Alderfer's theory: motivation and human needs

A huge number of researchers around the world have been studying the motivation of human activity for decades. After all, motivation is a very important psychophysiological process that controls human behavior, determines its direction, stability, activity, and organization. For a better understanding of motivation as a psychological phenomenon that allows a person to satisfy his needs, even separate theories called theories of motivation have been developed and continue to be developed. And one of the youngest of them is the ERG theory of motivation by Clayton Alderfer, a psychologist from Yale University.

Alderfer's concept and individual differences

Following this logic, if an individual cannot fulfill the need for self-realization, then he begins to satisfy the needs of a lower rank. If someone who is, for example, an engineer or a nanny by vocation, does not have the opportunity to satisfy the need for self-actualization, then he compensates for this lack in another way. That is, his actions must be consistent with meeting the needs of the lower orders: he will immerse himself in communication with friends, social events, and please himself with sleep, food, and a larger number of sexual partners.

We must agree that this algorithm is not typical for every individual who is cut off from the opportunity to achieve a state of self-realization. Some may exhibit similar behavior, but to a greater extent it will also be determined by biographical factors, level of spiritual maturity, and the presence or absence of problem areas in other areas of life.

For a normal healthy person, for example, sex or food (first-order need) will never replace emotional attachment (second-order need). And, in turn, the state of self-actualization can hardly represent a full-fledged replacement (and not a surrogate) for meeting the needs of the basic blocks. Moreover, it will be impossible in their absence - it is unlikely that respect from society or career achievements will adequately compensate for hunger and thirst.

This theory has been officially accepted by the scientific community and has some advantages. But it is not applied widely enough compared to Maslow's concept. Alderfer's theory is also unproven - there have not been enough extensive statistical studies to substantiate it. Thus, it has both advantages and disadvantages. Whether to use it in work or not - each specialist must decide for himself.

Alderfer's theory of existence, connection and growth

What is on each level of Alderfer's pyramid?

  1. Physiological needs. We are talking about sleep, food, sexual desire, air. This also includes factors that are responsible for human safety and comfortable working conditions.
  2. Social. As stated above, this is the need for self-affirmation, self-realization as a specialist in a particular field, recognition of achievements by people around.
  3. At the top is the desire for self-improvement, self-realization, and self-esteem. Here is the need to express oneself either in the professional sphere or in creativity.

The above needs are closely related to each other.

A difference between theories that is not insignificant

Maslow argued, probably not without reason, that if any of the lower needs are not satisfied, the path to meeting the higher needs is closed. Thus, movement in his pyramid was only possible from lower to higher blocks.

In Alderfer's concept things are different. As stated, if higher needs are not satisfied, lower ones also become relevant. This researcher can move in both directions. For example, if a person’s need for professional growth is not satisfied, then his need for social connections becomes urgent. Thus, not being able to satisfy some human needs, the company seeks to fill this gap by satisfying other needs.

Interestingly, Alderfer's theory has found wide application in the field of organizational management. There is a popular joke that partially reflects a similar approach in a corporate environment. The salesperson trains the inexperienced trainee and instructs him that if the product is unavailable, he must offer an alternative in return. When a customer comes into the store and asks for toilet paper, the trainee salesperson replies, “Sorry, no toilet paper. But I can offer excellent sandpaper.”

When a need is not met, a person experiences frustration - a negative psycho-emotional state when faced with obstacles.

Alderfer's theory of needs states that, despite the frustration of not being able to satisfy a higher-level need, an individual can compensate for it by satisfying lower-level needs more often.

Importance of ERG Motivation Theory

HR managers who subscribe to this theory recognize that employees have multiple needs that must be satisfied simultaneously. Additionally, in the absence of opportunities for growth and development, employees return to their need for communication. If managers are able to identify this situation early, measures can be taken to address communication needs so that employees can once again meet their growth needs.

Financial incentives are known to satisfy employees' needs and motivate them to continue making efforts to achieve personal and organizational goals. However, the theory made it clear that incentives have no effect on employees whose subsistence needs have not yet been satisfied.

Existential needs

This block is analogous to the basic steps in Maslow's pyramid. For Alderfer, it includes physiological needs as well as the need for safety. Satisfying the needs for food, water, sleep, safety - all these are the main components necessary for the normal functioning of the body. Alderfer's theory of motivation, already starting from the description of the first block of needs, is very consonant with its predecessor.

According to Alderfer, those workers who work only to meet these needs have little interest in the content of the work

They pay more attention to pay, working conditions, and the opportunity to relax at work.

Differences between Maslow's and Alderfer's theories

Maslow's theory suggests the possibility of movement in one direction - up. From his point of view, the satisfaction of lower needs pushes us to a higher level, the lack of satisfaction within one of the categories forces us to “stay in place” until we achieve what we want.

The difference between Alderfer’s theory of motivation is that the urge to satisfy various types of needs does not always correspond to Maslow’s strict hierarchy. The movement occurs both from bottom to top and from top to bottom. Failure to satisfy “higher” demands throws us back to the previous level and forces us to achieve greater success there. An example is the problem of “stress eating.” Unsatisfactory social connections push people towards unreasonable gourmet eating, acquiring unnecessary status items, unproductive communication, etc.

Economic theory

Human economic needs are satisfied by a complex commodity-money system, which includes document flow, production manipulation, exchange and a range of services at different levels. It is on these factors that the economic theory of needs is based. At this stage of human development in all civilized countries, the totality of an individual’s economic needs is limited by the funds available to him.

If you collect and summarize all the realized needs of a particular society, you can obtain data on the effective demand of its population. This means that the motivating key for the population to purchase goods and services is its needs.

The economic needs of society influence the production process in a stimulating way:

  • based on the theory of needs motivation, it is clear that specific human needs serve as a goal for creating conditions and factors that satisfy them to the extent necessary;
  • it is human nature to change requests, increasing or decreasing the quantity of the required product, strengthening or weakening claims to its quality, which also affects production processes;
  • Human economic needs are satisfied according to the scheme “from primary to secondary,” that is, goods and services that meet lower-order needs will always be in high demand among the population.

So, the population motivates production with demand, reflecting the real needs of society, but not all human needs are formed into the requested unit. This happens for several reasons:

  • the low solvency of the population does not allow it to purchase all the goods and services that it needs;
  • there is a moral factor or features of legal restrictions.

It turns out that a person has a need to satisfy a specific request, but there is no demand motivating the production of this product or service. It follows from this that production does not respond to the direct needs of the population, but to the demand for designated products and services, which may be significantly lower than necessary to fully satisfy the needs.

SVR theory developed by K. Alderfer

Page 1 of 2Next ⇒


What needs to be done to make people work better and more productively? How to make work more fun? What causes the desire and need to work? These and many other similar questions arise when people are managed.

Currently, no one doubts that the most important resource of any company is its employees. However, not all managers understand how difficult it is to manage this resource. The success of any company depends on how effective the work of employees is. The task of managers is to use the capabilities of their staff as efficiently as possible. No matter how strong the decisions of managers are, the effect from them can only be obtained when they are successfully implemented by the company’s employees. And this can only happen if employees are interested in the results of their work.

A person's readiness and desire to do his job are one of the key factors for the success of an organization. A person is not a machine; he cannot be “turned on” when his work requires it, and “turned off” when the need for his work no longer exists. Even if a person must perform routine work, very simple in content and easy to control and account for, work that does not require a creative approach and high qualifications - even in this case, mechanical compulsion to work cannot give a high positive result. The slave-owning system of farming and the communist camp system clearly proved that, contrary to the will and desire of a person, much cannot be achieved from him.

