The Review of Motivation Theory

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Motivation deals with inspiration, encouragement, and the prompting laborers to perform to the best aspect of their ability. Maslow's Hierarchy of need hypothesis offers point by point clarification on how administrators can spur their laborers to perform beyond belief. Motivation stays to be a mental term meaning it cannot be forced on laborers. It is consequently created inside a worker, and it prompts the eagerness to carry out duties.

Outline of the Theory

Abraham Maslow built up the hierarchy of need hypothesis in the time frame of 1943 to 1954 (Ellerby, 2015). This is an inspirational hypothesis that contains five-level model of the human requirements. From that time of advancement to date, Maslow's hypothesis stays to be quite possibly one of the most valid theories in the understanding motivation of people. This approach emphasizes the employer's responsibility to provide favorable working surroundings that inspire staff to attain full potential. According to Maslow, all people are motivated by needs. A person has to satisfy the lower needs before progressing to meet the higher needs. Also, the need to fulfill the requirements that are above will grow stronger the longer the duration their fulfillment is denied. When the deficit need has already been met, then the person will progress on to the need above (Ellerby, 2015). The deficit need then becomes the silent need. The growth need will continue to be felt by individuals as time progresses. Once the growth in requirements has been satisfied a person fully reaches the highest point that is referred to as self-actualization.

The Relevance of Maslow’s Theory

Maslow’s hierarchy of need relate to behavior and organizational theory because it explores motivation of workers. For example, some people are ready to work just to receive the pay, but other love working because of the friends they have at the workplace or the fact they are loved and cherished by other colleagues at the workplace. One of the critical conclusion that can be made from Maslow’s theory is that if the lower need fails to be met, then the higher need is automatically ignored. For instance, if workers are worried about they have no job security and will be fired they will be more concerned about capital accumulation and how other need such as paying bills and rent will be met than about respect and friendship. However, if workers are wealthy enough to meet the basic need, then meaningful group relationship and praise for good work might be a more important motivating factor. If personal needs are not met, then people become demotivated and frustrated. For example, if an individual works hard and to get a promotion and the employer fails to recognize this effort then they will become demotivated and put in less effort. When a person fulfills a given need, it is no longer a motivating factor since the next need at the hierarchy will be more important. In organizational level managers must be empathetic and perspective to the worker and they must listen to their need so that they are fulfilled, and the employee remains motivated. While the theory highlighted a rigid hierarchy, it was noted that the order in which the needs are arranged does not always follow a particular uniform progression. For instance, some individual need for love is more important than self-esteem, and for other people, the creative fulfillment might be more important than other essential needs.

Maslow states that all people have the potential of moving up the hierarchy to the top level which is self-actualization (Mahrouyeh & Morteza, 2015). Unfortunately, the progress of reaching self-actualization is often disrupted when people fail to meet the lower need. The life experiences such as loss of job and divorce can cause people to fail to move to the highest level of need attainment, for this reason, no one will move up the chain in a uni-directional manner but might move back and forth.

Five Stages of the Theory

Psychological Needs

According to Maslow's, this is the basic human needs. It is impossible to fulfill the need at the highest point of hierarchy without fulfilling the psychological needs. These needs can be identified within a particular locality of the body, and they are relatively independent of each other. According to Maslow's the psychological needs are the crucial need for an individual's well-being and will remain to be one of the biggest priorities.

Security or Safety Needs

Individuals want to order and control in their lives, so the need for security and safety contributes significantly to behaviors at this particular level. Forms of security at this particular level include safety against injury and accidents, health and wellness and financial safety. Obtaining healthcare and health insurance and finding a job, moving into a much safer neighborhood are some of the examples of the actions that are motivated by safety and security needs. Together the psychological and safety make up an individual’s basic needs. No matter the risk involved human being will always crave for the feeling of security and protection. Despite the fact that the feeling might vary from individual to individual Maslow stated that it is entirely meant to escape any forms of fears, for that reason factors such as overall safety, personal wellness, and financial need are critical in fulfilling this second step.

