Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – ARM

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – ARM

Case study

ARM is the world’s leading semiconductor intellectual property supplier. The ARM business
model involves the design and licensing of intellectual property in the field of semiconductor
chips. ARM’s main technology is its microprocessor which is the ‘brain’ of most modern
gadgets. Technology from ARM is used in 95% of the world’s mobile phone handsets and in
over a quarter of all electronic devices. This includes virtually all tablet computers, all smart
phones, digital cameras, set top boxes and digital televisions.
In the early 1950s Abraham Maslow
developed a theory of motivation.
This was arranged in the form of a
hierarchy of needs. At the bottom of
the hierarchy are the basic needs.
For example, these reflect the fact
that people work primarily to provide
basic things to enable them to live,
such a food and accommodation.
This is followed by safety needs that
enable individuals to protect
themselves and their families. These are followed by social needs as individuals develop a
sense of belonging. As individuals satisfy one form of need, they move up the hierarchy
towards the higher order needs.
ARM provides employees with opportunities to fulfil higher order needs such as those of
esteem and self-actualisation through challenging and interesting work. Engaging employees
in change programmes and providing solutions enables them to contribute to the direction of
the business. For example, recently more than 120 ARM employees were involved in
developing ideas to improve how the company is run. Their ideas led to a wide variety of
initiatives including ‘innovation days’ and an increased use of social networking, such as ‘ARM
TV’ – an internal YouTube. The responsibilities associated with this helps develop self-esteem
and allows individuals to fulfil their potential in a creative way. ARM takes a ‘self betterment’
approach to talent management. For example, its people can take up opportunities for ondemand
e-learning as and when it suits or can go on international assignments to test and
develop new skills. This enables individuals to realise their full potential. This process is known
as self-actualisation.
Teamwork within ARM provides employees with the social opportunity to share knowledge and
ideas across the organisation. An example of this includes engineering conferences where
groups of between 50 and 200 engineers meet to share their latest ideas and inventions. It
also enables them to contribute to innovation and this helps them to see how their ideas
influence processes and products. Central to effective team working is the need for open and
honest communication. ARM uses different methods of
communications such as internal conferences, newsletters,
director Q&A sessions (formal) and internet blogs (informal).
Safety and physiological needs are addressed through such
factors as a good working environment and competitive pay.
ARM encourages its employees to work hard. However, it also
wants them to have fun. For example, ARM’s people frequently
take part in team events such as marathons or team bike rides.

1. What are the five levels in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?
2. Describe how Maslow anticipated the hierarchy to work.
3. Explain how ARM helps employees to meet their self-actualisation needs.
4. Analyse why is you think it is important for an organisation like ARM to provide
opportunities for workers to develop their ‘higher order needs’.
Create a large Hierarchy of Needs diagram. To each level add the methods that are adopted
by an organisation of your choice to motivate its workers. A possible organisation you could
use to complete this is your school or college, as it should be easy to find out the relevant
methods used.
What have you learned?
Either individually or in small groups, write a song, poem or rap to explain your learning points
from the session about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Keep it relatively short so it is easier to
remember in future.


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