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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the Equity Theory

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

One of the most well-known motivational theories, Maslow’s Hierarchy presupposes that the actions of an individual are aimed primarily at satisfying their needs, the physiological being the basic ones, whereas the necessity for self-actualization, which refers to the realization of one’s potential, comes at the very end of the list of people’s key needs. Identifying the need for security, love and belonging, and esteem as the urges that come in between the top and the bottom ones, Maslow makes it obvious that people strive for satisfying their “higher level needs” only once those of the lower level (i.e., the basic physiological needs) are satisfied (Carpenter, Bauer and Erdogan 734). In the specified case, John has only his basic needs satisfied, whereas Stephanie has reached the self-actualization stage owning to her boss’s leadership and guidance. Stephanie’s employer has clearly satisfied both her basic needs and the need for self-realization by allowing her train her skills in the most efficient and expeditious manner possible, as well as satisfying her need for self-fulfillment and providing her with the support and attention that she required. John’s employer, on the contrary, has refused to provide his employee with a chance for self-fulfillment, which has led to a significant drop in the job satisfaction level for John. The reiteration of the same routine actions, in its turn, does not contribute to John’s excitement, either; whereas Stephanie enjoys diversity in tasks and, therefore, evolves as an expert, John is doomed to a professional stagnation. The efficacy of Maslow’s hierarchy is crystal clear in the given case; while the needs of one of the staff members are obviously satisfied, the second one suffers from his high-level needs being ignored, which affects his enthusiasm and, therefore, the quality of his work.

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Equity Theory

According to the official definition, the equity theory is a theoretical framework, which defines the sense of fairness as the key to the staff’s motivation. In the case under consideration, Alex is fully deprived of motivation, since he feels that he is treated unfairly by his boss, who is constantly nitpicking and never gives credit to Alex’s efforts. Stephanie, on the contrary, feels that her actions are rewarded appropriately; as a result, she is motivated for excelling in her performance. It could be argued that equity theory has little to do with the case in point. Indeed, Stephanie and Alex do not work in the same team; hence, it is reasonable to assume that their bosses adopt the same approach to every single employee that they work with. As a result, seeing that all staff members are treated just as badly as he is, John should not feel such resentment towards his boss. However, the equity approach still works when it comes to the analysis of the relationships between the manager and the employee. Because of the large amount of responsibilities, including the necessity to coordinate the cooperation between the members of a specific team, a manager is provided with much more powers than an ordinary staff member; however, a manager is also supposed to use their powers responsibly so that equity between managers and their subordinates could be established within a company. In John’s case, however, the manager clearly abuses his power, therefore, breaking the equity principles. The manager supervising Stephanie’s work, on the contrary, seems to be doing everything possible to promote equality in the relationships between the employees and the managers. Thus, the equity theory shows the contrast between the two scenarios quite clearly, as well as helps outline the strategy for addressing the conflict between John and his manager.

Works Cited

Carpenter, Mason, Talya Bauer, and Berrin Erdogan. “Chapter 14: Motivating Employees.” Principles of management. Washington, DC: Flat World Knowledge, L.L.C. 2010. 730–776. Print.

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