Social Needs

An independent person will always feel crave for a sense of belonging and a feeling of love. Whether it is a relationship, friend, family or all the above, they all create a sense of purpose within people. Maslow’s noted that when people are properly taken care of, they are in a position to share themselves with others such as friends and family. Maslow’s stated that the social stage is a critical stage in psychological development because an individual personal relationship with others can help reduce emotional stress such as anxiety and depression. Human beings will in many cases develop a connection with others outside the family through religious and social groupings gangs, sports teams, and clubs. If individuals are not in a position to connect with others they become vulnerable to numerous psychological issues, for instance, depression, anxiety, and loneliness, therefore it crucial that social needs are fully met so that stability can be restored. As a human being, we will always yearn to be loved and appreciated no matter the setup.

Esteem Needs

The satisfaction of esteem needs leads to a feeling of strength, capability, status, prestige, power and a feeling of being necessary and useful to the entire world. Any attempt to frustrate these feelings may lead to helplessness, weakness, and inferiority. All human beings chase personal goals, but the desire to fulfillment is rooted in all of them. Without meaning, self-love, and confidence it will be hard for people to reach their desire. To attain the self-esteem needs, it is important that all the needs below must be achieved first. At this level, there is need to feel recognized and competent such as through level of success and status. Then there is the cognitive level where people will stimulate themselves to explore. After exploring there is the aesthetic level which entails the need for beauty, order, and harmony.


Self-actualization is the feeling of attainment and accomplishment and being satisfied with one self. Once people have reached the self-actualization stage, they will always aim at building their image. All people will always look for ways of climbing the ladder of life and ultimately find better ways of reaching this point. Without the four steps, self-actualization can never be attained.

Relevance of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need Theory

The Maslow’s theory is quite essential in explaining the human motivating factors in their desire to attain the highest level (self-actualization). Despite the fact that the theory contains various flaws, it is the most recognized and well known within the social science field. According to Maslow's theory, the order by which these needs are satisfied doesn’t follow a particular uniform progression. For instance, some persons need for love is essential than self-esteem. For other people, the creativity might even supersede other requirements. This theory represents a fundamental shift in psychology. Rather than just focusing on development and abnormal behavior, Maslow’s theory focuses on the development of healthy people. The motivation aspect is the driving force for that will inspire people to attain the full potential. In an organizational level motivational experience will in many ways improve employee’s performance, confidence, and attitude and thus motivation is an essential performance improvement.

Relevance of the Theory

Human beings are forever wanting which means that once a need has been satisfied another one emerges to replace the already satisfied need. According to Maslow’s the course of satisfying can never come to an end and it will continuously remain to stimulate persons to realize their inspirations. The human needs also overlap meaning that one need doesn’t disappear when another one emerges (Mahrouyeh & Morteza, 2015). The Maslow’s theory seems to be applicable only to a person who is healthy. In most developed and wealthy nations or among the affluent individuals, safety and psychological needs might not be a motivator, but for developing countries, the psychological needs are the greatest motivators. For instance, the countries that are hit by famine and epidemics psychological needs remain to be motivators. Maslow’s need tends to have a general application. One can sacrifice one need with an objective of attaining the other for instance students who deny themselves sleep to achieve the highest grades in their examination or parents who deny themselves social needs to do two jobs so that he can send kids to school.

This theory is indispensable to the leader because it outlines the employee's needs. When business leader already has an idea what workers already want they can put in place the necessary measures to ensure that these needs are satisfied. The knowledge of psychological needs can enable the management come up with better decisions regarding employees. For instance, the management fulfills employs esteem needs by giving them a chance to progress career-wise.


Ellerby, M. (2015). Hearing Voices, Maslows Hierarchy and Compassion Focused Therapy. Journal of Psychiatry, s1. doi:10.4172/2378-5756.1000001

Mahrouyeh, L., & Morteza, S. (2015). Environment designing considering the needs of youth according to Abraham Maslows needs case study: District 9 of Isfahan City. African Journal of Business Management, 9(1), 8-17. doi:10.5897/ajbm2013.7131

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