Abraham Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory Essay Sample

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Motivation-the expenditure of effort toward achieving an objective the organization wants accomplished. But motivation in employees varies differently. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory tells various of human needs in business. Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory think that hygiene/maintenance factorsand and motivators are the reasons make people feel happy or unhappy during work. However, these two theories are based on people’s needs as first element. If these two theories still make sense in the twenty-first century? This essay will show these theories and answer the question. Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory proposed that motivation is based on various of human needs. There are five different hierarchies from basic level of physiological needs to high level which self-actualization needs. The five categories of need are: Physiological needs: These are essential for the human life. Like food, water, sleep, medicine and education. Maslow (1954) points out that the person who thinks he or she is hungry may actually be looking more for comfort, or dependence, than for vitamins or proteins.

Security or Safety needs: When people do not worry about their physiological needs then they may be consider the environment whether security (eg war, disease and natural catastrophes) Maslow believes that people regress from higher needs to the lower needs to seek safety. (Hollyforde & Whiddett, 2002) Belonging and Love needs: People are social beings, everyone need to belong and be accepted by others. Belonging and love needs include the giving and receiving of affection. Esteem/Ego needs: According to Maslow, once people begin to satisfy their need to belong, they tend to want to be held in esteem both by themselves and others. (Ken & Prof. Param J. , 2012) Self-actualization needs: Self-actualization is, according to Maslow, the ultimate achievement of mature human beings. As Ken & Prof. Param J. (2012) tell it is to maximize one’s potential and to accomplish something.

The statement looks like give the impression that a need must be satisfied 100 percent before next need. Actually most people maybe are satisfied in all their basic needs and also unsatisfied in all their basic needs at the same time. But how to measure needs? For example, from different times people needs unsame things, young people probably be more care about salary. People who are married maybe fouce on how to hold their job. The elder person do not want to be alone during the work and they expect praise from the boss or recognition of a job well done. (Alberdi, 1990) Another hand, Maslow did not mentioned of culture’s impact for people. For example, in the USA self-fulfilment needs are more likely to dominate (Alberdi, 1990) and opposite in the People’s Republic of China self-esteem needs is likely to be more siginficant. However, Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory remind managers to know what is employee real need and fouce on different need use the pertinence way to motivation people in a company. Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory is Herzberg carried out a study that ask people about what made them happy and unhappy during work.

There are two factors he found which were important: Hygiene/maintenance factors These were things may caused dissatisfaction, such as working conditions, salary, job security, company and policy administration, interpersonal relationships and Supervision. Motivators These were things like feelings of achievement, responsibility, recognition, the work itself and advancement. Alberdi(1990) says that Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory is not clear that happy workers are productive workers; that is, increased job satisfaction may not lead to increased productivity. The motivation-hygiene theory tells two ideas, one is the basics must be adequately taken care of; people need to work in a decent environment. It is important to stress achievement in the job so that people feel they are doing something worthwhile of which they can feel proud. (Alberdi, 1990) Need theories have been used to explain work motivation for long time. For the simplest reason, people work to satisfy needs.

Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Theory and Herzberg’s motivation-hygiene theory be described here because they are historically significant and the forerunners of newer approaches to understanding work motivation.(Andrew J,1981) Also, the theories of Maslow and Herzberg support eacher. These two theories still make sense in today even these theories are difficult to apply directly to work. These theories may help managers understand that issues at a lower level on the hierarchy may well diminish the motivational effects of anything higher up, and that what motivates a person on one day may change if his or her circumstances change. (Hollyforde & Whiddett, 2002)


1. DuBrin, Andrew J. (1981) Human relations : a job oriented approach. Reston, VA. Reston Pub. Co. P25-27 2. De Alberdi, Lita. (1990). People, psychology, and business. Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. P30 3. Hollyforde S. & Whiddett S. (2002) . The Motivation Handbook. Trowbridge: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. P95. 4. Ken Shah & Prof. Param J. Shah. (2012). Motivation . Available: http://www.laynetworks.com/Motivation.html. Last accessed 31th Oct 2012. 5. Maslow A. H. (1954) Motivation and Personality. New York, Harper & Row.

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