This page is prepared by Prof. Tim Richardson for his students.

This page last updated 2013 Sept 17
This web page has audio clips - just click on the icon (like the one to the left) and you can hear Prof. Richardson's voice adding additional information to topics on the page. turn on your speakers to hear audio clips
. This page used in the following courses taught by Prof. Richardson
SSC 100
CCT 322
CCT 224
MRK 1106

This page deals with

  o Motivation - for personal purposes
  o Understanding motivation for marketing effectively.

Some of the information on this page comes from the texts listed below, most of the information
comes from Prof. Richardson and current and former students
page 441- 445 in "Marketing, 10th Edition" by Sommers and Barnes 
- used in CCT 322 at UTM page 317 - 322  in "Understanding Canadian Business 5th ed." by Nickels, McHugh et al
- used in BUS 106 at Seneca College
page 127 - 128 in Marketing 8th Canadian Edition by Crane, Kerin, Hartley et al
used in MRK106 in Sept 2013
Motivation and Marketing

The study of what causes people to buy a product, so you can design promotion (advertising and publicity) to effectively cause they buyer to... buy

Motivation and Management

The study of what causes people to perform better to increase productivity in an intensely globalized competitive market where companies are stresed to cut costs while producing more at the same time

Is it possible to really be effective at motivating people?
... Is it possible to really be effective at motivating people?

If so, how do you do it?

Prof. Richardson has some previous experience with "motivating" people and an explanation of this can be found at

Historically, people have approached motivation with a carrot or stick approach.
meaning if the person accepts urging to do something they will be rewarded, the carrot, or they will accept urging cause if they do not take steps, you'll beat them with a stick so they will be "motivated" out of fear.

It is my personal opinion that neither method is truly successful since it involves trickery and is inherently false and susceptable to short term results.

The best way to motivate a person is to approach it from the angle of creating strong and sustained interest in the goal, which will serve to draw the person into a path of personal motivation that will lead to them truly wanting to achieve the required objectives leading to the ultimate prize. This path can be expressed as an equation which is outline below.

Is it possible to really be effective at motivating people?
Interest leads to Want
Want equals How
How creates Action

To successfully motivate someone, you first have  to understand that most successful motivation only happens if the person approaches this willingly and enthusiastically - you have to want to be motivated - it is almost impossible to motivate someone who does not want to be urged; all you can do is threaten them.

If the person wants to be motivated, then you can assist them in discovering the steps by using a series of probing questions to help them clearly identify specifically what they want. If they don't know what they want, you can help them by providing information on the choices / opportunities available, which they might not know

Although most people are motivated to some degree, the question is not simple. The challenge lies in assisting them to take the motivation through a series of steps that lead to action, which leads to the accomplishment of what they wanted. Once a person can see the action that needs to take place, then the motivation is sometimes easier to move forward because it becomes possible to see a glimmer of success, meaning some results can be obtained from taking just a few steps.

Is it possible to really be effective at motivating people?
click to hear
... Essentially the equation begins with Interest leading to the identification of a specific want. This is not an easy thing. Sometimes, if you are doing this by yourself, you have to read a lot, or watch a lot in order to have some chance of learning about something that you previously did not know existed.

If you are helping to motivate someone else, you can start by telling them about things they might not know.

For example, I once had a marketing student who was in the accounting program. They were doing poorly and I asked them what is the problem. They said they were in accounting only cause they did well on math, but had no real interest in being an accountant and didn't want to continue.

I explained that there are many things you can do with an accounting background that has nothing to do with being and actual accountant. So I asked this student what did they really want to do, and they said "I want to be a cop", so I told them "police forces are always interested in hiring people with accounting and financial backgrounds for use in forensic accounting". The student said "what's that", I explained "forensic accounting is figuring out how bad guys stole money from a company - like CSI for numbers". The student became interested and proceeded to learn more about accounting in the context of criminal activity, which turned out to be very interesting for them.

So, sometimes, motivating a person can simply be using your experience to be able to explain things, or describe things in a way that the other person never heard of, and therefore they can become interested in something they previously didn't even know existed.

Once you specifically know what you Want, then comes the step of figuring out How you will take action to get that thing you want.

Is it possible to really be effective at motivating people?
click to hear
... Once you have some  idea of the Action you will take, then the Motivation (or rather the Goal to be accomplisged) seems realistic since it is no longer just an idea, but in fact an achievable objective  which has a consequence.

So if you are motivating a person at this concluding stage, it is simply a matter of checking to see that they do indeed carrying out those action steps and if they stumble, help them overcome any obstacles.

