Motivation: Regulatory Focus Theory vs. Hierarchy of Needs

Subject: Psychology
Pages: 2
Words: 427
Reading time:
2 min

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs involves five categories of a person’s needs. The latter ones are in a specific order – from basic psychological needs to self-actualization. According to this theory, needs that are unsatisfied to the greatest degree start being the dominant ones. They stimulate an individual to fulfill them, and – within the scope of motivation – satisfied needs do not provide such a stimulus. Then, “Individual pursues to seek a higher need when lower needs are fulfilled.” The described framework may be a useful tool for managing motivation.

I would use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in the following way. I would aspire to motivate my colleagues to satisfy the need for self-actualization as it serves as a foundation for personal growth and professional development, which is essential for the advancement of the working environment and the company’s performance. To that end, it is crucial to ensure that safety and security (of income, salary, and employment), belongingness and love (relationships with colleagues), and self-esteem (rewards, recognition, and promotion) – are needs in the realization of which the company takes part – are satisfied.

Regulatory focus theory is an alternative framework that may be utilized to manage motivation. This approach implies that “individuals who are promotion-focused are oriented toward growth and development.” In turn, according to Scandura, “individuals who are prevention-focused are oriented toward the things they feel that have to do and focus on their job responsibilities.” Hence, it is critical to ensure an employee’s regulatory orientation tends to fit the conditions they are in. For instance, a promotion-focused individual wants to have goals that extend his or her abilities. The prevention-focused ones have no willingness to follow this scenario – they would rather be motivated by exact tasks that fully reflect their given work responsibilities.

In order to apply the regulatory focus theory in the context given, I should have a clear understanding of my colleagues’ regulatory orientation. It is a basis for the development of an appropriate system of goals, tasks, and incentives. I would provide promotion-focused employees with opportunities for notable achievements and advancements, while the prevention-focused ones will get clear and determined goals that fully align with their current job responsibilities. Thus, it seems reasonable to summarize that the use of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs requires noticeable efforts from the company in providing a number of needs, and the utilization of the regulatory focus theory implies prior analysis of the employees’ regulatory orientation and development of corresponding motivation frameworks.