Motivation and Maslow

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

In 1954, an American Psychologist by the name of Abraham Maslow put forward his theory of what motivates human beings. His ideas did not solely apply to the workplace but nevertheless had an important message for Business.

Questions (From Lewis & Trevitt, & Chambers, Hall and Squires)

How would Maslow’s theory answer the following:

A – Why in times of high unemployment are people more likely to take the first job they can get rather than looking around?
B – Why do some top company directors, who are already wealthy, need such high pay rises in order to keep them in the company?
C – Beyonce and Jay-Z are worth millions and run their own record companies. 100,000 people watched Beyonce’s concert at Glastonbury last Summer. Why do they continue to produce and perform music instead of relaxing by the pool at one of their luxury homes?
D – What motivates some Nurses, Doctors or Teachers to give up their reasonably well paid jobs in this country in order to work in a Hospital or School in a third world country?
E – Why do some companies provide sports and social clubs and organise nights out for their employees?

2. Put yourself in the following situations and list the needs that you think would be met and those that would not be met:

A – You leave year 11 to take a job as a checkout operator at a local supermarket.
B – You leave year 11 to study A-Levels.
C – You are David Beckham!

Extra Task:

Rename the following jobs to make the employees feel more important, more motivated, gain more respect, and remove any stigma.

Old Name – New Name?

Dustbin Man / Woman Refuse Collector –
Mouse Catcher Rodent Exterminator –
Milkman / Woman –
Cook –
Paper Boy / Girl –
Builder –
Teacher –
Sales Person –


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