Nature of Motivation

A manager gets results through other people. His effectiveness on a large extent depends on the willingness of his employees to do the assigned tasks with interest and enthusiasm. Motivation is the work a manager performs to inspire and encourage people to take the required action. According to Scott motivation is a process of stimulating people to action to accomplish desired results. Motivation has three distinct features:

1) It results from a felt need. Motivation triggers behavior impelling a person to action.
2) It is goal directed. Motivation is a driving state that channels behavior into a specific course that is fulfillment of a felt need.
3) It sustains behavior in progress. It persists until the satisfaction or reduction of a need state occurs.

Further, motivation is a personal and internal feeling. The feeling arises from needs and wants. Human needs are unlimited. Fulfillment of one set of needs gives rise to other needs. Therefore motivation is a continuous process. Since needs are interrelated a person cannot be partly motivated as he is a self contained and inseparable unit. The success of an organization ultimately depends on how effectively managers are able to motivate their subordinates. In the other words of Allen, poorly motivated people can nullify the soundest organization. It is not easy to understand the complexities involved in motivating people. If an employee has an argument with his boss and fails to report to work the next day it may appear that his behavior is a result of the confrontation. However his behavior may actually be motivated by a combination of factors including overwork, family illness or some other problems. As things stand now the whys of behavior cannot be explained easily. Let us examine some of the factors that complicate this process.

Multiple Cases:

Different people may have different visions for behaving in the same manner For example a bank officer may join a service club because it is a good place to have business contacts another may join because of the social atmosphere still another joins because of the interesting programs and speakers at the club . Thus, three different ways underline the same behavior further complicating the process of inferring motivation from behavior. For example, the motivation of people trying to pursue a certain behavior can spring from quite different reasons. Personality, background, experiences, group effects or many other factors can impact a person’s career choice.

Multiple behaviors:

Further the same motive or drive may result in different behavior. For example, if Rao wants a promotion he may concentrate on performing his job exceptionally well, but Siddharth who also wants a promotion may take a different approach. He may try to apple polish the boss to get the promotion. Another manager who also wants the promotion very badly may be afraid to do anything at all fearing he may fail. The motivation for these three behaviors is the same, but it cannot be determined simply by viewing the behaviors of the three managers.

Motivation obviously is a complex subject. It is difficult to explain and predict the behavior of employees. The introduction of an apparently favorable motivational device may not necessarily produce the desired ends if it brings opposite motives into play. In a factory, when blue green lighting was introduced to reduce eye strain, the output of men workers increased but that of women workers decreased. On investigation it was found that the latter disliked the change in lighting because they felt that the new lighting made them look simply ghastly! An intelligent manager is expected to look into the complex factors that go into the behavior of employees and carefully initiate appropriate steps to motivate them.
Source: HRM

  • Motivation is what makes a human to work

  • A Kulkarni6887

    I think motivation also comes from our past performance. Something which will motivate you from that particular situation. The frame of mind at that time, what unexpected thing i had achieved during that time will always helps us to improve our behaviour and our attitude.

  • prasanna mukherjee

    motivation in my opinion leads us to do everything from our heart and soul.we just stimulate it with the help of PD sessions or literature.positivity makes our vision.

  • Sonika Rk82

    well… i agree to wat u said…. in other words..motivation is at times situational…. u never know wat can influence u at a particular time…. but the zeal has to be frm withib for any knind of work… i mean the willingness…….

  • Kavalvaseer

    I agree with you RaviKant, but people are only motivated if they enjoy the work they do.

  • Meena Sharma

    Thanks for sending this information .It helped me a lot.

  • Chiohock

    Theoretical this motivation may apply but in some situation quite difficult to practice due to human behaviour difficult to foresee.

  • Mamta

    Motivation is that hidden power which inspires us to take one more step further.

  • More Goraksha

    Motivation is a stimulie or a ignition given to employee for make him to enjoy his work most efficiently.

  • kshantaram

    people rather need to be inspired and not motivated to achieve their higher order needs both intellectual and social leading to self-fulfillment for which people may be ready to sacrifice too or let go some lower order needs many a time.

    it is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration through a values based leaderhship, involving and communicating with people all the while with a shared vision, while promoting team work and a word of genuine praise when deserved.

    it is more about understanding the divine nature of man and artfully appealing to this sense rather than dissecting the motivational needs on a model – treating people with love and dignity.

    money or other lower order survival needs are only part of the story and generally do not take the first 3 places, while if one chooses to appeal only to these needs the learned behaviour tends to seek only these needs keeping aside the self-fulfillment needs teaching people to expect more and more of these needs raising the costs of motivation, while full human potential or productivity cannot be reached only with monetary or such needs. we are thus teaching people to be greedy all the while spending time in negotiations on what they want so that they would perform when the leadership gives in.

    soldiers fight and sacrifice their lives for the nation under inspired leaderhip while they appreciate their basic needs have been taken care of. freedom struggles through non-violence take place on such inspirational leaderhip appealing to the values of people.

    one can take the horse to the water, but cannot make the horse drink water. while even a pet dog when loved and cared for responds with love and loyalty feeling good under inspired leadership.

    shared vision and values, involving people, constantly communicating with people, a word of genuine praise, are proven ways of leading and inspiring people as compared to motivating them using a technique which could only yield short-term results.

    yes, people are different and do need different customised approaches on the situational leaderhship model, but inspirational leadership could have a wider appeal with the least resistance optimising organisational performance bonding people together through a common goal and meaningful purpose appealing to their self-fullment need whether intellectual or social order needs, while one finds the opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the community at large.

    humble regards,