Process Of Motivation

The basic elements of the process of motivation are (i) behaviour (ii) motives (iii) goals

Behaviour : All behaviour is a series of activities. Behaviour is generally motivated by a desire to achieve a goal. At any moment individuals may indulge in multifarious activities like walking, talking, eating, and so on. They switch over from one activity to another activity swiftly. In order to predict and control behaviour, managers must understand the motives of people.


Motives (Needs/drives/wants) : Motives prompt people to action. They are the primary energisers of behaviour. They are the ‘ways’ of behaviour and mainsprings of action. They are largely subjective and represent the mental feelings of human beings. They are cognitive variables. They cause behaviour in many ways. They arise continuously and determine the general direction of an individual’s behaviour.


Goals : Motives are directed toward goals. Motives generally create a state of disequilibrium, physiological or psychological imbalance, within the individuals. Attaining a goal will tend to restore physiological or psychological balance. Goals are the ends which provide satisfaction of human wants. They are outside an individual; they are hoped for incentives toward which needs are directed. One person may satisfy his need for power by kicking subordinates and another by becoming the president of a company. Thus, a need can be satisfied by several alternate goals. The particular goals chosen by an individual depends on four factors; (i) the cultural norms and values that are instilled as one matures, (ii) one’s inherited and biological capabilities, (iii) personal experience and learning influences and (iv) mobility in the physical and social environment. The dilemma posed by a large number of needs can often be resolved by integrating wants where one activity may satisfy several needs. Researchers have found that many overweight people continue to eat excessively because they have fused the satisfaction of a number wants (Love, Security, Comfort) into the act of eating. Eating, in a way, releases the tension built by the numerous unsatisfied needs.

The process of motivation discussed above implies that individuals possess a host of needs, desires and expectations. All of these needs compete for their behaviour and ultimately the need with the maximum strength at a particular moment leads to activity. When a need is satisfied, it is no longer a motivator of behaviour.

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