Maslow Hierarchy of Needs According to human psychologist Abraham Maslow, we act a certain way in order to achieve certain needs. Maslow first introduced his concept of a hierarchy of needs in his paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" which lead to his book “Motivation and Personality.” Maslow’s hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs.
The five different levels in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:
1. Physiological Needs
These include the most basic needs that are vital to survival, such as the need for water, air, food, and sleep. Maslow believed that these needs are the most basic in the hierarchy because all needs become secondary until these physiological needs are met.
2. Security Needs
This is the need for safety and security. Security needs are important for survival, but they are not as demanding as the physiological needs. Examples of security needs include a desire for steady employment, and shelter from the environment.
3. Social Needs
These include needs for belonging, love, and affection. Maslow described these needs as less basic than physiological and security needs. Relationships such as friendships, romantic attachments, and families help fulfill this need for companionship and acceptance, as does involvement in social, community, or religious groups.
4. Esteem Needs
After the first three needs have been satisfied, esteem needs becomes increasingly important. These include the need for things that reflect on self-esteem, self-worth, and accomplishment.
5. Self-actualizing Needs
This is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self-actualizing people are concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others, and interested fulfilling their potential.
Implications for the Work Place When being a successful manager or partner in the work place, one may assume that they can skip the first need on Maslow’s Hierarchy. But simple things like a water jug in the break room can help an individual move past there most basic needs. The second of Maslow’s needs may be the most important or the work place, because as a manager one must make sure that their subordinates feels secure in their position in order for them to perform to the best of their abilities. Social needs can be found in the work place, depending on the job. It is important that a manager be aware of his team’s social needs. For example if someone is going through a divorce, the manager must be sensitive to the situation, in order to keep his workers effective. The final two needs are both most directly linked to the work place in our society, because often a person’s work is their life. For example, my success in my profession of golf is directly linked to how I feel about myself. When I am not playing well and don’t understand why, my self-actualization and esteem needs are not met.
Douglas McGregor Theory X and Theory Y
Douglas McGregor, an American social psychologist, proposed his famous X-Y theory in his 1960 book 'The Human Side Of Enterprise.' His work is based upon Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. He grouped the hierarchy into lower-order needs (Theory X) and higher-order needs (Theory Y). McGregor suggested that management could use either set of needs to motivate employees, but better results would be gained by the use of Theory Y, rather than Theory X. These two opposing perceptions theorized how people view human behavior at work and organizational life:
With Theory X assumptions, management's role is to coerce and control employees. o People have an inherent dislike for work and will avoid it whenever possible. o People must be coerced, controlled, directed, or threatened with punishment in order to get them to achieve the organizational objectives. o People prefer to be directed, do not want responsibility, and have little or no ambition.