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Motivation - Concept, Characteristics and Importance | Human Resource Management Notes

Human Resource Management

Motivation - Concept, Characteristics and Importance | Human Resource Management Notes

Motivation - Concept, Characteristics and Importance


The term “motivation” is developed from the English word “motive” which is itself derived from the Latin word “movere”. Movere means to move .Motive may be defined as needs, wants, drives or impulses within an individual.

Motivation may be defined as the process of stimulating or inducing people to take the desired course of action. In other words, motivation means to make an individual act in a desired manner.

According to Koontz and Weihrich; “Motivation is to do those things which satisfy drives and desires and induce the subordinates to act in a desired manner.”

According to Fred Luthans; “Motivation is a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates behavior or a drive that is aimed at a goal or incentive.”

According to Ricky Griffen; “Motivation is the set of forces that causes people to behave in certain ways.

Motivation thus, defined as a combination of forces inspiring a person at work to intensify his/her willingness to use his capabilities for the achievement of desired goals. It is an act of inducement. Motivation induces people for higher performances. It reduces employee accidents, turnover and absenteeism.

Characteristics of Motivation:

The main characteristics of motivation are as follows.

  1. Psychological aspects: Motivation is a psychological aspect of management. It is the internal feelings which arise from the needs and desires of a person.
  2. Goal Oriented: Motivation causes goal directed behavior. Feeling of needs by the person causes him/her to behave in such a way that he/she tries to satisfy himself/herself. Which trigger to achieve desired goal.
  3. Continuous Process: Motivation is a continuous process. When one particular need is fulfilled, another need will activate. Thus, motivation is an unending process.
  4. Complex and Dynamic Process: Motivation is complex and dynamic. Individual differ in their needs and wants same motivation techniques may not fit for all. Thus, ever changing needs are challenge for the mangers.
  5. Pervasive: Motivation covers all level of manger in an organization. Each and every level must be motivated towards work for the higher performance.
  6. Positive and Negative: Motivation may be positive or negative. Positive motivation means inspiring people to work better by providing rewards and incentive such as high payment, promotion, recognition etc. Negative motivation means forcing people to work by punishing them such as: demotion, cut-of-salaries, job termination etc.
  7. Intrinsic and Extrinsic: Intrinsic motivation in job related which includes job enrichment, participation, recognition etc. Whereas Extrinsic motivation is money related .It consist of salary, incentive etc.

Importance of motivation:

Followings are the importance of motivation:

  1. Understand employee behavior: one of the drivers of individual behavior is needs which is how motivation is generated. So manager must have an idea of needs and its creation, which help him/her to understand employees’ behavior.
  2. Productivity improvement: Productivity deals with maximization of output with minimum input.This are only possible when, the performance of an individual is effective and efficient. Since, motivation generates higher effort towards work, which can be helpful in productivity improvement.
  3. Quality improvement: Motivated employees always look for better way of doing job. Which can minimize the wastage and helpful in improving quality. Besides, because of their best effort, TQM can be achieved in an organization.
  4. Employee retention: Employees like to remain in an organization only when his/her needs are fulfilled from their work-life. Effective manager always tries to fulfill those needs and create friendly environment and provide opportunity of self development, which, further enhances employee retention.
  5. Creativity promotion: Motivated employees are creative and innovative. Environmental changes are easily accepted and adapted by them, which facilitates organizational and industrial development. So, motivation has importance in any organization.

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