Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior


Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs states that people are motivated to satisfy their needs in a certain order, starting with basic needs and moving up to more complex or psychological ones. Alderfer’s ERG theory elaborated Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, thus identifying some criticism that humans have several needs other than basic needs. He also mentioned that many people are not motivated by the upward satisfaction of hierarchical needs. Conversely, McClelland’s Three Needs Theory outlined the need for power, affiliation, and achievement forms the managers’ success at the workplace (Tran, 2017). Moreover, the manager must apply diverse reinforcement strategies to change employees’ behaviors. Therefore, humans are motivated by various needs other than basic ones. Managers need the urge to succeed, teamwork, and power to succeed at their workplaces, while they use different reinforcement tactics to influence employees’ behaviors.

Alderfer’s ERG Theory and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Alderfer’s ERG theory is a motivational model that expands on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. The model includes three levels of needs: existence, relatedness, and growth. Alderfer’s ERG Theory satisfied the criticisms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs by modifying the original theory to include three overlapping needs categories: existence, relatedness, and growth. The first two categories (existence and relatedness) are similar to those in Maslow’s Hierarchy, while the third category (growth) is unique to Alderfer’s theory. This modification was necessary because research has shown that people do not always move through the needs in a predetermined sequence (Snow, 2019). The idea behind the theory is that people are motivated by more than just one need at a time and that all three needs are not always hierarchical.

Alderfer’s ERG Theory addressed some of the criticisms levelled at Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs by expanding on the idea of needs and providing a more comprehensive model. Alderfer’s ERG Theory addressed criticisms of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs by proposing that there are different types of needs, not just basic needs. Existence needs are the most basic level of needs and include things like food and shelter. Relatedness needs involve interacting with others and feeling a sense of connection. Growth needs involve personal development and self-actualization.

Alderfer argued that people are not motivated by the highest hierarchy satisfaction. He argues that these needs can be satisfied in any order and can exist simultaneously. Each of these needs is broken down into several sub-needs (Snow, 2019). For example, the need for existence includes the sub-needs for survival, security, and power. Alderfer’s ERG Theory is more flexible than Maslow’s Hierarchy because it considers that people have different needs at different times.

McClelland’s 3-Needs Theory and its Relation to Manager’s Success

McClelland’s Three Needs Theory posits that there are three types of needs that motivate people: achievement, affiliation, and power. Achievement-oriented individuals are driven by a need to accomplish goals and attain success (Tran, 2017). Those with a high need for affiliation desire close relationships and emotional intimacy. And those with a high need for power seek to control and influence others. This theory can help explain why people behave the way they do in different situations. According to McClelland’s 3-Needs Theory, successful managers have a high need for achievement (Tran, 2017). This need is driven by the desire to accomplish something significant and be recognized for it. Successful managers are usually very driven and goal-oriented, and they thrive on challenges and setting and reaching goals. They like to take risks and push themselves to the limit in order to achieve excellence.

There are a few reasons why successful managers at workplaces tend to have a high need for power, in accordance with McClelland’s 3-Needs Theory. Firstly, individuals with a high need for power tend to be more driven and motivated to achieve success (Tran, 2017). Secondly, they are often very good at networking and building relationships, which is essential for climbing the corporate ladder. Finally, people with a great need for power tend to be very charismatic and persuasive, which can be invaluable in getting others on board with their vision.

Generally, McClelland’s 3- Needs Theory is important for workplace success because it focuses on the individual’s need for achievement, power, and affiliation. The theory helps individuals understand their motivations and how they can best work towards their goals (Tran, 2017). It also provides guidance on how to motivate others based on their needs. The theory is useful in the workplace because it can help employers create a motivating environment that encourages productivity and creativity. It can also help employees understand their strengths and weaknesses, so they can better manage their work performance.

Types of Reinforcements for Changing Employee Behavior

There are several types of reinforcement that managers can use to change employee behavior. These include positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment. Positive reinforcement involves providing rewards for desired behaviors (Borkowski, 2016). The benefits of positive reinforcement are that it is a relatively easy and entertaining way to encourage employees to behave in a desired way, and it can also help increase motivation and productivity. However, positive reinforcement should not be used as the only means of influencing employee behavior. It is also important to provide negative feedback when employees do not meet expectations in order to ensure that they understand what is expected of them (Borkowski, 2016). Additionally, overuse of positive reinforcement can lead to employees becoming complacent and less motivated.

On the other hand, negative reinforcement involves removing unpleasant consequences for desired behaviors. Negative reinforcement can be an effective way to change someone’s behavior, but it also has some drawbacks. The biggest advantage of using negative reinforcement is that it tends to be more effective than positive reinforcement at getting people to change their behavior. This is because people are more likely to respond to the threat of punishment which is negative reinforcement than they are to the promise of a reward in positive reinforcement. However, there are also some potential disadvantages to using negative reinforcement (Borkowski, 2016). One downside is that it can sometimes be difficult to get people to stop responding to the threat of punishment once they have started doing so. Another disadvantage is that negative reinforcement can often be unpleasant or uncomfortable for the person receiving it, which can lead them to feel resentful.


In conclusion, Alderfer’s ERG theory is an expansion of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Alderfer held that the highest level of satisfaction in the hierarchy does not motivate people. He also stated that people have different types of needs to achieve not only basic needs; some of these needs such as relatedness, growth, and existence. McClelland’s 3-Needs Theory posits that there are three key needs that drive people’s behavior at work: the need for achievement, the need for affiliation, and the need for power. Managers who have a strong need for achievement tend to be independent, task-oriented, and driven by a desire to meet personal goals. People with a strong need for affiliation tend to be more collaborative and focused on building relationships. At the same time, individuals with a strong need for power tend to be more concerned with influence and control. Positive reinforcement, negative reinforcement, and punishment are some of the reinforcement a manager can use to change an employee’s behavior. Different types of reinforcement will work better for different employees, so it is important for managers to experiment to see what works best.


Borkowski, N. (2016). Organizational behavior, theory, and design in health care (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett.

Snow, D. (2019). The big picture: How the new use of an old theory will enhance leaders’ perspective on management. Journal of Applied Business & Economics, 21(1). Web.

Tran, X. (2017). Effects of leadership styles on hotel financial performance. Tourism and Hospitality Management, 23(2), 163-183. Web.

Cite this paper

Select a referencing style


AssignZen. (2023, April 28). Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior.

Work Cited

"Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior." AssignZen, 28 Apr. 2023,

1. AssignZen. "Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior." April 28, 2023.


AssignZen. "Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior." April 28, 2023.


AssignZen. 2023. "Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior." April 28, 2023.


AssignZen. (2023) 'Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior'. 28 April.

Click to copy

This report on Management and Theories of Organizational Behavior was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Removal Request

If you are the original creator of this paper and no longer wish to have it published on Asignzen, request the removal.