Individuals are the constructs of social environment and we always will see ourselves through our relationships with this social background and other people. Motivation is the response of our inner self that we give to external influences and forces on a daily basis. To build individual motivational theory it is important to understand what we use and need this motivation for. I strongly believe that every day we are playing our roles and being actors in a given social structure and this relationship is static, based on time and space, as suggested by the structural theory by Giddens (Tucker, 1998). With that in mind, our motivation is built on two pillars: intrinsic and extrinsic. Nohria et al (2008) suggest that there are four major internal drivers for motivation. First of all, the drive to acquire is our internal need for new knowledge and new acquisition of skills and information. Individuals are looking this knowledge with different intensity, but all of us need this drive to keep interest in “self”. Secondly, we all demonstrate the drive to bond that makes us belong to different social groups and create our comfort zones. Third internal driver, according to the authors is the drive to comprehend, which outlines the limits of our motivation by the ability to absorb and understand the external environment. In other words, individual actors in a static structure need to feel that they belong to it not only socially, but mentally and can contribute with their set of skills and knowledge. Finally, the drive to defend, is our need to create individual comfort zone that includes people, our opinion and personality traits and allows us behaving in a manner that leaves us comfortable by “being self”. We tend to defend this environment this defense is a necessary part of our daily lives. The point that I am trying to reach with the above review is that our motivation model should be built from two elements: internally driven motivation, based on the above mentioned four components and external element that brings us something that we do not expect. This second element of external influence is part of our motivation that we cannot predict and, therefore, cannot place in line with expectations. One of the examples of this type of external motivation is bonus that employees get at work. Let me try to put this into perspective. Employee works, driven by a number of internal reasons, such as willingness to learn as an example of the drive to acquire, admiration for the company´s organizational culture that builds on the drive to comprehend, his need to defend his professional standpoint as a drive to defend and empathy for his colleagues and management that makes him wish to be part of his team – the drive to bond. My point is that this motivation is important, even critical, but not sufficient to build on social dualism, where external environment brings employee additional reasons for satisfaction and motivation. At this point, external element comes to play and the company offers employee annual bonus and training budget. Employee does not expect this bonus, neither has he known whether he will be chosen for training or not. This element of positive uncertainty is the final component of motivation that I see critical. Below is the Motivational Framework that I have built for my own theory with the basis on the references theories:
The outlined framework includes ‘motivation of others’ as the context of external environment. I strongly believe that motivation that other people have in regards to the actions, subjects or elements of social environment that have any type of “touch point” with our interests will finalize the complex set of factors that shape our motivation (Anderson, Carter,Lowe, 2009). As such, if I possess all the elements of the above framework, I may not achieve expected motivational level if work or socialize with others, whose motivational level in the same activity is significantly lower. This happens as we live in structural dualism, where social environment is as much restricting as it is liberating for our individual behaviors and traits.
Keneth H. Tucker. Anthony Giddens and Modern Social Theory. Sage Publications, 1998. Print.
Nohria N., Groysberg B., and Lee L.-E. (2008, July). Employee Motivation. The Powerful New Model. Harvard Business Review, July-August, 2008. Retrieved 14 February 2014. http://www.stanford.edu/group/designx_lab/wikiupload/b/bb/HBR_Employee_Motivation.pdf
Ralph E. Anderson,Irl E. Carter,Gary Lowe. Human Behavior in the Social Environment: A Social Systems Approach. 2nd Edition. Transaction Publishers, 2009. Print.