Maslow`s Hierarchy of Needs


Maslow’sHierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in psychology is a theory proposed in1943 by Abraham Maslow. The theory is extended to include theobservations of human beings’ innate curiosity. The theory alsoparallels other theories of developmental psychology. Maslow’stheory is often viewed to be in the shape of a pyramid. The largestyet most fundamental level of needs is placed at the bottom with thatof self-actualization at the very top (Maslow et al. 1998). The fourbasic pyramid layers contain what Maslow called the “d-needs” or“deficiency needs”: friendship and love, esteem, physical needsand security. Maslow states that the most basic needs’ level mustbe first met before an individual strongly desires or starts to focusmotivation on the secondary those needs on the higher level (Bruce,2003). He also coined “meta-motivation” term to describe themotivation of people that go beyond their basic scope of needs tostrive to achieve betterment.

When thisMaslow’s theory is applied to situations at work, it implies thatorganizational managers have responsibility first to ensure thatdeficiency needs at the work place are met. In broad terms, it meansproper wages and safe environment (Maslow et al., 1998). Secondly,the theory implies that a work place has to be created in a way thatemployees are motivated to develop their potential to the fullest.Failure to do so, for instance, as it is shown practically in mostorganizations, would heighten employee frustration. This could resultin lower job satisfaction, poorer performances, and increase inorganization withdrawal of de-motivated employees (Conley, 2007).This is because, according to Maslow’s theory for example, threatof layoffs and job security will block an individual from achieving ahigher growth. They might be motivated to work harder but fail tofulfill their needs, which could result in withdrawing from work orburn out.


Conley, C. (2007). Peak: How great companies get their mojo fromMaslow. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Bruce, A. (2003). How to motivate every employee: 24 proventactics to spark productivity in the workplace. New York:McGraw-Hill.

Maslow, A. H., Stephens, D. C., Heil, G., &amp Maslow, A. H. (1998)Maslow on management. New York: John Wiley.