Motivation in Organizations

  • Peter L. Wright


In general terms, motivation is concerned with the forces which instigate, give direction to and sustain behaviour. In other words, motivation is what arouses people into action, determines the goals towards which these actions are channelled and influences the vigour and persistence with which such goals are pursued. It is one of a number of factors which influence performance at work (see Taylor and Wright, 1982; Wright and Taylor, 1984). Undoubtedly, such factors not only influence work behaviour directly, but can also influence levels of motivation. Having clear goals to aim at, believing that one has the ability to succeed, obtaining accurate feedback on one’s standard of performance, for example, are all likely to affect motivation. These other factors differ from motivation in one important respect. They put the individual in a position where he or she can perform a task well. Unless we have a clear idea of what we should be achieving, the necessary ability to do the task, feedback concerning our level of performance, and appropriate resources and working conditions, it will be difficult to perform the task well. Motivation is concerned with whether the individual wants to perform the task well.


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Copyright information

© Peter L. Wright 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter L. Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Bradford Management CentreUK

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