Firms today are facing fierce and strong competition and this has brought with it many challenges. To ensure their survival, companies must continually improve in both efficiency and effectiveness (Buble, Juras and Matic, 2014). Because of this, every organization must seek to exploit its workforce's potential, and the place of leadership in this can't be understated. Everyone knows that leadership is central in helping an organization achieve its goals and in aiding information sharing in the organization (Buble, Juras and Matic, 2014). Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is U.S.'s largest retail company and has been placed first by Fortune Magazine on Fortune 500 Index (Hayden et al., n.d.). The corporate strategy at Wal-Mart is constituted of dominating retail market, expanding in the United States as well as international markets, creating a positive brand and Company Recognition as well as branching out into new retail sectors (Hayden et al., n.d.).
Definition of Maslow Theory
Abraham Maslow is one of the most popular 20th century psychologists and its diagram of hierarchy of needs and the pyramid representation of the ranking of human needs is known by almost all managers and students (Saylor, 2011). The theory presented by Maslow is grounded on the premise that humans do have needs which are hierarchical. Some needs are basic to everyone and without them, there is nothing else that matters. The satisfaction of these needs sets us on another path to satisfy other needs that are higher-order. A lower need already satisfied ceases to be a motivating factor (Saylor, 2011).
Physiological needs are the most basic of human needs. They are water, food and air. At a point where one is hungry, all the behavior of the person is trained at getting food; as soon as food is found, that ceases to be a motivator (Saylor, 2011). Safety becomes the next need following the satisfaction of physiological needs. After safety there are social needs which are need to receive love, to form attachments and to bond with others. In fact, the absence of attachments has serious psychological effects on a person's well-being and health. After meeting social needs, one seeks esteem needs (Saylor, 2011). These are the needs to be held in high regard by peers and to be appreciated. At the peak of it all is self-actualization. This is reaching the peak of achievement and "being all you can be." This is shown by a need to acquire new skills, take new challenges and behave in a way that advances you towards the attainment of your life goals (Saylor, 2011).
A man must be all he can be. This argument is the basis of self-actualization. This level of need refers to a person's capability and potential and the realization of that potential. Maslow gave a description of this need as a person wanting to be more and more of what he/she really is - becoming all that they can become (College of Redwoods, 2010). This definition is broad but its application to needs of individuals is specific (College of Redwoods, 2010). For instance, a person may desire being a good parent; another individual might pursue excellence in athletics while in another person the need could be expressed in art. As earlier mentioned, reaching this level requires one to have attained the lower hierarchy needs first (College of the Redwoods, 2010).
All people desire to win the respect of other people and to be people of self-respect and self-esteem. This is called the need to belong. Esteem is shown in a person's need to be valued and accepted by other people (College of Redwoods, 20100. Engagement helps individuals get recognition. A person's participation in various activities gives them a sense of contribution and they feel valued and accepted in their hobby or profession. Where imbalances exist at this level, low self-esteem might result and a person might develop inferiority complex. Individuals having low self-esteem need others' respect. They might seek glory and fame, which is dependent on other people. One other factor that can contribute to low self-esteem is psychological imbalances like depression (Colege of the Redwoods, 2010).
The need to feel safe takes precedence following the satisfaction of physical needs (College of the Redwoods, 2010). The individuals yearn for predictability and orderliness in a world that is predominantly inconsistent and unfair (College of the Redwoods, 2010). At work, the needs are manifested in areas like a need for job security, having grievance channels for the protection of the person from authority, having a savings account, taking up insurance, etc. Needs in this category include: financial security, health, well-being, safety net against illness and accidents as well as the impacts they might have (College of the Redwoods, 2010).
These needs are obvious. Humans literally need them to survive. The human body will be dysfunctional if the needs are not met, save for sexual activity, shelter and clothing. Metabolism requires food, water and air. Needs like shelter and clothing are for protective purposes. Human sexual instinct intensity is determined by competition and not always necessarily for the maintenance of a birth rate needed for survival of the species (College of the Redwoods, 2010).
The Weakness of the Theory
Bridgewell and Wahba carried out extensive research on the ideas given by Maslow but not much evidence was found that supported ranking of human needs let alone a definite hierarchical ranking (College of the Redwoods, 2010). Manfred Max-Neef, a philosopher and economist from Chile also makes an argument against ranking of human needs. Maslow's theory has been criticized as well, as being too individualistic given the value and position sex is given on the pyramid. Sex is classified alongside food and breathing. It is an individualistic perspective - that sexual needs must first be satisfied before a person seeks to satisfy other needs. This perspective ignores the place of emotions, family as well as evolution as far as sex is concerned within any community (Colege of Redwoods, 2010).
The Strength of the Theory
Maslow presents a systematic means of viewing human needs and the needs employees might have at any particular time and gives explanations to the reactions they might have to various treatments (Saylor, 2011). Praise to an employee who wants to satisfy esteem needs will be accepted better than the same praise to an employee that wants to meet social needs when given in front of their peers as it separates him from the park (Saylor, 2011).
The paycheck might satisfy a person's physiological needs but it's necessary that the other needs are not forgotten. The provision of good benefits like health insurance and retirement plans will satisfy an employee's safety needs (Saylor, 2011).
Social needs will most likely be satisfied by having an easy and friendly workplace environment and providing conditions that allow communication and collaboration (Saylor, 2011). The provision of chances for promotion and recognizing the work and accomplishments of employees verbally or formally, and giving job titles that signify high achievement in the organization are some of the ways that esteem needs can be met (Saylor, 2011).
Herzberg's Two Factor Theory
Definition of the Theory
The theory proposes that job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction are influenced by two separate groups of factors (Stello, 2010). The two cannot therefore be measured in the same way. Herzberg hypothesized that a reliable measure of job satisfaction and dissatisfaction could not be done on the same continuum. He then carried out an empirical study in order to test his hypothesis (Stello, 2010). The hypothesis was developed further after some programs had been piloted. The initial hypothesis was that factors leading to positive attitudes and those leading to negative attitudes will differ. The new hypothesis was that factors and effects involved in long-range sequences of events would differ from those in short-range sequences (Stello, 2010).
According to the theory, Extrinsic factors contribute very little to the motivation of an employee. These factors just prevent dissatisfaction from arising at the workplace. These factors are also referred to as job context factors; they are given to the employees by some other individuals (Faunziah, Shen and Talha, 2013).
Motivation Factors are intrinsic and will lead to an increase in job satisfaction among employees. Extrinsic factors like Hygiene Factors are availed to guard against dissatisfaction. To ensure that productivity and motivation of employees is increased, management must address motivation factors (Fauziah, Shen and Talha, 2013). The factors that actually make a contribution to an employee's job satisfaction level are the intrinsic factors. They have been popularly referred to as job content factors and their aim is providing employees with meaningful work that can satisfy their needs at an intrinsic level. Intrinsic factors are quite valuable if you want to create lasting effect on performance of employees as they feed the human's need for growth psychologically. There will be an increase in productivity when the motivational needs of employees have been…