The very first motivation technique was the carrot and stick method, or the reward and punishment method, which is still used today. An extreme example of this method is the method of fear, which has appeared quite often in history. In our history, methods of intimidation have been especially popular. Here we have pest control, slogans that we are surrounded by enemies and therefore working without proper productivity is a crime.

In many historical and literary sources, for example in the Bible, myths and legends of the ancient world, in medieval legends about the Knights of the Round Table and Russian folk tales, one can find many examples of how leaders (kings, leaders, etc.) offer a reward to the supposed the hero for completing a particular mission or is promised the death penalty for failure to complete it.

Some people believe that you can force a person to work using brute force. You can force it, but how will it work? Working under pressure, as noted in the Russian proverb, is bad work. There is an English proverb about this: you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink.

The study of the development of theoretical ideas about the content and regulation of motivational processes allows us to determine that with the socio-economic development of society, the direction of the vector of motivational influences has changed. From the initial focus strictly on increasing labor productivity, i.e. stimulating physical activity, motivation gradually began to focus on improving the quality of work and stimulating creative activity, initiative and retention of workers in the enterprise.

To do this, it is necessary to somehow motivate a person, to encourage him to act. It is clear that the main motivating factor is salary, however, there are many other factors that force a person to work. Today there are a colossal number of ways to influence the motivation of a particular person, and their range is constantly growing. Moreover, the factor that today motivates a particular person to work intensively, tomorrow may contribute to the “switching off” of the same person. No one can say for sure how the motivation mechanism works in detail, how strong the motivating factor should be and when it will work, not to mention why it works. With all the breadth of methods with which you can motivate employees, the head of the company must choose how to stimulate each employee to fulfill the main task - the survival of the company in fierce competition.

All theories of motivation implicitly assume a direct relationship between action and performance or effectiveness.

Only by knowing what motivates a person, what motivates him to act, what motives underlie his actions, can we try to develop an effective system of forms and methods of managing a person. To do this, it is necessary to find out how certain motives arise or are caused, how and in what ways motives can be put into action, how people are motivated.

Based on the above, the purpose of this work is to define the concepts of motivation, as well as their role in modern society.

1. The concept of motivational processes

Management, or business management, is the process of planning, organizing, motivating and controlling necessary to formulate and achieve organizational goals by influencing other people.

Motivation is one of the main functions of any manager, and it is with its help that the company’s personnel are influenced.

By motivation, a number of authors understand the external or internal motivation of a subject to activity in the name of achieving certain goals, the presence of interest in such activity and methods of initiating and motivating it. Others believe that motivation is a direction to activity, a state of personality that determines how actively and with what direction a person acts. There is also an opinion that motivation is a process of connecting the goals of the enterprise and the goals of the employee to most fully satisfy the needs of both, a system of various ways of influencing personnel to achieve the intended goals of both the employee and the enterprise.

An analysis of the above definitions shows that motivation lies in creating such operating conditions under which the interests of the enterprise and employees are identified, and what is beneficial and necessary for one becomes equally necessary and beneficial for the other.

Motivation significantly influences the performance by personnel of their production duties, since it is based on the intensification of management activities to improve product quality. Motivation is designed to intensify human activity in the following directions: strengthening; activation; diligence; persistence; conscientiousness; purposefulness of activity.

Strengthening and intensifying production, technical, scientific and other types of human activity serve as its qualitative and quantitative indicators, and also act as a source of growth in the efficiency of product quality management. A person can perform any work quickly, slowly, with high quality, with poor quality, spending more or less labor, mental and physical energy. Everything is determined by the structure and nature of motivational processes. Motivators can be various forms of remuneration, incentives, benefits, promotion, transfer to a more interesting and highly paid job, etc.

Correct selection and use of motivation factors increases the efficiency of motivational processes and acts as economic levers for strengthening the motivation process and increasing the efficiency of quality management.

With the help of motivators, as a means of accelerating motivational processes, it is possible to eliminate needs, various contradictions and problems that arise in the process of product quality management.

Motivation influences a person in different ways, depending on the internal content of his inclinations, interests, incentives and the state of feedback from human activity.

The function of motivation is that it influences the workforce of an enterprise in the form of incentives for effective work, social influence, collective and individual incentive measures. These forms of influence activate the work of management subjects and increase the efficiency of the entire management system of an enterprise or organization.

The essence of motivation is that the company’s personnel perform work in accordance with the rights and responsibilities delegated to them, in accordance with the management decisions made.

When planning and organizing work, the manager determines what exactly the organization he leads must accomplish, who, how and when, in his opinion, should do it.

Motivation methods should be based on the principles of a systems approach and analysis, which means covering the entire personnel of the enterprise, linking specific decisions within a subsystem, taking into account their impact on the entire system as a whole, analysis and decision-making regarding personnel, taking into account the external and internal environment in the entirety of the relationships.

1. Administrative - focused on such motives of behavior as the perceived need for labor discipline, a sense of duty, a person’s desire to work in a certain organization, and work culture. The system of these methods includes: organizational and stabilizing (federal laws, decrees, charters, rules, state standards, etc.) for mandatory implementation; methods of organizational influence (regulation, instructions, organizational charts, labor standards) operating within the organization; administrative (orders, instructions; disciplinary (establishment and implementation of forms of responsibility).

2. Economic - with the help of this group of methods, material incentives are provided for teams and individual workers. They are based on the use of an economic management mechanism, with the help of which the progressive development of the organization is ensured.

3. Socio-psychological - associated with social relationships, with moral and psychological impact. With their help, civic and patriotic feelings are activated, people's value orientations are regulated through motivation, the creation of a socio-psychological climate, moral stimulation, and social planning. These methods include: the formation of teams, the personal example of the leader to his subordinates, guiding conditions (goals, organization and its mission), participation in the management of employees, satisfaction of cultural and spiritual needs, establishment of moral standards and incentives (reasonable combination of positive and negative incentives) , social prevention and social protection of workers.

4. Spiritual and moral - rarely applicable on an organization scale. However, in order to satisfy some employees’ higher-order needs for involvement and success, management can determine the highest goals of the company (ideals) and pursue a policy of achieving them through spiritual and moral methods (propaganda, etc.).

There are various ways of motivation , of which we will name the following:

1. Normative motivation - inducing a person to a certain behavior through ideological and psychological influence: persuasion, suggestion, information, psychological infection, etc.;

2. Coercive motivation, based on the use of power and the threat of deterioration in the satisfaction of the employee’s needs in the event of his failure to comply with the relevant requirements;

3. Stimulation - influence not directly on the individual, but on external circumstances with the help of benefits - incentives that encourage the employee to behave in a certain way.

The first two methods of motivation are direct, because they involve a direct impact on a person, the third method - stimulation - is indirect, since it is based on the influence of external factors - incentives.

The concept of “motive” occupies a central place in the theory of motivation. A motive is a predominantly conscious internal urge of a person to engage in certain behavior aimed at satisfying certain needs. Motives are often defined as a person’s initially unrealized readiness for a certain behavior.

Actualization of a motive means turning it into the main impulse of psychological activity that determines behavior. What aspects of human behavior are revealed in the concept of motive?

