Maslow on Management Essay
A REVIEW ON “MASLOW ON MANAGEMENT BY ABRAHAM. H. MASLOW” With DEBORAH. C. STEPHENS AND GARY HEIL Course: Philosophy of Management Submitted To Prof. K. Unnikrishnan Nair By Aparna Venugopal Fpm 05 02 Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode Fellow Programme in Management Abstract Dr. Maslow believed in a holistic analysis of the person to determine self-actualization. He saw the self-actualized person as “different” from the norm. He referred to them as “healthy individuals”, but not perfect. Nevertheless, he negates any theological or supernatural equation, referring only to the natural experience.
His theory focused on the “best of humanity”, but suffered from methodological flaws. He urges others to perform more research in this area and bring out the validation for his theories. His work is more of a self expression than an attempt to prove or demonstrate to anyone. In this review, I have tried to draw parallels to his findings from earlier findings in Taoism, Buddhism, and Bhagavad Gita. The focus on spirituality is justified by the fact that Maslow himself, thought spirituality to be the prime byproduct of enlightened management.
Keywords: Eupsychia, Enlightened Management, B-values, Self transcendence, and Aggridant Table of Contents About the Authors4 Rationale for Choosing this Book6 Self actualization, Self transcendence and Self esteem6 Motivation, Grumbles, and Inhibitions7 Debates with Drucker on Management7 Maslow on Management of Women at Workplace8 Enlightened Management and its Byproducts8 Maslow in Cold War America9 Maslow and Dostoevsky10 Self Actualization and Creativity11 Maslow and Marx12 Synergy and Unlimited Amount of Good13 Psychological Experiment and Field of Management14 Maslow and Taoism14
Superior Managers, Entrepreneurs, and Salesmen17 Maslow and Buddhism on Eupsychian Growth and B-values17 Conclusion19 References20 This book published in 1998 by John Wiley and Sons Inc with a foreword from Warren Bennis, is a revised edition of the book Eupsychian management by Abraham Maslow published in 1965. Eupsychian Management was based on Maslow’s journal notes during the summer of 1962 when he was a Visiting Fellow at the Non-Linear Systems, Inc. plant in Del Mar, California. The revised edition “Maslow on Management” published twenty eight years after the death of the author, was compiled by Deborah.
C. Stephens (Cofounder, Center for Innovative Leadership) and Gary Heil (Founder of the Center for Innovative leadership) and included interviews with erstwhile Perrot Systems Chairman Mort Meyerson, Non Linear Systems founder Andrew Kay, Esalen Institute founder Michael Murphy, and other prominent figures. About the Authors Abraham Harold Maslow was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the first of seven children born to his parents, who themselves were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. His parents, hoping for the best or their children in the new world, pushed him hard for academic success. Not surprisingly, he became very lonely as a boy, and found his refuge in books. To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY). After three semesters, he transferred to Cornell, and then back to CCNY. He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin, against his parents’ wishes. Abe and Bertha went on to have two daughters. He and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin.
Here, he became interested in psychology, and his school work began to improve dramatically. He spent time there working with Harry Harlow, who is famous for his experiments with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior. He received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin. A year after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality (http://webspace. ship. edu/cgboer/maslow. html). He began teaching full time at Brooklyn College.
During this period of his life, he came into contact with the many European intellectuals that were immigrating to the US, and Brooklyn in particular, at that time — people like Adler, Fromm, Horney, as well as several Gestalt and Freudian psychologists. Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis from 1951 to 1969. While there he met Kurt Goldstein, who had originated the idea of self-actualization in his famous book, The Organism (1934). It was also here that he began his crusade for a humanistic psychology — something ultimately much more important to him than his own theorizing.
He spend his final years in semi-retirement in California, until, on June 8 1970, he died of a heart attack after years of ill health. Deborah. C. Stephens, cofounder, The Center for Innovative Leadership, Stanford, is an author, educator, and management consultant in the areas of customer service, leadership, and organizational development. She is coauthor of One Size Fits One: Building Relationships One Customer and One Employee at a Time and Executive Producer of “Leadership Lessons from the Fast Lane”, a monthly Internet broadcast which highlights leaders from organizations and institutions worldwide.
