We’ve all heard of Theory X and Theory Y and will discuss these theories in later posts. But back to Theory Z…
Theory Z is the lesser known of the human motivational theories and is viewed somewhat differently by each of the three theorists best known for their work in motivational theory.
Abraham Maslow, in his paper Theory Z, subscribes to the philosophy that all good qualities in man are inherent at birth and remain there until they are gradually lost through “living life”. Maslow’s teachings espouse his belief that work adds meaning and significance to one’s life. (Can I get an “Amen”?!)
Following along our previous blog on Self-Actualization, Abraham Maslow outlined other characteristics of a self-actualized person:
- The mystic experience– being in tune or at “one” with the world. Can literally feel as if they are floating.
- Feelings of “togetherness”- awareness and sensitivity to all mankind
- Deep interpersonal relationships- profound and deep relationships with others
- Insightful discrimination between means and ends- strong sense of right and wrong; good and bad. Will not cross the line.
- Philosophical sense of humor- enjoy humor; good natured yet serious
- Creativity- highly creative and expressed in many dimensions (writing, speaking, painting, music, cooking, etc)
- Transcendent of cultures- maintains a strong individuality, ability to objectively evaluate culture and relativity to its importance
- Tolerant of imperfections- does not profess to be right or perfect. Always willing to grow and learn. Tolerant of the imperfection of others.
According to Dr. Kurt Goldstein, psychologist: Self-Actualization is a uniquely human need that separates humans from all other animals.
So what is Self-Actualization? Maslow described it this way: “What a man can be, he must be. It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially.”
Maslow’s Key Characteristics of Self-Actualization:
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs led to his book, Motivation and Personality. Much has since been researched and written about Maslow’s theory on motivation but his work still remains intact and is used in studying motivation today. Much of the motivational studies relate to workplace motivation.
Most people are familiar with Maslow’s pyramid of needs, but less known is that he further broke the needs down into two groups of needs. They are:
- Deficiency Needs- also known as D- Needs
- Growth Needs- also known as “being needs” or B- Needs
Following up on our last post of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, let’s look more closely at each of these five human needs:
1. Physiological Needs
- These needs are the most basic needs in order to sustain life, such as the need for water, air, food, and sleep. According to Maslow, these are the foundation of all human needs since all other needs are secondary until the physiological needs are met.
We have all studied Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. According to Maslow, there are five levels of human needs: