Concept of Motivation

Motivation is a psychological process. It is important in understanding individual behavior. It gives purpose and direction to behavior. Job performance is a function of employee ability plus motivation.

Employee may possess skills and abilities. But they may lack willingness to use those skills and abilities. Motivation induces employees to use their skills and abilities to perform effectively. It is an inner force that energizes people into action.

Motivation is willingness to exert high levels of efforts. It is an inner state within the individual that energizes, directs and sustains behavior toward goal achievement. Motivation starts with need. Needs are goal-directed forces.

They can be psychological or psychological deficiency. Needs activate drives that energizes individuals. The interacting relationships among needs, drives and goals are the foundation of motivation process.

According to S. P. Robbins and others, “Motivation is a process that accounts for an individual’s intensity, direction and persistence of efforts toward attaining a goal.”

Motivation is an important management tool to harmonize and achieve goals of individuals and organizations. It induces people for higher productivity.

Process of Motivation

As per above figure (i) explain the process of motivation:  an unsatisfied need creates tension that stimulates drives within the individual.

These drives generate search behavior to find particular goals that, if attained, will satisfy the need and will lead to the reduction of tension. The greater the tension, the higher the effort level.

To better understanding of motivation process, we can also go through this figure:

  1. Unsatisfied needs: They cause tension within the individual. They indicate deficiency.
  2. Tension: It is caused by unsatisfied needs. It can be physical, psychological or sociological. Tension is necessary for motivation to occur.
  3. Action: Individual engages in actions to satisfy needs for tension reduction. Alternatives are searched and choice is made.
  4. Accomplishment of goal: Goal is accomplished by satisfaction of needs. It can be through reward or punishment.
  5. Feedback: It indicates how well the goal is accomplished.