TMS Research – Perspectives: What’s Up With Motivation?!?

Tom GibbonsResearch, Social ConstructionLeave a Comment

This post in the series looking at the new TMS research released in October 2018 focuses on the Linking Skills Profile and specifically the Linking Skill, Motivation.

There are 13 Linking Skills (listed below). The identification  of these Linking Skills came from the original work Margerison and McCann did related to the Types of Work Model.

Linking is placed in the middle of the Types of Work Model since it was found that these skills played out in various ways across all the work functions of the model.  Balance in the performance of the various work functions and good Linking were found to be key in developing high performance. Motivation is one of the Linking Skills, falling into the category of Leadership Linking Skills.

Personally I have a bit of a hate on when it comes to mainstream organizational thinking about motivation so I kind of cherry picked this topic…. However, I do think the TMS research may point to a resonance from where my ‘bit of a hate’ can be illustrated.

Below, from the Linking Skills Profile research are the mean satisfaction ratings for the worldwide sample (I have highlighted Motivation in red).

As you can see, of the 13 Linking Skills, Motivation is the one that has the lowest overall satisfaction rating. The next graphic lists the mean scores for the rating of importance of the 13 Linking Skills.

In terms of importance Motivation is in the middle of the pack. So we can’t really say that the low satisfaction ranking is related in some way to the importance being placed on this skill. We cannot say for instance that if motivation was ranked very high in importance perhaps people are more sensitive and more critical of its performance, creating lower satisfaction rates.

So why might these satisfaction ratings be lower for motivation?

Do we think people truly do perform this skill at a lower level than any of the other skills? Do we more or less suck at doing this thing called motivation? Is it too subjective? Or is it a blip in the numbers?

The next post will have my perspective but what is yours?

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