Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow first introduced his concept of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" and his subsequent book Motivation and Personality. This hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs.
Maslow was much more interested in learning about what makes people happy and the things that they do to achieve that aim.

Maslow found that some motives are more important than others. You need food more than the latest mobile phone or a car. He classifies needs into five subcategories, starting with basic needs (physiological needs) and ending with human self-actualization.
Furthermore, he divides the areas into deficit needs (deficiency needs) and growth needs (unsatiable needs). Maslow justifies this with the fact that physical or mental disorders can be caused by the non-satisfaction of deficit needs. Growth needs, however, can almost never be satisfied.
A need only influences action as long as it is unsatisfied. However, action is not driven from within, but rather attracted by the consequences of gratification. This means that the more a need is satisfied, the more the motivating force decreases (one usually eats less when one is not hungry).


Maslow's hierarchy is most often displayed as a pyramid. The lowest levels of the pyramid are made up of the most basic needs, while the most complex needs are at the top of the pyramid.
Needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic physical requirements including the need for food, water, sleep, and warmth. Once these lower-level needs have been met, people can move on to the next level of needs, which are for safety and security.

As people progress up the pyramid, needs become increasingly psychological and social. Soon, the need for love, friendship, and intimacy becomes important.
Further up the pyramid, the need for personal esteem and feelings of accomplishment take priority. Maslow emphasized the importance of self-actualization, which is a process of growing and developing as a person in order to achieve individual potential.

1- Physiological needs

These refer to basic physical needs like drinking when thirsty or eating when hungry. According to Maslow, some of these needs involve our efforts to meet the body’s need for homeostasis ; that is, maintaining consistent levels in different bodily systems (for example, maintaining a body temperature of 98.6°).
Maslow considered physiological needs to be the most essential of our needs. If someone is lacking in more than one need, they’re likely to try to meet these physiological needs first. For example, if someone is extremely hungry, it’s hard to focus on anything else besides food. Another example of a physiological need would be the need for adequate sleep.


2- Security and Safety Needs

As we move up to the second level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the requirements start to become a bit more complex. At this level, the needs for security and safety become primary.
People want control and order in their lives. So, this need for safety and security contributes largely to behaviors at this level. Some of the basic security and safety needs include:
• Financial security
• Health and wellness
• Safety against accidents and injury
Finding a job, obtaining health insurance and health care, contributing money to a savings account, and moving into a safer neighborhood are all examples of actions motivated by the security and safety needs.
Together, the safety and physiological levels of the hierarchy make up what is often referred to as the basic needs.

3- Social needs

The third level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is love and belonging needs. Humans are social creatures that crave interaction with others. This level of the hierarchy outlines the need for friendship, intimacy, family, and love. Humans have the need to give and receive love; to feel like they belong in a group. When deprived of these needs, individuals may experience loneliness or depression.
Social belonging needs include:
• Family
• Friendship
• Intimacy
• Trust
• Acceptance
• Receiving and giving love and affection
This need for belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure. In contrast, for some individuals, the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for belonging; and for others, the need for creative fulfillment may supersede even the most basic needs.

4- Esteem needs

Esteem is the respect and admiration of a person, but also self-respect and respect from others. Most people have a need for a stable esteem, meaning which is soundly based on real capacity or achievement. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs. The "lower" version of esteem is the need for respect from others, and may include a need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The "higher" version of esteem is the need for self-respect, and can include a need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom. This "higher" version takes guidelines, the hierarchies are interrelated rather than sharply separated. This means that esteem and the subsequent levels are not strictly separated; instead, the levels are closely related.


Esteem comes from day to day experiences that provide a learning opportunity which allows us to discover ourselves. This is incredibly important within children, which is why giving them the opportunity to discover they are competent and capable learners. In order to boost this; adults must provide opportunities for children to have successful and positive experiences to give children a greater sense of self. Adults, especially parents and educators must create and ensure an environment for children that is supportive and provides them with opportunities that help children see themselves as respectable, capable individuals. It can also be found that Maslow indicated that the need for respect or reputation is most important for children ... and precedes real self-esteem or dignity, which reflects the two aspects of esteem: for oneself and for others.

5- Self-actualization need

This include the urge to become what you are capable of becoming / what you have the potential to become. It includes the need for growth and self-contentment. It also includes desire for gaining more knowledge, social- service, creativity and being aesthetic. The self- actualization needs are never fully satiable. As an individual grows psychologically, opportunities keep cropping up to continue growing.

Hierarchy of Needs and Organizational Theory

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is relevant to organizational theory because both are concerned with human motivation. Understanding what people need-and how people’s needs differ-is an important part of effective management. For example, some people work primarily for money, but they also like to go to work because they enjoy feeling respected by others and appreciated for their good work.


Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that if a lower need is not met, then the higher ones will be ignored. For example, if employees lack job security and are worried that they will be fired, they will be far more concerned about their financial well-being and meeting lower needs such as paying rent, bills, etc. However, if employees receive adequate financial compensation and have job security, meaningful group relationships and praise for good work may be more important motivators.




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