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Work motivation in Islamic educational institutions.


Naturally, in every human behavior there are aim and wish to be achieved. The process of achievement can be in the form of thinking, saying or act. The process itself will ultimately lead to fulfilling the needs and desires. This is in line with the thinking of Maslow that implies that humans are motivated by the need to work according to time, circumstances and experiences. Humans are usually motivated by unmet needs. In general, the needs intended are: the need for biological, economic, physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-realization, from which one form of the process for meeting those needs is the motivation in the work.

In the Islamic perspective, work can be understood in the form of the function and position. Earning sustenance is an obligation in Islam, because Islam is a religion of nature in accordance with human needs, including physical need. Work motivation in Islam is to earn sustenance that is a part of worship. The motivation is not merely to pursue the hedonistic life, nor societal status, let alone to gain wealth by all means but to worship. Working for earning sustenance is a special act in Islam. Looking for halal sustenance is an obligation in Islam. This indicates how important earning halal sustenance is. Thus, the motivation to work in Islam is not only to meet life sustenance but also to worship God after in addition to other worships.


Understanding Motivation:

Motivation emerges from commitment for sincere intentions. Reward is given to work commensurate with intention. Any work without intention is not recognized. A big job satisfaction is directly related to motivation. Workers are motivated that work is worship and God watches everything they do so they strive to achieve excellence, and to devote time and energy to work. Work is worship, and only God could repay it.

Motif is defined as "Encouragement". Encouragement is the movement of body and soul to do. Motif is the driving force (the power of movement or motion) that drives men to act with a certain purposes. Wexley and Yukl (1977) defines motivation as "the process by which behavior is energized and directed". This means that the process moves to act energetically. Some psychologists define motif as needs (urge and necessity). Thus, motivation means the impulse that drives someone to act in achieving the desired objectives. In this regard, the background of person's act is the encouragement from within or outside.

Someone works hard because of the strong inducement that is embedded in his soul, which is called the self-motivation. Work motivation is a motivation that leads someone to work. It is so called work booster. Strength and weaknesses of one's motivation determine his work performance.

Every one acts due to the impetus. The characteristics of motive are:

a) Compounding, i.e. the act does not only have one purpose, but multiple ones that work together;

b) Changing, motive always changes due to human's will changing according to his needs or interests;

c) Being different for every individual. Two people doing the same job could have a different motive;

d) Not realized by human. Many of human behaviors are not recognized, so some encouragement (needs) that arise dealing with less favorable situations are pressed under his subconscious. Thus, if there is a strong inner urge from within, individual cannot understand his own motives. Levels of motivation vary within individual and among people at different times.

According to Finder, motivation is "A set of energetic forces that originates both within as well as beyond an individual's being, to initiate work-related behavior, and to determine its form, direction, intensity, and duration (Finder, in Donovan, 2001: 53). Motivation is a group of forces that have the following characteristics.

a) Originating from within or outside individual;

b) Causing action;

c) Determining the form, purpose, intensity, and duration of action.

Robbin (2006) said that motivation is a process that determines the intensity, direction, and the provisions of the individual in achieving goals. Intensity associated with the spirit of a person in the attempt. Motivation has a long dimension, as a measure of a person to maintain his business. Motivated individuals can survive to reach the desired target for long time.

Changes people want to do through self-management should be driven by a strong motivation. This means, human performance in achieving maximum success should be constantly motivated in order not to stop before meeting the goal. Therefore, motivation can be defined as a condition of employment that generates, directs, and maintains behavior directly related to the work environment.

Sperling in Mangkunegara (2004) defines motivation as a tendency to move, starting from a self-drive, and ending with the adjustment. Fillmore H. Stanford explained that motivation is a driving human condition at a particular destination. According to Surya, motivation is very important for an organization because of the following reasons:

a) People should be encouraged to cooperate in the organization and to always be in that situation;

b) Employees should always be encouraged to work and try regarding to the demands of work;

c) Motivation is an important part in maintaining and developing human resources in organizations. Motivation can be interpreted as encouragement to realize certain behaviors that focus on specific goals.

