Maslow's need hierarchy is an important theory of motivation.Piease explain this theory by taking the example of a fresher who joins a company and wants to move ahead in his career and life. Try to...

Maslow's need hierarchy is an important theory of motivation.

Piease explain this theory by taking the example of a fresher who joins a company and wants to move ahead in his career and life. Try to Arrange his level of needs according to this theory?

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lfawley's profile pic

lfawley | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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I am a bit unclear as to what you mean by a "fresher" but I will respond from the perspective of a newly graduated student who is starting his or her first job with a company and wants to move up and make it a career.


At the bottom of the hierarchy are physiological needs such as food, air, water, and bodily functions. A few of these things (food and sometimes water) cost money, so the first thing that might be important is making sure that at the start the job provides for those basic minimum needs (a small salary that will cover the basics).

The second level are safety needs. In the workplace, this means a job that provides some sense of security. Are you safe walking to and from your car at night? Are your belongings safe in your office? Is the atmosphere essentially healthy (as in no pollutants in the air, no overt safety dangers)? Is the job itself secure enough that you feel safe and able to provide for self and family? This could be met, for example, by moving beyond the trial period and becoming a permanent employee with benefits and job security.

The next level is love and belonging. One element of that is friendship. At this stage, once the employee is secure in his or her job, developing relationships with coworkers becomes important as a means of providing this level of need.

Esteem comes next. At the stage, the employee wants to feel that he or she is valued and makes a valuabkle contribution to the workplace. When a job is done well, the employee wants to be recognized for that fact, and from this recognition (a raise, a commendation from the boss) self-esteem and confidence develops. This is when the employee starts to "go up the ladder" so to speak.

The final level, self-actualization, is when the employee begins to move beyond "needs" and on to greater things - becoming creative, solving problems, perhaps rising from the level of worker to the level of leader. This is when the need for promotions and the need to lead instead of follow come into play.

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krishna-agrawala's profile pic

krishna-agrawala | College Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted on

Maslow's theory of need hierarchy holds that that all human motivation can be divided in five categories arranged in a hierarchical levels of needs in terms of development of their strength and importance in influencing behaviour. These five types of needs are:

  1. Physiological need
  2. Security need
  3. Affiliation need
  4. Self esteem (ego ) need
  5. Self actualization need.

Any individual is initially motivated by a lowest level need in the hierarchy, till that need is reasonably satisfied. The next level need develops or becomes strong only when all the previous level needs have been satisfied.

Thus, a person whose physiological needs such as that for food, shelter and clothing are not met, will be predominantly motivated by these needs. However once these needs are satisfied, the person is no longer motivated by such needs. The individual is then become concerned with satisfying the security needs, that is the need to preserve and protect the self including life as well as other possessions.

The next level need for affiliation, that is need to become part of social groups and be accepted as member such groups. begins to influence behavior only when the needs at two lower levels have been satisfied. Similarly the the need at fourth level in the hierarchy, the self esteem need grows strong enough to influence behaviour only when the needs at three lower levels have been satisfied. With the development of this need the person becomes motivated by the desire to feel important and better than others among the eyes of other. This can also be described by saying that the ego of the person becomes stronger.

At the highest level of need hierarchy is the self actualization need, which develops only when all lower level needs have been satisfied. When self actualization needs develops a person seeks pleasure in achieving his potential. An individual motivated by self actualization need, is no longer dependent on appreciation from others to feel happy. The individual feels happy by his or her personal assessment of job performed, or for having done something worthwhile, or for becoming what one is capable of becoming - that is actualizing the potential of the self.

Maslow's theory applies to all the activities of an individual that often span his or her entire life, not to a small part in life of a person in a limited role. However, to illustrate the theory, we will try to build an example based on a fresher joining a company.

A fresher joining a company is initially concerned about what kind of physical life he or she will have, and how difficult the work routine will be. He will thus be concerned about things that affect how comfortable and convenient the work will be.

When reasonably assured about these matters, he or she will become concerned about maintaining his or her position, in terms his position and earnings in the company. After spending some time in the company he will start developing personal relationship with some of the people in the company to meet the affiliation needs. Next the employee will try to impress people in the organization just to feel important and be admired by them. Once the ego needs have been sufficiently satisfied in this way, he or she is likely to engage in the same old activities not to impress other but because he or she enjoys those activities, and for the purpose of producing something worthwhile.

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