Culture of Intrinsic Motivation LO10125

Carol Sager (
Sun, 22 Sep 1996 16:37:53 -0400

Replying to LO10107 --

To Rol Fessenden who wrote:(and to Julie Beeden)

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

Rol states:
> I would hypothesize that the organization is a secondary
>factor compared to the 'relevance' and 'importance' of the work as
>perceived by the worker.

I agree but have a question: -Many people love what they do despite the
fact that they may not love the place in which they work. What I have seen
is that in most of these situations - even in an overall fear-dominated,
do-it-or-else culture (in answer to Bill) is that immedite supervisors,
co-workers, etc. provide an environment where basic human needs are met-
e.g. affiliation, achievement, recognition, a sense of competence, etc.
which in turn builds & sustains people's intrinsic motivation to come to
work and do a good job.

My questions: Can intrinsic motivation exist in an organization if the
relevance and importance of the job is perceived ONLY by the worker? For
example, I work with many people who go on and on about how they hate
their jobs. I usually ask why they don't quit? A typical answer is, "How
can I quit? I need the benefits/ who would hire me..." This then can be
turned into a positive guiding "purpose" or intrinsic motivation for
looking at one's job and performing more positively. What I often see
happening in cases like this is that renewed meaning and purpose for the
job helps the individual but not the organization in that many people who
can turn negative energy to positive find another job fairly quickly.

Is there a mix of personal and group support needed to build a culture of
Intrinsic motivation?

If group support is needed how do we(or should we) help people within the
organization recognize their power (and perhaps obligation) to develop
this culture by addressing the needs and desires of their co-workers? As
they say---Any thought on this?

Carol Sager, Sager Educational Enterprises
Critical Linkages II Newsletter; 21 Wallis Road,
Chestnut Hill, MA 02167; V.(617)469-9644; Fax(same)-9639


Carol Sager <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>