Outcome-Based Theory of Work Motivation
University of Navarra IESE Working Paper No. D/495
18 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2003
Date Written: March 2003
This paper introduces an outcome-based theory of work motivation. This theory focuses on the individual's expected consequences of his or her action. We identify four different types of expected consequences, or motives. These motives lead to four types of motivation: extrinsic, intrinsic, contributive, and relational. We categorize these outcomes using two criteria: the perceived locus of causality, which defines the origin of the motivation, and the perceived locus of consequence, which defines who receives the consequences of the action. Individuals generally act based on a combination of extrinsic, intrinsic, contributive, and relational motivations, each one having a particular weight. We call motivational profile to the particular combination of an individual's motivations in a certain context. Individuals may experience conflict when different alternatives convey different expected consequences (or motives). Resolution of conflicts among motives results in motivational learning. In particular, the resolution of conflicts among motives of the same type results in calculative learning. On the other hand, the resolution of conflicts among motives of different types results in evaluative learning. Evaluative learning implies a change in the individual's motivational profile.
Keywords: work motivation, locus causality, motivational profile, extrinsic motivation, intrinsic motivation, contributive motivation, relational motivation
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