Motivation has the characteristics:

a) Becoming a result of requirement;

b) Focusing on a goal;

c) Sustaining the behavior.

Thus, motivation is a condition that can generate employees to be able to achieve the goal of their needs. Robert A. Baron, et al. in Mangkunegara (2004) says that motivation is an energy that evokes self-generating (drive arousal).

In educational institutions, teachers' motivation can be defined as conditions that affect arousal, direct, and maintain behaviors associated with the work environment in education. To enhance the work motivation of teachers, it is required to create institutional conditioning in the form of deployment and maintenance of work conditions that can stimulate the quality of performance. Stoner, in Winardi (2001) forwarded four assumptions about motivation, namely:

a) A public opinion which states that motivation is a good thing;

b) Motivation constitutes one of various factors get into one's work;

c) Motivation is a rare thing and it requires periodic replacement;

d) Motivation is a device by with managers can manage work relationships within the organization. Development of various researches in the field of motivation has leaded the concept of motivation in

employees' management level in an organization. Of the concepts on motivation experts put forward, the theory of motivation can be traced from two theories, namely the traditional and contemporary views (Winardi, 2001). The traditional view of motivation is one of which was pioneered by Frederick Taylor.

This traditional view puts the importance of providing incentives for employees to improve work motivation. This assumption underlies that managers understand better what should be implemented, rather than workers who basically tend to be lazy, except they are given incentives. One manifestation of this view is the phenomenon of rewarding sales-people based on the principle of the commission.

Another manifestation of the traditional view of motivation is a model of human relations (human relations model) proposed by Elton Mayo. According to this view, bore, repetition and many kinds of tasks lead to motivation decrease, meanwhile social contacts help to create and maintain motivation. The conclusion of this view is that managers can motivate employees by understanding their social needs and make them feel meaningful and important. Realization of this view includes a suggestion box, the use of institution uniforms, daily news, and employee input for institutional performance.

Human resource development model that is stated Douglas Mc. Gregor is another manifestation of the traditional view of motivation. Gregor identifies two kinds of theories about motivation, the theory X and theory Y. X motivation theory states that humans inherently dislike to work. Although workers believe that work is a necessity, they possibly will avoid it. According to this view, most people prefer to get direction and to avoid responsibility, as well. As a result, work is considered to be less important, while managers should encourage employees to work. The theory of Y is more optimistic view by the assumption that work is naturally as playing or having rest. On the theory Y, employees are willingly ready to work and they get a lot of satisfaction from their work activities. According to this view, people have the ability to accept; even they seek responsibility and apply their imagination, genius, and creativity for organizational problems.

Problems encountered in the theory Y are that modern industrial life does not fully utilize human potential. In an effort to draw maximum benefit from the willingness and ability of employees, managers need to create a work climate that provides opportunities for employees to pursue personal self-improvement. This view is later named as management participation (participative management).

Contemporary or modern views about motivation theory are mostly forwarded by the experts. Landy and Becker in Winardi, identified four categories of motivation theory, namely: (1) need theory, (2) equity theory, (3) expectancy theory, (4) goal-setting theory (Winardi, 2004).

Modern views about motivation theory forwarded by David McClelland (Mangkunegara, 2004) stated three kinds of human needs, as follows:

a) Need of Achievement (Achievement Motivation)

A Need for achievement is a reflection of responsibility encouragement for solving problem. An employee who has a high need for achievement tends to take risks. The Need for achievement is the need to do a better job than ever before and to always have a desire to achieve higher performance. Achievement motivation is an inner encouragement by which people overcome all challenges and obstacles in achieving goals. People who have this encouragement want to grow and develop themselves, and want to advance through tracing the steps of success. According to McClelland that problem solving is an important thing for the completion of job, not for the rewards comes up after. A number of characteristics suggest that achievement-oriented employees are hardworking workers by the time they gain personal pride for their efforts and there is a little bit failure. And if there is tendency for them to trust their subordinates, they will share and receive ideas openly, set high goals, and expect that employees will also be achievement-oriented.

