QS Study

Assumptions of Maslow’s Theory

Maslow proposed that motivation is the result of a person’s attempt at fulfilling five basic needs: physiological, safety, social, esteem and self-actualization. Maslow’s theory is based on the following assumptions:

(i) People’s behavior is based on their needs. Satisfaction of such needs influences their behavior.

(ii) People’s needs are in hierarchical order, starting from basic needs to other higher level needs.

(iii) A satisfied need can no longer motivate a person; only next higher level need can motivate him.

(iv) A person moves to the next higher level of the hierarchy only when the lower need is satisfied.

According to Maslow, individuals are motivated by unsatisfied needs. As each of these needs is significantly satisfied, it drives and forces the next need to emerge.

Maslow’s Theory focuses on the needs as the basis for motivation. This theory is widely recognized and appreciated. However, some of his propositions are questioned on his classification of needs and hierarchy of needs. But, despite such criticism, the theory is still relevant because needs, no matter how they are classified, are important to understand the behavior. It helps managers to realize that need level of employee should be identified to provide motivation to them.