Part 2

CHAPTER 4 - REVIEW - Motivational Objectives and Boundaries

A knowledge of the three motivational objectives, – needs satisfaction, hazard exclusion, and discomfort avoidance is an essential building block in our understanding of management. It affects all forms of human behaviour as well as that of other living creatures. It is important to understand that the relative importance of the motivational objectives is dynamic, and changes all the time. We have a choice of methods by which we attempt to achieve our motivational objectives, and effective management is about using the most appropriate ones. Which we choose depends on the circumstances, – but there is usually a choice, and rarely is there only one ‘right’ method.

In this chapter we have encountered the concept of motivational boundaries. It is the determining and limiting factor in much of our human behaviour, both as individuals and collectively. The most important lesson to learn is that we always need to know where these boundaries are in order to understand human behaviour. It is always easier for us to work within these boundaries than to extend them – but in the final analysis human progress depends on extending these boundaries however difficult that may be.

            Finally we have seen that much of human behaviour consists of reactions to other actions and circumstances. Variations in this behaviour largely determine our understanding of personality. We have also seen that in some individuals and groups these reactions may be abnormal and obsessive. The judgement of what behaviour is abnormal, what is obsessive, and what is not, and whether it is beneficial, is often difficult to determine. It is nevertheless a prime responsibility of management

In Gulliver’s Travels the Lilliputians were required by law always to break their eggs at the smaller end, whilst the inhabitants of Blefuscu ignored the law and always broke theirs at the big end. During the resulting three-year war 11,000 people suffered death rather than break their eggs at the small end, and 30,000 soldiers and seamen were killed. All communication was prohibited between the two nations, both of whom were beyond each other’s motivational boundaries.

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