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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation (Opinion Paper) - Essay Example

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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation (Opinion Paper)

Intrinsic motivation comes from within such as a person's need to feel useful or need to seek self-actualization (Law, 2006). Extrinsic motivation consists of external factors that motivate an individual such as pay and benefits or other motivators provided by employers. Intrinsic and extrinsic motivators are not limited to the workforce. Motivators, or rewards, are provided beginning in childhood.
Taking piano lessons and studying a foreign language are intrinsically motivated for this author. The intrinsic rewards that I am receiving are satisfaction and enjoyment. Extrinsically motivated activities include cooking and exercising. The extrinsically motivated activities are performed to please others who hope that diet and exercise will help improve my quality of life.
There are several principals and theories related to intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. Motivation itself can be described as the "mental processes that arouse, sustain, and direct human behavior."(Law, 2006) People can be positively motivated or negatively motivated. One boss' leadership style may motivate productivity while another boss' leadership style may negatively affect productivity. It is key for any organization to conquer motivation within the workplace.
In my opinion coaches of sports teams have known for years that the combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors can create the need to excel or a...
George Gipp was a varsity football player at Notre Dame. When he fell ill and died Knute Rockne used a statement that Gipp is said to have made on his death bed:
I've got to go, Rock. It's all right. I'm not afraid. Some time, Rock, when the team is up against it, when things are wrong and the breaks are beating the boys, ask them to go in there with all they've got and win just one for the Gipper. I don't know where I'll be then, Rock. But I'll know about it, and I'll be happy. (Estate of George Gipp, 2007).
Knute Rockne used this statement to motivate his team to defeat the undefeated Army team in 1928. He knew that his team would be intrinsically and extrinsically motivated to win the game.
Another principal relating to motivation is the multicative principal. This principal is based upon the belief that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are interactive rather than additive. I agree with this principal because I have seen how in playing the piano I am rewarded by other people noticing and commenting on my performance. At the same time I have a sense of personal satisfaction when I play well (intrinsic). Although it is nice to receive positive comments, and encouragement, I gain more from the intrinsic award. I am motivated more by how I feel about myself and am motivated to play better despite the extrinsic rewards.
The discounting principal of motivation has to do with the rewards affect on atheletic performance. The athelete may be intrinsically motivated to perform and win. But, an athelete that is paid to perform (such as major league baseball and NFL football) may stop performing if the paid reward is removed. Thus the intrinsic motivation is pushed aside or 'discounted' when the extrinsic reward is ...Show more


One of the most critical skills required of a leader in the business world is the ability to motivate the workforce. Although the motivation for work has been money many have found that by adding other motivators they can push the workforce to be more productive…
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Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation (Opinion Paper) essay example
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