Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Musings on Human Resource Management

Numerous theories of motivation have been formulated, tomes and tomes have been written on the subject of motivation, and Management Gurus pontificate to their hearts’ content on how to motivate.

Let's make the art of motivation simple. 

I feel that, in a nutshell, all the motivators, or motivating factors, can be encapsulated in the acronym “MICE”.

Let’s expand MICE – Money, Insecurity, Cause, Ego.




E:   EGO


In  today’s world Money is probably the primary motivating factor. 

Money Motivates. 

Need I say more?


Fear and Insecurity have always been most powerful motivators for ages. 

Though a form of manipulative motivation and negative in nature, creating Fear and Insecurity are used as manipulative motivation tools very often by many organizations and bosses to “motivate” individuals.

One way of creating a sense of insecurity is to threaten to use the weapon of transfer if you don’t toe the line. 

Fear is even deadlier - like the fear of losing your job. 

Of course, the fear of losing your life, of death, or of physical harm, is the ultimate motivator.


Many idealistic persons are motivated for a Cause, ideology, belief, passion, love, ambition, or to realize one’s “life-mission”. 

This is the highest quality of self-actualization type motivation.


The role of Ego, pride, self-importance, self-respect [“izzat”] and self-esteem as a motivator is significant in some cases. 

This is a high quality “self-esteem” type of motivation.

MICE and Motivation – they are inextricably linked, aren’t they?

Tell me - isn’t this MICE Theory of Motivation so breathtaking in its simplicity?

The art of motivation is so easy. 

When you want to motivate someone, just remember MICE and see which factor (MoneyInsecurityCause or Ego) applies the best in the particular case. 

Throw in the Money, create a sense of Insecurity, give them a Cause, massage their Ego - use one, or more, depending on the situation.

Try it. 

It works. 

You can take my word for it.

I wonder why we have all those high falutin esoteric motivational management theories taught at B-Schools, when all you need is MICE for Motivation.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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