Why Participate? Motivational Issues



Participation is a relatively continuous activity, which assumes the involvement of different people pursuing particular, common objec­tives. Given that people have different reasons for participating in an activity or event, then it makes sense to ask why they are so doing. In other words, what motivates them; what ‘causes’ them to participate? In this chapter three broad orientations to motivation are presented. First we examine need or ‘content’ theories. Such theories characteris­tically assume that a person is driven to satisfy or fulfil some inner wish or want. Second, reinforcement theories are outlined. Unlike need theories, reinforcement theories assume a social learning model of behaviour reinforcement, behaviour shaping and organizational be­haviour modification. Third, expectancy theory is described as just one example of a ‘process’ theory of motivation. It assumes that people behave in such a way as to achieve the outcomes or rewards they desire; that the greater the value they attach to such outcomes and the more they expect that their efforts will lead to successful performance, the greater their motivation. The final section of this chapter will describe some applications of motivational theory to participative behaviour. We will commence with an examination of need theories of motivation.


Organizational Identification Achievement Motivation Contingency Contracting Reinforcement Theory Expectancy Theory 
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© Elizabeth Chell 1985

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