Char of life-long learners LO5560

William J. Hobler, Jr. (
Mon, 12 Feb 1996 17:13:34 -0500

Michael McMaster
>Why do I offer this? Because motivation implies a force from the
>outside - at least in my dictionaries, understanding of its
>historical roots, and common management language - even when we use
>it to talk about our internal motivation. We talk about motivating
>ourselves as though our selves and our motive force are separate.

Interesting campaign. I went to our US dictionaries (two of them) to
resolve some of my own misunderstandings. I found three words competing
for understanding, motivation, inducement, and incentive.

Motivation is preferred when referring to factors, internal to the person,
that cause the person to take action.

An inducement is an external factor used to influence a desired behavior.
This is the realm of salary and benefits.

An incentive inspires a behavior.

Motivation then is a fine word (why abolish it?). But recognize that
people come with built in motivations. Inducements are the business of
managers. The human resources people adjust inducements to achieve their

Incentives are the tools of leaders. Perhaps they are the products of

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It's better at sea  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~                         Still a Submariner
     William J. Hobler, Jr.               Preferably Bill
Learning ensures an exciting future, for yourself, for your 
family, friends, and colleagues.  Buy some insurance, ask a 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   ~ ; )  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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