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Fundamentals of Management

Abraham Harold Maslow was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He first studied law at the City College of New York, (CCNY), transferred to Cornell, and then back to CCNY. He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin and they had two daughters. He went on to attend the University of Wisconsin where he became interested in psychology. Maslow spent time there working with Harry Harlow, who is famous for his experiments with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior.


He received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in psychology. He later returned to New York to work at Columbia University, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality. Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis University from 1951 to 1969 where he met Kurt Goldstein, who had originated the idea of self-actualization. He spent his final years in California, where he died on June 8 1970 of a heart attack.


One of the many interesting things Maslow noticed while he worked with monkeys early in his career was that some needs take precedence over others. Maslow took this idea and created his now famous hierarchy of needs as illustrated below.

The basic concept is that the higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus once all the needs that are lower down in the pyramid are mainly or entirely satisfied.

Fundamentals of Management The needs in his hierarchy from lowest to highest are as follows: Physiological Needs: Physiological needs are the basic needs required to sustain life such as: Air Water Nourishment Sleep

According to Maslow, higher needs such as social needs and self esteem are not felt until one has met the basic needs. Safety: Once physiological needs are met, ones attention turns to safety and security in order to be free from the threat of physical and emotional harm. Such needs might be fulfilled by: Living in a safe area Medical Insurance Job Security Financial Reserves

According to Maslow, if a person feels that he or she is in harms way higher needs will not receive much attention. Social Needs: Once a person has met the lower level physiological and safety needs, higher level needs become more important, the first of which are social needs. Social needs are those related to interaction with other people and may include: Need for friends Need for belonging Need to give and receive love

Esteem: Once a person feels a sense of belonging, the need to feel important arises. Esteem needs may be classified as internal or external. Internal esteem needs are those related to self-esteem such as self respect and achievement. External esteem needs are those such as social status and recognition. Some esteem needs are: Self respect Achievement Attention Recognition Reputation

Self Actualization: Self actualization is the highest level in Maslows hierarchy of needs. It is the quest of reaching ones full potential as a person. Unlike lower level needs, this need is never fully satisfied; as one grows psychologically there are always new opportunities to continue to grow. Self actualized people tend to have needs such as: Truth Justice Wisdom Meaning

According to Maslow, only as small percentage of the population ever reaches the level of self actualization.

Fundamentals of Management

Maslows legacy of work encompasses much more than just humanistic psychology, it extends into realms of business and management; the relationship between human behavior and the work situation.


Maslows theory has some important implications for management and can be applied to any organization. If effectively done, the organization can aim towards each individual achieving at maximum potential. There are opportunities to motivate employees through management style, job design, company events and compensation packages. Some examples follow: Physiological Needs: Provide lunch breaks, rest breaks, and wages that are sufficient to provide the essentials of life. Safety Needs: Provide a safe working environment, retirement benefits, and job security, health insurance. Social Needs: Create a sense of community via team-based projects and social events. Esteem Needs: Recognise achievements to make employees feel appreciated and valued. Offer job titles that convey the importance of the position. Self- Actualization: Provide employees a challenge and the opportunity to reach their full career potential. One thing to keep in mind is that not all people are driven by the same needs at any time different people may be motivated by entirely different factors. It is important to understand the needs being pursued by each employee. To motivate an employee, the manager must be able to recognize the needs level at which the employee is operating, and use those needs as levers of motivation. In conclusion, observing Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be a useful way for an organization to help their employees. Providing their personnel with an appropriate atmosphere will lead to the employee's development along the path towards self-actualization. REFERENCES 1. Maslow on Management 2. http://www.netmba.com 3. http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/maslow.html 4. http://academic.emporia.edu/smithwil/00fallmg443/eja/tuel.html 3

Fundamentals of Management 5. http://josephdamiano.com/Articles/workplace_motivation.html