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date: 17 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Work motivation is a crucial, yet complex resource for employees and organizations. Scholars have investigated motivation at work through many theoretical lenses that are often examined in isolation from one another. This chapter seeks to bridge these various perspectives, first by providing a review of dominant theoretical lenses and second by presenting an integrative framework. The historical review includes a consideration of reinforcement theory, Maslow’s need hierarchy, valence–instrumentality–expectancy theory, the theory of planned behavior, goal-setting theory, self-regulation theories, achievement goal theory, regulatory fit theory, and self-determination theory. Together, these theories identify key mechanisms through which work motivation directs and regulates behavior, as well as antecedents and consequences of motivation. The integrative motivation framework distills insights from the various motivational theories, providing a heuristic to understand what (goal choice: characteristics and content), how (goal striving: macro- and microprocesses), where, and when (antecedents: personal and contextual) employees will be motivated to work.

Keywords: employee motivation, rewards, values, needs, goal striving, goal choice, optimal functioning

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