Motivation by the Book

By Bryce, Deanne | Training & Development, November 2000 | Go to article overview

Motivation by the Book


Bryce, Deanne, Training & Development


"If only our employees were motivated, then we'd get the results we need." How many times have you heard a similar statement at work?

Motivation--one of the most difficult pieces in the management puzzle. Most of us agree that motivation is a key to employee performance; our Management 101 textbooks taught us that. But after a few years in the trenches, trying to develop, reward, and improve people's performance, we begin grabbing for any old bit of the motivational jigsaw. In frustration, we attempt to jam ill-suited pieces into place. As HRD professionals, our understanding of human behavior positions us well to be leaders in workplace performance. Now is the time to delve further than our business or psychology classes taught us about motivation.

Two recent primers on the subject are Motivation Management: Fueling Performance by Discovering What People Believe About Themselves and Their Organizations by Thad Green and Intrinsic Motivation at Work: Building Energy and Commitment by Kenneth W. Thomas. Both books discuss motivation through distinct learning structures, present models for understanding it, and provide tools to diagnose gaps.

Green's expertise comes from years as a management professor and entrepreneur. He says, "Motivation is the fuel for performance. Without fuel, performance suffers." Though there's nothing revolutionary in that statement, readers will learn how to diagnose motivation or performance problems early and apply one of the approaches Green outlines.

The greatest value in Motivation Management is in the practical (though perhaps not easy to understand at first) Belief System Model. It gives managers insight into how people respond to extrinsic rewards. Green explains, "What an employee believes in is more important than what is offered to motivate." He maintains that a person's beliefs while using the model--a process that moves from effort to satisfaction--show up in three forms: confidence (in oneself), trust (in others), and satisfaction (with rewards).

Green uses storytelling to connect his concepts to the real world and to share deeper insights. More than 50 supporting stories are sprinkled throughout and listed for future reference. Depending on your learning style and preference, the stories can be helpful or a distraction. I found myself reading some and passing over others. Either way, because the stories are presented as an option, the structure works.

In the second book, Thomas shares insights gained from experience as a professor of management at leading universities and as the developer of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. Thomas says that employee motivation has changed--from extrinsic rewards with external demands for worker compliance to intrinsic rewards with acknowledgement of a competitive environment that insists on self-managed workers. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Motivation by the Book
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.