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What is Motivation?

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Introduction

Motivation: What is motivation? What drives our behaviour? What makes us choose one thing over another? What makes us do certain things? Ultimately it is motivation which is our key driving force. It is a psychological process which dictates our actions. We maybe motivated to do a particular thing, conversely we maybe unmotivated to do something. Motivation can be classed as ones desire or drive to attain or achieve a certain aim or goal. Cox (1996, p88) states, 'Motivation, of one kind or another, is responsible for most of our thoughts, emotions and deeds.' Is there a purpose to our every action? Throughout we shall explore how motivation plays a part in our lives, and what it is, and consider motivation in the business environment. We all as individuals have certain wants and needs, some are essential for everyday life, others less critical, though we carry out tasks to satisfy a certain need or drive. Trying to arrive at a distinct definition of what motivation actually is can be a little tricky, Sharp (1992, p130), argues that motivation is very difficult to define because it is, 'inextricably bound up with attitudes, feelings, expectations, needs and emotions.' ...read more.

Middle

(L, Mullins 1996 p54). Therefore once a lower need had been satisfied it no longer acts as a motivator, the next level of the hierarchy becomes the primary motivating influence. Maslow revels that a 'satisfied need is no longer a motivator.' Because we are all different individuals we all act and behave differently, therefore it is plausible for individuals to engage this hierarchy in a different order, or join it at a higher level than others. Maslow's framework is adopted by both the business and sports worlds. However his work wasn't originally intended for use in either field, but his hierarchy has found place in both. Motivation in the business environment is a vast and complex field, with varying opinions and schools of thought. The adoption of theories such as Maslow's saw a development of a more humanist approach to management. The watershed moment came after the Hawthorne experiments, a set of ground breaking experiments conducted in America in the late 1920's and early 1930's. Emanating from these studies was a set of inspiring results and a new branch of people management. Up until and during those experiments, organisations adopted a so called 'Classical' approach to people management, a scientific, pragmatic, management knows best approach, sterile with the contention that people are motivated by financial gains, and will do as they are told, and will achieve their goals through financial incentives. ...read more.

Conclusion

(In a business context). Regardless any theory that assists in the understanding of the nature of motivation of individuals should be considered helpful, when formulating strategy for motivation Mullins (1996, p487) proposes, 'Because of the complexity of motivation and the fact that there is no single answer to what motivates people, that the different theories are important to management. They show there are many motives which influences people's behaviour and performance.' Ultimately the different frameworks of theory enable decisions to be made in trying to solve the problem of how best to motivate individuals more effectively. Motivation is one's drive to achieve, most people have a desire for more, more money, more friends, more recognition more status, more success. What drives us on to try to achieve our goals is motivation. We may use internal or external influences to spur us on. We have seen how it is based on our individual needs and goals, and how it can be broken it into different areas. We can predict that in a business environment, high levels of motivation equals increased chance of success and are critical for the nirvana of the 'competitive advantage'. ...read more.

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