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The Redefinition of Intrinsic Motivation

in Chapter 9, I mentioned the following definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation:

  • • Intrinsic motivation is defined as doing an activity for its inherent satisfaction, rather than for some separable outcome.
  • • Extrinsic motivation is defined as a construct that applies when activity is performed for its instrumental value, rather than simply enjoyment of the process.

These definitions clearly do not capture the ability of individuals to be aware of their intrinsic desires for new experiences, as well as their ability to set goals directed at expansion of oneself through learning and personal growth. Furthermore, these definitions assume extrinsic motivation to be the only valid instrument of engagement, underestimating the scope of learning that can be achieved if an organization follows the growth and expansion of its employees. In order to take these aspects into account, the following definition is suggested:

Intrinsic motivation is the propensity of an individual to engage in desirable and pleasurable activities, directed at the acquisition of experiential knowledge, and leading to a higher energy state.

Table 11.1 The taxonomy of intrinsic motivation

Following

Participation

Self-induced

Growth

Change

Making

Desires

External, coming from the present or past through other individuals or media

Both internal and external, not fully actualized and distinguishable

Internal and actualized

Desires are coming from the Source of emerging future actualized through Self

Goals

external: maintain or achieve a lifestyle

Internal: create own lifestyle

Internal: Become a better Self

Selflessness and stewardship towards a larger goal

Working

principle

Energize by experiencing a lifestyle, designed externally

Energize through collection of a wider range of experiences

Energize through accumulation of experiences focused on qualitative shift in the Self

Channel energy from the Source of emerging future

Energy state

Low

Moderate

High

very-High

Position relative to Safety Space

Inside, maintain the boundaries

Inside, expand the boundaries

Inside, focus on the inner world

outside, in the learning space

The types of intrinsic motivation depicted in the taxonomy are mapped according to the alignment of the underlying desires and goals with the Self (Figure 11.4). Each of the types can be defined as follows:

1. Following: intrinsic motivation based on external desires introduced from the outside through other individuals or media. Following is very similar to integrated extrinsic motivation.[1]

  • 2. Participation: intrinsic motivation based on the attitude an individual adopts by taking an active position and creating a set of experiences that will form a new lifestyle. In participation, learning is achieved through the expansion of the safety space.
  • 3. Self-induced growth: intrinsic motivation based on an active role in shaping one's own personality through learning and growth, focusing only on qualitatively new experiences, triggering a shift towards the goal of becoming a better self.
  • 4. Change making: intrinsic motivation based on the individual actualizing the emerging future through Self, by connecting to the source with open heart, and open will consciously or sub-consciously.
The taxonomy of intrinsic motivation

Figure 11.4 The taxonomy of intrinsic motivation

  • [1] Ryan, R.M. and Deci, E.L. (2000). 'Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions andnew directions.' Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.
 
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