Content Theories Essay

1045 words - 5 pages

Content theories are concerned with identifying the needs that people have and how needs are prioritized. They are concerned with types of incentives that drive people to attain a need for fulfillment. The Maslow hierarchy theory, Fredrick Herberg’s two factor theory and Alderfer’s ERG needs theory fall in this category. Although such a content approach has logic, is easy to understand, and can be readily translated in practice, the research evidence points outs our limitations. There is very little research support for these models’ theoretical basis and predictability. The trade off for simplicity sacrifices true understanding of the complexity of work motivation. On the positive side, ...view middle of the document...

Abraham Maslow theory of need hierarchy:
It was Abraham Maslow who thought that human needs that spark off an activity can be arranged in a hierarchy of pre-potency and probability of occurrence. Maslow based his theory that a need that is not satisfied dominates the behavior sparking off an activity for its satisfaction. This need, when satisfied in its turn activates the higher need. This sequence can be denoted as under:
Deprivation -> Domination -> Gratification -> Activation

Physiological needs
For the most part, physiological needs are obvious - they are the literal requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body simply cannot continue to function.
Physiological needs include:
* Breathing
* Homeostasis
* Water
* Sleep
* Food
* Excretion
* Sex
Safety needs
With their physical needs relatively satisfied, the individual's safety needs take over and dominate their behavior. These needs have to do with people's yearning for a predictable, orderly world in which injustice and inconsistency are under control, the familiar frequent and the unfamiliar rare. In the world of work, this safety needs manifest themselves in such things as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, and the like.
Physiological and safety needs are reasonably well satisfied in the "First World". The obvious exceptions, of course, are people outside the mainstream — the poor and the disadvantaged. If frustration has not led to apathy and weakness, such people still struggle to satisfy the basic physiological and safety needs. They are primarily concerned with survival: obtaining adequate food, clothing, shelter, and seeking justice from the dominant societal groups.
Safety and Security needs include:
* Personal security
* Financial security
* Health and well-being
* Safety net against accidents/illness and the adverse impacts
Social needs
After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third layer of human needs is social. This psychological aspect of Maslow's hierarchy involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as:
* Friendship
* Intimacy
* Having a supportive and communicative family
Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, whether it comes from a large social group, such...

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