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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Issues on its Applicability Essay

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is of utmost importance to an organisation as a determinant of motivation for employees. The framework presens five levels; with each level representing a human need that individuals strive to address (Ajila 1997). As satisfaction is felt at one level of the needs heirarchy, the individual may move on to the succeeding until self-actualization is attained. Within an organisation, managers may utlise Maslow’s needs theory to drive employee motivation and thus increase productivity and enhance retention.

In order to attain maximum outcomes, employees must be motivated for them to work productively and sometimes even go beyond their job descriptions and exhibit organisational citizenship behaviours (Ajila 1997). Traditionally, the motivation of each employee is based on fear of negative consequences of failure and the promise of promotion and reward for a job well done. The fear of negative consequences such as demotion, losing one’s reputation and possibly being fired from his/her job keeps an employee on his toes (Lindner 1998). The rewards could motivate an employee in more ways than one.

This may come in the form of both tangible and intangible rewards and perks, such as recognition, career promotions, monetary rewards, among others. The manager has to be

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keenly aware of the fact that no two employees will be driven by the same set of motivators. It is to the discretion of the manager to prudently choose which rewards will best motivate a particular employee. Source: Eby & Molnar. 1998 One issue concerning the deployment of Maslow’s needs hierarchy is monetary in nature. Without a doubt, material resources are necessary to be able to address employees’ basic needs.

This naturally encompasses basic pay, benefits, developmental and promotional opportunities (Gwynne 1997). However, policy makers within the management team sometimes disregard motivational issues, and would rather look after profitability for the enterprise. This may be quite alarming, considering that the solid base of a successful organisation are a motivated and empowered workforce. According to Ojokuku (2007), it would be beneficial to balance out the intention to motivate employees by using both monetary and non-monetary rewards.

Performance-based pay systems are effectual at reinforcing exemplary performance, especially in large, bureacratic organisations (Ojokuku 2007). 4A. Importance of Technology to an Organisation Technology, from a general point of view, allows organisations to produce goods, offer services and operational processes at a novel, more efficacious plane. Taking the case of the military, technology for them is indeed vital since they rely on it for their very survival. To combat the evolving threat to national security, the military has to depend on state of the art equipment to maintain security for the people and the nation at large.

The concept is that as long as their equipment is top of the line and is effectual, they could perform their tasks effectively (Gold, Malhotra and Segars 2001). According to Beugre and Peters (2000), as long as it allows them leverage at work, employees are not likely to hesitate supporting technology and the corresponding changes that this entails.


Ajila, C. O. 1997. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory: applicability to the nigerian industrial set-up. Psycologia, Vol. 5, 162-174. ATKearney. 2002, Waging war on complexity: how to master the matrix organisational structure.

Chicago, Illinois. Beugra, C. D. & Peters, L. S. 2000, Procedural, justice, trust, and perceived importance of technology in organisations. Proceedings of the Midwest Academy of Management Meetings March 29-April 01, Chicago, Illinois. Bigliardi, B. , Petroni, A. , Dormio, A. I. 2005. Organizational socialization, career aspirations and turnover intentions among design engineers, Leadership & Development Journal, Vol. 26, 4, pp. 424-441. Davis S. M. and Lawrence P. R. 1978. Problems of matrix organizations. Harvard Business Review, Vol. 56, No. 3, pp. 131-147 Eby, D. W. & Molnar, L. J. 1998.

Matching Traffic Safety Strategies to Youth Characteristics: A Literature Review of Cognitive Development. Working Paper for the U. S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, September 1998. Femia, J. W. 1998, Serving two masters: Working with matrix management. Proceedings for the Society for Technical Communication . Ford, R. C. & Randolph, W. A. 1992. Cross-Functional Structures: A Review and Integration of Matrix Organization and Project Management. Journal of Management Vol. 18, No. 2, 267-294.

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