Analysis of Content Motivation Theories

1 January 2017

This paper is an analysis of Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory, Herzberg’s Motivators- Hygiene theory and Alderfer’s ERG theory. The main similarity among them is they focus on identifying various needs which motivate an individual. It explains motivated performance as individual efforts to meet the needs. These theories provides the way how organization should motivate their employee to achieve optimum performance. It helps in developing dynamic and productive environment which ensure high organizational performance.

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The three Content Motivation Theories that discussed in this paper are Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory, Herzberg’s two factor theory or Motivators- Hygiene theory and Clayton Alderfer’s ERG theory. The main similarity among them is in their focus on identifying and understanding employee needs. The main difference among them is according the Maslow’s needs must be met in hierarchical order while Alderfer states that needs at any level can be unmet simultaneously and Herzberg said that hygiene factors will not motivate an individual. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory:

Human behavior is goal-directed. Motivation cause goal-directed behavior. It is through motivation that needs can be handled and tackled deliberately. This can be understood by understanding the hierarchy of needs. The needs of individual are serves as a driving force in human behavior. Need may define as “psychological feature that arouses an organism to action towards a goal giving purpose and directions”. Therefore, a manager must understand the hierarchy of needs Proposed Maslow. Maslow’s theory is based on two principles which are Deficit Principle and Progression Principle.

As per Deficit principle a satisfied need no longer motivates behavior because people act to satisfy deprived needs. According to Progression principle the five needs that Maslow identified exist in a hierarchy, which means that a need at any level only comes into play after a lower-level need has been satisfied. According to A. H. Maslow “Motivation is function of five basic needs. ” These needs are physiological need, safety need, love and belonging need; self esteem need, self actualization need. Maslow said that these five needs are arranged in order it influence human behavior.

Maslow also said that once an individual satisfy his lower order need than he move towards his higher order needs as the lower order needs no longer motivate him. The lower order needs are known as deficiency needs and higher order needs called growth needs. Now let me briefly describe those needs. 1. Physiological Need: These are very basic needs but very vital for survival of an individual. It consist of food, water, shelter, need for sex, etc. 2. Safety & Security Need: Once an individual satisfy with his physiological needs he move towards second level needs which are needs for safety and security.

Individual generally seek security from physical, psychological & financial harm Individual comes under this category of needs are motivated through job security, health bank balance for financial stability. 3. Love & Belonging Need: Individual under this need category seeks love and acceptance by their society & love once. Their behavior has been carried out by emotional relationships. Individual under this category are motivated by friendship, acceptance by social, community groups, romantic relationship, etc. 4.

Self Esteem Need: These are higher level needs according to need hierarchy theory. It is need for appreciation, respect, prestige, reputation etc. Individual under this category are motivated by high self esteem which comes from self confidence, recognition by others, etc. 5. Self Actualization Need: This is the highest level of need hierarchy theory. It is need for self fulfillment, individual’s desire to achieve full potential as human being. Individual under this category has accepted them self as they are now they can enjoy their life without guilt.

Implications of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory: The managers must identify the exiting need level of the employee and then those needs can be utilized as push for motivation. For physiological needs, the managers should give employees appropriate salaries to satisfy the necessities of life. To satisfy security needs, employees need a safe and hygiene working environment, provide wage that is enough to afford their desired lifestyle, house and quality of life and retirement benefits which give them an extra layer of job security and that helps in retain them.

Social needs necessitate managers to focus on team work and social events, as well as providing employees a chance to socialize outside of work. Esteem needs would be met by appreciation of achievements, rewards for good performance. Finally, self-actualization need can be met by furnishing the employees with challenging jobs which ensure that the employees’ skills and competencies are fully utilized. Moreover, growth prospects can be given to them so that they can reach the peak. Herzberg’s Motivator Hygiene Theory:

This theory focus on various job related factors which de-motivate or motivate individual. Factors which motivate an individual are known as motivators or satisfiers while factors which de-motivate an individual are called dissatisfies or hygiene factors. Motivators or Satisfiers: They are related with an individual’s need for growth. The Presence of these factors actively creates job satisfaction. They are associated with content of task being performed Motivators include satisfactions, recognition, responsibility, opportunity for growth, etc. Hygiene Factors:

