Culture of Intrinsic Motivation LO10107

Rol Fessenden (76234.3636@CompuServe.COM)
21 Sep 96 11:53:26 EDT

Replying to LO10078 --

Bill asks what work cultures -- what characteristics, values, principles
... would encourage people's interior motivation toward their work?

This is a really good question. I have worked in three different cultures
where there were significant groups of people who were _very_ motivated in
their work. Those cultures were college professors, teachers, and social
workers in social work agencies. In all three cases, there were also
significant numbers of people who were just putting in the hours, but
there was a surprising number who really enjoyed their work and were
intrinsically motivated.

What is interesting about Bill's question is that the _organizational_
characteristics in all three cases would be primarily characterized as
dysfunctional. Not that these organizations were significantly different
than most of their kindred organizations in the same fields. In two of
the three cases they were characterized by heavy command and control
(school admin and social work agencies), and in all three institutions
there was massive petty politics. And yet within these organizations were
more highly motivated people per square foot than in other organizations
that I personally would characterize as far more healthy organizations.

I would hypothesize that the organization is a secondary factor compared
to the 'relevance' and 'importance' of the work as perceived by the


Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc.

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