Excerpt from course description

Motivational Science―Creating Work Motivation and Motivating Work Environments


Why do we do the things we do at work? Understanding the answer to this question has for a long time been a goal of psychologists, philosophers, employers, employees, and researchers. Motivational science, and work motivation which falls within such a science, addresses this question and its possible answers from various angles. Motivational science seeks to understand the influence, interplay, and mechanisms by which internal and external forces influence the direction, intensity, and/or persistence of behavior. Theory and research on work motivation aims to understand and describe the processes, mechanisms, and boundary conditions which influence work related behaviors.

From a practical perspective, the study of work motivation refers not just to understanding the forces and psychological processes that impinge on employee behavior. It also refers to the application of that understanding to the arrangement of work conditions and implementation of management practices that encourage and sustain employee resource allocations in the form of time, effort, cooperation, knowledge sharing and transfer.

This course will review theory and research in the field of motivational science in the workplace, and how it can be applied toward managing human resources effectively and serve as an integral part of the performance equation at all levels in organizations. Students will gain understanding of motivation in historical perspective, as a process, its sources, its boundary conditions, and its relationship with work-related outcomes. The course will also address how to facilitate motivating work environments and in turn adaptive motivation so that employees continue to enjoy their work and achieve their personal and organizational goals.

Course content

Topics covered in the course include:

  • Motivation and emotion at work
  • Psychological needs and implicit motives at work
  • Autonomous and controlled work motivation
  • Work related goal setting, striving, and achievement goals
  • Mindsets and personal control beliefs
  • Self-regulation and growth motivation
  • Unconscious work motivation
  • Work motivational environments
  • Work motivational interventions


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.