Gary Heil is an educator, business consultant, and expert on leadership, service quality, and change management. Founder of the Center for Innovative Leadership, Heil is a highly regarded speaker and frequent commentator on American and Australian radio and television. In addition, Heil has served on the Board of Examiners for the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award and is coauthor of Leadership and the customer revolution and One Size Fits One: Building Relationships One Customer and One Employee at a Time. Rationale for Choosing this Book
A book being republished thirty seven years after the first publication, when the first printing vanished into oblivion sooner than it appeared is intriguing enough, without the fact that the republication seems to have piqued just about everybody’s interest when it burst upon the scene. Why the original title disappeared does not bewilder us much, given the daunting title “Eupsychian Management”, a complacent industrial America in the wake of World War II, Maslow’s discursive manner of writing, and his lack of credentials to prove he had any business experience.
When Maslow’s daughters Ann Kaplan and Ellen Maslow came up with the idea of republishing this book twenty years after their father’s death and approached Stephens and Heil, they must have asked themselves what a set of journal entries nearly thirty seven years old could teach us about management today. They must have found the same answer that I do in finding this book extremely important for management study, the fact, that the future Maslow described in his journals forty six years before is the world we live in today-the digital age.
When he described the ideas of work, self-actualization, and the influence of business in developing “the good society” (Maslow, 1969), he gave us some of the most profound thinking we have discovered. Self actualization, Self transcendence and Self esteem “What is necessary to change a person is to change his awareness of himself. ” (Maslow, 1965) Maslow starts his notes self actualization by saying that the test for any person is to find out whether he is an apple or not?
This according to him is the only way to differentiate the talkers from the doers, between the people who shall change the world from the people who shall be helpless in it. Maslow critics Drucker and say that the latter has based his intuitive conclusions about human nature, drawing heavily from industrial situations and has disregarded scientific psychology completely in the process. Maslow believes that in doing so many contemporary management colleagues lost the gold nuggets in the form of a vast amount of research data in scientific psychology.
Based on his experiences in scientific psychology, Maslow says that the only people who are truly happy are the ones who are working well at something they consider important. In other words Maslow sees salvation as a byproduct of self actualizing work. Maslow introduces the topic of self esteem through self actualization itself by stating that, if you take into yourself something important from the world, then you yourself shall become important by introjections and assimilation. Thus self actualizing work seems to be a good medicine for self esteem.
Though themes on self actualization and self esteem have always been credited to Maslow (Koltko-Rivera, 2006), on reading this book, I found to my pleasant surprise that Maslow had also come upon the idea of self transcendence through self actualization. He was of the belief that self actualizing work transcended the self without trying to, and achieved a kind of loss of self awareness and self consciousness. But I find it quite curious that a person of Maslow’s stature claims that “salvation just does not work by introspection in some cave all by one’s self as may work for people in India”.
Motivation, Grumbles, and Inhibitions Maslow says that the great question is not what motivates people but what inhibits the motivations that are there in all people. Maslow agrees with Herzberg when he says that improvements on high grumbles shall not lead to the cessation of grumbles, and more focus should be paid to the factors responsible for the increase in the motivational level on a whole. Debates with Drucker on Management Maslow begs to differ from Drucker’s management principles and says that they will work only at the top of the hierarchy of human development.
Another example that he draws upon to emphasize the generality of Drucker’s principles is that they cannot be applied in Columbia, Iran, Syria, and South Africa. Maslow believes that these countries required a more authoritarian management. He also believed that places with ‘high level of development’ as America could not tolerate this autocratic character, but it was quite the only thing possible in countries as mentioned earlier. What I find quite interesting here is how Maslow reached his conclusions of ‘development in human beings’ without any sources for it.
Maslow goes on to criticize Drucker in slurring the necessity for selecting the right kind of individuals for his management principles to work. Drucker’s negligence of the presence of evil of psychopathology, and of general nastiness in people is also criticized. Maslow does agree with Drucker on assuming a high proportion of synergic laws and organizations, but he wonders whether the same would hold true under catastrophic conditions. Thus Maslow said some 50 years ago itself that ‘good management principles’ are good only under ‘good conditions’.
