What need theory would explain why Samuel Gibson was unhappy despite his high income?
Gibson’s unhappiness can best be explained by the Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory. According to Abraham Maslow, human beings can be categorized in different classes depending on the various desires in their lives. The categories can be classified into groupings and could necessarily be ranked in a hierarchy coming up with a hierarchy of needs. In this regard, human beings are usually are in pursuit of various needs. The reception of a particular class of needs preempt the need for the next category. Ordinarily, at the bottom of the hierarchy are the physiological needs. These are needs necessary and basic for all and sundry. It is these needs that satisfy the basic necessities of human beings. Maslow attempts to categorize these needs to include food, shelter and clothing. The achievement of these needs would enable the respective human being desire the next category of needs which are usually the safety needs. This path is pursued from safety needs to love and belonging to esteem and lastly to self -actualization. The achievement of a particular need can be attributed to the state of happiness of the person involved.
The failure to achieve the need could have a twofold effect. First, it encourages one to work even harder in his determination and aspiration to achieve. The person is pushed to the wall and encouraged to work even harder so as to realize the needs. Secondly, it could be responsible for the state of unhappiness in a person. One does not feel contented and satisfied with his job or responsibilities. He fails to feel useful and begins to adopt cynical and pessimistic attitudes in the workplace. This tragedy is best illustrated by Gibson. Although he was well remunerated, he was not contented and happy with his job. Indeed, one can argue that Gibson had achieved the physiological and safety needs. Why? Because, he was well paid and, therefore, could afford the necessaries in life. He could get himself decent shelter, clothing and good food. As regards safety, he was well protected from aggression both within and without his job.
However, Gibson appears to be in pursuit of the esteem and self-actualization needs. Incidentally, according to Maslow’s hierarchy, the needs in pursuit by Gibson fall at the top. Gibson was not happy because he did not feel appreciated and important in regards the entire organization. He feels that the services he offers can as well be dispensed with. Self-actualization essentially involves the pursuit of one’s passion. He was passionate about his literature and appreciated an opportunity to explore and experience the practical aspect of literature rather than earn a lot of money in the training departments working with executives who did not explore his talents to the fullest. It best illustrates that money alone is not enough a motivating factor especially in the modern society.
Gibson seems to have drifted into being a teacher. Given his needs and motivations, do you think teaching is an appropriate profession for him?
The response can only be in the affirmative. Indeed, teaching remains an appropriate profession for Gibson given his needs and motivation. Gibson is after esteem and self-actualization. He has since achieved safety and physiological needs. He now needs to self-actualize. The only path to follow when in pursuit of self-actualization entails an embrace of your interests. The interest must be inherent in you so that nobody or no factor cajoles you into it. The fact that monetary benefits were reduced on his offer to train junior workers and yet Gibson’s wishes desires remained serves to show that really money was not the factor. The interest of Gibson lies in making a change through impacting knowledge on the ignorant.
Indeed, such a motivation can only be addressed through teaching. Teaching offers the professional in Gibson an opportunity to impact knowledge and deliver an ignorant people from the bondage of ignorance. This is what impressed Gibson the most. In addition, he seems to enjoy the fact that his esteem his build when he applies his skills for the betterment of the entire society. He opines that teaching the executives was merely superfluous as they could function without his services. However, in the latter case, he is able to teach the illiterate some basic skills that enable them apply for supervisory roles. This exposes his esteem feelings. He feels important as a teacher with productive students, rather than, as an assistant, coaching already sharp executives. Gibson, therefore, finds himself more useful and important as a teacher of the junior workers rather than a coach of the executives. He best illustrates Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory and places a credible case challenging the assertion that money addresses all motivation issues. He is best placed as a teacher. The profession best address his motivations and interests while at the same time achieving the organizational objectives without a conflict of interest.
Champoux, J. E. (2010). Organizational Behavior: Integrating Individuals, Groups, and Organizations. New York: Taylor & Francis.