Motivation refers to an intrinsic force that controls and drives certain behaviors in individuals. Various theories postulate that motivation is generated by certain needs. Individuals often seek to minimize pain and maximize pleasure through motivation. According to Levesque, motivation is a process that initiates, guides and maintains goal-oriented behaviors (Levesque, 2007). It involves biological, emotional, social and cognitive forces that activate behavior. Motivation can be intrinsic or extrinsic. Intrinsic motivation results from within the individual while extrinsic motivation is caused by external factors or factors outside. Motivation is crucial in setting and attaining goals. Motivation results from conscious and unconscious factors such as intensity of desire or need, incentive or reward value of a goal and expectations of the individual and its significance.
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Creation of College Database
Immediately after finishing my high school, I was taken to a middle level college to study for a certificate in information and technology. During the first half of my first year at college, we were taught the basic of computing and a few programming skills such as the C++ programming language. When we returned back for the second term of the first year, we were taught about Management Information Systems (MIS) and Database Management Systems (DBMS). I learnt how to create information databases through programming. We assigned various tasks to test our understanding of the concepts earlier learned in class. All students were expected to apply the theoretical skills learnt in class in real life situations. The tutor assigned me the duty of creating a database of all the students of my class. The database was meant to facilitate easy access of students’ data on the systems. Various students’ details such as name, registration number, modules registered for, parents’ or guardian’s name, year of birth, place of residence and fee payment were to be captured and stored in the database. I was having enough confidence that I would accomplish the task successfully. Fortunately, and to my tutor’s surprise, I successfully created and completed the database. I was then tasked with feeding data into the newly created database for its effective testing and use.
Following this successful adventure, the tutor saw it wise that I create another more advanced database that could be used by the college for all students and the employees as well. This new database was to be much larger and more complex as compared to the one I previously created. It would be used by the colleges to gather data and stored information pertaining to all students and the employees. This meant that it would require more coding during programming and a more advanced programming language would be used as well.
I was rewarded when I successfully created the class database. I expected to be rewarded again if I successfully create this one, too. This is what kept me going for it. I felt that I just had to create. In fact, the tutor used to encourage me by saying that if it becomes successful, the college may buy it instead of me donating it for free. I saw this would be a good business opportunities for the youth like me. I was driven by the urge to make money and succeed in life just like other billionaires such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. I wanted to cater for my own basic needs and be able to pay my schools fees without involving my parents.
Immediate rewards included rewards by the college for successfully coming up with an essential asset for the organization. In long run, I expected recognition and fame. Likewise, I would make more money from sale of the database programs. I did not want to see myself as a failure, so I had to try as hard as I would to see it going through. I had to consult the tutor frequently every time I encountered a problem on the way. I would read numerous books on programming languages, program coding, database analysis and design.
I would consult employees in the computer department and other students who were taking a similar course in other colleges. We would share ideas and exchange notes. Finally, I embarked on the real task. I analyzed the various requirements of the college with respect to the database. I collected all the data and information that I needed for designing the database. When I finally finished the work, I contacted the tutor and handed it over to him.
Unfortunately when the program was installed in one of the computers for testing, it was only able to accommodate details of students alone. Data pertaining to the employees could not be fed into the databases. This forced me to reprogram and redesign the programs and the system. I was further encouraged by the tutor that there might be a minor error in the program that needs correction.
When I was through with all the correction, I handed it over to the tutor again. When it was tested, I failed again. Though I did not give up, I got discouraged and felt like another person should try to fix the problem. Analysis of the programs revealed that my coding was limited to a certain fixed number of entries, and that is why the database could only capture data pertaining to the students alone.
Analysis of the Situation
In my view, my urge to accomplish the task was driven by my expectations. I expected to receive rewards from the college. I expected to become famous and rich if the project succeeds. According to the expectation theory, I would maximize my pleasure by receiving monetary rewards from the college as well as non-monetary rewards from other people. Additionally, I would minimize the pain of feeling as a loser. My strength on successfully finishing the task was based on the belief that since the first task was accomplished effectively, this one could be done, too. I was confident with the level of skills I had to accomplish the task. The amount of support that I have got from my tutor and other colleagues was equally enough to remove fears of failing. Given that I had learned database creation in the classrooms and I was having the necessary materials and equipment, I was convinced of succeeding.
In relation to Maslow’s theory of needs, I was in the first level of the needs hierarchy, that is, physiological level. I was aiming at meeting my basic needs such as paying for school fees and money for food and clothing. It was this desire that influenced my course of action. In my view, my need for money was the most important and hence topped the hierarchy. If I could have met this need, I would have moved to another level of the pyramid till I reach self actualization level where I would enjoy recognition and fame.
Based on the incentive theory, since I was expecting a reward after the occurrence of the task, I was determined to finish it successfully. I engaged in the task mainly because of the expected profits that were to be gained. Herzberg would say that the drive was intrinsic based on his theory.
In my opinion, I learned that there are various factors that may motivate a person to perform a certain duty or task. These factors may vary from one individual to another depending on their personal wants and needs and goals of life. Additionally, no single theory would explain the forces behind such motivations.
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