Discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Essay Example
Discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Essay Example

Discuss Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Essay Example

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  • Pages: 10 (2723 words)
  • Published: February 12, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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“The human mind is our fundamental resource” said by John Fitagerald Kennedy. Thus company human resources are essential to an organization, and individual motivation is the core issue of Human resources. A motivated workforce tends to mobilize its employee enthusiasm and creativity in work, in which to improve individual and organizational performance. Hard work among the employees can be attributed to the ability of the organization to meet their needs. Individual needs can be classified into different categories with the most fundamental ones given the first priority.

In an organization perspective, motivation among the employees is likely to increase if the incentives given partially or fully their basic needs. To achieve the objectives of an organization effectively, it is important for the management to identify the needs that motivate their employees (Wilson & M


adsen 2008). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs provides a clear view of individual needs and how these are prioritized. Employees tend to meet their needs in an ordinal arrangement with the most important one being given the first priority.

According to Maslow, these needs can be represented into a hierarchical representation depicting their order of priority. As shown in Maslow’s hierarchy, basics needs are given the first priority because human beings cannot survive without them (Montana & Charnov 2008). Other motivating factors as per Maslow’s argument are security, higher responsibility and ownership. Therefore, Maslow’s theory of needs is based on the fact that individuals satisfy one need before moving to the other. This theory provides that once a need has been satisfied it ceases to provide motivation to the employees.

As a result, individuals can move to th

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next need on top of the hierarchy (Leonard 2002). This paper will look at the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, and how the theory can be used to motivate employees in an organization. Thesis and Anti-thesis Thesis Maslow’s theory is often argued to a motivational theory. This is attributed to the –priority given to the most perceived human interests. Therefore there is need to evaluate this perception from an organizational perspective. Maslow’s theory of needs suggests that the basic needs must be fulfilled first to facilitate motivation.

After the basic needs are fulfilled other needs such security and recognition can follow. For example a sound salary system can be of motivation to the employees. This is because good salary will enable the employees to meet their basic needs In addition a sound security system will guarantee job security hence increasing motivation (Wilson & Madsen 2008). At a closer look, most human beings strive with their daily tasks in order to have basic needs such as food and rent. The capability of individuals to provide for their families in terms of food, housing and water motivates them in every day work routine.

Therefore, it is important for the management of an organization to meet these needs. The physiological level represented at the bottom of this hierarchy points out employees give basic needs the first priority compared to other needs (Wilson & Madsen 2008). Other needs such as security, belongingness, self esteem and actualization come once the basic needs have been met. The importance of these needs can be well illustrated by how Google takes into concern the wellbeing of their employees. The multinational Company enables

employees to eat as much as they can depending on their capability.

Employees are required to choose from the wide variety of foods and drinks available within the organization. Given this ideology, motivation is derived from one’s capability to fulfill basic needs. After this one can move to the next level of fulfilling other needs (Wilson & Madsen 2008). Anti-thesis However, the argument provided that Maslow’s theory facilitates motivation this may not be the case. Some individual tend to forego some of the needs provided in the theory for leisure purposes. Some organizations tend to meet individual needs in a general approach and not as per the priority.

This is where the needs are combined into one basic objective and an approach designed to meet these needs. Maslow’s hierarchy provides that individuals are motivated by accomplishment of their needs in the order of priority which may not be the case (Kini & Hobson 2002). Some people are motivated by recognition that they get from their fellows employees and management within the organization set up and not food given to them. From this perspective, Maslow’s theory cannot be relied on to promote motivation within the organization.

The theory takes an individualistic approach rather han generalization of the larger population. Once the self actualization needs have been met, individuals tend to have more needs to satisfy. From an organization perspective the self actualization needs are not essential to human motivation (Kini & Hobson 2002). Evaluation of employee need is an important factor in today’s organization setting. It enables the management to determine the motivating factors that promote productivity within the organization. Some of the

human needs are regularly ignored by most organizations in the light that they do not facilitate motivation within the organization.

