Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
An explanation of the theory
Scott Jeffries MA studies in Management, Grantham University
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Scott Jeffries, Master Program, Department of Project Management, Grantham University, 16025 W. 113th St, Lenexa, KS 66219 Contact: email@example.com
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a theory that is related to why people are motivated to do what they do. It is called a hierarchy because there is an order in which people seek things in life, and once the basic necessities are fulfilled, then they tend to move on to the next higher need. This hierarchy is usually pictured as a pyramid for this reason, and it looks like this:
Maslow's Pyramid. (2013) http://search.yahoo.com/search?p=Maslow%27s+hierarchy+of+needs&ei=UTF-8&fr=moz35 This theory was first described by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper called "A Theory of Human Motivation".
There are six needs as described by Maslow. The lowest and most basic need is for food, clothes, water, and shelter. Once that need is fulfilled, then the need for safety is sought, and after that is a sense of belonging, and then self esteem, then self actualization.
Self Actualization is about finding and achieving one's greatest potential as a human.
A history of this psychological theory derives from its primary application to the workplace. Others have seen its application to education, marketing, even politics. Whenever someone wants someone to do something, they can appeal to them on the basis of this theory.
This theory is important for managers in today's workplace because it helps them to continue working productively and will be less likely to quit if their basic needs are met in their job.
This theory is used to maintain a competitive edge when the product or good appeals to the lowest levels on the pyramid, and business can employ marketing to convince people that it will fulfill all or most of the other levels as well. If the advertisement says “ everyone is buying this, don’t wait too long”, it appeals to the sense of belonging and even though buying the product does not really make a person belong any more than anything else.
An example of how managers can apply this theory is a grocery chain called Hy Vee. The employees are treated with respect and are encouraged to make friends within the company. They are rewarded with all kind of small and large