ERG theory is a motivational theory that was developed by Clayton Alderfer. It is an extension of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and proposes that there are three main human needs: existence, relatedness, and growth. ERG theory states that motivations can be grouped into the categories: existence, relatedness and growth. Existence are motivations that are at the basic survival level such as the need to eat and be safe. Relatedness are social motivations. Growth is a set of motivations related to personal development and self-actualization.
According to ERG theory, the existence needs are the basic physiological and safety needs that are necessary for survival. These include needs for food, shelter, and security. When these needs are satisfied, individuals are motivated to fulfill their relatedness needs, which are the need for social connections and interpersonal relationships. Once the relatedness needs are satisfied, individuals are motivated to fulfill their growth needs, which are the needs for personal development and self-actualization.
ERG theory suggests that individuals can be motivated by different needs at different times, and that they may move back and forth between the different levels of needs. For example, someone who is motivated by their relatedness needs may temporarily shift their focus to their existence needs if they face a threat to their survival.
ERG theory also proposes that frustration and regression can occur when an individual’s needs are not met. Frustration occurs when an individual is unable to fulfill a higher-level need, such as growth, and regression occurs when an individual reverts to focusing on lower-level needs, such as existence, in response to frustration.
Overall, ERG theory provides a more complex and dynamic view of human motivation than Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. It emphasizes the interconnectedness of different needs and the role of frustration and regression in motivation.