chapter  1
16 Pages

The Three C’s of Work Motivation: Content, Context, and Change

ByRuth Kanfer, Gilad Chen, Robert D. Pritchard

Introduction ........................................................................................................ 2 Work Motivation: An Interstitial Denition .................................................. 3

Summary: Work Motivation Dened .................................................... 5 Work Motivation: A Cumulative Science ....................................................... 6 A Thematic Heuristic ........................................................................................ 8 Content................................................................................................................. 9 Context ............................................................................................................... 10 Change ............................................................................................................... 11 Summary and Overview ................................................................................ 12 References ......................................................................................................... 14

At the broadest level, this book is about motivation as it occurs in the most common context of modern-day adult life, namely, the pursuit and execution of organized work. In particular, each of the chapters in this volume provides an overview of major advances, current concerns, and future research needs with respect to a specic aspect of work motivation. The purpose of this chapter is twofold. First, we provide a brief introduction to the eld as a whole and highlight communalities among various topics addressed in this volume. Second, we introduce and discuss three broad themes-content,

context, and change-that we think both bind the eld and offer important new directions for future research. Comprehensive reviews of work motivation theory and research, including, for example, reviews by Campbell and Pritchard (1976), Kanfer (1990), Latham (2006), Latham and Pinder (2005), Mitchell and Daniels (2003), Naylor, Pritchard, and Ilgen (1980), and Pinder (1998), and in-depth reviews of specic formulations by Locke and Latham (1990) and others (Ambrose & Kulik, 2004; Gagne & Deci, 2005; Kanfer & Ackerman, 2004; Kehr, 2004), already exist; our purpose in this chapter is not to duplicate this work but rather to organize and highlight themes drawn from the rich expanse of extant theory and knowledge.