Motive characterizes, first of all, the volitional side of behavior, i.e. it is inextricably linked with the will of man. We can say that motive is the impulse and reason for human activity. It is predominantly a conscious impulse. Despite the fact that many motives originate in the subconscious, nevertheless, they become a driving force, a determinant of behavior, only when they are more or less conscious. A motive is generated by a certain need, which is the final cause of human actions. He is a phenomenon of psychology, subjective reality, i.e. consciousness and subconscious. Although a motive expresses readiness for action and encourages it, it may not develop into action or behavior; in this case, there is a struggle of motives in which the strongest of them wins and is actualized.

Incentives play the role of encouraging motivational processes by improving wages, bonuses, rewards for certain results, i.e. stimulation is one of the effective means of influencing motivation.

Incentives are motivating reasons for one or another action in the field of improving the quality of work. In their content, these are economic levers of influence that cause the formation of certain motives, thereby increasing the efficiency of the management mechanism. In contrast to incentives, incentives are the process of applying, using various incentives to motivate people to perform certain actions. Incentives are necessary to motivate people in the management process, but they do not replace motivation. Stimulation is a means of implementing motivation to balance the achievement of goals.

Stimulating staff is an important management function. The whole variety of incentives for high-quality work can be divided into two groups: material and intangible.

It is advisable to use various incentives and motivators for improving quality in combination with each other, which will cover the main factors influencing quality and implement not only the motivation of workers, but also the motivation for production development.

Under normal production conditions, the use of various incentive levers contributes to the growth of needs, and the latter, in turn, stimulate the development of production and improvement of product quality. At the level of motive, such a combination gives rise to personal interest, the purpose of which is to satisfy a certain need, and at the same time, public interest arises - improving the quality of products. This follows from the dialectical unity of needs and incentives in the motive: the motive is the internal need of a person, the incentive is its external expression, at the same time, the incentive is an external condition for the more successful implementation of the employee’s needs.

Motivation in an organizational context is the process by which a manager encourages other people to work towards achieving organizational goals, thereby satisfying their personal wants and needs. Employees work only to achieve the overall goals of the organization because they believe that this is the best way to achieve their own goals. Workers engage in strenuous physical labor, work extra hours, and endure great stress, all because they believe that these negative aspects of their work are acceptable given the rewards they receive for themselves and those important in their lives. . Workers want a sense of “partnership” with the company and its management. They need to understand how their personal success relates to the company's success, and they need to be confident that the extra energy they voluntarily put into their work will be reflected in the rewards they receive from the firm. In addition, they should have the opportunity to feel independent. Even if it seems that employees are working only to achieve the overall goals of the organization, they still behave this way because they believe that this is the best way to achieve their own goals. Motivation, as one of the methods of the personnel management function, is an integral part of the management process.

There are many ways to improve the quality of your work. For example, many regulations may prohibit production (such as requiring equipment to be monitored for contamination and occupational safety). Worker productivity could also be increased through investment in more modern equipment, such as assembly line robots or word processors for secretaries. This is, of course, useful, although it is only part of the solution since virtually all maintenance and production activities depend on humans. Even in the most automated auto assembly plants, for example those with few employees, poor employee attitudes and sabotage can seriously reduce productivity.

Another way to improve productivity and performance is to improve human behavior at work through the application of modern resource management concepts and techniques. They have proven to be most effective in improving employee performance of their duties.

Thus, the task of the manager, who must motivate workers, is to provide them with the opportunity to satisfy their personal needs in exchange for quality work.

The term "need satisfaction" reflects the positive feelings of relief and well-being that a person feels when his desire is fulfilled.

Practical management is based on certain theories of motivation, which can be divided into two groups. Content theories try to find out the reasons for this or that human behavior. They are often called "need theories." Process theories focus on the question of how this or that type of behavior arises, what guides, supports and stops it.

Motivation, analyzed as a process, can be represented in the form of six successive stages. To understand how the motivation process unfolds, what its logic and components are, the following model may be acceptable and useful:

1. The emergence of needs. A person feels that he is missing something. He decides to take some action. Needs are very different, in particular: physiological, psychological, social.

2. Finding ways to eliminate a need that can be satisfied, suppressed, or simply not noticed. There is a need to do something, to undertake something.

3. Determination of goals (directions) of action. It is determined what exactly needs to be done and by what means to meet the need. Here it is revealed what needs to be obtained in order to eliminate the need, in order to get what is desired, to what extent it is possible to achieve what is necessary and what can actually be obtained can eliminate the need.

4. Implementation of action. A person expends effort to carry out actions that open up the possibility of acquiring what is necessary to eliminate the need. Since the work process influences motivation, goals can be adjusted at this stage.

5. Receiving a reward for implementing an action. Having done the necessary work, a person receives something that he can use to eliminate the need, or something that he can exchange for the object he desires. Here it is revealed to what extent the implementation of actions provided the desired result. Depending on this, either weakening, maintaining, or changing the motivation for action occurs.

6. Elimination of need. Depending on the degree of relief of tension caused by the need, as well as on whether the elimination of the need causes a weakening or strengthening of motivation for activity, the person either stops the activity before a new need arises, or continues to look for opportunities and take actions to eliminate the need (Fig. 1.1) .

It is not easy to identify which motives are leading in the motivational process of a particular person under specific conditions. Knowledge of the logic of the motivation process does not provide decisive advantages in managing this process. An important factor here is that the motives are not obvious. One can guess which motives predominate, but it is quite difficult to isolate them in a specific form.

The existing model of labor motivation has largely absorbed elements of the Soviet model of labor stimulation. However, a sharp change in the economic situation in our country and the emergence of market relations influenced changes in the system of human values. Many workers are convinced that for a comfortable life, position (status), power, connections with the right people, and work in the sector of the market economy are important.

The results of surveys of modern employees of Russian enterprises conducted at the end of 2001 are interesting. For the formation of work motivation, the nature of the labor norms and values ​​acquired by the individual is of greatest importance.

The motivational policy of organizational leaders in today's Russia should be built on the conditions of ensuring the urgent needs of employees.

Table 1 presents a comparative description of work values ​​based on data from a sociological survey.

Table 1. Value orientations of workers in the labor process

No.Possible answer% of respondents
1Interesting creative work34,9
2A job that gives you the opportunity to improve your skills14,6
3Work that benefits people25,3
4Work with good working conditions17,4
5Job with career opportunity20,0
6High paying job64,8
7Work at a stable, promising company36,8
8Jobs that provide social benefits16,4
9Work that provides an opportunity to improve living conditions20,0
10Work, where there are good relationships in the team25,0
11A job where management treats staff well20,9
12Work at a company that is close to home14,9

motivation need theory procedural

Thus, it is obvious that the ways to achieve effective motivation depend primarily on human needs, norms and values. Consequently, using this leverage, it is possible to influence the business activity of employees. The answer to the question of how to do this is given by two groups of concepts.

Content-based ones focus on what needs motivate people to be active in work. Process ones reveal under what conditions and how this becomes possible.

2. Content theories of motivation

Content theories of motivation describe the structure of needs, their content and how these needs are related to a person’s motivation for activity. These theories attempt to answer the question of what inside a person motivates him to activity. The most famous theories of this group are: the theory of the hierarchy of needs, developed by A. Maslow; SVR theory developed by K. Alderfer; theory of acquired needs by D. McClelland; theory of two factors by F. Herzberg.

