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The Need Theory


Discuss about the Effect of Learning Program Designed.

Learning is always a continuous process. In knowledge, training is a process, which eventually leads to the development of an individual. For learning to take place, there should be meaningful content and an opportunity for the trainers and trainees to practice. After every learning process, a respondent should be able to determine the outcomes of the entire process. Thisenhances the training environment when well understood. Also, every learning program should have a plan, which should aid both parties to communicate and understand each other effectively. The essay discusses the significant theories involved in the learning process. This includes the need and process theories. They emphasize on how someone is trained and the motivation needed towards making them a better leader in future.

Need theory is classified into two, the Maslow and Alderfer’s ERG theory. Both show the need for one to go through training and explain how a trainee can luck motivation if the requirementsare not met. The Maslow theory, in particular, emphasizes on the designs that are considered when dealing with a training and development program (Khudhur, 2017). Alderfer’s ERG theory, on the other hand, illustrates the three fundamental requirements for training and development. On the second bunch of arguments, expectancy and goal setting theories are classified into process theories. Expectancy theory illustrates why individuals choose a particular behavior over the other. In achieving goals, one needs to have them well set, and this is explained in the goal-setting theory. All these theories are aimed at improving the designs used in administering training and development of an individual (Caulfield, 2008).

Training requires a hierarchical process for growth. This theory talks about a pyramid of needs on psychology which constitute a five-tier model. In his writings of 1943 and 1954, Maslow stated how some people could get motivated towards achieving certain needs while others may take superiority over others (Hosseini, Fatemi, Pishghadam & Vahidnia, 2013). According to him, the most basic requirement is physical survival which will be a priority when influencing an individual’s behavior. Once an action is satisfied with one need, then it moves to the other level, and this continues on and on. The five-model tier is then divided into growth and deficiency needs. The top level being the growth or B-need while the other four are the deficiency needs (D-needs) (Khudhur, 2017).

Deficiency needs come about due to deprivation and only motivate when they have not been met. To fulfill such needs, motivation needs to be stronger with the length of time being denied. For instance, the more a person goes without taking water, the more they become thirsty. In 1943, Maslow stated that people need to fulfill the lower level needs before progressing to the next through the growth levels. He quoted that behavior is determinant by several or rather all the basic needssimultaneously instead of a single one. With the hierarchy of needs, humans become more motivated towards accomplishing one step and proceeding to the other. Also, for this theory, as per the arrangement, more basic needs must be more or less met before higher needs. In addition; the order of needs can be flexible depending on the differences in individuals or the external circumstances. Lastly, the theory asserts that behavior is concurrently determined by more than one basic. Hence, it is multi-motivated (Jaldemark, 2012).

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

While relating to training and development, these theories signify how someone should not jump into doing other stuff before completing one. For instance, training contains modules. These modules are usually arranged in the order in a way that for one to move to the next, they must understand fully what the lower one entails. Thus, for one to ensure they get maximum out of training they should be procedural and step by step complete the sessions in learning that are needed (Cook, 2008).

The human relationship between this theory and success surely interrelate. This is an extended explanation of Maslow’s needs hierarchy. However, this is divided into three stages, the existence, needs, relatedness needs and growth needs. On the other hand, Maslow’s has self-actualization, esteem, social, safety or security and psychological needs. According to ClaytonPaul, he believed that each need carried a unique value thus to be classified as either high or low order needs (MASLOW, n.d.).

To start with existence needs, they comprise of all aspects that relate to safety and physiological needs of individuals for their survival. Thus, we can see the safety and physiological needs of Maslow grouped into one category due to their same influence on humans. Secondly, the relatedness refers to social needs pursued by a person while establishing relationships for those they care for (Taing, Smith, Singla, Johnson & Chang, 2013). Thiscontains part of social and esteem needs of the Maslow’s theory. Lastly, the growth needs which encompass the self-actualization need theory for Maslow shows off a feeling of being unique and personal growth among others. Hence, growth needs influence an individual to explore his maximum potential within the co-existing surrounding (Hosseini Fatima, Pishghadam Vahidnia, 2013).

