Motivation involves movement towards a particular goal and is the incentive to act or do the things we do. Motivation can be intrinsic, with internal factors such as satisfaction of a job well done, while extrinsic motivators are external, like a desire for rewards. Numerous researchers have developed theories describing the dynamics of motivation. Using different references for motivation theories helps to have a balanced view on the study of motivation

NetMBA Business Knowledge Center

The NetMBA Business Knowledge Center website cites the work of David McClelland on motivation theory. In his Theory of Needs, or acquired needs theory, McClelland's work is based on the assumption that experiences shape needs regarding achievement, affiliation and power. Everyone has one category of needs that is more important than the other two depending on his own set of variables. Achievers look for opportunities where success is certain, and if there is not a reward they feel is important enough, they will then avoid the situation. People who enjoy being with others and want to please them fall into the affiliation category, while power people are all about being in control.

The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort.

The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort is a reference for motivation theories comprised by Joseph C. Nunes and Xavier Drèze. In this reference for motivation theories, the researchers contend that progress will motivate individuals to continue on in their endeavors. Many consumer programs that provide small discounts or other rewards are based on the Endowed Progress Effect. Researchers Joseph Nunes and Xavier Dreze say people are more likely to join a loyalty program and stick with it if they see little bits of progress along the way. Motivating through progress works in situations where change is desired and to encourage others to reach a long term goal.

Learning and Teaching: Motivation to Learn

The Learning and Teaching website provides an excellent overview of motivational theories. This site lists the different types of motivation and traits that go along with each type, laying a good foundation for understanding different motivation theories. The references for motivation theories cite the work of Maslow and Herzberg, presenting their works Levels of Motivation and Motivational Hygiene, respectively. Additionally, the work of Hebb on Motivation and Anxiety is featured and referenced on the Learning and Teaching website as well.