b) Need of Affiliation (friendship Motivation)

The need for affiliation which is an encouragement is to interact to, gather with other people, and not to do something that harms others. Affiliation motivation is the impulse to get in touch with others on the basis of the social interaction. Comparison between employees who are high-motivated to get achievement and the others is that the former work harder if their supervisor provides a detailed assessment of their work behavior. However, the people who have affiliation motivation work better when they are praised for their attitude and pleasant cooperation. The achievement-motivated people choose capable technical assistants, and have less attention on their personal feelings, but they tend to choose affiliation-motivated people around them. They get the inner satisfaction of being in the friendship environment, and want the flexibility to build this relationship on the job.

c) Competence Motivation

Competence motivation is the driving factor to achieve excellence of work, improve problem solving skills, and strive to be innovative. The most important thing is getting the benefit of experience. Generally, motivation makes and helps people have tendency to do their job with satisfactory because they feel an inner satisfaction of doing the job and the rewards gained from others. People who are competence-motivated also expect the high quality results from their colleagues and they may get curious when people who work with them do not do their job with good results. Their motivation to achieve good results may be very high so they tend to overlook the importance of human relationships in the execution of the work to maintain good results.

d) Need of Power

The need for power is a reflection of its drive to achieve the authority to have an influence on others. According to Surya, the motivation is important for organizations due to the following reasons:

1) People should be encouraged to cooperate in an organization and always settle in that situation;

2) The employee must always be encouraged to work and try to fulfill the demands of work;

3) Motivation constitutes essential in maintaining and developing human resources in organizations.

In the management of Islamic education, the essence of motivation is related to propagation to the straight path, in which human deeds should be oriented to the achievement of Allah's willing. It was stated by Imam Fudhail bin lyadh, one of Imarn Syafi'I's teachers and he was a trusted narrator of hadits in interpreting surah Al-Mulk verse 2 as follows:


"who has created death and life that he may test you which of you is best in deed. And He is the All Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving." (Q.S. Al-Mulk: 2).

He requires the fulfillment of two conditions, namely a sincere intention and the way used should be in accordance with Islamic Shari 'a. If human action that fulfill the two conditions, it is classified as the best deed (ahsanul amal), in the view of Allah SWT.

In Islam, the management is seen as the realization of good deeds that must starts from good intention. The good intention will generate motivation to achieve great results for the common welfare. According to Islamic teaching, there are four foundations to develop the management, they are: truth, honesty, openness, and expertise. A manager must have four primary characteristics in order that the management gets maximum results.

1. Theory and Motivation Model

a) Theory of Motivation

Discussing about the theory of motivation possibly starts from some assumptions underlying the concepts of motivation, one of which is the need theory of Abraham Maslow.

1) Theory of Need

In his hypothesis, Abraham Maslow (Robbins, 2006) says that there are five levels of need existing in all human being as stated at the followings.

* Psychology: such as hunger, thirst, protection (clothing and housing), sex, and physical needs;

* Security: such as safety and protection for physical harm, and emotional;

* Social: includes affection, belongingness, well-received, and friendship;

* Appreciation: includes self-respect such as self-esteem, autonomy, and achievement, as well as the of external respect such as status, recognition, and attention;

* Self-actualization: the drive to become somebody according to his ambition that includes growth, achieving potential, and self-fulfillment.

If all of these needs are met substantially, the following requirements will be dominant. Individual moves up the steps following the hierarchy. From the point of view of motivation, the theory says although there is no need can be totally fulfilled, certain requirements that substantially have been satisfied are no longer driving motivation. Maslow classified the five needs as a high level and low level. Psychological needs and the need for security is described as low-level needs, while social needs, the need for respect, and self-actualization is the high level need. The difference between the two levels is based on the evident that the needs of high-level are fulfilled by internal factors (from within person), whereas low-level needs are primarily fulfilled by external factors for example wages, contracts as labor, and years of service.

