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Maslows Hierarchy Of Needs Model Business Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 3573 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Motivation in an organizations can increased efficiency and output. Since motivation is necessary in organizations, it helps people to work actively and harder. Product performance is not just the ability to do a task, but is willing to do the same passion and enthusiasm. Besides that, motivation is also a development of friendly relationship. It brings employees closer to organizations when the employees met their needs through attractive rewards and promotional opportunities. (DMCA, 2012)

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Motivation has included with two theories there is content theories and process theories. Content theories of motivation begin with the needs of individual. These theories state that the changes of the needs of individual in a period of time and concentrated the specific factors that motivate individual. (Sharma, A., 2012) While the process theories begin with the behavior actions of the employees that enable to meet with their needs and choices. (Warrilow, S., 2009)

Content Theories of Motivation

In content theories, it most focused on the individual factors that will lead to motivation. In normal circumstances, this theory states that motivation is from the internal drives of individual thus forcing the individual to action and towards the satisfaction of individual needs. It is most focus on the individual needs rather than process to motivate employees. (Anon, 2012) Besides that, content theories using the specific things to motivate individual at work such as the needs of individual, relative strengths and goals they are pursue. (Catchpole, L.,2008)

In this theories, there are four major content theories of motivation included there is Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model, Alderfer’s modified need hierarchy model, Herzberg’s two factor theory and McClelland’s achievement motivation theory. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model

In 1943, Maslow published his theory and it also started using his theory to motivate employees. Maslow’s need hierarchy theory is the most early and best-known content theories. After he published his theory, it becomes more popular and been used by everyone. Maslow’s theory was identified by hierarchy of human needs and it also related to human behavior. (Kalyan City Life, 2012)

The hierarchy is arranged from the most important because it is necessary to arranged in a series through the needs of human there is expectation of human wanting. (Catchpole, L., 2008) In hierarchy of needs model, five importance types of individual needs was arranged from top to bottom and it was identifies by Maslow. (Kalyan City Life, 2012) However, from the lowest level of hierarchy is “physiological needs, safety needs, love needs, esteem needs, to the need of self-actualisation at the highest level”. (Catchpole, L.,2008)

The lowest level of hierarchy is physiological needs which are the basic needs for human life. These needs include homeostasis of human body’s automatic efforts to retain normal functioning. The homeostasis of human body is “satisfaction of hunger and thirst, the need for oxygen and to maintain temperature regulation”. (Catchpole, L., 2008, p128) These basic human needs have priority over all other needs so it place at the lowest level of hierarchy. Besides that, these needs cannot be postponed for a long time because other needs do not motivate employees. So that, physiological needs are necessary for human life which for survive and maintenance. There include food, water, breathing and sleep. (Cherry, K., 2012)

The second level of hierarchy is safety needs where the needs for protections. This safety needs are important for human beings. Every worker needs their protection for their jobs from danger such as safety and security, freedom from pain, insurance and others. (Catchpole, L., 2008) After meeting physiological needs, the safety needs come over there. When the physiological needs cannot be used for motivate employees, the safety needs replace them. If they are unsatisfied, the only way act as motivational forces is safety needs. (Kalyan City Life, 2012)

The third level of hierarchy is social needs which include affection, sense of belonging, social activities, friendship and others. (Catchpole, L., 2008) When an employee desires to stay in an organization, the other members of the organization should accept them with love and affection. Everyone wants to participate in such organization because it enable employee to interaction with friends and superior of an organization. (Kalyan City Life, 2012)

The next level of hierarchy is esteems needs which include both self-respect and esteems of others. Self respect includes self confidence, independence while esteems of others include reputation or prestige and status. (Catchpole, L., 2008) The esteems needs also involve the needs of respect, the needs of appreciated, needs to have power and prestigious position. Once all the three needs are satisfied, esteems needs are able to allow an employee to stay in an organization by themselves and others. (Kalyan City Life, 2012)

The top level of hierarchy is self-actualisation needs. This is the highest level of needs, development and realization in the hierarchy. Self-actualisation is a “growth” need where capable of becoming. Furthermore, an employee should have their challenge and achievement in the area of their specialization but many of them do not reach this level. (Kalyan City Life, 2012)

Alderfer’s Modified Need Hierarchy model

Alderfer presented a modified need hierarchy and condensed version of Maslow’s five levels of need into only three levels there is existence needs, relatedness needs and growth needs. This Alderfer’s modified need hierarchy model also known as ERG theory of motivation. (Williams, J.K., 2003)

The lowest level of Alderfer’s modified need hierarchy is existence needs which are related to Maslow’s physiological needs and safety needs. The existence needs are concerned with human maintenance and survival. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

The second level of hierarchy is relatedness needs which concerned with the relationship to the social environment, a sense of belonging and friendship. These are most closely to Maslow’s safety needs, social needs and esteems needs. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

