The 4 Travel Idea in the Place of work

The 4 Travel theory, spelled out in the 2002 book Pushed by Drs. Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria of the Harvard Business School, describes human motivation in phrases of a established of dynamic, interacting requirements that are a elementary component of humankind’s make-up.  The requirements arose from our evolutionary previous and are intrinsic to human psychological makeup as a component of the mental products that delivered advantages to adaptation and survival in preceding epochs.

The drives by themselves are total and elemental, offering a in depth rationalization for human motivation that can not be damaged down into further more constituent components.  Each of the four drives (obtain, bond, understand, and defend) involves features and components that impact interactions and outcomes in the workplace.

The generate to obtain involves each materials products and standing and can direct to each outstanding effectiveness and detrimental competition. The generate to acquire includes physical objects and prosperity, relating to collecting the necessities for survival, and social interactions, regarding the acquisition of standing, accomplishments, and electric power. People social “products” are proxies for the materials necessities that enhance the survival odds for one’s self and descendents.  Delivering crystal clear backlinks in between task effectiveness and success of this generate is encouraged as a main component for developing a satisfying task.  The generate to obtain can be moderated by the generate to bond to assist dampen unhealthy competition in an corporation.

The generate to bond manifests itself in our urge to discover other folks and engage them with in interactions of mutual caring. Investigation has regularly proven that we are likely to bond with other folks of related demographics and outlook.  Businesses can do the job to extend this natural inclination with pro-variety human resource advancement plans.  Once employees are thriving in setting up specific interactions the connections can mature to involve teams and do the job teams. This generate can be utilised to gain by companies that boost attachments to do the job teams, divisions, and the whole corporation. The generate to bond qualified prospects to interactions of healthy assist amongst do the job teams if supported with group-dependent benefits and specialist ambitions. Whilst the generate to bond is directed in direction of individuals, the generate to learn relates mainly to do the job activities.

The generate to learn is pleased by do the job environments that encourage curiosity and enable for exploration and establishing comprehension.  It also relates to comprehension one’s job in the organization and the importance of that job. A good instance of the power of this generate is the diploma of task gratification that seasoned awareness workers derive from challenges in the workplace. The feeling of stimulation and excitement from buying new skills can essentially outweigh shell out and gains as a task gratification aspect. The generate to learn can purpose well in a team context, interacting with the generate to bond.  The three drives formerly described are almost usually desirable in the workplace, contrasting with the generate to defend.

Whilst acquisition, bonding, and studying are lively drives that people request to fulfill, the generate to defend is latent: it will have to be stimulated by a risk to turn out to be lively. Threats to the specific, their team, and the organization as a full can induce the generate to defend. The organization, then, can work to alter this generate by reducing or correcting information sources that connect unintentional or misguided threats.  It can also supply employees the means to reply to reputable threats in the firm’s aggressive or regulatory environment.  If effectively tempered and focused the generate to defend can be a resource of motivation and vitality, but it is  in character and not beneficial if more than-stimulated.

Whilst the 4 Travel theory describes the motivations to obtain, bond, learn and defend as elementary to human psychology, the relative power of each generate varies in individuals.  Also, the impact of specific drives can range more than time in a solitary specific.  It is detrimental when a single generate dominates, major to unbalanced private and corporation results.  For occasion, acting purely on the generate to acquire can direct to harmful competition, and more than-stimulation of the generate to defend to paranoia.  An significant topic of the 4 Travel theory is equilibrium in between and amongst drives so they can compliment and control each other.  Structuring work to assist this interaction is an significant thought in the workplace.

It is feasible to evaluate staff perceptions about the workplace and relate those people to 4 Travel motives.  A sample 4 Travel survey relating the four main drives to task gratification is provided below.  The survey concerns by themselves supply information on places that managers can take into consideration in mild of the 4 Travel theory.

Travel to Purchase and Achieve

Are workplace financial benefits tied to effectiveness in your corporation?
Is your shell out aggressive?
Are expectations by which your effectiveness is evaluated evidently expressed?
Is the need for large effectiveness evidently expressed in your organization?
Are you correctly recognized for your effectiveness?
How pleased are you with your shell out from do the job?
Are you ready to distinguish oneself through your task?

Travel to Bond

Does your organization encourage you to depend on assist from other folks?
Are collaboration and teamwork valued and recognized by your corporation?
Does your firm’s tradition encourage sharing of best tactics?
Is your organization is supportive of friendship amongst employees?
Do you really feel strongly that you are a component of the group?
Are your managers persons-oriented?
Does your administration clearly show that it cares about you on a private degree?

Travel to Learn and Comprehend

Does your task involve do the job that pursuits you?
Do you have the chance to learn new items at do the job?
Does your task accomplish a little something meaningful in your corporation?
Are your assignments challenging?
Does your do the job involve a range of responsibilities?
Does your organization actively assist private growth and studying?
Are you are gaining skills and/or awareness as a component of your do the job?

Travel to Protect

Is your firm’s effectiveness score technique open up and transparent?
Is your do the job environment welcoming and non-overwhelming?
Do you really feel your firm’s effectiveness score technique is reasonable?
Do your managers treat persons reasonably?
Do you have faith in the firm’s effectiveness score technique?
Does your organization assist open up communications – are you ready to talk up?


Lawerence, P. & Norhira, N. (2001).  Pushed:  How Human Mother nature Shapes our Possibilities.  San Fransico, CA:  Jossey-Bass.

Copyright © Stan Emelander 2009