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Can Maslow's Hierarchy be applied to the self-employed?

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Can Maslow's Hierarchy be applied to the self-employed? The basic theory behind Maslow's hierarchy is that there are six basic needs (See Appendix 1 for a detailed explanation) Each need builds upon it's more basic neighbour. So needs for safety can be adequately met only after a person has met physical needs. Likewise, to achieve the belonging level the person must have fully achieved the safety level. By adequately satisfying the demands of a level, we are more fully freed to pursue issues relating to higher levels of self-expression. Once self-acceptance has been secured a person can achieve interesting and meaningful goals. Such purposeful and consistent effort will, in time, be successful and result in self - actualisation. This leads to my question; can Maslow's Hierarchy be applied to the self-employed? (See appendix 2 & 2b) From looking at my questionnaire I can see that both companies were started to achieve self-actualisation. The owner from the first questionnaire (appendix 2) before becoming self-employed he was a contracts manager for a large construction company. Having achieved many of the lower levels of the hierarchy he felt he couldn't achieve the higher levels in that current employment. And as with most self-employed business men/women to fully achieve self-actualisation and ultimately self-transcendence they felt the need to start a business. ...read more.


becomes bankrupt so this level is achievable for the self-employed but is at risk due to the nature of a sole trader. The second Level of the hierarchy, Safety is achieved from a full-time job because many work places are a required by law to have a safe working environment. This is also true for a self-employed worker however there are some cases were this level is hard to achieve such a construction company. There is also job safety/security this is more attainable in a full time job because of the self - employee's limited liability but also due to the fact that they cannot always be able to find new contracts or jobs. So depending on the type of business your company offers safety can either be obtained or totally out of reach. The third level of the hierarchy, Belonging is easily more achieved for the self-employed as there need for belonging to the company is achieved by starting there own company. However it does not say that belonging cannot be achieved by full-time employment. Any person within that company could achieve it; it depends on the person own preference to their levels of belonging. The fourth level of the hierarchy Self-esteem can also be more easily achieved by the self-employed as they can feel that the working for themselves is something to be proud off. ...read more.


There is also a level, which I think is highly more achievable by being self-employed, the sixth level self-transcendence. This is more achievable by the self-employed because they have realised self-actualisation so for self-transcendence they need to expand there company or increase there production by economies of scale. They could also diverse into a completely different field of a market in case of a collapse in their company, which ties in with safety as this adds to the level of safety. If one company fails to provide what its market wants then they could fall back on the other company to continue trading. Although a full-time employee can achieve this they would need to be quite high in the company to fully fulfil self-transcendence. So in answer to my question Can Maslow's Hierarchy of needs be applied to the self-employed? I consider the answer to be yes although some levels are at risk from they are all fully attainable to the self-employed. Although there is a hierarchical structure to the hierarchy I believe that a person could achieve a level of the hierarchy and not necessarily have achieved the previous levels. For example a person who is self-employed could achieve the need for belonging in the hierarchy but not have yet achieved the previous levels because of many reasons, they business isn't performing very well or they have achieved that level by having a family. Jonathan Kear Business Coursework Pg. ...read more.

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