Intrinsic and extrinsic forms of motivations are commonly used tactic to help increase the employee’s motivation (Frey & Osterloh, 2013). Intrinsic forms of motivation work on motivating the individually mental. For example, acknowledging an employees hard work may be enough to mentally motivate the employee. In contrast, extrinsic forms of motivation focus on physically rewarding the individual with a prize or physical incentive. For example, if a department is trying to improve their customer satisfaction, the manager may give a gift certificate (or other physical reward) to the employee who receives the highest customer service scores (which are measured by customer feedback). Although both intrinsic and extrinsic rewards operate on a different premise, determining when to use each form of motivation is an important task for managers.
In some situations, a manager may find that intrinsic motivation is more effective than extrinsic motivation (Frey & Osterloh, 2013). For example, if a company recently announced that they are laying off employees, the manger may find that employee motivation drastically declines. However, using extrinsic motivation may adversely influence employee motivation, as the company is laying off. In contrast, telling the employee that they are valuable to the company, or that they do a good job in their work, may be a better alternative than using a physical incentive.
In other situations, managers may find that extrinsic motivation works better than intrinsic motivation. As addressed by Frey & Osterloh (2013) when employees are working towards a goal, they may work harder if they believe that they will be rewarded. In this sense, extrinsic motivation may provide the employee with the extra motivation needed to reach his or her goal.
Discussion Question #2 Responses
Classmate Post #1
I quite agree with your approach to the intrinsically and extrinsically motivated team members, but it brings up another question- how do we really know or define the motivation source of an individual? It seems to me that we are all differently motivated in different situations, and this is likely to be true in a team setting as well. Further, I think that the motivation style of the individual is affected by the organizational environment, as well as the team culture and characteristics (Tyagi, 2015). If I begin to break down the factors that were driving my own motivation in various phases of my life, I begin to see the complexity of determining motivation strategies, particularly at the individual level. I think the aggregate environmental factors are in some cases more easily manipulated. Ideally, if one is motivating a team, the decision makers at the top levels are also creating a positive and encouraging environment at their level of influence.
Ideally, I think a performance driven team is one that is intrinsically motivated by their team membership, but also extrinsically motivated by rewards such as recognition. Perhaps in some cases it is useful to overlap the differently motivated rewards.
Classmate Post #2.
You bring up an interesting idea with regard to the intrinsically motivated person, that being that “a leader that offers motivating support, rather than an authoritative presence, might prove more beneficial towards this type of person”. This really made me stop and think, in terms of when I have been challenged as an individual, as well as when I have challenged others in a positive way. I would say that a complementary theory, alongside your insight, is the use of goal setting theory. Challenging is one thing, but measuring and monitoring progress is likely to provide the regular feedback on performance that both motivates and optimizes approaches Locke & Latham, 1990). The measurement of goal achievement itself can be either a carrot on the stick, as you put it, or an intrinsic motivation to do better than one has done before. Think of a video game, or loyalty points program, for example. There is a strong motivator to increase the score or level, and I think that this measurement of achievement has real potential in providing that challenge function that you speak of. I can think that this can also aid the set goals which you list as a characteristics of a performance driven team. Certainly I found the ideas in your post challenged me, and motivated me to think further about the implications, and I look forward to applying my early thoughts on measuring and giving feedback in relation to challenging my team to meet set goals.
Classmate Post #3
In your post you make a clear distinction between the intrinsic and extrinsically motivated person, and you highlight the importance of defining and displaying outcomes as a motivating strategy. This is an interesting idea, and a flexible one as well that can be applied to both intrinsically motivated and extrinsically motivated individuals. One thought that I had was that displaying diverse potential outcomes may have some value, rather than simply outlining the desired outcome. This can assist in making clear the possibilities which are dependent on the individual and team actions and behaviors. By tying outcomes to positive and constructive practices, this could aid in the development of a high performance team.
I was a bit confused with regard to the statement by De Dreu & Beersma (2010) in your post “that a characteristic of a well grouped team are those that are ambiguous with their environment”. I would be interested in understanding how the ambiguity of the environment contributes to the shared goals and optimization of tasks.
- Frey B.S., Osterloh M. (2013) Successful Management by Motivation: Balancing Intrinsic and Extrinsic Incentives. New York, NY: Springer.
- Tyagi, P. K. (2015). The Role of Organizational Climate Conditions in Enhancing the Desirability of Salesperson Rewards. Proceedings of the 1986 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference. Springer International Publishing. Pp 447-451.
- Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (1990). A theory of goal setting & task performance. Prentice-Hall, Inc.