Hierarchy of Needs Theory Abraham Maslow is the man behind the highly-known motivation theory which was defined by the hierarchy of needs. Maslow concentrated on five existing needs in each different human. Physiological Needs Safety Needs Belonging or social Needs Esteem Needs Self-actualization needs. Each of these needs is described in the exhibit above. Maslow identifies the physiological need as the first step in order to reach to the Self-actualization needs. When each need is fully satisfied the above need becomes the next target to be fulfilled. For every company that is looking to motivate its employees, it is required to know what position of the hierarchy that employee is currently occupying and try to satisfy that need to reach a higher in the future. Maslow divided the hierarchy of needs into two different orders: Lower-order needs: which are described as the needs that are satisfied intrinsically and particularly the physiological and Safety needs. Higher-order needs: which are described as the needs that need to be fulfilled extrinsically and particularly the social, esteem and Self Actualization needs.
Many managers practice this theory as attributed by its ease of understanding and implementation of the need, and it’s until now widely recognized but the problem is that there are no empirical evidence to validate the need and no scientific confirmation for the organization and order of the needs level on the hierarchy. Existence–Relatedness–Growth theory The Existence Relatedness and Growth Theory also known as the ERG was elaborated by Clayton Alderfer. The theory is based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs as seen on the exhibit above. Alderfer reanalyzed the theory in order to validate it. Clayton divided the five Maslow’s needs into three essential needs: The Existence Need that covers level 1 and level 2 of Maslow’s hierarchy is related to the essential elements needed for existence. The Relatedness need that covers level 3 and external component of level 4 of Maslow’s Hierarchy is concerned on the interpersonal relationships between the peoples, and the belongingness to the family and society. The Growth need that covers Level the internal component of level 4 and level 5 of Maslow’s hierarchy is related to the personal achievements and growth.
The ERG theories identifies the ability of satisfying more than one need at once and the ability to move upward or backward all along the needs hierarchy, for example a person could struggle to satisfy a high esteem need which result into increasing the desired level to achieve a lower need. ERG theory differentiate from Maslow’s as it does not follow a rigid pattern which means from level 1 to level 5, but it follows a flexible pattern that may allow a person to satisfy his growth need before fulfilling the satisfaction of his relatedness or existence need. ERG is supported by many researchers and is a more valid option than the needs theory but as every motivation is limited by the cultural boundaries, it can success or also fail in certain organizations. The Two-Factor Theory Psychologist Frederick Herzberg identified the two-factor theory which is also called motivation hygiene theory. The theory started by a simple question based survey in which he asked “What do people what from their jobs?”. Herzberg identified a difference between what makes a good or bad feelings for peoples abouts their jobs. Different criterias were the cause of satisfaction or dissatisfaction while factors like recognition and achievement were related to job satisfaction and others such pay cuts, working environment were related to job dissatisfaction.
Herzberg argued that the opposite of job satisfaction is not dissatisfaction as the survey suggested that the opposite of dissatisfaction is no dissatisfaction, and no satisfaction to satisfaction. Frederick concluded that the criteria that identifies the job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are totally unrelated. Herzberg divided the job satisfaction and dissatisfaction into two factors: Hygiene Factors : Including salary, supervision, company policy and other, Motivators Factors: Including promotion opportunity, recognition, growth, intrinsic rewards and other. That’s why the manager should carefully look into the motivators factors that are related to the satisfaction of the job if he wanted to motivate the employees and consider the hygiene factors if he doesn’t want to make the employees feels dissatisfied. Below is an Exhibit that reflects an understanding on the Two-Factors Theory: Even though the Theory is widely known and applicable by many managers, it’s criticized strongly for several reasons, one of the reason was that critics said that Herzberg took the satisfaction performance only and totally neglected the productivity of the labors. The relationship between productivity and satisfaction was low. Herzberg’s View on Satisfaction and Dissatisfaction: