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Maslow’s theory of human needs focuses on the key foundation and the relations of human needs A need is a physiological or psychological deficiency that a person wants to satisfy In his theory, Maslow identified human needs and categorized them into 5 levels. These levels are physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. It is Important for managers to know this theory because these needs cause tensions which can influence a person’s work attitude and behaviors

Maslow’s theory is based on two underlying principles:
Deficit principle which states that a satisfied need no longer motivates behavior because people act to satisfy deprived needs Progression principle that states that the five needs he identified exist in a hierarchy, which means that a need at any level can only be put into play after a lower-level need has been satisfied.

Maslow identified five levels of human needs, starting from highest to lowest which are:

Physiological needs: Physiological needs are basic human needs and biological necessities such food, water, shelter, air, sleep, etc. These needs are the strongest because the physiological needs come first in the person’s search for satisfaction. Ex: rest and refreshment breaks, physical comfort on the job, reasonable work hours

Safety needs: Safety needs includes the need of security, protection, and stability in order to be free of the threat of physical and emotional harm. It is important to understand this need and for managers to provide a safe workplace. Ex: safe working conditions, job security, base compensation and benefits

Social needs: Social needs are those related to interaction and belongingness with other people and include work groups, friends, family, love and affection, relationships, etc. People seek to overcome feelings of loneliness and alienation and managers must understand this to ensure employee involvement, production and motivation. Ex: friendly coworkers, interaction with customers, pleasant supervisors

Esteem needs: Esteem needs are when people desire self-esteem from both themselves and by others too. Esteem needs include achievement, mastery, respect, competence, prestige, recognition, managerial responsibility, etc. Managers who understand this can help ensure employees and team members feel valued and respected which increases their self-esteem. Ex: responsibility of an important job, promotion to higher status job, praise and recognition from the boss

Self-actualization needs: Self-actualization is a person’s need to reach their full capability. It is the highest need because it develops only after all of the foregoing needs are satisfied and includes realizing personal potential, personal growth, self-fulfillment, and creativity. As a manager, it is important to help employees or team members find this, so their employees will be satisfied and productive. Ex: creative and challenging work, participation in decision making, job flexibility and autonomy

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