“Hierarchy of Needs” by A. Maslow

According to Maslow's theory, all needs can be arranged in the form of a strict hierarchical structure (pyramid).

He divided all human needs into five groups. By this, he wanted to show that the needs of lower levels (primary) require satisfaction, and, therefore, influence human behavior before the needs of higher levels begin to affect motivation. At any given moment in time, a person will strive to satisfy the need that will be stronger or more important for him. Since with the development of a person as an individual his potential capabilities expand, the need for self-expression can never be fully satisfied. Therefore, the process of motivating human behavior through his needs is endless. In order for the next, higher level of the hierarchy of needs to begin to influence human behavior, it is not necessary to satisfy the need of the lower level completely. Even if at the moment one of the considered needs prevails, then a person in his activity is guided not only by it.

1. Physiological needs - consist of basic, primary human needs, sometimes even unconscious. In the works of modern researchers, they are called biological needs. These are the needs for shelter, wages, leave, pensions, breaks, favorable working conditions, lighting, heating and ventilation. From the point of view of labor motivation, we consider them as material, which includes the need for a stable salary, as well as other monetary rewards. Satisfying the needs of this group is possible through methods of material incentives.

2. The need for security (in the case of considering work motivation, includes the need for confidence in the future). These are the needs for protection from physical and psychological dangers from the outside world and the confidence that physiological (material) needs will be satisfied in the future. This confidence is based on guarantees of pension and social security, social guarantees, as well as various types of social insurance (medical, pension, etc.). People living in a peaceful, stable, well-functioning, good society may not be afraid of predators, heat, frost, criminals; they are not threatened by chaos or oppression by tyrants. In such an environment, the need for security does not have a significant impact on motivation... In a normal society, among healthy people, the need for security manifests itself in mild forms, for example, getting a job in a company that provides employees with social guarantees, in an attempt to save for a “rainy day” , in the very existence of various types of insurance.

Nowadays, even in prosperous and civilized countries we have to fear various manifestations of extremism and terrorism, therefore people of weak psychological personality types, when choosing a place of work, strive to satisfy their need not only in the field of economic, but also physiological security.

3. Social needs. Once physiological and safety needs have been satisfied, the person's attention shifts to the need for friendship, love, and belonging. As “social animals,” people have a desire to be liked by others and want to satisfy their social needs at work. This occurs by joining formal and informal work groups, by collaborating with other workers, and by participating in a variety of collaborative activities. Social needs are expressed in the long-term habit of working in a certain team, friendly relations with colleagues at work. Often, even if their wages are insufficient, workers do not leave their place of work in search of something better precisely because their social needs are well satisfied.

4. Needs for recognition (respect) include the needs for self-esteem, personal achievements, competence, and respect from others. The needs at this level include two classes. The first includes desires and aspirations. Related to the concept of “achievement”. A person needs a sense of his own power, adequacy, competence; he needs a sense of independence, confidence and freedom. In the second class of needs we include the need for reputation or prestige, the need to gain status, attention, recognition, fame.

. Needs for self-realization and self-expression. When the needs of the four lower levels are satisfied, a person focuses his attention on satisfying the need for self-realization. In trying to achieve this, people try to realize their full potential, increase their abilities and be the “best”. This need for self-expression is the highest of all human needs. The fact that human needs can be arranged in a hierarchical order is important. Firstly, the needs of lower levels must be satisfied first, only after that can the needs of higher levels be addressed. In addition, it is worth considering that the needs of lower levels form the foundation on which the needs of higher levels are built. Only if lower-level needs remain satisfied does a manager have a chance to succeed by motivating workers by satisfying higher-level needs. The idea of ​​sufficiency is very important. A person will never experience the feeling of complete satisfaction of his needs. Most people want more money, security, friends, respect and self-confidence, no matter how much they have already achieved. Thus, a person moves up the hierarchy not when his needs are fully satisfied, but when they are sufficiently satisfied.

Despite the fact that A. Maslow’s theory provided a very useful description of the motivation process for various types of managers, subsequent experimental studies have not fully confirmed it. The main criticism of this theory is that it failed to take into account individual differences in people. The concept of the most important needs has not received full confirmation either. Satisfaction of any one need does not automatically lead to the involvement of the next level as a factor motivating human activity.

SVR theory developed by K. Alderfer

K. Alderfer, like Maslow, combines human needs into groups, of which there are three:

1. Existence needs (“C” in the abbreviation SVR) - physiological and safety needs.

2. Relationship needs (“B”) include the desire to receive support, recognition, and approval from other people.

3. The need for growth (“P”) encourages a person to realize his abilities for self-affirmation, self-expression, etc.

These groups are comparable to those identified by Maslow, but differ in that the movement from need to need occurs not only from bottom to top, but also in both directions. Alderfer calls movement from a higher level to a lower level frustration, i.e. disappointment, the collapse of hope for satisfaction.

The presence of two directions of movement in satisfying needs opens up additional opportunities for motivating people in the organization. For example, if an organization does not have the ability to satisfy a person, then, being disappointed, he may switch with increased interest to the need for communication. And in this case, the organization can provide him with opportunities to satisfy this need, thereby increasing its potential for motivating this person.

K. Alderfer's theory may be correct under rather subjective circumstances, mainly associated with the weak psychological personality type of people.

So far, it has not been possible to test and apply K. Alderfer’s theory in practice, but the usefulness of his concept lies in enriching ideas about the process of motivation and expanding the prospects for searching for its effective forms.

1Next ⇒

Recommended pages:

Use the site search:

Interesting patterns and features of Alderfer's theory

Clayton Alderfer identified a number of patterns:

  1. Existence needs become stronger if there is no way to satisfy them fully.
  2. Existence needs intensify if the needs of the second level, social, are poorly satisfied.
  3. The manifestation of social needs intensifies if higher-level desires associated with self-development are not satisfied.

It’s hard to say whether the scientist is right or wrong. The theory appeared in 1972, so it has not received enough evidence. And yet, despite this, it has found its application in management. Thanks to Alferder's reasoning, it became possible to look for new ways to motivate employees.

Today, this type of motivation theory has gained recognition among scientists. But only in a narrow circle. This is because Maslow’s pyramid of needs is more consistent with the results of studies that have studied the relationship between human needs and motivation. In view of this, there is no reason to believe that Clayton Alderfer's theory will replace it in the near future.

How does the ERG theory of motivation differ from Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

Maslow's pyramid of needsERG theory of motivation
This theory was developed by Abraham Maslow.This theory was developed by Clayton Paul Alderfer.
Levels of need are considered in a step-by-step manner.Different levels of needs can be met simultaneously.
Hierarchical aspects lack flexibility.The order in which needs are met may vary from person to person.
The theory does not explain the frustration-regression principle.The theory contains an element of frustration-regression. This principle states that if higher level needs are not fulfilled or satisfied, people become frustrated and return to the lower level.

Useful tool Board game for situational management

The game will introduce you to such an effective tool for managing subordinates as adaptive leadership Find out the details

Application of Alferfer's theory in practice

Despite harsh criticism, Alderfer's needs theory is used in many companies. Its use takes into account all levels of needs:

Existence needs. If a person devotes all his energy to satisfying them, he is unlikely to be interested in the essence of the work. The only thing he will pay attention to: wages, comfort in the workplace, safety. Social needs

It is important for an employee to feel important in the work process. Realizing his value as a specialist, he will work not only for the sake of a salary. Not the last place will be taken by teamwork for results. Need for growth

If a person satisfies the desires located at this level, he confidently moves forward, takes leadership positions, and moves up the career ladder. Such people need to be praised as often as possible and encouraged for some achievements.

