Meaning and Definition of Motivation

To the behavioral scientists, the word motivation is something stemming from within a person. According to them, motivation refers to a dynamic driving force, which stems from within. It is an “inner striving condition, which activates or moves individual into action and continues him in the course of action enthusiastically”. Thus, motivation is defined as an inner state that activates, energizes or moves behavior towards goals. And, the forces inside the individual that inspire him to continue work are variously called as wishes, drives, needs etc.

According to Rensis Likert motivation is the “core of management.” Motivation is an important function performed by manager for actuating the people to work for the accomplishment of organisational objectives. Issuance of well-conceived instructions and orders does not mean that they will be followed. A manager has to make appropriate use of various techniques of motivation to enthuse the employees to follow them. Effective motivation succeeds not only in having an order accepted but also in gaining a determination to see that it is executed efficiently and effectively.

Motivation is an effective and dynamic instrument in the hands of a manager for inspiring the workforce and creating confidence in them. Through the motivation of the workforce, management creates ‘will to work’ which is necessary for the achievement of organisational goals and objectives. Motivation is the process of getting the members or the group to pull weight effectively, to give their loyalty to the group and to carry out properly the purpose of the organisation.

Definition of Motivation

The term ‘motivation’ has its origin in the Latin word “mover” which means to “move”. Thus, motivation stands for movement. One can get a donkey to move by using a “carrot or a stick”, with people one can use incentives, or threats or reprimands. However, these only have a limited effect. These work for a while and then need to be repeated, increased or reinforced to secure further movement. The term motivation may be defined as “the managerial function of ascertaining the motives of subordinates and helping them to realize those motives”.

According to Dubin motivation could be defined as “the complex of forces starting and keeping a person at work in an organisation. Motivation is something that moves the person to action, and continues him in the course of action already initiated”. Motivation refers to the way a person is enthused at work to intensify his/her desire and willingness to use and channelise his/her energy for the achievement of organisational objectives. It is something that moves a person into action wand continue him in the course of action enthusiastically. The role of motivation is to develop and intensify the desire in every member of the organisation to work effectively and efficiently in his position.

In the words of Dalton E. McFarland, motivation is the way in which urges, desires, aspiration, striving or needs direct, control or explain the behaviour of human being”. Motivation has very close relationship with the behaviour. It explains how and way the human behaviour is caused. According to McFarland motivation is a form of tension occurring within individual, with resulting behaviour aimed at reducing, eliminating or diverting the tension. Understanding the needs and drives and their resulting tensions helps to explain and predict human behaviour ultimately providing a sound basis for managerial decision and action.” Thus, motivation is the term, which applies to the entire class of urges, drives, desires, needs and similar forces.

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