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Motivation Overview

Self Concept Motivation

Contact information:

Dr. Richard W. Scholl
36 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881

p. 401.874.4347
f. 401.874.2954

Deeds in themselves are meaningless unless they are for some higher purpose

~King Arthur

There are a number of theories that attempt to capture types or sources of motivation affecting organizational members. For instance, in discussing internal and external causes of behavior, deCharms (1968) suggested the dichotomy of intrinsic versus extrinsic motivation to characterize the different loci of causality. Intrinsically motivated behaviors (i.e., those behaviors that occur in the absence of external controls) are said to represent internal causality, whereas behaviors that are induced by external forces are said to represent external causality. Deci (1975) explored the effects of extrinsic rewards on intrinsic motivation and in doing so, tried to shed some light on the meaning of intrinsic motivation. He suggested that intrinsically motivated behaviors fall into two categories. The first category includes behaviors that individuals engage in to seek out challenging situations. These challenges represent incongruities between stimuli and comparison standards. The second category includes behaviors aimed at reducing these incongruities (i.e., overcoming challenges). Thus, intrinsically motivated behavior, according to Deci, is conceptualized as a continual process of seeking and overcoming challenges.

Another understanding of intrinsic motivation is offered by Katz and Kahn (1978). They argue that the bases of motivation can be categorized in terms of legal compliance, external rewards (i.e., instrumental satisfaction), and internalized motivation. Internalized motivation is further broken down into self-expression, derived directly from role performance and internalized values, resulting when group or organizational goals become incorporated into the value system of the individual. Etzioni (1975) takes a similar view when arguing that organizations induce involvement from their members by one of three means: alienative, calculative, or moral. Alienative and calculative involvement are explained by exchange processes. Moral involvement is more complex. According to Etzioni, there are two kinds of moral involvement, pure and social. Pure moral involvement is the result of internalization of norms, while social involvement results from sensitivity to pressures of primary groups and their members. Moral involvement is not based on expected satisfaction of needs and may even demand the denial of need satisfaction and the sacrifice of personal pleasure. For example, military personnel who serve in the armed forces demonstrate the value of serving one's country to the point of risking their lives, and the individual who works a double shift for a friend who needs the night off demonstrates the value of friendship. In these instances, the consequence of acting in line with one's internalized values is not a sense of pleasure or need fulfillment, but rather a sense of affirmation attained when the person abides by his or her moral commitments.

In addition to the modes cited above numerous theories have been proposed attempting to capture the various sources of motivation energizing individual behavior.  These content theories all propose a limited set of motivational sources, some arranged in a hierarchy, others are viewed as developmental stages and still others theorizing no basic process of transition from one source to another.  These models differ with respect to the degree to which they theorize a dominant source of motivation.  Some of these models are listed below. The table is designed to match each of the "sources" models with the Five Sources of Motivation Model.

Leonard, Beauvais, & Scholl
Intrinsic Process
Self Concept: External
Self Concept: Internal
Goal Identification
Ryan & Deci
Intrinsic Motivation
External Regulation
Introjected Regulation
Integrated Regulation
Identified Regulation
Task Pleasure
Intrinsic: Challenges
Intrinsic: Outcomes
Physiological, Safety
Social, Ego
Ego, Self Actualization
Affiliation, Power
Alienative, Calculative
Social Moral
Pure Moral
Janis & Mann
Utilitarian Gains or losses for Self
Approval or Disapproval form Significant Others
Self Approval or Disapproval
Utilitarian Gains or losses for Significant Others
Social system
Katz & Kahn
Legal Compliance 

Rewards/Instrumental Satisfactions

Self Expression 

Self Concept 

Internalized values 
Work conditions  
Salary, security


Peer relations, subordinate relations, status, recognition


Achievement, growth 
Friedman & Havighurst Expenditure of time and energy  
Identification and Status


Meaningful Experience:

Self expression

Meaningful Experience:

Service to others

Material Inducements


Social Inducements
Sensory Intrinsic
Personal Standards
deCharms Intrinsic Extrinsic Extrinsic Intrinsic Intrinsic

Leonard, Beauvais & Scholl: Sources of Motivation Model

Source: Leonard, N. H., Beauvais, L. L., & Scholl, R. W. 1999. Work motivation: The incorporation of self based processes. Human Relations, 52: 969-998.

