The iceberg of conflict

According to Cloke and Goldsmith (2011), conflict is like an iceberg. What we see or understand is only a portion of what is really happening:

The iceberg of conflict

The portion that we see on the surface is just the issues. In fact, conflict may have different layers and each of the layers may adds weight and immobility to our arguments when we are in conflict:
  • The difference in personalities between the two parties
  • The emotions of the two parties
  • The difference in interests, needs and desires of the two parties
  • The difference in self-perceptions and self-esteem of the two parties
  • The hidden expectations of the two parties
  • Unresolved issues from the past between the two parties

By exploring the unsurfaced layers of the iceberg, this conflict iceberg model can be used to uncover the root cause of the conflict in order to resolve it properly.

Cloke, K. and Goldsmith, J., 2011. Resolving Conflicts at Work: Ten Strategies for Everyone on the Job. 3rd ed. Jossey-Bass

Understanding conflict at workplace

1. Introduction
By definition, conflict is a process that involves people disagreeing when they are different in interests, perceptions and preferences. Within organizations, conflict can be categorized into three types:
  • Relationship conflict (or Personal conflict): Involves disagreements based on personalities and issues that are not directly related to work.
  • Task conflict: Involves disagreements about the work that is being done in a group.
  • Process conflict: Involves disagreements about task strategy and delegation of duties and resources.

It should be noted that conflict is not always bad. Research shows that moderate amount of conflict can actually be healthy and necessary for organizations. The following chart shows the relationship between performance and conflict:

relationship between performance and conflict

In general, “bad” conflict is relationship or personal conflict because it can cause stress and may reduce the performance of individuals. On the other hand, task conflict can be good in certain situation, such as in the early stages of decision making because it stimulates creativity and innovation. Organizational culture actually has a dimension called “Conflict Tolerance” and high level of this dimension is actually good in type of organization, such as a startup software company.

2. Causes of conflict
According to Bauer and Erdogan (2009), there are six potential root causes of conflict at work:
  • Organizational structure: Conflict can happen in organizational structure where one employee reporting to two managers (usually in matrix structure) or where employees have overlapped roles and responsibilities.
  • Limited resources: Conflict can happen when two parties compete for limited resources such as money, time and equipment.
  • Task interdependence: Conflict can happen when one party’s goal requires reliance on others to perform their tasks.
  • Incompatible goals: Conflict can happen when the goals of the two parties are mutually exclusive. Comparing to other causes of conflict, this is rarer but it sometimes happen.
  • Personality differences: Conflict can happen when people have different ways of thinking and acting. This is a quite popular cause of conflict.
  • Communication problems: Conflict can happen due to miscommunication or lack of communication. This is also a common cause of conflict.

six causes of conflict at work

3. Outcomes of conflict
As mentioned before, conflict can have both positive and negative consequences:

Positive consequences:
  • Lead to new ideas
  • Stimulate creativity
  • Motivate change
  • Surface of assumptions that may be inaccurate
  • Result in greater understanding of issues and individuals
  • Help individuals and groups establish identities
  • Make values and belief system of the organization more visible and concrete
Negative consequences:
  • Increase stress and anxiety among individuals, which decreases productivity and satisfaction
  • Lack of trust between team members
  • Increase hostility and aggressive behaviors
  • Increase turnover
4. Conflict management
Bauer and Erdogan (2009) suggest five common ways to manage conflict:
  • Change the structure: If the structure causes dysfunctional conflict then changing it can solve the conflict.
  • Change the composition of the team: Sometimes it is best to separate team members who have severed personal conflict.
  • Create a common opposing force: Conflict can be mitigated by directing the two parties to a common enemy, such as the competitor.
  • Consider majority rule: Sometimes conflict can be resolved by voting.
  • Problem solve: In problem-solving mode, the individuals or groups in conflict are asked to focus on the problem, not on each other, and to uncover the root cause of the problem.
5. Conflict handling styles
Different people have different styles of handling conflict. Here are the five common styles:
  • Avoidance: People with this style seek to avoid conflict altogether by denying that it is there.
  • Accommodation: In this style, one party gives in to what the other wants, even if it means giving up his personal goals.
  • Compromise: One party has some desire to express his own concerns and get his way but still respect the other’s goals.
  • Competition: People with this style want to reach their goals regardless of what others say or how they feel.
  • Collaboration: This is a strategy to use for achieving the best outcome from conflict. Both sides argue for their position, supporting it with facts and rationale while listening attentively to the other side. In general, this style aims for a win-win solution.

