Morale is an intangible concept of which several definitions have been attempted.

L. D. White — “Morale is an index of both a sound employment situation and a positive means of building up an efficient organisation ……….  a socio-psychological situation, a state of mind in which men and women voluntarily seek to develop and apply their full powers to the task upon which they are engaged, by reason of the intellectual or moral satisfaction which they derive from their chosen field, and their pride in the service”.

Alexander Leighton defined moral as “the capacity of group of people to pull together persistently and consistently in pursuit of a common purpose”.

Morale has an individual as well as a group or institution aspect – both interacting with each other. In its individual aspect morale is built upon the opportunity to acquire personal power, position, prestige, respect, etc. In general it is based on an opportunity for self-development. A person with high morale is given to sincere, honest, efficient and sustained hard work to satisfy his minor urge for recognition. He needs no supervision, nor does he need extra-ordinary monetary incentives to sustain his behaviour. In short, morale in an individual is his emotional condition relating to work.

In its institutional aspect, morale is symbolised by -

  • a feeling of belongingness or identification among the employees;
  • a sense of pride in co-operative group achievement;
  • a spirit of determination and perseverance in making efforts to accomplish and further the aims and purposes of the organisation.

A high morale in an organisation is, therefore, characterised by an ‘espirit de corps’ among its employees which makes them identify the aims and objectives of the organisation as their own. This stimulates the employees to put in hard work to achieve organisational goals.


Morale, motives, attitudes and enthusiasm

Morale is sometimes confused with motives and attitudes. Motives is an inner urge that prompts a person to action. Attitude is “an indication of a mental condition that pre­disposes an individual or a group to certain situations or certain circumstances in certain ways”. Morale relates to the totality of motives and attitudes. It should also be distinguished from enthusiasm. Enthusiasm is, “absorbing pursuit”, while morale is moral or mental condition with respect to cheerfulness, confidence and zeal etc. Enthusiasm is by nature temporary while morale denotes a more constant state of mind.

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