Types of Motivation

PSYCH-105 Industrial Psychology

Chapter 5: Motivation

Unit 1

Unit 2

Unit 3

Unit 4


Types of Motivation

1. Positive and Negative Motivation:

Positive motivation is the type of motivation a person feels when he expects a certain reward. An example of Positive motivation is when a father tells his sun, “If you studied well and got high grades I will buy you the new play station”. Negative motivation is the type of feeling a person gets when he expects punishment. An Example of negative motivation could be telling your child “If you didn’t study, I won’t let you travel this summer”. Both positive and negative motivation could lead to the same result however on the long run the overuse of negative motivation may result in problems like hating the person who uses it against you. 

When manager want to get more work from his subordinates then manager have to motivate them for improving their performance so it may be done either by offering incentives or rewards or may be in the form of instilling fear in them and using force for getting desired work.

Positive motivation refers to provision of incentives (monetary or nonmonetary). People work for incentive in the form of 4P’s of motivation: Praise, Prestige, Promotion, Paycheque. Incentive or Positive motivation is the “PULL MECHANISM” and leads to good team spirit, cooperation and a feeling of happiness

Negative motivation refers to administering punishment if employees do not perform well. For example, fear of suspension, demotion, wage cut etc. should also be used to motivate employees to do their work effectively and efficiently.

Manager should use both positive and negative motivation techniques depending upon the situation.

  • Employ negative motivation to eliminate undesirable behaviour and activities.
  • Employ positive motivation to promote desirable and acceptable behaviour.

2. Extrinsic and Intrinsic Motivation

While thinking about motivation we often try to locate its source whether it is internal to the person or external to him or her. Intrinsic motivation, refers to doing something because it is inherently interesting or enjoyable, and extrinsic motivation, refers to doing something because it leads to a separable outcome.

Extrinsic motivation is concerned with external motivators which employees enjoy. Undertaking a given task may be motivated by promise of a prize or some other kind of gain which is external to the task. Pay promotion, status, fringe benefits, retirements, retirement plans, health insurance schemes, holidays and vacations etc. are some examples of extrinsic motivation. In all such situations the locus of control is external to the person who is asked to undertake the activity. Such situations characterize the kind of motivation which is extrinsic.

On the other hand, we have situations in which the source of motivation lies inside the task. In such cases we work because the task itself is interesting and does not require any external source of motivation. Here, the task is not instrumental in obtaining any external reward. The locus of control is inside the person. Person’s involvement in the task is spontaneous and the task itself acts as its own reward. This situation represents intrinsic motivation.

When intrinsically motivated a person is moved to act for the fun or challenge entailed rather than because of external prods, pressures, or rewards.

For instance, in singing, we gain satisfaction in the singing activity which motivates us to seek more of that satisfaction by further singing.  When we mess up a passage, it may motivate us to practice more. On the other hand, rewards and punishment are motivators outside the activity. Rewards and punishment are extrinsic to the action. For instance, applause from an audience or praise from a director are extrinsic motivators.

3. Financial and Non Financial Motivation

Financial motivation relates to the way in which an organization uses compensation structure to motivate workers to high performance. Companies use a variety of pay structures depending on the type of work environment and the nature of the work being performed. Different pay types add different elements to the financial motivation provided by compensation. 

Non financial motivation refers to non monetary rewards/ benefits. These types of rewards do not involve direct payment of cash and they can be tangible or intangible e.g. encouraging the employees by providing them with autonomy in their job and participation in decision making, assigning challenging duties, improving working conditions and recognizing good work.

Financial Motivators

Non financial Motivators

–        Wages and salary

–        Bonuses

–        Profit sharing

–        Leave with pay

–        Medical reimbursement

–        Appraisal, praise, prestige

–        Status and pride

–        Competition

–        Delegation of authority

–        Participation

–        Job security

–        Job enlargement

–        Job rotation

–        Job enrichment

–        Reinforcement

–        Quality of work life

–        Flexible working hours


Author – Dr. Niyati Garg

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