One of most widely used theories of motivation is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Pioneered by Abraham Maslow in 1943, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs categorizes human, personal needs and ranks them from the lowest to the highest. The model proposes that lower needs are satisfied before higher needs are satisfied, and most importantly, one has to satisfy needs in a one category before satisfying needs in the next category. According to Maslow, human beings derive their motivation from these needs. However, when needs in a category have been satisfied they cease to be motivators.
The first, and this case the lowest, category of needs comprises of physiological (biological) needs that are crucial for human survival (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2012). Physiological needs as listed by Maslow comprise of food, water, oxygen, and sleep (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2012). The satisfaction of other needs is secondary to the satisfaction of these needs. Coming second in Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is security. In as much as security is indispensable for human survival, it is not as weighty as physiological needs. This implies that an individual will innately strive live in a secure environment free from physical danger and characterised with food and job security once an individual can satisfy all the physiological needs. Nonetheless, security needs come before the third placed Social needs; a category that is broadly characterised by love and belongingness (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2012; Smoke, 2010). Social needs become a person’s prime source of motivation once physiological needs and security needs can be satisfied to some minimal degree of satisfaction. At this stage, a person will seek to belong to clubs, work groups, family, and acceptance by others, and form romantic attachments (Smoke, 2010). Self-actualization occupies the highest compartment in Maslow’s pyramid of needs; a stage in which an individual will struggle to achieve the maximum he/she can achieve (Smoke, 2010). According to Pride, Hughes & Kapoor (2012), the needs in this category are the most difficult to satisfy and their satisfaction vary from one individual to another. However, according to Maslow, self-actualization can only be achieved once someone has satisfied esteem needs. This prompted Maslow to place esteem needs (self-esteem and recognition) as an antecedent to self-actualization needs in the hierarchy of needs. At this stage, one endeavors to earn as many honors as one can and get a job promotion (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2012).
Pride W. M., Hughes, R. J., & Kapoor, J. R. (2012). Business. Mason, OH: South-Western Cancage.
Smoke, C. H. (2010). Company Officer. Clifton Park, NY: Delmar Cancage Learning.