Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Organizational Behavior

Posted on

Abraham Maslow was a social psychologist. He was interested in a broad spectrum of human psychological needs rather than on individual psychological problems. He is well renowned for his hierarchy-of-needs theory. The theory is a classical depiction of human motivation. Based on the assumption, there are five needs within each individual.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The five needs in Maslow’s hierarchy are as follow:

  1. Physiological needs
    Physiological needs include water, food, air, shelter and clothing. In other words, the physiological needs are the needs for basic amenities of life.
  2. Safety needs
    Safety needs include physical, environmental, emotional safety, and protection such as family security, Job security, financial security, health security, protection from animals, etc.
  3. Social needs
    Social needs include the need for love, affection, belongingness, care, and friendship.
  4. Esteem needs
    Esteem needs are of two kinds: internal esteem needs and external esteem needs. For your information, internal esteem needs are self- respect, competence, confidence, achievement and freedom. While external esteem needs are power, recognition, status, attention and admiration.
  5. Self-actualization need
    This includes the desire to become what you are capable of becoming or what you have the potential to become. This includes the need for growth and self-contentment. Also, it includes a desire for getting more knowledge, creativity, social- service, and being aesthetic. However, this self- actualization needs are never fully satiable. When an individual grows psychologically, chances keep cropping up to continue growing.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in Organizational Behavior

Abraham Maslow stated that individuals are motivated by unsatisfied needs. Because each of these needs is satisfied significantly. It drives and forces the next need to appear. Abraham Maslow grouped the five needs into two categories: Higher-order needs and Lower-order needs. The physiological needs and the safety needs constituted the lower-order needs. Those lower-order needs are satisfied externally. The social needs, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs constituted the higher-order needs. Those higher-order needs are usually satisfied internally, within an individual.

More Explanation about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

As we explain about that the needs in Maslow’s hierarchy include physiological needs, safety needs, social needs, self-esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. This Maslow’s hierarchy can be used by the managers to better understand employees’ needs and motivation and address them in ways which lead to high productivity and job satisfaction. It is depicted in a pyramid.

At the bottom of the pyramid are the physiological human needs which are required for survival: food, water, sleep, shelter, etc. If those requirements are not met, the body will not be able to continue to function. Faced with a lack of food, safety and love, most people would consider food to be their most urgent need.

After physiological human needs are satisfied, security (individual safety) takes precedence. Security and safety needs include financial security, personal security, and health and well-being. Those first two levels are very crucial to the physical survival of the person. After individuals have basic nutrition, safety, and shelter, they are going to want higher-level needs.

The third level of need is social needs. It includes love and belonging. When individuals have taken care of themselves physically, they are able to address their own need to share and connect with others. Lack at this level, shunning, ostracism, etc., will be able to impact an individual’s ability to form and maintain emotional relationships. Humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance, if it comes from a wide social group or a small network of family and friends. Other sources of social connection can be clubs, religious groups, professional organizations, social media sites, and etc. Humans will need to love and be loved by other humans. Without those attachments, people are able to be vulnerable to psychological difficulties such as social anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Those conditions, when severe, will be able to impair a person’s ability to address basic physiological needs such as sleeping and eating.

The fourth level is esteem needs, that represents the normal human desire to be valued and validated by others, for example, the recognition of success or status. Also, this level includes self-esteem that refers to the regard and acceptance one has for oneself. Imbalances at this level will be able to result in low self-esteem or an inferiority complex. People suffering from low self-esteem can discover that external validation by others through glory, popularity, or accolades only partially or temporarily fulfills their own needs at this level.

The fifth level is self-actualization needs. At this level, people feel that they have achieved their full potential and are doing everything they are capable of. Self-actualization needs is rarely a permanent feeling or state. Rather, it will refer to the ongoing need for personal growth and discovery which people have throughout their lives. Self-actualization needs may happen after reaching a crucial goal or overcoming a particular challenge. Also, it may be marked by a new sense of self-confidence or contentment.

Implications of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory (For Managers)

  • As far as the physiological needs are concerned, the managers have to give employees appropriate salaries to buy the basic necessities of life. Breaks and eating chances have to be given to the employees.
  • As far as the safety needs are concerned, the managers have to provide the employees job security, safety and hygienic work environment, and also retirement benefits to retain them.
  • As far as social needs are concerned, the management must encourage teamwork and organize social events.
  • As far as esteem needs are concerned, the managers are able to appreciate and reward employees on accomplishing and exceeding their own targets. The management will be able to give the deserved employee higher job rank or position in the organization.
  • As far as self-actualization needs are concerned, the managers are able to give the employees challenging jobs in which the employees’ skills are fully utilized. Aside from that, growth opportunities can be given to them so that they are able to reach the peak.

The managers have to identify the need level at which the employee is existing and then those needs are able to be utilized as a push for motivation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.