Please share this content...

Understanding Motivation Improves Performance

Understanding Motivation A Key to ERP SuccessWhat we know is that many unique knowledge, organizational, and motivational influences exist that can have a significant impact on ERP organizational change success. Understanding organizational as well as individual motivation, or lack thereof, is critical to any large-scale ERP organizational change effort. What we also know is that through research-based principles and strategies relating to motivation theory specifically, organizations can enhance learning and performance.

Applying Proper Motivational Strategy

Clark and Saxberg (2019) state a crucial notion regarding motivational influences:  “Yet managers are often at a loss as to how to effectively motivate uninspired employees. Our review of research on motivation indicates that the key is for managers to first accurately identify the reason for an employee’s lack of motivation and then apply a targeted strategy.”  Clark and Saxberg (2019) then add, “Applying the wrong strategy (say, urging an employee to work harder, when the reason is that they’re convinced they can’t do it) can actually backfire, causing motivation to falter further.”

Definition of Motivation

Clark and Estes (2008) describe knowledge as what one knows and how one does things while motivation initiates and keeps one engaged. Clark and Estes describe motivation as consisting of three indexes: active choice, persistence, and mental effort. Active choice is where intention is replaced by action, persistence is where one continues amongst distractions, and mental effort is where one works smarter and develops novel ideas and solutions (Clark & Estes, 2008). Understanding motivation and motivational influences is needed because it energizes and guides behavior towards successful performance outcomes (Sansone & Harackiewicz, 2000). In upcoming posts, we will take a closer look and examine some motivation theories, and research-based principles, that affect stakeholder learning, development, and performance as it relates to ERP organizational change.

The application of sound research-based motivational principles can have a direct and significant impact on practice.

“Motivational Traps” (as defined and described by Clark and Saxberg, 2019)

Gilley and colleagues (2009) stated that the behaviors of organizational leadership have a direct effect in advocating for an environment of organizational change. This means that an organization’s ability to properly understand, assess, and then take action needs to be carefully considered. Understanding motivational principle research, theory, and principles allow organizational leaders to better advocate for proper motivation and guide how best to address motivational gaps. In their article, “4 Reasons Good Employees Lose Their Motivation”, Richard E. Clark and Bror Saxberg list the following four “Motivational Traps” and strategies founded in principle to address each. The “motivational traps” include:

“Trap 1, Values Mismatch: I don’t care enough to do this

Trap 2, Lack of Self-Efficacy: I don’t think I’m able to do this.

Trap 3, Disruptive Emotions: I’m too upset to do this.

Trap 4, Attribution Errors: I don’t know what went wrong with this.”

Learn more here:

Article by Dr. Jack G. Nestell

Additional Information:

Interested in even more? Please check out this link with articles and papers from Dr. Richard Clark. Our friend of N&A and colleague, Dr. Richard Clark is Emeritus Professor of Educational Psychology and Technology in the Rossier School of Education and Emeritus Clinical Research Professor of Surgery in the Keck School of Medicine:

Get our blog posts and podcast episodes (coming January 2021) right in your inbox! Nestell & Associates News

Learn more about Nestell & Associates:

Clark, R. E., & Estes, F. (2008). Turning research into results: A guide to selecting the right performance solutions. Information Age.

Clark, R. E. & Saxberg, B. (March 13, 2019).  4 Reasons Good Employees Lose Their Motivation.  Harvard Business Review.

Gilley, A., Gilley, J. W., & McMillan, H. S. (2009). Organizational change: Motivation, communication, and leadership effectiveness. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 21(4), 75–94.

Sansone, C., & Harackiewicz, J. M. (Eds.). (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation: The search for optimal motivation and performance. Elsevier.



Please share this content...