Zedeck and Blood (1974) defined motivation as a predisposition to act in a specific goal-directed way.
On the other hand, according to Gellerman (1963), motivation refers to steering one’s actions towards certain goals and committing a certain part of one’s energies to reach them.
It is also defined as the immediate influences on the direction, vigour and persistence of action (Atkinson, 1964).’
One of the older definitions of motivation was provided by Jones (1955) according to whom, motivation refers to how behaviour gets started, is energized, is sustained, is directed, is stopped and what kind of subjective reaction is present in the organism while all this is going on.
On the basis of the preceding definitions we may say that motivation is characterized by the following features:
(a) Motivation is an internal feeling which energizes people and drives them towards specific behaviour.
(b) It produces goal-directed behaviour.
(c) Forces within an individual and the surrounding external environments influence the behaviour of an individual, the intensity of the drive and the direction of their energy.
(d) Motivation can be positive leading to satisfactory performance or it can be negative leading to poor performance.
(e) It is an intangible concept or process. We may observe individuals’ behaviour and infer whether they are motivated or not but it is not possible to ascertain the exact reason behind their behaviour.
(f) Many of the needs of individuals keep changing over a period of time.
(g) People satisfy their needs in different ways.
(h) Behaviour is concerned with ‘what’ people do whereas motivation is concerned with ‘why’ they do it.
(i) Motivation and job satisfaction are not synonymous concepts fthough they may be associated with each other.
Managers strive to motivate employees for better performance in terms of making them put in more efforts, being punctual and regular in coming to the school/college and to positively contribute to institutional effectiveness.
However, an individual’s job performance is a function of his/her ability, motivation as well as environment.
This implies that to be an effective teacher, one must possess the competencies, knowledge, skills to teach (ability), must want to teach effectively (motivation) and must have the necessary books, teaching aids, space, other resources etc. to teach (environment).
A deficiency in any of these influences teacher performance adversely. A Manager must make efforts to ensure that employees get all the three.
If a teacher does not have the ability to teach, he/she may be trained and sent for staff development programmes. If he/she lacks the infrastructural facilities, an educational manager can take steps to provide them. However, if motivation is lacking, the manager faces a very complex situation and has to determine what will make the teacher work harder.