Twenty First Century Motivation: The Power of Purpose


Twenty First Century Motivation: The Power of Purpose



Organizations have placed an overwhelming emphasis on extrinsic motivation of their workforce, normally in the form of financial incentives, in an attempt to assure individual and organizational high performance. A significant level of financial resources is expended annually in an attempt to predict and influence employee behavior. Not only does extrinsic motivation frequently not achieve the envisioned result - it often actually demotivates employees! This research examined the prevailing literature to determine the current wisdom related to motivation and, subsequently, surveyed a diverse group of over 100 Engineering Managers to determine their beliefs about seeking meaning and purpose and to determine to what extent they engage in purpose-seeking behaviors. In addition, the relationship between those beliefs and behaviors and their perceptions of the behaviors of their direct reports was examined. The results show strong correlations between engineering managers’ purposeful behaviors and their positive perceptions about their subordinates’ strengths in initiative and creativity. This research may foreshadow the power of purpose as a motivator in the 21st century. []



Publication Date



LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing


Saarbrücken, Germany


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Operational Research | Organizational Behavior and Theory

Twenty First Century Motivation: The Power of Purpose