Saturday, December 7, 2013


Moving further from the last topic of discussion on values which concluded with the last byte, we shift our attention to understanding motivation in the managerial context. The following bytes would talk about various theories and use relevant examples to help understand. In today's byte, we shall look at defining Motivation and attempt to understand what the rationale behind having theories to explain motivation.

Motivation is derived from the Latin root word - movere (meaning to move)! Obviously, the movement is directed towards a goal and thus motivation is defined as - The process of arousing and sustaining goal directed behavior. It is important to understand that motivation has 2 components in the process:
  1. Arousing
  2. Sustaining
Various theories attempt to understand the source of motivation and attempt to explain and predict the observed behavior. Coupled with the fact of diversity of people and complexity behavior in their behavior, there are a number of theories that have evolved. If one were to classify the various theories, we could categorize them into 3:
  1. Internal
  2. Process
  3. External
Internal theories of motivation give priority considerations to the variable within the individual that give raise to motivation and behavior. The External Theories of motivation, focus on the elements part of the environment, these also include the consequence of behavior. The process theories of motivation emphasize on the nature of the interactions between the environment and the individual under study.

It is to be understood upfront that no single theory on motivation is comprehensive; they are all able to explain only a small portion of the variance in human behavior.

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