The following graph shows the degree of cooperation and assertiveness of each conflict handling styles:

five conflict handling styles

Generally speaking, there is not absolute “right” style to handle conflict, usually it depends on the situation. However, the Collaboration style has been proven to be the most effective one in many different situations.

Bauer, T. and Erdogan, Berrin., 2009. Organizational Behavior. 1st ed. Flat World Knowledge, Inc.
Bess, D., 2012. Conflict, BUS 626 Organizational Behavior. University of Hawaii at Manoa, unpublished.

The passive-agressive organization

Among the seven types of organization, the Passive-Aggressive is one of the unhealthy types of organization but unfortunately, it is also the most popular one. Research shows that approximately 27% of organizations are passive-aggressive, where “everyone agrees but nothing changes”. The purpose of this post is to list the symptoms of  passive-aggressive organizations as well as to suggest some “treatments” for this type of organization.

According to Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. (2009), here are the symptoms of passive-aggressive organizations:

Inability to execute:
  • The organization is extremely resistant to change
  • Reaching consensus is easy, but actions are not implemented
  • Employees often ignore strategic edicts from management
  • Lack of ownership and accountability leads to inaction or irresponsible behavior
Ineffective decision making:
  • In centralized organizations, line managers second-guess headquarters decisions
  • In decentralized organizations, senior managers micromanage their subordinates
  • Decisions are often ill-considered, because accountability is unclear
  • Key decisions are often ignored/overlooked because decision rights are not well defined
Information disconnect:
  • Line managers and senior managers are rarely “on the same page” regarding key business indicators
  • Line managers make suboptimal choices because they do not understand their bottom-line impact
  • Headquarters is not apprised of important competitive information and, thus, is slow to respond
  • Different divisions/functions/regions operate as silos
  • Poor horizontal communication leads to inefficiencies and conflicting messages to the market
Inconsistent or conflicting motivators:
  • Incentives do not promote the best interests of the firm
  • The firm frustrates strong performers and fails to weed out poor performers
  • Firms fail to attract and retain talent
  • Complacency takes hold because career advancement and compensation are not closely tied to performance
  • Ineffective appraisals result in individuals’ advancing beyond their capabilities

Do nothing

It should be noted that an actual passive-aggressive organization is not necessary to have all of the symptoms listed above. You can also check what type of organization yours is using this quiz.

So if your organization is a passive-aggressive one then what should you do? Here are some suggested “treatments” for passive-aggressive organizations (Neilson, Pasternack and Van Nuys, 2005):

  • Bring in new blood: Outsiders send an unmistakable signal to the existing employees that “things are so badly broken we can’t fix them ourselves anymore”. In addition, outsiders bring new standards they expect the organization to meet.
  • Leave no building block unturned: Change everything at once, so that the magnitude of the problem, and of the effort that will be required to fix it, cannot be denied.
  • Make decisions, and make them stick: Allocate and clarify firm “decision rights.” These rights should be delegated to those equipped with enough information and most able to effect the desired outcome, which often means front-line employees.
  • Spread the word and the data: Everyone in the organization must have access to the relevant information and be clear about which issues deserve the highest priority.
  • Match motivators to contribution: Motivators must be designed correctly so that they actually promote contribution.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., 2009. The Passive-Aggressive Organization: Converting Consesus Into Action.
Neilson, G. L., Pasternack, B. A. and Van Nuys, K. E., 2005. The Passive Aggressive Organization. Harvard Business Review, October 2005, pp.82-92

What kind of organization is yours?

According to Neilson, Pasternack and Van Nuys (2005), organizations can be classified into seven major types:

