Intrinsic motivation (IM) is key for persistence at work. When they are intrinsically motivated, people experience work activities as an end in itself, such that the activity and its goal collide. The result is increased interest and enjoyment of work activities. In this article, we review the current state of knowledge on IM, including studies within organizational, cognitive, and social psychology. We distinguish our structural perspective, which defines IM as the overlap between means and ends (e.g., the means-ends fusion model), from content-based approaches to study IM. We specifically discuss three questions: (a) What is IM and why does it matter, (b) how can individuals and organizations increase IM, and (c) what biases and misconceptions do employees and managers hold about IM?
Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, Volume 9 is January 2022. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.