Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation

Managers frequently face a complex need to determine, which of the two types of motivation drives their employees. While intrinsic motivation grows from within and is expressed in an employee’s being interested in the activity, rather in the result from this activity, those driven by extrinsic motivation rely on external rewards or stimuli.

It seems that workers who have intrinsic motivation need more time for analyzing the complexities and inconsistencies, which surround an issue in business; simultaneously, those motivated externally initially reduce the scope of the problem, with the aim to speed up the decision-making process and to achieve the desired result. For employees with extrinsic motivation, organizations may equally consider money, fame, recognition, praise, status, opportunities, or even deadlines and threats.

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Intrinsic motivation, it appears does not require external stimuli; it is critical though, that managers are able to identify, what drives employees’ interest and what makes them motivated. As a result, a different structure of workplace obligations or a more convenient schedule may help workers develop commitment to workplace tasks, making them flexible and more attractive. Feedback reports and different kind of celebrations can contribute to employees’ intrinsic motivation at workplace. DQ#2.
Extrinsic motivation always implies the use and presence of external stimuli. These can take the form of financial rewards or financial fines. In any of the two cases, workers will have a clear understanding of what waits for them in case they are able (or unable) to complete the task in time. Under the impact of both motivators, and given my personal experience, the major portion of workers (not all of them) will display better responsibility and commitment to their organizational tasks.
Simultaneously, they will hardly become interested in what they do, and some of them will still fail to cope with deadlines or strategic goals, lacking intrinsic stimuli in their work. In case of intrinsic motivators, celebrations (not rewards) and cooperative tasks may enhance the quality of employee performance. Again, employees will certainly display better commitment to workplace tasks, but in this case they are more likely to achieve their goals and fulfill strategic tasks, because they are more capable of evaluating all aspects of particular workplace issue and choosing the best decision-making approach.


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