Motivation is an important element in the life of an individual. It enables individuals to muster adequate encouragement for them to accomplish various goals and objectives in life. Similarly, students would not be in a position to concentrate on studies and may even drop out of school because of the several factors that hinder them from receiving the motivation required to excel in academics and other aspirations. Given the above, the theory of Abraham Maslow offers a platform upon which an examination of the motivating factors can be done so as to give some perspective on the various motivational issues that surround human beings.
Naturally, people live in a competitive environment that is limited in terms of resources. Some people have things that others want. The scenario that is created by this disparity is that human beings miss at least something in life and would always strive to obtain it so that they can satisfy their needs and wants. The Maslow theory postulates that the human needs are in the form of a hierarchy; needs at the bottom of the pile are most urgent and must be satisfied before attention is given to the other needs up in the ladder. Physiological needs such as food, water, heat, air, basic salary and sex occupy the bottom segment of the human needs hierarchy. After this, lay safety and security to protect people from tribulations such as war and health risks. When individuals are secure, they long for love and belongingness from related persons. Self-esteem and self-actualization respectively occupy the second last and the topmost stage of human development. According to this theory, rational individuals would not worry about self-esteem when they are dying of starvation or facing a security threat. This means that basic things take priority over other needs. For instance, if one is hungry, the individual would not contemplate going to church. In a nutshell, it is unnatural to do higher things until things on the lower segment of the hierarchy are satisfied.
The theory has been very helpful in understanding phenomenon such as employee motivation practices that are employed by various business organizations. Companies use some of the postulations of the theory to conduct an analysis of employee satisfaction in their area of business. Also, the theory enabled me to understand the social and economic trends in the lives of people. Often, we spend most of our time to acquire the basic things in life and progresses further up the ladder depending on the variant economic and social statuses. Evidently, people who are at the bottom of human pile aspire to acquire those needs that would enable them to at least sustain their lives but the trend changes as one climbs the ladder. The theory, however, has been proved to have some weaknesses as the above-listed needs have been proven not to precede one another in the sequence advanced by the postulations of Maslow. For instance, an individual may feel to acquire education, a need higher up in the ladder, before sex that is at the bottom of the classification pile.
The Maslows provides an important insight into the social and economic trends of humanity. The theory classifies needs depending on the level of satisfaction of the preceding needs. Its postulations have been factored in the formulation of policies of organizations in so far as employee motivation is concerned. Also, the theory helps us to understand the behavioral trends in social and economic circles. However, it has several weaknesses that must be observed while analyzing the role it plays in understanding social and economic behaviors of people.
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