Define Motivation and outline the Basic Model of Motivation

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Motivation and Basic Models of Motivation

The term motivation comes from a Latin word movere that means “to move”. The broad definition of motivation is a force within an individual that leads to the arousal, persistence, and direction of goal directed as well as voluntary effort. It also involves the readiness to exert high effort levels to attain the goals of the organization, conditioned by the ability to the effort to satisfy some personal needs (Porter et al. 2012, p. 1). The motivation models comprise of various parts namely unsatisfied needs, tension, drives, search behavior, satisfied need, as well as tension reduction (Boundless 2016, p. 1). Hierarchy of needs theory has its focus on individual’s internal factors that energizes as well as direct behavior. This theory perceives motivation as internal drive’s product that compel a person to move or act towards individual needs’ satisfaction. The focus of needs theory is on specific needs that are to be satisfied by people. The concept in this case is that the unsatisfied need lead to the creation of tension as well as disequilibrium state (Porter et al. 2012, p. 1).

The theory of reinforcement/reward commonly called the incentive theory indicates that individuals have the motivation to perform a certain activity if they are provided with a reward. However, this theory is weak because these individuals will not perform this activity out of passion. Behaviors that are intrinsically motivated are carried only because they have the capacity to bring about personal satisfaction (Boundless 2016, p. 1). Cognitive theory of motivation indicates that the way a person thinks greatly determines his/her behavior. The emphasis of this theory is psychological processes that have effects on motivation as well as basic needs. It is also concerned with the perception of the people as well as the manner by which they do interpret as well as understand it. The motivation of the people will only come if they have the capacity to achieve their goals (Porter et al. 2012, p. 1).


Boundless. 2016. “Incentive Theory of Motivation and Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation.” Boundless Psychology. Retrieved from

Porter, Lyman W., Gregory Bigley, and Richard M. Steers. 2012. Motivation and Work Behavior. 7th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.