Motivation Meaning

Motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’. Motive refers to the drives, needs, impulses, and wants within a person that induces him to continue in the course of action enthusiastically. 

Motivation may be defined as the complex process of stimulating a person to achieve desired goals and to perform actions by using his maximum capabilities for the achievement of certain objectives. It includes stimulating desires and needs in people to initiate and direct their behaviour in a purposive manner. It is a psychological phenomenon that arises from the feeling of needs and wants of individuals. It causes goal-directed behaviour.

Motivation can be described as the driving force within people that drives them to perform actions. This driving force is generated by tension, which exists as a result of unsatisfied needs. Consciously and subconsciously people try both ways to reduce their tension through behaviour that they anticipate will fulfil their needs and thus free them of the stress they feel.

Related Article:- Types of Motivation

Motivation Definition

According to Dalton E. McFarland, “Motivation refers to how urges, desires, drives, strivings, aspirations, or needs direct, control or explain the behaviour of human beings”.

According to S.P. Robbins, “Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organisational goals, conditioned by the effort and ability to satisfy some individual need”.

According to Likert, “Motivation is the core of management which shows that every human being gives him a sense of worth in face-to-face groups which are most important to him. A supervisor should strive to treat individuals with dignity and recognition of their personal worth”.

Nature of Motivation

The nature of motivation is as follows:

1) Psychological Concept: The person’s activation depends upon the perceived needs and expectations. The process of motivation, which is mainly concerned with desires, needs, expectations, satisfaction, and confidence, is a psychological phenomenon. The psychology of every person is different from others and therefore it is very difficult to ascertain in practice what methods and purposes will motivate a person towards desired goals.

2) Continuous Process: Human wants are unlimited. With the satisfaction of one want, another want of the higher order is created. Thus, new wants arise when the present wants are fulfilled. Moreover, all the wants cannot be satisfied at the same time, they are to be satisfied one after another continuously. So, motivation is a continuous and never-ending process.

3) Dynamic and Situational: The ideas, performance and aims all are dynamic in nature. The things that motivate a person today may not motivate him tomorrow. His drives,  expectations, needs, and value judgment keep changing and hence the process of motivation is extremely dynamic. 

Motivation is also situational in a set of organisational climate, physical facilities, structure, and nature of work, a person may be deeply motivated, but any change in them may affect his motivation.

4) Not Easily Observed Phenomenon: The actions of a person can be observed and then we try to understand the actions which constitute his behaviour in terms of his underlying motivations and fulfilment. In this analysis, there can be many misunderstandings.

5) Goal-Oriented Process: Proper and effective motivation inspires people to contribute their best towards the realisation of their individual goals as well as organisational goals.

6) Influenced by Social and Cultural Norms: Social and cultural customs, values, and traits play important role in motivation. If society attaches respect, acceptance, and recognition to a job or organisation, a person is motivated toward that job or organisation.

Process of motivation

The motivation process involves various steps as shown in the figure.


Process of Motivation

1) Motive: Motivation begins when a motive prompts people to do some action. Motives are the primary energizer of behaviour and explain the reasons for behaviour. Motives are largely subjective and represent the mental picture of the individual by explaining the rationale of human behaviour. Motives arise continuously and determine the general direction of the individual’s behaviour.

2) Behaviour: The behaviour of the person comprises a list of actions that he does by being motivated to achieve personal and organisational goals. The individual’s motives are directed towards goals and very often create a state of disequilibrium. These stages of disequilibrium may arise due to the imbalances between the physiological and psychological states of the individual. The behaviour of attaining goals tends to restore balance.

3) Goal: The goals chosen by an individual depend on various factors like cultural norms and values, the individual’s inherited capabilities, the influence of personal learning and experiences, and the level and type of movement in the social and physical world of the employee.

4) Tension Reduction: Every individual in the organisation tends to develop certain motivational drives as a product of the cultural environment in which he lives and his goal-driving behaviour. This also affects the way individuals view their jobs and approach their personal and professional life.

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