Home > Free Essays > Psychology > Developmental Theories > Four-drive theory

Four-drive theory Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jun 5th, 2019


In the contemporary world, the importance of the employees in determining the success of an organisation has significantly increased. For instance, the employees’ level of productivity and ability determines the overall cost of production per unit. Therefore, it is necessary to have employee motivation measures in order to maximize the level of their performance.


The four drive theory attempts to explain employee motivation basing the argument on a set of dynamic interacting needs that are important in the make up of the human being (Latham, 2007). These needs evolve from the past experience that man has come across in life. They are also intrinsic. The main drives include; acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend.

These four drives are the major factors that play a pivotal role in determining the interactions as well as the outcome of such interactions among the employees. The drives in this case include acquisition of the status as well as the material gains. It is important to note that these drives can either lead to good performance and also to deterioration in the level of their performance.

On the other hand, the Maslow’s hierarchy theory is a theory on human motivation that was proposed by Abraham Maslow. This theory categorizes human needs into different levels. There are some levels where some are more fundamental than others. The satisfaction of these needs can significantly affect the performance of an individual.

The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be presented in a form of a pyramid. Maslow identified four needs, which are usually referred to as deficiency needs. These include security, friendship and love, esteem and the physical needs. Maslow insisted on satisfaction of the basic level of needs in order for an individual to be motivated.

Later, the Alderfer modified and reduced Maslow’s five levels of need to three categories; Existence, Relatedness, and growth (Kondalkar, 2007).

The above analysis reveals some differences and similarities between the four-drive theory and the Maslow’s needs in employee motivation. According to the Maslow’s explanation, there is a need to satisfy the lower level needs in order to access the upper level needs. On the other hand, the four drives described in the four drive theory are not stepped.

In the four drive theory, each of the stated drives can vary from an individual to another (Articlebase, 2009). Therefore, we expect to get variations from one individual to another depending on other factors. In the Maslow’s theory of needs, there is a certain order of the need. This is unlike in the case of the four drive theory.

In the four driven theory, the need to acquire represents the rewards which determines your performance. This is comparable with the Maslow’s need; belonging. A reward gives employees a sense of belonging and therefore motivates them to work harder.

The dives of bond are the drive to relate with others in a relationship of mutual caring. For instance, people tend to relate with the people in similar demographics (Latham, 2007). This is similar to the need of esteem which is all about respect for and by others, which significantly contributes in employee motivation.

The drive to learn and comprehend refers to the extent to which the employee is interested in their specific positions and duties. It also seeks to reveal whether the employee has the opportunity to learn new things. This can be compared with the Maslow’s need for self-actualization. Employees can only reach their targets through learning which facilitates their creativity.

The drive to defend is all about whether the firm is using the just rating procedures, whether there is fairness or whether the people are treated fairly the way they deserve. Again, this can be seen as the need for love or belonging.

Reference List

Articlebase. (2009). The Four Drive Theory in the Workplace. Web.

Kondalkar. (2007). Organization Effectiveness and Change Management. New Delhi: PHI Learning Pvt. Ltd.

Latham, G. (2007). Work Motivation: History, Theory, Research, and Practice. New York: SAGE.

This essay on Four-drive theory 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 copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a website referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, June 5). Four-drive theory. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/four-drive-theory-essay/

Work Cited

"Four-drive theory." IvyPanda, 5 June 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/four-drive-theory-essay/.

1. IvyPanda. "Four-drive theory." June 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/four-drive-theory-essay/.


IvyPanda. "Four-drive theory." June 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/four-drive-theory-essay/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Four-drive theory." June 5, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/four-drive-theory-essay/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Four-drive theory'. 5 June.

More related papers
Psst... Stuck with your
assignment? 😱
Psst... Stuck with your assignment? 😱
Do you need an essay to be done?
What type of assignment 📝 do you need?
How many pages (words) do you need? Let's see if we can help you!