Human Relations in the Fire Service

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Motivation, Abraham Maslow Pages: 5 (1370 words) Published: September 22, 2009
This essay compares and contrasts the “Classical” and “Human Relations” approaches to management. It focuses on how these approaches are similar and compatible and looks at their differences and incompatibilities. The organisation

In 1948 ?? was born, nearly 60 years later it became ??During that time there have been many changes, and the new name reflects its new role. It no longer just deals with fires, but with a much wider range of incidents from road traffic collisions to rescues from cliffs, wells and even cats up trees, and horses in ditches. It has transformed from a re-active service to a pro-active one that educates the general public and commerce in fire safety matters and in short better meets the needs of the public. The public have become our “customers” and we are now a “service provider”. The service has not only changed from the outside, but also on the inside. Motivation

There are several different definitions of motivation.
“providing an inner urge that prompts a person to action with a sense of purpose. This positive sense of purpose and the resulting action result in a different quality of performance on the part of fire fighters and other employees”. (Hoover, 1994) “Motivation” _is the term used to describe those processes, both instinctive and rational, by which people seek to satisfy the basic drives, perceived needs and personal goals, which trigger human behaviour. (Cole, 1996 page 28)_ Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow offers up a hierarchy of needs model that could help with our understanding of human motivation. It is a model that has been used by management guru’s since its inception in the 1940’s and has indeed been added to over the years by other theorists but essentially remains the same. It maintains that humans all have basic needs that are required to be addressed before you can begin to motivate them. They are:

Biological and Physical needs,
Safety needs,
Belongingness and love needs,
Esteem needs,
Self actualization needs.
Safety needs include protection from the elements, security, order, law, limits, stability etc, and it is thought that these can only be addressed after the first one or certainly in conjunction with it. Esteem needs are the need for self-esteem, the need to feel as if you have achieved something, the need to have responsibility or to manage people. This need however is one that is not held by everyone, some people are happy to have no responsibility and in fact shy away from it when offered. Self –actualization needs are realising your personal potential, Self-fulfilment is very rarely achieved by anyone but is constantly aspired to. Abraham Maslow puts forward the notion of “pre-potency”, which means that you are not going to be motivated by any higher-level needs until your lower-level ones have been satisfied. Macgregor’s Theory X and Theory Y

Theory X is an authoritarian management style and theory Y a participative style. The theory X assumes that the average person;
Dislikes work and attempts to avoid it,
Has no ambition, wants no responsibility and would rather follow than lead, Resists change,
Is gullible and not particularly intelligent.
McGregor advocates that a theory Y person
Effort in work is as natural as work and play,
People will apply self-control and self-direction in the pursuit of organisational objectives, without external control or the threat of punishment, Commitment to objectives is a function of rewards associated with their achievement, People usually accept and often seek responsibility,

The capacity to use a high degree of imagination, ingenuity and creativity in solving organisational problems is widely, not narrowly, distributed in the population, In industry the intellectual potential of the average person is only partly...
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