There are three needs based theories. Our needs are one thing that can motivate our behavior in society and in the organization. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs attempted to be an explanation for the driving force behind all purposeful behavior (Jex & Britt, 2008). Maslow believed several things. He believed that there were 5 different levels of human need. The individual is motivated to meet each of these needs for several different reasons, such as survival. Maslow also believed that as one need was met the individual could only move on to the next need. This theory can be applied to the organization in terms of meeting employee needs and providing some motivation. For example, the employer pays employees, in turn that pay is used for housing and food, meeting some of the employee’s needs. This theory has also been used as a source for further studies of motivation and behavior (Jex & Britt, 2008).
Alderfer’s ERG, existence, relatedness, and growth, Theory is much like Maslow’s hierarchy and encompasses all of the same needs in just three levels. Unlike Maslow, Alderfer’s ERG Theory allows for an individual to move through the needs as they are meet or down if they become unmet (Jex & Britt, 2008). Both Alderfer’s and Maslow’s theories are difficult to apply to the organization. Alderfer’s theory was also used as a resource for further study.
The final needs theory, the Need for Achievement Theory, is more useful in the organization and not focused on several needs. The only need this theory focuses on is the individuals need for achievement. This theory can be used to determine the frequency of performance feedback as well as specific job assignments. This theory, however, is not complete like the theories of Alderfer and Maslow.
In summary, each of these theories deals with the motivation of individuals. The needs individuals have helped to motivate them in several environments, including the organization. Maslow’s and Alderfer’s theories are difficult to apply to the organization because of the scope but did help to further other research in this area. The Need for Achievement Theory is one that relates to the organization and is a benefit to the managers when dealing with employees; however, it is not complete.
Jex, S. M., & Britt, T. W. (2008). Organizational psychology. A scientist-practitioner approach. (2nd ed.). John Wiley and Sons.