1. Resilient
  • Inspires both awe and envy because everything seems to come so easily to it: rewards, talent, respect
  • Is flexible, forward looking, and fun
  • Can attract team players easily
  • Is the healthiest type of organization
2. Just-in-Time
  • Demonstrates an ability to “turn on a dime” when necessary, without losing sight of the big picture
  • Has a “can-do” attitude
  • Has “one-hit wonders,” rather than a reliable source of advantage
  • Does not have consistent, disciplined structures and processes
  • Is not always proactive in preparing for change
3. Military Precision
  • Employees know their roles well and implements them diligently
  • Is hierarchical and operates under a highly controlled management model
  • Does not deal well with events for which it has not planned
4. Fits-and-Starts
  • Has smart people with enthusiasm and drive but they do not often pull in the same direction at the same time
  • Does not have strong direction from the top and a solid foundation of common values below
  • Is an overextended organization and almost out of control
5. Outgrown
  • Expands beyond its original organizational model
  • Power is closely held at the top
  • Top-down direction and decision-making is strictly enforced
  • Reacts slowly to market developments and often finds it can not get out of its own way
6. Overmanaged
  • Has multiple layers of organizational hierarchy
  • Managers micro-manage their subordinates
  • Is bureaucratic and highly political
  • Is not very suitable for self-starters and results-oriented individuals
7. Passive-Aggressive

+ Achieves consensus easily, but struggles to implement agreed-upon plans
+ Underground resistance from field operations routinely defeats headquarters initiatives

Among these seven types of organization, the healthiest one is Resilient, followed by Just-in-Time and Military Precision. The other four (Fits-and-Starts, Outgrown, Overmanaged and Passive-Aggressive) are all unhealthy. The following diagram shows the popularity of each type of organization:

Seven types of organization

The following quiz will help you to find out what kind of organization yours is. Please click here to do the quiz.

Booz Allen Hamilton Inc, 2012. The Seven Organization Types, [online] Available at:<> [Accessed 18 December 2012].
Neilson, G. L., Pasternack, B. A. and Van Nuys, K. E., 2005. The Passive Aggressive Organization. Harvard Business Review, October 2005, pp.82-92

The seven motivators

One limitation of the Acquired-Needs Theory (or the Three Needs Theory) is that it recognizes only three types of needs. In fact, research has proven that there are totally seven types of needs by which the vast majority of employees are motivated. Since different people are motivated differently depending on their needs, each type of needs is corresponding to one motivator. The purpose of this post is to introduce the seven motivators, how to recognize them and suggested treatment that managers should have for each motivator.

Seven motivators

The following table shows details about the seven motivators:

Motivator Description Might be heard saying Suggested actions
Achievement These employees want the satisfaction of accomplishing projects successfully. They want to exercise their talents to attain success. They are self-motivated if the job is challenging enough. “I’d like to take on more responsibility” – Assign challenging tasks that stretch their skills
– The “right” assignment is essential
Power These employees want satisfaction from influencing and controlling others. They like to lead and persuade, and are motivated by positions of power and leadership. “Bob, you take this task. Jim. you complete that task. Send me an email at the end of each day with your progress” – Provide the change to make decisions and direct projects
– Assign a mentor
Affiliation These employees gain satisfaction by interacting with others. They tend to be highly social and they enjoy people and find the social aspects of the workplace rewarding “Let’s get the team together to talk about next steps” – Provide opportunities to interact with others such as teamwork projects, group meetings, brainstorm sessions
Autonomy These employees seek freedom and independence. They like to work and take responsibility for their own tasks and projects “Ill take this task and report progress in two weeks” – Allow to set own schedules and work independently
Esteem These employees seek recognition and praise. They dislike generalities, so the praise should be for specific accomplishments and it does not necessarily to be public. This motivator is also mentioned in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs “Would you take a look at this and tell me how it looks?” – Recognize and praise often, both in private and public
– Show that you respect their efforts
Safety and Security These employees seek job security, a steady income, insurance benefits and a hazard-free work environment. This is also mentioned in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs “How does that impact my job?” – Provide clear and predictable salary, benefits and vacation policies
Equity These employees want to be treated fairly. They tend to compare work hours, job duties, salary and privileges with those around them. They will become discouraged if they perceive inequities. This is also mentioned in the Equity Theory “Peter always seems to get the good assignments and I get the ones with all the problems” – Address equity issues immediately
– Answer the questions that are asked honestly
– Demonstrate fair and consistent treatment

Please also note that one employee can have multiple motivators at the same time. As a result, multiple actions can be combined together to motivate an employee appropriately.

Bess, D., 2012. Seven Motivators, BUS 626 Organizational Behavior. University of Hawaii at Manoa, unpublished
Pathways, 2007. The Essential Seven Motivators, [online]. Available at: [Accessed 17 December 2012]

What is your motivation orientation?

The main purpose of this post is to introduce a quiz that can helps you to identify your motivation orientation. But before taking this quiz, it would be helpful to understand the theory behind it, which is the Acquired-Needs  Theory (or sometimes is also called the Three Needs Theory).

