The action-motivation matrix: Positions people take regarding problems



This article presents the action-motivation matrix and uses it to identify and examine four basic positions people take with respect to the problems they encounter in the workplace. The matrix arrays reactive-proactive actions against approach-avoidance motivation resulting in four cells labeled Firefighter, Early Bird, Phantom, and Artful Dodger. The matrix provides insight, guidance, and ideas to individuals, management, and performance improvement professionals in their efforts to better understand and manage problem-solving behavior.