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Examining ERG Theory On Human being Behavior

The individual factor within any company is as dynamic to the success of the organization as quality product making, service to customers or making deliveries on time. As managers proceed through their daily routines of owning a successful business, they need to consider the employees of their control to recognize how personality traits, determination, and the organizations culture play in today's and future successes of the business.

Maslow and ERG Theories

When discussing the ERG Theory of motivation and touching on the Maslow Theory of drive, one first must understand this is of motivation. There will vary definitions for motivation but the one we used for the intended purpose of this category is "the process that take into account an individual's intensity, direction, and persistence of work toward attaining a goal" (Bethel, 2005). Before as well as currently, managers were under the assumption that when an employee lacked motivation due to being lazy. Drive has been viewed as a personal trait, which means some managers seem to be to think that some employees have what must be done to get things accomplished plus some do not (Bethel, 2005).

The ERG Theory (lifetime, relatedness, progress) is a rework of the Maslow's need hierarchy by Clayton Alderfer from Yale University or college (Bethel, 2005). Both theories have similarities as well as distinctions on some important aspects. Although Alderfer will not disagree with Maslow's hierarchy of needs completely, he does not agree with all of them. As with any theory, you should have those who will agree as well as disagree concerning which is the most applicable.

Maslow Theory

The Maslow theory is a five step process that every step should be satisfied before you move to the next step. The first step in the Maslow theory is the Physiological Needs; which can be a person basic needs that are essential for survival. They include air, food, water, warmth, rest, and all the things to make a person comfortable with living.

Once the first step is completed you move to the next phase which is Security Needs; which really is a person's need for security and safety. Security needs are not as important as physiological needs, but are essential for survival. Examples of security needs are security from the elements, car insurance, and health insurance, a nest egg residing in a safe neighborhood, a retirement plan, and job security. With the most important being job security. If a person has steady employment, they can offer themselves with the items they have to make them feel safe and sound.

After concluding the first two steps, physiological and security needs, one is preparing to advance to the 3rd step, Social Needs. This person gets the need to feel love and affection, as well as belonging with groupings. In day-to-day living you might want to belong to a community, church, get married and also have a family as long as they noticed needed.

The fourth step of the Maslow theory is the Esteem Need Theory, which includes two versions a lower one and a higher one. The low is for one to get the admiration of others, sociable status, glory, achievement, and even dominance. The bigger form is self value, self achievement, self-reliance, and freedom. They are considered "higher" because, after getting self esteem it is a lot harder to loose.

The final part of the Maslow theory and in his view the most important is the Self-Actualizing Needs. This theory these people should be self-aware, largely worried about personal expansion, "be whatever you can be" in fulfilling your personal expansion. They are the individuals who want to be most complete, hence the term self-actualization.

ERG Theory

The ERG theory is a spin off of the Maslow theory by Clayton Alderfer. The ERG Theory is comparable to Maslow as it also explains the needs of hierarchy. The ERG Theory occurs in three steps, which can be lifetime, relatedness, and development.

Existence (internal and safeness) is the cheapest level need per Clayton; this is the need to stay alive and safe, now and in the future. This is actually the mental and physical needs, once this is fulfilled people feel safe and comfortable.

The next level, relatedness (social and external) is the necessity to be sociable and maintaining associations with family, peers, or fellow employees. We want to know very well what people think of us, and are hurt when we feel as though we do not fit together with the group.

Growth (internal esteem and self applied actualization) is the last step and the most important of the three. One has to acquire self-development, personal expansion, and a since of success. When we are self-developed, you have a sense of accomplishment, fulfillment and wholeness.


When reading both theories, one can see what the similarities and variations in each. Both theories are similar in the fact they both agree there's a need of hierarchy. They both say the bottom need is much less important as the necessity ranked last on the hierarchy level. The ERG theory can be mapped to the Maslow theory "existence needs have concern over relatedness needs, that have concern over growth". www. netmba. com/mgmt/ob/motivation/erg/


The Maslow theory dictates that every need must be fulfilled in order and completed before one can move to the next level. You will discover five steps in the Maslow theory, in comparison to ERG which includes blended the steps into three needs rather than steps. The ERG theory says you could work on levels concurrently. Maslow's theory could best be proven by utilizing a pyramid diagram with the low level need physiological need on underneath and the main need self-actualizing need on top. Once each level is completed there is absolutely no heading back to any lower level need. ERG can best certainly be a flow chart where each need is achieved, but if circumstances change you may get back to a lesser level need. When employees are satisfied you will see progression, however when an employee is frustrated you will see regression.

