Hierarchy of Needs
A key challenge for managers of organizations, both large and small, is to encourage and motivate employees to continually perform at high levels and help the organization achieve its goals. The quest to dissect and identify these specific factors of motivation has led to different theories. This research paper will discuss one particular need theory, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, and the five basic needs thereof and how this needs theory can be applied to motivating employees.
A variety of psychology textbooks share and reflect that the general definition of motivation is “that it is an internal state or condition (sometimes described as a need, desire, want or influence) that serves to activate or energize goal-oriented and/or intense behavior and gives it direction.” (Huitt, W., 2001) Why is motivating the employees of a company essential for business? As stated above motivation is a word that implies action and as such it can explain to managers why employees of an organization act, react, perform or behave the way that they do. Throughout history professionals ranging from psychologist, scientist, teachers, manager and leaders have been dissecting and searching for an identifiable factor that would explain what motivates some individuals to achieve specific outcomes while other individuals are satisfied with half as much.
In 1943 Abraham Marlow introduced a concept, the ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and his subsequent book, Motivation and Personality. Marlow’s hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other needs. Involved in the hierarchy theory are the five basic needs Marlow identifies: Physiological needs, Safety needs, Belongingness needs, Esteem needs and Self-actualization needs. The lowest level of unsatisfied needs motivates behavior; once this level of needs is satisfied, a person tries to satisfy the needs at the next level. (Jones & George, 2007, p. 330)...