Nelson Garcia Soto
December 23, 2013
“Motivation is the processes that account for an individual’s intensity, direction, and persistence of effort toward attaining a goal” (Robbins and Judge, 2013, p 202). An effective leader motivates his or her followers or subordinates to perform. Leaders encourage other to be moved by something. The degree of motivation and the type of motivation are both important. The degree of motivation is how much is someone motivated and the type of motivation concerns with what brings that motivation. Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation are mentioned as catalysts of the explained behavior. Several theories of motivation try to explain the concept and its origins. The purpose of this paper is to explain key ideas of some of the theories as they relate to a team of six members and a mentor who is in a leadership position. The DISC assessment tool will be used to compare and contrast the individuals of the team based on their personalities. Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators exist. Extrinsic motivation means doing something that leads to a separable outcome and intrinsic motivation means doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable (Ryan and Deci, 2000). In consequence, the behaviors portrayed are different. Intrinsic motivation comes natural and is even associated with behaviors since one is a child. A child is born with the inherent nature to walk, eat, be curious, etc. This aspect might be related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explained later. We also have innate needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness (Ryan and Deci, 2000). This relates to self-efficacy theory. Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, depends on a separable outcome or an external force or pressure. These behaviors appear after childhood when we start identifying with roles. In the workplace, extrinsic motivators are often in the form of rewards like pay incentives, employee benefits, verbal recognition, etc. Intrinsic motivators are shown when doing a job because it means something to us; learning from the job, pay incentives when we are passionate about a job, employee recognition programs, etc. Extrinsic motivators often enhance performance when they are not seen as coercive. They can also increase satisfaction (how well we feel about our jobs). An extrinsic motivator that might increase job satisfaction might be a high perceive organizational support (POS) or the degree that we perceive the organization supports our goals. Both extrinsic and intrinsic motivators are explained as part of the self-determination theory of motivation. This is one of the contemporary theories “that is concerned with the beneficial effects of intrinsic motivation and the harmful effects of extrinsic motivation” (Robbins and Judge, 2013, p 209). The harmful effects of extrinsic rewards can diminish intrinsic interest on a task, best known as cognitive evaluation theory. Other contemporary theories of relevance to this paper are: goal-setting theory, and self-efficacy theory. Goal-setting theory proposes that clear and specific goals improve performance. Self-efficacy theory relies on the premise that we are all capable of performing what we want. Its proponent proposes enactive mastery, vicarious modeling, verbal persuasion, and arousal can improve that self-efficacy. Many other contemporary theories try to explain motivation, but the scope of this paper goes beyond that. However care must be given to mention Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, one of the first attempts to explain motivation. There exists a hierarchy of needs within us: physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization. This theory seems logical but its criticism is that no empirical substantiation can help prove it. Some of the other need theories like McClellands’ (need for achievement, power, and...
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