A need can become active at any time, regardless of where in the pyramid it is located. The main thing is for management to take this fact into account. This is the only way to motivate employees to be active.

Herzberg's concept

The main theories of needs include the interesting concept of two factors by Frederick Irwin Herzberg, who established that all human needs can be divided into two groups:

  • motivating - determine the actions and behavior of a person satisfied with his work activity;
  • hygienic – needs that eliminate all negative factors that interfere with normal work activities.

Drawing conclusions in his theory of needs, the American psychologist came to the conclusion that hygiene factors are a set of external conditions that can be satisfactory or unsatisfactory for a person. These conditions are: wages, social guarantees, working relationships, management loyalty, labor safety. If the quality of the listed conditions is poor, and the employee is not motivated to perform successfully, then his general condition is regarded as uncomfortable.

The next conclusion, related to the same theory of needs, states that the internal conditions of a person's work, such as respect, career growth, responsibility and power, are important motivating levers for enhancing the beneficial activities of the individual. If these conditions are absent completely or partially, this does not bring a state of severe discomfort into a person’s life. When all components of the system are present, a person experiences a feeling of absolute satisfaction.

Formation and formation of modern needs

From the beginning of the period of the primitive communal system, the importance of socialization among cavemen was on a par with a person’s own needs. The concept of “I” did not exist as such, since alone a person could neither feed himself nor protect himself

All the needs of an individual were reduced to the needs of a primary (urgent) and secondary nature:

  1. Primary needs included the fulfillment of natural needs, eating, finding shelter, heating oneself and the home. Without the full satisfaction of these needs, human life was impossible.
  2. Secondary needs also formed an important part of human life, but as a result of their complete or partial absence, the existence of the individual was not threatened. The needs of secondary importance of ancient man included sex and personal affection.

In an effort to make it easier for themselves to obtain food and increase the overall comfort of existence, primitive people over time expanded the range of their needs to the framework of the modern understanding of this structure. Conquering nature and positioning one’s personality above its laws became the starting point for the formation of a full-fledged work activity with its needs for recognition, success and growth.

Since obtaining knowledge about the world around us became the only way to develop labor, a person developed a thirst for knowledge and a tendency to organize the information received. During the same period, one of the very first law-making mechanisms began to work in primitive society - morality. However, at the very beginning, the only principle protected by the new concept was the priority of interests. In all cases, a person was instructed to first satisfy the needs of the collective and only then his own.

The ability of the first people to transmit visual models of the social system in the form of rock paintings, clay figurines and oral transmission allowed humanity to take a big step in its development and opened up new horizons for it. If we apply Dr. Maslow’s theory of personality needs to the structure of the way of life of that time, it becomes clear that with the achievement of such a high stage of development as the need for spiritual food, a person completed his path of formation of a rational personality.

Hierarchy of needs according to A. Maslow

Maslow’s hierarchical theory of needs is depicted as a pyramid, conventionally divided into 7 horizontal sectors:

  1. Sector No. 1 (lower) is assigned the most important category of needs - physiological. These include: fulfillment of natural needs, satisfaction of hunger and thirst, sleep, sexual desires.
  2. Sector No. 2 is self-preservation (the desire for safety). The category includes instincts that provide a sense of confidence and avoidance of danger.
  3. Sector No. 3 is the need for socialization and love. The skills that a person develops as a result of the need to be classified as a member of a certain social group determine his social status.
  4. Sector No. 4 is the need for veneration (recognition). In order to satisfy his natural vanity and in order to win the respect of others, a person is capable of making many sacrifices and even becoming the organizer of a powerful social egregor.
  5. Sector No. 5 is a craving for knowledge and research. Some followers of Maslow's theory of needs combine groups 4 and 5 (a person's craving for knowledge and the need for recognition) into one sector, since both of these concepts are interrelated. The question of the order of these groups is also controversial, because it happens that a person who has done a lot to obtain a high assessment of his skills deliberately avoided recognizing this fact.
  6. Sector No. 6 is the desire for aesthetic pleasure and the development of intellectual abilities.
  7. Sector No. 7 (top of the pyramid) is a person’s need to identify his personal capabilities and reveal spiritual resources.

Many researchers, including the Australian scientist John Vere Burton, without denying Maslow’s level of need theory as a whole, objected to assigning any priority to a person’s primary needs. According to opponents of the concept, none of the named needs of a person can be assessed as secondary, since all of them simultaneously constitute the essence of a person and are his inseparable components.

Alderfer's ERG theory

When creating his theory, Clayton Alderfer proceeded mainly from the fact that all human needs can be systematized into separate groups, which may resemble Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs. Therefore, by the way, they are very often compared. But Alderfer’s theory differs from Maslow’s pyramid in that, according to it, there are only three groups of needs (hence, by the way, the name of the theory - ERG):

  • Existence – existence needs, which include physiological needs and safety needs;
  • Relatedness – communication needs that reflect the social nature of a person. This includes a person’s desire to occupy some place in the world around him, the need for self-affirmation, recognition, the presence of subordinates or superiors, colleagues, enemies, friends, to have a family and to be part of it;
  • Growth – growth needs, which include a person’s needs related to his desire to develop and grow personally.

We can say that existence needs consist of two groups of needs in Maslow's pyramid: safety needs, which however do not include group safety, and physiological needs.

In communication needs, one can trace the relationship with the groups of belonging and involvement needs. According to Alderfer, communication needs, as already briefly mentioned, reflect the social nature of people. For this reason, the presented group of needs can safely include some needs for recognition and self-affirmation from Maslow’s pyramid, which are closely related to people’s desire to take their place in the world around them, as well as that group of security needs from the same pyramid, which relates specifically to group security.

As for growth needs, an analogy can be drawn between them and the needs for self-expression related to Maslow’s pyramid. But this also includes those needs for recognition and self-affirmation that are based on a person’s desire for self-improvement, development of self-confidence, etc.

All three groups of needs in Alderfer's theory are arranged in a hierarchical order, just like in Maslow's pyramid

But there is one very important difference between both of these theories, which is that, according to Maslow’s pyramid, movement from one need to another can only occur from the bottom up: for example, if the needs of the lower level are satisfied, you can move on to satisfying the needs of the higher level and etc. And Alderfer insists in his theory that movement can occur in both directions - both down and up

An upward movement occurs when the needs of a lower level are not satisfied, and a downward movement occurs when the needs of a higher level are not satisfied.

At the same time, Clayton Alderfer says that dissatisfaction with the needs of the higher level increases the dissatisfaction with the needs of the lower level, thereby automatically switching a person’s attention to the needs of this level. For example, if a person was unable to satisfy his need for personal growth, his communication needs are activated, which represents a process of regression from the upper level of needs to the lower.

Based on ERG theory, the hierarchy of needs reflects an ascent from more specific needs to less specific ones

Alderfer believes that whenever a need is not satisfied, a person's attention switches to satisfying a more specific need. And it is this downward movement that causes the movement from top to bottom

In Alderfer's theory, the upward movement along the stages of needs is called the satisfaction of needs, and the downward movement is defined as the process of frustration, i.e. a person's failure to satisfy a need.

