MASLOW’S NEED HIERARCHY
The most widely recognized theory of motivation is the needs hierarchy theory. Abraham Maslow suggested that people have a complex set of exceptionally strong needs, which can be arranged in a hierarchy. These needs are:
- Physiological needs
The physiological needs are at the bottom of the hierarchy and are primary and basic to human life. Until these needs are satisfied to the degree needed for the efficient operation of the body, the majority of a person’s activities will probably be at this level, and the other levels will provide him with little motivation. It includes hunger, thirst, shelter, sex and other bodily needs.
The needs for safety, stability and absence of pain, threat or illness are all security needs. Like physiological needs, unsatisfied security needs cause people to be preoccupied with satisfying them. Managers who believe that security needs are most important they focus on rules, job security and fringe benefits. Such managers may not encourage innovation by employees and will not reward risk taking. Employees who are most concerned about security will follow rules strictly.
After the first two needs are satisfied, social needs become important in the need hierarchy. Since man is a social being, he has a need to belong and to be accepted by various groups. When social needs become dominant, a person will strive for meaningful relations with others. In organization context when affiliation needs are the primary source of motivation, people value the workplace as an opportunity for finding and establishing warm and friendly interpersonal relationships.
The esteem needs are concerned with self-respect, self-respect, a feeling of personal worth, feeling of being unique, and recognition. Satisfaction of these needs produces feelings of self-confidence, prestige, power and control. if these needs are not satisfied the result would be having inferiority complex and helplessness.
This level represents the culmination of all the lower, intermediate and higher needs of human. Self-actualization is the need to maximize one’s potential, whatever it may be. The term self-actualization was coined by Kurt Goldstein. This is related with the development of intrinsic capabilities which lead people to seek situations that can utilize their potential. This includes competence which implies control over environmental factors, both physical and social, and achievement. A man with high intensity of achievement needs will be restless unless he can find fulfillment in doing what he is fit to do.