Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

Growth in Human Motivation: Beyond Maslow

Academic journal article Indian Journal of Industrial Relations

Growth in Human Motivation: Beyond Maslow

Article excerpt

Maslow's motivational theory is based on the idea that human behaviour is controlled through a limited number of developing fundamental needs which operate in a fixed sequence. Need is defined as a condition of deficit. The author focuses on the inner growth process as compared to Maslow who dealt with the psychological growth process. Individuals are perceived in his theorization as a biological being having psychological capacities. The author takes a spiritual-philosophical approach that perceives an individual as a spiritual being and the entire focus is to move from the state of 'being' to 'becoming'. The basic premise on which the present paper rests is the realization of one's state of being in order to reach the ultimate state, i.e., a mental state of cheerful silence.

Overview

The present research focuses on the psychological health that comes by practicing self-discipline and asceticism. This can be understood by taking an esoteric approach to work motivation, as the guiding laws are internal and not external. The process then becomes of self-discovery to identify the higher needs. When partial needs are gratified, the individual is freed for a higher development, characterized by fully experiencing his self and his environment. The individual gradually becomes free from the struggle to survive. The strengths and virtues of the psychologically healthy people are the focus of the study. The intra--psychic process of psychological growth constitutes the present conceptualization. The author's effort is to understand the esoteric path of motivation--a journey to self in order to discover the higher order needs through self-discipline and asceticism. This inner nature includes not only the individual's anatomy and physiology, but also the psychological capacities, even though these may be hidden, unfulfilled and weak. To reveal this inner deeper self, the individual has to struggle to get at it through surface layers; but out of this deeper self comes the ability to be spontaneous, to enjoy and to be ourselves.

Individual Growth in Maslow's Conceptualization

Maslow began his study of the essence of human nature with his theory of motivation, which is based on the holistic approach. He gives some fundamental characteristics of his motivational theory, starting from the integrated organized wholeness of the individual in which the whole person, and not just part of him is motivated, and moving towards an interrelation between the more complex motivational units and finally to the motivation of the human being by certain fundamental needs which he considers instinctoid, i.e., innate and universal, inherent to human nature. "What I have called the basic needs are probably common to all mankind and are, therefore, shared values" (Maslow 1954: 152). Needs are defined as a state of deficit in Maslowian conceptualization.

Maslow's motivational theory is based on the idea that behaviour is controlled through a limited number of developing fundamental needs which operate in fixed sequence, i.e., through these various needs the individual is motivated. He talks about the instinctoid nature of the basic needs. The hierarchy of basic needs is the central feature of Maslow's motivational theory. "Man is a wanting animal and rarely reaches a state of complete satisfaction except for a short time.... he is practically always desiring something.... The human being is never satisfied except in a relative or one-step-along-the-path fashion, and second, that wants seem to arrange themselves in a sort of hierarchy of prepotency" (Maslow 1954: 24-25).

In Malsow's theorization the appearance of a need usually rests on the prior satisfaction of another more prepotent need which is the strongest, in the sense that it has to be satisfied first. Once it is satisfied, the next category of basic needs emerges, and will now have the stronger influence on the individual's motivated behaviour. …

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