Intrinsic and Extrinsic Drivers of Motivation

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Human Resources Management - Group Project


The emergence of large multinational companies in the late nineteenth century necessitated a change in the professional world in regards to motivating factors in the workplace. While extrinsic motivators have traditionally been a more common way to stimulate good work ethic in employees, intrinsic motivators have become a greater focus in the last several years. Many companies encounter difficulties with intrinsic motivation due to lack of time, money, and risk of change. Therefore, the reason for choosing this topic is to demonstrate that, despite the challenges, companies should still participate in intrinsic motivation to create a sustainable environment and recognize the long-term benefits.

This paper will explore the connection of intrinsic drivers of motivation to long-term career goals, and extrinsic drivers to the short-term goals. Both are equally important to a company’s workforce, but there is an ideal balance that can be achieved to maximize motivation. A review of the literature researched will be presented, followed by an analysis of the interview and the methodology of its execution. The body of the analysis will compare both points of view and will conclude with the final recommendations.

Review of the literature :

In the attempt of setting the context, it should be precisely explained how intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of motivation are defined.

|Intrinsic |Extrinsic | |It comes from the rewards inherent to a task or activity itself - |It comes from outside of the individual - material drivers | |personal drivers | | |Responsibility, autonomy, recognition, growth and learning, structure|Salary, grades, promotions, bonuses, prizes, threat of punishment, | |of working position |coercion, can also include approval of project or patent. |

Throughout our research, we identified a third hybrid type of motivation called “internalized extrinsic motivation” (Birkinshaw, 2010) which consists of receiving external recognition internalized by the individual and therefore becoming intrinsic (social drivers).

According to Edward Deci and Richard Ryan, it is composed of the need for competence, for autonomy and for relatedness to others.

Now being aware of these facts, we will show in which way literature explains how intrinsic motivation can be stimulated and what its major advantages are.

Through the stimulation of intrinsic drivers, such as improving responsibilities, recognition, achievement, growth or learning, job enrichment can be developed (Herzberg). This strategy must be considered a long term process (Appendix A). These motivators have a long-term effect on employee’s behaviour in comparison to hygiene factors (pay, relation with co-worker, supervision, status, job security) which need to be satisfied frequently. From the perspective of a manager who desires to intrinsically motivate his employee, Herzberg advises to adapt the level of the job to the employee’s skills, and to give the employee the opportunity and freedom to demonstrate their potential extra-abilities. Possibly change the above sentence to: Herzberg advises that managers who use intrinsic motivation should adapt the level of the job to the employee’s skills providing the employee the opportunity and freedom to demonstrate their potential growth.

Another theory where intrinsic motivators are involved is Locke’s Goal setting theory. Goal setting is a simple, straightforward, and highly effective technique for motivating employee performance because it gives direction, and clearly defines the role, responsibility and potential...
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