Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation Factors

Connection motives, achievement motives and power motives are triggered by intrinsic and extrinsic motivation factors.

Intrinsically motivated courses of action coincide with people’s views and attitudes. They are synonymous with self-determined action. People would act that way anyway because of their values and their interests. They do not need to be prompted to do so and do not need a bonus to be offered. Intrinsic motivation factors are effective on their own. They do not have to be reactivated cyclically, but have a lasting effect.

You can recognize intrinsically motivated people by their curiosity and interest in topics as well as by their special, even emotional commitment. Recognize such intrinsic motivation factors in yourself and your employees and apply them accordingly. Then potential and performance will unfold by themselves.

In addition to intrinsic motivation factors, we also know extrinsic motivation factors. These are motivation factors that are addressed by managers in order to influence the behavior of employees in a certain direction. These include instructions, compliance with which promises praise, grades, recognition, position on a ranking list, promotions, salary increases, bonus payments, and even the mere absence of punishment. Such extrinsic motivation factors do not necessarily coincide with people’s values and interests, but follow a reward scheme. If the prospect of reward ceases to exist, they no longer have any effect. Extrinsic motivation factors must therefore be continually renewed, and the reward held out in prospect must often be continually increased, in order to be effective.

It is much more effective to address intrinsic motivation factors than extrinsic ones. Even at the recruitment stage, pay attention to whether applicants’ values, interests, and personal, professional, and academic development aspirations are in line with the opportunities you can and want to offer. If you want to motivate extrinsically, use it to address people’s intrinsic motivational factors, if possible.


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