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Get Your Geek On: Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy

Applying Bloom’s Taxonomy by Tracy Wilson

This post will investigate Bloom’s taxonomy through three articles written by Diniburtun (2012), Neher (1991), and Bassett-Jones and Lloyd (2005).  Additionally, similarities and difference among those articles will be analyzed as well as mutual agreements among the readings and gaps that need to be addressed.

Key Ideas

What motivates people to achieve success?  Diniburtun (2012), Neher (1991), and Bassett-Jones and Lloyd (2005) sought out to answer this age-old question.  They dissected three major theories.

For Diniburtun (2012), David McClelland’s motivation theory was the key focus.  According to the article, some individuals are motivated by the triumph aspect of success.  Power also serves motivation, but not in a negative sense; they seek to change the world for the better.  Still others are motivated by positive social constructs, and through relationships they achieve success. 

McClleland’s model focused on three key concepts (2012).  The first was achievement motive, which is motivation based on a person’s need for success.  They are intrinsically motivated and will take on task that present the possibility for success.  However, they do not prefer situation that are overly difficult. 

The second concept is motivation through power (2012).  These personality types crave power and want to influence others in a direct way.  They want to change the world by offering a better way to do things.  These individuals have a high likelihood of becoming drunk on power, yet if they stay on course, they can become wonderful administrators.

Thirdly, is the type of motivation that comes from the need for inclusion (2012).  These individuals have a need to interact and have relationships.  Those relationships provide the motivation for success.  They are typically very friendly and are a wealth of support for others.

Neher (1991) focused on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and implied that needs drive behavior, which then provides motivation toward success.  The goal is to develop holistically toward self actualization.  Striving for more should motivate individuals passed the lower level needs.

In the article, Neher (1991) explains Maslow’s hierarchy, stating that basic need, such as food and water, come first.  Next is the need to feel safe.  Thirdly, a person must feel loved and engage in intimacy with others.  The fourth need is self-esteem.  Lastly, the person reaches his or her full potential when self actualization is reached.  This is the end-goal and represents the top of the pyramid in Maslow’s model.  The first, second, third, and fourth level is called “D needs” (1991).  They drive a person towards fulfillment.  However, the fifth need, self actualization, is a “B-need” (1991).  This means that the need maintains and drives the individual based on “deprivation,” not gratification (1991).

Bassett-Jones and Lloyd (2005) looked at Herzberg’s approach to motivation.  They examined dissatisfaction, satisfaction, and neutrality.  A finding that was somewhat surprising was that money did not motivate people in the work force.  Additionally, findings indicated that happy or unhappy employees were influenced by the work environment and all of the dynamics therein.

The motivators in this model take a two-pronged approach.  There are “work-hygiene factors” (2005) and motivations that sustain a person’s efforts.  At the most basic level, money is a hygiene factor for workforce motivation.  However, money does not provide motivation.  The reason why folks are dissatisfied is not because of money, but rather because of policies, administration, supervision issues, and general working conditions.

Similarities and Differences

Each theorist presents different findings to each research endeavor, but most of the time those findings overlap.  This is true with the authors in this literature review.  All three of the articles touched on success and motivation.  They also examined various social aspects of motivation and success.  Additionally, they address needs with various means of assessment.  

The differences between the articles were somewhat subtle.  The most pronounced difference was in Herzberg’s work because it focused entirely on motivation in the work force (Bassette-Jones & Lloyd, 2005).  Maslow and McClelland focused on intrinsic motivation and social psychology as a whole (Dinibutun, 2012; Neher, 1991).

Mutual Agreements and Gaps in Research

All of the articles have one common theme:  motivation.  According to the theorists, motivation moves individuals toward success and the motivations are different for each person (Bassett-Jones & Lloyd, 2005; Dinibutun, 2012; Neher, 1991).  All three theorists can agree that being successful is a personal journey and that certain steps must be taken to reach various aspirations.  The common theme among the articles is how social psychology can play into motivation and achievement.  The effect of intrinsic and extrinsic motivational factors were common among the literature, gratification being the key component.

In reviewing the literature, there was one gap.  Perhaps this gap was addressed in the articles’ entirety, but based on the excerpts motivational strategies were not discussed.  Successful people employ strategies to stay motivated and reach their potential (Palmer, 2005).  Adding strategies would have brought the articles together even more and offered assistance to individuals who are seeking motivational tools.


In conclusion, the articles reviewed were insightful and presented aspects of motivation that are important for academic pursuits and work force adjustment.  While all of the articles revolved around the common theme of motivation, strategies were not discussed.  Still, the articles offered an understanding into social dynamics and how they ultimately play a major role in motivation and success. 


Bassett-Jones, N., & Lloyd, G.C. (2005).  Does Herzberg’s motivation theory have staying

          power?  The Journal of Management Development, 24(10), 929-943.  doi:  10.1108/02621710510627064

Dinibutun, S. R. (2012). Work motivation: Theoretical framework. GSTF Business Review

         (GBR), 1(4), 133-139. Retrieved from

Neher, A. (1991).  Maslow’s theory of motivation:  A critique.  Journal of Humanistic

         Psychology, 31(3), 89–122.

Palmer, B.  (2005). Create individualized motivation strategies. Strategic HR Review, 4(3), 5.

        Retrieved from

Tagged: Educational Psychology, higher education, Ph.D.
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