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Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Understanding Motivation and Performance
A general performance model (shown bellow) indicates that a persons’ (P)
Depends on the interaction of motivation (M), KSAs and environment (E).
Motivation arises from your needs and beliefs about how best to satisfy those
needs. Both motivation and KSAs are part of your memory and thinking
systems (i.e., cognitive structure). Environment refers to the physical
surroundings in which performance must occur, including barriers and aids to
performance. Environment also includes the objects and events (cues) that your
might see as indicating that your performance will be rewarded or punished.
Performance (P)
Motivation (M)
Skills, and
Attitudes (KSA)
Environments (E)
P = M × KSA × E
Factors Determining Human Performance
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Motivation: Why DO They Art Like That?
Motivation is part a parson’s cognitive structure and is not directly
observable. Thus, it is typically defined in terms of its effects on
behavior, which are observable. Most of the scientific literature defines
Motivation as the direction, persistence, and amount of effort expended
by an individual to achieve a specified outcome. In other words, the
following factors reflect a person’s motivating:
o What need (s) the person is trying to satisfy
o What types of activities the person engages in to satisfy the need
o How long the person engages in the activity
o How hard the person works at the activity.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Need Theory
Our needs are the basis of our motivation and the reason for almost all of our
activity Understanding a person’s needs helps you understand his behavior.
From Maslow’s early work’s Clayton Alderfrer developed a needs theory of
motivation called ERG theory.
The initials ERG represent the three basic needs of the theory: existence,
relatedness, and growth.
Existence needs correspond to Maslow’s lower-order physiological and
security needs. They are the immediate needs required to sustain life-needs for
food, shelter, and the like-and the need for some security in the future for safe
and healthy life.
Relatedness needs reflect people’s need to be valued and accepted by others.
Interpersonal relationship and group membership (work, family, friends, etc.)
act to satisfy these need.
Growth needs included feelings of self-worth and competency and achieving
our potential. Recognition, accomplishment, challenging opportunities, and
felling of fulfillment are outcomes that can satisfy these needs.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Process Theories
Process theories of motivation describe how a person’s needs translate into
Classical Conditioning Classical conditioning is the association of a generalized
response to some signal in the environment. It typically involves learning to
emit a non-voluntary response to some signal that in the past did not produce
that response.
Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Unconditioned stimulus
(Meat powder)
Conditioned stimulus paired
With unconditioned stimulus
(Buzzer following closely in time,
Over many trials, by meat power)
Conditioned stimulus
(Buzzer alone)
Unconditioned response
Unconditioned response
Conditioned response
Classical Conditioning Process
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Skinner identified four types of consequences the can result from behavior.
Positive reinforcement
Negative reinforcement
When behavior results in either positive or negative reinforcement, the
likelihood that the behavior will occur in similar future circumstances is
Positive reinforcement occurs when your behavior rustles in something
desirable happening to you-either tangible (such as receiving money),
psychological (such as feeling pleasure, or some combination of the two.
Negative reinforcement occurs when your behavior results in removing
something you find annoying, frustrating, or unpleasant. This “good” outcome
increases your likelihood of repeating the behavior. For example, if you have a
headache, take an aspirin, and the headache goes away, the “aspirin-taking
response” is negatively reinforced.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Punishment decreases the likelihood of the response occurring in the future,
Like reinforcement, punishment can be tangible, psychological, or both and can
come from the environment or be self-administered.
The latter form of punishment is called extinction. For example, you might buy
books by a certain author because of the positive feelings you experience as
read them. However, while reading the last two books by this author, you did
not experiment those positive feelings.
Reinforcement versus Punishment:
Punishment can eliminate undesirable behavior in the workplace. However,
several problems make it undesirable as a management-training tool.
 It does not motivate people to do things, only not to do things. It does not
indicate what the described behavior is, only what is not desired.
 If the undesired behavior is punished only sometimes, people will learn the
situations in which they can get away with it. The saying “While the cant’s
away, the mice will play” neatly captures one problem with this technique,
punishment requires constant vigilance on the part of a supervisor and
encourages employee efforts to “beat the system”
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Reinforcement versus Punishment/Cont...:
 If a person’s understand behavior is rewarding, the punishment must be
severe enough to offset the behavior reinforcing properties. Escalating negative
outcomes to employees can raise ethical, moral, and commonsense objections.
