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Abraham Maslow Concepts & Theories

It is a blend of these ways of knowing that serves as a foundation of Maslow’s theories and concepts from his hierarchy of needs and motivation to self-actualization.

Maslow’s theories of motivation are particularly useful when applied to the organizational setting. Maslow theorized that individuals were motivated by the fulfillment of certain needs. These needs he constructed to be pyramidal in significance and achievement. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs consists of higher and lower orders. Lower order needs at the base of the pyramidal hierarchy include physiological and safety needs. The higher order needs include social, esteem, and self-actualization needs. As Robbins (2003) notes, “The two orders were differentiated on the premise that higher-order needs are satisfied internally, whereas lower-order needs are predominantly satisfied externally” (44). As each of these needs is satisfied, the next higher-order need become predominant with respect to individual motivation, satisfaction, and healthy development. At the top of the pyramid is Maslow’s concept of self-actualization. Self-actualization is defined as “The drive to become what one is capable of becoming; includes growth, achieving one’s potential, and self-fulfillment” (Robbins 2003, 44).

Maslow’s basic motivation process involves the creation and reduction of tension due to either unsatisfied needs or satisfied needs respectively. If a need remains unsatisfied, such as being thirsty, the individual will experience tension that will drive them to behave in a manner that satisfies the need. Once the need is satisfied, say by a glass of water, there is a reduction of tension in the individual who will then try to fulfill higher order needs. Such theories applied to the organization and individuals often prove successful with respect to motivation and self-development. For example, the nursing profession is experience a dramatic shortage o...

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Abraham Maslow Concepts & Theories. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 03:54, August 23, 2017, from
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