Maslow on Management of Women at Workplace The most amusing of his criticisms is when he says that Drucker’s principles are too general, and managing women was certainly different from managing men. He says that in perhaps his most misogynous viewpoint: Women don’t have to explore as men do, to look under every rock, climb every mountain, take clocks apart to see how they work. They don’t have to solve things. Puzzles and riddles don’t challenge them as much.
They don’t have to get into crevices (they are the crevice) (Lowry, 1979). And he is at his most paternalist where he argues that: Only the woman needs to be loved, first and foremost, and will give up justice, dignity, law and order, truth, anything to hang on to being loved (Lowry, 1979). Despite these views, Maslow was prepared to argue that Freud’s view of women was “inaccurate and demeaning; clearly, there was more to female psychology than procreative anatomy” (Hoffman, 1988). Enlightened Management, and its Byproducts He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still” (Tsu Lao) Maslow derived his concept of enlightened management from his understanding and research on the writings of Drucker, Likert, Argyris, and McGregor. Maslow’s concept of enlightened management is based on basically 36 assumptions. According to Maslow in enlightened enterprise everyone would be clear about the goals, directives, and far purposes of the organization. Even in today’s scenario we can easily eckon that if the company goals be known and understood by all, then practically all other questions are simple technical problems of fitting the means to the ends. It seems to me that enlightened management can be considered under the head of democratic philosophy applied to the work situation. Democracy as we all know needs absolutely for its very existence people who can think for themselves, make their own judgments, and finally who can vote for themselves. Authoritarian enterprises do just the opposite of this.
Therefore any patriot who wants to help his country must carry the whole democratic philosophy to this work life. Enlightened management, thus by Maslow was a way of limited human beings trying the best they could to make a heavenly society on earth. Today there is a lot of focus on spirituality at workplace with corporate retreats run by spiritual gurus like Deepak Chopra. Maslow foresaw this when he said that the more we immerse ourselves in the human side of the enterprise, the more spiritual we become. Maslow in Cold War America
The Cold War is usually identified as beginning at some time close to the end of World War II (WWII) and ending with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc regimes in 1989. At its most basic, it can be described as a historical period when there was a state of hostility between the United States (and its allies) and the Soviet Union (and its allies) manifest in economic and political conflict and subversion, and in military action involving surrogates, but that stopped just short of “hot war” or direct military conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union (Cooke, Mills, & Kelley, 2005).
The most famous, not to say infamous, aspect of U. S. Cold War culture was the idealization of Americanism and the converse demonization of un- Americanism. Cold War ethnocentrism was reinforced by a stress on the “the American way of life” and an increasing suspicion of the foreign. There were numerous contrasts between the good aspects of Americanism and the bad aspects of other national characteristics. Americanism was also reinforced by contrasting Communist atheist materialism and American spiritualism. We are idealists, they are materialists,” said a former ambassador to the Soviet Union (Whitfield, 1991), and having no discernible commitment to any recognized religion was another indicator of un-Americanism. In this parochial pro-American angle, Maslow wrote, as one chapter of Eupsychian Management had it, of “enlightened management as a form of patriotism,” albeit patriotism reclaimed from “the DAR or American Legion, John Birchers or whatever” He claimed to have more concern for fellow U. S. itizens than those of, for example, Bulgaria or Italy and was critical of the Europeanism of people like Manuel (a colleague at Brandeis), who in vacations chose to travel in Europe rather than within the United States: “This is because I am pro- American & Frank is anti-US (perhaps many intellectuals are; maybe even most are)”(Lowry, 1979). This was harsh, given that one of Frank’s excursions to Europe had been as a U. S. soldier in WWII fighting anti-Semitic Fascism, whereas Maslow only ever left the United States to holiday in Mexico and did not even work on the WWII effort from within the United States.
