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Various Types of Motivations

     Organizational motivation always boils down to individual motivation. A team, company, military unit or a civic group will not be very effective without the commitment and motivation of individual members. Inculcating team spirit and cooperation among individual members is not possible without first tapping the individual motivations. It is a matter of consolidating these individual motivations and focusing them toward common goals.

Intrinsic vs. extrinsic

Motivations can be classified into at least six types based on their specific characteristics and focus. These are individual-based motivations that can be translated to organizational motivations. These various types of motivations can be further grouped into two general categories, namely, intrinsic or internal motivations and extrinsic or external motivations.

As the name implies, intrinsic motivations come from within. These are mainly psychological drives that are innate for most people. Some of these are directly related to instinctive human desires such as curiosity and socialization.

On the other hand, extrinsic motivations are external in nature. These are based on incentive and coercive factors that are usually offered to individuals by authority figures. These are the proverbial carrot dangling on the end of a stick, signifying rewards and punishment.

For example, a manager may offer monetary bonuses for employees who can exceed their quotas. At the same time, a manager may threaten suspension or reduction of compensation for those employees who cannot satisfactorily perform their tasks.

Narrower categories

Incentive motivation - This category of motivations is classified under extrinsic motivational factors. It involves prospects of rewards that individuals can receive for performing specific tasks. Monetary compensation is the most common example of incentive-based motivation. Most people work to earn a living either as employees or professionals. Others have their own businesses that earn profits.

Coercive motivation - People are generally motivated by positive reinforcements but coercive reinforcements are also necessary, which are based on fear of punishment. The penal codes of sovereign states are typical examples. Aside from prohibitive functions, coercive motivations can also have prescriptive or command functions. Case in point is a student who has to study for an exam in fear of flunking.

Achievement - Motivations that are derived from the desires to achieve is also known as drive for competency. These involve the need for challenges and sense of self-worth.

Growth - This is primarily centered on the need for change and improvements of situations. It is a drive that might be triggered by boredom. For example, an employee working in a dead-end job may seek to change career path even if the current position offers stable work and good compensation.

Power - People who are motivated by power are politicians of some sort. They are not necessarily elected to public or government positions but they have strong desires to gain authority. The desire to control and lead others is typical among managers and business owners.

Social - The need for socialization and social acceptance is intrinsic in human beings. Hence, humans are often referred as social animals. This need drives people to cooperate in teams, join organizations and be identified as part of a group. The passion to contribute for the betterment of society is part of this desire that is sometimes altruistic.

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Posted on 2012-12-24, By: *

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