The Acquired-Needs Theory says that all individuals possess a combination of 3 types of needs:
  • Need for Power: the need to influence and lead others, and control one’s environment.
  • Need for Achievement: the need to be successful; to accomplish goals, excel, and strive continually to do things better.
  • Need for Affiliation: the need for friendly and close interpersonal relationships; to be liked and accepted by others.

Acquired Needs Theory

Among these 3 types of needs, the dominant ones will drive the individual’s behavior. As a result, managers should understand the dominant needs of their employees to be able to motivate them. While people who have a high need for achievement may respond to goals, those with a high need for power may attempt to gain influence over those they work with, and individuals high in their need for affiliation may be motivated to gain the approval of their peers and supervisors. Among the need-based theories of motivation, this theory is the one that has received the greatest amount of support.

This quiz can help you to identify your dominant need, or in other words, your motivation orientation according to the Acquired-Needs Theory. Please click here to do the quiz.

Bauer, T. and Erdogan, B., 2009. Organizational Behavior. 1st ed. Flat World Knowledge, Inc.

A model for trust

One of the key things to build an effective organization is building trust among members of the organization. People can only cooperate and collaborate together effectively when they trust each other. However, it is not always easy for managers to understand or to predict whether trust between two certain people can be achieved or not. Fortunately, there is a model for trust, developed by Hurley (2006), which can help to predict whether an individual will decide to trust or distrust another in a given situation. The purpose of this post is to present that model for trust theoretically. More practical discussion about how to build trust will be discussed in later posts.


According to Hurley (2006), there are 10 factors that can help to predict whether trust between two parties can be achieved or not. The first 3 factors are related to the one who decide whether to trust or not (who is called the “truster”) and the other 7 factors concern about the situation and the relationship between the two parties. Here are Hurley’s factors:
  • Risk tolerance: The more risk tolerant a person is, the more likely he trusts others. In other words, it is easier for risk takers to trust others.
  • Level of adjustment: People who are more well-adjusted trust others more quickly than people who are poorly-adjusted.
  • Relative power: If the truster has more power than the trustee, he is more likely to trust because he can punish the trustee in case his trust is violated.
  • Security: If the consequence of the violation of trust is not very scary to the truster, it is easier for him to trust.
  • Number of similarities: The more similarities that people have together, the more likely they can trust the others.
  • Alignment of interests: People whose interests are aligned are more likely to achieve trust. On the contrary, people with conflict of interests are less likely to trust the others.
  • Benevolent concern: People who demonstrate benevolent concern, who can sacrifice their benefits or put themselves at risk for the others, are more likely to gain trust from the others.
  • Capability: People only trust those who are capable to fulfill the expectation of the trust. This factor is even more important than similarities, aligned interest or benevolent concern. You can not trust a person if he does not have the capability, no matter how many similarities, aligned interests and benevolent concern that he has.
  • Predictability and integrity: A trustee whose behavior can be reliably predicted will be seen as more trustworthy. In other words, people who “walk the talk” are more likely to be trusted.
  • Level of communication: The more effective the communication between the two parties is, the more likely that trust can be achieved. In my opinion, effective communication should be the first factor to be considered when trying to build up trust.

The following picture summarize Hurley’s model for trust:

Model for trust

More practical suggestions for building trust among team members will be discuss in later post.

Hurley, A.F., 2006. The Decision to Trust. Harvard Business Review, September 2006, pp.55-62

More discussion about Reinforcement Theory

Among all the theories of motivation, Reinforcement Theory is the one that I believe in the most, mainly because its idea is totally common sense to me: behaviors that lead to good consequences will be repeated and vice versa, behaviors that have negative outcomes will be discontinued. I kinds of grew up with this theory since it was applied by my parents regularly and I am pretty sure that the theory is also applied by most of the parents. As a result, it is very easy to understand the reason why this theory is very common sense to most of us.

Despite the common sense and simplicity of Reinforcement Theory, it is very interesting that the theory is not always be applied in organizations. It is not rare to see the following scenarios:
  • People go above and beyond the call of duty or exceed the expectations but their contributions are ignored or sometimes, their actions are even criticized.
  • People with bad behaviors receive no punishments.
  • Sometimes, people with bad behaviors may even be promoted so that they will be transferred to another location and become someone else’s problem.
  • People are rewarded for the wrong kind of behavior. For example, a company whose strategic plan focuses on quality only rewards its employees for meeting the deadline regardless of the amount of defects contained in the release.