Hygiene factors are based on providing pleasant work environment. Absence of these factors creates dissatisfaction and which would result in to low productivity, poor quality production, an average service quality, unpleasant work condition, lack of free flow of communication among employee and supervisor. Hygiene factors include company policy, wage and salary, quality of supervision, interpersonal relations among employees, etc. According to Herzberg “Factors which creates satisfaction are different from factors which creates dissatisfaction. So it needs to be consideration that opposite of satisfaction is no satisfaction rather than dissatisfaction and opposite of dissatisfaction is no dissatisfaction rather than satisfaction. Implications of Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory

The motivation-hygiene theory implies that managers must focus their efforts in two areas which are to ensure enough level hygiene factors which avoid any employee dissatisfaction and make sure that the work is inspiring, exciting and rewarding so that the employees are motivated to perform their work with enhanced and better efforts. This theory accentuate upon ob-enrichment to motivate the employees. The job must utilize the employee’s skills and competencies to the maximum. Future more as per the motivator-hygiene theory meeting employees lower-level needs would only prevent employees from becoming actively dissatisfied but will not motivate them. To motivate workers along with job-enrichment managers must focus on satisfying their higher order need by changing the intrinsic nature and content of job itself, by providing autonomy to take additional responsibility, and award enough opportunity to develop their skills and careers. Alderfer’s ERG Theory

Clayton Alderfer’s ERG theory is the extension and simplification of Maslow’s five need hierarchy into three needs which are Existence, Relatedness and Growth. Hence it called ‘ERG’ theory. ERG theory presents a model of progressive need. This elasticity feature allows the ERG theory to explain wide variety of practical behaviors. Existence Needs These include need for basic necessities of life. It includes an individual’s physiological and physical safety needs. These need reside at lowest level. Once individual has fulfilled his existence needs he would feel safe and physically relaxed.

Relatedness Needs Once an individual feel safe & relaxed then he move towards fulfilling the next set of need which is Relatedness. These include the aspiration of an individual’s for maintaining important interpersonal relationships, getting community recognition and recognition. Growth Needs The highest level of need on ERG theory is growth needs. Here an individual look for growth. These include need for self-advancement and personal growth and advancement. Once an individual satisfy his growth needs he feel a sense of completeness, accomplishment and realization Implications of ERG Theory

Unlike with Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, managers must be aware of that an individual has several needs to fulfill simultaneously. According to the frustration- regression aspect of ERG Theory, if advancement opportunities are not provided to individual, they he may revert back to relatedness needs. If the manager is able to identify this situation, then steps can be taken to concentrate on relatedness needs until the individual is able to pursue advancement again. The situation or conditions are not favorable then he might revert to the need for money to fulfill those needs.

Similarity & Differences between Maslow’s Need hierarchy Theory and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Hygiene Theory: Both Herzberg & Maslow’s theory states that needs of an individual must be satisfied in order to motivate him. However according to Herzberg’s theory higher level needs of Maslow’s theory are motivators and on the other hand lower level needs will create dissatisfaction if not met properly. Hygiene factors of Herzberg theory are identical to lower level need of Maslow‘s theory. Higher level needs of Maslow’s theory are equivalent to motivators of Herzberg theory.

Maslow identified five sets of needs which individual provided they satisfied on priority basis while Herzberg identified job related factors which motivate individual. Maslow‘s theory is more popular simple and descriptive while Herzberg theory perspective and it is an extension to Maslow’s theory. Maslow’s theory is widely cited and has wide applicability. It is mostly applicable where money is still a big motivator. On the other hand Herzberg theory has narrow applicability. It is mostly applicable where money is less motivating factor.

According to Maslow’s theory any need could act as motivator as long as it is not satisfied or relatively less satisfied on the contrary as per Herzberg theory only motivators like achievement, recognition, etc can motivate an individual. Hygiene factors do not motivate an individual. Similarity & Differences between Maslow’s Need hierarchy Theory and Alderfer’s ERG Theory Alderfer’s ERG theory is very identical to Maslow’s Need Hierarchy but It has only three tiers. The ERG needs can be grouped with Maslow’s theory like Existence parallel to Physiological and safety needs.

