Motivation is an incentive, an incitement of the will, a force that influences the behavior of a  person to do a thing.”

                        “Motivation is a moving force or stimulus or motive which precedes a behavior or an act.”                          - SULLY


Motivation is concerned with how behavior gets started, is energized, is sustained, is directed, is stopped, and what kind of  subjective reaction is present in the organism, while all this is going on.

A need to be fulfilled is motive and motivation means using the

motives in the individual to cause a definite action which will contribute to personal as well as organizational improvement.

To motivate means to incite a person to do or to act in the manner in which one wants him to do or act.


Why do people work?

If a group of persons are asked: “Why do you work?” The answers may be usually somewhat on the following lines :

                              i.        We work to get our food.

                            ii.        How to sustain the household needs?

                           iii.        I work because others do!

                           iv.        Duty towards family and society.

                            v.        I like working.

                           vi.        Why sit idle?

                          vii.        Challenge to do something.

                        viii.        The joy of completing a work.

                           ix.        Attraction towards co-workers.

                            x.        Environment in the organization.

                           xi.        Service to the country.

                          xii.        Karma Yoga / to please God.

                        xiii.        Social obligations.

                        xiv.        To enjoy the world.

                          xv.        One cannot leave the work unfinished.

                        xvi.        Working gives me the respect.

                       xvii.        So that others likes us.

                      xviii.        I like the particular job.

                        xix.        You get good offers of marriage.

                          xx.        For the future of my children and family.

                        xxi.        Creative urge.

                       xxii.        Excel in performance.

                      xxiii.        Lot of problems if you do not work.

                      xxiv.        Desire for power and authority.

                       xxv.        To gain a place in society.

      ……. And so on.

If these answers are analyzed, it will be found that people work to meet and fulfill their needs. These needs vary from one’s own physical needs to needs in social interactions and joy in work or excellence.

Each person is driven by a force impelled through his needs. Sometimes, the force is purely instinctive. On other occasions, it may arise from a rational decision. It could also be a mixture of both the processes.

However, whatever be the source of the force, harnessing participant’s motivation is such an obvious aspect of the leadership role, it is surprising that due attention has not been given to this aspect. Not much study has also been made in this area.

The goal of motivation is to cause people  to put forth their best efforts with enthusiasm and effectiveness in order to achieve and hopefully surpass organizational objectives. To motivate is to incite a person to do something in the manner in which you want it to be done.

“It is probably a mistake to think of motivation as a pre-requisite for learning. A more useful way of thinking about this force is to regard motivation as a general willingness to enter into a learning situation. However, it is un-necessary to postpone learning until appropriate classes of motivation are available. Frequently the best strategy is to ignore any initial motivational states and to concentrate on presenting the subject material in such a way that student motivation is developed and harnessed during the learning process.”                 - I.K.DAVIES

The above quote sums up the importance of motivation in learning situation.

There is no simple problem but a variety of complex problems in the motivation for learning. Motivation is an important issue of having a wide understanding of learning and development, of temperament, intelligence and socialization. It is the importance of selecting appropriate objectives for any group of learners in particular circumstances followed by designing the detailed Programme in suitable steps and stages for achieving the objective. Many failures are due to failures in the choice of aim or in programming the necessary learning.

The choice of the objectives and Programme are usually influenced by things like age, sex, general ability, temperament, social background, environment of training, institution, local and national cultural norms and the nature of the specific learning task. It is, therefore, important to understand that successful motivation will mean successful assessment of these factors and appropriate deployment of the training resources.               

There is no simple formula through which one could make a successful assessment of the various factors and decide upon appropriate deployment of training resources. One could only think of some approaches which could be helpful in practice and these could be developed based on a practical study of the psychology of learning. One common approach to motivation is through the concept of psychological needs.


Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs :

The diagram of the next page, explains Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow, as the lower needs are satisfied, higher level motives are released. However, a need does not have to be completely satisfied before the next need emerges. Even the most untalented person will seek to fulfill himself once the other needs have been more or less satisfied.

This concept is of interest of the teacher/trainer. But it does not indicate the strategies that could be used. The following two strategies can however be considered.


Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation :

Intrinsic motivation refers to the content factors which are inherent in either the task of learning itself or the trainee himself. This is the basis of most modern educational theories concerning activity and discovery because exploration and curiosity are intrinsic to most people. Extrinsic motivation refers to context factors which are imposed on the learning task or trainee by the trainer or other external agent.

Maslow’s lower order needs refers to extrinsic factors whereas the two higher order needs refers to the intrinsic factors. One should be careful in selecting context factors. One could use the two factors with imagination.







Motivation – hygiene theory:

Frederick Herzberg found that good feelings people had were associated with the events which indicated that they were doing their work well whereas bad feelings were associated with background events about how they were being treated. The chart on the next page indicates factors providing satisfactions and those providing dis-satisfactions.

