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One of the most basic human desires is companionship and a sense of belonging

3. Social Needs include friendship and companionship. One must know that he/she is not alone in the world and be able to communicate feelings and needs with other individuals.

4. Esteem Needs – An individual eventually needs to feel that he/she has a social status. This goes beyond just having social relationships; the individual must feel that in work or at home he/she is making a contribution. This also includes recognition of achievement from others.

5. Self-actualization Needs – This is the final and highest level of needs. Meeting this need is characterized by continuously focusing on personal growth, problem solving, life appreciation, and peak experiences for oneself (Huitt, 2004).

Maslow’s concept of self-actualization (SA) represents “everything that one is capable of becoming” (Value Based , 2009). And he felt that the capacity for this concept was innate to all human beings. It was not learned through conditioning or earned through rewards (Hall, 2007). When observing SA, it is important to note that the category does not complete Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Many researchers thought that Maslow believed achieving the SA category would result in the completion of the progression. Researchers found this unattainable because SA is elastic; as one nears their SA, their abilities develop and grow which makes their true potential even greater. However, O’Connor and Yballe (2007) indicate that Maslow intended his theory to be “an ongoing process that involves dozens of little growth choices that entail risk and require courage” (p. 742).

Maslow believed that in order for the higher-order needs to be successfully met and not affect basic needs, an individual must first acquire the basic-order needs, referred to as fulfillment progression (Redmond, 2010).

Revised Hierarchy:

Stages 1-4 remain the same. Maslow added cognitive needs as stage five. These include the need for knowledge and meaning. Stage six is known as aesthetic needs. People on this stage appreciate beauty, form, and balance while actively seeking it. Self-actualization needs are stage seven of this theory. The eighth and final stage on the revised hierarchy is transcendence needs. People who have reached this highest stage need to help others become self-actualized (McLeod, 2014). The new hierarchy can be seen below.

Research on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s Needs Theory has remained popular (particularly in an organizational context) regardless of the lack of scientific support. Many of Maslow’s concepts have been entirely refuted or only partially validated (Wahba, Bridwell, 1976). Part of the difficulty lies in the definitions and measurements involved in the studies. Maslow based his theory more on clinical insight as opposed to developing it from rigorous scientific research. There have been attempts to use empirical data to disprove Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs as a legitimate explanation for the motivation of human behavior (Hunter, Rauschenberger, Schmitt, 1990). Hunter et al (1990) takes issue with the inability for these theories to be substantiated by statistical analysis of data collected by way of surveys/questionnaires. Some partial evidence exists for the support of the lower order needs, physiological and safety, while the concept of self-actualization suffers from vague definitions and scant empirical evidence (Wahba and Bridwell, 1976). These issues make the theory difficult, if not impossible, to test.

Some of the value of Maslow’s Needs hierarchy lies in its intuitive appeal. Regardless of the lack of support, practitioners continue to use the concept of needs satisfaction to motivate and improve individual performance. The case study by Cangemi (2009) demonstrates one instance of how the concept of needs can provide a framework for front line managers to change employee behavior. The managers’ awareness of employee needs and the possibility of these needs changing over time enabled them to modify their management style to improve organizational outcomes. The important thing to remember is that individuals have varying needs and managers can leverage those needs gay dating app UK to increase employee motivation.

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