Motivation Basic Need Theories Revisited

7:29 AM Amer Bekic 0 Comments

There are different theories about human motivation but in this chapter the author only explain the basic need theories of Maslow, Alderfer, Herzberg, and McClelland. Schein also contrast them on a table that shows the similarity of their approaches.

The theory of Maslow was created in 1954 and is arranged by a hierarchical order, so you can not pass to the next level until you have covered the lower order level. His categories are physiological needs, safety needs, affiliation, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization. The problem with this theory is that the categories proposed by Maslow are very general. Alderfer take the Maslow needs and group them into three basic categories that are: needs for existence, needs to relate to others, and needs for personal growth. His theory was created in 1972 and is most useful to measure how much of each need has accomplished an adult at a given time.

McClelland’s theory identifies three basic needs, for achievement, power and affiliation but in this theory the intensity of our need and behavior will vary according the situation. For this reason there are studies that show that depending on the career the person has a higher average in a specific need.

The last theory revised in this chapter of the book is the Herzberg’s hygiene and
motivational factors; these needs are more related to the job and reflect concrete things that people expect to have in their own work. The needs in this one are:working conditions, salary and benefits, supervision, fellow workers, recognition,advancement, responsibility, and job challenge. The problem with this theory is that people tend to want different things at different times.


It was very interesting learn more about the different motivational theories that exist, because I only had knowledge about the Maslow's and at the end of the reading I discover that for me it was the least interesting. But I agree with the author in the argument that it is very difficult to make a theory that applies for everyone because the needs of every person are different or are changing with the time and they also may order them in different hierarchies.