Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was published in 1943.
Initially Maslow’s theory was applied to human motivation. Later it was extended to the human’s innate curiosity. The hierarchy is a theory in human developmental psychology. It describes stages of growth in humans. In his research, Maslow studied only the most accomplished and successful subjects, and specifically rejected study of defective, neurotic or mentally ill persons.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is often expressed as a pyramid of human needs; the most basic needs at the base of the pyramid, with more refined and developed needs progressing toward the apex.
A summary of the pyramid sections is as follows:
Physiological Needs (base of pyramid): breathing, food, water and sleep
Safety Needs: security of body, job, health and property
Love/belonging: family, friends, spousal intimacy
Esteem: self esteem, confidence, appreciation by others
Self-actualization: morality, spirituality, creativity, lack of prejudice
A patient who has not achieved the base-level physiological needs will show defective physical development.
Failure to fulfill the needs in the other levels results in no physical abnormality, but the patient will have mental/psychological issues such as tension and anxiety. The most basic needs must be met before the subject will have any motivation toward the higher levels.
In international business, and especially marketing, Maslow’s hierarchy is applied in recognizing the levels of need achieved by various peoples throughout the world, the cultural determinants of levels achieved, and hence an understanding of the motivations and desires of a specific targeted audience.
In summary, the Maslow Hierarchy defines the levels of need fulfillment for the normal physical and mental/psychological development of humans. In International business an understanding of these levels as modulated by cultural influences permits the businessman to properly design and direct marketing efforts.
Reference 1 defines in detail Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
Reference 2 is a PowerPoint presentation on motivation and applications in the workplace. It includes a link to over 100 PowerPoint slides on all topics of needs, motivation, rewards, recognition, Maslow’s Hierarchy, other motivational theories and plenty of ideas for a question you might use at the end of your presentation.