What are Motivational Theories? Theories of Motivation

Motivation theory is the study of what drives a person to work towards a particular goal or outcome, what motivates them. These can help employers design strategies to motivate employees.

Figuring out what is it that motivates certain people can be a challenge for HR managers and employers.

It’s relevant to all of society but is especially important in the corporate field, because motivated employees are more productive, which translates to a boost in productivity and performance.

Most motivational theories differentiate between two factors: intrinsic and extrinsic.


  • Extrinsic motivations focus on the outcome of the activity (employees are motivated by the outcome rather than the activity itself).
  • Intrinsic motivation focuses on an individual's interest and motivation to participate in an activity.
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