Motivation determines the way human act in order to satisfy their needs. Everyone has their needs, however, they strongly differ depending on the social class and personal development. Having satisfied certain needs, we pass to the other ones in order to evolve. Understanding various needs and their order is crucial for organizations which work to ensure satisfaction of these needs.
A range of motivation theories classifies human needs hierarchically. Abraham Maslow divided them into physiological needs which take the lower layers and spiritual needs which come as soon as physiological and basic ones are satisfied.
Clayton Alderfer derived his own classification from the Maslow’s hierarchy. He defined physical well-being, satisfactory relations with others, and realization of one’s personal potential as major human needs. According to Alderfer, the more we satisfy our higher needs, the more intense they become.
Similar to the previous researchers, David McClelland suggested that specific human needs develop over time. In his Acquired Needs Theory, needs for achievement, affiliation and power are acquired alongside with the life experience.
Another classification is cognitive evaluation theory suggests that motivation can be extrinsic and intrinsic. People are either motivated by their own performance or by things which come from the others. Individuals are usually motivated either extrinsically or intrinsically.
Frederick Herzberg in his Two Factor theory distinguishes factors presence or absence of which can either motivate or demotivate. Thus, issues like job, salary, or health insurance can motivate people only if they are absent, and self-actualization motivates only if it is present.
All theories given above prove that not all people are motivated by the same things. Besides, motivation depends not only on the person’s standard of living but also on their acquired experience and satisfaction of certain needs.