How Motivation Really Works: Towards an Emoto-Motivation Paradigm

By Hunter, Murray | Economics, Management and Financial Markets, December 2012 | Go to article overview

How Motivation Really Works: Towards an Emoto-Motivation Paradigm


Hunter, Murray, Economics, Management and Financial Markets


ABSTRACT. The purpose of this paper is to layout an emoto-motivation paradigm to better understand human decision making and behavior. The paper briefly reviews currently accepted theories of human motivation then considers the role of emotions in forming our sense of identity. The influence of emotions on decision behavior is discussed before presenting an emoto view of our self identity. How emotions shape our beliefs and influences our actions is explained within this hypothesis, showing how tension builds up in an individual and energy is produced. Before concluding the paper recaps the emoto-motivation process showing how this hypothesis affects enterprise effectiveness, and individual perception, decision making and behavior.

JEL Classification: C44, D81, G11

Keywords: affect, decision making, emotions, energy, identity, motivation, narrative, perception, self awareness, tension

1. Introduction

Picture a nerd in Palo Alto immersed in the tech cult and going along for the ride but finds an ingenuous idea that brings him success and fame. A divorced mother in Pattava Thailand who needs to find a daily income that will feed and school her children through good honest work. To do this she emulates what she sees around her and opens up a food stall or washing service down one of the back streets. A Malaysian youth living in Berseri Perlis who hasn't got the best deal and doesn't know where to go. He has expectations upon him, can't get a scholarship to study, feels the system is stacked against him, so what does he do?

The things we think, the things we do, the intentions we have, the things we buy, are all governed by our own stories. What types of narrative are inside the person that drive behavior and the choices he makes among alternatives? Will he fight the odds or hit ganja or ketum (a local drug)? Will he care about society? Or just feel hopelessness?

How do we think what we think? How do we feel what we feel? How do we develop our values? Where do our beliefs come from? How do our assumptions develop? Where do our motivations come from?

This paper will consider these questions from an emoto-motivational perspective.

2. Past Perspectives on Motivation

Motivation is the process of developing intent, energy, determination, and action to carry out certain behavior. Motives push people to perceive, think and act in specific ways that attempt to satisfy needs.1 Motives often stay unconscious in a person, as the person doesn't know exactly what they want, yet these motives remain a powerful influence behind thoughts, feelings and behaviors.2 People differ in their types and strength of motives, taking them on different lifetime journeys with different outcomes. For example, Anita Roddick, the founder of The Body Shop may have been personally committed to the environment, education and social change, while Jack Welch and Bill Gates were more motivated by competition and winning, leading to completely different types of organizations and operational philosophies, while all being considered more than successful. Motivation is also situational where for example one can see the higher rates of entrepreneurship among migrant populations in developed countries.3 Studying motives can assist in answering the question of 'why people do what they do?"

The issue of motivation has been of interest to management scientists for many decades. Motivational theory forms the basis of effective management practice, leadership, team and group performance, management ethics, decision making, and organization change and transformation.4

Interest in the concept of motivation was initially a philosophical issue during Greek times. At that time the focus was on hedonism as the primary motivation, a concept refined centuries later by Locke, Bentham, Mill, and Helvetius.

At the beginning of the 20 century motivation became of interest to the psychoanalysts and experimental psychologists like Freud, James and McDougall. …

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