Motivation is influenced by the needs of a person. There is a priority of certain needs over others. The importance of needs will influence the level of motivation. A.H. Maslow, an American social scientist, has given a framework that helps to explain the strength of certain needs. He has categorized human needs into five categories. He is of the opinion that a person tries to achieve first category first and then moves on to the next and so on.

  1. Physiological Needs: -These needs are most essential for the survival and maintenance of body. These include food, clothing, drinking, shelter, rest, exercise etc. A man will try to satisfy these needs first. Unless physiological needs are satisfied no other needs will motivation him. Once these needs and satisfied then these will cease to motivate him and he will want to satisfy the other .needs.
  2. Safety Needs: – Once physiological needs are satisfied then safety needs take the precedence. These are the needs to be free from physical danger and the fear of loss of job, property, shelter, etc. One would like to be free from economic worries like loss of job, sickness, old age pension etc. The physical safety against murder, accident, fire, etc is also essential. The physical and economic needs act as motivation upto the time they are not properly met.


“According to McGregor, “Safety needs may serve as motivators in such circumstance as arbitrary management actions, behavior which arouses uncertainty with respect to continued unemployment and unpredictable administration of policy. The organization can meet safety needs by installing safety devices at work and can start pension scheme, insurance plan etc.

  1. Social Needs: -Since people are human beings, they need to belong, to be accepted by others. When social needs become dominant, human being will strike to have meaningful association with others. In an organization workers may form informal groups for exchange of ideas. If management tries to have close supervision and control then workers may retort against such environment. The communication among workers should be encourage to remove the irritants.
  2. Esteem or Ego Needs: -The needs are concerned with self- respect, self- confidence, feeling of being unique, recognition, etc. The satisfaction of these needs brings confidence, power, control and prestige. Some of the social problems have their roots in the unfulfilment of these needs.
  3. Self fulfillment or Actualization Needs: -Self-fulfillment is the highest need in Maslow’s hierarchy. This refers to the needs which help an individual to develop his potentialities. He tries to do whatever he can and has a sort of self-development. A person tries to do what ever he is capable of doing. He tries to bring out something hidden in him. The self-fulfillment needs give satisfaction to the person concerned and are good for the society also.

Maslow has categorized the needs in order of priority. An individual spends money from one need to another. When one need is satisfied the other becomes the motivator. All the needs are interdependent. It is not necessary that only one need is satisfied at one time. A person may move to other needs even if earlier needs are not fully satisfied. When the peak of a need passes then it causes to be a motivator.

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