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Management and Motivation Theory: What Motivates You?

The question of whether a leader’s motivational aspects have an impact on his or her leadership style and performance has been subjected to substantial empirical exploration by scholars and practitioners for several decades now (Ellemers et al., 2001). In this paper, I make an attempt to deepen the understanding of how motivational aspects and underlying situational factors influence my behavior, and how these aspects relate to motivational and leadership theory.

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Upon considering what personally motivates me as an employee and as a student, I am of the considered opinion that similar factors are involved in both contexts. These factors include an intrinsic urge to achieve, recognition, responsibility, advancement, autonomy, job/school feedback, task identity, skill/competence variety and task significance. As an employee, for example, I derive a lot of motivation from a job that has the capacity to provide numerous extrinsic factors, such as having considerable freedom to act on my own in meeting set organizational objectives, receiving effective and constructive feedback from management and work colleagues, and having a perceived impact and influence upon the lives of my colleagues. These factors, in my view, are transformed into intrinsic motivation through pragmatism, goal-oriented behavior, self-expression, self-esteem and self-worth, and a sense of self-consistency.

The above sources influence me to become more motivated in whatever I engage to do as they not only generate a sense of competence, power, achievement or capacity to cope with and control one’s environment, but also direct me to perceive various contextual situations as opportunities to perform based on a sense of virtue and moral worth (Abrhiem, 2012). It is of importance to state that the mentioned sources of motivation are influenced by situational factors, such as available organizational resources, socio-economic opportunities, capacity of the organization and leaders to provide stability and acceptance, capacity of the organization and leaders to provide a supportive and meaningful work environment, as well as my own belief and conviction that I can attain success (Ellemers et al., 2001).

Drawing from extant leadership literature, I contend that the impact of motivation on my behavior can be perceived in my heightened desire to attain designated outcomes, increased performance and productivity, leading to a positive shift in the firm’s bottom-line performance (Ilies et al., 2006).

Lastly, although available literature demonstrates that both extrinsic and intrinsic factors are essentially important in motivating individuals and in ensuring that such motivation leads to increased performance and productivity (Ilies et al., 2006), I contend that intrinsic motivation is far much important than extrinsic motivation as it is primarily determined by goal directness, human volition and free will, rather than external factors such as rewards and punishments. All these facets of motivation, in my analysis, are related to my desire to do a good job in work-related contexts with the view to achieving intrinsic satisfaction and intentional fulfillment of basic human drives, perceived needs, and desired objectives (Ellemers et al., 2001).

Great leadership in organizational settings is about enhancing the psychological states of employees that result in motivation to perform, hence the need for leaders to have in-depth knowledge of the factors that influence the motivation of employees (Ilies et al., 2006). In line with the tenets of various leadership styles such as transformational and charismatic leadership, I conclude that acknowledging the sources of follower motivation is of immense importance for leaders, not only in raising follower self-esteem, collective identity and intrinsic valence of work, but also in appealing to common ideals, moral value, inspirational motivation and self-efficacy.


Abrhiem, T.H. (2012). Ethical leadership: Keeping values in business culture. Business & Management Review, 2(7), 11-19. Web.

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Ellemers, N., De Gilder, D., & Haslam, A. (2001). Motivating individuals and groups at work: A social identity perspective on leadership and group performance. Academy of Management Review, 29(3), 459-478. Web.

Ilies, R., Judge, T., & Wagner, D. (2006). Making sense of motivational leadership: The trail from transformational leaders to motivated followers. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 13(1), 1-22. Web.

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"Management and Motivation Theory: What Motivates You?" StudyCorgi, 6 May 2020,

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StudyCorgi. "Management and Motivation Theory: What Motivates You?" May 6, 2020.


StudyCorgi. 2020. "Management and Motivation Theory: What Motivates You?" May 6, 2020.


StudyCorgi. (2020) 'Management and Motivation Theory: What Motivates You'. 6 May.

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