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Motivation Definition

"Motivation" originates from the word "motive", which indicates a person's needs, goals, or inclinations. It is the procedure of inspiring people to take action to accomplish a goal. Individuals can be motivated by a desire for money, success, power etc. Motivation involves inspiring others to work effectively to meet organizational and individual objectives.

Motivation Definition

Motive, motivation and motivators

While learning about motivation, it's important to understand these three related terms.

1. Motive

Motive is a need that motivates, compels, and guides a person's behaviour toward accomplishing goals.

2. Motivator

The strategy utilized in organizations to inspire employees is called a motivator.

3. Motivation

The process of inspiring an individual to perform the desired action is referred to as motivation.

Feature of motivation

1. Psychological process

Motivation is a psychological process that helps to achieve the intended outcome by motivating and influencing subordinates. In the corporate world, a manager must understand each employee's objectives, as every employee in the company has different demands, motivations, and goals. Two people cannot be motivated using the same strategy because their objectives are different.

2. Continuous process

Motivation is an ongoing process. An individual who is satisfied today might not be satisfied tomorrow. When one requirement is completed, another one appears. That's why it is a continuing process.

3. Complex process

Humans have various expectations, perceptions, and responses. All people cannot be motivated using the same strategy because their objectives are different. Thus, motivating people is a challenging task.

4. Negative or positive motivation

Negative motivation includes forceful methods such as punishment, promotion threat, etc., while positive includes rewards like increased pay, incentives, promotions, recognition, etc. Positive motivation offers incentives for someone to achieve an objective, while negative motivation generates fear in people's minds to accomplish a goal.

The "stick" strategy is another name for negative motivation, and the "carrot" technique is another name for positive motivation. A manager can utilize positive and negative motivation to improve performance based on the requirements.

Process of motivation

1. Unsatisfied need

The motivation process starts with unfulfilled human requirements.

2. Tension

He feels stressed because of unmet demands.

3. Drive

The human is motivated by stress and finds an alternate way to fulfil his need.

4. Search behaviour

A person searches for various alternatives and selects a specific option after studying all the alternatives.

5. Satisfied need

The person examines whether the requirement has been satisfied or not.

6. Reduction of tension

The human being feels satisfied and stress-free after achieving a goal.

Types of motivation

1. Intrinsic motivation

Intrinsic motivation derives from a person's internal desires. Types of intrinsic motivation are learning, attitude, achievement, creation and physiological motivation.

Following are some examples of intrinsic motivation:

  • Cleaning your house because it helps you feel fresh.
  • You are reading a book because you like reading.
  • You are working out because you want to reduce stress.

2. Extrinsic motivation

Extrinsic motivation is an outside force that pushes you to act in a specific manner to get a reward. Types of intrinsic motivation are incentive, fear, power and affiliation motivation.

Following are some examples of extrinsic motivation:

  • Working out to lose weight.
  • Reading a book to prepare for a test.
  • Cleaning your home for guests.

3. Achievement motivation

In achievement-motivation individual tries to accomplish a goal for personal growth. It is similar to Japanese management's "Kaizen" approach.

4. Attitude motivation

The drive which originates from a desire to improve the world, create something useful, or assist others is called attitude motivation.

5. Physiological motivation

The primary goals of physiological motivation are to meet basic physiological requirements like air, food, water, sleep, warmth, and sex.

6. Competence motivation

Competence motivation's another name is learning motivation, and the desire to learn more skills is the main source of competence motivation.

7. Fear motivation

A person is forced to act against their will through fear motivation. Due to fear, individuals completed the work fast.

8. Affiliation motivation

People with affiliation motivation do their jobs efficiently if they receive praise for their positive attitudes and cooperation.

9. Power motivation

Power-motivated individuals want to change things in their company and are prepared to take risks.

FAQs about motivation

1. What is motivation in management?


"Motivation" in management refers to managers' actions to encourage their teams to accomplish goals and improve their working environment. When managers inspire their teams, a corporation can see an improvement in productivity and achievement. A manager's primary responsibility is to inspire his subordinates.

2. What are the best motivational strategies for the employee?


Employees need to be internally and externally motivated in the corporate world. The best motivational strategies for the employee are listed below:

  • Reward-based motivation
  • Attitude motivation
  • Creative motivation
  • Fear-based motivation
  • Competence motivation
  • Power motivation
  • Achievement motivation

3. What are the best motivational strategies for students?


The methods of motivation used in the learning environment are typically theoretical rather than practical. The best motivational strategies for education are listed below:

  • Fear-based motivation
  • Achievement motivation
  • Reward-based motivation

4. What are the best motivational techniques for managers?


Managers also require some particular types of motivation. The best motivational methods for managers are listed below:

  • Achievement motivation
  • Reward-based motivation
  • Power motivation
  • Competence motivation.
  • Attitude motivation

5. What are the benefits of motivation for management or organization?


  • Improvement in staff members' productivity and output.
  • Employee cooperation will improve, and worker-management relations will become friendly.
  • Employee absence rate will be decreased.
  • Decreases the chances of industrial accidents.
  • Quickly achieving corporate goals and creating a positive corporate image.

6. What are the benefits of motivation for workers or employees?


  • Employees receive a variety of financial and non-financial facilities that offer them a good life.
  • Getting hired and being happy at work.
  • Promote employees' positive attitude and outlook toward the business, management, and superiors.
  • Better opportunities for employees to enhance their abilities and knowledge.

7. What are the best motivational techniques for sports players?


  • Achievement motivation
  • Incentive motivation
  • Fear motivation
  • Power motivation
  • Competence motivation

8. Difference between intrinsic vs extrinsic motivation


Basis for comparison Extrinsic motivation Intrinsic motivation
Definition When you perform a task with inspiration from an outside source rather than an internal need is called Extrinsic motivation. The inner desire that motivates somebody to perform a task for their satisfaction is intrinsic motivation.
Aims Achieving a goal or avoiding some consequences. Its aim is grooming, development, satisfaction, and potential identification.
Satisfaction of basic psychological needs No Yes
Driven by External sources or other individuals. Own needs and objectives.
Centre of control External to the individual Internal to the individual
Focus Outcome Action
Involves Valuing prizes and accolades for good work. Enjoying while working on the task.

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