WTGR 1997

. from the great site of Dr. Ardeshir Lohrasbi
teaching BUS 322 Operations Management
University of Illinois at Springfield

Historical Perspectives on Motivation

click to hear

  • wrote "Principles of Scientific Management" at a time when it was believed science could solve many things
  • the idea of studyng workers to find the most efficient ways of doing things and then teaching other workers those techniques
  • used to time people doing things with a stop watch and then try ot figure out how to do it faster either by advising them on how they lay out materials or handle tools
  • famous for "time - motion" studies (still used in the 1990's)
  • incentive pay system

  • "assumed that economic gain was everyone's primary motivation"
  • "He believed that management knew more about the jobs being performed than the workers"
  • Taylor's perspective influenced by the heritage of the Industrial Revolution
  • assumed people didn't like their jobs and that they only did it for the money
  • (which may have been true in the factors of Northern England in the late 1800's)

found online by student Kenny K at UTSC in MGTC46 in March 2011, this Dilbert cartoon was first published in Oct 1998
Historical Perspectives on Motivation Mayo (Harvard University)
  • assumed that employees want to feel useful
  • employees have strong social needs
  • social needs more important than money in motivating employees
  • recommended that you allow employees to make suggestions and participate even if that results in no action
  • Hawthorne effect - people behave differently when they know they are being studied
Historical Perspectives on Motivation Herzberg 
  • different sets of factors associated with satisfaction and dissatisfaction
  • satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not necessarily at opposite ends !!
  • "Herzberg's theory is not held in high esteem by researchers in the field"
  • Herzberg explained online 

    (thanks to student Andy Lee for the updated link)
  • said the most important motivating factors were
    • sense of achievement
    • earned recognition
    • interest in the work itself
    • opportunity for growth
    • opportunity for advancement
    • importance of responsibility
    • peer and group relationships
    • pay
    • supervisor's fairness
    • company policies and rules
    • status
    • job security
    • supervisor friendliness
    • working conditions
  • Herzberg said most importantly workers like to feel they contribute to the company
Historical Perspectives on Motivation Maslow
  • Maslow's "hierarchy of needs"
  • based on people wanting to satisfy the basic needs, and when those are satisfied, they will look to satisfy

Motivation Read this web page to understand all the steps
  • Physiological needs. Biological necessities such as food, water, and oxygen. These needs are the strongest because a person would die if they were not met.
  • Safety needs. People feel unsafe during emergencies or times of disorder like rioting. Children more commonly have this need met when they feel afraid.
  • Love and belonging needs. The need to escape loneliness  and alienation, to give and receive love, and a sense of belonging.
  • Esteem needs. The need to feel valuable; to have self-respect and the respect of others. If a person does not fulfil these needs, they feel inferior, weak, helpless, and worthless.
  • Self-actualization needs. Maslow taught that a very small group of people reach a level called self-actualization, where all of their needs are met. Maslow described self-actualization as a person's  finding their "calling." He said, "a musician must make music, an artist must paint, and a poet must write." 
The reason why we look at the historical perspectives on Motivation is that in some cases, companies today still use some of these methods because the senior management have outdated perspectives.

The traditional rendering of Maslow's Hierachy of Needs
In August 2013 former UTM student Marc Nashaat
( ) posted in WTGR's "former students of witiger Facebook group" a different way of seeing the importance of different needs.

At first glance one might dismiss this as just an amusing observation, but for our increasingly urban and web-connected population, (and for Canadians jacked up by an oligopoly of cell phone providers who's high rates cause us all to look for WiFi everywhere) searching for WiFi could be considered a need beyond all others since once you have that connection, you can in turn use your device to find all the other things you need... agreed??


found online by student Kenny K at UTSC in MGTC46 in March 2011, this Dilbert cartoon was first published in Aug 1996


photo supplied by Jessie
(lighting her candle)
Student Jessie L. in CCT322 at UTM in early Feb 2011 emailed to say
Hi Professor Richardson,

Last week in class you mentioned motivation and Maslow's hierarchy so I would like to share a Dan Pink presentation on motivation that I really enjoyed, especially because he's the author of the textbook I have to read for my CCT205 course called A Whole New Mind.

Jessie wrote
Basically, Pink wants us to understand that there is a "mismatch between what science knows and what businesses do" because it has been proven numerous times that in the Conceptual Age (or 21st century), different things motivate right-brain workers. Many experiments showed that If a task requires mechanical skills, the higher the money incentive the better they
operate. However, if a task requires even rudimentary cognitive skill, the higher the financial incentive the poorer the performance. In fact, the London School of Economics stated that financial incentives lead to worse results.
Pink uses "The Candle Problem" to illustrate his point that the if-then type of reward actually kills creativity.
Jessie adds
In this new era, the best kind of motivation is intrinsic, which is based on autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Organizations should then offer people the opportunity to direct their own life, support individual desires to become better at what they do, and allow people to do what they do for something greater than themselves. This is the reason why companies that follow ROWE (results-only work environment) are more successful with employee performance, satisfaction, and retention rate. In other words, businesses that have no specific rules or schedules and only require employees to get the job done regardless of when, where, or how are the best.

