What is Motivation? | Definition, Types, Theories, Importance

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Topic covered: what is motivation, definition, meaning, types, theories, components, concept, characteristics, Importance of motivation.


What is Motivation?

Motivation is defined as inner burning passion caused by need, wants and desire which propels an individual to exert his physical and mental energy to achieve desired objectives.

Motivation is goal-directed behavior. People are motivated when they expect that a course of action is likely to lead to the attainment of a goal and a valued reward – one that satisfies their needs and wants.

Read: What is Organizational Behavior? | Definition, Importance, Model

Three components of motivation

  1. Direction: what a person is trying to do.
  2. Effort: how hard a person is trying.
  3. Persistence: how long a person keeps on trying.

Motivation Definition

Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organisational goals, conditioned by the effort’s ability to satisfy some individual needs.

Stephen P Robbins

It is the desire within an individual that stimulates him or her to action.

George R. Terry

It is the way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations, strivings or needs direct, control or explains the behaviour of human beings.

D.E. McFarland

It is a process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired goals.

Scot

It is the way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations, strivings need direct, control or explain the behaviour of human beings.

Mc Farland

It is a willingness to expand energy to achieve a goal or reward. It is a force that activates dormant energies and sets in motion the action of the people. It is the function that kindles a burning passion for action among the human beings of an organisation.

C.B. Mamoria

It is steering one’s actions toward certain goals and committing a certain part of one’s energies to reach them.

S.W Gellerman

Motivation Meaning

Motivation comes from the Latin word “movere” which means, “to move”.


Key Concept of Motivation

Need: A need is a condition of lack or deficit of something required by the organism/person.


Motives: Motive is defined as an inner state that energises, activates (or moves) and directs (or chanalises) the behaviour towards certain goals.

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Types of motivation

The two types of motivation are intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Types of motivation

Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation can arise from self-generated factors that influence people’s behaviour. It is not created by external incentives.

It can take the form of motivation by the work itself when individuals feel that their work is important, interesting and challenging and provides them with a reasonable degree of autonomy (freedom to act), opportunities to achieve and advance, and scope to use and develop their skills and abilities.

Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation occurs when things are done to or for people to motivate them.

These include rewards, such as incentives, increased pay, praise, or promotion; and punishments, such as disciplinary action, withholding pay, or criticism. Extrinsic motivators can have an immediate and powerful effect, but will not necessarily last long.

Read: Motivation Theories in Management


Characteristics of Motivation

  1. Motivation is a psychological phenomenon
    It is the inner desire of an individual to achieve something more. More is the individual motivated better performance and organization relations.


  2. Motivation is a continuous process
    Since need and desire are endless so the need is a continuous phenomenon if one need is satisfied the other need emerges.


  3. Motivation is caused due to anticipated perceived value from an action.
    Perceived value is the probability or expectancy. motivation= value × expectancy.


  4. Motivation varies from person to person and time to time
    Motivation is different for different persons and it also varied according to time and place because wants are different for different people, according to time and places.


  5. An individual is motivated by positive or negative motivation

    Positive motivation is based on incentives or reward. Incentive can be monetary and non-monetary.
    Negative motivation is based on penalties, calling for explanation, threats, fear, etc. Fear of losing the job or promotion

Read: Theories of Learning | Classical, Operant Conditioning, Cognitive


Importance of Motivation

Importance of Motivation

High level of performance

Organization must ensure that the employees have a high degree of motivation. A highly motivated employee put extra effort into work and have a sense of belonging for the organization.

The efficiency of work will be improved, wastage will be minimum which will result in the increased productivity, and performance level will be high.

Low employee turn over and absenteeism

Low level of motivation is a root cause of low turnover and absenteeism. High level of absenteeism causes a low level of production, poor quality, wastages and disruption in production schedules.

Increased turnover is disastrous for any organization as it puts a strain on the financial position of the organization due to additional recruitment, selection, training and development.

Acceptance of organization change

Social change and technology evolution happens in the external environment have greater impact on the motivation of the employee. Management must ensure that the changes are introduced in the organization and its benefits explained to the employees so that there is no resistance to change and organizational growth is achieved.

Re-engineering, empowerment, job enrichment, job rotation, the introduction of new technology and processes will go a long way to boost employee morale and achieve a high degree of motivation.

Organizational image

Employees are the mirrors of any organization. Regular training & development programmes should be organized to keep employee updated with latest skills. It will have a positive impact on the employees and the image of the organization will be improved.

High organizational image will contribute towards the brand image of the product and services the organization is marketing.

Read: Theories of Personality | Psychoanalytic, Type, Trait, Self Theory


Motivation Theories

Motivation theories are categories into two: content and process theories.

Content theory

Content theories try to figure “what” motivates people. Following are the motivation theories in content theory perspective.

Process theory

Process theories try to figure “How” the motivation occurs. Following are the motivation theories in process theory perspective.


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