Dietmar Sternad, Carinthia University of Applied Sciences School of Management
In this conceptual article, both classic theories and recent research streams on work motivation are reviewed with the aim to identify external factors affecting the state of motivation, i.e. those factors that can be at least partly influenced by the management of an organization. Based on common themes emerging from various motivation theories, a framework including motivational factors on an individual level (challenge, autonomy, feedback, and rewards), on the level of the relationship between the individual and the group (contribution, fairness, support, and standing in the group), and on the level of the relationship between the group and society (contribution to society; fairness, support, and standing within society) is proposed, with the relative importance of those factors depending on an individual’s expectations of them. The eclectic framework provides a basis for further comparative research on the relative impact of the various external influences on work motivation, and highlights the hitherto widely neglected influence of factors residing in the groupsociety relationship on the work motivation of group members.