Maslow on Management


Maslow on Management

First published back in the 1960s Eupsychian Management made neither the best sellers list nor the bookshelves in airports and railway stations. In fact it barely sold its first modest print run. No doubt this was in part because the business book industry had yet to take off, and in part because of his obscure choice of title. Re-published as ‘Maslow on Management‘ almost 40 years later it seems to be creating a bit more of a stir.

Maslow was one of the the fathers of ‘Third Force’ or ‘Humanistic Growth’ psychology. (First force psychology was that of the Freudians and Jungians; second force was that of the behaviourists – Skinner and his pigeons.) Third force or human growth psychology was developed by Freud, Rogers, Fromm, Adler and Maslow as a serious attempt to understand human potential and how it can best be realised.

In the early 1960s Maslow spent a summer observing life in a business and maintained a journal that reflected his observations and thoughts on  the practice of management and the relevance of third force psychology to the world of commerce – and vice versa. This journal became ‘Maslow on Management‘.

Maslow was a contemporary of Drucker and one of the things he found was that much of what Drucker had written about effective and efficient management as a theorist and consultant with no psychological training was aligned with Maslow’s own thinking. Management theory and Third Force Psychology converged on a set of ‘truths’ about management and the realisation of human potential – individual, team organisational and social. Wow!

As Maslow said:

…this is not about new management tricks or gimmicks or superficial techniques that can be used to manipulate human beings more efficiently. Rather it is a clear confrontation of one basic set of orthodox values by another newer system of values that claims to be both more efficient and more true. It draws on some of the truly revolutionary consequences of the discovery that human nature has been sold short.