Difference between a need and a need

Need, need

(English needs, requirement, necessity) The feeling of a lack and the desire to eliminate it is referred to as a need. The human needs represent an initial fact for the economic process. Economists are concerned in particular with the needs that become effective in the market, H. represents a need endowed with purchasing power (income). As a result of the need, demand with purchasing power develops, which is directed towards + goods with which needs can be satisfied (see also needs assessment, needs pyramid according to Maslow).

Implementation of a need [subjectively perceived deficiency with the desire to eliminate it] into demand with purchasing power. The need to drink can be expressed, for example, in the form of a demand for beer.

In materials management, the requested quantity of an article (raw material, semi-finished product or finished product); Variants gross demand, net demand.

As a need or demand, human needs, which are in themselves unlimited, only become effective insofar as the corresponding purchasing power is made available to satisfy them.

is the demand acting on the market that comes about when a need (a perceived deficiency symptom such as need for hunger) can be satisfied with the purchasing power necessary to satisfy it.

In the health industry:

The terms need and need are directly related. Need means concretized, objectified and numerical or summarized needs with regard to certain goods, services and so on. How high the actual need for a good or service is ultimately determined on the market by the demand that arises for this service or good at a certain price. The demand can be exercised by companies as well as households or individuals.

In health care, needs play an important role in many ways. Approval for contract medical care as well as the inclusion of a hospital in the hospital plan of a federal state or the removal of a clinic from the hospital requirement plan is linked to the need for contract doctors or hospitals or, better, to inpatient services. For example, Section 1 of the Hospital Financing Act (KHG) states:

The purpose of this law is the economic security of the hospitals in order to guarantee a needs-based supply of the population with efficient, independently operating hospitals and to contribute to socially acceptable care rates.


Regarding the requirement planning in the contract medical care it says in § 99 SGB V:

The associations of statutory health insurance physicians must, in agreement with the state associations of health insurance funds and the associations of substitute funds, and in consultation with the responsible state authorities in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Federal Joint Committee, draw up a requirement plan at state level to ensure statutory medical care and adapt it to developments in each case.


However, unlike in the free market, the need for certain health care services is not determined by supply and demand at a certain price. Rather, political guidelines and often historical developments are used as a basis for determining the needs, which are then objectified as far as possible. For example, when the (framework) plans for the provision of hospital services or hospitals are drawn up by the federal states, the hospitals are divided into care levels. The supply offers are recorded according to their regional distribution, type, number and quality. Based on this, performance structures, the number of planned beds and treatment places are then determined. The hospital planning requirements laid down in the KHG include, in addition to the needs-based care of the population, among other things, that the diversity of hospital operators must be observed and, in particular, the economic security of non-profit and private hospitals must be guaranteed.

The example of statutory health insurance requirement planning shows that a historically given level of development is used as the basis for a need that is to be determined politically. So it says in § 101 SGB V:

The general needs-based degree of supply is to be determined for the first time on a nationwide basis as of December 31, 1990. When determining the level of coverage, the development of access to statutory health care since December 31, 1980, must be appropriately taken into account for the specific doctor group. The regional planning areas should correspond to the urban and rural districts. When calculating the level of care in a planning region, the doctors employed in a medical care center must be proportionally taken into account according to their working hours.


The concept of under- and oversupply was also defined relatively precisely by the legislator in the course of the introduction of the requirement planning and requirement approval for contract medical activity. According to the regulations of SGB V, oversupply is to be assumed if the level of supply, which was historically determined at the end of 1990 and defined as needs-based, is exceeded by ten percent, as shown above.

Another peculiarity of the need or the coverage of needs on the health market is that in many sub-areas consumption and demand as well as payment or financing of use are separated from each other. The insured persons of the statutory health insurance make use of the services, but these services are paid for directly or indirectly by the statutory health insurances to the service providers. In contrast to the direct relationship between consumer / customer and provider of a good or service on the free market for goods and services, in which money is exchanged directly for good or service, there is predominantly a triangular relationship between the insured, the service provider and the health market Health insurance (Fig. 1). This relationship can be shown schematically as follows:

Fig. 1: Triangular relationship on the health market between health insurance companies, service providers and insured persons / patients

the needs of the elements of a sales market made concrete through the direct or indirect confrontation with the goods on offer. In terms of thinking, the need occupies an intermediate position between the general human or organizational needs and the demand, which, in contrast to the need, is already endowed with purchasing power.

