Intrinsic motivation in the military: models and strategic importance
Thomas, Kenneth Wayne
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In this report, prepared for the Eighth Quadrennial Review ofMilitary Compensation, intrinsic task motivation is related to selfmanagement, a set ofproblem solving behaviors corresponding to the requirements specified for twenty-first century military personnel. Intrinsic task motivation refers to the psychological rewards that individuals derive directly from their work tasks. An integrative theory presents four types ofintrinsic rewards: senses ofmeaningrulness, choice, competence, and progress. These rewards correspond to four types of decision-making behaviors that define self-management: committing to a meaningful purpose, choosing activities to accomplish this purpose, monitoring the quality/competence of one's activities, and monitoring one's progress toward the purpose. Self-management is contrasted with micro-management: the dominant style ofthe traditional or "old school" ofmanagement. Intrinsic motivation and selfmanagement are more congruent with the military's strategic human resource requirements in the twenty-first century, as exemplified by Total Quality Management, Force XXI, and the U.S. Army as a learning organization. The potential benefits ofintrinsic task motivation and self-management include, at the individual level, flexibility, adaptation, responsiveness, innovation, learning, and satisfaction. These, in turn, are expected to lead to enhanced retention and readiness, at individual and unit levels
NPS Report NumberNPS-SM-96-001
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