Motivation Meaning, Definition, Nature, Importance

Table of Contents:-

    • Dynamic Nature of Motivation
    • Meaning of Motivation
    • Definition of Motivation
    • Motivation Definition
    • Nature of Motivation
    • Importance of Motivation

Dynamic Nature of Motivation

The dynamic nature of motivation means that motivation is not always the same; rather it is continuously changing and influenced by various factors of the environment. It admits the fact that people’s motivational levels can differ based on internal and external elements. It includes personal goals, external stimuli, and changing circumstances.

Meaning of Motivation

Motivation is derived from the word ‘motive’. Motive refers to the wants, needs, drives, and impulses within individuals. Motivation may be defined as the process of stimulating people to take action to accomplish desired goals. It involves arousing needs and desires in people to initiate and direct their behaviour purposefully. Motivation is a psychological phenomenon that arises from the feelings of needs and wants of individuals. It causes goal-directed behaviour.

Motivation can be described as the driving force within individuals that propels them to action. This driving force is generated by a state of tension, which exists as a result of an unfulfilled need. Individuals strive, consciously and subconsciously, to reduce this tension through behaviour that they anticipate will fulfil their needs and thus relieve them of the stress they feel.

Definition of Motivation

According to Likert, “It is the core of management which shows that every human being gives him a sense of worth in face-to-face groups which are most important to him. A supervisor should strive to treat individuals with dignity and recognition of their worth”.

As per Dalton E. McFarland, “Motivation refers to how urges, drives, desires, aspirations, strivings or needs direct, control or explain the behavior of human beings”.

According to S.P. Robbins, “Motivation is the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organisational goals, conditioned by the effort and ability to satisfy some individual need”.

Motivation Definition

Quick, Nelson and Khandelwal (2013, p. 172) defined motivation as “the process of arousing and sustaining goal directed behaviour”.

Chamorro-Premuzic (2015, p. 272) defined motivation as “an internal state, dynamic rather than static in nature, that propels action, directs behaviour and is oriented toward satisfying both instincts and cultural needs and goals”.

Feist and Rosenberg (2015, p. 397) define motivation as “the urge to move towards one’s goals, to accomplish tasks”.

Morgan et al (1993, p. 268) define motivation as “the driving and pulling forces which result in persistent behaviour directed toward particular goals”.

Nolen-Hoeksema et al (2009, p. 419) describe motivation as “a condition that energizes behaviour and gives it direction”.

Nature of Motivation

The nature of motivation can be characterised as follows:

Nature of Motivation

1) Psychological Concept

The individual’s activation depends upon the felt necessities and expectations. The process of motivation, which is mainly concerned with needs, desires, expectations, confidence, and satisfaction, is a psychological phenomenon. The psychology of every individual differs from others, making it challenging in practice to ascertain which devices and incentives will motivate a person toward desired goals.

2) Continuous Process

Human wants are unlimited. With the satisfaction of one’s wants, another want, preferably of a higher order, is created. Thus, new wants keep emerging when the present wants are satisfied. Further, all the wants can be fulfilled at different times. Desires are to be happy continuously, one after another. Hence, motivation is also a continuous and unending process.

3) Dynamic and Situational

The motives, behaviour and goals all are dynamic. What drives a person today may not drive them tomorrow. His needs, drives, expectations, and value judgment remain changing and hence the process of motivation is highly dynamic. Motivation is also situational. In a set of organisational structure, climate, physical facilities and nature of work, one may be highly motivated, but any change in them may hurt his motivation.

4) Not Easily Observed Phenomenon

The actions of a person can be observed and then we try to interpret the actions which constitute his behaviour in terms of his underlying motives and satisfaction. In this interpretation, there can be a comprehensive error of judgment.

5) Goal-Oriented Process

Proper and effective motivation inspires people to contribute their best towards the realisation of their individual goals as well as organisational goals.

6) Influenced by Social and Cultural Norms

Social and cultural values, customs and attribution play important roles in motivation. If society attaches recognition, respect, and acceptance to a job or organization, individuals are motivated towards that job or organization.

Importance of Motivation

The importance of motivation is as follows:

1) Sets in Motion the Action of Individuals

In every organisation, there are financial, physical, and human resources. The utilisation of financial and physical resources depends on the willingness and ability of people to work. Motivation puts human resources into action. Encouragement builds the will to work among employees and enables the management to secure the best possible utilisation of all resources.

2) Improves the Efficiency of Work Performance

Motivation influences the level of performance of employees which depends not only on an individual’s abilities but also on his willingness to achieve a high level of performance. Inspiration bridges the gap between the willingness to work and the ability to work. Thus, it helps increase productivity, reduce the cost of operations, and secure overall efficiency.

3) Ensures Achievement of Organisational Goals

Management can achieve the goals effectively by motivating subordinates to contribute their best efforts towards fulfilling the assigned tasks. Organising, planning, and staffing functions can only be used if people are not engaged. By meeting individual needs through a satisfactory system of rewards, management can secure the cooperation of subordinates towards the accomplishment of organizational goals.

4) Creates Friendly and Supportive Relationships

Motivation brings about employee satisfaction through monetary rewards, recognition of efficient work and promotional opportunities. Hence, it leads to a friendly and warm relationship between the employer and the employees. Industrial disputes are decreased and there is high morale. Effective encouragement helps management to overcome resistance to change. Motivated employees support all changes that are in the organisational interest as they identify their advancement with the prosperity of the enterprise.

5) Leads to Stability in the Workforce

Stimulus creates confidence in the subordinates and secures their loyalty to the organisation. The rate of absenteeism and turnover is decreased. This results in maintaining a stable workforce. The skills and experience of employees continue to be available to the advantage of the organisation as well as the employees. The organisation thereby builds a better image and can attract qualified and competent people.

6) Acceptance of Organisational Changes

Organisations are created in society, because of changes in the society – changes in value system, technology, etc. Organisation has to incorporate those changes to cope with the requirements of the time. When these changes are introduced in the organization, there is a tendency for employees to resist them. However, if they are properly motivated, they introduce, accept, and implement these changes, keeping the organization on the right path of advancement.


1. What is the nature of motivation in psychology?

The concept nature of motivation in psychology is complex, it includes biological, psychological, social, and cultural factors. It influences human behaviour and drives actions to pursue goals and fulfil needs.

2. Write motivation definition in management.

Joe Kelly  defined Motivation as “Motivation is a process where by needs instigate behavior directed towards the goals that can satisfy those needs.”

According to W. G. Scot, “Motivation means a process of stimulating people to action to accomplish the desired goals.”


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