The hierarchy of needs and the hygiene theory are alike but are also different. I shall go through each one of these theories and inform the reader of thesedifferences and similarities. Each one in its own right is correct but now thatwe near the millenium, we should rethink or atleast re-read these theories andsee if they are, in fact, still alive today.
Abraham Maslow is known forestablishing the theory of a hierarchy of needs, writing that human beings aremotivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to besatisfied before higher needs can be satisfied. Maslow studied exemplary peoplesuch as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglasrather than mentally ill or neurotic people. This was a radical departure fromtwo of the chief schools of psychology of his day: Freud and B. F. Skinner.
Freudsaw little difference between the motivations of humans and animals. We aresupposedly rational beings; however, we do not act that way. Such pessimism,Maslow believed, was the result of Freud’s study of mentally ill people. “The study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens canyield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy” (Motivation andPersonality).
Skinner, on the other hand, studied how pigeons and white ratslearn. His motivational models were based on simple rewards such as food andwater, sex, and avoidance of pain. Say “sit” to your dog and give thedog a treat when it sits, and-after several repetitions–the dog will sit whenyou command it to do so. Maslow thought that psychologists should instead studythe playfulness, affection, etc. , of animals. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was analternative to the depressing determinism of Freud and Skinner.
He felt thatpeople are basically trustworthy, self-protecting, and self-governing. Humanstend toward growth and love. Although there is a continuous cycle of human wars,murder, deceit, etc. , he believed that violence is not what human nature ismeant to be like. Violence and other evils occur when human needs are thwarted.
In other words, people who are deprived of lower needs such as safety may defendthemselves by violent means. He did not believe that humans are violent becausethey enjoy violence. Or that they lie, cheat, and steal because they enjoy doingit. According to Maslow, there are general types of needs (physiological,safety, love, and esteem) that must be satisfied before a person can actunselfishly.
He called these needs “deficiency needs. ” As long as weare motivated to satisfy these cravings, we are moving towards growth, towardself-actualization. Satisfying needs is healthy; locking gratification makes ussick or evil. In other words, we are all “needs junkies” with cravingsthat must be satisfied and should be satisfied.
Else, we become sick. Needs areproponent. A proponent need is one that has the greatest influence over ouractions. Everyone has a proponent need, but that need will vary amongindividuals. A teenager may have a need to feel that a group accepts him. Aheroin addict will need to satisfy his/her cravings for heroin to functionnormally in society, and will not worry about acceptance by other people.
According to Maslow, when the deficiency needs are met: At once other (andhigher) needs emerge, and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate theorganism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still higher)needs emerge, and so on. As one desire is satisfied, another pops up to take itsplace. Physiological needs are the very basic needs such as air, water, food,sleep, sex, etc. When these are not satisfied we may feel sickness, irritation,pain, discomfort, etc. These feelings motivate us to alleviate them as soon aspossible to establish homeostasis.
Once they are alleviated, we may think aboutother things. Safety needs have to do with establishing stability andconsistency in a chaotic world. These needs are mostly psychological in nature. We need the security of a home and family.
However, if a family is dysfunction,i. e. , an abusive husband, the wife cannot move to the next level because she isconstantly concerned for her safety. Love and belongingness have to wait untilshe is no longer cringing in fear. Many in our society cry out for law and orderbecause they do not feel safe enough to go for a walk in their neighborhood.
Many people, particularly those in the inner cities, unfortunately, are stuck atthis level. In addition, safety needs sometimes motivate people to be religious. Religions comfort us with the promise of a safe secure place after we die andleave the insecurity of this world. Love and belongingness are next on theladder. Humans have a desire to belong to groups: clubs, work groups, religiousgroups, family, gangs, etc. We need to feel loved (non-sexual) by others, to beaccepted by others.
Performers appreciate applause. We need to be needed. Beercommercials, in addition to playing on sex, also often show how beer makes forcamaraderie. When was the last time you saw a beer commercial with someonedrinking beer alone? There are two types of esteem needs. First is self-esteem,which results from competence or mastery of a task.
Second, there’s theattention and recognition that comes from others. This is similar to thebelongingness level; however, wanting admiration has to do with the need forpower. People who have all of their lower needs satisfied, often drive veryexpensive cars because doing so raises their level of esteem. “Hey, lookwhat I can afford!” The need for self-actualization is “the desire tobecome more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable ofbecoming.
” People who have everything can maximize their potential. Theycan seek knowledge, peace, esthetic experiences, self-fulfillment, and onenesswith God, etc. It is usually middle-class to upper-class students who take upenvironmental causes, join the Peace Corps, go off to a monastery, etc. On theother hand, Herzberg`s hygiene theory is not as complicated as Maslow. Herzberg’s methods still yield useful results.
His use of event descriptionsencouraged honest replies, and his insistence on events of extreme feelingsensured that the important factors were mentioned. Respondents did not offer anynew event factors that were not in Herzberg’s study 30 years ago. Some oldfactors, however, were noticeably absent. Salary and working conditions were notmentioned as a satisfier or as a dissatisfier, suggesting that they are notimportant as motivators or demotivators. Advancement as a satisfier did notappear as well.
However, these indications could easily be due to either a smallsample or single-company bias. The event factors still split into satisfiers anddissatisfiers, confirming the duality of the Dual Factor Theory. Achievement wasstill the top motivator, and company policy the largest demotivator. Recognitionand responsibility functioned as a satisfier only half as much as in Herzberg’sstudy. The relationship between factors, attitudes, and effects still held.
Whatwas interesting was the impact on performance. When events caused positiveattitudes, performance increased in most cases. When events caused negativeattitudes, performance decreased in most cases. Although confidentiality couldbe maintained in this study, using a survey made a poor response rate morelikely.
To mitigate this effect, future studies should consider corporateendorsement of the study, a system to trace responses, or a switch to aninterview of a limited number of employees. The duration of events was used toeliminate events that never ended. These represented a state of mind more thanan event and were not applicable to the analysis. The duration of feelings wasto identify those events that were more important as a result of their lastingimpact. In general, observed differences from the 1950s data can be explained bysample bias, and the points of agreement support the contention that Herzberg’smotivational theory is alive and well in the 1990s.
Herzberg thought it morelikely that the truth would emerge when an individual could describe an actualevent, especially a memorable one. To answer the second part of the question,Herzberg`s theory didn`t say anything about salaries to motivate performance. Ifound that in Maslow`s theory, salary would probably be an esteem need. Ifsomeone has a higher salary then a fellow worker, they might see the car theydrive or house they live in.
The lower salary worker would see this and, inturn, be motivated if a raise was promised. So, then he could compete with hisfellow worker.