 Someone must do the punishing. The persons becomes someone to be
avoided. Supervisors avoided by subordinates experience leadership problems.
Understanding Learning
Two Definitions of Learning :
Because we cannot observe learning, we must infer that it occurs by looking at
its observable effects. What things, influenced by learning, can we observe? The
answer is, the learner’s behavior.
Cognitive theorists, however, insist that even though learning can be inferred
from behavior, it is separate from the behavior itself. By examining the ways in
which people respond to information and the ways in which different types of
behavior are grouped or separated, cognitive theorists developed theories of
how information is learned.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Cognitive Approach
Behaviorist Approach
Learner’s role
Active, self, directed,
Passive, depended
Instructor’s role
Facilitator, coordinator,
And presenter
Director, monitor,
And evaluator
Training content
Problem or task oriented
Subject oriented
Learner motivation
More internally motivated
More externally motivated
Training climate
Relaxed, mutually trustful
Respectful, and
Formal, authority oriented,
Judgmental, and
Instructional goals
Collaboratively developed
Developed by instructor
Interactive, group, project
oriented, and experiential
Directive, individual, and
subject oriented
Some training Implications of Cognitive and Behaviorist Learning Theories
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
External Environment
Learner’s Cognitive Processes
1. Symbolic Coding
2. Cognitive Organization
3. Symbolic Rehearsal
Consequences of Behavior
Cognitive Processes in Social Learning
Attention: The learning process begins with the learner’s attention becoming focused on
particular objects and events in the environment (stimuli). Of the great multitude of objects and
events in the typical environment, we notice many of them but pay attention only to some. The
things we pay attention to are those that stand out for some reason (loud, bright, unusual, etc.)
or those that we learn are important (e.g., lead to need satisfaction). This reaction is reflected in
the fact the fact that we are more likely to model the behavior of someone who is spotlighted in
some way (highly publicized, unusually attractive, popular, etc.) than of someone who is not.
Similarly, we are more likely to model someone who seems to receive a lot of reinforcement
than someone who receives little.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Retention: Once attention is focused on an object or event, the incoming
information is processed for possible retention. Some of the information will be
retained, and some will be lost. The more training is designed to facilitate the
retention processes, the more learning will occur. The initial phase of retention
is the translation of the information into symbols meaningful to the individual, a
process called symbolic coding. It transforms external objects and events into
internal images and verbal symbols. These symbols are than organized in to the
existing cognitive structure through associations with previously stored
information. This process is called cognitive organization.
To facilitate the retention process, the learner should “practice” the learned
material through symbolic rehearsal, which involves visualizing or imagining
how the knowledge or skill will be used.
Behavioral reproduction: Behavioral reproduction is repeated practice. The
more a person practices using new information, the more it is learned and
retained. The effectiveness of practice depends on how the practice is designed
and reinforced.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Valence of
Climate for
Motivation to
Transfer To
the Job
Supervisor and Peer
Factors Affecting Motivation to Learn and Transfer of Training
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Training that motivates Adults to Learn: Application is Management
Very little known about how managers acquire skills that make them
successful. Burgoyne and Stuart undertook a very useful study on the learning
processes relating to the acquisitions of managerial skills and qualities. They
identified seven learning processes that occurred fairly frequently in the
acquisitions of managerial skills. These are:
1. Modeling: Copying or imitation a “respected other” who is presumed to be
right because of his position, status, pervious success, or personal charisma.
2. Vicarious discovery: Observing the actions and behavior of others and
modifying one’s own actions by positive or negative imitation. This is the
same as learning form other’s experience.
3. Unplanned discovery: Learning from trial and error in the search for a
solution to the problem.
4. Planned discovery: Learning from observing the consequences of one’s
actions in situations entered into with learning as a deliberate aim.
5. Being taught: Told or shown an approach, idea, or relationship.
6. Discussion: Sharing information, ideas, interpretation, experiences, and
feelings with others in task situations.
7. Strong data: Facts coming to one’s attention in the normal course of events.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Involving Trainees in the Process
Training professionals should consider the following nine principles in
developing training programs for their employees:
1. Identify, where possible, the trainees’ strengths and challenges relation to
motivation to learn and design objectives to organizational many of these as
I practical.