Elsewhere, in a telling comparison, Maslow records challenging the critic of T-groups, Abraham Zaleznick, to choose between experiencing a T-group or a trip to Rome. Zaleznick chooses “Rome of course,” which to Maslow means that “he doesn’t want to learn,” rather than that he would learn more from Rome. A central part of Maslow’s theorizing was his vision of a utopia—for which he coined the term eupsychia—to which, he argued, society should aspire. Maslow was aware that talking about the “utopian, do-good, moral, ethical, purposive” distanced him from his business school friends like Bennis and McGregor. Lowry, 1979). I find this finding of Lowry probably being confirmed by the fact that Eupsychian Management was reprinted in 1998, with a new foreword from Bennis and meta-commentaries by others throughout the original text, and renamed, on postmortem, as Maslow on Management. Maslow and Dostoevsky Maslow was definitely a parochial pro American from what we can understand from “Maslow on Management”, but, then Maslow was also a Russian Jew who had grown up in America. This is probably one of the reasons why he keeps referring to Dostoevsky in his book on Management.
Especially when it comes to quoting on the superior boss or leadership, Maslow resorts to build up his theory from the parable of the Grand inquisitor in Brothers Karamazov. Again when explaining the principles of enlightened management and stating that all individuals would rather prefer to be prime movers he uses this same example. Self Actualization and Creativity “If you plan on being anything less than you are capable of being, you will probably be unhappy all the days of your life. (Maslow, 1954) By a careful analysis of the works of the like of Goldstein, Skinner, and Rogers, Maslow comes to the conclusion that creativeness takes a kind of courage, which is a justified trust in one’s self and a justified trust in the goodness of the environment and of the future, to be able to face an unknown, unstructured situation without guards or defenses and with an innocent faith that one can improvise in the situation. I found it pretty dubious to find in Maslow’s writings that pretty much of our lower needs were taken care of before self-actualization came to the forefront.
And yet we can find many examples of people who exhibited at very least aspects of self-actualization who were far from having their lower needs taken care of. Many of our best artists and authors, for example, suffered from poverty, bad upbringing, neuroses, and depression. Some could even be called psychotic! If you think about Galileo, who prayed for ideas that would sell, or Rembrandt, who could barely keep food on the table, or Toulouse Lautrec, whose body tormented him, or Van Gogh, who, besides being poor, seems to have been quite tormented mentally, weren’t these people engaged in some form of self-actualization?
The idea of artists and poets and philosophers (and psychologists! ) being strange is so common because it has so much truth to it! We also have the example of a number of people who were creative in some fashion even while in concentration camps. Trachtenberg, for example, developed a new way of doing arithmetic in a camp. Viktor Frankl developed his approach to therapy while in a camp. And there are examples of people who were creative when unknown, became successful only to stop being creative. Ernest Hemingway, if I’m not mistaken, is an example.
Perhaps all these examples are exceptions, and the hierarchy of needs stands up well to the general trend. But the exceptions certainly do put some doubt into our minds. Probably much better readers before myself had these same doubts, which is also probably why E. Hoffman of Yeshiva University based his HSVSA on Maslow’s concept of self actualization and found the following results in 2001 in Sau Paulo, Brazil to validate Maslow’s 50 year old findings. (E. Hoffman, 2004) Fully 96% rated important or very important vocational self-actualization as a personal goal.
In terms of Maslow’s categories of belongingness and respect, 70% reported that they often or very often felt liked and accepted at their current job; and 64% reported that they felt somewhat or very respected. Maslow and Marx As humanistic psychology and education grew in prominence, criticism rooted in Marxist social and economic analysis took shape, much of it aimed directly at Maslow’ idea of self actualization. The overall point of contention for such critics is that there is an excessive individualism in humanistic psychology and education that is essentially elitist.
There are weaker and stronger versions of this criticism. Some argue that Maslow is unconsciously naive about elitist elements in his theories. As one critic poses, “What real individuals, living in what real societies, working at what real jobs, and earning what real income have any chance at all of becoming self-actualizers? ” (Lethbridge, 1986). Meanwhile, other critics assign Maslow a much more malevolent role, seeing his psychology as a “new and seductive Social Darwinism” that is used to justify a capitalistic system with its privileges and practices for its powerful elite (Shaw ;Colimore, 1988).
