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Meaning of Entrepreneurial Motivation: Nature of Motivation

Meaning of Entrepreneurial Motivation: Nature of Motivation!

5 Motivational Factors That Drive People Towards Entrepreneurship

Let us first understand the meaning of the term ‘motivation,’ in general. This will help us understand and explain the meaning of the term ‘entrepreneurial motivation’. The word motivation originally comes from the Latin word mover, which means “to motive”.

The term motivation has been derived from the English word ‘motive’. Motive is an inner state of our mind that moves or activates or directs our behaviours towards our goals. Motives are expressions of a person’s goals or needs. They give direction to human behaviour to achieve goals or fulfill needs. Motive is always internal to us and is externalized via behaviour.


Let us give some definitions on motivation:

According to Fred Luthans, “Motivation is a process that starts with a physiological or psychological deficiency or need that activates behaviour or a drive that is aimed at a goal or incentive.”

Stephen P. Robbins (2010) defines motivation as “the willingness to exert high levels of effort toward organizational goals, conditioned by the effort and ability to satisfy some individual need.”

In the opinion of Gray and Starke, “Motivation is the result of processes, internal or external to the individual that arouses enthusiasm and persistence to pursue a certain course of action.” Based on above definitions, now motivation may be defined as one’s willingness to exert high level of efforts towards the accomplishment of goal or fulfillment of need.


Accordingly, the entrepreneurial motivation may be defined as the process that activates and motivates the entrepreneur to exert higher level of efforts for the achievement of his/her entrepreneurial goals. In other words, the entrepreneurial motivation refers to the forces or drive within an entrepreneur that affect the direction, intensity, and persistence of his / her voluntary behaviour as entrepreneur. So to say, a motivational entrepreneur will be willing to exert a particular level of effort (intensity), for a certain period of time (persistence) toward a particular goal (direction).

The need for and significance of entrepreneurial motivation in running an enterprise can best be appreciated as: “While an organization is like a vehicle, entrepreneurships as driving and the entrepreneurial motivation as fuel or power that makes the organizational vehicle move or run.”

Nature of Motivation:
The nature of motivation emerging out of above definitions can be expressed as follows:

Motivation is internal to man:
Motivation cannot be seen because it is internal to man. It is externalized via behaviour. It activates the man to move toward his / her goal.

A Single motive can cause different behaviours:

A person with a single desire or motive to earn prestige in the society may move towards to join politics, attain additional education and training, join identical groups, and change his outward appearance.

Different motives may result in single behaviour:
It is also possible that the same or single behaviour may be caused by many motives. For example, if a person buys a car, his such behaviour may be caused by different motives such as to look attractive, be respectable, gain acceptance from similar group of persons, differentiate the status, and so on.

Motives come and go:
Like tides, motives can emerge and then disappear. Motives emerged at a point of time may not remain with the same intensity at other point of time. For instance, an entrepreneur overly concerned about maximization of profit earning during his initial age as entrepreneur may turn his concern towards other higher things like contributing towards philanthropic activities in social health and education once he starts earning sufficient profits.

Motives interact with the environment:
The environment in which we live at a point of time may either trigger or suppress our motives. You probably have experienced environment or situation when the intensity of your hunger picked up just you smelled the odour of palatable food.

You may desire an excellent performance bagging the first position in your examination but at the same time may also be quite sensitive to being shunned and disliked by your class mates if you really perform too well and get too much of praise and appreciation from your teachers. Thus, what all this indicates is that human behaviour is the result of several forces differing in both direction and intent.


Meaning of Entrepreneurial Motivation: Nature of Motivation