The top level of hierarchy is growth needs which concerned the development of potential. These are related to Maslow’s self-esteems and self-actualisation. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Alderfer state that individual progress is passing through the level of hierarchy from existence needs to growth needs becomes satisfied. However, Alderfer also state that these needs are more a continuum compare to hierarchy levels. According to Alderfer’s modified need hierarchy model, there is more than one needs may be activate at the same time thus individuals may also going through the hierarchy. Alderfer’s modified need hierarchy also known as frustration-regression process. For example, relatedness needs may reassume as most importance when an individual is continually satisfy the growth needs. Therefore, the lower-level of hierarchy become more importance to the individual’s effort. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Process theories

Process theories state that the behavior actions of an employee selected which may meet their needs and determine their choices. This means that an employee will choose their behavior actions by their own ways and without any instruction from manager to achieve what they are wanted. The following theories each explain the nature of work motivation on how people make their choices to work hard or do not work hard based on their preferences, rewards and work outcomes. However, process theories include four theories there is expectancy-based models, equity theory, goal theory and attribution theory. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Expectancy Theory

The expectancy theory of motivation state that human beings are driven to achieve a goal that not only a reason to perceived as desirable, it is also achieve the goal that has appears. Individuals will have their own expectation in every aspect of their life and they would try to making predictions about the trajectories of their future. Individuals will be motivated to reach their goal when the goals are in the area of their expectation and appearing worthwhile. Essentially, the result shows that it is a motivation to complete an action. “Valence-instrumentality-Expectancy Theory” or “VIE Theory” also can be referred by the expectancy theory of motivation. (Hopper, A., 2011)

Victor Vroom who studied the motivation in Yale School of Management in 1964 was developed the expectancy theory. Vroom most focus on the outcome, it is not focus on individual needs like Maslow and Herzberg. The expectancy theory states that people may use their own ways to perform in a particular manner with the expectation in order to form an outcome. (Stecher & Rosse, 2007 cited by Redmond, B.F., 2012)

Valence is clarified as the feeling of specific outcome. Individual’s own value and preference is a valence which placed outcome of the goals. However, Vroom discriminate valence from value. (Catchpole, L., 2008) Valence is also a sense of expectation of an individual but it is not an actual satisfaction of an employee when they accomplish the goals. (Hopper, A., 2011) For example money, many people will think that money have intrinsic value and “derive satisfaction from actual accumulation of wealth.” However, money can satisfactory many results of individual wanted. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Instrumentality leads a difference between first-level outcomes and second-level outcomes. Performance-related is the first-level outcomes which refer to the performance of an individual. If an individual perform well, then the outcomes will be around there. While need-related is the second-level outcomes and this is derived through accomplish high performance which is first-level outcomes. Each individual will receive rewards after they achieve the goals. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Expectancy is perceived probability that effort will lead to first-level outcomes. People will choose a particular action which will lead to the achievement of an individual. It is the relationship between the performance and predicted outcomes. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Goal-Setting Theory

Goal-setting theory is developed by Edwin Locke at 1960s and this theory state that it is connecting to the task performance. In order to achieve higher and better task performance, specific and challenging goals with appropriate feedback are needed. They also simplified that, goals guide people’s response and actions. They have to know what to be done and how to perform well in an organisation. (Locke & Latham, 2006 cited by Redmond, B.F., 2012)

Goal difficulty and the extent of the people’s commitment combine together which will achieving the goal regulates the level of effort expended. The people who given a competition and specific things that must be done will be better than people who does not set the goal. Besides that, people who getting the difficult goals may perform better than people with easier goals. These methods can motivate people doing their job better and accomplish their goals. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

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In additional, the manager should determined the specific performance goals for the employees thus it to be part of direct behavior and keep motivation. The employees will try to work harder and perform well in order to achieve a specific thing. This may motivate employee to move and be hardworking in an organization. In the opposite hand, if the manager did not set a specific goal for the employees, they may not perform well and they may feel unmotivated. Thus, the organization whose wish to have a good productivity, they have to organize a specific goal to their employees. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Besides that, the manager should organize a more challenging goal. A difficult goal will motivate employees to work harder and they may identify the best way to accomplish the goals. A more challenging goal will result in higher performance. Instead, a too high level of challenging goal and it is impossible to accomplish it, it may discourage employee performance. So, the goal should be set which is suit to the employees and it is possible to achieve. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Furthermore, a feedback of motivation is needed. The feedback of results can improve the employees or an individual performance. Employees will more understand the process where they have been done. They may do a correction in order to improve their work capability and performance. (Catchpole, L., 2008)

Traditional theory of motivation

Frederick Taylor and scientific management are always related with classical model. In classical theory, there have Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, Herzberg’s two-factor theory, Theory X and Theory Y. There is focus on content theory which is satisfied the needs of employee. Under the human relation model, the employees have to adopt the power of management as their officer treated them with consideration and authorize them to affect the work situation. (Rao, S.R., 2009)

In classical theory, there is most focus on one factor which is money as motivator. Managers determined that wages incentive is the most efficient methods to perform repetitive tasks and motivate the employees. Therefore, the employees perform well and adopt the power of management in return for higher wages. The manager paying their salesperson on a commission basic is an example of classical theory of motivation. The hardworking salesperson will get a higher wages while the lazy salesperson will get a lower wages. (Rao, S.R., 2009)

