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Motivation and Law Enforcement Supervision

Motivation and Law Enforcement Supervision

Motivation is one of the most critically important tasks that supervisors and leaders in any and all organizational settings must address if they are to succeed (Ivancevich, 1998). Generally, motivation is defined as the set of attitudes and values that predispose an individual to act in a specific, goal-directed manner (Herzberg, 1959; Thompson, 1993). Motivation is an inner invisible state that energizes human goal directed behavior, which is divided into two components: 1) the direction of behavior toward a goal, and 2) the strength of the behavior (Ivancevich, 1998).

As a sergeant with the New York City Police Department, one of my most critical responsibilities centers upon constantly motivating and influencing my officers to achieve departmental goals and objectives. In order to motivate and influence subordinates, I have come to the realization that it is first necessary to determine what motivates an individual, their needs and interests, and the factors that drive human behavior. Van Fleet (1984), in discussing the keys to success in working with others, argues that the leader who would be effective in the workplace is a leader who brings to bear on all work interactions, a wide range and variety of communication skills among which listening may well be paramount.

In order to understand others, one must also understand the self. Social psychologists, including Baron and Byrne (2000), have pointed out that introspective examination of one's own needs and interests is a first step toward recognizing that every human being possesses a unique, personal, set of drives which directly impact upon their actions at work, at home, and in social situations.

Generally, human needs can be categorized into six discrete areas. Anthony Robbins (1996) described these categories of needs as: 1) the need for certainty versus comfort; 2) uncertainty versus variety; 3) sign...

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Motivation and Law Enforcement Supervision. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 00:27, December 14, 2019, from