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Motivation is an inner drive that directs behaviour toward goals. A need - the difference between a desired state and an actual condition - is a major influencer of motivation and thus a component of many motivation theories. A goal is a desired end result that, when attained, may help satisfy a need. Both needs and goals can be motivating. Motivation explains why we do what we do; at times, a lack of motivation explains why we avoid doing what we should do. If you feel that you can afford to get a D on the final for this class and still have a B average overall, you may be less motivated to study for the test. A person who recognizes or feels a need will be motivated to take action to satisfy that need and achieve a subsequent goal (Figure 6).

Consider a mother who needs money to pay for her child's medical expenses. Because of the difference between her current pay and the amount of money she requires in order to pay for the additional expenses, she recognizes a need. To satisfy the need and achieve the goal of gaining more money, she may ask for a raise, work harder to differentiate her performance in order to gain a promotion, seek a higher paying job, or even steal from the company. Human resource managers, and all managers in general, are concerned with the needs of employees, their goals and how they try to achieve them, and the impact of these needs and goals on job performance.

One important individual characteristic that affects motivation is morale, the sum total of employees' attitudes toward their jobs, employer, and colleagues. Low morale may cause high rates of absenteeism and turnover. For instance, after Caterpillar Tractor Company's negotiations with union officials broke down and its union employees went on strike in the 1980s, Caterpillar executives said that all striking union employees could easily be replaced with non-union employees. After the strike was over and union employees returned, morale at Caterpillar was at an all-time low. Caterpillar employees went on strike again in 1994. Conversely, high morale can lead to high levels of productivity and employee loyalty. When Cadillac won the Malcolm Baldrige Award for quality, employees' pride in the organization and the quality of the cars they made rose. Respect, appreciation, adequate compensation, involvement, promotion opportunities, a pleasant work environment, and a positive organizational culture are all potential morale boost­ers and can influence motivation.


1. Formulate the main idea of the text.

3. Are these statements true or false? Correct the false ones.


a) Many motivation theories include such a motivational factor as a need.

b) To satisfy the need of gaining more money, a child’s mother must pay for her medical expenses.

c) The needs of employees should be in the area of responsibility of a human resource manager.

d) The executives at Caterpillar Tractor Company were ready to promote all striking union employees in the 1980s.

e) The quality of the cars made at Cadillac improved thanks to a pay rise that the company employees were awarded.

f) Labour motivation can be enhanced through improving morale.


4. Answer the questions.


a) What is motivation?

b) What is a need?

c) What is a goal?

d) In what case may a student be less motivated to study for the test?

e) What is morale?

f) What are the potential consequences of low morale?

g) Why is high morale important?

h) What factors can raise morale?


5. Write a summary of the text.

Figure 6

Date: 2015-01-02; view: 96

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PROBLEMS IN GROUPS | The Importance of Motivation
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