Explore BrainMass

Theory of Motivation/Hierarchy of Needs

Considering theories of motivation briefly explain Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory and explain the implications of the theory cross-culturally and from an international business perspective. Please provide 3-4 solid references. Thanks for your assistance.

Solution Preview

Maslow's hierarchy of needs begins at the bottom, with the most basic of needs, like food, clothing, and shelter. This is the physiological level. The next four levels, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization become more complex at each tier. The hierarchy often serves as a model to explain motivation in the workplace. Caplan (2013) describes motivation as a "force that drives people to attempt to satisfy important needs". It is critical for managers and those who lead within organizations to understand what motivates workers to fulfill their roles and further, to fulfill their roles competently and skillfully.

At the physiological level, workers need to work to support themselves and their families, to put food on the table and provide a comfortable place to live. While it is important to make a living and earn enough to provide basic needs, the income level may different from one culture to another. Much of this need is related to customs. Some cultures are accustomed to living with multiple generations in the same household. For them, the hourly wage or salary may not be as important as being with family. This is especially true of more than one generation is contributing to the household and expenses are shared. Ethnicity, culture, and gender may affect how a person thinks or feels about work (Stanford News Service, 1996). However, at the most basic level, working to make a living crosses most cultural and other demographic backgrounds. Income ranges vary from one nation to another. "Forty percent of the world's population, almost 3 billion people, live on less than $2 a day" (Brown, 2002). With such low expectations for wages, it can be tempting for multinational corporations to take advantage and move much of their operations to countries where wages are extremely ...

Solution Summary

A theory of motivation/hierarchy of needs are discussed. An explanation of Maslow's hierarchy and implications of the theory cross-culturally is provided.