To evaluate the needs that mostly motivate individuals it is important to examine the applicability of Maslow’s theory from the organization perspective. This evaluation is important to examine whether individual motivation is derived from meeting their needs in the order of priority on not. In today’s setting, organizations have continued to increase employee motivation through the use of incentives such as good salaries, bonuses and recognition through promotion (Griffin & Moorhead 2007). Evidence Proving the Thesis and Anti- Thesis

Abraham Maslow designed a hierarchy to represent motivation needs in the order of priority. Physiological needs are placed at the bottom level of the hierarchy to depict that these needs play an important role in motivation. According to Maslow, these needs include food, housing, water and sex. Therefore, it is important for an organization to meet these demands in order to promote productivity among the employees (Wilson & Madsen 2008). Basic needs are given the highest priority because an individual can not survive without them.

They play an important role in motivation of an employee once they are satisfied. Once these are satisfied, employees can go to the next level of needs. Therefore, these needs are essential in motivation of an employee since they are part of their life. These needs can not be foregone hence organizations must ensure that these needs are met. This theory provides that unless these needs are met, employees may not be motivated by any other factor. For instance, a hungry person is likely to performance poorly within

the organization setting.

This is because the driving force to better performance is the need for food. Job turnover rates and low productivity are low in organizations that provide good incentives for their employees. According to Maslow’s theory, man can not survive without food (Wilson & Madsen 2008). To increase this motivation, it is important for the organization to increase employee’s wages in order to enable them to meet these demands. Google is an example of an organization that taken into consideration the need for basic needs for its employees.

The organization offers variety of foods and drinks from which employees can choose. This motivates the employees to focus on the organization objectives and reduce low performance. The action taken by Google to provide it employees with food and drinks shows the importance of food in an organization set up. After the employees are satisfied with food and rent they tend to move to the next level of security. Drinks are available in every section of the organization for employees to enjoy as they wait to be served.

This reduces monotony and impatience hence promoting quality of services offered. Google’s step to provide its employees with food shows the importance of this need within the organization (Montana & Charnov 2008). However, some organizations do not provide food within the organization set up but offer competitive packages that may cater for the needs. The incentives given by some organizations are aimed at easing accessibility of these needs for the employees. The criticisms for this theory can be drawn from the fact that individual are motivated by different needs other than basic needs.

justify">Some employees view recognition as the motivating factor rather than the capability of the organization to provide them with basic needs. The need for social interaction is not relevant at an organization as long as ethical behavior is concerned. If organizations promote this need, it is likely to lead to disruption of unique and ethical behavior expected within the organization. Individuals also respond differently to cert6ain needs. Therefore, they are not likely to be motivated by achievement of the basic needs (Gambrel & Cianci 2003).

Maslow’s theory places security concern adjacent to physiological needs. Once the basic have been met, individuals tend to move to the next level of needs which is concern for security. This level of needs is aimed at ensuring that no harms are caused within the organization setting. According to Maslow, motivation is derived from the security that is provided by the organization. Safety and security needs can be divided into personal, health, and financial security. These include rules and procedures to ensure that accidents are reduced.

Employees are motivated by the security hat they get for their job. Most employees fear job losses, natural hazards and calamities. Employees are motivated by incentives such as danger protection through the use of insurance covers (Miner 2002). According to Maslow, safety needs can be used to replace physiological needs. If safety needs are not satisfied they are likely to act as motivating factors. This theory explains the reason to why most organization gives pensions to their employees after retirement. Since pension scheme serve as basis for job security, employees are likely to increase their productivity.

For example, Google has health

facilities to ensure that employees have an access to health care at any time of the day within the organization. Since employees are guaranteed of their health they are likely to increase their performance (Lingard & Rowlinson 2005). Security can be viewed as the utmost important factor that promotes motivation in every organization. For example poor health leads to low productivity hence affecting the results of an organization. Employees that work in organizations that have insurance cover schemes and health facilities tend to more motivated than the rest.

Therefore, security need can be viewed as a fundamental need that most employees are concerned with in an organization context. Once the security needs are satisfied, employees move to the next level of belonging (Kini & Hobson 2002). According to Maslow, employees move to the next level of belonging in the hierarchy of needs once they have satisfied their security needs. Belonging needs can be divide social needs such as family, friendship and sexual intimacy. These needs enable an individual to board with their loved ones. This level is most spectacular when it comes to an individuals concern for their families.

