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Abraham Maslow’s Theory

Maslow theory suggests that the workplace has at least five goals, which may be referred as basic needs. In a hierarchal order, the goals are based on needs, which when satisfied; the employee develops a higher need, which dominates the employee’s conscious therefore setting the pace for organization behavior. Maslow further states that gratified needs do not serve as active motivators (McGregor &Cutcher-Gershenfeld , 2006).

According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, the physiological needs include clothes, food, shelter and other basics necessary for survival. ? The safety needs include a safe work environment, safe equipments and job security. ? The social needs include the ability to associate with fellow workers, engage in social activities and be able to make full use of opportunities that arise from such interactions. ? The egoistic needs relate to rewards, acknowledgements and recognition that an individual workers yearns for after work well done.

The final step relates to self actualization, whereby the worker is able to realize his career dreams by fully exploiting his potential or talents. It is only when all these needs are met that an individual worker moves on to the next step, which is the requirement to satisfy the employer’s or customer’s needs.

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Critiques have argued that research has failed to prove that the hierarchy is nothing more than a day dream, especially because there is no known standard way of classifying the ever-changing needs of individual employees.

Others have raised issues regarding the self-actualization suggestion claiming that it is challenging to measure self-actualization (Maslow, A, 1943) Motivation-Hygiene Theory by Frederick Herzberg The theory by Herzberg is seen as a modification of the Maslow theory. This theory is however known as the two factor theory, which seeks to answer what most employees want from their jobs. In his quest to understand what makes a job satisfying or dissatisfying, Herzeberg conducted a research on two hundred accountants and engineers in Pittsburg.

In the research, he sought to discover what pleased or displeased them in their respective jobs. From the responses, Herzberg concluded that the workers have lower-level needs (hygiene), which avoided deprivation and pain, and higher-level needs, which met their psychological growth needs(motivators) (Harvard journal1968). He also discovered that even after removing the undesirable characteristics from a job, many employees still felt that their jobs was far from satisfying.

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