Content Theory of Motivation

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Content Theory of Motivation

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow believed that the importance of human needs depended on what they already had. He believed that the hierarchy started with physiological needs and once those needs were fulfilled, then safety needs and security would be sought. Once the person felt safe and secure they would then be motivated by the need to have love and friendship. When those social needs were achieved the person would then look to fulfil their esteem needs - this relates to their status and the recognition they receive, achievement. Once the esteem needs have been met, the self actualisation needs would then become a motivator. This stage may also be called reaching one’s full potential. Maslow believed that “a satisfied need is no longer a motivator”.

Alderfer’s Need Hierarchy Model

Alderfer condensed Maslow’s model into a 3 point model. Existence needs were the first stage and consisted of the survival needs, they covered Maslow’s physiological and safety needs. Relatedness needs are concerned with love and social relationships. Growth needs cover self esteem and self actualisation.

Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory

After interviewing 203 accountants and engineers and this led to the two factor theory of motivation and job satisfaction. The theory finds that , if missing, hygiene factors such as salary, job security, working conditions and relationships, will cause dissatisfaction but that they do not motivate people. Motivators or growth factors such as sense of achievement, recognition, responsibility and personal growth serve to motivate people. Hygiene Factors cover Maslow’s low level needs and Motivators cover Maslow’s higher level needs.
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