Toward a systems theory of motivated behavior in work teams

Work motivation theories and research have tended to focus either on individual motivation, ignoring contextual influences of team processes on individuals, or on team motivation, ignoring individual differences within the team. Redressing these limited, single-level views of motivation, we delineate a theoretical multilevel model of motivated behavior in teams. First, we conceptualize motivational processes at both the individual and team levels, highlighting the functional similarities in these processes across levels of analysis. We then delineate a set of theoretical propositions regarding the cross-level interplay between individual and team motivation, and antecedents and outcomes of individual and team motivation. Finally, we discuss the implications of our theoretical model for future research and managerial practices.






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