Motivation Theories : Maslow, Herzberg, And Mcclelland Essay

Motivation Theories : Maslow, Herzberg, And Mcclelland Essay

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Motivation Theories: Maslow, Herzberg, Alderfer, and McClelland
While Maslow’s Human Motivation Theory has been highly influential in motivating individuals in a variety of settings, several other theorists have increased understanding of human motivation as it relates to behavior and performance, especially in the workplace. Theories proposed by Maslow, Herzberg, Alderfer and McClelland have been adopted in a variety of settings to help employers better understand the needs and motivators that drive performance. While there are similarities in how human needs and motivators are described, there are also significant distinctions between how needs are categorized and how these theories explain individual progression through and between them. The common element between them is that understanding individual needs and motivation can help improve individual performance and satisfaction in a variety of settings.
Maslow’s Human Motivation Theory
Maslow’s widely accepted theory of human motivation proposes that human needs can be arranged in a hierarchy, with the fulfillment of higher level, “growth” needs dependent on fulfillment of lower-level “deficiency” needs. In Maslow’s view, “every drive is related to the state of satisfaction or dissatisfaction of other drives” (1943, p. 370). Maslow’s hierarchy is typically represented as a pyramid, with lower order needs at the bottom and higher order needs at the top. This reflects the relationship of each need to the others, with the most important category being the physiological needs at the base (Redmond, 2010). The basic level includes physiological needs such as oxygen, food, and sleep, as well as safety and security needs such as shelter, order, routine, and protection from anyt...


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...ncy needs) and his motivators represent a higher order (like Maslow’s social and self-actualization needs. A key distinction between Maslow’s theory and Herzberg’s Two Factor theory is that, while Maslow indicates that lower order needs (deficiencies) motivate individuals, Herzberg asserts that his Hygiene factors do not motivate, and when used by employers to achieve this goal, they can actually de-motivate. (Pardee, 1990). According to Maslow’s theory, satisfying lower order needs motivates individuals to achieve the next; Herzberg believes that meeting lower order needs simply reduces dissatisfaction. As with Maslow’s “deficiency” needs, Herzberg’s hygiene factors are easier to control and measure than the more subjective higher order needs, but with both theories, employers would focus their efforts on the higher order motivators improve employee performance.

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