The ERG Theory is a motivational theory derived from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. This theory was established in order to better serve employees of different organizations. Maslow’s Hierarchy was seen as not sufficient enough because of the idea that individuals could not go back and forth through the different needs. Different people are motivated differently and that is why the ERG theory was developed (Huitt, 2001). Motivation can be different for everyone, and in order to understand motivation theories in general, one must understand what motivation exactly is. Many definitions of motivation reflect “the general consensus that motivation is an internal state or condition (sometimes described as a need, desire, or want) that serves to activate or energize behavior and give it direction” (Huitt, 2001). Some definitions of motivation from different psychology textbooks are: •
Internal state or condition that activates behavior and gives it direction; •
Desires or want that energizes and directs goal-oriented behavior; •
Influence of needs and desired on the intensity and direction or behavior (Huitt, 2001). Now that there is an understanding of what motivation is, there is the fact of why is it important? Most motivation theorists assume that motivation is involved in the performance of all learned responses; that is, a learned behavior will not occur unless it is energized. The major question among psychologists, in general, is whether motivation is a primary or secondary influence on behavior. That is, are changes in behavior better explained by principles of environmental/ecological influences, perception, memory, cognitive development, emotion, explanatory style, or personality or are concepts unique to motivation more pertinent(Huitt, 2001). The area of motivation, in regards to the ERG theory falls under the humanistic theories because it is dealing with humans and their beliefs and values. Abraham Maslow was one of the most influential...
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