The dynamics of multiple motivations

Eelco van Wijk, Frédérique Six

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Regulatee motivations are central to rule compliance. Extant regulation theories acknowledge that regulatees harbour multiple motivations, but lack explanations how these different motivations relate to one another and how they frame decision-making. This study empirically explored what contribution Lindenberg’s Goal Framing Theory (GFT; e.g. 2000) may make to solving this puzzle. GFT distinguished three master motivations (hedonic, gain and normative) and proposed that the strongest motivation present framed the way regulatees make decisions, while other motivations, in the background, (de)stabilized the dominant motivation. It also proposed explanations for the impact of contextual influences – regulator, professional and personal networks - on different motivational constellations.
Using a qualitative case study design, a saturation sample of Dutch food entrepreneurs was interviewed to reconstruct their motivational constellations and the impact of contextual influences on their constellations over time.
Our findings showed that Lindenberg’s typology applied to regulatory situations and that GFT helped to explain the observed dynamics of motivations and their constellations. It also helped to explain the impact of contextual influences. We suggest an agenda for further research.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
Externally publishedYes
Event5th Standing Group on Regulatory Governance Biennial Conference - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 25 Jun 201427 Jun 2014


Conference5th Standing Group on Regulatory Governance Biennial Conference
Abbreviated titleECPR


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