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Week 11: Approaches to Motivation at Work

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By the end of this topic, you should be able to:

  • Explain different theories of motivation
  • Identify extrinsic and intrinsic factors that impact motivation
  • Assess misconceptions on motivation
  • Suggest strategies to improve motivation


Motivation is a general term used to describe the process of starting, directing, and maintaining physical and psychological activities. The word motivation comes from the Latin movere “to move”. It is also an internal state of being, or an internal condition that activates one’s behaviour, giving it direction. Motivation is to encourage people to work, individually or in groups in the ways such as to produce best results. It is the will to act and the willingness to exert high levels of effort towards organizational goals, conditioned by the efforts and ability to satisfy some individual need. The management’s important task is to motivate others. It comprises the abilities to communicate, to set an example, to challenge, to encourage, obtaining feedback, to involve, to delegate, to develop and train, to inform, to brief and to provide a just reward.