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MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS:
A THEORY OF HUMAN MOTIVATION
Maslow suggests that humans are motivated to fulfil their needs according to a
hierarchy of importance to survival. It is helpful in understanding why an individual’s personal
and work motivation changes in response to events that disrupt how their lower level needs are met.
The pyramid has four levels of deficit need, (physiological, safety and security,
love and belonging, and esteem needs). We are motivated to fulfil these needs
purely on instinct according to what is most important to our survival at that
moment in time. Once that need is met we can then focus on meeting the next
higher level need. And once all the deficit needs are met we can then change our
focus to growth. Maslow termed this self- actualisation.