The resulting problem these critics see is, Those who fail to reach the heights described by Maslow may feel that they are personally to blame for their discontent. . . . The individualization of success and failure can also result in blaming those who suffer from social injustice for the hardships they face. (Shaw ; Colimore, 1988) Although Maslow’s journals do show that he took seriously the Marxist criticisms leveled at him, he argues that it is Marxist pessimism that is mistaken.
He rejects total pessimism as well as total optimism: “This all-optimism all-pessimism thing has to be killed off” (Lowry, 1979). Synergy and Unlimited Amount of Good Maslow obtains his idea on synergy from Ruth Benedict’s writings and simply puts it as “ Generosity can increase wealth than decreasing it” We can draw similar inferences from Likert, and Maslow on this topic, but it is my belief that Likert provides a better understanding of the concept to the reader. (R. Likert, 1961) Another widely held view is that there is a fixed quantity of influence in a company or plant.
Consequently if subordinates are permitted to exercise more influence as to what goes on in the organization, the superiors have correspondingly less. The pie, so to speak, is thought to be just so big, and if some people are given more, others must have less. This better management system, while giving the men more influence, also gives the high-producing managers more influence. The high producing managers have actually increased the size of the influence pie by means of the leadership processes which they use.
In the search for Eupsychia, Maslow found that there was no one big value, but a multitude of B-values(being values) interrelated and defined in terms of each other, that one may approach the oneness of being via any of the B-values. (Maslow, 1964). One may foster truth, beauty, justice and perfection by devoting one’s life to the B-truth. One can draw parallels to this theory from the Bhagavad Gita. When Krishna says to Dhananjaya He attaineth peace into whom all desires flow as rivers flow into the ocean, which is filled the water, but remaineth unmoved-not he who desireth desires.
Whoso foresaketh all desires and goeth onwards free from yearnings, selfless, and without egoism- he goeth to peace. This is the eternal state, O son of Pritha. Having attained thereto none is bewildered. Who even at the death hour is established therein, goeth to the NIRVANA of the eternal. (Besant, 1895) According to Maslow B-power is the power to make a better world, or to bring the world closer to perfection. (Maslow, 1954) Psychological Experiment and Field of Management “ Realistic perceiving is prerequisite to realistic behaving and realistic behaving is prerequisite to good results”(Maslow, 1965)
Maslow himself admits that his work on self actualizing people was based on a small sample and the sampling was inadequate. In fact he urges other enthusiasts of this subject not to swallow his findings, but to question them and check the findings. In an attempt to better research in this area, and convinced that a humanistic approach was beginning to arise in the workplace, Maslow began to collect job advertisements in 1968 to track the “higher needs”-responsibility, freedom, autonomy, chance to put one’s ideas into action, a company of which one can be proud, and a chance to make a difference.
Thus he broke new ground in the field of Management theory with Theory Z that presupposed that people, once having reached a level of economic security, would strive for a life steeped in values, a work life where the person would be able to create and produce. Today when we see attrition rates in almost all companies, we have evidences all around us that Maslow’s theories were several decades ahead of its time. Maslow and Taoism Maslow frequently refers to elements of what he calls “Taoistic” thinking. These direct references support the implicit similarities between his thought and Taoist philosophy.
At the same time it seems that Maslow did not fully understand some aspects of Taoism, and that he held some views (especially on certain features of the self-actualizing person) which are incompatible with Taoism. These facts, in addition to his use of the peculiar term “Taoistic;’ which is probably never used by other writers on ‘Taoism and the apparent fact that he never actually quotes any Taoist writings, suggest that his knowledge of Taoism is secondhand. Peak-experiences of self-actualizing people as discussed by Maslow bear a great resemblance to the “pure experience” of Taoist sages in China.
For example: The Tao that can be told is not the eternal Tao. The name that can be named is not the eternal name. The nameless is the beginning of heaven and earth. The named is the mother of ten thousand things. Ever desireless, one can see the mystery. Ever desiring, one can see the manifestations(Tsu. L, 1972). Peak-experience is very similar to the Taoist notion of “pure experience’ to what the Buddhist call intuition and to the experience of the Taoist “Authentic Person” referred to by Chuang Tzu.
