Motivation - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Business and Finance

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Need Theories

Need theories are based on some of the earliest research in the field of human relations. The premise behind need theories is that if managers can understand the needs that motivate people, then reward systems can be implemented that fulfill those needs and reinforce the appropriate behavior.

Hierarchy of Needs Abraham Maslow, a professor at Brandeis University and a practicing psychologist, developed the hierarchy of needs theory. He identified a set of needs that he prioritized into a hierarchy based on two conclusions (Daft, 1997; McCoy, 1992; Quick, 1985):

  1. Human needs are either of an attraction/desire nature or of an avoidance nature.
  2. Because humans are "wanting" beings, when one desire is satisfied, another desire will take its place.

The five levels of needs are the following (see Table 1):

Table 1 Table 1
  • Physiological: These are basic physical comfort or bodily needs: food, sex, drink, and sleep. In the workplace, these needs translate...

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This section contains 2,893 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Motivation Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Business and Finance
Motivation from Encyclopedia of Business and Finance. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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