Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, McGregor Theory and Herzberg Two Factor Theory

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1504 Words
Date:  2022-09-22

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs

According to Simply Psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory comprises of the five-tier human needs model (Simply Psychology 2018). These models, arranged in the hierarchy within a pyramid, such that focus is on the requirements in the lower levels which are to be satisfied before embarking on the higher level needs. The standards from the top of the pyramid downwards include self-actualization, esteem, love and belonging, safety, and physiological. Furthermore, this five-tier human needs model, grouped into two, in essence, the first level referred to as the growth needs. Consequently, the last four levels are related to as deficiency needs.

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Deficiency needs are as a result of the denial of essential wants, hence are a source of motivation for people to meet these demands (McLeod 2018). Time plays a significant role in motivating people to meet these needs, for instance when the deficiency needs, denied for long, there is stronger motivation to satisfy such requirements. Deficiency needs do go away when filled; consequently, one's habit, redirected towards meeting the future needs to be satisfied. Growth needs are not inspired by deprivation of any sort, but by the lack of self-growth as an individual. The goal of satisfying the growth needs is to enable an individual to attain the highest level of self-actualization (Maslow and Stephens 2000, p.10).

The movement from one level to another, hampered by various factors present in the life of an individual; hence the change from subsequent levels is not the same for everybody. The following is a breakdown of the five-tier need levels:

  • Physiological- they are the primary biological needs to facilitate human survival, which include food, air, shelter, clothing, and among such requirements.
  • Safety- Factors are facilitating the safety of an individual that protects from various risk elements.
  • Love and belongingness- there is need of a feeling of belonging, hence the need to develop proper interpersonal skills to enhance one's behavior.
  • Esteem- people crave for respect and decent reputation hence develop habits to earn them respect.
  • Self-actualization- achieving personal set potential is the goal for many people as they will have the feeling of self-fulfillment.

People tend to get attached to a business organization where their needs are considered adequate. Some of the factors leading to job satisfaction and employee retention include sufficient pay, security in the working environment, offering incentives, and generally having the needs of the workforce at heart. Growth needs are only fulfilled in the working environment when the employees are assigned a complex task, consequently achieving it. The accomplishment of a complex task gives an individual the feeling of satisfaction hence self-actualization to accomplish following tasks (Bergmann 2006, p.130).

McGregor Theory

A psychologist, Donald McGregor, proposed two theories about human behavior during work, which include X and Y theories (Yaeger 2011, p.21). These theories are not considered to represent one type of personnel or the other; rather these theories are two extremes having a spectrum of possible characteristics found in the work environment. These theories are the basis of how the managers explain their workers' motivation, consequently, how their managerial operations can be affected.

According to The Human Side of Enterprise, when the personnel do not develop an interest in their work operations, there would be little motivation to undertake their duties as required effectively (McGregor and Cutcher-Gershenfeld 2008, p.41). The manager, limited into using the official form of management which entails closely managing the personnel to ensure the responsibilities allocated to them accomplished in due time. Therefore, McGregor named this authoritarian style of management as Theory X. However, the person may have a passion for their work as characterized by their excellent performance in various duties allocated to them. The manager thus has a strong belief in their workers to be doing good jobs. The manager trusts the personnel as they are presumed to have a sense of belonging for their position. Therefore, McGregor named this participative style of management as Theory Y.

Theory X entails the managers having a pessimistic view on their personnel in accomplishing the tasks assigned to them. The theory is of the assumption the staff dislike their work and are unmotivated by default. Therefore, to make the personnel work, the manager results into various options which include punishments, offering rewards, or constant prompting. Prizes may be in the form of performance appraisals and increased wages, among others. To effectively apply Theory X in the work environment, an organization has to have several managers in each level to closely monitor the work operations. The personnel does not have free will as often authority, exclusively centralized to the top managing body (Zendage 2018, p.24).

