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Critics only dispute Maslow’s construction of those needs into a speciﬁc type of hierarchy.
There are multiple alternative constructs of needs in administration literature, many of which
have a substantial body of empirical support and contradict or challenge Maslow’s construct (Rowan 1998). Without this hierarchical structure, McGregor’s argument that worker
satisfaction and productivity will increase when managers provide autonomous and responsible environments (1960, 61) is substantially weakened. This would help explain ﬁndings that indicate worker satisfaction is substantially unrelated to productivity (Caruth and
Noe 1986; Locke 1982) and workers who are “self-actualized” are as likely to prefer a directive style of management as they are to prefer more autonomy (Kirton and Hammond
One must not forget that Maslow’s model of human motivation was more than a needs
hierarchy. Maslow believed that motivation or needs satisfaction was also tied to human
creativity. He believed that all humans had the capacity to be creative (1998, 13) and that
creativity took different forms (1968, 137). Maslow (and McGregor) understood selfactualized creativity to be innovative, that is, to consist of the ability to develop new ideas
or new solutions to problems (Maslow 1968, 137; 2000, 188). Maslow stated that the ability to innovate was an essential component of human life (1998, 13; 2000, 233 and the
following pages). McGregor shared the belief that “the capacity to exercise a high degree
of imagination” was widely dispersed in any population (1960, 48).
Both men personally approached problems innovatively. Warren Bennis once commented that Maslow approached problems “like a swashbuckling Candide, that is, with a
powerful innocence that is both threatening and receptive to widely held beliefs” (Gabor
2000, 182). Douglas McGregor had a similar problem-solving approach (Gabor 2000, 176).
Both men believed that innovation was a superior form of creativity and that every...
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