Maslow's theory of need has been widely acknowledged mainly by active managers because the theory is based on the intuitive and understandable logic. However, research generally does not validate the theory. Maslow does not provide empirical substantial justification while some studies that try to validate the theory did not support his theory (Robbins, 2006).

The old theories, especially theories that are intuitively logical, apparently survived. Although the hierarchy of needs theory and its terminology remain popular among active managers, the predictions of the theory have lack empirical support. More specifically, there is little evidence that the need structure organized along the dimensions proposed by Maslow, an insatiable need will motivate it. Alternatively, certain requirements have been satisfied to enable the drive to a new level of need.

2) Expectancy Theory (Theory of Hope)

According to Vroom (in Donovan, 2001), people are motivated to perform certain behaviors based on three perceptions, as follows:

* Expectancy: how big possibility if they perform certain behaviors that will get results;

* Instrumentality: how much the relationship between job achievement and higher work result (for example income, either in the form of salaries and other matters presented given by company such as health insurance, transportation, etc.);

* Valence: how important the worker assesses his income provided by the company.

b) Motivation models 1) Intrinsic Motivation

In intrinsic motivation, Thomas described the employee as a person who is intrinsically motivated if he really cares about his work, looks for better ways to do it, and gets the power and satisfaction in doing his best. As in the flow, the rewards gained from intrinsic motivation come from the work itself, rather than from external factors, such as salary or the desire of praise from the boss.

The model of Thomas argued that intrinsic motivation is achieved when people have to have choice, competence, meaningful, and progress. He set the following components:

* Options are opportunities to complete activities that are reasonable and to do them in appropriate manner;

* Competence is an achievement perceived as doing activities in a skilled choice;

* Full of meaning is an opportunity to pursue value-target task, the targets that occur in the larger scheme;

* Progress is the sense that the employee has made a progressive step in achieving its objectives.

According to Thomas, the four intrinsic component of motivation is closely related to increased job satisfaction and performance improvements, such as supervisor appraisal. The four components of intrinsic motivation linked to the concept of flow. When the task is full of meaning, people do not like to spend their time for less significant tasks. They were completely absorbed into the intrinsic tasks, think about it all the time. On the contrary, to spend time from other activities to spend more time for something meaningful. People are generally free to choose to work on a task that contrasts the other one. Competence also stimulates the flow of experience. It is a progress to strengthen the sense that time and effort succeed to meet their objectives. Someone gets excited and wants to invest time and effort in it.

2) Edwards Model

According to Edwards (1959), cited by Ruch (1972), the needs that may affect the motivation of individuals are classified into 15 intrinsic needs as seen in human with different strengths, which are as follows.

* Achievement, the need to do better than others that encourages individuals to complete the task more successfully, to achieve high performance;

* Deference, the need to follow the opinions of others, follows the instructions given, praise others and conform to the customs;

* Order, the need to make plans that are regularly associated with neatness, organize the details of the work and perform daily habits on a regular basis;

* Exhibition, the need to attract the attention of others that tries to become the center of attention. This appears in action and speech, which makes other people pay attention to him (smart talk and comedy);

* Autonomy, the need for independence, neither dependent on other people nor willing to be governed by the others;

* Affiliation, the need to make friendship with other people, loyalty to his friends, participation in groups, like writing letters to friends or customers;

* Interception, the need to understand the feelings of others, and know behavior of others;

* Succorance, the need to get help from others and sympathy or affection of others;

* Dominance, the need to stand on one's opinion, mastering, leading, and advising others;

* Abasement, the need which makes people guilty when they make mistakes and think that they deserve getting punishment if their actions are not true;

* Nurturance, the need for helping people when they are in trouble, showing sympathy, and doing meaningful thing for them;

* Charge, the need to make renewal and reformation, regardless of something routine, love traveling, meeting with others;

* Endurance, the need which makes someone survives on his job completion and tends not like to be disturbed when working;

* Heterosexuality, the needs that leads someone to perform social activities in attempt for man to approach woman and vice versa, and to be considered attractive his couple;

* Aggressions, the need to criticize, argue and blame the opinions of other people and tend to commit violence.