Thanks to the presence of two directions of movement along the stages of needs, new additional opportunities emerge for motivating ideas in the organization. If, for example, a company does not have sufficient capabilities to satisfy a person’s need for growth, he, guided by this, can switch with greater zeal and interest to satisfy the need for communication. And in this situation, the company can already provide this person with the opportunity to satisfy such a need, thereby increasing its potential in motivating another person.

What is the essence of Clayton Alderfer's theory of motivation?

The creator of the theory of motivation is Clayton Alderfer, a humanistic psychologist from the USA. Like other scientists, for many years he paid attention to the issue of motivation, studying what can motivate a person to act actively.

The scientist agreed with the principles of Abraham Maslow's pyramid. Therefore, he based his creation precisely on it. He divided all human needs into 3 large groups, which are called ERG by K. Alderfer. The pyramid looks like this:

  1. Existence. This is what you need to exist. This group includes security needs.
  2. relatedness. Communication needs, social nature. This is the instinctive desire of every person to find his place in society, to assert himself, to start a family, to find friends, to gain power, etc.
  3. Growth. Growth needs. They represent a desire for personal growth and development.

As in Maslow's pyramid, all needs are arranged in order of importance. But, according to Clayton Alderfer's hierarchy of needs theory, you can move along the pyramid in any direction. A person moves upward if he was unable to satisfy the needs from a lower level. And vice versa. Downward movement occurs when it is not possible to satisfy the desires located at the top.

According to Alderfer, unsatisfaction of higher-level needs leads to increased unsatisfaction of lower-level needs. Let’s say a person has achieved nothing in the area of ​​personal growth. As a result, his attention shifts to communication needs.

And one more feature of the theory of motivation. When moving from the bottom up, a person moves from specific to less specific needs. If something doesn’t work out at the top, he moves on to satisfying more specific desires. In psychology, this process is called frustration or a discrepancy between desires and capabilities.

Conditions affecting the effectiveness of meeting an individual's needs

The theory of need satisfaction takes into account that each individual forms his own list of requests, which will meet his personal preferences, attitude towards moral and ethical principles, and the desire to develop in a spiritual direction.

It has been proven: the higher a person’s aspirations lead him away from primary needs, the more closely his needs are connected with acquiring knowledge, finding harmony and spirituality. And vice versa, the primitive life of the subject, aimed only at satisfying his lower needs, constantly keeps a person within the framework of a non-spiritual environment, not giving him the opportunity to develop.

Factors that do not depend on a person’s will play a major role in the formation of needs:

  • age;
  • heredity;
  • gender

The needs tied to these factors have a stable value and are not subject to strong fluctuations in demand. These include: medicines and medical equipment, compulsory hygiene products, etc.

Other internal factors that regulate a person's needs are the result of his inclinations, lifestyle, education and work activities. An individual is capable of voluntarily refusing to satisfy these needs or meeting them halfway. It should be noted that there is a complex system of relationships here. On the one hand, a person strives to satisfy the needs formed by his personal preferences, and on the other, his desires gradually change under the influence of the ways available to him to eliminate the deficit.

External conditions that influence the organization of a person’s needs are a consequence of his choice of place of residence, since their immediate manifestations are not in direct connection with the desires of the individual. These are the weather, climatic, seismic features and environmental conditions of the area. Regulating the needs emanating from environmental conditions usually consists of eliminating health hazards and bringing a person’s existence closer to a state perceived by him as comfortable.

Need for achievement in McClelland's theory

The theory of acquired needs from the American psychologist David McClelland almost does not consider the primitive needs of a person. The scientist devoted his work to the study of motivational levers that force objects to engage in a given activity, and to the study of the desire of some people to prevail over others.

In the course of his work, the scientist concluded that only an individual who makes efforts to satisfy his higher-order needs and moves steadily in this direction is able to develop with increasing efficiency. Each successive achievement of an object is based on the experience gained during the period of overcoming the previous stage.

Gradually, a person who has chosen the right tactics for his dynamic growth develops the so-called step length. This means that all the goals that he sets for himself do not exceed his real capabilities and do not require him to strain his strength, and after achieving them, a person can calmly and without pause move on. People of this order are capable of responsible decisions, and the individual tasks that they undertake are always carried out with high precision.

Further research by the psychologist showed that the described need for achievement is characteristic not only of individuals, but also of certain societies. Groups united by high aspirations and having a clear goal developed successfully in the economic and educational spheres, while societies with a low need for results had a very weak internal structure.

General classification of human needs

The general classification of human needs underlies all theories that explain a given set of conditions and factors of need from a scientific or pseudo-scientific point of view. First of all, all the needs of people are divided into two large groups according to awareness and unconsciousness of the need. The first include human desires and goals that require the individual to make certain efforts to achieve them. The second includes the needs necessary for the life of the body and procreation.

The next indicator for determining the needs from the above two groups is their genesis. Based on their origin, needs are also divided into two types:

  • primary – these are all the basic human functions that lie in the area of ​​unconscious needs;
  • secondary are functions that are directly dependent on the object’s habitat and other conditions responsible for the socialization of the individual in society.

Also, in almost every author of the theory of needs one can find divisions into group and personal needs, basic and service, rational and irrational, classical and new, constant and impermanent.

Alderfer's ERG theory

American psychologist Clayton Alderfer, another author of the theory of human needs, believed that all urgent human needs can be combined into three groups:

  1. Existence needs (physiology and self-preservation).
  2. Communication needs.
  3. Growth needs (personal development).

Group 1 includes factors included by Abraham Maslow in the first two steps of his pyramid and designated by him as the most important. K. Alderfer believed that the ability to fight for one’s existence: to be able to hide from the enemy, find food and shelter from bad weather - makes human life possible in principle, which means its value is inseparable from the ability to cope with natural needs.

The need to establish communication connections is inherent in a person’s desire to be part of a group and belong to society. Being a loner, a person is not only deprived of the opportunity to continue his family, he becomes practically defenseless against a stronger enemy and, forced to constantly fight for his life, he stops developing.

The desire for internal progress and learning ability, according to Alderfer, is the crown and essence of the theory of needs. Unlike Maslow, who argued that a person’s needs always go from primitive to complex, the Austrian scientist was sure that, depending on the circumstances, the dynamics of movement can be either upward or downward. What does this depend on?

In his hierarchy of needs theory, Alderfer used concepts such as:

  • "satisfaction";
  • "frustration".

The scientist called the individual’s desire to rise above primitive needs towards personal growth and social development “need satisfaction.” The inability to overcome the next level of the hierarchical ladder and a return to the previous level already spoke of the frustration of the body.

Who is Clayton Alderfer and what is motivation?

Clayton Paul Alderfer is an American humanistic psychologist. He was born on September 1, 1940 in the USA. Became a psychologist at Yale University. In many ways, his views were similar to those of Abraham Maslow.

For many years, scientists from different areas of psychology have been studying the phenomenon and concept of motivation. Can we define this word? Can. To put it simply, motivation is exactly what makes people act.

Psychologists identify many types of motivation and study what exactly motivates a person to do or not do something. They also take a deep look at the hierarchy of needs and how they influence our behavior.

Basis of the theory

The relationship between the needs of communication (R), existence (E) and personal growth (G) according to Alderfer

Alderfer agrees with Maslow's theory, but identifies only three needs that people care about:

  • the need to exist (Existence),
  • need to communicate with others (Relatedness)
  • and the need for one’s growth and development (Growth).

