Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation

Topics: Motivation, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Employment Pages: 6 (1881 words) Published: June 14, 2013
When people talk about motivations in work place, relative merits of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards have been put under spotlight. In the middle of 20th century, some researchers found that sometimes people do something without apparent rewards. These observation suggested that such engagement is inherently enjoyable and satisfying. This type of motivation was intrinsic motivation(Hunt, 1965). Intrinsic motivation refers to motivation that comes from inside of an individual rather than external rewards. Extrinsic motivation refers to financial rewards, developmental rewards and social rewards which all associated with the job that employee does. Some people argue that intrinsic rewards are the most important motivators in work place. Others hold the opinion that external motivation is more powerful. This article will illustrate the effectiveness of intrinsic motivation and extrinsic motivation. Find out which one is more important when motivating employees. As a result of this study, it is found that both intrinsic incentives and extrinsic incentives are important in motivating employees. However, intrinsic motivation seems more powerful when affecting employees in course of creativity and quality of their work.

Intrinsic motivation is the energy source that motivate employees do more jobs. People with intrinsic motivation tend to excel and perform better in their tasks. Because they feel happy and satisfied with challenges and uncertainty. In other words, intrinsic motivation comes from the interests of organism. When people willing to undertake tasks, they are self-motivated by obtain goals and this will lead to a higher quality of their work compared to tasks finished by people who motivated by extrinsic incentives. As Kohn (1993) said in his article, why incentive plans cannot work, he pointed out that employees may see financial incentives as bribe. When employers required employees to do something with payment, there must be something employees would not want to do. Further, he argued as intrinsic incentives are genuine motivators, pay bribes could lead employees lose their intrinsic interest and reduce the quality of work. Take an example, the observation and survey I did was in a small scale accounting firm. There are 2 CPA and 14 audit assistants. They are divided into 2 teams. Each CPA lead 7 assistants. One of the CPA, loves auditing very much. He is very passioned and enthusiasm in his work. Some assistants have affected by the CPA and they found their job is enjoyable. So they are willing to learn new things in woke and happy to solve problems in work. The whole team make the work quality very high. The other team was lead by a CPA who is not very interested in auditing, She was forced to do auditing under the pressure of her parents. Also, she if reluctant to do her job and always finish them just vetoer the deadline. Members in her team feel the negative emotion, so they lost their intrinsic interests of auditing. Obviously, the second CPA cannot do job well. People develop different type of reaction in different situations. McShan, Olekalns and Travaglione( ) have developed a model shows the relationship between individual's self-concept (here we can see it as intrinsic motivation) and decisions and behavior. This model illustrated that intrinsic motivations are the prime source of employee motivation. Further more, employees with intrinsic motivations are not easily give up or loose faith, some supervisors are glad to help with improving employees internal interests because self-motivated does not need constant supervision.

Another evidence shows intrinsic motivation more powerful than extrinsic motivation to employees is in the field of creativity. Under the theory of extrinsic motivation, when employees are rewards to do something, they will only demonstrate the type of works which will attract rewards. Any other behavior, including creativity behavior, are likely to be ignored...
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