Maslow Essay

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Article excerpt Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Theory is almost fifty years old. In that time, the educational and managerial fields have changed greatly. This article presents a debate of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs theory to reflect that in today's world, a closed triangle is not a valid representation. Instead, an open, wide faced structure is needed to better reflect that self actualization is never ending. And with this never ending self actualization, individuals can engender lifelong learning, change management, and boundlessness, all important factors for the 1990's educational and managerial environments. Fifty years ago the business world was a very different place. The economic boom of World War II shielded employees from downsizing, the vast number of immigrants provided management with plentiful, cost-efficient labor, and the "super power" image of America abroad was omnipresent. It was also fifty years ago, that Abraham Maslow developed his Hierarchy of Needs Model. His theory of human needs and motivation found that people fulfilled physical, security, social, esteem, and self-actualization needs in an orderly, ascending fashion. Depicted as a closed triangle, this model espoused that individuals may never satisfy all of their needs, especially needs at the highest level. Fifty years later, the business world has downsized, labor costs are increasing, and America's "super power" image is being challenged. What would Mr. Maslow say today? How would his triangle look? Since Maslow's unveiling of his Hierarchy of Needs Theory in 1954, his critics have been apparent. The Theory has been challenged on its lack of scientificity (Heylighen, 40), integrated conceptual structure, (Heylighen, 45), supportive research evidence (Wahba, 212), and validity of the concept (Schott, 109). Here I am not challenging, but rather suggesting to "update" the

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