Among these scenarios, I myself usually see the second one (people with bad behaviors receive no punishments) mainly because the managers are afraid of the reaction the person will give when confronted or because the company culture discourages punishments.

According to Reinforcement Theory, employee behavior can be modified using the following methods:
  • Positive Reinforcement: Possible behavior followed by positive consequences. It is important that the positive consequences should follow the positive behavior immediately so that the employee can see the link between them.
  • Negative Reinforcement: Positive behavior followed by removal of negative consequences. This method is used to increase the desired behavior.
  • Extinction: Negative behavior is followed by removal of positive consequences. This method decreases the frequency of negative behaviors and helps to avoid the situation when negative behaviors are demonstrated because they are being inadvertently rewarded.
  • Punishment: Negative behavior is followed by negative consequences. This method is used to decrease the frequency of undesirable behaviors.

In my opinion, the “Positive reinforcement” and “Punishment” methods are more effective because they show a clear relationship between the behaviors and the consequences as well as send a strong message to the employees. Some companies, such as the one that I am currently working for, discourage the usage of punishments. However, in my opinion, punishments should be as necessary as rewards to ensure appropriate behaviors in an organization. We just need to be more careful when defining and applying punishments.

There is a systematic application of Reinforcement Theory to modify employee behaviors in organization. This model is called the Organizational Behavior Modification which consists of five stages:

Organizational Behavior Modification

Let’s say that we want to eliminate the bad behavior of being late to meetings. Here is how we apply the five steps of the Organizational Behavior Modification model:
  • Step 1: Identify the behavior that need to modified, which is being late to meetings.
  • Step 2: Measure the baseline level: The percentage of meetings that a specific employee is late to.
  • Step 3: Analyze the reasons and outcomes: Why is this employee late for meeting? What are the consequences of this lateness?
  • Step 4: Intervene: Remove the positive outcomes (can not be accessed for the title employee of the month) or punish the employee (cut off bonus).
  • Step 5: Evaluate and maintain: The behavior of being late to meetings is measured periodically and maintained.

Bauer, T. and Erdogan, Berrin., 2009. Organizational Behavior. 1st ed. Flat World Knowledge, Inc.

More discussion about Equity Theory

1. Introduction
Equity Theory says that an employee will compare his job’s inputs and outcomes with those of relevant others and then attempts to correct any inequity. It should be noted that equity perceptions is considered as a result of a subjective process and hence, for the same situation, some people may think that it is fair while others may think that it is unfair.

2. Reactions to inequity
Potential reactions that an employee may have toward inequity have already been discussed in the “Theories of motivation” post. The following table gives more detailed examples for those reactions:

Reactions Example
Distort perceptions Changing one’s thinking to believe that the referent actually is more skilled than previously thought
Increase referent’s inputs Encouraging the referent to work harder
Reduce own input Deliberately putting forth less effort at work. Reducing the quality of one’s work
Increase own outcomes Negotiating a raise for oneself or using unethical ways of increasing rewards such as stealing from the company
Change referent Comparing oneself to someone who is worse off
Leave the situation Quitting one’s job
Seek legal action Suing the company or filing a complaint if the unfairness in question is under legal protection

Those are the reactions that an employee may have when he thinks that the situation is unfair for him, which means that his job’s outcomes (salary, etc..) are lower than the referent. What if his job’s outcomes are higher than others who have the same title and do the same tasks? What if he is overpaid or over-rewarded? Originally, Equity Theory proposed that over-rewarded individuals would experience guilt and would increase their effort to restore perceptions of equity. However, research has shown that in reality, individuals experience less distress as a result of being over-rewarded. This can be explained by the fact that individuals can easily find perceptual ways to deal with overpayment inequity, such as believing they have more skills and contribute more to the organization compared to the referent person.

