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Motivation and Reward. What does it mean to be motivated? Questions: What motivates you? What demotivates you? How is one motivated? Why is one motivated to do x or y? . Performance problems…. Signs and symptoms:- Organization Group/Team Individual role of ‘motivation’?.

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motivation and reward

Motivation and Reward

What does it mean to be motivated?


What motivates you? What demotivates you?

How is one motivated?

Why is one motivated to do x or y?

performance problems
Performance problems…

Signs and symptoms:-

  • Organization
  • Group/Team
  • Individual

role of ‘motivation’?

performance regulation
Performance Regulation
  • External regulation (Scientific Mgt)
  • Subjective regulation (Human Relations)

Regulation through understanding and managing the employee mind-set (cooperative systems approach)

Topic of satisfaction and motivation entered the agenda

motivation and reward4
Motivation and Reward

….for love…isn’t that the reason why we do anything….?

Do you love to work? Do you work for love? Do you work to enable you to love? Would you work if you didn’t have to?

‘Pay might be the reason why millions of people get out of bed in the morning and go to work but what they do when they get there is an entirely different manner’….(the lottery question…)

herzberg 1968
Herzberg (1968)
  • The simplest method of getting someone to move is to kick him in the pants
  • However, if you kick your dog it moves, but was it motivated to move?

… would certainly be motivated to move away!

  • True motivation comes from within the person who wants to move=> goal directed
when we go out to play
When we go out to play…
  • How might the concept of play inform our understanding of motivation?
  • What is play? What is work?
  • Can we play in work? Can we work in play?
what motivates
What motivates?

Content Theories = taxonomic ‘lists’ of need (e.g. Maslow’s Hierarchy), motives (e.g. sensation seeking, need for achievement, need for power)

- e.g. Maslow’s Hierarchy: theory of motivation in general versus work in particular => attractive ‘holistic’ idea

survival, security/safety, social/belonging, esteem, cognitive, aesthetic, self-actualising

Hierarchical proposition => movement into a higher order domain presupposes to fulfilment of lower order needs


Popularity versus scientific integrity- intuitive plausibility

Difficult to test – needs can operate simultaneously, depends on relative salience

Arbitrary categorisation – one may seek to fulfil a higher order need to satisfy lower order needs - e.g. for employability

Does need fulfilment motivate? (complete satisfaction or continuous striving)

So what? How do ‘needs’ they work? How might we use the theory?

two factor theory
Two Factor Theory

Herzberg (1968) –

intrinsic (from within)

extrinsic (from outside)

Hygiene needs = ‘disatisfiers’, must be fulfilled to prevent disatisfaction but won’t increase satisfaction

Motivators = ‘satisfiers’, but won’t prevent disatisfaction


No direct evidence, but again, plausible

- e.g. ‘tip of the iceberg’ effect in absence of satisfiers, dissatisfiers become more salient

Also maybe a threshold of hygiene needs after which more pay adds nothing to satisfaction (Law of Diminishing Returns)

But, distinction intrinsic and extrinsic dubious e.g. payment (hygiene/extrinsic) makes possible the fulfilment of intrinsic (satisfiers) needs, also depends what ‘pay’ means (could be intrinsic motivator for some)

Again, so what?

how does motivation come about
How does motivation come about?

Process theories - e.g. equity theory (distributive justice, procedural justice) instrumentality-expectancy theory, social exchange theory, goal setting theory…

Social comparisons = reference point

Presuppose a superordinate need for equity/justice/balance of exchange

Presuppose rational calculation of inputs/outputs

Highly cognitive … where is the sentiment?

So what? What do they tell us about motivation?

what why and how
What, Why and How?

Content = what? Arbitrary lists of needs

Process = how? Cognitive mechanisms

How useful is either without an answer to ‘why is one motivated to do x rather than y?’

Importance of theory -> source of explanation and ‘intervention leverage’

absence of coherent theory
Absence of coherent theory

Piecemeal/fragmented, mini-models, laboratory based, decontextualised

A theory of motivation must be able to deal with:-

  • Individual differences
  • Motivated behaviour can occur in adverse circumstances - e.g. demoralised but continue to work hard
  • Why there might be opposite reactions of some people to the same objective circumstances
motivation and satisfaction
Motivation and Satisfaction

All theories incorporate satisfaction, but, one can be motivated even if dissatisfied


Scenario -> professional person in the caring professions, there is low morale and high turnover, but not necessarily poor performance..

Work => self-expressive (directly or indirectly)

motivation as an expression of identity
Motivation as an expression of identity

What higher order needs does work fulfil?

Competence/efficacy, achievement, meaning, esteem /worth / validation…

Why are we motivated to do what we do?

Can one be motivated in a ‘have to’ situation? - i.e. is pure ‘want to’ or intrinsic motivation possible without constraint?


An identity theory of motivation…

Does the term ‘motivation’ signify something unitary (uni-dimensional) or multi-dimensional?

Is it more useful as an analytic framework than a concept?

Still doesn’t answer the question of how?


Theories of goal directed and self-regulated behaviour

Psychological Contract Theory = schema theory (Rousseau) and/or relationship psychology (Herriot)

Critical importance of understanding processes, not just inside the head, but between people and the artefacts in their environment

universal and particular
Universal and Particular
  • How can universal theories be used in particular instances?
  • Importance of context…

universal theories are acontextual

particularistic situations – apply only in a particular context

Contingency theory….

the context of motivation
The context of motivation…

Adequacy of individual level of analysis

Groups as a critical link pin and source of psychological leverage

Understand group processes – formal and informal – e.g. how do people maintain motivation in boring jobs? Informal compensatory mechanisms where there is some creative licence afforded by mgt (informal job redesign)

the context of reward
The context of reward

Payment systems => rarely truly contingent on performance (PRP)

Complex relationship between payment and intrinsic motivation – e.g. can change the meaning of work

Individual PRP in a team context can undermine teamwork by creating interpersonal competition

control or facilitation
Control or Facilitation
  • Balance between management control and personal/team autonomy
  • Critical importance of informal as well as formal processes
  • Imposition of new formal processes (e.g. job redesign, new technology) can undermine informal processes with big performance costs…
doing more harm than good
Doing more harm than good…
  • Sweeping ‘potted’ job design solutions, out-of-context, potentially disruptive of informal processes naturally evolved to increase/maintain motivation in otherwise boring (formal) jobs..
  • Context, history, meaning
    • What is the context? Context is created in part by informal processes
    • History? Of the current situation, of the individual/group situation..
    • Meaning? What does work mean to an individual or group…
work flow
Work flow…
  • What is the task and task objective?
  • What are the task conditions and constraints?
  • How will the task be completed (processes)

-optimise process by taking into consideration the task and its requirements and the people involved

-select process that is win-win for task and people; involve people in deciding on process

Control versus Autonomy – Formal versus Informal Processes