Maslow (1908-1970) and the hierachy of human needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a phychological theory proposed by Abraham Maslow. He wanted to identify and classify the essential needs of humans. He stated that our needs dertermine our actions. The more we satisfy our needs, the more we will be motivated. If organising work in such a way that we satify all or some of our need then we will become more productive and satisfied.

The diagram below shows Maslow’s hierachy of needs.


Interpretation of hierarchy by Maslow

Individual’s needs begins on the lowest level

Once a level of need has been satisfied, employees will try to achieve the next level

Not every employee attains self actualisation but every employee is capable of reaching their potential

Once a need has been satisfied, it will not motivate employees. In other words, employees are satisfied with material needs rather than money.

Significance of the hierarchy of needs to business

Level of need

Business conditions which could allow for the needs to be met

Self actualisation/ fulfilement of potential

Offer challenging works so that it boosts the individual- it gives a sense of achievement. Opportuities to develop and apply new skills will increase potentials.

Esteem needs

Recognition must be done for good performance. Status, advancements and responsibility will gain the respect of others.

Social needs/ love and belonging

Make employees work in groups or teams and ensure good commnication so that employees can feel involved. For example, in order to promote some products, FTA can send some hotesses for photoshoot in groups. This will satisfy their social need.

Safety needs

Providing employees with a contract of job security. Ensure health and safety conditions of work. For example, FTA ensures safety of the hostesses and make sure the products they promote are safe and they use the right equipement to promote the products.

Psychological needs

The income obtained should be high enough for employees to meet essential needs. For example, FTA pays its employees on the basis of working hours and the pay is worth their quality of work.

Limitations of Maslow’s approach

Everyone needs are not the same as assumed in the hierarchy

In real it can be very difficult to identify which need has been met and on which level a worker is.

Money plays an important role in psychological needs as well as in other level of needs like status and esteem.

Self actualisation is never permanent. Challenges and opportunities should be continuous or else regression mah occur.

Herzberg (1923-2000) and the two factor theory

Herzberg carried out a research about factors which made workers feel good (motivators) or bad (hygiene factors) at work. Motivators are factors that lead to personal and professional growth of the employee and it leads to Job satisfaction. The motivators are:

1) achievement

2) recognition for achievement

3) responsibility

4) advancement

5) the work itself

Hygiene factors are factors which when absent create job dissatisfaction but when present do not lead to motivation as employees take them for granted. Their presence generate no jib dissatisfaction. The hygiene factors are:

1) company policy and administration

2) supervision

3) pay

4) relationship with supervisor and peers

5) working conditions

The consequences of Herzberg’s two factor theory for FTM

Pay and working conditions can be improved so dissatisfaction will be low but there won’t be motivation. Herzberg argued that by giving someone money to do the job is possible but ig doesn’t mean that the person wants to do the job . This is called movement. If motivators were in the place, there would be motivation and willingness to do the task well.

Motivators is very essential for employees to work willingly and give their best. Herzberg suggested to adopt the theory of ‘job enrichment’. Job enrichment includes three aspects: complete units of work, feedback on performance and a range of tasks.

Giving higher pay, improved working conditions and less heavy handed supervision of work would help reduce dissatisfaction but it will not motivate employees as they will take these for granted. The work dhould be interesting, challenging or rewarding then employees will give their best at work whatever the pay level.

Deci ang Ryan’s cognitive evaluation theory

Cognitive Evaluation Theory (CET- Deci 1975) is a theory in Psychology that is outlined to explain the effects of external consequences on internal motivation . Specifically, CET is a sub-theory of Self-Determination Theory that on competence and autonomy while examining how intrinsic motivation is affected by external forces.

CET uses three schemes to explain how consequences influence internal motivation:

1. External events set will impact intrinsic motivation for ideally challenging activities to the extent that they impact recognized competence, within the context of Self-Determination Theory . Events that promote greater recognized competence will boost intrinsic motivation, whereas those that decrease recognized competence will reduce intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985).

2. Events appropriate to the initiation and regulation of behavior have three potential aspects, each with a meaningful function.

The informational aspect helps an internal perceived locus of causality and perceived competence, thus positively influencing intrinsic motivation.

The controlling aspect facilitates an external recognized locus of causality (a person’s perception of the cause of success or failure), thus negatively influencing intrinsic motivation and increasing extrinsic compliance or defiance.

The amotivating aspect facilitates perceived incompetence, and undermining intrinsic motivation while promoting disinterest in the task.

The relative salience and strength of these three aspects to a person determines the functional significance of the event (Deci & Ryan, 1985).

3. Personal events distinct in their qualitative aspects and, like external events, can have differing functional significances. Events deemed internally informational facilitate self-determined functioning and maintain or enhance intrinsic motivation. Events deemed internally controlling events are experienced as pressure toward specific outcomes and undermine intrinsic motivation. Internally amotivating events make incompetence salient and also undermine intrinsic motivation (Deci & Ryan, 1985).

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