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Lawrence and Nohria (2002) Four drives: D1 (acquire objects and experiences that improve our status relative to others); D2 (bond with others in mutually bene!cial, long-term relationships); D3 (learn about and make sense of ourselves and the world around us); D4 (defend ourselves, our loved ones, our beliefs, and our resources)

Pink (2009) Three drives: autonomy (people want to have control over their work); mastery (people want to get better at what they do); purpose (people want to be part of something bigger than themselves)

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and actualizing one’s ultimate potential. The order is not ironclad. Parents may sacri”ce themselves for their children, and martyrs sometimes give their lives for a cause. Maslow believed that such reversals occur when lower needs are so well satis”ed early in life that they recede into the background later on.

Attempts to validate Maslow’s theory have produced mixed results, partly because the theory is hard to test (Alderfer, 1972; Latham and Pinder, 2005; Lawler and Shuttle, 1973; Schneider and Alderfer, 1973; Wahba and Bridwell, 1976). Some research suggests that the theory is valid across cultures (Ajila, 1997; Rao and Kulkarni, 1998), but the many

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Exhibit 6.2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Source: Conley, 2007. Copyright ! 1979. Reprinted by permission of Pearson Education, Inc., New York, New York.

theories of motivation developed since Maslow attest that the jury is still out on whether people have the needs Maslow posited or that the satisfaction of one need leads to activation of another.

Despite the modest evidence, Maslow’s view has been widely accepted and enormously in!uential in managerial practice. Take, for example, the advice that theManager’s Guide at Federal Express offers employees: “Modern behavioral scientists such as Abraham Maslow . . . have shown that virtually every person has a hierarchy of emotional needs, from basic safety, shelter, and sustenance to the desire for respect, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment. Slowly these values have appeared as the centerpiece of progressive company policies, always with remarkable results” (Waterman, 1994, p. 92). Chip Conley, founder of a California hotel chain, put it simply: “I came to realize my climb to the top wasn’t going to be on a traditional corporate ladder; instead it was going to be on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs pyramid” (Conley, 2007). Academic skepticism didn’t prevent him, FedEx, Joie de Vivre hotels, or Airbnb from building a highly successful management philosophy based on Maslow’s theory, because the ideas carry a powerful message. If you

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manage solely by carrot and stick, you’ll get only a part of the energy and talent that people have to offer.

Theory X and Theory Y Douglas McGregor (1960) built on Maslow’s theory by adding another important idea: that managers’ assumptions about people tend to become self-ful”lling prophecies. McGregor argued that most managers harbor “Theory X” assumptions that subordinates are passive and lazy, have little ambition, prefer to be led, and resist change. Most conventional management practices, in his view, had been built on either “hard” or “soft” versions of Theory X. The hard version emphasizes coercion, tight controls, threats, and punishments. Over time, it generates low productivity, antagonism, militant unions, and subtle sabotage— conditions that were turning up in workplaces across the United States at the time. Soft versions of Theory X try to avoid con!ict and keep everyone happy. The usual result is super”cial harmony with undercurrents of apathy, indifference, and smoldering resentment.

McGregor’s key point was that a hard or soft Theory X approach is self-ful”lling: If you treat people as if they’re lazy and need to be directed, they live down to your expectations. Managers who say they know from experience that Theory X is the only way to get anything done are missing a key insight: The fact that people respond to you in a certain way may say more about you than about them. McGregor advocated a different way to think about people that he called Theory Y. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was the foundation:

The man whose needs for safety, association, independence, or status are thwarted is sick as surely as the man who has rickets. And his sickness will have behavioral consequences. We will be mistaken if we attribute his resultant passivity, hostility, and refusal to accept responsibility to his inherent human nature. These forms of behavior are symptoms of illness—of deprivation of his social and egoistic needs (McGregor, 1960, pp. 35–36).

