Chapter 7 » Maslow’s need hierarchy theory | Business Studies – XII


Maslow’s need hierarchy theory




All human behavior is directed towards fulfilling their needs. Abhram Maslow’s needs hierarchy theory is based upon the needs of human beings. According to this theory, each and every people have certain needs. In response to that need, s/he is motivated to do work. Human needs have hierarchy. That’s why to motivate any people to work. The need of that person should be fulfilled according to hierarchy because as one need of that person is satisfied, another need will be created respectively. The needs have been classified in a hierarchy as follows:


· Physiological needs: These needs are fundamental or basic need of human being such as food, water, clothes, shelter etc. Without these needs human being cannot survive. Therefore, these needs are necessary to operate the human life. In organization, the manager can provide the adequate lighting, comfortable temperatures and ventilation etc to motivate the employees at first. These are the lowest order needs and assume top priority

· Safety/ security needs: An individual wants to be free from the fear of losing job, food, shelter etc which is known as safety or security needs. It is second important need because after fulfilling physiological need people want the safety and security needs. These needs may be job security, old age provision, pension plans, insurance, security from risk etc

· Social needs: It is the third hierarchy of needs which comes after fulfilling safety or security needs.  Man is social in nature. Therefore, human beings always want to live in society or group which loves him/her the most. These needs include love, affection, friendship, social acceptance etc. So a manager can initiate participation of the employees as part of association to motivate the people.

· Esteem/ego needs: After fulfilling the social needs of people, they now want esteem needs by which they can have some special and unique place or status for him/her. They want to be prestigious and respected which is known as esteem or ego need. It is the second last need of Maslow’s need hierarchy theory. This need includes self confident, self respect, prestige, power, status, job title etc. So s/he wants to be strong and want to have immense power from which s/he can get self satisfaction. A manager can provide the attractive job position to employees to fulfill esteem or ego needs.

· Self-actualization needs: Maslow said that self actualization is the last and highest need in his hierarchy. After all needs are fulfilled especially including esteem/ego needs they now want or desire to help others. It is maximization of one’s potential. In this need people want to be satisfied in their desire.  It includes challenging jobs, creativity, risk bearing capacity etc.

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