The process of evaluating motivation, especially motivation which directly leads to achievement, is a difficult one. Adding to this challenge is the fact that behaviour is always a result of ability and motivation.
This, therefore, makes it difficult to assess motivation as an isolated criterion. In spite of all this, measuring motivation cannot be simply disregarded, for in the context of human evaluation, motivation may be considered an essential and professionally relevant factor next only to cognitive skills (Annen et al. 2-6).
Identifying a fitting method for measuring motivation is very important—especially in determining motivation in learning outcomes, as it is possible to obtain differing values of motivation (Darabi 1-4).
West and Uhlenberg (47-55) created random grouping of methods used by researchers to measure motivation. These 5 methods (production measures, self-report instruments, observer ratings, projective tests, and objective tests), which are explained below, are the ones that will be used in our study.
This group consists of measuring tests and devices that are relatively common indicators of achievement. Production measures include the grade-point average (GPA); as well as other related indicators such as position, status, and awards; perseverance, risk-taking, and delay of gratification; and voluntary activities.
For the most part, production measures are preferable because of their modest nature—that is, they can be obtained without alerting the subject that measurement is occurring, thus avoiding any possible bias. In addition, they are often easy to obtain from extant records, as in the case of GPA.
While production measures exhibit a face validity which lends credibility to their use, this may be misleading, as it is easy to accept the idea that motivation manifests itself in certain behaviours. However, it is more difficult to determine just what those behaviours will be.
Production measures may be disadvantageous in the long run due to the validity problem. This makes it difficult to separate from motivation the intervening variables that contribute unknown effects to measures of production (West & Uhlenberg 47-55).
These require the cooperation of a respondent in order to get responses that may be worthy of examination in the study. Examples of self-report instruments include questionnaires; inventories; Activities Preference Achievement Scale (APAS); and the Self Report Form R-3. In general, self-report instruments are easy to construct, administer, score, and interpret.
A major disadvantage comes from the confidence which one must place in the respondent’s self-understanding and cooperation. In this view, the validity of data from self-report instruments can reasonably be challenged by questioning whether or not an individual is truly able to recognise and categorise his own motives (West & Uhlenberg 47-55).
Observer ratings, in general, have certain features which gives it an air of desirability. This method offers a means of obtaining data without the bias of social desirability (that is, the respondent answers to conform to social norms instead of following personal beliefs). Moreover, observer ratings may be fashioned to fit any conception of motivation, and, depending on their complexity, they are quite easy to administer.
The examiner’s memory may be sufficient to complete a rating process; if they are completed as such, the process is rendered unobtrusive, though probably less accurate than an immediate recording of observations would be. However, the undesirable features of observer ratings are serious.
Reliability and validity are serious problems. Even more telling is whether the questions or the behaviours enumerated actually constitute a manifestation of motivation; this is a basic consideration which remains unresolved (West & Uhlenberg 47-55).
Projective tests are characterised mainly for eliciting a relatively unstructured response from the examinee. This is based on the premise that when the response is unrestricted, the person will be more likely to project aspects of his personality into the task. For this to happen, the stimulus must be equivocal. In this view, projective tests can function as a disguised testing procedure.
Because of the unstructured quality of both stimulus and the response, the subject is rarely aware of the reasons why he is being tested or of the type of psychological interpretations which will be made from his responses. This, in effect, reduces the likelihood that responses will be biased by social desirability.
A significant drawback of projective tests is the nature of the responses to be subjected to interpretation. This means that in spite of scoring guides and categories, it is easy for investigators to come to very different conclusions about the same responses (West & Uhlenberg 47-55).
Objective tests are assessment procedures which obtain consistent scoring from different scorers and which also conceal from the examinee the nature of the scoring and interpretation of his responses. Objective tests can be scored by untrained personnel using key, machine, or computer because answers are agreed upon by all scorers.
This means that the person’s performance, having been quantified, can be subjected to statistical treatment. Objective tests offer quite a number of advantages. In general they yield scores free from the bias of social desirability and free from scoring variations, and as such, they usually exhibit higher reliability than other techniques.
They can be administered to large groups easily and efficiently, and they are amenable to machine-scoring and to hand-scoring by untrained personnel. They lend themselves easily to statistical analysis. However, like the preceding tests, there remains the question of validity.
Does the test really measure what it says it does? This is a question which is not easily answered but has to be faced. It is possible that the advantages gained in efficiency by objective techniques may be offset by the inability to solicit responses relevant to academic motivation (West & Uhlenberg 47-55).
From the discussions made in this paper, it is worth stating that the purposed study will greatly help in giving us new insights into employee motivation at workplaces. In essence, employee motivation results from a combined effort of employees, their supervisors, managers, clients and even related organs of business control like the government.
However minimal the contribution might be, the paper has revealed that each person involved in the circle of business can have a positive influence in motivating the others. In other words, when all these parties play their roles adequately, lack of motivation can be easily reduced. Organizations should therefore design ways in which motivation in employees is highly facilitated in their business endeavors.
As a matter of fact, many organizations have been able to design several theories, strategies and policies to help reduce the lack of motivation at work. However, there are some challenges and limitations that have limited efficiency in ensuring proper motivation by workers. It is with that in mind that this proposal was, in fact, written.
As we all know, change is a gradual process and whatever steps taken in the right direction always add up to something significant. And just like it has been stated above, a good number of initiatives are currently underway in the effort to reduce lack of motivation at work.
However, as stated above, there are still many more things that need to be done in order for to ultimately find ways of strongly sustaining the current motivation initiatives while avoiding the present challenges and limitations.
This might seem like a long way to go; but if relevant positive steps are taken, this dream might just be turned into a reality sooner than we think or anticipate. As noted in the summary, success in enhancing motivation requires a combined effort.
It is for this reason that this endeavour calls for everyone involved to appropriately play his/her part. It is only by doing this that we can have some assurance that our plans, of having working environments that are fully motivated, can be realized.
As at now, it is clear that motivation plays an important role in the businesses. Through motivation; workers are able to work effectively, managers and supervisors are able to lead as expected while the consumers are also able to participate effectively in making better the arena of business. For this reason, companies should continually ensure that everyone involved in the company is motivated toward playing his/her part.
Annen, Hubert., Kamer, Barbara., & Bellwald, Mellanie E. “How to measure achievement motivation? An explorative study to measure achievement motivation in a selective Assessment Center.” Military Academy at ETH Zurich, 2005. Web. 13 December 2011. <http://www.internationalmta.org/Documents/2005/2005003P.pdf>
Darabi, Aubteen. “Measuring Motivation in Instruction and Training: A Cognitive Load Perspective.” The Learning Systems Institute at Florida State University, 2004, Web. 13 December 2011. <http://www.internationalmta.org/Documents/2004/2004002P.pdf>
West, Sara., & Uhlenberg, Donald. “Measuring Motivation.” Theory into Practice, 9 (1970): 47-55. Web. 13 December 2011.