Of this experience, Fung Yu-lan says, “When one is in a state of “pure experience’’ the things experienced are concrete . . . . There is neither destruction nor construction. Therefore, the truly intelligent man avoids all distinctions, and rests in a state of pure experience, in which he is near perfection” (Fung. Y. L. , 1933). Perfection means, in Chuang- Tzu’s terms, that All things may become one, whatever their state of being. Only he who has transcended sees this oneness. He has no use for differences and dwells in the ordinary and common.
To be ordinary and common is the natural function of all things. To function naturally is to realize one’s true nature. Realization of one’s true nature is happiness. When one reaches happiness. one is close to perfection . . . . Therefore the sage harmonizes right with wrong and rests in the balance of nature. This is called taking both-sides at once” (Chuang Tzu ch. II, in Fung, 1933). Maslow repeatedly uses the term “Taoistic” to label a point of view which is anti-authoritarian, anti-controlling, non-interfering, receptive, “letting be,” and the like.
In most cases Maslow’s use of the term “Taoistic’’ is consistent with Taoist ideas, but since Taoism is not measured by degree, it is hardly conceivable to say “Taoistic. ” In several respects the qualities of self-actualizing persons are among those identified in the heart of Taoist philosophy: wholeness, fusion with the world, simplicity, effortlessness, self-sufficiency, spontaneity, transcending dichotomies, ego-transcending, innocently perceiving and behaving more naturally. (http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Classical_element).
On the other hand, some of the meta-motivations and gratifications which Maslow ascribes to self-actualizing people are apparently incompatible with Taoism, and his inclusion of them suggests strongly that he never read some of the key passages in Taoist writing (Tsu. L, 1972). Under heaven all can see beauty as beauty only because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil. Therefore having and not having arise together. Difficult and easy complement each other. Long and short contrast each other; High and low rest upon each other;
Voice and sound harmonize each other; Front and back follow one another, The Perfect Tao knows no difficulties Except that it refuses to make preferences; Only when freed from hate and love, It reveals itself fully and without disguise . . . . Thus we see that Maslow’s understanding of Taoism is limited; and his apparently correct uses of his own term “Taoistic” are weakened by these limitations. Nevertheless, when cleared of these misconceptions, there is frequently real potential in his views for nurturing peak-experiences and realizations of the sort fostered in Taoism and Chinese painting.
Superior Managers, Entrepreneurs and Salesmen Maslow said that selling had a much shorter goal than marketing and that an enlightened salesman would be a good marketer of a worthwhile product. Maslow closely follows Jim Clark’s studies and Likert’s studies, to come to the conclusion that the economic superiority of any department was due to the qualities of the supervising manager-democracy, compassion, friendliness, helpfulness, loyalty etc.
Maslow also firmly believes that there is no way for an authoritarian supervisor can become a democratic supervisor without going through a transitional stage of consciously, artificially, and voluntarily trying to be a democratic supervisor. Maslow criticizes Likert’s New Patterns of Management since he found that Likert’s findings on superior and inferior managers related to a lot of other unconsidered considerations as well. According to Maslow to find out the best management policy in a situation, a full objectivity is required without a priori presupposition or pious expectation.
Maslow uses Dove’s experiment on the ‘Aggridant’ ( bigger, stronger, dominant) chickens and stresses the point that some people are just born biologically better than others. He agrees with Tannenbaum that the leaders ought to be more efficient, more capable, and more talented than the followers, but he also careful to add that a very superior person might get extremely irritated and restless. Maslow and Buddhism on Eupsychian growth and B-values The managers of any enlightened enterprise would want it to continue for a 00 years and not only continue but they would like their organism to grow in a healthy way. This growth according to Maslow was the Eupsychian Growth. Eupsychian implying only real possibility and improvability rather than certainty, prophecy, inevitability, necessary progress, perfectability or confident predictions about the future. As I went on to read Maslow on Eupsychian growth and B-values in this book, I found myself drawing similarities with the philosophy of seven chakras as believed in Hinduism and Buddhism.
