Essay on motivation: it’s meaning, definition and features

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Essay on Motivation: it’s Meaning, Definition and Features!


Motivation is very commonly used word in enterprises is a temporal and dynamic state that induces an individual to act as desired. Motivation is having the encouragement to do something.


The term motivation is derived from the Latin word ’emover’ which implies ‘to move’. It is the act of stimulating someone or oneself to get a desired course of action, to push the right button to get desired action. Motivation provides answer to certain basic questions such as: Why and how people work and what determines the direction of their actions?

The process of motivation involves needs, drives and goals. Need is behind most of the actions of a man. Better facilities, more pay, recognition, opportunities for promotion etc. are some of the needs of the people.

Drives are called motives representing the behaviour in the process of motivation. Every undertaking has certain goals to achieve. These goals can be achieved only through the efforts of its employees. The basic problem is to identify what makes (or moves) people to act.


Motivation can be defined as a process of stimulating people to act for the purpose of achieving desired goals.


A few definitions of motivation are given below:

1. Motivation can be defined as a willingness to expand energy, to achieve a goal or a reward. —Dai a Breachus

2. Motivation is the term employed generally for the phenomena involved in the operation of incentives or drives. —James Draver

3. Motivation refers to the way in which urges, drives, desires, aspirations, strivings, needs, directs or control or explain the behaviour of human beings. —D.E. McFarland

In simple words, motivation is a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates behaviour or a drive that is aimed at a goal or incentive.

Features or Characteristics:

From the above definitions, the following features or characteristics of motivation can be derived:

1. Motivation is always internal to the person:

It is essentially a psychological phenomenon. According to Berelson and Steiner, “A motive is an inner state that energizes, activates or moves (hence motivation) and that directs or channels behaviour towards goals.”

2. Motivation of a person is in totality and not in parts:

Human behaviour is caused by the various needs. A worker works in a factory because he needs money. Similarly, a thirsty man feels the need of water to conquer his thirst. The feeling of needs is a continuous process and the satisfaction of one need leads to the creation of a new one. All needs are interrelated and motivation should be in totality.

3. Performance is the result of ability and motivation:


If an employee is highly qualified but his performance is very poor, it can be due to the absence of motivation.

Performance = Ability x Motivation

According to Keith Davis “Motivation is essential to the operation of organisations. Ho matter how much machinery and equipment an organisation has, these things cannot be put to use until they are released and guided by people who have been so motivated.”