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Personal Growth

Management, Motivation & Darwin

Looking to explain a new leadership model he saw gaining traction, organizational behavior expert Paul Lawrence found inspiration and answers in Darwin’s The Descent of Man.

What’s the Latest Development?

Organizational behavior expert Paul Lawrence’s Renewed Darwinian (RD) Theory of Human Behavior posits that we are all motivated by four drives: to acquire (to obtain things necessary to ensure continuity and reproductive success); to defend (to ensure what is acquired is not lost); to comprehend (to understand the world around us); and to bond (to connect and relate to others).

What’s the Big Idea?

Harvard researchers surveyed hundreds of employees as a test of Lawrence’s theory, finding not only did the four drives explain “60 percent of employees’ variance on motivational indicators,” but that if just one drive went unaddressed, it pulled down employee satisfaction in all other categories. The best results came when all four drives were fulfilled simultaneously.


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