When Maslowian Hierarchy of Needs , also generally described as pyramid of needs, it is a social psychological theory. With this theory, human needs and motivations can be categorized and classified.
The hierarchy of needs
According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, people’s needs are described. Its structure is kept very simple. This has the advantage that not only the needs of certain people can be represented, but those of all people. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs comprises five levels. Although it is one of the most widely known theories in social psychology, it is also very often misunderstood.
Who invented the hierarchy of needs?
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was, as the name suggests, invented by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow . He lived from 1908 to 1970 and is known as one of the founding fathers of humanistic psychology. With his hierarchy of needs, the psychologist describes people’s needs and motivations in a very simple way. The simple presentation is based on a hierarchical structure with which Maslow also tries to explain the motivations and needs.
Abraham Maslow had the first idea for his model and his theory in 1943. He published this in the same year in the book “A Theory of Human Motivation in the Psychological Review”. Over the years his social-psychological theory was further developed and supplemented by him. This resulted in two more books by Maslow. These are the works “Motivation and Personality”, which appeared in 1954, and “Farther Reaches of Human Nature” . The latter work was only published posthumously in 1971.
Why is there a hierarchy of needs?
If you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you will quickly see that the hierarchy of human needs is presented here in a very clear and very simple way. It was divided into two different groups and five levels .
Basic physical care, the need for personal security and the need for social relationships represent the so-called deficit needs . They can be found in the three lowest levels of the Maslowian hierarchy of needs. Maslow theorized that a person can only experience satisfaction when he sees these deficit needs met. Only then do the growth requirements follow.
Social recognition is one of the growth needs. These are very individual needs of a person, which include money, career, power and also status. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs ends at the level of self-realization. This need to recognize your own potential and also the need to develop it is the last step. But it must also be mentioned that these needs can almost never be satisfied. All of this may sound logical to you, but remember that this is only a theory.
What is the use of the Maslow pyramid?
Nowadays, companies in particular have an interest in this theory and take advantage of it. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can be transferred very well in a company. Because above all, a company can only survive through people. These people are divided into employees , customers and partners .
A company can use the hierarchy of needs to transfer it to its employees. This can, for example, increase employee satisfaction. In addition, the marketing department also uses the Maslow pyramid to better understand what needs a customer has.
What does Maslow’s hierarchy of needs mean?
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is divided into five levels. These levels are divided into
- Physiological needs
- Security needs
- Social needs
- Individual needs
Physiological need (survival)
There are elements in these needs that are perfectly normal for most people. This is the air you breathe, water and sun. In addition, there are needs such as thirst, hunger and sleep as well as sex life, which have to be satisfied. These needs arise again and again either daily or at short intervals.
Security needs (security)
Deficit needs also include needs for security. They include a desire for health, fear of loss (including job loss) and indirect threats.
Social needs (belonging)
These needs represent a strong influence. The need for family, partners and social interactions. The need for love is firmly anchored in people. But this is not to be understood with the need for sex. This need can be found in the physiological needs. At least that is Maslow’s theory.
Individual needs (meaning)
After fulfilling all the needs mentioned so far, man strives for needs such as money, power, recognition and status. But these needs differ from person to person.
This need is at the top of the Maslowian hierarchy of needs. For this, however, all other needs must have been satisfied. For many people, realizing oneself means first giving their life real meaning.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in a graphical view
The graphic shows how the hierarchy of needs according to Maslow is represented graphically.
Findings and application of the hierarchy of needs in management
At that time, this hierarchy of needs emerged in the context of new theories for management. The basis was primarily the question of what actually motivates employees. A very central issue in the area of corporate management. What are the reasons for human action and what motivates people to take this action. Derived from this question, four main motifs have emerged, which differ in their content.
The four forms of motivation
- The primary motivation
- The secondary motivation
- The intrinsic motivation
- The extrinsic motivation
Everyone is hungry and thirsty. He also needs clothing and warmth. Primary motivation focuses on all things that are important for survival.
The secondary motivation comes from the social environment. Social recognition, the desire for security and community are the focus here.
In terms of intrinsic motivation, material values have no influence on people. The goal here is that you can realize yourself.