Motives, Behavior and Needs

Motives and Behavior

Motives are the caused behavior. A motive is what prompts to act in a certain way or at least develop a propensity for specific behavior. A person’s choice of one course of action over others depends on his or her motive. Individuals in organizations have different motives and they change over time. There is positive relationship between motives of an individual and behavior of an individual. In business organization, the work is done by the workers. According to the need theory, all normal human behavior and his course of future action, both are caused by a person’s need structure. So, management can influence the behavior of individual in the organization by recognizing and influencing their needs. The management can create a suitable environment in the organization conductive to the fulfillment of individual needs within the overall structure.

In other words, motivation causes goal-directed behavior. Need is the base for motivation which is a kind of mental feeling in an individual that he needs something. This lack of something creates tension in the mind of the individual. Since the tension is not an ideal state of mind, the individual tries to overcome this by engaging himself in and behavior through which he satisfies his needs. This goal-directed behavior is presented in the following figure.
Motives, Behavior and Needs
Causes of Motivation and Behavior
Goal directed behavior leads to goal-fulfillment and the individual successes in fulfilling his needs and thereby overcoming his tension in the favorable environment.


Needs are internal feelings of individuals and sometimes, even they themselves may not be quite aware about the needs and the priority on these. Thus understanding of human needs and providing means for their satisfaction becomes difficult. Needs are the initial factors for the motivation. Needs are deficiencies that is energized us or trigger our behaviors to satisfy them.

There are two popular models explained by different authors. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and McClelland ERG theory of needs.

There are many needs which an individual may have and there are various ways in which these may be classified. The basic objective behind classification of needs into different categories is to find out similarity and dissimilarity in various needs to that incentives are grouped to satisfy the needs falling under one category or the other. From this point of view, a meaningful classification of needs is based on the sources through which individual, or these may develop over the period of time through learning. Since, these two types of needs emerge from two different sources, these may be satisfied by different types of incentives. Besides, there are certain needs which are neither purely biological nor these are completely learned but fall in between the two. Therefore, a separate category has to be provided for these. Thus, needs may be grouped into three categories.

1. Primary Needs
Primary needs are also known as physiological, biological, basic or unlearned needs. However, the term primary is more comprehensive as compared to other terms. Primary needs are animal drives which are essential for survival. These needs are common to all human beings, though their intensity may differ, some of the needs are food, sex, sleep, air to breathe, satisfactory temperature etc. these needs arise out of the basic physiology of life and are important to survival and preservation of species. These needs are also conditioned by social practices. According to the concept of economic man, these are the only wants of a human being and he attempts to satisfy them only. But researches in human behavior show that psychological needs are equally rather more important for human beings.

2. Secondary Needs
As contrast to the primary needs, secondary needs are not natural but are learned by the individual through his experience and interaction. Therefore, these are also called learned or derived needs. Emergence of these needs depends on learning. This is the reason why we find differences among need pattern of a child and a matured individual. There may be different types of secondary needs like need for power, achievement, status, affiliation etc.

3. General Needs
Though a separate classification for general needs is not always given, such a category seems necessary because there are a number of needs which lie in the grey area between the primary and secondary classifications. To be included in this category, a need must not be learned but at the same time, it is not completely physiological. In fact, there are certain such needs like needs for competence, curiosity, manipulation, affection etc.

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