Knowledge Workers, Maslow’s Heirarchy and the Spiritual Dimension…02.02.09

2 02 2009

The Knowledge Workers ‘s blog today posted an interesting piece about perspective in Challenging Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs which is excerpted here:

“It’s an oversimplification, but Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs says that you can more or less figure out how people will behave at any moment by looking at their underlying needs…

Jim Clemmer and Art MacNeil make an important criticism of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory in their book “Leadership skills for Every Manager” (ISBN 0861889630)…

Clemmer and McNeil suggest that Manslow misses the point because he left people’s spiritual dimension out of the picture. They say that humans look for meaning in their lives and that meaning transcends any animalistic drives. In their words, ‘even starving people are not immune to the lure of higher values.’…  

A more scientific criticism was published in the 1977 edition of the learned journal, ‘The Annual Review of Psychology’. Here, A.K. Korman, J.H. Greenhaus and I.J. Badin wrote that there’s no actual empirical (that is researched) evidence to support Maslow’s ideas. In fact, they argue the empirical evidence actually points in the opposite direction. Other critics have pointed out that Manslow came up with his theories after observing only a handful of people and therefore it lacks scientific rigor…

the important thing about Maslow’s idea is that it is a good, maybe crude, starting point for understanding what drives other people. From our point of view, managing and motivating other Knowledge Workers, the Hierarchy of Needs provides a useful template that sometimes, but not always, helps to explain how and why people behave.”

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