With this theory, all the three needs have reliable and valid measures for levels of desire and satisfaction. It is also by the scholars’ agreement that by fulfilling individualrequirements, there is a significant role played in motivating humans. By this, development and training arehighly motivated. However, the theory is a disadvantage to using it as it tends to approach a set of experimental generalities. Also, it is difficult to use current tools and research methods towards testing it. Lastly, for each motivator, no value is provided (Hean, Craddock & O’Halloran, 2009).

The two theories, need theories share a common critique. This is based on the number of human needs and relationship that revolves around them (Baumann & Bonner, 2016). However, they also share a universal concept in that, for an excellent trained and developed human; behaviors need to be motivated by the desire to fulfill a need. Also, for future references, the theory is meant to create as individual needs become appreciated (Morgan &Ojemann, 2013). It shows that need theory, both Alderfer’s ERG theory, and Maslow’s theory, depend on a lower need to enhance their skills or rather to advance to another level of learning.

Alderfer's ERG Theory

Potentials cannot be fully exploited without motivation. This is a theory best described as a process theory but has an idea of making one exploit their potentials. It explains why individuals go about selecting one behavior and leave the other (Caulfield, 2008). Here people get motivation from something which will then trigger them into doing something which of which will lead to an outcome that is dictated by their actions. It states how proper work motivation depends on the association between the outcome and performance of an individual with how well they modify behavior in anticipation of what will be yielded (Martin &Guéguen, 2015). In short, it explains why a person has different performance on different levels. With this, personal goals are very achievable since it has helped leaders in workplaces create motivational programs. From believing, a person can get what they desire in the form of a reward as implied by the theory. With this, it is said to be providing both the practical and positive potential way of improving motivation (Hean, Craddock & O’Halloran, 2009).

Due to its emphasis on each person’s perception of the surrounding and subsequent interactions, this theory is the classified as a process theory. The interactions come from individual expectations. According to the theory, one can get motivation if they believe in a positive correlation between performance and hard work. Secondly. The desired reward will only come from excellent performance and when a vital need will then be satisfied by the award. Lastly, if the efforts used to make the need math the desire to fulfill it (Baumann & Bonner, 2016).

With relation to this theory, a trainee’s behavior is based on expectancy, valance, and instrumentality. Through expectancy, a trainee can learn what a program is entailed and work out in either improving or maintain it. Better job performance, increase of salary and being recognized in workplace and training too, shows how learning is linked to the outcome. This is a part of instrumentality (Jaldemark, 2012). Generally, these outcomes are so valued by employees. Also, expectancy is linked with the effort and performance while instrumentality is conjoined with a performance which leads to results. Valance then shows the value of the outcome. All these three aspects when joined together yield effort (Steffens, 2015).

Goals are set to be achieved over a period of time. This has been the most researched theory since it was discovered five decades ago. Most researchers have used it while motivating trainees and also in the field of industrial and organizational psychology. It denotes the effects of setting goals on consequent performances. Over the years, Edwin Locke has primarily developed after Kurt Lewin started it on aspiration levels (HosseiniFatemi, Pishghadam &Vahidnia, 2013). In 1960, Edwin Locke did researchwhich showed the relationship that exists between improved production performance and the theory, goal setting. People are always aimed at achieving goals with every activity they are involved in.

The Process Theory

Goal setting involves the sentient process in which an individual establishes their levels of performance in order to get anticipated results. The theory states that for one to reach a goal, they have a source which is the motivation that guides them through (Suyono & Mudjanarko, 2017). This means that, if goals are not met, the individual or the team becomes more motivated thus increasing the efforts or rather deduce another strategy. With specific and clear goals, better performance and higher output can be yielded. To avoid misunderstanding, goals must be clear, measurable and unambiguous. This would also ensure deadlines are well met (Alderfer, Alderfer, Bell& Jones, 2008). Also, realistic and challenging goals gives a person the feeling of triumph and pride, especially after completion. Usually, the more challenging and accomplished a goal is the more the reward will be thus the more passion is to give towards its achievement.

