Maslow's Needs Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Reframing Organizations

Common sense suggests that pay is a good motivator. The logic is: "You get what you pay for."

Provide examples of three different career tracks where people clearly are not focused on earning high pay.

For each of your examples. Describe what the key motivators are.

Farm workers/Laborers

Cesar Chavez once said that, (Farm workers) are responsible for the planting, cultivating as well as harvesting huge amounts of food for the whole society. They are responsible for the production of such large amounts of food that it can feed the whole country and can be exported as well. The tragic and ironic thing here is that at the end of the day these farmers don't have enough food left to keep for themselves. They don't even have sufficient amounts of money after all this hard work.

Sadly, this is the kind of paradox that has always been there in our food systems and it is present today as well. The farmers who work so hard to produce all this food don't have enough money or food at the end of the day to provide for their families. In fact, researches show that in U.S., farmers have the lowest annual family incomes as compared to any of the other salary worker in the U.S.

Recently, the U.S. Department of Labor published a report which was based on the National Agricultural Workers Survey (NAWS). According to this report the farmers in U.S. work on average around 42 hours every week and they earn $7.25 per hour. However, this average rate can vary a lot depending on the employer of the farmers. For instance, the farmers who have been worker for the same employer for many years can earn a lot more than the rest of the workers. On average the farmers annual income can be anywhere from 10,000 to $12,499 for individuals and $15,000 to $17,499 for a family. In U.S. The federal poverty line for an individual is $10,830 while for a family of four its $22,050(Education Center, 2013).

Majority of these workers don't even pay any attention to the short or long-term health issues that they might face due to their work as they are more focused on providing for their families. We can have an idea of the condemnation for the ethics of this industry as well as the priorities of the federal and state labor agencies (Factory Farm Workers, 2012)

2. Childcare Workers

The child care workers make around 30 to 60% less amount of money per hour as compared to the women who teach the kindergarten students or who are elementary school teachers. An even more shocking fact is that the women who have the same level of education as the child care workers are able to earn 40% more than these workers (Fuchs, 2000). The amount of money earned by the Private Child Care workers is merely 59% of the base group. 75% for the base group is earned by the public child care workers. The lowest earning from amongst all of the child care workers are of the ones who are self-employed. In 1980 $5.20 per hour was the average wage of the base group (Fuchs, 2000).

Most of the childcare workers are motivated emotionally. They know that the program is parallel to their values and their hard work helps the children to learn different things. There are different childcare centers where the employees are sent to attend different conferences and training programs. Most of the childcare workers are motivated by their passion (Baldwin, 2007).

3. Retail Salespeople

The 2nd lowest paid salespeople are the retail salespeople. $25,310 per year is the amount of money earned by the full-time retail salespeople which makes their hourly wage around $12.17. There are more than 4.3 million retail sales people and Washington State provides the best amount of hourly wages for them. There they can make around $14.03 per hour or $29,180 annually (Smith, 2013).

The main motivational point for retail salespeople is making commission out of the sales. Other than that, their only motivation is to earn for their family so that they can live a better life than the ones who do not earn enough.


Which of 'Maslow's needs in his hierarchy of needs are most closely associated with the idea that 'Pay is a good motivator'? Which 'needs' do not support this contention. Explain your answer.

There are certain needs which motivate us all and these basic needs are inborn and they evolved over a period of thousands of years. We can make use of Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs in order to understand how we are motivated by these needs. According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs there is a need for us to satisfy each one of our needs in turn, beginning with the first one which is our need for survival. It is only when our lower level physical and emotional needs are satisfied that we move on to fulfilling our higher order needs (Maslow's hierarchy of needs, 2011). There are 2 hierarchies of needs which are associated more closely with the concept that 'pay is a good motivator.'

Physiological needs- The basic need for food, water, shelter and clothing comes under this category. With regards to these needs it should be the duty of the manager to make sure that the employees are being paid enough so that they can afford to fulfill their basic needs and should be provided with breaks to have some food and rest (, 2013).

Esteem needs-There are two kinds of esteem needs: external esteem needs (status, recognition, admiration, power and attention) and internal esteem needs (achievement, self- respect, freedom, confidence and competence). With regards to the esteem needs the employees can be appreciated when they do their jobs right by the manager such as by giving them bonus or promotions etc.(, 2013).

The hierarchies of needs which do not support this argument are:

Social needs- Need for care, love, friendship and affection comes under the social needs and the managers should organize social events as well as teamwork activities for the employees (, 2013).

Self-actualization need- This is basically the need to become what you have the potential of becoming. This need can never be completely satisfied as, it keeps on evolving and growing (, 2013).


Hygiene Factors

The motivation behind the hygiene factors is to prevent any unpleasantness from taking place at work. In case that the employees consider these factors to not be enough, dissatisfaction can take place in the workplace (Riley, 2012). Following are some of the hygiene factors:

- Company policy and administration

- Working conditions

- Wages, salaries and other financial remuneration

- Feelings of job security

- Quality of supervision

- Quality of inter-personal relations (Riley, 2012)

Motivator Factors

It's the need for personal growth that these factors are based upon and job satisfaction is created upon the fulfillment of these factors (Riley, 2012). Some of these factors are:

- Status

- Responsibility

- Gaining recognition

- Opportunity for advancement

- Sense of personal achievement & personal growth in a job

- Challenging / stimulating work (Riley, 2012)

Whenever the research and theories of Herzberg's are talked about the question that "to what level money is a motivator?" always arises. It was concluded by Herzberg that money isn't really a motivator in such a manner that the basic motivators are recognition and achievement (Frederick Herzberg motivational theory, 2006).

However, it is still argued by a lot of people that money is a primary motivator.

D. In his well-known book 'Punished by Rewards', Alfie Kohn makes it clear that tying rewards to performance often does not lead to desired behaviors.

It has been found through extensive researches and studies that the modification programs are hardly ever successful. It has been noticed that as soon as the rewards stop people go back to the way they were before. In fact recent studies have also shown that the children whose parents give them more rewards tend to be less generous with their fellows (Fabes et al., 1989; Grusec, 1991; Kohn 1990)

According to both the research as well as logic, rewards and punishments aren't really opposite. In fact they are 2 sides of the same coin. In both the cases the behavior of a person is being tried to be manipulated and in case of children this can turn out to be quite bad since they don't think what they want to be rather what is expected of me (Digest, 1994).

Rewards are not at all helpful in improving achievement and neither are they any good at inculcating good values. It has been shown through at least 2 dozen studies that the employees expecting nothing at the end of a task completion do a lot better than the ones who are expecting a reward (Kohn, 1993). Generally speaking, the amount of open-ended thinking and cognitive sophistication that is needed in order to do a task gets blocked or hindered…

Cite This Term Paper:

"Maslow's Needs" (2014, August 31) Retrieved August 19, 2017, from

"Maslow's Needs" 31 August 2014. Web.19 August. 2017. <>

"Maslow's Needs", 31 August 2014, Accessed.19 August. 2017,