Kdiscussion: need-based theories and emotions


Maslow (1943) asserts that human beings are driven by their desire to satisfy their needs. This assumption has direct implications to behaviors they exhibit in a work setting. For example, a promotion to a managerial position may satisfy an ambitious individual’s need for power. Thus, organizations that provide opportunities for advancement may satisfy the needs of upwardly mobile workers.

Emotions and affect are intricately tied to levels of satisfaction human beings experience. Satisfaction fosters emotions associated with happiness. Conversely, when a human being’s pursuit of satisfaction is thwarted, negative emotions like frustration and anger may surface.

Until recently, researchers have failed to recognize the inseparability between work and emotion. Humans are emotional beings, and for many people work is an integral part of the human experience. However, little research has been conducted that explores the relationship among humans’ needs, emotions, affect, and work.

For this Discussion, consider the underlying assumptions of need theories and how they relate to worker motivation. Then think about the relationship between need theories and theories of emotions and affect as they relate to the workplace.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief explanation of three assumptions that underlie need theories. Then explain how these assumptions relate to worker motivation. Finally, explain the relationship between need theories and theories of emotion and affect. Provide an example to illustrate this relationship as it relates to the workplace. Support your response using the Learning Resources and current literature.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.

Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

  • Expand on your colleague’s posting by providing additional assumptions that underlie need theories.
  • Provide an additional example to illustrate the relationship between need theories and theories of emotion and affect.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.


Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370–396.

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