Alderfer argued that these three needs are similar to those identified by Maslow. The need to exist is similar to the physiological need. The need to communicate with others is a social type need. The need for growth is the need for self-realization, for respect.

Clayton Alderfer argued that today's needs may remain unsatisfied in five years, and then the guidelines can be changed. As a young person, a person may aspire to become the president of a company. In adulthood, he may no longer want to become president, since it takes up too much of his life. This is a different way of looking at human needs.

Alderfer tried to establish a connection between need satisfaction and their activation and as a result identified the following seven principles:


The less satisfied the needs of existence
, the stronger they manifest themselves.


The weaker the social needs
, the stronger the effect of the needs of existence


The more fully the needs of existence

manifest themselves .


The less satisfied social needs
, the more their effect increases.


The less satisfied the needs of personal growth and self-realization

become .


The more fully the social needs
, the more the needs of personal growth


The less the needs of personal growth
, the more actively they manifest themselves. The more the need for personal growth is satisfied, the stronger it becomes.

Thus, Alderfer showed that the order of actualization of needs may be different from what Maslow indicated, and depend not only on its place in the hierarchy, but on the degree of satisfaction of both this need and some other needs.

Categories of ERG Motivation Theory

Need for existence (E)Associated with basic, basic human needs.
Need for communication (R)Involves human desire to satisfy interpersonal and social connections.
Need for growth and development (G)Associated with the desire to grow and develop as a person.

Social needs recognition, belonging

This group includes all those needs that exist in relation to social status and connections with others like oneself. It has long been established that for successful development a person needs to be part of the whole - a small social group, ethnic group, or belong to a professional community. This also includes the need for self-esteem and recognition from others, as well as group safety. Maslow's theory and Alderfer's theory also differ in this aspect: the latter's group security is included in the second block.

Within the framework of corporate culture, the needs of this category can be met through various activities at work and the opportunity to communicate. A person begins to look at his place of work not only as a source of income. He feels his value, belonging to the team.

Here's a good question to ask Clayton Alderfer: I wonder if the fulfilled need for recognition can compensate for the lack of cash flow for an employee who has to feed minor children and at the same time pay a mortgage?

Growth needs

This category includes all human desires that are related to self-realization. The desire for self-respect and respect from society also appears here. However, it must be conditioned by a person’s personal growth and self-confidence.

Alderfer's theory of needs states: people in whom this type of needs dominates require a special way of handling. They strive for leadership and recognition of their qualities by others. Therefore, it is necessary to reward and encourage their merits in every possible way.


Considering that Alderfer's ERG theory appeared relatively recently (in 1972), it does not have enough practical evidence to support its correctness. But, despite this, knowledge of this theory and its main provisions is of practical benefit for management practice, because thanks to it, new horizons and prospects open up for managers in the search for the most effective methods of motivation.

It should also be noted that due to its simple formulations, Alderfer's theory was recognized by the scientific community. But in many ways it coincides with Maslow’s pyramid of needs, which we have already mentioned more than once. In both of these systems, there are different categories of needs and a relationship is assumed from which can be applied to develop special programs for motivating and encouraging the behavior of people in organizations.

It is also interesting that Alderfer himself does not define needs within a single hierarchical system - the scientist says that each of the needs can be active at any time. And some of them, for example, the needs for growth, may generally intensify as a person satisfies them.

There has not been as much research on Alderfer's theory as it probably deserves. However, ERG theory has a number of advantages that were inherent in earlier substantive theories of motivation, but it does not have the limitations that were characteristic of them. Despite the fact that the results of research conducted by scientists in the field of human needs are more suitable for Alderfer's theory than for Maslow's pyramid, the theory itself has received only limited support from researchers. For this reason, today we have very little reason to see in Alderfer’s theory an alternative to Maslow’s pyramid, which has already become popular and familiar to many.

K. Alderfer's theory of motivation

Lecture notes


(name of the discipline)

Lecture 1. Theories of motivation and their modern significance in personnel management

Content theories of motivation

— Meaningful theories of motivation are based on an analysis of the individual’s needs, which are realized in activities.

— All known substantive theories of motivation are built on the basis of a hierarchical understanding of the structure of human needs.

Abraham Harold Maslow (1908-1970) is the founder of the humanistic movement in personality psychology. Author of the “pyramid of needs” concept.

A. Maslow's theory of motivation

A. Maslow's hierarchy of needs

According to A. Maslow’s theory of motivation, people base their motivation on five types of needs:

/increasing hierarchy level/ -1- physiological needs; -2- need for security; -3- the need to belong to a certain social group; -4- need for respect; -5- need for self-expression, self-realization, personal power.

— According to A. Maslow, a need becomes a motivator only after the needs lower in the hierarchy of needs are satisfied.

Rice. 1. Maslow's pyramid

1. Physiological needs,

which are necessary for life and existence.

- These include the needs for food, drink, shelter, rest and others.

— From the point of view of labor motivation, we consider them as material ones, which include the need for stable wages, as well as other monetary rewards.

— Satisfying the needs of this group is possible through methods of material incentives.

2. The need for security (in our case includes the need for confidence in the future).

— These are the needs for protection from physical and psychological dangers from the outside world and the confidence that physiological (material) needs will be satisfied in the future.

— This confidence is based on the guarantees of pension and social security, which can be provided by a good reliable job, social guarantees, as well as various types of social insurance (medical, pension, etc.).

3. The need for belonging and love (in the case of describing the motivation for work, they are called social needs).

— These needs are expressed in the long-term habit of working in a certain team, friendly relations with work colleagues.

— Often, even if their wages are insufficient, workers do not leave their place of work in search of a better job precisely because their social needs are well satisfied.

To meet the social needs of workers in the process of collective work, the following activities should be carried out:

- give employees work that would allow them to communicate during their work activities;

— hold periodic meetings with subordinates;

— try not to destroy informal groups that have arisen if they do not cause real damage to the organization;

— create conditions for social activity of members of the organization outside its framework.

4. The need for recognition (respect) includes:

- self-esteem needs,

- personal achievements,

- competence,

- respect from others.

To meet the recognition needs of his employees, a manager can apply the following measures:

- offer subordinates more meaningful work;

- highly evaluate and encourage the work results achieved by subordinates;

— delegate additional rights and powers to subordinates;

— provide training and retraining that increases the level of competence.

5. The need for self-actualization (self-expression) is the need to realize one’s potential and grow as an individual.

— According to Maslow, the main source of human activity, human behavior, and actions is a person’s continuous desire for self-actualization, the desire for self-expression.

Self-actualization is an innate phenomenon; it is part of human nature.

To meet the self-expression needs of employees, you should:

— provide subordinates with opportunities for training and development that would allow them to fully use their potential;

- give subordinates complex and important work that requires their full commitment;

- encourage and develop creative abilities in subordinates.

— The general conclusion that A. Maslow makes about basic needs is as follows:

“Our idea of ​​the hierarchy of needs will be more realistic if we introduce the concept of a measure of need satisfaction and say that lower needs are always satisfied to a greater extent than higher ones.

- If, for the sake of clarity, we use specific figures, albeit conditional ones, it turns out that the average citizen has physiological needs satisfied, for example, by 85%, the need for security is satisfied by 70%, the need for love - by 50%, the need for self-esteem - by 40%, and the need for self-actualization - by 10%. ...

“None of the needs we mentioned almost ever becomes the sole, all-consuming motive for human behavior.”

