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Discuss the relationship between empowerment and self-actualisation and comment up their relevance to motivation at work.

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Introduction

Discuss the relationship between empowerment and self-actualisation and comment up their relevance to motivation at work. Nowadays we - the western world - live in a society, which is highly dominated by a scientific worldview. Our culture and life has drifted away from just believing in things, by doing not provable or at least very convenient assumptions, such as the world is a disc. Instead we try to explain everything by looking at a logic behind it and by continuously asking the question, why are things the way they are. And a good way to express these questions, their results and conclusions, is found in the unifying world language of mathematics. Thereby we create a model of the problem and convert the reality, into -a in most cases measurable- number. We even went that far, that we started to quantify our self. People invented tools and mechanism, to measure different attributes of human beings - such as IQ, EQ and other psychometric data - which not only to translates our abilities into a number, but also transforms the subject human into an object of data. These objects of data are therefore easier to handle and to control and even partly predictable. Now the question arises, if humans like to be seen in such a manner? So during the recent time corporations have seen many changes; and the word control has almost disappeared from the companies vocabularies; instead expressions such as empowerment and self actualisation have won in occurrence in the managerial vocabulary. ...read more.

Middle

quickly replaces the need which was just satisfied. According to result of Maslow's study -which was done in America in 1970- only a few people reach the highest level of his hierarchy, namely 10% of the population. "Esteem Needs" could be fulfilled by 40%, "Love and Belonging Needs" by 50%, Security Needs by 70% and finally the basic "Physiological needs" by 85% of the population. (Eysenck, 2000: 135)5 Maslow studying also included great people, such as A. Einstein, A. Lincoln, A. Schweitzer, T. Jefferson, and F. Roosevelt - which had reached an outstanding level of self-actualisation. These above mentioned people, had in common that they were all determined, very focused, spontaneous and they all were more concerned on social problems, although at the same time they only had a few, but very close friendships. (Carlson, 2000)6 The fact that the higher levels of the this hierarchy are only fulfilled by a small amount people, can be used by managers. Namely does this mean that most people are not completely satisfied. Hence management can take advantage of those unsatisfied needs and use them as motivators, and enticing the employee with the possibility to fulfil the desired position of self-actualisation. Consequently the employees will strive to achieve those, and in order gain the additional satisfaction the might be more motivated in work. But it also has to be said that Maslow pointed out, that there is some amount of the human-needs which have to be satisfied, before a human will act-selfless. ...read more.

Conclusion

This means that there should be clear guidelines, but it also has to ensured, that those are not to constricting. The self-actualisation theory is more specifically and says that the employee should get that amount of responsibility her or she could manage. To conclude I would like to say, that I think that both theories have their applications, at least some extent. In my opinion, the crucial deciding-factor is, what kind of organisation, these theories are applied to. By that I mean that for example a consulting company has a complete different structure and behaviour than a belt-production. Further is there the same problem, which most models have, namely that they are a simplified version of the reality, thereby a lot of variables are ignored. In most cases, when they are on their own they are close to insignificant, but in sum the can be crucial. This can be seen in the fact, that although we are all humans, and although a great share of our DNA is the same, many people will react complete differently when they are all put in the same situation. Further it is ignored that people have gone through different developments and that they different experiences right from the beginning of their existence. So most people will go to work with the expectation, to find more than monotonous work, but for others it is purely about getting money, and meaning is searched outside the life of "from nine to five". ...read more.

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