Original Research

A critical review of the application of Maslow's motivation theory in industry

Julian Barling
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | : Perspectives on Industrial Psychology| a282 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v0i0.282 | © 1977 Julian Barling | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 November 1977 | Published: 28 November 1977

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Julian Barling,, South Africa

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Abstract

The present article critically reviews the application of Maslow's motivational theory within the industrial situation. It is pointed out that although this theory is frequently applied in this context, its utility and applicability in such a situation has not been conclusively demonstrated on the basis of the research conducted. Furthermore, a distinction is drawn between studies assessing the applicability of this theory within the industrial situation, and those assessing its utility for industry. The need for further research, particularly to establish whether any relationship exists between the need for self actualization and productivity (i.e., the utility of the theory for the organization), it thus advanced. Finally, it is suggested that in terms of the criteria of the prediction and control of behaviour in organizations, this theory might not be adequate as a theory of work motivation.

Opsomming
Die toepassing van Maslow se motiveringsteorie binne die bedryfsituasie word hersien. Hoewel dit dikwels toegepas word, is die bruikbaarheid en die toepasbaarheid daarvan in sulke situasies nog nie met sekerheid bevestig nie. 'n Onderskeid word getref tussen die studies wat die toepasbaarheid en die wat die bruikbaarheid daarvan, vir die industriële situasie, bepaal. Die noodsaaklikheid van verdere navorsing, in besonder om vas te stel of daar 'n verband bestaan tussen die selfvervullingsbehoefte en produktiwiteit, (bv. die bruikbaarheid van die teorie vir die organisasie) word besonder beklemtoon. Ten slotte word gesuggereer dat die teorie, in terme van die kriteria van voorspelling en kontrole van gedrag in organisasies, tekort skiet as 'n arbeidsmotiveringsteorie.


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