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University of Toronto Scarborough
Management (MGH)

Chapter 5 Theories of Work Motivation Why Study Motivation? Motivation has become more important in contemporary organizations mostly a result of the need for increased productivity to be globally competitive. Also a result of the rapid changes that contemporary organizations are undergoing (requirements for flexibility and attention to customers require higher levels of motivation). What is Motivation? Basic Characteristics of Motivation Motivation: The extent to which persistent effort is directed toward a goal. Characteristics: Effort. The strength of the persons work-related behaviour or the amount of effort a person exhibits on the job. Involves different kinds of activities on different kinds of jobs e.g., a loading dock worker exhibits greater effort by carrying heavier crates. Refers to the quantity of work an individual produces. Persistence. The persistence that individuals exhibit in applying effort to their work tasks. Refers to the quantity of work an individual produces. Direction. Do workers channel persistent effort in a direction that benefits the organization? Refers to the quality of a persons work motivation means working smart as well as working hard. Goals. All motivated behaviour has some goal or objective toward which it is directed. Employee goals include high productivity, good attendance, or creative decisions (support the objectives of the organization). Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation Intrinsic Motivation: Motivation that stems from the direct relationship between the worker and the task; it is usually self-applied. E.g., feelings of achievement, accomplishment, challenge, competence derived from performing ones job. Extrinsic Motivation: Motivation that stems from the work environment external to the task; it is usually applied by others. E.g., pay, fringe benefits, company policies, and various forms of supervision. Some motivators are both extrinsic and intrinsic e.g., a promotion or a compliment might by applied by the boss but might also be a clear signal of achievement and competence. Self-Determination Theory (SDT): A theory of motivation that considers whether peoples motivation is autonomous or controlled. Autonomous Motivation: When people are self-motivated by intrinsic factors. Facilitates effective performance, especially on complex tasks. Sometimes extrinsic factors can lead to autonomous motivation when an individual internalizes the values or attitudes associated with a behaviour and, as a result, no longer requires the extrinsic factor to motivate him or her to perform the behaviour. Controlled Motivation: When people are motivated to obtain a desired consequence or extrinsic reward. The negative effect of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation occurs only under very limited conditions (i.e., the notion that when extrinsic rewards depend on performance, then the motivating potential of intrinsic rewards decreases). Motivation and Performance Performance: The extent to which an organizational member contributes to achieving the objectives of the organization. While motivation contributes to performance, the relationship is not one-to-one because a number of other factors also influence performance. Factors Contributing to Individual Job Performance: General Cognitive Ability: A persons basic information processing capacities and cognitive resources (i.e., intelligence or mental ability). o Reflects an individuals overall capacity and efficiency for processing information, and includes a number of cognitive abilities (e.g., verbal, numerical, spatial, and reasoning abilities) that are required to perform mental tasks. o Predicts learning and training success as well as job performance. Emotional Intelligence (EI) (Peter Salovey and John Mayer): The ability to
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