— N. Kunc points out that in educational systems there is a change in the order of hierarchical levels in Maslow’s pyramid: the need to belong to a social group has risen higher than the need for respect and recognition, and occupied the penultimate floor in the hierarchy. Kunc calls this state inversion


— Since with the development of a person as an individual his potential capabilities expand, the need for self-expression can never be fully satisfied.

“Therefore, the process of motivating human behavior through his needs is endless.

— In order for the next, higher level of the hierarchy of needs to begin to influence human behavior, it is not necessary to satisfy the need of the lower level completely.

- Even if at the moment one of the considered needs prevails, then a person in his activity is guided not only by it.

— After the emergence of A. Maslow’s theory, managers of various ranks began to understand that people’s motivation is determined by a wide range of their needs.

— In order to motivate a particular person, a leader must enable him to satisfy his most important needs through a course of action that contributes to the achievement of the goals of the entire organization.

— In addition to his hierarchical concept of motivation, Maslow identified two global categories of human motives:

deficit motives,

motives for growth.

- D-motives are aimed at satisfying deficiency states - for example, hunger, cold and danger.

- They are persistent characteristics of behavior.

— Unlike D-motives, growth motives (or meta-needs, or existential needs, or B-motives) have distant goals.

— Their function is to enrich and expand life experience.

Let's compare two motives for learning:

— I want to eliminate my lack of knowledge in this matter.

— I want to learn as many new things as possible.

In the first case, having eliminated the knowledge deficit, you can stop learning.

In the second case, the path to knowledge, like the path to the horizon, has no end.

Clayton Paul Alderfer (b. 1940) is the author of the three-factor theory of motivation.

K. Alderfer's theory of motivation

— Just like Maslow, Clayton Alderfer bases his theory on the fact that human needs can be combined into separate groups.

— Unlike Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, he believes that there are three such groups, and they correspond to the needs groups of Maslow’s theory:

— need for existence (safety, physiology)


— need for connection (involvement, belonging, security)


- need for growth (self-expression, involvement)


— K. Alderfer did not correlate needs with a hierarchical structure and argued that all needs can be active at any given moment.

— Despite the fact that the results of practical research in the field of human needs fit better into Alderfer's theory, it did not constitute an alternative to the popular and more understandable Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

The relationship between Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Alderfer's theory:

— These groups of needs are comparable to those identified by Maslow, but differ in that the movement from need to need occurs not only from the bottom up, but also in both directions.

- Upward if a lower level need is satisfied, and downward if a higher level need is not satisfied.

— At the same time, an unsatisfied need of a higher level strengthens the effect of a lower level need, and the person switches to satisfying these needs, even if they have been fully satisfied.

— Alderfer calls movement from a higher level to a lower level frustration, that is, disappointment, the collapse of hope for satisfaction.

Frederick Irwin Herzberg (1923-2000) - American psychologist, author of the two-factor theory of motivation.

— A group of researchers led by Herzberg conducted a survey of 200 engineers and employees of a paint and varnish company about how they felt after performing their official duties - good or bad and whether they could describe it in detail.

- Herzberg's findings allowed him to identify two large categories, which he called hygiene factors and motivation factors.

F. Herzberg proposed a two-factor theory of motivation.

— He identified the following groups of factors that motivate an employee to work:

Motivational factors (or satisfaction factors) are achievement, recognition, responsibility, promotion; work in itself, an opportunity for growth.

“Hygienic” factors (or working conditions factors) are wages, workplace safety, status, rules, routine and work schedule, quality of management control, relationship with colleagues and subordinates. These factors keep people employed.

Hygiene factors are related to the environment in which work is performed.

— According to Herzberg’s theory, the absence or lack of hygiene factors leads to a person’s dissatisfaction with his job.

“But, if they are presented in sufficient volume, they themselves do not cause satisfaction and are not able to motivate a person to the necessary actions.

— As Herzberg believed, improving working conditions will not motivate workers.

“In his opinion, if we want to truly motivate people, we need to think about rewards associated with recognition, achievement and personal professional growth.

F. Herzberg:

“The results of our research, as well as the results I obtained in discussions with other specialists who used completely different methods, lead to the conclusion that the factors that caused job satisfaction and provided adequate motivation are different and significantly different factors than those that cause job dissatisfaction.

— Since when analyzing the reasons for satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a job, we have to consider two different groups of factors, these two feelings are not directly opposite to each other.

— The opposite of a feeling of job satisfaction is its absence, not dissatisfaction. The opposite of the feeling of dissatisfaction is, in turn, its absence, and not satisfaction with work.”

Herzberg's theory of motivation has much in common with Maslow's theory.

Hygiene factors correspond to the physiological needs and the needs for security and confidence in the future described above.

- motivation factors are comparable to Maslow's higher level needs, that is, the needs for recognition and self-expression.

“However, there is a serious difference between these two theories.

— As Herzberg believed, improving working conditions will not motivate workers.

“In his opinion, if we want to truly motivate people, we need to think about rewards associated with recognition, achievement and personal professional growth.

Maslow considered factors corresponding to hygiene as something that causes one or another line of behavior. For example, if a manager gives an employee the opportunity to satisfy one of these needs, then the employee will perform better in response.

- Herzberg, on the contrary, believed that the employee begins to pay attention to hygiene factors only when he considers their implementation inadequate or unfair.

- To effectively use Herzberg's theory, it is necessary to draw up a list of hygiene factors and motivation factors and provide the opportunity for employees of the organization to determine and indicate what they prefer.

— According to Herzberg, motivation should be perceived as a probabilistic process.

—What motivates a given person in a particular situation may not have any effect on him at another time or on another person in a similar situation.

David Clarence McClelland (1917 - 1998) - American psychologist, professor of psychology, author of needs theory.

— D. McClelland believed that people have three needs:




The need for power manifests itself as the desire to control the course of events and influence other people.

— People with a need for power most often manifest themselves as outspoken and energetic people who are not afraid of confrontation and strive to defend their original positions.

- They are often good speakers and require increased attention from other people.

— Management structures very often attract people with a need for power, because they provide the opportunity to manifest and realize it.

The need for success and achieving goals is expressed in the desire to achieve set goals, the ability to set them and take responsibility for their implementation.

- This need is satisfied not by proclaiming the success of this person, which only confirms his status, but by the process of bringing the work to a successful completion.

People with a high need for success take moderate risks, like situations in which they can take personal responsibility for finding a solution to a problem, and want to be rewarded specifically for the results they achieve.

- If you want to motivate people with the need for success , then they should be given tasks with a moderate degree of risk or the possibility of failure, delegate them sufficient authority to unleash the initiative in solving the tasks, regularly and in a certain way reward them in accordance with the results achieved.

The need for belonging is manifested in a person’s desire for love, affection, and friendly relations with others.

— Motivation based on this need is similar to the motivation in the social needs of A. Maslow’s theory.

— People who have this need are interested in often being in the company of familiar people, establishing friendships, and helping other people.

— People with a developed need for belonging can be attracted to types of work activities that will provide them with extensive opportunities for social communication .

— Managers interested in the productive work of such people must maintain an atmosphere that does not limit interpersonal relationships and contacts .

- A manager can also ensure that their needs are met by devoting more time to them and periodically bringing such people together in a certain group, for example, to discuss some task facing the organization .

( 2 ratings, average 4.5 out of 5 )
Did you like the article? Share with friends:
For any suggestions regarding the site: [email protected]
Для любых предложений по сайту: [email protected]