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. The current UN-employment percentage is around 3% out of 58million so that leaves approx. 56.25 million of eligible persons for employment whether its full-time, part-time or self-employed (see appendix 3), out of these 3,208,000 are self-employed which is only 5.7% of the people that work. This may be because people are afraid to start their own company because of limited liability or due to the fact they don’t desire their own company it could also be that many people wouldn’t know how to run their own company.

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The owner from business 2b was working part-time on a boat, they were comfortable with their life but felt they needed a challenge. They wanted to become self-employed to realise the self-actualisation level of the hierarchy. To do this the person felt that a full-time job wasn’t enough to reach higher levels of the hierarchy, so running a self-employed company was the next step in attaining higher levels within the hierarchy and therefore increasing this persons motivation

From examining my questions we will find out why these two people became self-employed. The reason that the two people became ...

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