Maslow argues that employee interaction with their families promote motivation. This can be attributed to the affiliation that these individual get from these group of individuals. Maslow’s theory provides that employees need to stay groups and interact with others freely. Most organizations have taken into consideration of this need by encouraging team work (Kini & Hobson 2002). In most organizations, employees are required to act and carry out tasks as members of a project team. This allows sharing of critical information and solution to

any issues arising.

Once employees have gained appreciation from the group members they are likely to be motivated to accomplish certain tasks. This level of needs is commonly used by organizations to solve any conflicts arising at the organization level. For example, Google ensures that each employee is integrated to a large screen within the work station (Kini & Hobson 2002). This allows the employees to be part of the organization activities which promotes motivation. This is mainly because the employees are given a task to accomplish and share their skill in achieving the speculated goals.

Therefore, employee motivation is derived from the ability of an organization to ensure productivity of each and every employee. To ensure that employees are connected to their families, Google provides communication centers where employees can attend to their personal matters. Therefore, this approach is commonly used by organizations in order to maintain current employees by meeting security needs through the use of pensions (Schermerhorn 2011). However, in some organizations belongingness is given a higher priority compared to job security.

Individuals are motivated by the fact that an organization facilitates them to interact with their families rather than the pensions and health insurances given. They are motivated by the affection of their families and acceptance within the business environment. For example, employees in multinational companies such as Apple are motivated by the ability of the Company to integrate them with their families (Montana & Charnov 2008). After the satisfaction of this need, employees move to the next level of self esteem. This level is based on a person’s reputation in regard to respect within the organization set


Employees are motivated by the respect gained from fellow employees hence building their reputation. Maslow’s theory provides that employees are likely to be motivated by the prestigious position to the employee. This theory divides these needs into two categories. These include esteem needs such as self respect, confidence, and capability (Montana & Charnov 2008). The other category of these needs is characterized by appreciation, reputation and recognition. To meet these demands, organizations give recognition incentives to employees that are considered as working.

Organizations do this by giving incentives such as rewards or salary increment. This motivates employees since they feel appreciated and recognized for their efforts. This approach has been largely been used by most organizations to promote productivity within the organization. For example, Google provides leisure facilities for their employees. This shows that the organization recognizes the hard work of their workforce which can be relieved through the use these facilities. Maslow’s theory provides that recognition of employee’s efforts not only motivates one employee but an organizations workforce at large.

Therefore, it important for organization to determine ways in which these needs can be met in order to increase employee productivity (Kini & Hobson 2002). Once this need is satisfied, the next level of need is the self actualization. Self actualization needs are placed at the top of the hierarchy depicting that they offer the least motivation to an employee. These needs include employee’s capability to solve problems, accept facts and be a creative thinker. Maslow’s theory provides that these needs are given the least priority since offer the least levels of motivation (Montana & Charnov 2008).

Organizations meet

these needs by giving employees responsibility of more challenging positions within the organizations. This enables employees to become critical thinkers and to utilize their skills. The ability of an organization to provide senior positions within the organizations enables an employee to utilize the acquired knowledge and expertise to the maximum. For example, an employee is likely to be motivated by assuming higher managerial positions within the organization. Google promotes creative thinking and innovation among the employees by providing large boards where employees can share their ideas.

According to this theory, employee motivation can be derived from an organizations ability to meet self actualization demands (Koontz & Weihrich 2006). Conclusion Maslow’s theory has largely been applied by most organizations to promote motivation. Maslow’s theory provides that employees’ needs are met according to the order of priority with some having more power than others. This has been done through the increment of wages and additional incentives in order to meet the unending demands. Employees are motivated differently hence it is important for the management of an organization to identify the needs that are considered fundamental.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs incorporates some of the significant needs that can increase employee motivation. Therefore, this theory has been largely been applied by most organizations such as Google to promote motivation. However, this theory has drawbacks concerning the order in which it places these needs. One of the foreseeable drawback of this theory is that employees are motivated by different things, Therefore, there needs may vary from one to another. Despite that, Maslow’s theory provides with a clear view of how importance some needs are to others.

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