這是上個時代企業運用的基本理論之一。從根本上講，馬斯洛層次理論認為個體具有基本的生理需求(Neher, 1991)。當他們達到這些水平後，他們試圖獲得安全和保障。在這一階段之後，是個體希望與社會成員之間形成聯系的階段(Wanous， & Zwany, 1977)。這種自尊水平是每個人在獲得社會尊重時所設定的獨特的主觀水平。在這一階段之後，是自我實現階段，在這個階段，個體達到了他們內在的精神潛力。這是人們了解組織雇員的初步嘗試。這些需求的內在弱點是，一旦達到這個水平，人們就沒有任何激勵因素(Neher, 1991)。
馬斯洛需求層次理論的普遍批評是，它沒有考慮文化背景，人們被認為本質上幾乎是同質的(Neher, 1991)。這一研究中有許多精神的潛臺詞，因此這一理論並不像其他理論那樣流行。然而，需求層次理論為單個組織添加更多的內在因素奠定了理論基礎(Neher, 1991)。
在處理馬斯洛需求層次結構時，另一個重要的問題是，員工的需求被劃分為金字塔結構。這個模型假設所有人工作主要是為了錢。這是非常單向的做法。將員工需求分類為一個因素，使得這一理論在當代已經過時。由於這一理論的泛化，存在著許多漏洞。在這個模型中可以推導出一些重要的含義。這個推導是指員工的大部分工作都是在高激勵的條件下進行的。這是一個重要的方面(Wanous， & Zwany, 1977)。普遍主義理論還關註於使組織員工具有積極性的因素的同質化。然而，這種概括是員工面臨的關鍵問題。管理層不能簡單地認為員工的需求通過簡單的支付就能得到滿足。
It is one of the basic theories that were utilized by the companies in the previous era. Fundamentally Maslow hierarchy theory states that individuals have basic physiological needs (Neher, 1991). After they reach those levels they try to acquire safety and security. After this stage, is the level where individuals want to form bonds with one another members of the societies (Wanous, & Zwany, 1977). This self-esteem level is the unique subjective level that is set by each individual when they want to derive societal respect. After this stage, comes the self-actualization stage where individuals reach their inner spiritual potential. This was an initial attempt by the people to understand the employees of the organization. Inherent weakness of these needs is that once the levels are reached people do not have any motivating factors (Neher, 1991).
The general criticism in Maslow hierarchy of needs is that it does not factor in cultural settings and people are considered to be almost homogenous in nature (Neher, 1991). There are a lot of spiritual undertones in this research hence this theory is not in vogue like the other theories. However hierarchy of needs lays theoretical foundation for individual organizations to add more intrinsic factors (Neher, 1991).
Another important issue when dealing with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is that the employee needs are categorized into pyramidal structure. This model assumes that all people work primarily for money. It is very unidirectional in approach. This categorizing of employee needs into one factor make this theory obsolete in the contemporary times. This theory has a number of loopholes owing to the generalization. Some important implications can be derived in this model. This derivation is that employee’s majority of the employees work in conditions where there is high motivation. This is an important aspect (Wanous, & Zwany, 1977). Universalism theory also focuses on homogenizing the factors that makes employees of the organizations motivated. However this generalization is the key issue that employees face. Management cannot simply assume that employee’s needs are met through simply paying the employees.