The 4 Travel Theory in the Workplace

The 4 Travel idea, explained in the 2002 e book Pushed by Drs. Paul Lawrence and Nitin Nohria of the Harvard Business College, describes human motivation in phrases of a established of dynamic, interacting requirements that are a basic component of humankind’s make-up.  The requirements arose from our evolutionary past and are intrinsic to human psychological makeup as a component of the mental gear that delivered rewards to adaptation and survival in previous epochs.

The drives them selves are complete and elemental, presenting a complete rationalization for human motivation that cannot be broken down into even more constituent elements.  Just about every of the 4 drives (get, bond, understand, and protect) features capabilities and components that affect interactions and outcomes in the office.

The drive to get features equally substance products and status and can direct to equally great functionality and detrimental competitiveness. The drive to acquire includes physical objects and prosperity, relating to collecting the necessities for survival, and social associations, relating to the acquisition of status, accomplishments, and ability. People social “products” are proxies for the substance necessities that strengthen the survival odds for one’s self and descendents.  Supplying obvious inbound links among position functionality and success of this drive is recommended as a core component for developing a enjoyable position.  The drive to get can be moderated by the drive to bond to help dampen unhealthy competitiveness in an business.

The drive to bond manifests alone in our urge to uncover others and interact them with in associations of mutual caring. Research has continuously proven that we are inclined to bond with others of related demographics and outlook.  Businesses can function to extend this all-natural inclination with professional-range human source growth applications.  Once staff are prosperous in establishing unique associations the connections can improve to include teams and function teams. This drive can be utilized to gain by businesses that boost attachments to function teams, divisions, and the complete business. The drive to bond potential customers to interactions of healthier support among function teams if supported with workforce-based rewards and experienced plans. Though the drive to bond is directed toward folks, the drive to discover relates typically to function things to do.

The drive to discover is pleased by function environments that stimulate curiosity and permit for exploration and creating comprehension.  It also relates to comprehension one’s function in the organization and the significance of that function. A great instance of the energy of this drive is the diploma of position satisfaction that skilled know-how workers derive from challenges in the office. The sense of stimulation and excitement from getting new capabilities can actually outweigh spend and advantages as a position satisfaction variable. The drive to discover can function perfectly in a group context, interacting with the drive to bond.  The three drives beforehand explained are practically usually attractive in the office, contrasting with the drive to protect.

Though acquisition, bonding, and understanding are active drives that human beings search for to fulfill, the drive to protect is latent: it must be stimulated by a danger to turn out to be active. Threats to the unique, their group, and the organization as a complete can bring about the drive to protect. The organization, then, can work to modify this drive by eradicating or correcting information sources that talk unintended or misguided threats.  It can also supply staff the indicates to react to genuine threats in the firm’s aggressive or regulatory surroundings.  If appropriately tempered and focused the drive to protect can be a source of motivation and power, but it is  in mother nature and not beneficial if in excess of-stimulated.

Though the 4 Travel idea describes the motivations to get, bond, discover and protect as basic to human psychology, the relative energy of each drive differs in persons.  Also, the affect of unique drives can change in excess of time in a solitary unique.  It is detrimental when one drive dominates, leading to unbalanced personalized and business outcomes.  For occasion, acting purely on the drive to acquire can direct to damaging competitiveness, and in excess of-stimulation of the drive to protect to paranoia.  An important theme of the 4 Travel idea is equilibrium among and among drives so they can compliment and control each other.  Structuring employment to support this interaction is an important consideration in the office.

It is possible to measure employee perceptions about the office and relate these to 4 Travel motives.  A sample 4 Travel study relating the 4 core drives to position satisfaction is specified under.  The study inquiries them selves supply information on parts that supervisors can look at in light-weight of the 4 Travel idea.

Travel to Purchase and Achieve

Are office financial rewards tied to functionality in your business?
Is your spend aggressive?
Are expectations by which your functionality is evaluated obviously expressed?
Is the need for large functionality obviously expressed in your organization?
Are you appropriately acknowledged for your functionality?
How pleased are you with your spend from function?
Are you ready to distinguish you via your position?

Travel to Bond

Does your organization stimulate you to rely on support from others?
Are collaboration and teamwork valued and acknowledged by your business?
Does your firm’s lifestyle stimulate sharing of greatest techniques?
Is your organization is supportive of friendship among staff?
Do you sense strongly that you are a component of the workforce?
Are your supervisors persons-oriented?
Does your administration show that it cares about you on a personalized degree?

Travel to Find out and Comprehend

Does your position include function that passions you?
Do you have the possibility to discover new items at function?
Does your position carry out anything meaningful in your business?
Are your assignments complicated?
Does your function include a wide variety of responsibilities?
Does your organization actively support personalized expansion and understanding?
Are you are getting capabilities and/or know-how as a component of your function?

Travel to Defend

Is your firm’s functionality score system open up and clear?
Is your function surroundings welcoming and non-intimidating?
Do you sense your firm’s functionality score system is truthful?
Do your supervisors take care of persons rather?
Do you believe in the firm’s functionality score system?
Does your organization support open up communications – are you ready to communicate up?


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

Copyright © Stan Emelander 2009