Nature Of Motivation

Motivation helps in inspiring and encouraging the people to work willingly.

1)    Motives are the energising forces within us : These forces are invisible and it is very difficult to measure them, because all of us are different and the motives energising us at a point differ from time to time. All that is possible is to observe and measure the behaviour we choose and from this behaviour make a kind of backward causation statement to the possible motive. Observing someone’s behaviour may indicate that a certain need is present in this person, motivating him onward.


2)    One motive may result in many different behaviours : The desire for prestige may lead a person to run for political office, give money away, get additional educational training, steal, join, groups or may change his outward appearance. A person wanting acceptance will behave differently in a car pool, office secretarial pool, or swimming pool.


3)    The same behaviour may result from many different motives :Behaviour may be caused by a number of different motives. For instance the motives underlying purchase of a car may be: to appear younger and attractive; to appear respectable; to gain acceptance from others; to maintain the acceptance already gained through a similar income level; to satisfy economic values and to reinforce company created status differentials. Thus it would be wrong for the manager of an organisation to lump all behaviour as coming from the same motive people join unions, get married, attend class, laugh at professor’s jokes for many different reasons (motives). Thus a motive cannot be identified from any specific behaviour.


4)    Behaviour can be used as an estimate of an individual’s motives : It is possible to get repeated observations of one individual’s behaviour and then make an estimate of the cause of that behaviour. For example, there is truth in the statement that some people always seem to feel insecure and thus behave continuously in a manner reflecting the insecurity of feeling. There are also people who behave in away that radiates confidence. They are confident in many different social settings so that one finds a constant and repeated behaviour from which people probably estimate the motive of the person. Obviously, if a person is at a state of near starvation, most of his behaviour will be related to the need for food. Although it is dangerous to categorise people, it is also wrong to believe that individual behaviour, when looked at in a time perspective, cannot be used as an estimate for motivation.


5)    Motives may operate in harmony or in conflict :Behaviour is frequently the result of the interplay of several motives. These motives may push a person in one direction or in a number of directions. For example, a girl may want to get high grades in school while also wanting to help her mother in the kitchen. An athlete may desire an outstanding performance and may also be sensitive to being shunned by his fellow team-mates if he performs too well and receives too much of credit. Behaviour, therefore, is the result of many forces differing in direction and intent.


6)    Motives come and go : It is very rare that a motive has the same energy potential over a long period of time. A young man who prefers to travel during vacation may give up the idea during the football season because the joy of travelling takes second place to the need to play football. The girl who is overly concerned about her hair and clothes during adolescence may turn her attention to other things once she grows up. Because humans are constantly growing, the motive at one point in time will not be as intense as the motive at another point in time.


7)    Motives interact with the environment : The situation at a particular point in time may trigger or suppress the action of a motive. You probably have experienced situations where you did not realize the intensity of your hunger needs until your smelling senses picked up the odour of palatable food. Similarly, many of these sociological needs become stimulated when you are in a situation filled with the sociological factors. Thus needs that may be latent can be quickly stimulated by the environmental situation. We have now identified a number of generalisations that could be useful in understanding the concept of motivation. The topic of human motivation is very complex and is related to other fundamental ideas such as drives and needs so that it is difficult to put our thinking into a clear system of relationships.

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