Theory Y’s key proposition is that “the essential task of management is to arrange conditions so that people can achieve their own goals best by directing efforts toward organizational rewards” (McGregor, 1960, p. 61). If individuals “nd no satisfaction in their work, management has little choice but to rely on Theory X and external control. Conversely, the more managers align organizational requirements with employee self- interest, the more they can rely on Theory Y’s principle of self-direction.

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Personality and Organization Like his contemporary McGregor, Chris Argyris (1957, 1964) saw a basic con!ict between human personality and prevailing management practice. Argyris argued that people have basic “self-actualization trends”—akin to the efforts of a plant to reach its biological potential. From infancy into adulthood, people advance from dependence to independence, from a narrow to a broader range of skills and interests. They move from a short time perspective (interests quickly developed and forgotten, with little ability to anticipate the future) to a much longer-term horizon. The child’s impulsivity and limited self-knowledge are replaced by a more mature level of self-awareness and self- control.

Like McGregor, Argyris believed that organizations often treated workers like children rather than adults—a view eloquently expressed in Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 “lm Modern Times. In a classic scene, Chaplin’s character works furiously on an assembly line, trying to tighten bolts on every piece that slides past. Skill requirements are minimal, and he has no control over the pace of his work. An ef”ciency expert uses Chaplin as the guinea pig for a newmachine designed to feed him lunch while he continues to tighten bolts. It goes haywire and begins to assault Chaplin with food—pouring soup on his lap and shoving bolts into his mouth. The “lm’s message is clear: Industrial organizations abuse workers and treat them like infants.

Argyris and McGregor saw person-structure con!ict built into traditional principles of organizational design and management. The structural concept of task specialization de”nes jobs as narrowly as possible to improve ef”ciency. But the rational logic often back”res. Consider the experience of autoworker Ben Hamper. His observations mirror a story many other U.S. workers could tell:

I was seven years old the “rst time I ever set foot inside an automobile factory. The occasion was Family Night at the old Fisher Body plant in Flint where my father worked the second shift. If nothing else, this annual peepshow lent a whole world of credence to our father’s daily grumble. The assembly line did indeed stink. The noise was very close to intolerable. The heat was one complete bastard.

After a hundred wrong turns and dead ends, we found my old man down on the trim line. His job was to install windshields using this goofy apparatus with large suction cups that resembled an octopus being cruci”ed. A car would nuzzle up to the old man’s work area and he would be waiting for it, a cigarette dangling from his lip, his arms wrapped around the windshield contraption as if it might suddenly rebel and bolt off for the ocean. Car, windshield. Car, windshield. Car,

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windshield. No wonder my father preferred playin’ hopscotch with barmaids (Hamper, 1992, pp. 1–2).

Following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps, Ben Hamper became an auto- worker—the pay was good, and he didn’t know anything else. He soon discovered a familiar pattern. His career began decades after Argyris and McGregor questioned the fallacies of traditional management, but little had changed. Hamper held down a variety of jobs, each as mindless as the next: “The one thing that was impossible to escape was the monotony. Every minute, every hour, every truck, and every movement was a plodding replica of the one that had gone before” (1992, p. 41).

The specialization Ben Hamper experienced in the auto plant calls for a clear chain of command to coordinate discrete jobs. Bosses direct and control subordinates, thus encouraging passivity and dependence. The con!ict worsens at lower levels of the hierar- chy—narrower, more mechanized jobs, more directives, and tighter controls. As people mature, con!ict intensi”es. Leann Bies was 44 with a bachelor’s degree in business when she started work as a licensed electrician at a Ford truck plant in 2003, and “for two years they treated me as if I were dumber than a box of rocks. You get an attitude if you are treated that way” (Uchitelle, 2007, p. 10).

Argyris argued that employees try to stay sane by looking for ways to escape these frustrations. He identi”ed six options:

1. They withdraw—through chronic absenteeism or simply by quitting. Ben Hamper chronicled many examples of absenteeism and quitting, including a friend who lasted only a couple of months:

My pal Roy was beginning to unravel in a real rush. His enthusiasm about all the money we were makin’ had dissipated and he was having major dif”culty coping with the drudgery of factory labor. His job, like mine, wasn’t dif”cult. It was just plain monotonous . . .

