Concept Of Motivation

Motivation may be defined as the complex of forces inspiring a person at work to intensify his willingness to use his maximum capabilities for the achievement of certain objectives. Motivation is something that motivates a person into action and induces him to continue in the course of action enthusiastically. It determines the behaviour of a person at work. According to Dalton E. McFarland “Motivation refers to the way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations, striving, or needs, direct control or explain the behaviour of human being.”




The term ‘motivation’ is derived from the word ‘motive’. Motive may be defined as needs, wants, drives or impulses within the individual. Motives are expressions of a person’s needs and hence they are personal and internal. In this context, the term ‘need’ should not be associated with urgency or any pressing desire for something. It simply means something within an individual that prompts him to action. Motives or needs are ‘why aspects’ of behaviour. They start and maintain activity and determine the general direction of the person. Motives give direction to human behaviour because they are directed towards certain ‘goals’ which may be conscious or sub-conscious.

Motives or needs of a person are the starting point in the motivation process. Motives are directed towards the achievement of certain goals which in turn determine the behaviour of individuals. This behaviour ultimately leads to goal directed activities such as preparing food and a goal activity such as eating food. In other words, unsatisfied needs result in tension within an individual and engage him in search for the way to relieve this tension. He will develop certain goals for himself and try to achieve them. If he is successful in his attempt, certain other needs will emerge which will lead to setting a new goal. But if he is unsuccessful he will engage himself in either constructive or defensive behaviour. This process keeps on working within an individual.

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