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Psy 435 What constraints have limited your performance in school and at work




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What are the similarities and differences among the different need theories?
There are various need theories that explain very well how one becomes motivated.
There are the process theories of motivation such as equity theory, expectancy theory, and goal-
setting theory, which take into consideration the thought process that directs and therefore,
motivates one’s behavior. There are also the content theories of motivation, such as Maslow’s
hierarchy of needs theory, Alderfers ERG theory, McClelland’s acquired needs theory, and
Herzbergs two-factor theory, which describe various needs that may be responsible for one
becoming motivated. The two need theories addressed in our textbook are Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs theory and Herzbergs two-factor theory, both explaining “work behaviors based on
pathways to need satisfaction and the influence of blocked needs” (Schermerhorn, Hunt &
Osborn, 2008, p. 111). Before trying to examine any of the need theories, it is important to
acknowledge their origin. Most of them were developed out of North American perspectives and
therefore have their cultural limitations and eventuality. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory
indicates five levels of individual needs. They are further divided into higher and lower end
needs. Parts of the higher ends needs are self-actualization and esteem. Parts of the lower end
needs are physiological, safety, and social. According to his theory, some needs are more
significant than others are and need to be met first before others can. This theory is very easy to
comprehend and is very popular. However, according to research, the order of needs can vary
due to person’s career stage and differ when this theory is examined across cultures. The two-
factor theory is also known as the motivator-hygiene theory mostly because it considers two
important factors as primary causes of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. The two-factor
theory explains that job dissatisfaction occurs when hygiene factors are poor. According to this

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theory job, satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are separate dimensions. Therefore, trying to
improve one does not automatically mean it will take care of the other. One of the biggest
differences between these theories is that one focuses more on personal (individual) needs
(Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory) while the other one (two-factor theory) considers the work
environment and relates “more to the environment in which people work than to the nature of the
work itself ” (Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2008, p. 115). The similarity is that certain needs,
be they individual or environmental, need to be met so that overall satisfaction can happen and as
stated by Herzberg himself, “If you want people to do a good job, give them a good job to do”
(Schermerhorn, Hunt & Osborn, 2008, p. 116).
Schermerhorn, J., R, Hunt, J., G. & Osborn, R., N. (2008). Organizational behavior (10
. ed.).
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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