The identity of Motivation in Self-Determination Theory: From Principal-Agent Theory to Practice
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An underlying assumption associated with motivation is that people have the capacity for responsible actions, that they have a natural desire to learn and understand things, and that they have the desire to do good at work and play. As an empirically based theory of human motivation, Self Determination Theory (SDT) addresses several basic issues associated with cognitive, affective and psycho-motor development. Regulation and perception of the self, one’s psychological and emotional needs, life goals and aspirations, individual dynamism, culture and the impacts of social environments are key issues that determine one’s ability to self actualize. Self actualization is the focus of SDT. Motivation within this assumes a different dimension. Within this context it becomes necessary to consider issues associated with autonomous motivation, controlled motivation, and motivation as a predictor of performance. Therefore this paper recognizes and further develops SDT as a model to successfully motivate an organization’s workforce within the principal-agency theory. The premise that is adopted is that much of the work on motivation is not adequate to currently address the complex psycho-socio-economic issues associated with productivity of an organization’s workforce. If one considers that emotional and psychological growth is possible long after personality traits have been developed and sustained, then SDT provides a more robust description of human conduct within an organization. Self-imposed limitations and beliefs tend to retard the growth of self. The study recommends that the “self”, rather than external motivation is at the heart of creativity, responsibility, healthy behavior, sustained growth and most of all continued success for stakeholders in a principal-agent governed organization.