Theory Y views managers to trust their personnel, hence optimistic they will accomplish their work will little or no supervision. The delegation of power within the organization is primarily decentralized thus enabling the entire workforce to become participative in the management. Participative style of management culminates into trust, collaboration, and the general healthy working environment in the working environment. Therefore, the person develops a feeling of self-worth as they are trusted with responsibility. The workers also have a chance to grow their skills as they are free to explore their abilities in accomplishing various tasks under minimal supervision from the higher managers. The personnel develops satisfaction in their jobs as they are offered free will, as appraisals are usually in the form of open and free communication rather than controlled which limit their capabilities. Organizations practicing Theory Y system of management often retain their workforce as the employees have the chance of promotion. Workers also need an opportunity for self-actualization rather than just wages.

Herzberg Two Factor Theory

According to the article One More Time: How do You Motivate Employees, there are factors when introduced in the working environment, they will prompt workers to work effectively (Herzberg 2008, p.27). These factors prompting workers to work harder referred to as motivators. Moreover, there are factors present in the working environment which work to demoralize the workers in their operations. Hence, if these factors are not present in the work environment, employees would not have the motivation to work and are known as hygiene factors.

The motivators' factors are focused on the actual job, for example, whether the work is unusual for the personnel, and whether the workers have additional opportunity to be given extra responsibility, appreciation, and promotion. However, the hygiene factors are not the actual job, instead, are found in the workplace environment. For instance, the person may appear for work if the manager meets their set conditions regarding wages, security, and among other factors. These factors in the working environment, however, will not work as a motivation for the personnel to work harder in their job (Herzberg 2008, p.30).

According to Herzberg, business organizations need to motivate their employees by the adoption of various techniques which include:

  • Enlargement of the job description- the workers will have a vast variety of tasks to perform hence making their workplace interesting.
  • Enrichment- workers provided with complex tasks which are challenging, hence once accomplished, workers will have the feeling of accomplishment.
  • Empowerment- the authority is decentralized; hence the general personnel is free to make their own rational decisions in their working environment.

Managers are increasingly pressured with the need of retaining their workers, consequently, making them accomplish the tasks assigned to them in due time. The challenge is the limited resources available which cannot fully meet the needs of the business organization. Therefore, Herzberg's two-factor Theory will enable personnel retention and job satisfaction through the programs developed to enrich workers, thus increasing their motivation in the work environment. This theory links to job satisfaction through the reduction of redundancy in the working environment by providing workers with a broader job description. Enlargement of the job description gives room for adventure; hence the worker will develop the feeling of accomplishment when they accomplish tasks previously perceived impossible (Herzberg 2008, p. 25).

Conversely, people tend to remain in their jobs where they have an opportunity to develop feelings of satisfaction. But also, people quit their careers with the aim of looking for a better chance elsewhere to accomplish achievement. Decentralization plays a significant role in ensuring the personnel can undertake best practices with minimal supervision from higher authorities. Moreover, the feeling of being valued will retain the staff in the workforce and make them work harder to receive further incentives in the future.


Bergmann, G. (2006). The seven human needs. Hafnafjordur, Iceland: Hanuman, pp. 126-134.

Herzberg, F. (2008). One more time. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press, pp. 26-30.

Maslow, A. and Stephens, D. (2000). The Maslow, business reader. New York: Wiley, pp. 10-12.

McGregor, D. and Cutcher-Gershenfeld, J. (2008). The human side of the enterprise. McGraw-Hill Professional, pp. 30-45.

McLeod, S. (2018). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Simply Psychology.

Simply Psychology. (2018). Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Yaeger, T. (2011). Honoring Douglas McGregor and the human side of the enterprise. Emerald Group Pub. Ltd, pp. 16-30.

Zendage, H. (2018). DOUGLAS MCGREGOR THEORY X AND Y. Scholarly Research Journal for Humanity Science & English Language, 6(26), pp.20-25.

Cite this page

Maslow Hierarchy of Needs, McGregor Theory and Herzberg Two Factor Theory. (2022, Sep 22). Retrieved from

Free essays can be submitted by anyone,

so we do not vouch for their quality

Want a quality guarantee?
Order from one of our vetted writers instead

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the ProEssays website, please click below to request its removal:

didn't find image

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism