Abraham Maslow's Theory: The Hierarchy Of Needs Theory

1346 Words6 Pages
to these theories of motivation.
One of the first theories that describe behavior as being directed toward the satisfaction of human needs is the hierarchy of needs theory by Abraham Maslow. His theory is a theoretical foundation for many of need based approaches to motivation. According to Maslow (1943), people are motivated to satisfy their needs and those needs can be classified into the following five categories that are in an ascending hierarchy: Physiological needs, security needs, social needs, esteem and self-actualization needs. The first three are characterized as lower level needs while the last two are higher order needs. Physiological needs are the basic biological needs like air, water, food and
…show more content…
That is, the needs are satisfied in sequence. According to Maslow’s , a person desiring job security would dedicate his or her efforts to ensure it and gram would not be concerned with seeking recognition. Maslow also claimed that higher levels of satisfaction for a particular need decrease its potential as a motivator. There are some criticisms to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. One main criticism is that there is little empirical evidence to support Maslow’s assumptions (Drenth, Thierry & Willems, 1984). Second, his methodology was problematic (Boeree, 1998). Maslow’s methodology was that he picked a small number of people that he himself declared self-actualizing such as Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, Albert Einstein, then he looked at their biographies, writings, the acts and words of those he knew personally, and so on. From these sources, he developed a list of qualities that seemed characteristic of these people and reached conclusions about what self-actualization is. Third, Maslow assumes that human beings will move up the hierarchy, satisfying one need before moving on. But, there are many examples that refute this thought. Many of the best artists and authors, which can be thought of as self-actualized, suffered…show more content…
That is, they were far from having their lower needs taken care of. For example Van Gogh and Galileo suffered from mental illness, and yet were able to produce works that made a difference. To conclude, in spite of the criticisms, Maslow’s work is important in terms of recognizing the needs being pursued by employees and shedding some light on the social and psychological needs of individuals in addition to material needs. With the higher order needs of esteem and self-actualization, Maslow emphasizes the importance of non-monetary incentives in motivating the people. Non-monetary incentives address these higher order needs, rather than any basic needs such as food and shelter. If it is awarded as an appreciation of a contribution, a tangible non-monetary incentive will remind the employees of their performance and recognition for it, filling the needs for self-esteem and it will create esteem in the eyes of co-workers, family, and friends. It will satisfy employees’ recognition and respect needs. On the other hand, as it is mentioned in the section discussing benefits of non-monetary incentives over cash, it is not easy to brag about the cash incentives,

More about Abraham Maslow's Theory: The Hierarchy Of Needs Theory

Open Document