Thursday, September 22, 2016

Maslow's motivation theory

Maslow’s need hierarchy theory, original proposed in 1943, is the most popular theory of motivation in the management and Organizational Behavior literature. He studied the healthiest 1% of the college student population, because “the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy”.

The five levels of need are:

  1. physiological needs
    air, water, food, clothing and shelter
  2. safety needs
    personal security, finacial security, health and well-being
    safety net against accidents/illness/aftermath
  3. love and belonging
    friendship, intimacy, family
    it may override safety need as witnessed in abusive family
    a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups, like clubs, co-workers, religious groups, professional groups
4, self-esteem/self-respect
be accepted and valued by others, gain recognition
low self-esteem: seek status, attention, fame or glory, need respect from others, but these won’t help build self-esteem until they accept themselves internally
high self-esteem: seek for strength, competence,mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom
  1. self-actualization/self-transcendence
    accomplish everything he can, e.g.: painting, inventions
    become the most he can be, e.g.: ideal parent
    giving himself to some higher goal beyond oneself, part of “a greater good”


  • M. A. Wahba and L. G. Bridwell (1976): little evidence for the ranking of needs. They can be equally important, depending on age, culture, society development/ stability.
  • sex is listed in 1, which neglects the emotional, famillial, and evolutionary implication
  • 1-3 are defiency needs, 4-5 are growths needs
  • a deprivation may establish a dominance within his hierarchy of needs; conversely, a gratification of need will activate.
  • A long deprivation of a given need may turn him to other needs
  • some proposed dual-level hierarchy: maintenace needs(1-2),growth needs(3-5)
Carl Rogers, who advocated client-centered therapy and student-centered learning, said,
Every human being, with no exception, for the mere fact to be it, is worthy of unconditional respect of everybody else; he deserves to esteem himself and to be esteemed