Modern theory of motivation

In current theory, there have ERG Theory, Equity theory and goal-setting theory. There is focus on process theory which includes suggestion boxes, uniform of company and newsletter of organization. McGregor is related with the human resources model, it state that the important methods for accomplish the goal of organization were the employees in an organization must be considerable and acknowledgeable. (Rao, S.R., 2009)

In modern theory, there is more complicated which is motivator beside money. In this condition, money will not been used to satisfied the needs of employees which is rich person. The manager should motivate them by travel, free gifts, lucky draw and praise. For example, the employees will feel motivated when the manager praises them doing well. Therefore, the employees will continue doing their job better and efficiency. (Rao, S.R., 2009)

Strategies are used to motivate people in work

One of the strategies that had been used to motivate employee in an organization is better communication between manager and employees. Better communication can form a good relationship between manager and employee, it will encourage people to work in a comfortable situation. The manager will instruct them according to their experience and in order to give a feedback. This may improve their work capability and perform well in an organization. (Jones, D. & Co., 2012)

Next, flexibility is also one of the strategies to motivate people to work. There should compressed workweek such as working for five days a week. The employees will feel motivated when they were informed to work for five days a week. If the organization needed to work for six days a week, the employees will be unmotivated because they do not have enough time to take a rest. They will feel boring and tired to the organization. So, the organization should understand the needs of employee and fixed the working time reasonable, thus this may motivate people to work. (Jones, D. & Co., 2012)

Besides that, an effective reward system can motivate people to work. The manager should given an affective reward to those employees who work well. If the employees work very well and they did not receive any reward form the organization, they may feel unmotivated because they know that whenever how much they do also will not receive any reward from the manager. So, effective reward is one of the important methods to motivate employee. (Jones, D. & Co., 2012)

Moreover, the other strategy is redesign job. Redesign job has included three types which is job enlargement, job enrichment and empowerment. While for job enlargement, manager should given employee a variety of task to perform. This may make the work more interesting and meaningful. In job enrichment, the manager should given them a more challenging work to complete. This will improve the work capability and increase the knowledge of employees. When they have more difficult task to complete, they will try to research more information and be able to handle it. Furthermore, empowerment is allowed them to make their own decisions in order to achieve a better result. (Jones, D. & Co., 2012)

Performance Related Pay

Performance related pay is given to those employees whose reach their standard required given by their manager. It is in term of financial reward and bonus that given to their employees who performance well. When the performance of employees cannot be determined by productivity and their sales target, performance related pay is needed to been used. There is an example such as “piece-rates” and “commission”, performance related pay is a form of incentive pay. Therefore, when the employees perform well and work hard, they may receive an allowance from their manager. (Riley, J., 2012)

However, performance related pay will discourage people in work situation. There may discourage teamwork among the employees in an organisation. A reward that had given to employee individually will not be motivated employees to work in a team. Thus, teamwork in an organisation will be decreasing. Besides that, some of the employees will feel treated unfair. Performance related pay will not worst to the employee who work in a group. (Riley, J., 2012)

In additional, performance related pay is very hard to motivate in long-term. When the employees had been satisfied, they will not be motivated in a period of time. It also state that, performance related pay will only been used in a short-term. Not only that, the bad relationship between manager and employee will occur. Performance related pay will let them to become a competitor. (Riley, J., 2012)

Traditional theories use in modern organisation

Nowadays, there is more focus on process theory in modern organisation. So, traditional theory can be used in modern organisation. There is not only focus on process but focus on content theory too. Andrew Grove which is president of Intel state that like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory, manager should understand the needs of employee and it will be easier to design the programs.

The manager should concern about the employees feelings in an organisation. Sometimes, an employee does not necessary satisfy with financial only, they also wanted their manager take care of them. The behaviour of employees based on expected reward such as company trip or praise will satisfy the needs of employees. They will feel they have value to work in an organisation.


As a conclusion, we can conclude that motivation has two types of theory that is content theory and process theory. In content theory, the manager is more concern about the needs of employee such as safety, social and others. All of these are using money as motivator. While in process theory, there has included company uniform and suggestion boxes. In this theory, the manager should organize a company trip or any reward in order to motivate their employees.

However, traditional organization has using content theory to run their business. They think that the needs of employees are more important and they try to satisfy them. As the needs of employees had been satisfied, the productivity of output in an organization will improve. In the other hand, modern organization has using process theory to run their business. They had using an attractive reward and promotional opportunity to motivate their employees. The employees may perform well when their manager given them a reward.

While there should have some strategies to motivate the employees. The manager should identify the methods that needed to motivate their employees. If there did not have any strategies, it may difficult to motivate them. Not only that, the traditional theory can be used in modern organization. The feeling of employees are still important, the manager should concern about them and try to understand them.

As a result, the employees may work better and perform well when their needs had been satisfied. The organization also will function well as their employee become more hard working. All of them will gain more benefit when they satisfy each other.


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