Unformatted text preview: w’s Needs Model Maslow believed that human beings have ﬁve ascending types of needs that they seek to satisfy or fulﬁll within different environments (1999, 39– 40). At the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs are the basic physiological needs for food, shelter, and clothing
(ﬁgure 1). These needs must be “reasonably satisﬁed” before a person will turn his or her attention to the next higher order need, though “‘reasonable satisfaction’ is culturally deﬁned.
A subsistence level of satisfaction of physical needs in our society today is far higher than
that, say, in the villages of India” (McGregor 1967, 11). Once physiological needs are met
(and there is a certain assurance that they will continue to be met), a person turns his or her
attention toward the need for safety from danger. McGregor’s observations about the work
environment led him to conclude that most employees were not primarily concerned about
either physiological or safety needs. The culture and structure of the workplace in the midtwentieth century generally seemed to satisfy such needs (1960).
Once a person feels reasonably certain that he or she can obtain necessary food and
shelter, and that these items will not be taken away, that person will then turn his or her attention toward social relationships. Humans have a need for a sense of belonging and to
share personal experiences with other human beings, but that need is pursued only when
lower level needs have been met.
Beyond the need for belonging are two forms of “esteem” needs. The ﬁrst is the need for
respect from one’s peers, or status, which Maslow called a “lower” form of esteem (1998, 23;
Rowan 1998). The higher form is self-esteem, a sense of conﬁdence and autonomy in which
a person may not care as much about the respect or esteem in which others hold him or her
(without being self-centered).
At the top of the hierarchy of needs is self-actualization. Self-actualization needs are
complicated, but they encompass the idea of reaching one’s fullest potential, doing work that
is important and challenging and that provides a sense of creative satisfaction:
We may deﬁne [self-actualization] as an episode, or a spurt in which the powers of the person
come together in a particularly efﬁcient and intensely enjoyable way, and in which he is B...
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