The hierarchy of needs
A New York born psychologist and behavioural scientist, the pioneer of humanist psychology. His ideas had a great impact on managers and influenced a number of the other gurus.
A.H. Maslow first put forward his ‘ need hierarchy’ theory in 1943. The theory is based on the belief that there are five groups of basic human needs which develop in a hierarchy.
These five levels of needs are:
- Man's basic needs are physiological, for example, hunger, thirst, sleep, etc. These are the primary needs which must be satisfied before man will react to the next level in his hierarchy.
- When these are satisfied they are replaced by safety and security needs reflecting his desire for protection against danger or deprivation. In the work situation, these would be reflected by preoccupation with safeguards against redundancy, sick pay schemes, etc.
- These in turn, when satisfied, are replaced by social needs - the need for love or belonging to, which are functions of man's gregariousness and his desire to belong to a group, to give and receive friendship and to associate happily with people.
- When these needs have been satisfied, there is the esteem needs, i.e. the desire for self-esteem and self-respect, which are affected by a person's standing reputation, and his need for recognition and appreciation.
- Finally, individuals have a need for self actualization or a desire for self-fulfilment, which is an urge by individuals for self-development, creativity and job satisfaction.
Thus, Maslow is contending that it is only when a lower level of needs is satisfied that an individual becomes concerned with the next level, since it is only the ungratified needs which act as motivators.