Discuss Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Abraham Maslow Pages: 8 (2907 words) Published: October 10, 2012
“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 & Madsen 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 the 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
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...
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