On further research into the idea, I could not come up with much data to validate this claim, but still I could draw some parallels between what had centuries before been written in the chakras and Maslow’s findings on the hierarch of needs as given below Self-Actualization (morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts) corresponds to the 7th, 6th, and 5th chakras i. e. 7th understanding, will, self-knowledge, higher consciousness, 6th imagination, awareness, self-reflection, intuition, and 5th power, self-expression, deeper connection to others.
Esteem (confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others) corresponds to the 4th chakra i. e. love, self-acceptance, balanced perspective, compassion while love ; Belongingness (family, friendship and sexual intimacy) corresponds to the 3rd chakra namely wisdom, esteem, power and position. Similarly safety ; security (of body, resources, family, health, employment, property) correspond to the 2nd chakra, love and belonging and last but not least, physiological needs (Breathing, food , water, air, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion) correspond 1st chakra Life, survival and safety.
Here we see that if self transcendence were also to be included with self actualization, Maslow’s needs could completely define the 7th chakra. As one looks at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid, one gets the feeling whether they should be a pyramid at all, whether one does preceed the other in ‘need’. If one were to be deprived of love and immersed one’s self in self hatred and pity, one could definitely come up with fancy creative ways of starving the soul and body to death.
So I do think that the pyramids as described in the chakras can be better realized in life if they were to be on a continuum on a circle. In his last interview Maslow said the following words to Mary Harrington Hall (E. Hoffman, 1992) One day just after Pearl Harbor, I was driving home and my car was stopped by a poor, pathetic parade. As I watched, I felt we didn’t understand—not Hitler, nor the Germans, nor Stalin, nor the Communists. We didn’t understand any of them.
I felt that if we could understand, then we could make progress. It was at that moment I realized that the rest of my life must be devoted to discovering a psychology for the peace table. That moment changed my whole life. Since then, I’ve devoted myself to developing a theory of human nature that could be tested by experiment and research. It was probably this yearning to prove that humans were capable of something grander than war, prejudice and hatred that drove him to research on enlightened management and eupsychian growth.
Maslow’s last journal entry (May 7, 1970) repeated yet again the call for a scientific value system, a respectable ethos and humanistic politics and education, as an alternative to examples set by hoodlums and antimoral intellectuals. Conclusion “If I were dropped out of a plane into the ocean and told the nearest land was a thousand miles away, I’d still swim. And I’d despise the one who gave up. ” (Maslow, 1969) Inclusion of self transcendence at the top of the needs hierarchy is a more accurate reflection of Maslow’s theory, but there are more benefits to be gained from this rectification of theory than historical accuracy alone.
Incorporating self-transcendence into Maslow’s theory can help psychology develop a better grasp of how different people and cultures construe the meaning of life and then perhaps we can do away with the criticism of Maslow not being able to understand ‘salvations obtained in caves’. In summary, incorporating self-transcendence into Maslow’s hierarchy of needs gives us a theoretical tool with which to pursue a more comprehensive and accurate understanding of human personality and behavior. In conclusion, problems noted with Dr. Maslow’s work are primarily empirical.
Although he saw the need for future, objective studies, he initially viewed his pursuits as a way to “convince and to teach” himself, “rather than to prove or to demonstrate to others”. Reading this study would lead one to believe that the self-actualized person is untouchable and beyond reproach. However, Maslow has a way of detaching the SA individuals and then slowly allowing them back down to earth. He identified several positive factors but also explained the Self-actualized are not perfect, invariably bringing back the “human part” of this humanistic view of psychology.
He seemed to have a sense of humor, indicating in one interview regarding his childhood, “it’s a wonder I’m not psychotic” when referring to growing up Jewish in a non-Jewish neighborhood. (Hoffman, 1992). He also described his childhood as a reflection of being the only Negro going to the white school after segregation. Maslow appeared to be in touch with himself and, although criticized by others, in touch with his surroundings and the people in them. Review of the literature revealed that although his hierarchy of needs has had profound effects in the area of psychology and abroad, there is room for improvement.
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