Motivation & Money

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how money motivates

A review of motivation concepts and the impact of money.
A review of motivation concepts and the impact of money.

What motivates us? This is a subject of great debate and study and there are many theories that have been developed to answer this one question. Motivation can be defined in many ways, but generally is viewed as the influential force driving our behaviors toward achieving a goal. In the workplace environment, many studies evaluate what forces specifically have the greatest influence on an employee’s behaviors, performance and overall job satisfaction. These factors include but are not limited to: good wages, job security, interesting work, promotion & growth, full appreciation of work done, feeling of being in on things, loyalty to employees, good working conditions, sympathetic help with problems and tactful discipline. (Kovach, 1987, p.59) The articles that I have selected for discussion explore further the effects and importance of money as the primary and most important factor. The author, Kenneth Kovach, addresses his views on the key drivers for why people work in his article, “What Motivates Employees? Workers and Supervisors Give Different Answers.” Interestingly the outcome of his research, combined with the research of many others over the last 40 years is consistent with the claim that money is not the primary and most important driver, rather employees are more motivated by type of work that they do, specifically “interesting work”. This is contradictory to what is generally understood by supervisors, citing that money or good wages is the most important driver. This varies of course depending on the groups being evaluated where Kovach discovered that low income, young workers (20-30 yrs. old) and / or low entry level workers were more likely to place more significance on good wages versus their counterparts. This is somewhat intuitive when you evaluate it against Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory,...
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