College Term Paper on Motivation: Self-Interest and Fear

Motivation is a desire to accomplish a particular goal, combined with the energy and intelligence to work towards the goal. There are two main types of motivation: positive motivation and negative motivation. Negative motivation or motivation by fear involves achieving goals because there will be undesirable results if tasks are not completed.

While positive motivation or motivation by self-interest, motivation by reward and motivation by desire involves personal interest or desire to achieve any particular goal. In short I agree that there are two major types of motivation: motivation by fear and motivation by self-interest.

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Personally I believe that motivation by self-interest is the most effective learning tool while motivation by fear is the least. I believe that fear is a powerful motivator for all of us. But the negative side of motivation by fear is that it can make happy for a while, but it will also leave us more drained than before. Wanting to achieve goal just to avoid losing what we have is not a goal that can motivate for a long period. It does not offer any promise of forward motion, of accomplishment.

Motivation by fear also leads to tentative performance in organizations motivation by fear works with some people, some time. But we cannot build a strong and well-functioning organization using motivation by fear because fear is an emotion and in atmosphere of fear, people would not be able to utilize their full potential and they will continuously think about the results if they are not able to achieve the goal. Fear motivation should be used as last choice but unfortunately many managers are using it as a first choice.

Take an example; fear is probably the greatest motivator of mankind, but as the history of Socialist dictatorship clearly shows that fear will never stimulate people to willingly be creative and over contribute to their tasks. Instead, motivation by fear has the opposite effect of stimulating people to find ways of "under contributing" while still getting the same compensation. We should find ways to motivate people so that they should feel that they are not being forced to work on any task, we should motivate them by their self-interest or by love or rewards.

Motivation by fear is like “do it or else we can replace you” approach. This is basically the “take it or leave it” approach. Motivation by fear is the easiest form of motivation; however, it is based on intimidation. “Take it or leave it” often gets results, but he or she will not be able to utilize his or her full potential. Motivation by fear always results in inner anger against the person using the fear tactics. We should this motivation only when all other methods have failed.They are other types of motivation such as, motivation by reward, motivation by money, personal motivation and incentive motivation. But there is a common thing in these all types, which is self-interest. One significant characteristic of self-interest motivation, personal interest, or passion, is its stayingpower.

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Motivation by self-interest is the highest form of motivation. Motivation by self-interest occurs when an environment is created that causes people to work with their self-interest and be the best they can be. As the title implies, motivation by self-interest is working toward a personal interest. People will work hard for someone or something they believe in. To develop self-interest motivation, first there must be a cause in which a team or a person can believe in, and environment must be created that will cause a person or a team to work toward the goal.

A motivation by self-interest environment is unafraid to answer the questions like “What is in it for me?” People obviously want something in return for their investment of time, money and talent. Motivation by self-interest involves that a person should have interest in a goal or task he or she is going to perform. Self-interest can be of many forms such as promotion, rewards, personal satisfaction etc. Strong side of motivation by self-interest is that a person will achieve a goal by utilizing his or her all abilities.