Abraham Maslow in 1943, in his paper, A Theory of Human Motivation, presented a detailed bifurcation of a human’s need which motivates and compels him to perform any particular action. Abraham Maslow gave a theory based on his research which is know an MASLOW’S NEED HIERARCHY THEORY.  In an organisational structure, these needs perform a key role in an employee’s performance. Humans move on to the next set of needs when the previous one are fulfilled and so on until we attain Self-Actualization. Maslow’s need hierarchy theory explains what all things can motivate a person at a specific level in the need hierarchy. Moving from the ground up, a person keeps on striving to fulfil those needs until all of them are met.


A human starts with his basic needs which are known as Physiological Needs in the need hierarchy theory. This set of needs contain the basic biological requirement of a human being necessary for his survival. A human cannot move onto the next set of needs until this one is fulfilled. Physiological needs of a man consists of basic needs such as food, clothing shelter, healthy living environment, etc. When a person has met all those aforementioned needs, he moves onto the next set of needs.

When a human has met all that is necessary for his existence, i.e. his Physiological Needs, he moves onto Security Needs. This set of requirements consists of security and safety which a human desires. These requirements are not as demanding as physiological needs, but are important for survival. Security needs involve things like Financial Security, safety of a safe neighbourhood, job security, and property etc.

Next in the need hierarchy come Social Needs, this includes things like love, friendship and belongingness. These needs according to Maslow are less basic than Physiological and Security needs. The existence of family, social circle and such things fulfil this set of requirements, and so does involvement in social circles and religious groups.

Now that the physiological, security and social needs are no longer driving a human, Esteem Needs take the wheel. Esteem needs are the need of self-esteem and social respect. Humans have a need for stable and firm esteem in one’s own eyes and in the eyes of others. This set of needs, reflect upon a person’s self esteem, his worth and his public image.

Last in Maslow’s needs hierarchy theory is placed Self-Actualisation Need. These needs focus on a human’s self-awareness and mental consciousness. This set of need is about finding and being what a human is meant to be, like a musician making music, an artist making a painting a poet writing a poem. Self-Actualisation needs are different for every individual and vary according to a person’s preference. One must not only achieve, but also master all the above needs to get to Self-Actualisation.

Maslow’s need hierarchy theory form an important part in the business world today as an employee needs to be motivated every now and then for him/her to offer his full potential, and this theory explains what can be a good motivating factor for every individual according to his level in the need hierarchy.