. That can make chefs and barmen a spectacle while they are working.

Automated operation for the employees of the tourism sector has a drawback. Automation leaves an emotional gap, which needs a larger or an extra urge to be filled.

Reward and punishment as motivational factors

According to the theory of motives, behavior is the outcome of a stimulus connected to its answer[1].

The behavior is dependent to the memory of previous experiences[1]. If an action is rewarded, it will be probably repeated. Reward is the gain of a benefit or avoidance of a loss.

Punishment on the other hand ensures that a behavior will not be repeated. The managers should be aware of the complex of rewards and punishments that can be used in order to manipulate the employees’ behavior.

The reward[1] should be connected to a specific behavior, to generate its repeat. Except from the result of the behavior, the attempt should be rewarded as well

The reward should be offered spontaneously and provide a range of options. It may not be a pay-rise, it may be recognitions among the team, promotion and other positive reactions. An employee will consider that the rewarding system is to be trusted and put more effort in his obligations. It is important for the employee to trust the enterprise in reward issues. The reward tends to guide all of the employees to specific behaviors.

Contrary to the reward, punishment is used for avoiding specific behaviors. The punishment alike the reward should be equivalent to the achievement or the loss[1]. The punishment could be the final stage of the action an enterprise can take. A threat of the punishment in many cases is enough. If not the employee may be reprimanded or even fired..

The reward should follow the behavior. If the reward is provided prior the behavior, the demanded behavior will seem like a punishment[1]. In cases when the employee is rewarded and then asked to execute a task that is hard and demanding beyond the regular standards of the employment, the employee tends to feel like being punished for no reason.

Interaction between external and internal motives

The internal motives lead to a predefined behavior that will satisfy the need. The need’s satisfaction comes from the environment[1]. The environment will become the field of the external motives[1]. A person needs money and decides to get a job. The need for money is internal motive, though the market where this person will search for the working position is the external motive that will satisfy the needs.

The internal motive serve the basic needs for the organization and the external serve a wider range of needs and wants[1].

Setting targets refer to external motives. If a behavior is not connected to a reward the motives are internal for this behavior[1]. It is possible that the internal motive become external.

Any reason that enhances the chances of displaying a certain behavior is called behavior amplification[1].

The reward (wages) for the employees is given once a month for a series of tasks which take place throughout the month[1]. In this case the employee is working with the expectation of the reward. The expectation is a fundamental motive for the human behavior[1].

The expectation is an external motive. The waiters tend a banquet and there are a few bottles of wine unfinished. Supposing the waiters are allowed to drink the wine after their shift, their experience will be a positive one[1]. The expectation of having the same positive experience, rises the employee’s will to participate in another banquet[1].

The expectation has to be fulfilled. The opposite will motivate the opposite behavior. Supposing the employee is not paid at the end of the month, he is not likely to continue working.

The motives are not common for every person[1]. Moreover a person is not led to a non changeable behavior by a certain motive[1]. That happens due to the fact that human needs change over the time. Thus the selections made are affected by the existing needs.

The effectiveness and the productivity of an employee, are dependent on the external and internal motives of that person[1].

Motivational conflicts

Humans prefer a balance between their thoughts and actions[1]. The existence of choices disrupts that balance since a selection equals a rejection. Thus the working environment should not put dilemmas on the employees[1]. Adopting a single acceptable method of dealing with an issue or executing a task diminished the number of dilemmas.

In cases when an employee faces a dilemma, there is a motivational conflict[1]. The motivational conflicts tend to reduce the productivity of the employees. The person faces psychological tension, which is normally controllable. The person’s efficiency is determined by the control over this tension. The employee will harm the enterprise as a notion of revenge if the control of that tension is lost, even if the employee will be punished[1]. The defensive reaction to that psychological tension is the understanding of the employer’s difficulties and the patience from the employee.

In such cases the employee has three options:

  • Resign
  • Reduce his productivity in terms of quality and quantity
  • To strike back at the employer or the enterprise[1]

Previous negative experiences can affect an employee even in a positive environment. The employee tends to be ineffective due to the lack of trust to the new environment.

A different type of conflict is that between facts[1]. That conflict redefines an opinion according to new details regarding an issue. For example a receptionist appreciates his colleague who seems to steal money from the tips[1]. There is a conflict of facts regarding the colleague’s integrity.

In case of a person being driven to take a decision or action, there is often an internal conflict.

Humans tend to rethink about their decisions and if the result was not the desired one the options of reaction are the following.