2. Align learning objectives to organizational goals and show and learning is
important to trainee and organizational success.
3. Describe program goals and objectives clearly at the start of training.
4. Engage the trainee early, thus maximizing attentions, expectations, and
5. Use a systematic, logically connected sequencing of learning activities so
that trainees master lower level of learning before moving to higher levels.
6. Use a variety of training methods.
7. Use artistic job-or life-relevant training material.
8. Allow trainees to work together and share experiences.
9. Provide constant feedback and reinforcement while encouraging selfassessment.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
The trainer can address the diversity of characteristics trainees bring to training
within the context of a group-learning environment by applying these principles
to training programs.
The analysis attempted to provide answers to the following questions:
• What did they learn?
• Where did they learn?
• How did they learn?
What did they learn?
The first part of the write-up was devoted to an identification of the knowledge
skills, and attitudes, which they believe were significant to function as effective
managers. The different kinds of skills identified by them were grouped into the
following categories-interpersonal skills, communication skills, organizational
practices, and job knowledge.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Where did they learn?
•Working under pressure to complete a formal course requirement.
•Listening to a presentation by a company executive.
•Experience of receiving clear instructions in a simulated structured exercise
from a fried.
•Learning to assign responsibility, trust others, and delegate work by being a
member of a project team.
•The opportunity to make a presentation before company executives on the
work done during summer assignments.
•Having to adjust to a new environment as a result of family relocation.
•Going on a mountain trek, losing one’s track, and getting back to base.
•Having to organize an activity as an office bearer of the Student’s Association.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
How Did They Learn?
The learning activities pursued by students indeed represent a very wide range.
These activities have different meanings for different people. The lecture that a
student attends or a role play or a structured exercise that he participates in is a
unique experience for the student. However, one can discern that experiences
are organized around some themes. These are.
Learning by Accomplishment : Is was clear from the description given by the
students that learning resulted from practical accomplishment. They learnt
through the experience of seeking an opportunity, taking the initiative, and
meeting a challenge. This mode of learning is typical of people who involve
themselves in new experiences and excel in situations where they must adapt
themselves to specific and immediate circumstances.
Learning by introspection: The description of learning events also covers
activities when students ended up developing an insight and understanding
about their own self. These examples indicate a mode of learning by refection
on one’s own experiences. Introspection can help individuals to develops
insights about themselves.
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
Learning by Doing Formal Courses: The experience of working under
pressure and responding to the demands made by formal course
requirements seems to be one of the modes of learning. A significant feature
of learning through formal courses was the need for clear instructions and
consistent feedback about one’s performance. These descriptions indicate
that learning events where the student received clear instructions, where she
is frequently evaluated, an receives continuous feedback enhances the value
of learning.
Learning by Interaction with Managers: The experience of listening to
company executives and interacting with them was identified by some
students as a significant learning experience.
This student was undertaken with the purpose of developing an
understanding about the process of learning as seen from the perspective of
the students. Generalizations cannot be made since the data pertains to only
15 students. However, the following concluding can be drawn from the data
although tentatively:
1. The experience, from which students learn about being effective
managers, very. Most of the events identified as significant learning
experiences by students occur in the course of everyday work or life
Learning, Motivation, and Performance
This indicates that there is a need for understanding how management students
an also experienced manager learn through natural daily life experiences.
Academicians and professionals in the field of training and development have
been concerned more with the identification of skills, which make managers
effective. Very little attention has been devoted to understanding how skills are
acquired by managers.
2. The date reported in the study also indicate that learning events have a very specific
and personal significance for the students. It is, therefore, necessary management
teachers and trainers to provide ample opportunities for students to examine their own
experiences. Management courses for experienced managers and for those who have
no work experience have been criticized for being dominated by the teacher’s own
specialization and perspective. The findings emphasize the need for learner-centered
3. There is a increasing need for mangers to be self-reliant. If management education
programs are help manager to become more self-reliant, the design of such programs
must enhance a manager’s capacity and willingness to take control and responsibility
for event articulacy for himself and has own learning. This can be achieved only if
managers can develop insights into their own process of learning. Personal
experiences and reflections on these experiences should be an explicit agenda in
management development programs.