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Abraham Maslow and the pyramid that beguiled business

Abraham Maslow and the pyramid that beguiled business
The psychologist Abraham Maslow's theory of human motivation is 70 years old but continues to have a strong influence on the world of business. What is it, and is it right? There is a commonly reproduced symbol which many believe holds the secret to personal fulfilment and business success. It usually takes the form of a triangle, but variants in the shape of 3D pyramids and staircases are not uncommon. It regularly appears in university psychology modules, and may pop up in other degree courses too. On management training courses it's as inevitable as biscuits and role-playing. In 1943, the US psychologist Abraham Maslow published a paper called A Theory of Human Motivation, in which he said that people had five sets of needs, which come in a particular order. First, we have the basic needs for bodily functioning - fulfilled by eating, drinking and going to the toilet. The next stage is all about social recognition, status and respect. But critics point to dozens of counter-examples.

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“Motivation” by Terrible Terry Tate Wednesday, December 04, 2013 PrintEmailTweet This!Save to Favorites This is a perfect video to test understanding of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Terry has been drafted in to increase productivity at Felcher & Sons, and does so via American-Football-style tackles for anyone deemed to be working below Terry's exacting standards.

A Point of View: Should countries be more like families? 30 August 2013Last updated at 13:30 ET Democracies must learn to compromise to ensure their survival, says Roger Scruton. Many writers have warned against the tyranny of the majority. Majority opinion may be wrong. Majority desires may be wicked. BUSS2 Exam Technique: Analysis – Limited, Reasonable or Good? Thursday, May 03, 2012 PrintEmailTweet This!Save to Favorites Having marked quite a few BUSS2 responses, it seems students have begun to get the message about application but are falling short on analysis.

Selling Serbia's economy to foreign investors 27 August 2013Last updated at 18:28 ET By Guy De Launey BBC News, Belgrade Ball Packaging has invested 100m euros ($133m; £86m) in its Belgrade operations David Banjai raises his voice above the din of thousands of drinks cans rattling their way through the machines in the factory he runs on the outskirts of Belgrade. "In all the other countries where we operate, nobody knows who we are," he says, "here in Serbia, we're a household name." The company is Ball Packaging Europe - and the statement is almost certainly true. Around the world it operates quietly, behind the scenes - making cans for the likes of Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Heineken to fill with their drinks.

Developing Exam Skills - Better use of the case study Wednesday, May 08, 2013 PrintEmailTweet This!Save to Favorites The case study at the front of your exam paper. The Kazakh restaurateur with global ambitions 8 September 2013Last updated at 19:00 ET By Rayhan Demytrie BBC, Almaty, Kazakhstan At just 28 years old, Askar Baitassov has built the biggest restaurant business in Kazakhstan. Now he wants to introduce high quality Central Asian cuisine to the world.

Amazon spreads Christmas cheer and improves pay for temporary staff The GMB union has given a guarded welcome to improved terms offered by Amazon as the online retailer prepares to hire 13,000 seasonal workers to process millions of daily orders before Christmas. Amazon said it would pay the temporary staff £6.70 an hour – 20p more than the minimum wage – for their first 12 weeks of work. They would be guaranteed 20 hours’ pay a week and “the vast majority” would work 40-hour weeks, it said.

How do people who change gender choose a name? 22 August 2013Last updated at 20:55 ET Magazine Monitor A collection of cultural artefacts Bradley Manning wants to begin hormone therapy and live as a woman named Chelsea. So how do people who change gender go about finding a name that's right, asks Tom Geoghegan. Not many people have to pick their own name. Your parents do it for you. Unions call for North Sea tax breaks as oil slump threatens jobs The role of the North Sea as a goldmine for future tax revenues and highly paid jobs is under threat unless something is done urgently to address a crisis triggered by plunging oil prices, the government was warned. Leading executives, politicians and union leaders said billions of pounds worth of Treasury income and 37,500 jobs were at risk and some want the tax burden to be lowered further in a bid to stimulate new activity and create longerterm fiscal revenues. Sir Ian Wood, a government adviser and former oil engineering boss, said 10% of the North Sea workforce could be in danger while Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers’ association Brindex, told the BBC that the industry was “close to collapse”.

Mandela documentary examines power of music 6 December 2013Last updated at 04:39 ET By Tim Masters Entertainment and arts correspondent, BBC News Nelson Mandela's grandson, hip hop artist Bambatha Mandela, performs in Music for Mandela What role did music play in Nelson Mandela's life? A documentary by Canadian filmmaker Jason Bourque explores how the former South African President, who has died at the age of 95, used song as a powerful weapon against apartheid. Nelson Mandela once said: "Music is a great blessing.