The Theory Behind

Motivation as the Key Concept in ProMES

Let's have a look at a brief, non-technical summary of the science behind the ProMES intervention. If you want to learn more about the Motivation Theory we recommend "Managing Motivation" by Robert Pritchard and Elissa Ashwood, a practical handbook for managers.

The ProMES process

ProMES is about changing Behavior to get more of what a Team or a Working Unit wants to achieve.

· The 'Energy Pool' is the available amount of physical and mental resources a person has at a certain point of time.
· Behavior change means changing how one allocates the available energy to actions.
· Energy allocation to actions is the field of motivation.
· Changing behavior means changing motivation.
· So motivation is a key concept in ProMES.

The Theory behind ProMES

Basing an intervention on clearly articulated theory makes assumptions clear, allows one to design the intervention more effectively, and leads to implications for how the intervention should be implemented. ProMES is based on the theory of motivation of Naylor, Pritchard, and Ilgen (1980).

As shown in the figure above, the theory states:
· Each of us has an Energy Pool that we use for everything we do.
· We allocate this energy to actions in order to satisfy our Needs.
· This allocation is the Motivation Process.
· Even though we are not thoughtfully aware of it, our motivation to use our energy to take action depends on how much we expect we will be successful in meeting our needs if we take the actions.

The figure shows the motivation process. In order to be motivated to use our scarce energy to take an action, we must expect that we will be able to take the action, that our actions will lead to the desired results, that the results will lead to the desired evaluation, that the evaluation will lead to the desired outcomes (rewards and consequences) and that getting those outcomes will lead to the satisfaction of our needs.

The strength of our motivation depends on the extent to which we expect all of these things will happen.

Implications from the Theory

The theory has numerous implications for how to maximize motivation.
The ProMES intervention incorporates these implications.
The design of ProMES is also based on the literature on feedback, participation in decision making, goal setting, task strategy, and research on the brain.

If you want to learn more about the Motivation Theory we recommend the book by Robert Pritchard and Elissa Ashwood "Managing Motivation". It's a practical guide for managers and practitioners to not only understand motivation but also applying it in practise.