Motivation: Process, Elements, Types of Motivation

February 23, 2019

The term ‘motivation’ is derived from the word ‘motive’. Motive may be defined as needs, wants, drives or impulses within the individual. Motivation is defined as the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal. The level of motivation varies both between individuals and within individuals at different times.


Elements of Motivation

The three key elements in motivation are intensity, direction, and persistence:

  1. Intensity: It describes how hard a person tries. This is the element most of us focus on when we talk about motivation.
  2. Direction: High intensity is unlikely to lead to favorable job-performance outcomes unless the effort is channeled in a direction that benefits the organization. Therefore, the quality of effort as well as its intensity matters. Effort directed toward, and consistent with, the organization’s goals is the kind of effort once should be seeking.
  3. Persistence: It measures how long a person can maintain effort. Motivated individuals stay with a task long enough to achieve their goal.

Process of Motivation

Motivation concerns those processes which produces goal-directed behavior. The basic elements of the process of motivation are:

  1. Behavior: All behaviour is a series of activities. Behaviour is generally motivated by a desire to achieve a goal. In order to predict and control behaviour managers must understand the motives of people.
  2. Motives: Motives prompt people to action. They are the primary energizers of behaviour. They are the ‘ways’ of behaviour and mainsprings of action. They are largely subjective and represent the mental feelings of human beings. They are cognitive variables. They cause behaviour in many ways. They arise continuously and determine the general direction of an individual’s behavior.
  3. Goals: Motives are directed toward goals. Motives generally create a state of disequilibrium, physiological or psychological imbalance, within the individuals. Attaining a goal will tend to restore physiological or psychological balance. Goals are the ends which provide satisfaction of human wants. They are outside an individual; they are hoped for incentives toward which needs are directed. One person may satisfy his need for power by kicking subordinates and another by becoming the president of a company. Thus, a need can be satisfied by several alternate goals.

process of motivation

Types of Motivation

Motivation may be classified on following bases:

  1. Positive or negative
  2. Extrinsic and intrinsic
  3. Financial or non-financial

Positive and Negative Motivation

  • Positive motivation: It is the process of attempting to influence the employees’ behavior through recognition & appreciation of employees’ efforts and contribution towards achievement of organisational goal. Examples of positive motivators are – taking interest in subordinate’s benefits, appreciation and credit for work done, delegating the authority and responsibility of subordinates etc.
  • Negative motivation: It is based upon fear i.e. demotion, lay off etc. The fear of punishment affects the behaviour towards changes. Though punishment has resulted in controlling the misbehaviour and contributed towards positive performance but it may also lead to poor performance & lower productivity

Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

  • Extrinsic Motivation: It arises away from the job. It do not occur on the job. These factors include wages, fringe benefits, medical reimbursement, etc. Thus, they are generally associated with fiaancial incentives
  • Intrinsic Motivation: This type of motivation occurs on the job and provides satisfaction during the performance of work itself. Intrinsic or internal motivators include recognition, status, authority, participation etc

Financial and Non-Financial Motivation

  • Financial Motivation: It is associated with money. It includes wages and salaries, fringe benefits, bonus, retirement benefits etc
  • Non-financial Motivation: This type of motivation is not associated with monetary rewards. It  includes intangible incentives like ego satisfaction, self-actualisation and responsibility

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