Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Motivation (Opinion Paper)

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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.


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 ...
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