3) Organizational Justice

Employees who work in an organization would expect that the organization treats them fairly. There are two points of view of justice as follows:

* According to Equity Theory (Adams, in Donovan, 2001), employees assume their participation in the workplace as a process of barter, they contribute to their company in the form of expertise and hard work. On the other hand, they expect either salary or recognition from their work achievement. The emphasis here is on perceptions of fairness between what the employees earned and what they contribute to;

* Another way to see justice in an organization through the concept of procedural justice, whether the procedures used to distribute work earning to the employee are fair or not (Donovan, 2001).

4) Equity Model

This model explains that after the perception of injustice is formed, the employees try to regain equity by reducing the amount of their contribution (Adams, in Donovan, 2001). For example, employees began to arrive late to the office with the aim of reducing the time and work productivity that they may contribute to the company.

According to Withdrawal Progression Models, workers are likely to initiate the reaction with such slight and simple action as coming a little bit late, before doing more severe and serious action, such as absence from workplace that ultimately leads to resigning from the company, although not necessarily all employees who are dissatisfied will come out of companies (Johns, 2001). However, in this situation, workers will break rules and discipline as long as they feel unsatisfied (Johns, 2001). It is hard for the company to accept this situation, anyway.

In such circumstances, the company should make concrete steps so that employee understands the condition of the institution. They include the following:

* A systematic explanation of the company conditions given by high-level management;

* The manager showed sincere empathy for the workers if their wages or incentives are inadequate;

* If there is termination of employment, the reasons should be explained in detail. Additionally, it seems necessary to supported termination of employment with financial data that justify it as the best way to prevent the company from collapses;

* All employees are given widely opportunity to ask questions or give opinions;

* After conducting the above activities, in attempt to avoid any perception of unfairness in the future, the company may make a review for the current policies. The policies need to be changed if there is a potential to injustice;

* Job Characteristic Model and Goal Setting.

Job characteristic model describes that high motivation can be achieved through the characteristics of job (judge et al, 2001). Job characteristics that are considered the most important to motivate employees is a task identity, task significance, skill variety, autonomy, and feedback. In addition to job characteristics, there is another aspect of the workplace that may affect the motivation. It is called goal setting. According to the principle of targeting, the employee will be motivated to achieve higher employment if they have a specific target (Locke & Latham, in Donovan, 2001).

From all of the foregoing explanation, we concluded that there are three main models of motivation that are often proposed, as follows:

* Traditional model; It is often called a classical model that is initiated by Frederick Winslow Taylor. This model states that a person's motivation is merely seen as physical or biological needs, especially for workers who can only be motivated by financial reward such as money.

* Models of human relation; It is interpreted as a model of human relations with emphasis on the social contact as a necessity for people who work in an organization. The model is initiated by Elton Mayo as a result of saturation of employees in doing the same job repeatedly. Elton Mayo emphasizes the importance of recognition or respect for the social needs of workers.

* Model of human sumfoer ; The emphasis of motivation is not only intended for biological needs, but also for needs to get satisfaction.


One of the fundamental aspects that encourage everyone to live and work is motivation. Motivation underlies and bases the actions of people, regardless of his action, and societal class. One way to meet the necessities of life, people work. Motivation to work in Islam has different insight, by working as a worship motivation. People should always do their best, and work maximally. Working with the motivation above will also produce hard work, tough, honest, and professional in any circumstances, because the motivation itself is intended to devote to God Almighty. Because He always exists, observes, and know what we do.


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Ujang Saefullah

Lecturer, Islamic College of Riyadhul Zannah Subang--Indonesia

Corresponding Author: Ujang Saefullah, Lecturer, Islamic College of Riyadhul Zannah Subang--Indonesia

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Title Annotation:Original Article
Author:Saefullah, Ujang
Publication:Advances in Natural and Applied Sciences
Date:Oct 1, 2012
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