Maslow's Theory of Needs

            The success of any organization depends on the ability of managers and supervisors to provide a motivating environment for their employees. Motivation is fundamental to all organizations, and can be defined as the result of an employee's or subordinate's concentration towards a valued goal, through intensity, direction and persistence of effort. There are many theories of motivation that are applied in organizations worldwide on a regular basis. One of these is Maslow's Theory of Needs. It deals with individual motiviation and by understanding employee needs, managers can understand what rewards (either intrinsic or extrinsic) he or she should use to best motivate each individual.

             Abraham Maslow developed a five-level hierarchical theory of motivation that argues an unsatisfied need has the greatest motivating potential. His hierarchy of needs, starting wtih the most basic and ending with the most complex, are as follows:.

             Physiological: Needs that must be satisfied in order for teh individual to survive, such as food, water, shelter, oxygen, sleep etc.

             Safety: Needs that include security, stability or certainty, predictability, protection from physical harm, and ordered and structured environment, freeedom from anxiety, etc. These are fundamental survival matters.

             Belongingness: needs that include feelings of acceptance, opportunities for social interaction, friendship, affection, companionship etc.

             Esteem: needs that include feelings of adequacy, autonomy, self-respect, competence, achievement, status, recognition or appreciation of these characteristics by others.

             Self-actualisation: a desire to become everything that one is capable of becoming or to develop one's true potential to the fullest extent possible, the desire to do a good job, etc. Self-actualisation needs are the hardest of the 5 basic needs to define and attain. It is less a need, than a final development stage for an individual.

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