Critically Evaluate Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a Way of Understanding Employee's Motivation in Contemporary Chinese Business

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Critically evaluate Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as a way of understanding employee's motivation in contemporary Chinese business

Nowadays, many Chinese business companies emphasize the motivation of employees. In their view, if employees are motivated, they will not only give full play to the initiative and creativity, but also create work with high quality and efficiency. Consequently, more Chinese managers are serious about western theories on motivation in order to obtain the right direction. Maslow’s theory “the hierarchy of needs” is one of those theories. However, managers in China still find it difficult to encourage employees due to the complication of motivation. For example, what arouses ones enthusiasm may not be suitable for another. Besides, because of cultural differences, theories applied to western countries may not be the same as China (Geren, 2011). Therefore, even though Maslow’s hierarchy of needs works well in western business companies, its effects are not obvious so it should not be used in contemporary Chinese business. The purpose of this essay is to expound that Maslow's theory can take effect in western companies and then illustrate its disadvantages as well as cultural difference between western countries and China to explain why it has little applicability in China.

The value of Maslow’s theory is that it analyzes the needs of people in depth so that managers, who can suit the remedy to the case, succeed in motivating employees. Maslow defined needs in hierarchies. From the bottom to the top, there are five hierarchies namely physiological, safety and security, belonging, self-esteem and self-actualization (Gambrel and Cianci, 2003). In Maslow’s model, only if the lower hierarchy of need is satisfied will people consider chasing a higher hierarchy of need (EruptingMind, 2012). One example of utilizing Maslow’s theory successfully in incentive is TESCO, which provides employees with regular monthly pay and essential facilities...
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