Finally, at the highest level of the hierarchy, the need for self-actualization The need to become all you are capable of becoming. Maslow was a clinical psychologist, and his theory was not originally designed for work settings. In fact, his theory was based on his observations of individuals in clinical settings; some of the individual components of the theory found little empirical support.
One criticism relates to the order in which the needs are ranked. It is possible to imagine that individuals who go hungry and are in fear of their lives might retain strong bonds to others, suggesting a different order of needs. Moreover, researchers failed to support the arguments that once a need is satisfied it no longer serves as a motivator and that only one need is dominant at a given time. Neher, A. Journal of Humanistic Psychology , 31 , 89—; Rauschenberger, J.
A test of the need hierarchy concept by a Markov model of change in need strength. Administrative Science Quarterly , 25 , — Understanding what people need gives us clues to understanding them. The hierarchy is a systematic way of thinking about the different needs employees may have at any given point and explains different reactions they may have to similar treatment. An employee who is trying to satisfy esteem needs may feel gratified when her supervisor praises an accomplishment.
Workplace Learning. Subjective Motives and Supervisor Support Matter. Authors: Baron, Stefan. Free Preview. Subjective Motives and Supervisor Support. Stefan Baron Workplace Learning Stefan BaronWorkplace Learning Subjective Motives and Supervisor Support Matter B.
However, another employee who is trying to satisfy social needs may resent being praised by upper management in front of peers if the praise sets the individual apart from the rest of the group. Providing generous benefits that include health insurance and company-sponsored retirement plans, as well as offering a measure of job security, will help satisfy safety needs. Social needs may be satisfied by having a friendly environment and providing a workplace conducive to collaboration and communication with others.
Company picnics and other social get-togethers may also be helpful if the majority of employees are motivated primarily by social needs but may cause resentment if they are not and if they have to sacrifice a Sunday afternoon for a company picnic. Finally, self-actualization needs may be satisfied by the provision of development and growth opportunities on or off the job, as well as by work that is interesting and challenging.
By making the effort to satisfy the different needs of each employee, organizations may ensure a highly motivated workforce.
Source: Based on Alderfer, C. An empirical test of a new theory of human needs. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance , 4 , — Alderfer, C. Instead of the five needs that are hierarchically organized, Alderfer proposed that basic human needs may be grouped under three categories, namely, existence, relatedness, and growth. For example, ERG theory does not rank needs in any particular order and explicitly recognizes that more than one need may operate at a given time.
For example, someone who is frustrated by the growth opportunities in his job and progress toward career goals may regress to relatedness need and start spending more time socializing with coworkers. The implication of this theory is that we need to recognize the multiple needs that may be driving individuals at a given point to understand their behavior and properly motivate them. Frederick Herzberg approached the question of motivation in a different way.
By asking individuals what satisfies them on the job and what dissatisfies them, Herzberg came to the conclusion that aspects of the work environment that satisfy employees are very different from aspects that dissatisfy them.
Herzberg, F. The motivation to work. The motivation to work among Finnish supervisors. Personnel Psychology , 18 , — Hygiene factors Company policies, supervision, working conditions, salary, safety, and security on the job. To illustrate, imagine that you are working in an unpleasant work environment. Your office is too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter. You are being harassed and mistreated.
You would certainly be miserable in such a work environment. However, if these problems were solved your office temperature is just right and you are not harassed at all , would you be motivated? Most likely, you would take the situation for granted. In fact, many factors in our work environment are things that we miss when they are absent but take for granted if they are present.
In contrast, motivators Factors that are intrinsic to the job, such as achievement, recognition, interesting work, increased responsibilities, advancement, and growth opportunities. Sources: Based on Herzberg, F. Cummings, L. Empirical research on the bases and correlates of managerial motivation. Psychological Bulletin , 70 , —; House, R. Personnel Psychology , 20 , — One criticism relates to the primary research methodology employed when arriving at hygiene versus motivators. When people are asked why they are satisfied, they may attribute the causes of satisfaction to themselves, whereas when explaining what dissatisfies them, they may blame the situation.
The classification of the factors as hygiene or motivator is not that simple either. For example, the theory views pay as a hygiene factor. However, pay may have symbolic value by showing employees that they are being recognized for their contributions as well as communicating that they are advancing within the company. Similarly, the quality of supervision or the types of relationships employees form with their supervisors may determine whether they are assigned interesting work, whether they are recognized for their potential, and whether they take on more responsibilities.
Despite its limitations, the theory can be a valuable aid to managers because it points out that improving the environment in which the job is performed goes only so far in motivating employees.
Undoubtedly, contextual factors matter because their absence causes dissatisfaction. However, solely focusing on hygiene factors will not be enough, and managers should also enrich jobs by giving employees opportunities for challenging work, greater responsibilities, advancement opportunities, and a job in which their subordinates can feel successful. According to this theory, individuals acquire three types of needs as a result of their life experiences. These needs are the need for achievement, the need for affiliation, and the need for power.
All individuals possess a combination of these needs, and the dominant needs are thought to drive employee behavior. Spangler, W. Validity of questionnaire and TAT measures of need for achievement: Two meta-analyses. This method entails presenting research subjects an ambiguous picture asking them to write a story based on it.
Take a look at the following picture. Who is this person? What is she doing? Why is she doing it? The story you tell about the woman in the picture would then be analyzed by trained experts. The idea is that the stories the photo evokes would reflect how the mind works and what motivates the person. If the story you come up with contains themes of success, meeting deadlines, or coming up with brilliant ideas, you may be high in need for achievement. Those who have high need for achievement Having a strong need to be successful.
As children, they may be praised for their hard work, which forms the foundations of their persistence. Mueller, C.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology , 75 , 33— As adults, they are preoccupied with doing things better than they did in the past. These individuals are constantly striving to improve their performance. They relentlessly focus on goals, particularly stretch goals that are challenging in nature. Campbell, D. Determinants of choice of goal difficulty level: A review of situational and personality influences.
Journal of Occupational Psychology , 55 , 79— They are particularly suited to positions such as sales, where there are explicit goals, feedback is immediately available, and their effort often leads to success. In fact, they are more attracted to organizations that are merit-based and reward performance rather than seniority. They also do particularly well as entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers. Harrell, A. Journal of Applied Psychology , 66 , —; Trevis, C. Spotlight on entrepreneurship.
Business Horizons , 48 , —; Turban, D. Organizational attractiveness: An interactionist perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology , 78 , — Are individuals who are high in need for achievement effective managers? Because of their success in lower level jobs where their individual contributions matter the most, those with high need for achievement are often promoted to higher level positions. McClelland, D. Leadership motive pattern and long-term success in management.
Journal of Applied Psychology , 67 , — However, a high need for achievement has significant disadvantages in management positions. Management involves getting work done by motivating others. When a salesperson is promoted to be a sales manager, the job description changes from actively selling to recruiting, motivating, and training salespeople.