Evaluating Four-Drive Theory in Employee Motivation

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Because of the development of new disciplinary, people now can research human brain and learn more about the drives (including the drives to acquire, bond, comprehend and defend) which underlie human actions. It had many researches mentioning how these drives affect employee motivation in organizations. One of them is the article “Employee Motivation: A powerful new model”, written by Nitin Nohria (the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration), Boris Groysberg (an associate professor at Harvard Business School in Boston) and Linda-Eling Lee (a research director at the Center for Research on Corporate Performance in Cambridge, Massachusetts). This article was published in Harvard Business Review on July 1st 2008. Most of author’s arguments are based on four-drive theory (Lawrence & Nohria, 2002) and actual investigations. Using the results of the surveys which executed with employees from Fortune 500 companies and other two global businesses, the article mentions about how independent drives influence human behavior, how organizational levers boost employee motivation and how direct managers play an important role in giving employees satisfaction. Among them, the lever, reward system, is the most effective policy which helps to fulfill the drive to acquire. Beside, culture is the best way to create relationship in organization’s environment (drive to bond) while organizations design jobs more meaningful, challenging to meet the drive to comprehend and they satisfy the drive to defend by performance-management and resource-allocation processes. Although the four drives are based on wide range of research and investigations, this article is not adequate. One problem is that when they stated that a company has to satisfy all four drives to improve the employee motivation, authors did not deal with other factors which relate to employee’s behaviors such as social norms, relationship between managers and employees, etc. Before considering this...
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