Motivation Concepts

Essay by jdean32University, Bachelor'sA, November 2008

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What is motivation? In psychology, "motivation refers to the initiation, direction, intensity and persistence of behavior" (Geen, 1995). Motivation should not be confused with personality or emotion because motivation is a temporal and dynamic state. A number of different terms exist that can describe motivation and understanding motivation can be very important when trying to understand individual behavior. In simple words, understanding motivation is understanding the "whys" of human behavior.

The Theories of motivation consist of two main theories. These include content theories and process theories. Content theories deal with "what" motivates people. These theories are concerned with identifying needs or drives that people have and how these are prioritized. Process theories deal with "how" behavior is started, sustained, and terminated and where motivation is seen as an outcome of complex interaction between people.

Two basic motivation types exist. The first type is what motivates an individual to do something on his or her own by internal needs and drives.

For example, the feeling of hunger makes a person want to eat so an individual who is hungry will be motivated to find food to satisfy that urge of hunger. This type of motivation is referred to as intrinsic. The second type of motivation is how one individual gets another to do something which is not caused by intrinsic motives (Deci & Ryan, 1985).

Motivation in the workplace is one of the most important factors in driving financial success in organizations today. Organizations spend millions of dollars every year trying to find new ways to motivate employees. So what truly motivates an employee? Is it just money, or does motivation consist of a number of different variables? This varies from one individual to the next but I believe that the drive of an individual or employee is the ultimate factor...