How Can You Motivate Knowledge Workers?

Expectancy Theory > Best Practices > How Can You Motivate Knowledge Workers?

How Can You Motivate Knowledge Workers?
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 t...Sign up

Knowledge Workers Motivate Themselves
G.J. Bouwman, Business Consultant, Netherlands, Member
A Dutch book I like is "Leidinggeven aan professionals? Niet doen." (Ed: Leading professionals? Don't.) written by Mathieu Weggeman. What I like is th...Sign up

Bucks and Rush on Motivating Knowledge Workers
Gustavo Ruiz, HR Consultant, Spain, Member
Where is the money? Many knowledge workers tell the boss: "show me the money". This is one of the unknown (yet well known) factors.
Anothe...Sign up

Be a Leader..
Nelson Hernandez Manso
If somebody ask for the money, don't take it. I am with Bouwman: knowledge raise, power in company.. "To boldy go an alpha manager". Use the la...Sign up

The Candle Experiment
In this video Dan Pink says for 21st century...Sign up

Motivation of Knowledge Workers
barhoumi chawki, Coach, France, Member
If we understand the expectancies of (knowledge) workers, we can realize the objectives of the firm....Sign up

There is Nothing like Self-motivation
Madan Gopal Agarwal, Business Consultant, India, Member
Firstly, many workers are knowledge workers, so the scope is very wide.
Secondly, there is nothing like 'self-motivation'. Is there any case stud...Sign up

Motivational Factors
Mrs c usha rani, Professor, India, Member
Knowledge, attitude and hard work are key terms for success. In addition to these, spiritual management such as allowing employees to express their in...Sign up

Intrinsic Motivation is Possible
Daniel Carriere, Project Manager, Netherlands, Member
Higher educated people are very able to motivate themselves. You as their leader should facilitate in enabling self motivation and taking contr...Sign up

Vrooms Theory and Motivating Knowledge Workers
prasad, Professor, India, Member
This entire thing about motivation smells of that Theory X belief. I think it is a fictional thing. There is only being focused in life and excelling....Sign up

The Art of Being a Leader
joko triyono, Director, Indonesia, Member
Vroom's theory is more specific than Maslow or Herzberg. We can apply it effectively with a direct subordinate by knowing individually what they expe...Sign up

Career Enhancement
farhadjabeen Shaikh, India, Member
I believe knowledge workers always want more from their work, more autonomy, variety, and challenges. A knowledge worker will move if he does n...Sign up

Group Lobbing as a Motivation
Alexander N. Raikov, Director, Russian Federation, Member
Money and rush are important nowadays for knowledge creation. But they are only a necessary condition.
Immaterial motivation is much more impo...Sign up

Motivating Knowledge Workers
Tony Nasirembe, Management Consultant, Kenya, Member
In a knowledge worker environment, motivation is driven by empowerment and release. Control and punishment are inhibitors of motivation. Recogn...Sign up

Balance Between Body, Mind and Soul
Ramakrishnan, Professor, India, Member
It is immaterial whether one is a knowledge worker or a skilled worker. Basically he or she is an individual made up of three components namely body, ...Sign up

Cultural Factors in Motivating Knowledge Workers
Per Ola Post
Very often we face books written in the US explaining how the human behaviour is. I am often struck by the fact that c...Sign up

Motivation for Result
ADENIJI ADETUNJI, Accountant, Nigeria, Member
A motivated staff member, driven by his needs, will no doubt be a productive employee. Managers need to identify these factors. When aligned to the em...Sign up

Distinguish Stimulus and Motive
Inna Borodina, Professor, Russian Federation, Member
Motive is not the same as a stimulus. Money is a stimulus.
A motive is a "real" perpetuum mobile. It is a system with feedback....Sign up

Motivation Differs for Everyone
Jacob Andrews, Entrepreneur, United Arab Emirates, Member
There is no single universally accepted definition of motivation. It is a state of mind and it differs for everyone.
Hence every manager struggl...Sign up

How Can You Motivate Workers?
J. D. Popham, Professor, China, Member
Background: I teach, in English, a management course & an intro stats course to Chinese students at a tier 2 univ. In China. I start off with a ppt ou...Sign up

Motivating Knowledge Workers
Natarajan Ramanathan
Due to space constraints, let me just put bullet points:
A. Knowledge is like water - it will go and accumulate at the lowest point. That ...Sign up

Then... Managing is an Art
Nelson Hernandez Manso
Wonderful! A lot of knowledge, a lot of people to understand and motivate, including the manager.
I agree, strongly with C. Usha and Popham. Coun...Sign up

Fostering the Context, Rewards and Recognition
David J. MacCoy, Management Consultant, Canada, Member
Knowledge workers from information technology, financial services, scientific research, engineering and health services are largely self-motivated<...Sign up

Motivating Knowledge Workers
There are approximately 17 theories on motivation.
The expectancy theory of Vroom is one of the five Theories of the Processes, in ...Sign up

Motivation of a Knowledge Worker
Miguel S. Cordovez, Manager, Philippines, Member
Provide a clear and definitive motive or reason to take action....Sign up

Extrinsic Motivation
bliss ogbanga, Director, Nigeria, Member
The varying shades of opinions from different contributors on Vroom's expectancy theory make the debate an interest reading. Indeed I am benefited. I ...Sign up

6 Sources of (Individual) Motivation
David Whitfield, Professor, United States, Member
From reading Wlodkowski and McGregor, I believe motivation is owned by the individual; it comes from within.
Motivation stems from need. I...Sign up

How Can You Motivate Workers?
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
People do need to be nourished as Editor included, to be inspired as Bliss indicated, ultimately "achieving" by finding personal fulfillment in the wo...Sign up

Motivation of Knowledge Workers
Lloyd Madzokere, Student (Other), Zimbabwe, Member
Knowledge workers can be motivated by the work environment and the business culture of the organisation....Sign up

Motivation of Knowledge Workers
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
Yes, the work environment is a major motivating factor, in addition to the business culture of the organization. Reasonable expectations based on stra...Sign up

Positive and Negative Reinforcement
The real reinforcement is the positive one, because it is the only thing that makes people feel special. Positive reinforcements act constructi...Sign up


Heart Relates to Body, Mind, and Soul and Reducing Toxins and Inhibitors
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
@Gary Wong: I found your comments interesting, particularly the leave a legacy, spiritual intelligence. I think tha...Sign up

Making a Contribution as a Source of Motivation
Gary Wong, Consultant, Canada, Premium Member
@Kathryn Pawley Steiner: I like your connection of the Heart with eliminating toxins and inhibitors, the things tha...Sign up

Circular Arguments and Impossible Demands on Managers... Again!
Howie, Management Consultant, Australia, Member
@Madan Gopal Agarwal: Yes and this task is huge and the capacities for managers to do this are largely absent.
...Sign up

Motivating Knowledge Workers is Applicable to my Current Project
KATHRYN STEINER, MBA, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
The manager on our new project has been asking what motivates me, making this discussion immediately relevant. The elements Jaap has included from the...Sign up

Provide Climate for Motivation
Ralph Cagna, Entrepreneur, United States, Member
@Jacob Andrews: As a former military officer, we were exposed to several theories of leadership and motivation in ou...Sign up

Provide the Climate for Motivation
@Ralph Cagna: I am thoroughly agreeing with you. A leader or manager may create special conditions in order to help...Sign up

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