Abraham Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory

Behavior is determined by an individual’s strongest needs, but the lower-level needs must be satisfied before the next higher-level needs can motivate behavior. People are motivated to satisfy five categories of needs.

1) Physiological Needs (food, shelter, clothing) Physical and psychological survival. These are usually associated with money.

2) Safety Needs (security, freedom from threat or disease, avoidance of pain) Safety needs are crucial for infants.

3) Social Needs (friendship and affection) Relationship building. Striving for acceptance.

4) Esteem Needs (recognition, respect, and responsibility) Esteem needs only occur when a person is comfortably situated. Esteem needs come from others (respect), and then internalized (self-respect). Prestige and power are motivators.

5) Self-Actualization (creativity and self-expression) Enhancement of life. An extremely small portion of the population is self-actualized. Are people every satisfied?

Frederick Herzberg Two-Factor Theory

This theory was used to explain employee motivation. Herzberg found that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction factors were unrelated. It is valuable in assessing job attitudes to hopefully increase productivity and decrease absenteeism and turnover.

Motivators-factors that produce job satisfaction which are directly related to job content

Hygiene’s-factors that lead to job dissatisfaction. These are related more to job context than job content.


Douglas McGregor Motivational Theory X, Theory Y

Theory X– Managers assume that people generally dislike work and wish to avoid responsibility. They believe that most people prefer to be directed and they want safety above all. People are motivated by money, benefits, and fear of punishment.

Theory Y – Managers assume that people want to use their capacities and energies to their fullest extend, at work and at play, and under the right conditions will not only accept by seek responsibility. People can be self-directed and creative at work.