Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Posted on Apr 17 2018 - 11:04pm by admin


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:

  1. 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.


  1. Safety/Security

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.

  1. Social/Affiliation

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.

  1. Esteem

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.

  1. Self-actualization

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.

Maslow's Need Hierarchy Theory

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory

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