When we talk about motivation, Maslow's "Hierarchy of Needs" comes forth as one of the more known theories that explain the roots of motivation. His provocative ideas about motivation, self-actualization and synergy have become the basis of some familiar concepts to many managers, management theorists and trainers. His humanistic approach to management has influenced fields as diverse as counseling, health care, education and marketing.
Fact is that Maslow actuated a serious investigation as he delved deeper in the human psyche to study the roots of motivation. In his fervent and unrelenting investigations, he carefully studied human behavior and delineated five basic goals of that every human need. By level of importance, he identified the needs as physiological, safety, love, esteem and self-actualization. One could infer in this proposition that it is the task of each human being to achieve his or her own concept of self-actualization.
Physiological - As humans are classified as living beings, physiological needs definitely are the most basic and of prime importance in the list of human needs Maslow enumerated. Physiological needs are necessary to maintain life, like hunger, thirst, sleep and many other human activities that involved the palpable human body itself.
Safety - After physiological needs are met eventually, humans seek a sense of security from danger and deprivation, that's where safety needs come into picture.
Love and Esteem - After physical needs are satisfied, humans as social beings desire companionship, camaraderie and the sense of belonging. Love and esteem are the emotional need that nourishes the human psyche in order for a person feel better about himself or herself.
Self-Actualization - This describes the need for self-fulfillment, an urge of individuals to attain their dreams and goals in life for self-development, creativity and job satisfaction.
Maslow steadily moved ahead from his peers upon formulating a new explanation of human nature. Its foundation was his radical theory of motivation, which has come to be known as the "Hierarchy of Needs". He passed up a great argument that people have needs for physiological, safety, belongingness, love, self-respect, self-esteem and what he called self-actualization-the desire to become all that a person can become in life. Maslow adds that if in the past lower level needs like physiological and safety needs are just the things the management rewards to its people to ensure protection and sustenance to his family, as society advances to contemporary times, in order for management to be effective they have to satisfy the higher needs too. In Maslow's articles published in 1942 and 1943, he summed up his theory as:
It is quite true that man lives by bread alone-where there is no bread. But what happens to [our] desires when there [is] plenty of bread and when [our] belly is chronically filled At once, other and higher' needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate [us]. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new and still higher' needs emerge, and so on. This is what we mean by saying that basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy.... (Sheldrake, 1996 p. 353)