How Can You Motivate Knowledge Workers?

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Expectancy Theory > Best Practices

Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
In the current 'knowledge era', the question what motivates knowledge workers, and, being a manager, how you should motivate and manage them is important. In their article "The Progress of Small Wins" in HBR May 2011, Professor Theresa M. Amabile and researcher Steven J. Kramer are reporting interesting findings and formulate a principle. By the way, this principle reminded me strongly of above summarized Expectancy Theory (1964) of Victor Vroom (the article itself does not mention this). According to Amabile and Kramer what motivates knowledge workers is surprisingly simple: the sense of making progress in meaningful work (they call this the Progress Principle). In this Progress Principle, 3 elements are important: 1. Sense (similar to Vroom's Expectancy) 2. Making Progress (similar to Vroom's Instrumentality) 3. Meaningful (similar to Vroom's Valence) According to the authors 'this sense of making progress is fundamental to human nature, but few managers understand it or kno (...) Read more? Sign up for free

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