Creating a “values” chain for sustainable development in developing nations: where Maslow meets Porter

  • Philip R. WalshEmail author


This paper serves to establish an appropriate framework for prioritizing policy related to sustainable development by combining elements of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory with Porter’s value chain theory. An appropriate balance of social sustainability, economic sustainability, and environmental sustainability is defined so that policy makers may be provided some direction in regard to appropriate and socially just resource priorities. The model that forms the basis for this framework is then tested through hierarchal regression analysis using data from 45 developing countries. Using these results, the values chain framework has been refined to consider that self-actualization and sustainable development are one and the same and that the satisfaction of society’s physiological needs through the prioritization of policies related to environmental sustainability is the principle motivator for moving on to the attainment of higher-order needs such as increased levels of sustainable development.


Maslow Porter Sustainable development Policy framework Developing nations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ted Rogers School of ManagementRyerson UniversityTorontoCanada

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