Motivation is a psychological feature that arouses an organism to act towards a desired goal and elicits, controls, and sustains certain goal directed behaviors. It can be considered a driving force; a psychological drive that compels or reinforces an action toward a desired goal. For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat. Motivation has been shown to have roots in physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social areas. Motivation may be rooted in a basic impulse to optimize well-being, minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure. It can also originate from specific physical needs such as eating, sleeping or resting, and sex. Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner. These inner conditions such as wishes, desires, goals, activate to move in a particular direction in behavior.
Motivation – Basic concepts and theories
According to Arnold, there are 3 components of motivation:
* direction – what a person is trying to do
* effort – how hard a person is trying
* persistence – how long a person keeps on trying
Direction might point the way, but effort is what establishes momentum, and persistence determines how far the change is carried (in time as well as in magnitude of outcome). Hence, Arnold’s 3 components are suitable to describe the level of motivation a person or a team shows. This concept does not give any reasons for motivation. Furthermore, literature distinguishes 2 types of factors that influence motivation: * Intrinsic – self generated factors (responsibility, freedom to act, scope to use and develop skills and abilities, interesting and challenging work, opportunities for advancement) – they have a deeper and longer-term effect
* Extrinsic - what is done for people to motivate them (rewards, promotion, punishment) – they have an immediate and powerful effect, but won’t necessarily last long In other words: Intrinsic motivation comes from a person’s internal desire to do something. Reasons may be that a particular activity gives him or her pleasure, helps to develop a particular skill of seems to be the right thing to do in moral / ethical terms. Extrinsic motivation is generated by external factors that are less related to the particular task.
Most influential is the Needs (content) Theory
* All Needs theories focus on specific needs people want to satisfy. There are several theories that explain motivation as a result of these needs.
* The underlying concept is the belief that an unsatisfied need creates tension and a state of disequilibrium. To restore balance, a goal is identified that will satisfy the need and a behavior pathway to this goal is selected.
* All behavior is motivated by unsatisfied needs.
* People will be better motivated if their work experience satisfies their needs and wants.
* Needs theories distinguish between primary needs, such as food, sleep and other biological needs, and secondary psychological needs that are learned and vary by culture and by individual. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs
* If a lower need is satisfied, it no longer motivates behavior; the next higher one becomes dominant. (Deficit principle) * The five needs exist in a hierarchy. Higher needs only become important when lower needs are satisfied * Higher-order needs provide greater motivation.
* Different people may have different priorities.
The theory helps managers to identify which particular needs are relevant for employees and thus to determine appropriate motivators. Alderfer’s ERG Theory
Is based on Maslows Hierarchy of needs; recategorizes Maslow’s categories of needs into three simpler and broader groups: * Existence needs – need for material and energy exchange; basic physiological and safety needs
* Relatedness needs – transactions with human environment, process of sharing or mutuality; need for interpersonal relationships and attention;...