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The self-determination theory perspective on motivation in organizations

Published on July 4, 2010 Reviewed on May 30, 2018   45 min

Other Talks in the Series: Managing Organizations

0:00
Hello. I'm Edward Deci and it's a pleasure to have this opportunity to speak with you today. I'm a psychologist and my field is human motivation, which is a very interesting topic for me because it applies to so many domains of our lives. We're interested in how to motivate our children. We're interested in how to motivate our students. We're interested in how to motivate our patients. We're interested in how to motivate our employees. Motivation is relevant in each of these different domains as well as others. But today, I'm only going to talk about one of those domains and that's the domain of organizations or the workplace. Now I'm going to do that by using a particular theory. It's called "Self-Determination Theory". It's a theory that my colleague Richard Ryan and I, working with many collaborators, have been developing over the past 30 years or so. So I'll begin by telling you a little about motivation and about self-determination theory and then moving on to the applications of this information to the workplace.
1:11
Motivation is what moves people. It's all about the energy that we have for behavior. The traditional view of motivation is a unitary view.
1:20
It says in essence that motivation is something that differs only in amount. You can have more motivation or you can have less motivation. People are always asking, how can I get my children more motivated to do what I want them to do or even how can I get myself more motivated? They're focused on the amount of motivation. I've always thought however, that the amount of motivation is not really the most important thing to think about. I take a differentiated view of motivation which means that I'm interested in the type of motivation because different types of motivation function differently and ultimately, I think the type of motivation may be even more important than the amount of motivation.
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The self-determination theory perspective on motivation in organizations

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