The ERG theory is more flexible and states an staff can be motivated simultaneously by more than one need level. An example of this might be, if a worker had met a goal promptly and which satisfied their progress need, even though their progress need was not satisfied.

Frustration-Regression Principle

This is a process that is roofed in the ERG theory as an employee is having troubles attaining satisfaction of an increased need. The worker becomes frustrated and regresses to another lower need level. For instance, if an employee cannot meet their growth need, they will become frustrated and the will revert back again to the relatedness need and this can be their way to obtain motivation. If the expansion level is too problematic for the employee to reach, then they will revert back again to the low level need that is easier to achieve. This is not what you want to see happen in the task place. Growth needs to be obtainable, if not employees become frustrated, regress back again to relatedness needs and start socializing with other employees which can result in a breeding floor for dissatisfaction, gossip, and resistance. Employees may tend to talk about better working conditions, additional money, or better benefits. http://www. leadershiptextbook. org/images/7/7d/Maslows_hierarchy_of_needs_vs_erg_theory. jpg

It is a manager's job to determine the needs of every of their workers to make sure they are really being applied at their highest potential. The first question a supervisor should ask about each staff is "exactly what will it try motivate this worker"? A director has to understand the each worker will have different needs. These needs could change each week, every month, or even daily and a administrator must be aware of these changes. Circumstances in employee's personal life and well as professional life will impact on the needs changing.

The administrator or supervisor, your effect on an employee's motivation is vital. The way you speak, your body language, and the appearance on your face are observed by your employees and this tells them what you see them as individuals.

As a manager, dealing with several employees that have been with the business for twenty-five or even more years, one has to understand when needs change. One also offers to understand that when one has been doing the same job because of this long, they could become uninterested and complacent with the work. At Gerdau Ameristeel this is not the situation, we as managers are accountable to assign use goals that are attainable and a value to the company.

You as a manager will also determine how your employees' day will start and finish. When you initially have a meeting with your employees each day, and you come in grumpy, sleepy looking, a frown on your face, then word are certain to get out across the floor to stay free from the boss he's in a poor mood. It has a negative effect on the work pressure and has employees endeavoring to do their work and watching out not to cross your way.

Come in and have a smile on that person and greet the employees with a happy shade and discuss the goals of the day and reassure them of your self confidence in their ability of obtaining these goals and you will have a happy workplace. It all begins with the supervisor and the employee's first impression of the day.

Organizational Culture

Possibly when most of us think about culture, we think of social, religious, or ethnic groups. Almost never do we consider the culture of organizations and the various characteristics that those groups possess that produce them unique. Organizational culture could be thought of as a community. It takes the whole community working mutually to exists. Organizational culture identifies the group, places boundaries, creates id, encourages the group rather than individual pursuits, and permits balance of the group (Bethel University, 2004).

We need to identify the importance of organizational culture and how it builds up employees as they enter into an organization. The original entry of an individual into an organization is the procedure known as socialization. It's the process that adapts the employees to the organization's culture (Bethel College or university, 2004). You will discover three stages that an individual will go through when entering an organization: prearrival, encounter, metamorphosis. The prearrival level is critical for a potential employee to keep an open brain to the role that they will play in the organization. Everyone comes in using their own worth, prior work experience, behaviour, and behaviours. Before ever getting started with the organization, the individual is exposed to what's to be expected of them. This technique allows both to see if they would benefit from one another. Next, is the face level where three things will arise: the average person will realize what's expected of them, how these things will differ from what they previously thought, let go of any preconceived ideas about the business, roll-up their sleeves and get ready to work, or understand that they have made a mistake and will never participate in the new company. Finally, the metamorphosis stage is understood when the new staff has become comfortable with the job and has accepted the role that they can play in the business.

As a director, I've an open-door policy with the employees in my department. Permitting them to exhibit frustrations, concerns, new ideas, client satisfaction or dissatisfactions retains communication moving. This appears to be greatly treasured among our group to encourage teamwork. We spend as much time with coworkers as our family nowadays and a happy group is a successful group.

The human being factor within any organization is as dynamic to the success of the organization as quality product manufacturing, service to customers or making deliveries promptly. Whether it is a theory or hierarchy of needs, inspiration of employees with the business or the organizational culture; we should nurture the human being part within the business to succeed.


Bethel School (2005). Human Action in Organizations. Boston: Pearson

http://webspace. ship. edu/cgboer/maslow. html

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