Extrinsic motivation is an important concept for managers to understand. We will learn what it is, some of its key factors, and different types of extrinsic motivation. You will have an opportunity to take a short quiz after the lesson.
Extrinsic motivation is a means of encouraging an activity based upon external consequences resulting from performing the activity.
The most common examples of extrinsic motivations are rewards and punishments.
Why Is It Important?
Extrinsic motivation is an important tool an organization can use to motivate members of an organization to accomplish organizational tasks. Knowing its advantages and disadvantages will help a manager decide when it’s effective to use and when it’s not.
Factors to Consider
Some factors need to be considered before you decide to use extrinsic motivation. You will often use extrinsic motivation in situations in which tedious tasks are required. Tedious tasks provide little, if any, internal satisfaction. Stuffing envelopes is a good example of the type of task that probably requires extrinsic motivation.
You also need to consider the level of control that will be necessary in developing extrinsic motivators.
Types of Extrinsic Motivators
Some extrinsic motivators provide the organization more control over motivation than others. The classic motivators of reward and punishment are considered the most controlling and are often referred to as external regulation.
In other words, your task performance is completely controlled by the related rewards and punishments. For example, if you exceed your sales quota, you may get a bonus, but if you miss your sales quota by a significant amount, you may be fired.Sometimes extrinsic motivators can be partially internalized. This may occur if you are motivated by self-esteem, ego, or guilt. Such partially internalized motivation is called introjected regulation. For example, let’s say that you work as a member of a team for a special project. While you obtain no internal satisfaction from your task, you would feel guilt or shame if you let your team down.
Thus, you have internalized the motivation – guilt – but you still perform the task because external forces are influencing your behavior.The most sophisticated type of extrinsic motivation occurs when you identify the external value of a behavior with your personal goals and integrate those values with your self-identification. While internalized extrinsic motivation is similar to internal motivation, it is still different because the motivation doesn’t come from your interest in the activity, but rather the activity becomes important for achievement of your personal goals.For example, say you work for a non-profit organization that seeks to protect South American rain forests, which is a perfect job for you because protecting the environment is one of your lifetime goals. You deplore fund-raising, but are required to attend a fund-raising event and actively solicit for donations.
You understand the importance of fund-raising and realize it is essential not only to your organization but also in accomplishing your personal goal of playing a meaningful role in protecting the environment. You have identified the value of fund-raising with your personal goal of helping the environment.
Extrinsic motivation is a technique using outside influence to affect work behavior. It’s usually employed when a tedious task provides little to no satisfaction. There are different types of extrinsic motivators, each providing different levels of organizational control. The simplest type of external motivation is the classical reward or punishment.
Introjected regulation occurs when external motivation is partially internalized. Common examples include self-esteem, guilt, or ego. Finally, there is internalized extrinsic motivation. This occurs when the value of the activity is identified with personal goals and integrated into your self-identification.
Extrinsic Motivation in the Workplace: Overview
|Extrinsic motivation||a means of encouraging an activity based upon external consequences resulting from performing the activity|
|Tedious tasks||provide little, if any, internal satisfaction|
|External regulation||task performance is completely controlled by the related rewards and punishments|
|Introjected regulation||motivated by self-esteem, ego, or guilt|
|Internalized extrinsic motivation||the motivation doesn’t come from your interest in the activity, but rather the activity becomes important for achievement of your personal goals|
After this lesson is done, you will be ready to:
- Describe extrinsic motivation in the workplace
- Define external regulation
- Identify how motivation is affected by tedious tasks
- Compare and contrast introjected regulation and internalized extrinsic motivation