  • Acceptance of the outcome
  • Decrease of its value
  • Regret[1]

In an enterprise the employee may have some personal goals which are not compatible with the corporate goals. That conflict of goals is a state of stress[1] which is called stress of reality[1].

Every enterprise should provide the employees with reasonable explanations for everything. The corporate operations must be coherent and connected to each one’s productivity. There should be no conflict between the employees and the employers since that affects the effectiveness of the labor.

Difficulty level to the appointed task

Each employee prefers a production role that is not too hard or too easy depending on his IQ, capabilities and experience. Managerial decisions that presage threat to the employee, lead to less effort. Those decisions that presage reward tend to increase efforts[1]. The negative decisions affect the employees’ focus and distract the person from his efforts[1]. The employee tends to decrease the efforts, boosting the possibility of decreased efficiency. On the other hand positive decisions have the opposite effect.

The employee’s emotional arousal should be maintained in a medium level. Low level of stimulus leads to lack of interest, high level of stimulus lead to stress[1]. The each person’s character, play a key role in that process[1].

Employees tend to prefer tasks with which they are accustomed and the difficulty level is medium[1].

Ambition is the search for success and goals achievement. Each person defines ambition according to previous experience in similar roles. The ambition determines the difficulty level of an appointed task. Success or failure, redefine the ambition for one person[1].

Η προσδοκία αμοιβής από ένα αρκετά δύσκολο έργο όταν αυτό ολοκληρώνεται, δημιουργεί θετικά συναισθήματα στον εργαζόμενο. Συναισθήματα υπερηφάνειας και ικανοποίησης. Το κίνητρο που ωθεί τον εργαζόμενο στο να αναλαμβάνει αρκετά δύσκολες εργασίες, The ambition is affected by the reward and recognition expectations. This is called the motive of achievement[1]. The motive of achievement is generated when an employee considers him-self responsible for the positive accomplishment of a difficult task for which he is confident[1]. The value of the task and the possibility of completion, increase the motive’s impact[1]. Employees who try to achieve goals prefer tasks of medium difficulty[1].

The motive of achievement affect persons in their logic via which they recruit the employees that they believe will contribute to the task completion.

Employees may adopt the motive to avoid success[1]. This motive is found in cases when an employee is asked to complete a task that is considered insulting or has to be avoided. For example, asking the waiter to do the plumbing.

A factor that determines the difficulty in the appointed tasks is the self esteem. Persons with high self esteem tend to take over difficult tasks contrary to persons with low self esteem.

Obsessed with the target

Each task normally leads to the next. The selection of an action is based on the strength and sign of the motive, the person’s intention and the “distance” between the person and the target[1].

A stronger motive will attract the employee compared to a weaker motive. Each person estimates the loss and the gain and decides on the expected benefit that will lead to action or not[1].

The motive may be poorly valued and the action will be postponed according to the value of the motive and the person’s judgment.

The employees tend to forget about their achievements. Memories’ fading, is a normal process. The achievements that are not accomplished are stronger motives. The memories return in states of stress as a relief[1]. At the presence of a stronger motive, the previous target is neglected. The progress to the target will determine the person’s future attempts to achieve that goal or abandon it.

The will to hit a target, strengthens or weakens according to being obliged by another person or choosing to hit that target by oneself. The management should convey the whole of the responsibility to the lower levels of the personnel. The goal that should be accomplished must be combined with the employee’s position. The employee must have the appropriate means to achieve the predetermined goal.

The successful actions lead to repetition unlike the failed ones. The reward will define the success and the value of the repetition. A poor reward will act like a failure.


The motives are the reasons for a certain behavior and the play a key role in the effectiveness of a tourism business.

The improvement of the employee’s productivity is based on their emotional balance. Thus the corporate goals must comply with the social values and principles. Moreover the corporate operation must be coherent with the set goals.

The satisfaction of the employees’ needs is an important factor for the parallelism of the corporate and the employees’ goals.

An enterprise cannot alter the IQ and the capabilities of the personnel. An enterprise can increase their knowledge, create a set of positive intentions towards their work and lead them to invest more effort in their activities. The level of difficulty must match each employee and each task for the most fruitful operation.

The enterprise must develop a rewarding system that is connected to the operation and is determined by the productivity. The punishing system is not effective at all, on the contrary the rewarding system is an efficient motivational factor especially when connected to positive behaviors, given promptly, is spontaneous and varies


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