The thoughts, opinions and sometimes the rants of Mark Evans

Employer Morality

| Comments

Something I have been pondering over the last few days whilst studying a course on management is where in the hierarchy of needs does the morality of ones employer fit.

For those who haven’t heard of the hierarchy of needs, this was a theory proposed in the 1940’s by a social psychologist called Abraham Maslow. This theory revolves around the idea that the behaviour of all human beings revolves around 5 basic innate needs and wants. These are:

  1. Physical Needs – Food, Warmth, Shade, Shelter etc
  2. Security Needs – Regular food, Warmth, Shade, Shelter etc
  3. Social Needs – Being part of a team, Social events etc
  4. Recognition Needs – Increased responsilbity and status
  5. Self-Fulfilment needs – Personal Interests, Challenges

With some of the stories running in the press recently (NoTW I am looking at you) I started to wonder where about the need for an employer to “appear” moral would fit in the above pyramid.

My initial thoughts are that it would come under the social need, as who would want to be known to work for a company who did some pretty despicable things, I then pondered recognition as that is linked to status, which I am sure Andy Coulson would understand is very linked to the morality of ones employer. And then finally self-fulfilment, could I see myself being fulfilled whilst working for a questionably immoral employer? Personally I don’t think I could.

I am not sure I know 100% the answer to the question but I would love to hear from people on what their thoughts are on this post as I am sure there are sides to the argument I haven’t thought of or idea’s that I haven’t considered. I have seen some interpretations of Maslow’s hierarchy include Morality under security and self-fulfilment, which would tend to back up my points above.

If you want to read more on this theory, the wikipedia page Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a great place to start.

Disclaimer: This isn’t meant to be an attack on anyone who works for NoTW or any other company you may consider morally questionable, its aimed to provoke debate and discussion only. I also understand that there is criticism of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, this post doesn’t aim to debate the validity of that theory, only that the theory exists.