Pygmalion Motivation – A Study

Rallying the Troops - Organization Chart

An Introduction

The attitude of a manager influences the performance level of a subordinate. The expectations of the manager from his or her people motivate the latter to perform. In this article, we will discuss about the concept of Pygmalion Motivation which will give an insight into the art of motivating and fair team management.

Origin of Pygmalion Motivation

Pygmalion Motivation gets its name from George Bernard Shaw's play "Pygmalion," which influenced the creation of the stage musical and movie "My Fair Lady."

In the 1960s, Robert Rosenthal, Professor of Psychology at Harvard University and Lenore Jacobson, principal at an elementary school conducted an experiment on students. This experiment was later called the Pygmalion Effect Study. The study portrayed the fact that when teachers encourage students to perform, they do well and the opposite happens if they don’t.

Later, J. Sterling Livingstone wrote an article “Pygmalion in Management.” It explained that like the teacher student relationship, the encouragement by managers also motivates subordinates to perform.

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