Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs: An Ecological View

Y. Datta


In this paper we examine and build on Maslow‘s positive theory of motivation which is based on a hierarchy of five basic needs. He says
humans live by bread alone only when there is no bread. But, when there is a lot of bread around, then higher needs emerge. The most powerful
concept offered by Maslow is the idea of self-actualization needs that motivate an individual to strive to be what he or she can be in a never-ending
pursuit of excellence.
We discuss these needs in detail and present a practical guide to show how an individual may fulfill them in the real world.
The center of gravity of Maslow‘s theory is clearly the individual. His theory is largely concerned with those with whom an individual
has a private relationship: family, friends, co-workers, etc.
Yet it is important to recognize the public domain whose impact on our lives has expanded enormously. The local and national
communities play a vital role in our lives. We currently inhabit a highly interdependent global economy that is now extensively wired. Global
warming poses a serious threat to our planet. Sustainable development and creating green energy technology have now become the clarion call of
our times.
To meet these daunting global challenges we need a new worldview: an ecological philosophy.
In Maslow‘s theory the link between satisfying private and public needs is only implicit. So, to make this bond explicit, we have added
another dimension—transcendent needs—at the pinnacle of Maslow‘s hierarchy of basic needs.

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