Notes on Motivation and Satisfaction

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What is Motivation?

Motivation is defined as the drive within an individual that causes him/her to commit an action. The general definition of motivation is that an internal need energizes and activates behavior; behavior is propelled in a specific direction, and private satisfaction is enticed by goals, and this reinforces the perpetuation of needs. Various other definitions of motivation exist:

• Hellriegel and Slocum define it as, "a predisposition to act in a specific goal directed manner."

• Gibson defines it as, "a state of an individual's perspective which represents the strength of his or her propensity to exert effort toward some particular behavior."

• Chung defines it as goal directed behavior that causes selection and direction of certain actions among voluntary activities to achieve goals.

Motivation vs. Satisfaction:

In short, motivation is the drive within a person that causes him/her to commit an action. Satisfaction, on the other hand, is the feeling of being pleased or contended after a want is satisfied.

Special Motivational Techniques:


Money is an important motivator that can also represent status and power of an individual. However, managers should realize that there are other important motivators besides money. Money is an important motivator for individuals who are raising families. It may also be used to keep organizations adequately staffed. Organizations also ensure that their employees are getting paid at an equal or almost equal rate to their counterparts in similar organizations. If individuals are offered, in addition to regular income, incentives and bonuses, then money can be an excellent motivator. Bonuses offered to employees should be a satisfactory amount so as to prevent employees from switching jobs.


Participation is the mental and emotional involvement of a person to contribute decisions in matters appertaining to the person. Employees are motivated when senior management listen to their opinions; that is, people find their jobs more satisfying if that are involved in decision-making with senior management. This way, employees immediately and satisfactorily accept new decisions, and possess a feeling a belonging to the organization. Participation encourages better decision-making and gets people to accept responsibility, promotes teamwork and increases creativity.

Results Management:

Here is a highly motivational technique through which employees are actively involved in determining their objectives and how the employee plans to achieve them. Objectives are finalized after final approval of the manager.

Multiplier Manager:

A multiplier manager may act as a motivator to employees and helps then do a better and more effective job. Being a multiplier manager carries many responsibilities:

a. Individuals are encouraged to fully develop their talents.

b. The interests and skills of each subordinate are perfectly matched to organizational requirements.

c. Evolution of management personnel is enhanced.

Effective criticism:

Criticism is an effective way to motivate only if a positive approach is adopted. To adopt a positive approach to criticism, a manager should examine his/her motive before criticizing, and pay attention to future repercussion. It is also important that the manager consistent with his/her approach to criticizing his/her employees.

Zero Defects:

In order to ensure that employees provide their best skills to the workplace, programmes like ZD have been created. ZD is a technique that incorporates the human element and self-will to create perfect products - products that have zero defects. Self-motivation is emphasized to acquire pride and excellent workmanship with focus on manufacturing.

Quality of Working Life (QWL):

QWL has been in use since the 1970s. It has been claimed to be one of the best ways to motivate employees. QWL works on the principles of socio-technical systems. It is uses the resources of industrial/organizational psychology and sociology, industrial engineering, organization theory and development, motivation and leadership theory, and industrial relations. With QWL, managers report achieving high success in employee motivation.

Job Enrichment:

Based on Herzberg's theory of motivation, it concludes that challenge, achievement recognition, and responsibility are best motivators.

Additional Readings:

1. Functions of a Business Manager
2. Henry Fayol and Modern Management Theory
3. Modern Management Thoughts and McKinsey's 7-S framework
4. Industrial Planning
5. Management and Setting of Objectives
6. Principals of Organization
7. Matrix Organizations
8. Functions of the Human Resources and Accounting within an Organization
9. Differentiation between Motivation and Satisfaction
10. Barriers to Good Communication
11. Requirements of Effective Controls
12. Formal and Informal Organizations
13. Bonded Rationality

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