Maslow’s Pyramid Of Needs Debunked

Shallow copying or misrepresentation of original ideas pose a great risk to learning and improvement. The victim of misrepresentation, in this case, is Abraham Maslow.

Maslow’s pyramid of needs is regarded as a fundamental approach to understanding and motivating the workforce.

Following a search in Maslow’s archives at the University of Akron, it turned out that Maslow didn’t write about the workforce needs but about human needs of all people. Furthermore, Maslow never framed his ideas in a pyramid.

Maslow’s pyramid is thus a misconception about the original work (a bastardization of it if you will).

How did the pyramid come about then? Two very probable reasons:

  1. Consultants, at that time, were in the business of selling pyramids to map out a chain of command in organizations!
  2. Executives who were providing research support at that time found it entertaining to have a theory that implied those at the top of the hierarchy had reached a more advanced state of human development!

Not to defeat the purpose of the pyramid, we have gone on and added wifi and battery to the bottom of it!

Read more at https://journals.aom.org/doi/pdf/10.5465/amle.2017.0351.

Photo credit: the LeSS community

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