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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Essay


The hierarchy of needs is known for the theories of human motivation. Created by psychologist Abraham Maslow, the hierarchy of needs is often shown as a pyramid, with the more basic need at the bottom and the more complex need at the peak. The lowest-level are referred as the deficiency needs that are due to the lack of something and needs to be satisfied in order to avoid an unwanted feelings. The uppermost need are referred to as being needs that involve the desire to grow as an individual and reach their full potential.

These needs includes physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization needs that are needs that vital for survival, control and order, love and belonging, respect and appreciation and for individual to achieve their full potential as an human being with the pattern of human motivation to move through for basic needs. In this assignment I will discuss the history of Maslow’s theory, what need as described by Maslow, why his theory is important for managers in today’s workplace and give an example of how managers can apply this theory in order to manage successfully in an organization.

A need is a physiological or psychological deficiency that a person wants to satisfy and can influence an individual work attitudes and behavior. Maslow’s theory was based on two underlying principles. The first is the deficit principle that satisfied need does not motivate behavior and the second is the progression principle a need is activated only when the next-lower need is satisfied as described by Schermerhorn (2013). Maslow’s implies that that managers who help and understand people satisfy their important needs at work will accomplish productivity. Motivation contribute for the level, persistence and direction of effort given at work. As an individual that is highly motivated works hard at a job while that individual that is unmotivated is not. A need is an unfulfilled physiological or psychological desire of that individual. The theory was proposed by psychology professor Abraham Maslow in 1943 and is still relevant in the current settings. Maslow identifies five key human needs that underline all human motivation. These needs are presented in hierarchical order from the most basic to the most advanced.

The most basic needs are psychological, safety and social needs while the advanced needs are esteem and self-actualization (Golnaz and Clarke 2011). Maslow as described by Golnaz and Clarke (2011) that each need has to be satisfied fully and substantially in order for an individual to progress to the next level. According of this, Golnaz and Clarke (2011) implies that managers should be able to motivate their employees by providing rewards that help satisfy the need that is operational and prevalent at any point in time to satisfy need, the need will cease to be motivator. Physiological needs is the most basic needs such as food, air, water, shelter and rest can be satisfied through monetary compensations such as wages, salaries, bonuses, stock options and retirement plans. Money can help employees buy food, clothing. Golnaz and Clarke (2011) also cites free or subsidized cafeterias, regular break times and break rooms stocked with drinks and food as motivational items for satisfying the physiological needs. Many organization may satisfy the physiological needs through process of a healthy work-life balance (Golnaz and Clarke 2011).

Safety needs is second most basic needs that consists of being safe from physical and psychological harm. According to the theory the motivational term that can guarantee safety need concerns the process of the security regarding an employee’s health that can be physical and mental. These needs can be met through health insurance and retirement plans (Golnaz and Clarke 2011 p. 45). The issues related to emotional and mental well-being can be met through assistance programs and counseling services (Golnaz and Clarke 2011 p. 46). In these services, the employees can discuss and solve problems ranging from conflict and stress in a workplace environment. The third need is the social needs. The theory implies that the organization should allow its employees to collaborate and work in groups as a way of meeting their social needs. Maslow identifies motivational terms that can help an organization to promote the issue of love and belonging amongst employees.

These includes an organization luncheons, banquets, retreats, organization sponsored sports teams, clubs and programs that allow employees to bring children and pets to work. The organization structures such as the open plan offices also can help employees meet and interact with one another can satisfy the belonging needs (Golnaz and Clarke 2011 p. 47). Esteem is the fourth need that includes the needs for responsibility, reputation, prestige, recognition and respect from others (Golnaz and Clarke 2011 p. 47). Meeting these needs, according to the theory will promote self-confidence and strengthen employee’s motivation and productivity.

Recognition and praise help an individual know that people appreciate what that person has accomplished (Golnaz and Clarke 2011 p. 47). Many employees join an organization to satisfy their esteem needs through a sense of accomplishment in their work. Some of the motivational terms for esteem needs include the reserved parking spaces, good prizes for winning competition and recognition programs (Golnaz and Clarke 2011 p. 47). The firth need is the self-actualization need the need for self-fulfillment and is measured through the concept of peak experiences and the feeling of joy and wonder. This happen when the four lower needs have been satisfied.


John R. Schermerhorn, Jr. (2013). Management Twelfth Edition: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ 07030-7774. Golnaz, S. and Clarke, B. R. (2011).Meeting Employee requirements: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is still a reliable guide to motivating staff. Industrial Engineer: IE. 43 (10): 44-48 DOI: 10.1007/s11205-010-9773-6.

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