Human Motivation: Models Driven by Agency and Stakeholder Theories

Date of Submission


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Science in Management Systems (Sc.D.)




Omid Nodoushani

Committee Member

Anshuman Prasad

Committee Member

David Morris

Committee Member

William Pan

LC Subject Headings

Motivation (Psychology), Motivation in Industry

Call No. at the Univ. of New Haven Library

AS 36 .N290 Mgmt. Syst. 2000 no. 2


Agency theory and stakeholder theory offer two distinct conceptions of the firm, particularly with respect to organizational purpose, corporate governance, and the nature of the relationships that exist within and outside of the firm. Underlying both theories are implicit assumptions about human behavior. These assumptions not only influence the nature of the two theories, but are embedded in the framework that shapes the mode and direction of the research conducted by agency and stakeholder theorists. The implications of such behavioral assumptions are important with regard to the motivation of organizational members and the development of appropriate performance and reward systems. Through hermeneutics and the textual interpretation of agency and stakeholder literature and research, the author: (1) made explicit the implicit behavioral assumptions upon which these theories are built; (2) developed models of motivation that emerged from these two distinct theoretical perspectives and their synthesis with literature from the areas of human relations, behavioral science, and research relating to motivation and reward; (3) critically examined these assumptions and models in relation to the current dominant workplace contract as perceived by senior level managers.