Archive for March, 2017

Alderfer’s ERG theory

Clayton Alderfer developed a modification of Maslow’s hierarchy with the ERG theory. ERG theory is more flexible than Maslow’s theory in three basic respects.

Firstly, the theory collapses Maslow’s five need categories into three: existence needs relate to a person’s desire for physiological and material well being; relatedness needs represent the desire for satisfying interpersonal relationships; and growth needs are about the desire for continued personal growth and development.

Secondly, while Maslow’s theory argues that individuals progress up the hierarchy as a result of the satisfaction of lower-order needs (a satisfaction–progression process), ERG theory includes a ‘frustration–regression’ principle, whereby an already satisfied lower-level need can become activated when a higher-level need cannot be satisfied.

Thus, if a person is continually frustrated in their attempts to satisfy growth needs, relatedness needs will again surface as key motivators.

Thirdly, according to Maslow, a person focuses on one need at a time. In contrast, ERG theory contends that more than one need may be activated at the same time.

ERG theory categorises needs into existence, relatedness and growth needs.

Existence needs are about the desire for physiological and material wellbeing.

Relatedness needs are about the desire for satisfying interpersonal relationships.

Growth needs are about the desire for continued personal growth and development.


ERG Theory

Source: Marc J Wallace, Jr, and Andrew D Szilagyi, Jr, Managing behavior in organizations (Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman, 1982).



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McClelland’s Need Theory

McClelland’s need theory focuses on personality and learned needs.  He categorized motives into three manifest needs: need for achievement, need for affiliation, and need for power.

1.Need for Achievement: The need for achievement refers to seeking excellence in performance and difficult, challenging goals.  Research indicates that people with a high need for achievement outperform those with a moderate or low need for achievement.


2. Need for Power: The need for power is concerned with making an impact on others, influencing others, changing people or events, and making a difference in life.  McClelland further distinguished between socialized power (used for the benefit of many) and personalized power (used for personal gain).


3. Need for Affiliation: The need for affiliation emphasizes the establishment and nurturing of intimate relationships with other people.  In contrast, individuals with a high need for autonomy, as outlined in Murray’s manifest needs theory, value independence and freedom from constraints.  Students will be able to identify the differences between individuals by using an example of telecommuting and by discussing which individual would be more comfortable with this change in organizational interaction.

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Handling Conflict and Commitment

The attitudinal approach may be the best approach to handle employees-manager conflicts, because it focuses on the process by which people come to think about their relationships with the organization (relationship between the employees and the management or relationship between employees with each other).

Yes, this approach can increase commitment, because studying the employee-manager relationship and knowing what each party think about the other can help analyze the weaknesses in the relationship that help develop ways to make a better and a stronger relationship between both parties, which in turn helps develop a stronger organizational commitment.

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Role of Communication in Conflict!

Yes, it can lead to conflict because of different goals, aims, ideas, beliefs, and actions each employee in the organization take or believe in, that takes place when employees or groups meet together either in business meetings or in their daily working life.

Conflicts occur when two employees’ aims, actions or issues tend to disagree with each other, or when one group disagrees about a certain matter, or if two or more groups tend to have contradictory ideas or actions.  Conflicts might occur between management and employees or between units or employees at the same level.

Conflicts can easily show in a multinational or multicultural organization because of the difference in language, norms, personal style, and other personal characteristic which usually hinder the effective communication and set the stage for conflict.

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Discuss the role that conflict plays in affecting organizational commitment.

Organizational conflict plays a vital role in influencing the employees’ behaviors and their working outcomes, and has a major affect on the organizational commitment of the employees in the company.

Intra-individual conflict is one of the conflicts facing employees in an organization, it occurs when an employee faces different and mutually exclusive goals and roles, or is obstructed from achieving a certain need.

There are three factors of the intra-individual conflict:

  • Role conflict; occurs when an individual faces different and somewhat contradictory expectations from different parties.
  • Goal conflict; occurs when an individual faces the choice between mutually exclusive goals, which could be positive or negative or both.
  • Frustration; occurs when the individual is prevented from ding a desired action or achieving a certain goal.

These three factors of intra-individual conflict are negatively related to commitment, the higher the levels of role conflict, goal conflict and frustration, the lower the levels of commitment.

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