Hedegaard's cultural-historical research offers unique resources for understanding motivation in institutional practices. While Hedegaard's work predominantly focuses on the motive orientations children pursue in their everyday activities, this article argues that her theoretical and methodological approach enables the unpacking of what constitutes the motivation of adult professionals. The article first provides a brief review of the growing body of research that uses Hedegaard's approach for the study of professionals. Then, drawing on a study of teacher decision-making in an English secondary school, it presents an adaptation of Hedegaard's approach which allows for analysis of moment-by-moment shifts in professionals' motive orientations. Instead of viewing work motivation in terms of fluctuation in professionals' commitments to general and analytically pre-specified goals, the article offers an approach that examines motivation as continuously shifting relationships between professionals and their work.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: 27. April 2018
- Motive orientation
- Professional work
- Shifting motives