Relatedness equivalent to Social and external esteem needs. Growth similar to Self-actualization and internal esteem needs. Like Maslow’s Need Hierarchy theory, the ERG theory is hierarchical as existence needs have precedence over relatedness needs, which have priority over growth. ERG theory has only three sets of needs compare to Maslow’s five sets of need of hierarchy. The ERG theory allows different priority of needs for different individual. According to the frustration- regression principle of ERG

Theory, higher level need remains nfulfilled; the person may revert back to lower level needs which are relatively easy to satisfy. It may be a bit more logical, as the ERG theory state that unlike Maslow’s theory sex does not come under lower level need since it is not critical for survival of an individual. Maslow’s need hierarchy theory is rigid as it assumes that the needs follow a specific hierarchy and unless a lower-level need is satisfied, an individual cannot move towards the higher-level need while ERG Theory is very flexible as an individual satisfy needs as a variety rather than as a hierarchy.

Similarity & Differences between Alderfer’s ERG Theory and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Hygiene Theory According to ERG theory any unsatisfied need could act as motivator on the other side as per Herzberg two factor theory only motivators like achievement, recognition, etc can motivate an individual. Hygiene factors do not motivate an individual. Alderfer’s ERG theory categorized three sets of needs which motivate an individual while Herzberg identified job related factors which motivate individual called motivators also identified that the absence of hygiene factors would create negative satisfaction among employee.

Compare & Contrast Maslow’s Need hierarchy Theory, Alderfer’s ERG Theory and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Hygiene Theory Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is based on the assumption that individual has their needs satisfied at a certain level then the next level need with motivate them to move forward into the hierarchy. In Maslow’s theory, the basic needs are physiological, food, air, water, sleep and sex. The second level is security such as work and safety and security. The next levels of hierarchy are social, esteem and self actualizing.

In the social there is a need for family & friends; recognition from community, in the esteem a need for self confidence, and in the final self actualizing is to achieve full potential as human being. Each of these needs is significant for the overall satisfaction of an individual. ERG theory cuts down these levels into three although it provides more flexibility. Needs may vary from person to person and different person may have different levels. In these levels of needs, people may find it difficult to satisfy the next level and revert back to an easier level.

According to ERG theory the three categories of need are existence, relatedness. According to the frustration- regression aspect of ERG Theory, if growth opportunities are not provided to individual, they he may revert back. Two factor theory by Herzberg has two categories which are motivator and hygiene factors. Hygiene factors include better working conditions, job security, salary, status and interpersonal relationships. Motivators include achievement, recognition, interest, and responsibility. High hygiene plus low motivators can lead to few complaints and issues.

This theory only apply to work environment it did not applied to other parts of life like family, community, and other human dealings and concern. How Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory, Alderfer’s ERG Theory and Herzberg’s Two-Factor Hygiene Theory improve Organization’s Performance: Motivational theory has to do with the way organization motivates their employee to perform their task effectively which ultimately improve organizational performance. Motivational theory helps organization to develop productive work environment.

Herzberg theory help organization to identify job related factors which promote health work environment. Maslow’s theory helps manger’s to understand that not all individual are driven by the sane needs and the needs that motivate individuals can change overtime. Manager should consider which need an individual try to satisfy and depending upon that manager should design the reward structure which motivate an individual and that motivated individual results in to better organizational performance.

Herzberg theory promotes democratic approach to management which helps organization to find motivators which are more concern with actual job like challenging task that give sense of achievement. Content Motivation Theories are Need-based theories explain motivated actions as individual efforts to meet needs. As per this perspective, the manager’s job is to identify what individual needs and then to ensure that the work environment becomes a means of fulfilling these needs. Maslow’s hierarchy categorizes human needs into five hierarchical needs as physiological, safety, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs.

ERG theory is a modification of Maslow’s hierarchy, where the five needs are categorized into three set of needs as existence, relatedness, and growth. The two-factor theory differentiates between factors that make individual dissatisfied on the job known as hygiene factors and factors that truly motivate individual known as motivators.

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