Having better feedback contributes to the trainee having the urge to learn more (Baumann & Bonner, 2016). Or rather, feedback itself makes the participants behavior towards learning a positive one. With feedback, it means making some points clarified, regulating goals and also attaining more reputation. With the trainer getting involved with what their trainees want their goals to look like, proper and acceptable goals can be deduced (HosseiniFatemi, Pishghadam & Vahidnia, 2013).

This theory is advantageous in that it is used to raise incentives for employees and trainees to complete work. With this, it wholly relates tothem as when a trainee is well motivated; they will learn to achieve their goals efficiently and faster. Also, by increasing motivational and efforts, better performance is attained. In a training and development scenario, it would be better if the trainee is well motivated as performance will be improved but also when there is feedback (Cooper, Ashley & Brownell, 2017).

In comparisons with the expectancy theory, both have the samemotive, which is to make sure that the trainee has some idea which will push them towards achieving their goal. However, in goal theory, sometimes the goals set might conflict each other. Also, the trainee might set goals too high to be achieved (Alderfer, Alderfer, Bell & Jones, 2008). Also, for the two theories, if the employee lacks competencies or skills to perform actions which enable them to attain the goals, performance might be undermined.


In learning training and development are processes which need much attention towards achieving goals that are intended. For this, the listed theories can help the tutor to know which are needed to improve and which to avoid. Also, they support the trainee to understand how well they can boost their performances. The first two theoriesneed theories, explain how one can develop step by step until they reach the maximum level of their learning process. The second theories illustrate how they can be usedin order to attain what the process theories lay on the way. For instance, they talk about setting goals and getting motivated towards working the goals out. This will help through the learning process, following the Maslow and Alderfer’s theories. Thus, nee and motivation theories are essential as far as training and developing of a person is concerned.


Alderfer, C., Alderfer, C., Bell, E., & Jones, J. (2008). The Race Relations Competence Workshop: Theory and Results. Human Relations, 45(12), 1259-1291.

Baumann, M., & Bonner, B. (2016). An Expectancy Theory Approach to Group Coordination: Expertise, Task Features, and Member Behavior. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 30(2), 407-419.

Caulfield, J. (2008). What Motivates Students to Provide Feedback to Teachers About Teaching and Learning? An Expectancy Theory Perspective.International Journal for The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning,1(1).

Cook, D. (2008). Learning and Cognitive Styles in Web-Based Learning: Theory, Evidence, and Application. Academic Medicine, 80(3), 266-278.

Cooper, K., Ashley, M., & Brownell, S. (2017). Using Expectancy-Value Theory as a Framework to Reduce Student Resistance to Active Learning: A Proof of Concept.Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education, 18(2).

Hean, S., Craddock, D., & O’Halloran, C. (2009). Learning theories and inter-professional education: a user’s guide. Learning in Health and Social Care, 8(4), 250-262.

HosseiniFatemi, A., Pishghadam, R., &Vahidnia, F. (2013). The role of goal-setting theory on Iranian EFL learners’ motivation and self-efficacy. International Journal of Research Studies in Language Learning, 3(2).

Jaldemark, J. (2012). Theories of participation in online learning communities: an intersectional understanding. International Journal of Web Based Communities, 8(3), 375.

Khudhur, S. (2017). Motivation as the Contrast Feature in Language Learning Theories. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation, 3(4), 46.

Martin, A., &Guéguen, N. (2015). Repeating what children say positively influences their learning and motivation. Learningand Motivation, 52, 48-53.

MASLOW, A. Preface to Motivation Theory. Psychosomatic Medicine, 5(1), 85-92.

Morgan, M., &Ojemann, R. (2013). The Effect of a Learning Program Designed to Assist Youth in an Understanding of Behavior and Its Development. Child Development, 13(3), 181.

Steffens, K. (2015). Competencies, Learning Theories, and MOOCs: Recent Developments in Lifelong Learning. European Journal of Education, 50(1), 41-59.

Suyono, J., &Mudjanarko, S. (2017). Motivation Engineering to Employee by Employees Abraham Maslow Theory. JETL (Journal of Education, Teaching and Learning), 2(1), 86.

Taing, M., Smith, T., Singla, N., Johnson, R., & Chang, C. (2013). The relationship between learning goal orientation, goal setting, and performance: a longitudinal study. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 43(8), 1668-1675.

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