No More Polarization, Please! Towards a More Nuanced Perspective on Motivation in Organizations

Mia Reinholt

    Research output: Working paperResearch

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    Abstract

    The organizational science literature on motivation has for long been polarized into two main positions; the organizational economic position focusing on extrinsic motivation and the organizational behavior position emphasizing intrinsic motivation. With the rise of the knowledge economy and the increasing levels of complexities it entails, such polarization is not fruitful in the attempt to explain motivation of organizational members. This paper claims that a more nuanced perspective on motivation, acknowledging the co-existence of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation, the possible interaction between the two as well as different types of motivations filling in the gap between the two polar types, is urgently needed in the organizational science literature. By drawing on the research on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation conducted in social psychology and combining this with contributions from organizational science, economics, and sociology, this paper attempts to develop an emergent understanding of motivation, which is more facetted than the one dominating organizational science currently. Based on these discussions, eleven implications for future research on motivation in organizations are proposed.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationKøbenhavn
    PublisherCenter for Strategic Management and Globalization
    Number of pages15
    ISBN (Print)8791815266
    Publication statusPublished - May 2006
    SeriesSMG Working Paper
    Number9/2006

    Keywords

    • Work motivation
    • Intrinsic motivation
    • Extrinsic motivation
    • Motivation systems
    • The knowledge economy

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