20 March 2009IntroductionThe expression motivation is derived from the Latin word “movere”, which means to move. The word motivation can be defined as the internal desire that activates persons’ behaviour and gives the direction in which the person will achieve a given direction. Thus, motivation can be generally be defined as what determines a person to engage in a given behaviour. The main aim of motivation is to maximize pleasure and minimize physical pain. Motivation brings many factors into play and the resultant aim to get the most benefit from a given task.
Motivation plays an important role in the way that the fire and rescue staff are motivated to achieve their aims and goals of the given organization. Thus, it is important for the management of the fire and rescue department to embrace or institute motivational strategies to ensure that the staffs involve their entire capabilities in achieving the goals of the organization. Hence, how can the staff be motivated? There is a Chinese saying that “you can take the horse to the water but you cannot force it to drink”.
The horse will only drink the water, if it is thirsty, an approach that motivation plays in human psychology. Motivation will ensure that the workers excel in their tasks whether weight or difficulty that they have to go through. Thus, for any business setting to succeed, they have to embrace and develop ways in which the workers and staff are motivated. These workers will achieve and accomplish the guidelines and requirements of the organization, which are usually stipulated in the mission statements and vision statements of the respective organizations. In the case of fire and rescue department, motivation ensures that the staffs provide their services at whether cost to assist and ensure that the community is safe and the community can accomplish their day-to-day activities.
This is the fundamental goal of every governmental organization and various stakeholders including the community people, environmental agencies and community development organizations. Many scientists and authors have developed theories that give guidelines for human motivation, which is the core of organizational behaviour. Sansone & Harackiewicz, (2000) describes motivation in two perspectives, either intrinsic or extrinsic, a view that is supported by many psychologist and other scientists.
In the case of intrinsic motivation, Ryan & Deci (2000) view it has coming from within the person and usually affects the behaviour, well being and performance. Moreover, the extrinsic motivation plays an important role in ensuring that the staffs are motivated. However, different literature plays an important role in making these perspectives to clash. The main conflict lies from the perspective of Deci, Koestner, and Ryan’s (1999a), in fact, they state that “tangible rewards tend to have a substantially negative effect on intrinsic motivation” (p.
658). However, Eisenberger et al (1999) view this assertion from another perspective by stating that the views of Deci et al are mistaken and they propose that more research on the topic should be given consideration. Many scientists and authors accept that extrinsic motivation was first since it revolves around material possessions, prestige and rewards. In fact it is traced to the research that was carried out by Thorndike (1911), the study that was carried out by the Minneapolis Gas Company between 1945 to 1965, and even the laboratory experiments such as the one of the Emery Air Freight study (Hamner, 1976).
These tries are based on changing the extrinsic motivational factors to shape the motivation capabilities of the person. Thus, manipulating extrinsic motivation factors, Komaki (1982) acknowledges that it as improved on punctuality, productivity and quality of completed work.