Maslow’s theory “aims to resolve the confusion between drives and motives” (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007 p.242). Maslow’s view was that “individuals had to satisfy lower level needs before seeking to satisfy higher level needs” (Cole, 1995 p.71). Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy was identified as eight steps but was broken down to five, with highest needs at the top and lowest needs at the bottom (Mullins, 2010). Each stage has a set of needs that motivates employees. Managers should understand how to motivate their employees, consequently improving productivity rates and employee wellbeing. There are a small range rewards and outcomes that have the capability of satisfying more than one need. For example promotion, bonuses and benefits which can be applied to all levels of Maslow’s (1943) hierarchy of needs (Mullins, 2010). However “job satisfaction does not necessarily lead to improved work performance” (Mullins, 2010, p.263), therefore all needs should be considered by the organisation.
The pyramid that is typically used to describe Maslow’s (1943) theory (Appendix 2) shows the process in which employees rise from one step to the next. Maslow’s (1943) pyramid allows employees to evaluate their personal motivation within set stages, with basic needs at the bottom and higher needs at the top. Although there are limitations to this theory “Maslow’s theory has attracted two main criticisms. First, it is vague and cannot readily predict behaviour. Second, it’s more of a social philosophy reflecting which American middle-class values.” (Huczynski and Buchanan, 2007, p.244). We are able to determine that this theory cannot work for all social classes and demographics. The needs and wants of people socially vary, as people have needs set at different levels in Maslow’s (1943) pyramid; some people may skip needs due to the current relevance to that person “needs can exist simultaneously and horizontally as well as sequentially vertically.” (Bennett,...
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