Hierarchy of Needs Theory
Maslow’s need theory is about hierarchy of universal
needs that motivate a person. Maslow’s needs hierarchy theory condenses and
integrates the long list of needs that had been studied previously into a
hierarchy of five basic categories (Steven L. McShane and Von Glinow 2008). Maslow
thought that personal needs can be arranged in a hierarchical order; in
essence, he believed that once a given level of need is satis?ed, it no longer
serves to motivate. The next higher level of need has to be activated in order
to motivate the individual. (Fred 2011).
Maslow in his book (1954) identi?ed ?ve levels in
his need hierarchy. They are, in brief, the following:
Physiological needs. The needs that are usually taken as the starting
point for motivation theory are the so-called physiological drives. These needs
are the most basic level in the hierarchy, generally corresponds to the
unlearned primary needs (Maslow 1954). The needs of hunger, thirst, sleep, and
sex are some examples. According to the theory, once these basic needs are
satis?ed, they no longer motivate. For example, if a person is hungry and hunger
is satisfied, it becomes unimportant in the current dynamics of the individual
then he/she will be motivated only by the next higher level of needs.
If the physiological needs are relatively well satisfied, there then emerges a
new set of needs, which we may categorize roughly as the safety needs. This
second level of needs is roughly equivalent to the security need. Maslow
stressed emotional as well as physical safety. The whole organism may become a
safety-seeking mechanism (Fred 2011).
These needs are security and protection from physical and emotional harm. Once
these needs are satis?ed, they no longer motivate (Robbins and Judge 2012).
Social need. Robbins
and Judge (2012) stated that if both
the physiological and the safety needs are fairly well gratified, there will
emerge social needs that include affection, belongingness, acceptance, and
Maslow (1954) described this level represents the higher needs of humans. Maslow
carefully pointed out that the esteem level contains both self-esteem and
esteem from others. These are, first, the desire for strength, for achievement,
for adequacy, for mastery and competence, for confidence in the face of the
world, and for independence and freedom. Second, we have what we may call the
desire for reputation or prestige defining it as respect or esteem from other
people, status, fame and glory, dominance, recognition, attention, importance,
dignity, or appreciation. (Fred 2011).
Needs for self-actualization. Maslow’s major contribution, he portrays this level
as the culmination of all the lower, intermediate, and higher needs of humans.
People who have become self-actualized are self-ful?lled and have realized all
their potential. Self-actualization is closely related to the self-concepts. In
effect, self-actualization is the person’s motivation to transform perception
of self into reality.
According to Steven L. McShane and Von Glinow (2008)
as a person satisfies a lower level need; the next higher need in the hierarchy
becomes the primary motivator and remains so even if never satisfied. The exception
to this need fulfillment process is self-actualization; as people experience
self-actualization, they desire more rather than less of this need. Thus while
the bottom four groups are deficiency needs because they become activated when unfulfilled,
self-actualization is known as a growth need because it continues to develop
even when fulfilled.
Two-Factor Theory of Motivation
Herzberg defined two sets of factors in deciding
employees working attitudes and level of performance, named motivation &
hygiene factors (Robbins, 2009). Two-factor theory describe job satisfiers are
related to job content and that job dissatisfies are allied to job context.
Herzberg labeled the satisfiers motivators, and he called the dissatisfier
hygiene factors. In Herzberg’s theory the motivation factors are intrinsic
factors that will increase employees’ job satisfaction; while hygiene factors
are extrinsic factors to prevent any employees’ dissatisfaction. (Fred, 2011).
The implication for organizations to use this theory
is that meeting employees’ extrinsic or hygiene factors will only prevent
employees from becoming actively dissatisfied but will not motivate them to
contribute additional effort toward better performance. To motivate employees,
organizations should focus on supplying intrinsic or motivation factors
Extrinsic factors are well known as job context
factors; are extrinsic satisfactions granted by other people for employees
(Robbins, 2009). These factors serve as guidance for employers in creating a
favorable working environment where employees feel comfortable working inside.
When all these external factors were achieved, employees will be free from
unpleasant external working conditions that will not destroy their feelings of
dissatisfactions, but remains themselves neutral in neither satisfied nor
motivated; however, when employers fail to supply employees’ extrinsic factors
needs, employees’ job dissatisfaction will arise.
Intrinsic factors are the actual factors that
contribute to employees’ level of job satisfactions. It has widely being known
as job content factors which aim to provide employees meaningful works that
able to intrinsically satisfy themselves by their works outcomes,
responsibilities delegated experience learned, and achievements harvested
(Robbins, 2009). Intrinsic factors are very effective in creating and
maintaining more durable positive effects on employees’ performance towards
their jobs as these factors are human basic needs for psychological growth.
Intrinsic factors will propel employees to insert additional interest into
their job. When employees are well satisfied by motivational needs, their
productivity and efficiency will improved.
