Motivation Essentials – A Self Report


The idealism of motivation defines itself from the Latin word Movere, meaning 'To move'. (Rainey, 2001). Motivation is defined as' A reason or reasons for acting or behaving in a particular way; desire or willingness to do something; enthusiasm. ' (Oxford Dictionaries Online, World English). This section discusses contemporary theories of motivation including Abrahams Maslow Hierarchy of Needs and Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Y. (Melanie & Evelyn, 2007, p.365).

Motivation Theory:

Motivation stems from two theories of sources. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Intrinsic factors that the origin from internal forces display our thoughts and both psychological and emotional demands. These are represented by, safety, love and belonging, self-esteem. Physiological factors are external forces that relate to mastering the techniques successfully. (Carroll, 2006).

Abrahams Maslow Hierarchy of needs promotes positive behavior in employees. A good example of physiological need is shown by hospitals rewarding their staff with monetary rewards for maintaining excellent working records or achieve 100% attendance rate. For esteem and safety needs, organizations keep their employees' drive going by giving sponsorships for higher studies and providing. Thus, higher order needs are generally satisfied internally while lower order needs are mainly fulfilled externally. (Carroll, 2006).

According to the theory of Douglas McGregor's Theory X and Y, positive (Y) and negative (X) aspects of behaviors are based on various assumptions from the perceptions of supervisors towards the nature of people. Both Theories X / Y depicts and adopts different leadership styles to achieve common organizational goals. Douglas suggested that close supervision is required to check healthcare workers with a negative attitude towards work. Theory X suggested effective persuasion, punishments and dictatorial style is necessary to perform change. However, employees resist change and responsibilities when they detect insecurity and a vague sense of formal direction. (Jones, 2007).

Theory Y workers, however, display higher levels of motivation without duress from supervisors and may even seek responsibilities to enhance their strengths to a higher level. (Jones, 2007).

As a 2nd year nursing student in Changi General Hospital, I had the opportunity of encountering a personal experience while serving my clinical attachment. The Nurse Manager that I worked with recognises motivation as one of the most significant contributing factors that bring success to the ward. Here are some of the ways she adopted in motivating her staff nurses:

1) She makes an effort in understanding all her nurses' strengths, weaknesses and tries to mold them accordingly.
2) Pushing her staff nurses to a higher scale by making they feel indispensable and value all their contributions to the ward.
3) Encouraging them to keep track of their own performances by adopting a scoreboard to help them notice their own development and productivity.

The above mentioned motivating mechanisms that the Nurse Manager adopts take the form of both Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Douglas McGregor's Theory Y of motivation. Undoubtedly, she achieves her goals, resulting in her staff nurses who becomes intrinsically motivated. Indeed she convinced me as an admirable role model and leader with a compelling vision and clearly demonstrated core values.


Motivation takes an endless stream of hard work and perseverance to sustain the drive for the majority of people. On the other hand, selected few that understood the power of motivation will feel the difference between tremendous success and failure. This forms the key concept of effective leadership, proper management methods that highlight the productivity levels and overall performance in the organizations. (Sullivan & Decker, 2009).


Carroll, Pl [2006]. Nursing leadership and management. Clifton Park: Thomson, Delmar Learning.

Jones, RAP [2007]. Nursing leadership and management. Philadelphia: FA Davis Company.

Melanie ME, & Evelyn MW [2007]. Theoretical Basis For Nursing. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

School of Health Sciences [Nursing], [2011]. HS2190 – Management. Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore.

Sullivan, EJ, & Decker PJ [2009]. Effective leadership and management in nursing [7th ed.]. Menlo Park, California: Addison – Wesley.

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