Four drive theory

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Four drive theory

They have been through their third team leader in three years. Their meetings are characterized by disagreements, hostile remarks and passive aggressive behavior.

Team members are not completing their assignments or even their monthly reports. And some members have asked to leave the team. What is wrong here? All the members were well paid, and were working toward a drug that had real market potential.

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They were competent in their respective scientific disciplines and most kept up with the research in the field. These symptoms are causing dysfunction in the team. Recognizing this, the OD consultants focused on strengthening relationships in the team.

This included work on conflict resolution, behavioral re contracting, collaborative decision making, along with coaching for the team leaders and key members. As OD professionals, we looked at this situation through the perspective of the Four-Drive theory, originally developed by Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria.

This theory defines the four powerful and innate human drives that motivate all discretionary behavior.

Understanding the 4-Drive Model Theory on Employee Motivation – Bert Martinez

All humans possess the four drives but different individuals may engage some or all of the drives to different degrees. Some individuals may favor one or more of the drives, such as a very friendly, warm-hearted person who favors the bonding drive, or a very combative, defensive person who favors the defending drive.

In extreme cases, such as sociopathic behavior, an individual may appear to lack any of the behaviors associated with a particular drive e.

Bonding — The drive to engage in positive personal relationships that create feelings of belonging, camaraderie and unity. Learning — The drive to make sense out of the world, to find meaning, to satisfy our natural curiosity, to solve problems and to overcome challenges.

For most people, when the four drives are fulfilled, they become engaged and operate at their fullest capacity. When one or more drive is unsatisfied, motivation begins to lag, often resulting in unwanted consequences. Knowing this can make the Four-Drive model a powerful tool for creating effective and motivated organizations.

For example, one of our clients uses the model to create gap analyses: In essence, it is both an assessment and a developmental tool. To assess and establish a baseline or: How competitive is our compensation? Do our types of recognition match the needs of our people? Do we allow our people to own their work and achieve a sense of completion?

How well do our people work in teams? How do we encourage and conduct communication?Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) is a service we offer sellers that lets them store their products in Amazon's fulfillment centers, and we directly pack, ship, and provide customer service for these products. The four-drive model of employee motivation is a holistic way to look beyond typical financial workplace rewards.

Four drive theory

It is an innovative and unique approach for organizational leaders, and each drive is necessary to understand motivation in the workplace. The Four-Drive Theory Acquiring – The drive to acquire material goods, power, and social status.

Bonding – The drive to engage in positive personal relationships that create feelings of belonging, camaraderie and unity.

Four drive theory

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Four-drive theory: a motivation theory that is based on the innate drives to acquire, bond, learn, and defend and that incorporates both emotions and rationality-drive to acquire: the drive to seek, take, control, and retain objects and personal experiences; includes enhancing one’s self-concept through relative status and recognition in society – the %(2).


The Four Drive model presents human aspirations as a set of fundamental needs. The theory was introduced in the book titled Driven. These dynamic needs were acquired over time from human evolutionary past and became a part of the mental stock meant to serve as an advantage in the epochs to come.

Four Drive Theory – Behavior Matters!