  1. Intrinsic Process Motivation- Individuals primarily motivated by intrinsic process will only engage in activities which they consider fun. These individuals are often diverted from tasks that are relevant to goal attainment in order to pursue tasks which are intrinsically more enjoyable. Thus, as long as team tasks are enjoyable, these individuals will be motivated to continue working effectively in the context of the team. Since they are relatively indifferent to task and social feedback, such feedback will not serve to motivate continued performance on the part of the intrinsically motivated person.
  2. Instrumental Motivation- Instrumental rewards are a motivating source when individuals believe that the behaviors they engage in will lead to certain outcomes such as pay, praise, etc. Rooted exchange theory, the basic assumption is that individuals and organizations constitute an exchange relationship. Expectancy and equity theories are currently accepted models of motivation based on exchange relationships.
  3. External Self Concept-based Motivation- Self concept motivation is externally based when the individual is primarily other-directed. In this case, the ideal self is derived by adopting the role expectations of reference groups. The individual attempts to meet the expectations of others by behaving in ways that will elicit social feedback consistent with self perceptions. When positive task feedback is obtained, the individual finds it necessary to communicate these results to members of the reference or peer group. The individual behaves in ways which satisfy reference group members, first to gain acceptance, and after achieving that, to gain status. These two needs, for acceptance and status, are similar to McClelland's (1961) need for affiliation and need for power. The individual continually strives to earn the acceptance and status of reference group members. This status orientation usually leads to an ordinal standard of self evaluation, that it is important for the individual to be first, best, or other indicators of superiority over others.
  4. Internal Self Concept-based Motivation- Self concept motivation will be internally based when the individual is primarily inner-directed. Internal self concept motivation takes the form of the individual setting internal standards that become the basis for the ideal self. The individual tends to use fixed rather than ordinal standards of self measurement as he/she attempts to first, reinforce perceptions of competency, and later achieve higher levels of competency. This need for achieving higher levels of competency is similar to what McClelland (1961) refers to as a high need for achievement. The motivating force for individuals who are inner-driven and motivated by their self concept is task feedback. It is important to these individual that their efforts are vital in achieving outcomes and that their ideas and actions are instrumental in performing a job well. It is not important that others provide reinforcing feedback as is true for other-directed individuals.
  5. Goal Internalization- Behavior is motivated by goal internalization when the individual adopts attitudes and behaviors because their content is congruent with their value system. The individual believes in the cause, and as such is willing to work towards the goals of an organization supporting this cause.

Ryan & Deci: Self-Determination Theory

Source: Ryan, Richard M. and Edward L. Deci (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being.  American Psychologist, 55, 68-78.

  1. Intrinsic Motivation- “The inherent tendency of seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise one's capacities, top explore, and to learn”
  2. External Regulation- “Such behaviors are performed to satisfy an external demand or reward contingency.”
  3. Introjected Regulation- “Introjection involves taking in a regulation but not fully accepting it as one's own. It is a relatively controlled form of regulation in which behaviors are performed to avoid guilt or anxiety or attain ego enhancement such as pride.”
  4. Identified Regulation- “Identification reflects a conscious valuing of a behavioral goal or regulation, such that the action is accepted or owned as personally important.”
  5. Integrated Regulation- “occurs when identified regulations are fully assimilated to the self, which means they have been evaluated and brought into congruence with one's other values and needs.”

Maslow: Hierarchy of Needs

Source: Maslow, Abraham. 1954.  Motivation and Personality. New York: Harper & Row.

  1. Physiological Needs
  2. Safety or Security Needs
  3. Social Needs
  4. Ego or Esteem Needs
  5. Self Actualization Needs

Alderfer: ERG Theory

Source: Alderfer, Clayton P. 1972. Existence, Relatedness, and Growth: Human Needs in Organizational Settings.  New York: The Free Press.

  1. Existence
  2. Relatedness
  3. Growth

McClelland: Socially Acquired Needs

Source: McClelland, David C. 1961.  The Achieving Society.  New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.

  1. Need for Achievement
  2. Need for Affiliation
  3. Need for Power

Etzioni: Types of Organizational Member Involvement

Source: Etzioni, Amitai. 1961.  A Comparative Analysis of Complex Organizations.  New York: The Free Press.

  1. Alienative involvement- An intense negative reaction to the system based on coercive power
  2. Calculative involvement- A negative or positive orientation of low intensity based on instrumental exchanges and remunerative power
  3. Moral involvement- Positive orientation of high intensity based on reaction or normative power.
    1. Social moral involvement- Based on the sensitivity to pressures or primary group members
    2. Pure moral involvement- Based on internalization of norms and identification with authority figures and their objective

<Janis and Mann: Decisional Balance

Source: Janis, Irving L. & Mann, Leon. 1977.  Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice, and Commitment. New York: The Free Press

In making decisions, Janis and Mann argue that individuals consider four major kinds of consequences resulting from enacting potential courses of action.  These are:

