Deming on intrinsic motivation

Now I won’t kid you. This is not an easy watch. Deming, for all his qualities, is clearly not a fabulous orator. In this short presentation he outlines some of his views on motivation in the workplace. He describes his belief about the existence of intrinsic human motivation. It isn’t clear whether he believes it can be created, but it is clear that he believes it can be destroyed. I particularly enjoy his reference to top management as “forces of destruction”. I think we have all at some time or other seen how that works

Anyway, as I say, stick with it. It’s worth five minutes of any quality management professional’s time


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2 Responses to Deming on intrinsic motivation

  1. Rob says:

    Intrinsic motivation can be explained via Attribution Theory. It emphasises the idea that people are motivated by the pleasant outcome of being able to feel good about themselves. Also peoples’ self-perceptions will influence the ways in which they will interpret the success or failure of their current efforts and hence their future tendency to perform these same behaviors.

    Wrth checking out further.

    Deming must have been aware of this as it was first proposed by Fritz Heider in 1958.

  2. admin says:

    It is interesting. I am sure I would be able to check this through a small amount of research, but it seems to me that Deming is proposing that such motivations are fragile. That is, if you place sufficient obstacles in the way, people are not inclined to spend much effort over-coming them. In plain terms, it is quite easy to destroy this motivation by pissing staff off. From personal experience I’d suggest that this is indeed quite true

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