Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs - Essay Example

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The theory argues that people are motivated to achieve basic needs and upon fulfilling the basic needs, a person seeks to fulfill other higher needs that are in form of a pyramid. This motivational…
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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs al Affiliation) Abraham Maslow proposed the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory (McLeod, . The theory argues that people are motivated to achieve basic needs and upon fulfilling the basic needs, a person seeks to fulfill other higher needs that are in form of a pyramid. This motivational theory subdivides into basic needs and growth needs. The basic needs include safety, love, and esteem. These needs become stronger when the duration of satisfying the basic needs is long (McLeod, 2014). Growth needs supersede basic needs and include self-actualization. Apparently, individuals must satisfy the basic needs before seeking to satisfy the growth needs.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs entails five levels. The first level entails the satisfaction of biological and psychological needs like water, air, food, shelter, warmth, and sleep. The second level is the safety needs and these needs include order and law, stability and freedom from fear (McLeod, 2014). The third level entails the sense of love and belonging needs like intimate relationships, friendship, and affection from family, peers, and workmates. The fourth level entails esteem needs that include prestige, dominance, self-respect, and respect from others. The final level of needs is self-actualization needs that include realizing one’s personal potential and personal growth.
Later, the five stage model was expanded to include cognitive needs like knowledge and meaning, aesthetic needs like appreciation for beauty and finally transcendence needs which involves helping others to achieve their self-actualization. In each level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, their character of being ‘wanting beings’ motivates people. When one need is satisfied, it stops becoming a motivator and another need emerges (NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2010). If the things that satisfy the lower needs are gone, people do not care about achieving the higher needs. Indeed, the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs asserts that we must follow a defined order to satisfy our needs.
To move a person to a higher level of the hierarchy within the work group, employers and organizations must help people to identify, pursue and reach their own personal potential (McLeod, 2014). Successful organizations are those that understand and encourage their employees towards self-actualization to help them achieve their personal growth. For instance, an employee in sales and marketing department can only achieve the sales targets if a conducive working environment is provided which includes friendship from the colleagues in order to enable them work as a team.
There are other contemporary models out there like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. For instance, Clayton Aldefer proposed the ERG model that seeks to solve the weaknesses of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. For example, ERG model addresses the overlap in Maslow’s hierarchy levels by limiting the levels of needs to three (NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2010). Indeed, the ERG model entails three levels of needs that include existence, relatedness, and growth levels in an ascending order (Singh, 2009). This theory is different from Maslow’s theory in the sense that it allows different level of needs to be satisfied simultaneously in different orders for different people (NetMBA Business Knowledge Center, 2010). The ERG model asserts that individuals can regress to a lower level if they fail to fulfill a higher level. However, just like the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the ERG theory is hierarchal.
McLeod, S. (2014). Simply Psychology. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from:
NetMBA Business Knowledge Center. (2010). ERG Theory. Retrieved from:
NetMBA Business Knowledge Center. (2010). Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from:
Singh, K. (2009). Organizational Behaviour: Text and Cases. Knowledge Boulevard: Pearson Education India. Read More
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