The day before he quit, he approached me with a box-cutter knife sticking out of his glove and requested that I give him a slice across the back of the hand. He felt sure this ploy would land him a few days off. Since slicing Roy didn’t seem like a solid career move, I refused. Roy went down the line to the other workers where he received a couple of charitable offers to cut his throat, but no dice on the hand. He wound up sulking back to his job. After that night, I never saw Roy again (1992, pp. 40, 43).

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2. They stay on the job but withdraw psychologically, becoming indifferent, passive, and apathetic. Like many other workers, Ben Hamper didn’t want to quit, so he looked for ways to cope with the tedium. His favorite was to “double up” by making a deal with another worker to take turns covering each other’s job. This made it possible to get full pay for half a day’s work:

What a setup. Dale and I would both report to work before the 4:30 horn. We’d spend a half hour preparing all the stock we’d need for the evening. At 5:00, I would take over the two jobs while Dale went to sleep in a makeshift cardboard bed behind our bench . . . I’d work the jobs from 5:00 until 9:24, the of”cial lunch period. When the line stopped, I’d give Dale’s cardboard cof”n a good kick. It was time for the handoff. I would give my ID badge to Dale so that he could punch me out at quitting time, (1992, p. 61).

If doubling up didn’t work, workers invented other diversions, like Rivet Hockey (sailing rivets into a coworker’s foot or leg) and Dumpster Ball (kicking cardboard boxes high enough to clear a dumpster).

3. They resist by restricting output, deception, featherbedding, or sabotage.1 Hamper reports what happened when the company removed a popular foreman because he was “too close to his work force” (1992, p. 205):

With a tight grip on the whip, the new bossman started riding the crew. Nomusic. NoRivet Hockey. No horseplay. No drinking. No card playing. Noworking up the line. No leaving the department. No doubling-up. No this, no that. No questions asked.

No way. After three nights of this imported bullyism, the boys had had their “ll. Frames began sliding down the line minus parts. Rivets became cross-eyed. Guns mysteriously broke down. The repairmen began shipping the majority of the defects, unable to keep up with the repair load.

Sabotage was drastic, but it got the point across and brought the new foreman into line. To survive, the foreman had to fall into step. Otherwise, he would be replaced, and the cycle would start anew.

4. They try to climb the hierarchy to better jobs.Moving up works for some, but there are rarely enough “better” jobs to go around, and many workers are reluctant to take

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promotions. Hamper reports what happened to a coworker who tried to crack down after he was promoted to foreman:

For the next eight days, we made Calvin Moza’s short-lived career switch sheer hell. Every time he’d walk the aisle, someone would pepper his steps with raining rivets. He couldn’t make a move without the hammers banging and loud chants of “suckass” and “brown snout” ringin’ in his ears. He got everything he deserved (1992, p. 208).

Hamper found his own escape: he started to moonlight as a writer during one of automaking’s periodic layoffs. Styling himself “The Rivethead,” he wrote a column about factory life from the inside. His writing eventually led to a best-selling book, as well as “lm and radio gigs. Most of his buddies weren’t as fortunate.

5. They form alliances (such as labor unions) to redress the power imbalance. Union movements grow out of workers’ desire for a more equal footing with management. Argyris cautioned, however, that union “bosses”might run their operations much like factories, because they knew no other way to manage. In the long run, employees’ sense of powerlessness would change little. Ben Hamper, like most autoworkers, was a union member, yet the union is largely invisible in his accounts of life on the assembly line. He rarely sought union help and even less often got any. He appreciated wages and bene”ts earned at the bargaining table, but nothing in the labor agreement protected workers from boredom, frustration, or the feeling of powerlessness.

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