Human beings are social animals. Image credit

Human beings are social animals. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Business Studies Notes: Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

  • In attempting to explain the concept of motivation Abraham Maslow came up with
  • The Hierarchy Of Needs
Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

  • According to Maslow’s theory in order for managers to motivate workers they have to understand why people come to work
  • He says that workers come to work in order to satisfy their needs and wants
  • Worker’s actions are all in pursuit of satisfying these needs and wants
  • These needs are not all the same instead
  • They can be classified into categories or levels
  • These levels can be placed in ascending order of importance
  • This arrangement of needs is known as a hierarchy
  • Workers work in order to satisfy these needs
  • Once a need has been satisfied it ceases to be a motivator
  • Workers continue to work in order to satisfy the next need
  • Once a certain level of needs has been satisfied it ceases (stops) being a motivator
  • The highest level is self actualisation
  • Not many people reach this level of satisfaction
  • It is possible for satisfaction of a certain level to be withdrawn
  • For example a person may lose their job security when there is danger of them losing their job
  • It is also possible for individuals to move up and down the hierarchy in terms of satisfying their needs

The levels of needs

  1. Physiological Needs:
    • These are the basic needs/basic requirements for survival and continued biological existence
    • Examples are food, shelter, water, sex (reproduction)
  2. Safety Needs:
    • They need to feel safe and free of fear
    • For example by wearing protective clothing such as gloves, helmets, hazmat suits etc
  3. Social Needs:
    • Human beings are social animals
    • They have a need to start and maintain relationships with others
    • as well as have a sense of belonging
  4. Esteem Needs:
    • These are the needs for self-respect and
    • respect from and by others
    • Employees need to be recognised whenever they do something worthy of recognition
    • For example prizes, awards, medals, certificates, thank yous etc
  5. Self-Actualisation:7
    • This is the need to reach your fullest potential
    • This can be achieved through promotions

This theory can be used in a number of ways to motivate workers.

To access more topics go to the O Level Business Notes page.

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