IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

An Overview of Needs Theories behind Consumerism

Listed author(s):
  • Ward, David
  • Lasen, Marta
Registered author(s):

Wynn and Coolidge [2004] have hypothesized that one of the key reasons why the Homo Sapiens progressed to being modern man while the Neanderthal man didn’t, is that the former developed through innovation (from artefacts to advanced hunting methods) while the latter has left no trace of such evolution. Almost as if the Neanderthal man did not see the need to progress and accepted circumstances as fact. If this is true then the Homo Sapiens have not only developed psychological and objective needs but have progressively updated them as well. Maslow put it beautifully by saying “You will either step forward into growth, or you will step backward into safety”. This paper is the first part of a two part series. Here we provide an overview of needs theories and discuss them in the context of consumerism, consumption and opportunities for enterprises. In part two, needs and opportunities are linked to markets, benefits and strategies through a specific 3D model based on Maslow’s pyramid. To pave the way for this approach we also promote a model (PIE-Persons, Institutions and Enterprises) with the intent to help enterprises view consumers, institutions and their organisation as one interweaved entity. Needs theories are known to be crucial behind much of the understanding of human behaviour and in particular in the workplace and by the consumer. This paper examines the development of hierarchical needs theory from Maslow to Gough with the intent to better identify consumer needs, provide examples of current and past business opportunities and macroscopically show the progression from red to blue ocean strategies . The authors provide an overview of needs theories seeded through motivational theory also with the aim to uncover the differences in having (sometimes known as deficit needs) and being needs (sometimes known as growth needs) and then subsequently link them to enterprise strategies, improved consumer understanding and better market exploitation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 13090.

in new window

Date of creation: 31 Jan 2009
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13090
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Ludwigstraße 33, D-80539 Munich, Germany

Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2459
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-992459
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

in new window

  1. ., 2008. "Consumers and Policy," Chapters,in: Microeconomic Policy, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
  2. David Ward & Elena Rivani, 2005. "An Overview of Strategy Development Models and the Ward-Rivani Model," General Economics and Teaching 0506002, EconWPA, revised 07 Jun 2005.
  3. David Ward & Dario Secondi, 2005. "Virtual Branding: Turning a stone into a Jewel," General Economics and Teaching 0507001, EconWPA.
  4. anonymous, 2008. "Federal Reserve Consumer Help," TEN, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Win, pages 1-36.
  5. Ward, David & Chiari, Claudia, 2008. "Keeping Luxury Inaccessible," MPRA Paper 11373, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Camilo Herrera Mora, 2008. "El consumidor gran colombiano," Observatorio de la Economía Latinoamericana, Grupo (Universidad de Málaga), issue 99, June.
  7. Camilo Herrera Mora, 2008. "Las Decisiones De Consumo De La Mujer En Colombia," Observatorio de la Economía Latinoamericana, Grupo (Universidad de Málaga), issue 97, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:13090. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Joachim Winter)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.