This theory further proposed the intrinsic and
extrinsic factors are interdependence to each other. Presence of extrinsic
factors will only eliminate employees’ work dissatisfaction; however, it will
not provide job satisfaction. On the other hand, sufficient supply in intrinsic
factor will cultivate employees’ inner growth and development that will lead to
a higher productivity and performance; however, absent of this factor will only
neutralize their feeling neither satisfy nor dissatisfy on their jobs.
Extrinsic factors only permit employees willingness to work while intrinsic
factors will decide their quality of work. These two groups of extrinsic and
intrinsic factors are not necessary opposite with each other, as opposite of
satisfaction are not dissatisfaction, but rather no satisfaction. Similarly,
opposite of dissatisfaction are not satisfaction, but no dissatisfaction (Robbins,
2.1.9 ERG Theory
Maslow’s basic needs
and refined them
into existence, relatedness, and
growth needs. Alderfer proposed
the ERG theory
based on results
of empirical studies to explain the
relationship between satisfaction
of needs and human desires. Existence needs include a person’s physiological
and physically related safety needs, such as the need for food, shelter, and
safe working conditions. Relatedness needs include a person’s need to interact
with other people, receive public recognition, and feel secure around people
(i.e., interpersonal safety). Growth needs consist of a person’s self-esteem
through personal achievement as well as the concept of self-actualization presented
in Maslow’s theory (Robbins 1996).
ERG theory states that an employee’s behavior is
motivated simultaneously by more than one need level. Thus, you might try to
satisfy your growth needs (such as by completing an assignment exceptionally
well) even though your relatedness needs aren’t completely satisfied (Conte,
ERG theory applies the satisfaction-progression
process described in Maslow’s needs hierarchy model, so one need’s level will
dominate a person’s motivation more than others. As existence needs are
satisfied, for example, related needs become more important. Unlike Maslow’s
model, however, ERG theory includes a frustration regression process whereby
those who are unable to satisfy a higher need become frustrated and regress to
the next lower need level Armstrong (2001).
For example, if existence and relatedness needs have
been satisfied, but growth need fulfillment has been blocked, the individual
will become frustrated and relatedness needs will again emerge as the dominant
source of motivation. Although not fully tested, ERG theory seems to explain
the dynamics of human needs in organizations reasonably well. It provides a
less rigid explanation of employee needs than Maslow’s hierarchy.
Theory of Motivation
According to Fred (2012) equity theory developed by J. Stacey Adams, proposes
that a major input into job
performance and satisfaction is the degree of equity or inequity that people perceive
in their work situation. Equity is when the ratio of a person outcome to input
compared to other person ration is equal. On the other hand inequity occurs
when a person perceives that the ratio of his or her outcomes to inputs and the
ratio of a relevant other’s outcomes to inputs are unequal.
If an employee perceives his/her ratio to be
equitable in comparison to those of relevant others, there’s no problem.
However, if the ratio is inequitable, he/she views herself as under rewarded or
over rewarded. When inequities occur, employees attempt to do something about
it. The result might be lower or higher productivity improved or reduced
quality of output, increased absenteeism, or voluntary resignation Robbins and
Fred (2012) describes that both the inputs and the
outputs of the person and the other are based on the person’s perceptions, age,
sex, education, social status, organizational position, qualifications, and how
hard the person works. Outcomes consist primarily of rewards such as pay,
status, promotion, and intrinsic interest in the job.
The referent is an important variable in equity
theory that an individual compare themselves against the other persons,
systems, or selves individuals in order to assess equity. Each of the three referent
categories is important Robbins and Coulter (2012).
category includes other individuals
with similar jobs in the same organization but also includes friends,
neighbors, or professional associates. Based on what they hear at work or read
about in newspapers or trade journals, employees compare their pay with that of
The system category
includes organizational pay policies, procedures, and allocation.
The self category refers to inputs–outcomes
ratios that are unique to the individual. It reflects past personal experiences
and contacts and is influenced by criteria such as past jobs or family
Originally, equity theory focused on distributive
justice, which is the perceived fairness of the amount and allocation of
rewards among individuals.
Theory of Motivation
The most comprehensive explanation of how employees
are motivated is Victor Vroom’s expectancy theory. As it was described by
Robbins and Coulter (2012) expectancy theory states that an individual tends to
act in a certain way based on the expectation the attractiveness of that
outcome to the individual. It includes three variables or relationships:
effort–performance linkage is the probability perceived by the individual that
exerting a given amount of effort will lead to a certain level of performance.
or performance–reward linkage is the degree to which the individual believes
that performing at a particular level is instrumental in attaining the desired
attractiveness of reward is the importance that the individual places on the
potential outcome or reward that can be achieved on the job. Valence considers
both the goals and needs of the individual.