6/17/2012 9:11:00 PM
Bus 2090 DE
Chapter 5: Theories of Work Motivation
Why study motivation?
Motivation – one of the most traditional topics in organizational behaviour, and it has
interested managers, researchers, teachers and sports coaches for year
Motivation has become even more important in contemporary organization. This is a result of the
rapid changes that contemporary organizations are undergoing.
A stable systems of rules, regulations, and procedures that once guided behaviour as being
replaced by requirements for flexibility and attention to customers that necessitate higher levels
of initiative. This initiative depends on motivation.
There is no single all-purpose motivation theory.
A good set of theories should recognize human diversity and consider that the same conditions
will not motivate everyone. Also a good set of theories should be able to explain how it is that
some people seem to be self-motivated, while others seem to require external motivation. And
finally a good set of theories should recognize the social aspects of human beings – people’s
motivation is often affected by how they see others being treated.
Motivation – from an organizations perspective: person works hard, keeps at it, and directs their
behaviour toward appropriate outcomes.
Basic Characteristics of Motivation:
Effort – the first aspect of motivation is the strength of the person’s work-related behaviour, or
the amount of the effort the person exhibits on the job.
Persistence – the second characteristic of motivation is the persistence individuals exhibit in
applying effort to their work tasks.
Direction – Effort and persistence refer mainly to the quality of work an individual produces. Of
equal importance is the quality of a person’s work. The third characteristic of motivation if the
direction of the person’s work-related behaviour.
Goals – ultimately, all motivated behaviour has some goal or objective toward which it is
Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation: Some people believe motivation is an caused by outside factors, while others believe it is caused
from internal factors.
Intrinsic motivation – stems from the direct relationship between the worker and task and is
usually self-applied. Feelings f achievement, accomplishment challenge, and competence derive
from performing one’s job are examples of intrinsic motivators, as is sheer interest in the job
itself. Off the job, avoid participation in sports and hobbies are often intrinsically motivated.
Extrinsic motivation – stems from the work environment external to task and is usually applied
by someone other than the person being motivated. Pay, fringe benefits, company policies, and
various forms of supervision are examples of extrinsic motivators.
Autonomous motivation: when people are self-motivated by intrinsic factors
Controlled motivation: when people are motivated to obtain a desired consequence of extrinsic
Motivation and Performance:
Performance: the extent to which an organizational member contributed to achieving the
objectives of the organization.
General Cognitive Ability: refers to a person’s basic information processing capabilities and
cognitive resources. It reflects and individual’s overall capacity and efficiency for processing
information, and it includes a number of cognitive abilities, such as verbal, numerical, spatial,
and reasoning abilities, that are required to perform mental tasks. Cognitive ability is a strong
predictor of performance. Education is an important indicator f someone’s intelligence and it is
important for obtaining employment.
Does Education predict job performance?
Thomas W.H Ng and Daniel c. Feldman examined the results of 293 studies on education and
job performance, finding that education was related to all three types of job performance, display
greater creativity, and demonstrate more citizenship behaviours than less educated workers.
Emotional Intelligence: the ability to understand and manage one’s own and other’s feelings and
emotion. It involves the ability to perceive and express emotion, assimilate emotion in thought,
understand and reason about emotions, and manage emotions in oneself and others. Individuals
high in EI are able to identify and understand the meanings of emotions and to manage and
regulate their emotions as a basis for problem solving, reasoning, thinking, and action. Peter Salovey and John Mayer (both credited with first coining the term ‘emotional
intelligence’ ) have developed an EI model that consists of four interrelated sets of skills, o
1. Perceiving emotions accurately in oneself and others: This involves the ability to
perceive emotions and to accurately identify one’s own emotions and the emotions of others.
2. Using emotions to facilitate thinking: This refers to the ability to use and assimilate
emotions and emotional experiences to guide and facilitate one’s thinking and reasoning. This
means that one is able to use emotions in functional ways, such as making decisions and other
cognitive processes. This stage also involves being able to shift one’s emotions and generate new
emotions that can help one to see things in different ways and from different perspectives
3. understanding emotions, emotional language, and the signals conveyed by emotions:
This stage involves being able to understand emotional information, and determinants and
consequences of emotions, and how emotions evolve and change over time. At this stage, people
understand how different situations and events generate emotions as well as how they and others
are influences by various emotions. Individuals who are good at this know not to ask somebody
who is in a bad mood fir a favour, but rather to wait until the person is in a better mood or to just
ask someone else.
4. Managing emotions so as to attain specific goals: This involves the ability to manage
one’s own and others’ feeling and emotions as well as emotional relationships. This is the
highest level of EI because it requires one to have mastered the previous stages. At this stage, an
individual is able to regulate, adjust, and change their own emotions as well as others’ emotions
to suit the situation.
The Motivation-Performance Relationship
In Poor performance can also be due to a poor understanding of highly motivated
individuals. An individual with rather marginal motivation might have high general cognitive
ability or emotional intelligence or might understand the task so well that some compensation
A person with weak motivation might perform well because of some luck or chance factor that