What Drives Us? How Does a Manager Create an Environment that Enhances Employee Motivation at a Creative Company?

Alexander Kolte Bach

Student thesis: Master thesis


This paper tries to show how managers can effectively create a business environment that will enhance the employee’s motivation, in creative industries. The study demonstrates how motivation is a conclusive factor for the employee’s well-being and productivity. Therefore, it is essential for the manager to create an environment that will lead to motivation; not only for the employee’s interest but also for the higher level of outcome, which the company will benefit from.
Through a theoretical study, the paper examines five main theories that are linked to motivation. The theories are: 1) Self-determination Theory (SDT) 2) Emotional Intelligence 3) Two factor theory 4) Theories of typology; The McCelland motivation theory and Primadonnaledelse Theory, 5) Componential Theory of Creativity (CTC).
The five theories are the framework for the analysis. They will be compared with each other, and any contradictions the theories might have, will also be examined. Finally, this paper will analyze where the theories complement each other.
Some of the findings in the analysis are that SDT and CTC’s definition of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are similar and points out that intrinsic motivation is conductive to creativity, and that controlling extrinsic motivation can be detrimental to creative results.
The five theories –to some extent – all emphasize how the social environment has a direct influence on the employee’s motivation, which is something the manager has an influence on.
In the discussion, the theories will be examined to address the influence they have on the research question, including the negative results economic incentives can give. Topics that the main theories do not focus much on such as the importance and the difficulties of good communication are also discussed. Here, the paper concludes that Emotional Intelligence is the theory that manages to cover the field of motivation the best, with self-awareness, empathy, and social intelligence as the key concepts. However, due to various other aspects of motivation, Emotional Intelligence cannot stand by itself. Therefore, the other theories have important contributions as well that can help the manager understand what drives each employee. Finally, the paper illustrates the conclusion with a model showing the five theories as circles that are interlinked with Emotional Intelligence as the largest circle.

EducationsMSc in Psychology, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages85