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Research Papers on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs research papers, Maslow's theory may be discussed in light of employee motivation. While many psychologists and other theorists spend their time studying anomalies that make some individuals less successful than others, Maslow spent most of his time looking at those particularly successful people who had it all together and asking himself what happened to make them so successful. What Maslow found is that there are certain requirements that all humans share in order to be productive and happy.  He grouped these requirements into categories of successive need. If an individual could meet the most pervasive needs, he could then become involved with trying to satisfy the needs at the next level.

The most basic of Maslow’s Hierarchy are the physiological needs necessary for survival. Once these needs are met, individuals become concerned with filling safety/securing needs. After those are satisfied the emphasis comes with fulfilling the requirements of social needs for belonging. Finally, with acceptance, the individual can concern himself with esteem needs and eventually self-actualization.  One does not negotiate Maslow’s pyramid in a conscious manner. It isn’t that a person wakes up one day and says “Well, I’m secure now, better get on with those social needs”. However it is a progression that Maslow recognized that proves true. All people begin with the same needs.

One of the important aspects of the human resource perspective is the satisfaction of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.  For employees to be motivated or satisfied with their work, an examination regarding whether their needs are being met will be made.  


  1. Maslow’s Hierarchy of NeedsPhysiological needs – all employees receive adequate compensation and their physiological needs are being met.
  2. Safety needs – there are no duties that endanger the workers, so all safety needs are being met. 
  3. Social needs – there was a strong sense of belonging among the new employees, who all appeared to know each other.  The rest of the managers and employees were not as friendly and seemed to be reluctant to state what was happening.
  4. Esteem – there was little opportunity of esteem needs being met because of the reduction in business.  All of the employees eventually realized that there was a reduction in business.
  5. Self-actualization – the atmosphere at Kanoo Travel prevented employees from moving toward self-actualization. 

One aspect of Abraham H. Maslow’s personality theory that is appealing is its tendency toward a comprehensive and inclusive view of psychological mechanisms.  He forms his theories based on the obvious careful examination of many facets of the questions.  For example, regarding the impact of environment on personality, Maslow says, “the big point here is not to think that good conditions inevitably make all human beings into growing, self-actualizing, people.  Certain forms of neurosis don’t respond this way”.

Another appealing aspect of Maslow’s personality theory is his extensive work regarding the qualities of self-actualizing people, and especially his theory of “metamotivation.”  Maslow uses this word to describe the higher forms of motivation experienced by the self-actualized individual, who is “already suitably gratified in their basic needs”.  In his study of subjects he defined as self-actualized, he found similarities among these people.  For example, “all such people are devoted to some task, call, vocation, beloved work”, and “such vocation-loving individuals tend to identify with their ‘work’ and to make it into a defining-characteristic of the self. It becomes part of the self”.  Maslow also describes self-actualized individuals as those who “delight in bringing about justice, do not need or seek for or even enjoy very much flattery...”.

One aspect of Maslow’s personality theory found to be unappealing is found in his description of neurosis as a failure in terms of personal growth or actualization.  Maslow states, “counter-values are stronger in neurotic people,” and “for some people this evasion of one’s own growth...are in fact defenses against grandiosity, arrogance, sinful pride, hubris”.  I think that this is an uncharacteristically limited viewpoint for Maslow to take regarding why many people fail to reach self-actualization.

Another aspect of Maslow’s personality theory that is found unappealing is in his statement that, “everybody expects professors to be crazy, anyhow, and it doesn’t make much difference to anyone”.  I disagree completely with his statement, and I do not expect my professors to be crazy; in fact, I prefer that they be mentally stable and preferably self-actualized individuals.  I find this statement to be representing a bold and destructive viewpoint.  As far as Maslow’s statement that “it doesn’t make much difference to anyone,” it does make a difference to me, because I have to interact with these people in my own efforts of self-actualization.

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