So here's the link on TED if you haven't seen it and would like to share all this on the course website

WTGR replies 
Thanks for sharing, interesting how motivation to do something may effect our ability to do something,BTW, just so you know, Dan Pink's background was as a speech writer for Al Gore and he is considered by some people to be just an eager motivation speaker out to make a buck...
The Candle story reminds me of the Japanese proverb "Todai moto kurashi"

Student Kenny K. in MGTC46 at UTSC in mid-March 2011 emailed to say

Hi Professor Richardson,

I was reading the section on your website concerning the importance of  morale and it really got me thinking about my past experiences. I for  one can definitely agree that high morale in a team environment is 
vital to success. 

Kenny adds
This past year I was the Curriculum Manager for LIVE Conference 2010 and there were times when the morale of our team was very low. 

During this time team members were constantly bickering with each other, efficiency was at an all time low and nobody was motivated to do anything! This was a very big problem since it was crunch time and the conference was quickly approaching. Eventually once the problem was sorted out, you could just feel a different vibe throughout the whole team. When morale was high, we all worked harder and just simply cared more. Just wanted to share my thoughts regarding  this topic, and how morale is not only important in a workplace, but across all aspects of life as well.

WTGR replies 
Great Kenny - and I think this would also be a great thing to mention during the end of a job interview when they ask you "do you have anything else to add", because it demonstrates your strength of character


found online by student Kenny K at UTSC in MGTC46 in March 2011, this Dilbert cartoon was first published in September 28, 2003
Historical Perspectives on Motivation ERG Theory
  • collapses the need for hierarchy by Maslow into three levels
    • Existence
    • Relatedness
    • Growth
  • if a need remains unsatisfied, the individual becomes frustrated and regresses to a lower level
Perspectives on Motivation Job Enrichment Theory

A motivational strategy that emphasizes motivating the worker through the job itself. People who advocate this theory believe 5 characteristics of work to be important

  • Skill variety
  • Task identity
    • things have a visible outcome, you can clearly see what is being done
  • Task significance
    • the degree to which the task has a useful impact in others
    • "do ya feel useful"
  • Autonomy
    • freedom and independence in certain aspects of work and some procedures
  • Feedback
Perspectives on Motivation McGregor's Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X


  • most people dislike work
  • workers must therefore be controlled, punished, disciplined, threatened
  • motivators are fear and money
Theory Y


  • most people like to work
  • people naturally work towards goals
  • some people seek responsibility
  • in industry, people's potential is only partially acknowledged
  • people are motivated by a variety of things
Motivation for management Motivation for sales people and compensation
page 504 - 505 in Marketing 8th Canadian Edition by Crane, Kerin, Hartley et al
used in MRK106 in Sept 2013
Salesperson motivation
- traditionally it was thought that
  • a clear job description
  • effective sales management practices
  • a personal need for achievement
  • proper compensation
will motivate sales people

2013 - IT companies are finding that it is also important to consider additional factors in motivating sales people who are the Internet generation

Motivation and elite sports Team Canada had plenty of motivation to win Olympic gold in Vancouver in Feb 2010 in front of a hockey-mad host nation in Vancouver, but just in case they needed some extra inspiration, they found it on the wall of their dressing room at Canada Hockey Place.
"Let's Make Sure they know who's game they are playing"

USA hockey player phones in sick 

Below is the English version of whatthe coach wrote on the wall. It was written by Canadian head coach Mike Babcock with help from Rick Larsen. 

    * That this is our game.
    * That this is our time.
    * That 14 days in February will be 2 weeks for the ages.
    * That every day counts.
    * That every meeting matters.
    * That every practice makes a difference.
    * That each one of us will rise to every occasion.
    * That this isn't about us, it's about our country.
    * That we know 33 million Canadians will attend every game.
    * That home ice is an advantage.
    * That nothing can distract us.
    * That nothing will stop us.
    * That our determination will define us.
    * That we are built to win.
    * That we are a team of character.
    * That we are a team of destiny.
    * So let the world be warned on February 28, 2010, we will ...

Canada 3, USA 2 
2010 Feb 28th


.. . .,,,,
  Prof. W. Tim G. Richardson ©