ERG Theory of Motivation – Existence, Relatedness, Growth
To address shortcomings of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, Clayton Alderfer proposed ERG theory of motivation. ERG theory is based on the concepts of existence needs, related needs and growth needs used in the model. ERG means Existence, Relatedness and Growth.
ERG Theory of Motivation need Categories
The ERG theory has identified the needs into following three categories:
- Existence Needs: Existence needs relate to the basic survival of human beings. They are similar to the physiological and safety needs suggested by Maslow. Monetary rewards, working conditions, job security, incentives are some of the examples of existence needs.
- Related Needs: individual has a natural desire to develop social relationships. He wishes to belong with others and develop friendship and warmth relationships. He gives importance to interpersonal belongingness. He wants to identify and get recognition for himself. These needs are related needs. These needs are similar to social and esteem needs enunciated by Maslow
- Growth Needs: Individual has an intrinsic desire to grow in organisational career and in his personal life. He wishes to grow beyond his potential and learn new skills and capabilities. These are growth needs. They are similar to self-actualization needs suggested by Maslow.
According to ERG theory, all the three needs may operate simultaneously. The theory propounded a new dimension known as ‘frustration regression’. Accordingly, a person tries to satisfy a lower order need, if he is frustrated with satisfaction of a higher order need. Therefore, unsatisfied higher order need brings back to lower order need. Thus, the concept of need satisfaction arising out of frustration is the basic concept of ERG theory.
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