My class in Organizational Development was very boring. I could never get into the concepts and the ideas that my professor always babbled about. I tried my best to concentrate and to listen to him but nothing could ever get through my head. I did not exactly know if it was my professor or if organizational development was just as exciting as a computer bug, what I knew at that time was that the class was the perfect antidote to my insomnia.
Then my professor announced that we were supposed to research and write on motivation. I groaned at the thought and silently muttered “GREAT – a boring paper on a boring topic, what fate could be worse than this?” To my surprise however, once I started raiding the university’s library for resources and scavenging online databases for the write-up, I discovered that motivation is actually an interesting topic. I also found out that there are a number of internet sites with a glossary of concepts in motivation. But what in the world is a glossary of motivation? It’s basically a list of theories and terms that are relevant to the subject. Below is a preview of what a glossary of motivation looks like.
• Motivation – Daft (1997) states that motivation generally comes from internal or external forces that either awaken or increase a person’s enthusiasm to pursue a particular action, whether it may be related to his academics, employment or personal life. Similarly, motivation is also defined as an individual’s ability to change his behavior and attain a specific life goal.
• Motivational Principles – Quick (1985) emphasizes that there are four principles that are quintessential to motivation. First in line are the reasons that a person may have for doing whatever it is that he is doing. This is followed by the same individual’s belief that the goal of his action is for his own welfare. Therefore, if a person does not deem it necessary to engage in a behavior because the behavior will not do him any good, he will not engage in such. The third principle revolves around the attainability of the person’s goal. Finally, the conditions under which a behavior is executed may affect an individual’s motivation in carrying it out. For instance, if the behavior involves too much risk – e.g. the possibility that an individual may lose his fiancée if he accepts the division office managerial promotion at his job and move to another state – he may think twice before making his decision. If he values his career over his personal relationship, then he is likely to perceive the promotion as a motivating factor and is also likely to accept the position.
• Intrinsic Motivation – Intrinsic Motivation is a type of motivation. It includes the person’s need to achieve or need to fulfill and his interest in the pursuit of an action. Here a person may say that he is doing something because he enjoys it and it is in concordance with his perception of doing things and doing them well, whether or not there are specific rewards.
• Extrinsic Motivation – Another type of motivation is one that is rooted on external factors, thus the term extrinsic motivation. There are people who are motivated to complete a task because of the incentives that are attached to them – rewards which may be monetary or in kind, praises from one’s boss or promotions in one’s job or academics. For instance, there are students whose grades are in tiptop shape not because they like having an exemplary record for the sake of it but because their parents reward their consistent excellent performance. These rewards may be anything from gift cards to a substantial allowance increase or even a new car. Sometimes though, instead of rewards, external coercion may force a person to engage in an action. This external factor may be seen as a punishment or a necessary action that is forced on an individual. A divorced parent then may pay alimony to his spouse and children due to impositions of the law rather than due to his own accord.
• Identified Regulation – When one engages in an action that is a vehicle to his goal, this is known as identified regulation. Hence a person, who normally does not kiss the ass of anyone, may do exactly this in order to get his objective. For instance, a reporter who may not agree with a political candidate’s program may attend the latter’s rallies and campaigns in order to line up an interview with him because the interview may be the big-break that the reporter has been waiting for.
• Integrated Regulation – In motivation, integrated regulation simply says that a person does a behavior because it represents who he is and what he stands for. This is common among volunteers in non-profit organizations wherein members volunteer because the act is in their blood, even when they do not receive enough stipends for it.
• Introjected Regulation – People who carry out behaviors because of the tension or pressure that they feel within if they do not carry out the said behaviors are considered as using introjected regulation. With this as their reference then, there may be wealthy individuals who would give to charity because they feel guilty of their wealth if they do not do so.
• Self-motivation – A person may be naturally gifted or intellectual and yet may find himself as consistently unmotivated to do something about his life or about his studies. Here then the role of self-motivation is underlined wherein it is believed that a person’s expectations, drives and desires set the stage for him to become motivated and act towards obtaining these things.