Though none opposes the fact that motivation is the real driving engine of every action, there is considerable differences among the theorists about its mechanism, especially when it comes to explore the possibility to bring out the best out in the employees of an organization, where one school of thought advocates for extrinsic motivation for instant solution and the other insists on capitalizing the long-term efficacy of intrinsic motivation. Under the present context of economic downturn, this issue is extremely important, as extrinsic motivation primarily involves money.
Therefore, this paper explores the core elements of motivation and concepts of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards from relevant literature, before coming into its own conclusion. Core of Motivation The core of motivation contains three elements like Consciousness, Inverted Qualia and Absent Qualia. These three together create various mental states. Consciousness It has six major identifiable states like 1. State of awareness: When someone is aware of something (Rosenthal, 1986). 2. Qualitative states: Sensing something out of something like enjoying a meal or experiencing a pain.
Such experiences are called “qualia”, and are regarded as “intrinsic, private, ineffable and nomadic features of experience, ” (Dennet, 1990). 3. Phenomenal states: A state involving more than sensory qualia, covering spatial, temporal and conceptual organization of experiences about the world and the person’s inference about it. 4. What-it-is-like states: Associating a sense of experience with another. 5. Access consciousness: It’s like seeing a thing and ideating something and then deciding on something, where there may or may not be any relationship among the above-said three stages.
6. Narrative consciousness: This “stream of consciousness” contains a series of thoughts from the “perspective of an actual or merely virtual self” (Dennett, 1991). Inverted Qualia It refers to a personal package of intrinsic and intricate experiences, with which humans decipher various external signals and respond to them, where the nature of experience governs the nature of response. The difference in perception causes inverted qualia, as for example someone might like green tea and detest coffee for no unexplainable reasons.
This trait has a strong connection with intrinsic motivation (Dennet, 1991) Absent Qualia The concept of absent qualia claims that functional duplicates of a creature would do the same. As for example, if Mr. X likes tea and dislikes coffee, then his absolute clone would also do the same, for which the clone would not need an intricate and intrinsic package of experiences (Dennet, 1991). This concept backs the idea of getting result through extrinsic reward – as for example, if Mr. X and Mr. Y do identical jobs under identical conditions, then if Mr. X feels satisfied with cash reward, Mr.
Y would too follow the suit without a second thought! This study thus highlights two sets of hidden relationships, one, between inverted qualia and intrinsic motivation/rewards, and two, between absent qualia and extrinsic motivation/rewards. In any case, humans’ (apparently) involuntary association with rewards too has its routes in their perceptions, which maintain a master list of individual desires, and accordingly propel them to fulfill such desires. Put into an imaginary diagram, the mechanism of human mind can look somewhat like below: Mechanism of Motivation Motivating Tools
From the organizational perspective, the ways and means to motivate the employees can be many. However, the common ones among them are, 1. Rewards 2. Retention 3. Morale 5. Job-enrichment 6. Reinforcement 1. Rewards System: Rewards or recognition system has a great bearing on the emotional plane of humans. ” Every behavior comes out of ‘pain and gain’ principle”, says Khera (2004, p. 110). There can be many types of tangible gains like money, vacations or gifts, or they can be intangible, like recognition, appreciation, sense of achievement, growth, responsibility, sense of fulfillment, self-worth, etc.
2. Retention: It highly motivates the employees, as “Retention is critical to the long term health and success of the company” (Heathfield, 2008). 3. Morale: The elements like praise, love and faith can charge up anyone under any circumstance. 4. Job Enrichment: It relates to the in-house grooming of the employees to become an expert in the related field. 5. Reinforcement. By all means, it is a tool to control the employee behavior (Positive, 2000), which binds the company activities together. Other Factors Related to Motivation
There are three other factors that can be instrumental to keep employees motivated, and they are: Job Satisfaction, Goal-setting and Performance appraisals. They are considered to be the self-boosters of the employees, and according to Murphy (2001), belief is a thought that causes the power of subconscious to be distributed into all phases of life. Motivation and Reward System Reward systems are created to fuel the employee cooperation, effort and overall satisfaction of all members of the company Cacioppe (1999).
Other researchers like Hackman (1997) Shea and Guzzo (1987) too have endorsed this view, and suggested to align rewards with group activities. The basic parameter of the formulating a reward structure, however, is expected to apply the common logic like optimizing the ability of the workforce as a whole, though in practice it might go down to an individual, especially where the work patterns are not interdependent. This situation commands a quick review of the nature of intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Intrinsic Rewards Deci (1975) says that intrinsic rewards evoke a sense of personal causation – i. e.
, an inward mechanism serving as the guiding engine for the action, where its elements are usually intangible and working on the plane of one’s perception, where the journey is being enjoyed over the outcome. Extrinsic Rewards Extrinsic rewards are supposed to generate perceptions of external causation (Deci, 1975) by being mostly tangible in nature – a hike in salary or status, or material gains in other forms. However, researchers like Guzzo, (1979) defies any division in the reward system and considers it a single, usable tools to tweak the frequency of desired response of the employees towards a desired direction.
Researchers like Hull (1943) and Skinner (1953) placed extrinsic reward as a direct link between stimulus and response, and their views include punishment as a stimulus too, besides subscribing to the power of stimulus. Reaction No matter how much Hull (1943) and Skinner (1953) wanted to establish extrinsic motivation as the best motivating tool to earn competitive advantage, extrinsic motivation carries a hidden cost besides the cost involved in its implementation. Researchers like Deci and Ryan (1985) used attribution theory and suggested that humans constantly reassess the reasons for their behaviors besides others.
Before that, Lepper et al. (1973) had observed that reinforcement generates two effects for the management, like gaining control over activity or fastening the process; two, the backlash effect in absence of reinforcement. The example below would explain it better: A group or an individual gets a reward of x amount of money for a period y, where x+y=m, m being the increased rate of production. Before that, the situation was y=z where production was z. Now in the absence of reinforcement and with the influence of attribution theory, the situation would stand like y-x = n, where n < z.
This clearly goes against the basic reason for motivating the employees, i. e. , to enhance the profit of the organization. “Engagement occurs when an employee connects emotionally with his work,” says Paul Glen (2007), and if one checks the mechanism of motivation, one gets convinced that extrinsic motivation cannot influence the employees to connect emotionally with their work, as it is guided by absent qualia, i. e. , a momentary and involuntary chase, where emotion has no role to play.
On the other hand, the intrinsic motivation is guided by inverted qualia, i. e. , conscious chase and that clearly takes along emotion in its journey and influence the human mind in no less than six ways. Conclusion The research and discussion above clearly shows that extrinsic motivation system can be a threat in disguise for the organizations especially under the present context of economic downturn, while intrinsic motivation can be the ideal solution under the same circumstance, where it can raise emotional attachment with the organization and inspire the employees to produce more for less.
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Dennett, D. C. (1991). Consciousness explained. Boston: Little, Brown and Company. Glen, P. (2007). You Can’t Outsource Retention. Computerworld, July 16, 2007. Guzzo, R. A. (1979). Types of rewards, cognitions, and work motivation. Academy of Management Review, 4(1), pp. 75-86. Hackman, J. R. (1997). Why teams don’t work. In R. S. Tindale, J. Edwards, & E. J. Posavac (Eds. ) Applications of theory and research on groups to social issues. New York: Plenum.