The Power of Motivation

The Power of Motivation

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Inside an organization, people are expected to their best work. Best work is easier to achieve when there’s the help of motivation. Motivation is one of the important factors to create effective management inside an Organization (Wood et al., 2006). Every person inside a company is motivated by different kind of things. According to Dawson (1986 cited in Thompson & McHugh 2002) motivation is a behavior, which can drive someone to act towards their goal. A motivated person will perform at maximum capacity in their jobs. The sense of purpose and money are the important factors that motivated people the most. Later on, this paper will evaluate the statement that people are doing their best work if they are motivated by a sense of purpose rather than the pursuit of money, and also this paper will cover motivation theories by Maslow and Herzberg.
The term motivation is related with the process that explains how and why human behavior is directed and affected (Latham, 2007). Sasone, Carol and Harakiewicz (2000) stated that there are 2 types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation was described as a motivation which dependent on internal factors such as the desire to work hard and the satisfaction of accomplishing something (Wood et al., 2006). For example, an employee was motivated to become employee of the month, so he always submits his work before the deadline. On the other hand, extrinsic motivation was described as a motivation that depends on external factors such as money. Someone can be classified as extrinsic motivated if he/she was satisfied with external factors (Osterloh & Frey, 2000 p.539). Deci (1975 cited in Latham, 2006), believe that external factors such as money have negative effect on behavior. Deci also believed that if someone perform activities based on external factors, they will have less and less motivation towards the activity, however if they were not driven by external factors, they will tend to be in control and hence intrinsically motivated (Cited in Latham, 2006). From Deci’s statement, it can be concluded that external factors can reduce intrinsic motivation. However, Bandura (1977) argued the statement that intrinsic motivation was only affected by internal factors. Bandura stated that it is almost impossible to find situation where the presence of extrinsic factors are none. An expert named Locke (1990) was disagreeing Deci’s concept about intrinsic motivation. Locke noted that Deci hasn’t distinguished the different between liking an activity of its own sake, and liking activity because it makes someone feel challenged.

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The second argument of Locke supports Bandura’s statement saying that it’s almost impossible to find situation which doesn’t involve external factors. In addition to show the importance of motivation, N.R.F Maier (1995) stated that “Job performance = ability x motivation”, this means that the more motivation a person have, the higher the performance it can produce. To give better understanding about motivation, more theories about motivation will be discussed.
The two main theories of motivation study were known as Content and Process motivation theories (Wood et al., 2006). Content theories, as explained by Wood et al. (2006), are theory which mostly concern with something that can affect an individual’s behavior. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory are the most important and popular theory within content motivation.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory was divided into 5 levels, the theory was arranged ascending accordingly to human needs: physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs (Adler, 1977). Among the 5 level, the hierarchical needs can be divided into two groups: lower order needs and higher order needs (Wood et al., 2006). Lower order needs consist of physiological, safety, and social needs, while the high order needs, consist of esteem, and self-actualization needs.
The lowest part, physiological needs, was believed to be the most basic needs of all. Physiological needs contain element such as air, food and water. The second is safety needs, such as protection from dangerous threat and stability in daily life (Wood et al., 2006). The third is social needs; it means the needs for family, friends, love and affection (Hagerty, 1999). The fourth is the needs for esteem; or the need to be accepted and recognized by other people. The last part of the hierarchical pyramid is the self-actualization needs, this is when an individual do to achieve their wishes. Based on the hierarchical order, the most basic needs or physiological needs must be fulfilled. Hagerty (1999) stated that before basic need or physiological is fulfilled, moving to the next level is impossible because all the effort needed was focused on the physiological needs. Example in the real life, people need to breath and eat before they can start to do their next activities. After the physiological needs were fulfilled, people tend to change their attention to fulfill the next need which is safety needs. As stated before, safety needs include the feeling of security from threat, if an individual feel threatened; further level of the pyramid will be ignored until the problem is solved (Maslow, 2007). After the feeling of security exists, social needs are the next need that an individual will seek. Social needs are the need that associated with interactions to other people. When social needs are satisfied, higher level of need, esteem, will be the new focus. After an individual feel “belong” (Maslow 2007), the feeling to gain some position is rising. After esteem needs is satisfied, the last part of the hierarchical pyramid, the self-actualization needs become the main attention. The self-actualization needs is when an individual, uses his/her potential to the fullest, so they can achieve whatever they wishes, an all-out effort will be happened on this level. From the theory above, it can be concluded that as one needs become fulfilled, attention to that needs were vanished, while the attention were moving to the next level.

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