Brandon R. Johnson
November 22, 2010
In a world of abundance filled with unmatched economic lows, there has never been a greater calling for the understanding of the effects of motivation in the workplace. We will look at motivation as the light needed to see positive change in our work life, the change necessary to improve the economic stature of our family and peers. Though motivation cannot be taught, it can be stimulated by an employer or an individual. Stimulated in a way that creates the foundation to breed and exceed expectation. To understand why motivation plays such an important role in one’s career it is clearly definite we must understand the true meaning of the word and how it works in different forms. Motivation comes from the Latin root meaning “to move” (Wade & Tavris, 2009). As if this root meaning is not enough to grasp the idea, Psychologists define motivation as the process of which a person or animal move toward a goal, or away from a negative situation (Wade & Tavris, 2009). There is no difference in the way motivation works when we are trying to achieve within the workplace or the motivation to eat when we are hungry. The force it creates is the same though the desired need is different. Motivation is also broken down into two varying factors. These two factors of motivation must be understood because they influence our mentality of achieving or more so, why we choose certain aspects of following our motivations. Intrinsic motivation is the pursuit of an activity for its own sake whereas extrinsic motivation is the pursuit for external rewards (Wade & Tavris 2009). We can see that motivation propels us in a way that we consciously and subconsciously move forward to attain what it is that we seek, and it also used to push or pull away from a situation that would be possess negative attributes to our motivations. We also know that motivation is influenced by different motives. In this research paper we will discuss motivation in the workplace, be it positive, negative, or null. We will also discuss some studies behind the thoughts of how we function mentally at work, to work, and for work.
Working within a company that creates a positive mental attitude mantra is detrimental to the success of the company and well-being of the employee. Companies can launch campaigns to replicate motivation, but unless the companies approach is truly sincere and consistent the value is lost. In Douglas McGregor’s book, “The Human Side of Enterprise,” published in 1960, McGregor states that human beings have a natural dislike for work and avoid it if they can (McGregor, 2010). So if we as human beings dislike work in general, how could we ever become motivated? In Frederick Herzberg’s book, “The Motivation to Work,” Herzberg discusses how a workplace can create a motivating environment for its employees. He lists factors that result in motivation and dissatisfaction in the workplace. He calls them motivators and hygiene factors (Herzberg, 2002). We will discuss the hygiene factor later in this paper. The satisfying motivators he lists are as follows: achievements, responsibility, work itself, recognition, advancement, and growth (Herzberg, 2002). These factors provide positive motivation in the work place. His beliefs of how a company can motivate also include ideas such as when an employee shows the ability to take on more responsibility the company should honor the individual, that the company should work to utilize the full capability of the employee, and that if a person’s capabilities cannot be used the company should replace the individual to maintain the state of motivation in the staff (Herzberg, 2002). A company can try all that it can to motivate the work force, but what causes one employee to be more motivated than another in the same position. An individual’s positive motivation they bring to work each day can produce...