Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Theory

Abraham Maslow is well famous for proposing the Hierarchy of Needs Theory in 1943. This theory is a traditional portrayal of human motivation. This theory is based on the supposition that there is a hierarchy of five needs within each individual. The importance of these needs varies. These five needs are as follows;

1. Physiological Needs

These are the essential needs of air, water, food, clothing and shelter. In other words, physiological needs are the needs for fundamental facilities of life.

2. Safety Needs

Safety needs include physical, environmental and emotional safety and protection. For instance Job security, financial security, protection from animals, family security, health security, etc.

3. Social Needs

Social needs include the need for love, affection, care, belongingness, and friendship.

4. Esteem Needs

Esteem needs are of two types: internal esteem needs which include self- respect, confidence, competence, achievement and freedom and external esteem needs which include recognition, power, status, attention and admiration.

5. Self-Actualization Needs

This include the advice to become what you are able of becoming / what you have the possibility to become. It includes the need for growth and self-contentment. It also includes wish for gaining more knowledge, social- service, creativity and being aesthetic. The self- actualization needs are never fully satiable. As an individual grows psychologically, opportunities keep cropping up to continue growing.

ERG Theory

The five human wants described in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, have been summarized  to three levels by Clayton Alderfer: Existence Needs, Relatedness Needs and Growth Needs.

1. Existence Needs

According to Clayton Alderfer, Existence Needs are endurance needs that communicate with Abraham Maslow’s physiological and safety needs.

To live, every individual needs extrinsic values such as food, drink, warmth and love. Clayton Alderfer thinks these Existence Needs are obvious and that they form the basis for human existence.

2. Relatedness Needs

The Relatedness Needs center on relatedness needs. Humans are social animals and need appreciation from the people directly involved in their lives such as family, friends, colleagues and employers. The Relatedness Needs narrate with Abraham Maslow’s social needs and external self-esteem needs. Interpersonal relationships are important for a person’s social status and interaction with other people.

3. Growth Needs

With Growth Needs, Clayton Alderfer focuses on the need of people to grow and develop them. The Growth Needs correspond with the fifth level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs that correspond with self-actualization needs. For the inner self-esteem it is important for people to grow as a person

Similarities between Maslows Hierarchy of Needs and ERG Theory

Following are the similarities;

  • Both are content theories.
  • The basic needs emphasized in both are the same.
  • The overall structure of need categories is also the same; Alderfer has grouped further the five needs enunciated by Maslow; and
  • Both deal with upward movement of motivation according to the hierarchy.

Dissimilarities between Maslows Hierarchy of Needs and ERG Theory

Following are the dissimilarities;

  • Maslow’s main contention is hierarchy of needs, whereas Alderfer focused more on a continuum of needs than their hierarchical levels.
  • Thus, ERG needs do not maintain sharp lines of demarcation.
  • Unlike Maslow Alderfer also envisaged downward movement in the hierarchy. In his opinion, there can be not only satisfaction progression but frustration regression as well; and
  • Alderfer also recognized the influence of a man’s personal background and his natural environment. Accordingly, related needs may in some cases take precedence over existence needs.

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November 14, 2018