3. Three types of personality trait regarding to inequity
Research has shown that different people have different levels of sensitivity to inequity. Regarding to this, individuals can be categorized into 3 types of personality trait:
  • Equity Sensitivity: This type of people expect to maintain equitable relationships, and they experience distress when they feel they are over-rewarded or under-rewarded.
  • Benevolent: This type of people give without waiting to receive much in return.
  • Entitled: This type of people expect to receive a lot without giving much in return.
4. Three types of justice in organizations
Originally, Equity Theory defines fairness is limited only to fairness of outcomes. It should be noted that there are totally 3 types of fairness in organizations and Equity Theory should be applied to all of them:
  • Distributive justice: refers to the degree to which the outcomes received from the organization are perceived to be fair.
  • Procedural justice: refers to the degree to which fair decision-making procedures are used to arrive at a decision.
  • Interactional justice: refers to the degree to which people are treated with respect, kindness, and dignity in interpersonal interactions.
Three types of justice
Besides distributive justice, procedural justice is also very important because people do not only care about the rewards but they also expect decision-making processes (such as layoffs, employee selection, performance appraisals, and pay decisions) to be fair, especially when they do not get the outcomes they feel they deserve. Here are several suggestions to achieve procedural justice:
  • Give employees advance notice before laying them off, firing them, or disciplining them.
  • Allow employees voice in decision making for such processes as performance appraisal system.
  • Provide explanations to employees about reward systems or policies and rules.
  • Maintain consistency in treatment.
5. Tips for being fair
Here are several tips for being fair in an organization:
  • Pay attention to different contribution levels of employees when distributing rewards: People who are more qualified, skilled, or those who did more than others expect to receive more rewards.
  • Sometimes may have to disregard people’s contributions to distribute certain rewards: Some rewards can be equally distributed (such as health insurance) or based on individual needs (such as unpaid leave for health reasons).
  • Pay attention to how decisions are made: This is to ensure procedural justice.
  • Pay attention to how to talk to people: This is to ensure interactional justice.
  • Pay attention to the perceptions of others about fairness: Remember that justice is in the eye of the beholder.
  • Create a sense of justice in the entire organization: People do not only care about their own justice but also pay attention to how others are treated.

6. Reference
Bauer, T. and Erdogan, Berrin., 2009. Organizational Behavior. 1st ed. Flat World Knowledge, Inc.

Motivating people using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Acting as an expansion of the post about “Theories of motivation“, the purpose of this post is to discuss how an organization can motivate its employees using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs
Maslow’s theory says that human beings’ needs can be hierarchically ranked in 5 levels and  once the lower needs are satisfied, people will start looking to satisfy higher needs. Basing on this theory, organization can motivate its employees by proving them with satisfactions for their current needs.

In order to suggest how to satisfy each level of needs, it is important to understand each of the level:
  • Physiological: the need for food, water, shelter and other biological needs. These are very basic needs and when they are lacking, the search for them may overpower all other urges.
  • Safety: the need to be free from the threat of danger, pain, or an uncertain future.
  • Social: the need to bond with other human beings, be loved, and form lasting attachments with others.
  • Esteem: the need to be respected by one’s peers, feel important, and be appreciated.
  • Self-Actualization: the need to become all one is capable of becoming.
By understanding each level of needs, an organization can motivate its employees by providing them with satisfactions for their current needs:
  • Physiological needs can be satisfied by:
    • Providing financial benefits (salary, bonus…) that can satisfy physiological needs of the employee
  • Safety needs can be satisfied by:
    • Providing generous financial benefits that can help the employee to save for the future
    • Providing health insurance
    • Providing company-sponsored retirement plans
    • Offering a measure of job security
  • Social needs can be satisfied by:
    • Having a friendly working environment
    • Providing a workplace conducive to collaboration and communication with others
    • Providing company trip, company picnic or other social get-togethers
    • Scheduling and sponsoring team activities
  • Esteem needs can be satisfied by:
    • Providing high financial benefits
    • Providing promotion opportunities
    • Designing a reward system that recognize employee’s accomplishments
    • Conferring job titles that communicate to the employee that one has achieved high status within the organization
  • Self-actualization needs can be satisfied by:
    • Offering development and growth opportunities
    • Assigning work that is interesting and challenging to the employee

Organizations may ensure a highly motivated workforce by making the effort to satisfy the different needs of each employee. It is interesting that good financial benefits can satisfy not only physiological but also safety and esteem needs. It should also be noted that the same “treatment” may have different reactions, depending on the employee’s current needs. For example, an employee whose current needs are esteem needs may feel satisfied when his supervisor praises an accomplishment. However, another employee who is trying to satisfy social needs may not like being praised by his manager in front of peers if the praise sets the individual apart from the rest of the group.

Bauer, T. and Erdogan, Berrin., 2009. Organizational Behavior. 1st ed. Flat World Knowledge, Inc.