Saturday, December 7, 2013

Motivation - origin

In the last byte, we defined the term motivation and mentioned about the various classifications of the theories. In today's blow, we begin with understanding the origin of some of the theories of motivation.

One could begin tracing back the evolution of studies on motivation to the past century and the most profound starting point for the study on motivation has been the work of Max Weber, a German Scholar. Webbers’ argument was that the meaning of work lay not in the work itself but in the deeper potential for contributing to salvation. This is in alignment with the Protestant ethic which said that people work hard because those who prospect at work were more likely to find a place in heaven!

At this point it is interesting to note, that motivation could also be influenced by the cultural context.

The next major contribution came from Sigmund Freud. He saw much of human motivation has an unconscious beginning. He used the method "psychoanalysis" to look into the unconscious mind and better understand a person's motives and needs. This approach has been able to successfully explain in a lot of cases the self-destructing and irrational behavior that one exhibits. This initial work marked the foundation to the need based theories that would be proposed later.

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