Maslow’s Hierarchical Model (1954)
Theories of Motivation
Abraham H. Maslow (1954). He is the author of the well-known theory of the Hierarchy of Needs which is “the most widely used theory in management” Maslow undertakes that an individual holds an unusually strong set of needs, which can be ranked in a hierarchical order. Therefore, the founder of this hierarchy of needs has presented five broad categories of needs, which he classified in a pyramid fashion. These are, in increasing order: physiological needs; security needs; belonging needs; esteem needs; and finally, the need for self-fulfillment, which sits at the top of Maslow’s pyramid (Maslow, 2000). Later, in the decade of1970s, Maslow’s theory discovered two additional types of needs, which are: cognitive needs (to know, understand, etc.) and aesthetic needs (order, harmony, etc.) that respectively classify the above needs of esteem as well as the need for self-realization. For Maslow, only the satisfaction of a need will motivate a person, as well as his pyramid of needs will work in such a manner that a new need will arise only if needs at an immediate low level are met. All behavior is determined by the search for satisfaction concerning one of the basic needs (Maslow, 2000).
The search for needs is prioritized. Man seeks first to meet basic needs and then to elevate himself. However, the first level needs are absolute; self-realization might not be possible if, in the first place, the physiological individual’s physiological needs. Additionally, the need for self-actualization is the broadest and is said to be insatiable. Malsow’s theory is not, in fact, a theory of motivation; it tells us which needs may be at the root of behavior but does not say why or when the individual will behave in a particular manner to satisfy a need, nor even when a need is sufficiently satisfied for the benefit of another (Scheuer, 2000). The theory does not states that a single need is motivating at a specific time but rather that a single need is dominant and thus relativizes the importance of others.
In addition, the needs are often multiple and contradictory. It is the concrete aspirations and desires that determine motivation and guide behavior. Maslow does not explain how it is possible to remain demotivated when not all needs are being met, which they always are (Foster, 2000).
Merits and Criticism of the Theory
Merits of the Maslow theory
· Maslow’s theory of motivation greatly helps bank managers understand how to motivate employees.
· The theory is elementary to understand, simple and common.
· The theory accounts for both intra-personal as well as inter-personal variations that occur in human behavior.
· This theory is dynamic because motivation is presented as a changing force – changing from one level of changing needs to that of the other.
Criticism of the theory
A group of researchers believes that the theory needs to include the hierarchal structure of needs, as every individual holds some form of ordering for needs satisfaction (). In a bank, there may be lower-level needs, but they may still be striving for self-actualization needs. There will be few people for whom the need for self-esteem is more protruding than their social needs.
Alongside this, researchers state that Maslow’s theory of motivation refers to the operationalization of some concepts, making it somewhat difficult for the researchers to test this theory.
For some people, the need for self-esteem is more important than their social needs, and a good example can be the developed countries where most people’s basic needs are met. However, there is a high rate of divorces. From this, one might think that if Maslow’s theory is valid, there would have been peaceful marriages, lesser despairs as well as trans, and cultural and socio-economic strata through which physiological, safety and met.
Maslow’s theory can be applied in the banking sector, where the senior managers are held responsible for assuring that the process of the bank is efficient, utilizes updated technology, and the bank employee is involved in the process at some point or other. This can refer to the account opening process, which is applied and opened online; however, the bank employee guides the individual through the entire process and ensures that every query is resolved. In this way, the employee will remain motivated; although the entire process is carried out automatically, there is still a point in having the employee recruited by the bank. Generally, the more an employee stays at the job, the more they will improve. When employees are happier, they will do their job more enthusiastically and spread pleasant feelings to others and clients.
Very few happy employees are likely to leave the job for another opportunity.