Singapore University of Social Sciences

Work Motivation

Work Motivation (HRM261)


Why do we work? How can we set up desirable conditions, both for ourselves and in organizations, to foster performance while also flourishing with psychological well-being? Through HRM261 Work Motivation, students will analyse select well-evidenced theories of human motivation and how to apply them to real-world individuals, including themselves. By broadening this approach, these theories shape the key pillars for a motivating organisational culture. Furthermore, students will examine how motivation reliably differs across cultures, ages, and job classes to hone their sensitivities to diversity issues. In turn, students can contemplate how to implement an inclusive and cross-culturally collaborative environment that maximises the value of a diverse workforce to spark innovation. Finally, HRM261 tackles the issues of self-regulation, workaholism, recovery, and psychological well-being as emplaced in the modern culture of busyness prevalent in globalised countries

Level: 2
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY REGULAR SEMESTER


  • Goal Setting Theory
  • Equity Theory
  • Self-determination Theory and Fundamental Human Needs
  • Job Characteristics Model and Job Design
  • Regulatory Focus Theory and Regulatory Fit
  • Growth Mindset and Organisational Culture
  • Self Efficacy and Learned Helplessness
  • Finding Meaning and Psychological Well-being at Work
  • Developmental Shifts in Motivational Mindsets Across the Lifespan
  • Appreciating Overlooked Universalities of Human Motivation Across Job Classes (e.g., white- and blue-collared) and Its Implications for HR
  • Energising Effects of Busyness and the Trap of Workaholism
  • Stressor-Detachment Model and Cultivating Restful Leisure

Learning Outcome

  • Explain the key factors of human needs and psychological well-being that motivate people to work.
  • Describe types of individual mindsets and goal orientations, and how they influence or fit in with the organisational culture.
  • Analyse the motivational impact of various organisational practices and their downstream impact on organisational effectiveness.
  • Implement interventions in an individualised or situation-specific manner to manage motivational issues.
  • Demonstrate delivering feedback in a way that elicits desirable motivational states.
  • Illustrate sensitivities towards diversity in age, culture, job class, and other needs by considering employees' well-being when dispensing managerial actions.
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