It would be seen from an interpretation in the percentage of this theory that a person’s extreme satisfaction factors generally are:





Achievement can be co-related to relations with superiors, recognition to relations with peers, work and work conditions to salary and wages and responsibility to status.

By proper communication, it can be indicated that the ‘satisfying’ factors can be further increased and  ‘dissatisfying’ factors reduced considerably by training, the trainees will get motivated may be receptive to training.

This theory also helps to systematize a trainer’s role in providing compensatory conditions for poorly motivated trainees and helps him to assess the relevance and importance of the actions taken by him.


Motivation- Hygiene Theory             



Motivation – theory X and Y :

Douglas Mc Gregor has identified, at the extremes, two styles of managing: Theory X, or autocratic, and theory Y, or participative. Each style involves certain assumptions concerning human nature.

A theory of X person assumes that

·         The average human being has an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it if he can.

·         Because of this human characteristic of dislike for work, most people must be coerced, controlled, or threatened with punishment to get them to put forth adequate effort towards the achievement of organizational objectives.

·         The average human being prefers to be directed, wishes to avoid responsibility, has relatively little ambition, and wants security above all.

    A theory Y person holds directly opposite views concerning people   

    and their  attitudes  towards work. Assumptions made in theory Y are

·         Work is a source of satisfaction and is as normal as play or rest.

·         Threat of punishment is only one way to induce people to work, and it is not usually the best way. People who are committed to achieving the organization’s objectives will display self-motivation and self-direction.

·         A person’s commitment to objectives depends on the rewards he expects to receive when goals are achieved.

·         Under the right conditions, the average person will both accept and seek responsibility.

·         The abilities to think creatively, to be innovative, and the capacity of problem-solving is widely, not narrowly, distributed among people.

·         The intellectual abilities of most people are underutilized.

This theory helps in improving learning process and learning situations.        


Exercise on Theory “X” &  Theory “Y”:

The X/Y Scale (Exercise)

Read each item carefully and then put a tick in one of the columns to indicate what you would do in your own real work situation –

Sl. No.


As a Supervisor I would :





Make a great effort to do this

Tend to do this

Tend to avoid doing this

Really try to avoid this


Closely supervise my Subordinates in order to get better work from them.






Check with my subordinates daily to see if they need any help.






Set the goals and objectives for my subordinates and sell them on the merits of my plan.






Encourage my subordinates to set their own goals and objectives.






Make sure that my subordinates' work is planned out for them.






Outline and discuss the section’s objectives and encourage my staff to plan how to meet them.






Push my people to meet schedules.






Set up controls to ensure that my subordinates are getting the job done. Step in as soon as reports indicate that the job is slipping






(Do not go ahead until you have put in your ticks)

Discussion on Exercise on Theory “X” & Theory “Y”:

Even-numbered items

If you gave yourself ticks under A or B for the Even-numbered items, you tend to use Theory Y. The more ticks under A, the more you favor for theory Y                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Odd numbered items

f you gave yourself ticks under A or B for the Odd numbered items, you tend to use Theory X supervision. The more ticks under A, the more you favour for theory X.



Where do human drives come from? How does a motive come into existence?

The answers are important for a teacher. They show us how internal drives and motives come into existence.

Whenever a human being needs something out of his environment or has an internal surplus of something, then his inner balance is disturbed. There exists a difference between the actual value and a desired value.

Let us look a simple model. If a man works hard, he sweats. An output of water will make the ball sink under the desired value. The right switch will be closed. A warming lamp is lighted: Too little. This signal is reported to the brain as a need. The human being recognizes: I am thirsty. (Needs are unpleasant)

Parallel to the need some internal energy is set free. It results in a drive. A drive is an internal pressure, which presses the man to do something against the unpleasant feeling of thirst. He knows: I need water. Suddenly he sees a bottle of water. He now has a goal. The drives aim for the goal and urge the man towards the goal. The man now has a motive.

A motive is a drive which aims for a goal, we can say:- DRIVE + GOAL = MOTIVE

  When the man drinks water, this is an input. If he drinks too much water, the ball will rise above the desired level. The warming lamp too much is lighted. The man will feel a need to stop drinking. A drive makes him to do it.


Summery: A human being has as many internal balances as needs. If an inner balance is disturbed, the human being will feel a need (unpleasant feeling) and a drive (internal pressure). The drives aim at goals which can satisfy this need. It urges the human being towards these goals. If a drive aims at a goal, a motive come into existence. A human being usually has several motives.  


If the ruler follows the dictates of his duty (dharma), the ruled also do the same. If the ruler be impious, the ruled also are impious. The ruled are simple if the ruler be simple. The ruled follow the ruler. As the ruler, so will the ruled be”.                                                                         --  Chanakya neeti


                  The above quote sums up the teacher taught position in motivation.



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