  1. Utilitarian gains and loses for self (Income, enjoyment, attainment of preferences...)- The instrumental effects of the decision on the individual's personal objectives.
  2. Utilitarian gains and loses for significant others (Social status for family, helping needy, developing school system...)- The instrumental effects of the decision on the needs and goals of people other than the decision.  These range from immediate family and friends, to co-workers, to members of the greater community.
  3. Self-approval or disapproval (Moral considerations, ego ideal, self image...)- This category includes moral standards and ideal images of personal attributes.  It involves the anticipation of affective reaction (feelings) of not living up to personal standards and ideals, and non-affirmation of self perceived attributes.
  4. Social approval or disapproval (From family, friends, peers...)- The basis of this category is the potential approval or disapproval of the decision by reference groups.  It involves the anticipation of the likelihood and affective consequences of social feedback (praise, ridicule, respect, criticism) regarding the decision itself, the individual's values and/or the individual's competencies.

Deci: Types of Motivation

Source: Deci, E. L. 1975. Intrinsic Motivation. New York: Plenum.

  1. Task Pleasure
  2. Extrinsic
  3. Interpersonal
  4. Intrinsic- Challenges
  5. Intrinsic- Outcome

Kohlberg: Stages of Moral Development

Source: Kohlberg, L. 1984. The Philosophy of moral development. New York: Harper & Row.

  1. Level One- Preconventional
    1. Obedience and punishment (Heterogeneous)
    2. Instrumental purpose and exchange (Instrumental)
  2. Level Two- Conventional
    1. Interpersonal accord (Interpersonal)
    2. Social accord and system maintenance (Social System)
  3. Level Three- Principled (Principled)
    1. Social contract and individual rights
    2. Universal ethical principles

Kegan: Constructive/Developmental Theory

Source: Kegan, R. 1982. The evolving self: Problem and process in human development.

  1. Impulsive- Pleasure and pain
  2. Imperial- Personal goals and agendas
  3. Interpersonal- Interpersonal connections and mutual obligations
  4. Institutional- Personal standards and value systems
  5. Inter-Individual- Community as a whole

Katz and Kahn: Motivational Patterns

Source: Katz, Daniel & Robert L. Kahn. 1966. The Social Psychology of Organizations. New York: John Wiley.

  1. Legal compliance –Securing acceptance of role prescriptions and organizational controls on the basis of their legitimacy. The rule enforcement approach of simple machine theory.
  2. The use of rewards and instrumental satisfactions for inducing required behaviors.
    1. System rewards earned through membership or seniority
    2. Individual rewards such a pay incentives and promotion on the basis of individual merit.
    3. Instrumental identification with organizational leaders in which followers are motivated to secure the approval of leaders.
    4. Affiliation with peers to secure social approval fro own group
  3. Internalized pattern of self-determination and self expression. The satisfactions from accomplishment and the expression of talents and abilities
  4. Internalized values and the self-concept. The incorporation of organizational goals or subgoals as reflecting values and self-concept

Herzberg: Motivator-Hygiene Theory

Source: Herzberg, F., B. Mauser, & B. Snyderman. 1959. The Motivation to Work. New York: John Wiley.

  1. Hygiene Factors/Satisfiers: Policies, supervision, work conditions, salary, peer relations, subordinate relations, status, security
  2. Motivators: Achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement, growth

Friedman & Havighurst: Functions and Meaning of Work

Source: Friedmann, Eugene A., & Robert J. Havighurst. 1954. The Meaning of Work and Retirement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Five Functions of Work were developed by Freidmann and Havighurst.  Along with the associated meanings, these functions were viewed as the major sources of attachment individuals had to work.

  1. Income
    1. Maintaining a minimum sustenance level of existence
    2. Achieving some higher level or group standard
  2. Expenditure of time and energy
    1. Something to do
    2. A way of filling the day or passing time
  3. Identification and status
    1. Source of self-respect
    2. Way of achieving recognition or respect from others
    3. Definition of role
  4. Association
    1. Friendship relations
    2. Peer-group relations
    3. Subordinate-superordindate relations
  5. Source of meaningful life experience
    1. Gives purpose to life
    2. Creativity; self-expression
    3. New experience
    4. Service to others

Barnard: Inducement-Contributions Exchange

Source: Barnard, Chester. 1938. The Functions of the Executive.  Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Two major types of organizational inducements:

  1. Material Inducements
  2. Social Inducements

Bandura: Self Regulation

Source: Bandura, Albert. 1986. Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social Cognitive Theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

  1. Sensory Intrinsic
  2. Extrinsic
  3. Personal Standards of Self Regulation

deCharms: Intrinsic-Extrinsic

Source: deCharms, R. (1968). Personal causation: The internal affective determinants of behavior. New York: Academic Press.