the needs (motives) that have been concretized for certain economic goods and thus already linked to certain values ​​and prices. In order to be effective in the market, i. H. In order to become demand, the need must be supported by purchasing power and contrast with a corresponding supply of goods. In this respect, the need for certain goods is usually greater than the corresponding demand. The term market potential is therefore used for this on an aggregated level. The creation of certain needs is attempted to describe and explain within the framework of the theory of buyer behavior. In addition, there is a rather descriptive empirical needs research, which is carried out by means of (more or less reliable) surveys, e.g. B. of purchase intentions or acquisition plans of private or commercial users, makes qualitative and quantitative measurements of the demand. It is mainly carried out by the companies themselves or by market research institutes and often does not distinguish between demand and demand. In the commercial, e.g. In some cases, however, also in the case of private needs, one can differentiate between initial, expansion, replacement and rationalization needs with recourse to various needs. This results in connection points for an objective measurement of needs, for example if it is known how long the normal service life of a product (e.g. car, truck) will be. In the capital and production goods sector, the demand can be derived from the demand of the businesses downstream in the production chain (“derived demand”). Often one also uses average consumption or consumption squots (per capita consumption, consumption per production unit of downstream levels) to estimate the needs, which are then multiplied by the number of users. If historical values ​​are available, the usual methods of sales forecast and demand estimation can also be used as part of a period-related requirement estimate.

Literature: Geyer, T., The process of shaping needs in industrial companies, Diss. Berlin 1970. Sandig, C., need, needs research, in: Tielz, B. (Hrsg.), Hand dictionary of the sales economy, Stuttgart 1974, Sp. 313 -326.



(Types of needs): The quantitative or quantifiable demand for a good that arises as a result of the subjective, physiologically, psychologically or also socio-psychologically and sociologically explainable demand of an economic subject, i.e. his - needs and his - purchasing power. In contrast to the need, it is an economic expression for the actually effective demand of economic subjects on the market. It is “the need concretized through the confrontation with objects that are basically suitable for the satisfaction of needs” (Franz Böcker / Lutz Thomas). The terminology in the literature is not entirely uniform, however, and many authors use the terms need, need and demand interchangeably.
Sometimes a differentiation is made according to a sequence of levels between latent (development need), open and acute (developed) need, whereby the latent or development need is the subjective awareness of need, i.e. the need, as an open need, the goals of satisfying needs that result after weighing possible alternative types of needs The acute or developed need is considered to be that part of the open need that is effectively met. According to Erich Schäfer and Hans Knoblich, a further distinction must be made:
I. Types of needs (the qualitative aspect of the expressions of needs):

1. between usage requirements and consumption requirements, i.e. between multiple and single use;

2. between renewal or replacement requirements on the one hand and new or initial requirements on the other hand, whereby a third type for consumer goods should be supplemented and repaired;

3. between singular (one-time) needs and plural or multiple (multiple) needs, depending on whether there is normally only one item (e.g. a washing machine) or several items (e.g. ties) of a consumer good;

4. between the proportional requirement (share requirement) and total requirement (full or total requirement) from the point of view of the individual household member who, for example, has a share requirement for the shared washing machine, but a total requirement for his or her own shirt;

5. between basic needs and additional needs (Wilhelm Vershofen), the former serving to cover existential necessities and the latter to satisfy the needs for the comforts of life, which are at best subject to moral, social and aesthetic compulsion. According to Vershofen, this also includes the need for goods and services with - validity and building benefits;

6. between personal use and gift requirements,

7. between fashionable and non-fashionable needs,
B. between personal and non-personal needs

9. between small requirements and large requirements,
10. between tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible needs,
11. between qualitative latency of demand and quantitative latency of demand, whereby we speak of qualitative latency if goods are in a sense “trending” in a general direction of demand (such as office computers) and quantitative latency if in addition to existing groups of buyers there are those who would like to purchase a product, but have not yet acquired it, e.g. because of insufficient purchasing power or similar reasons (e.g. a personal computer).
12. between consumptive and productive (derived) demand,
13. between aperiodic, short-period and long-period demand,
14. Between constant (uniform) and rapidly changing needs
15. between rigid and mobile needs.
II. Relationships of needs (needs relatedness):
This means the different types and intensities of linking the need for different goods and services. The simplest case is that of the connected demand for products such as lamps, light bulbs and electricity, where in principle the demand for one can be determined from the demand for the other. The connection between the individual goods that form a complex of needs such as living and furnishing, personal care, leisure needs, etc. is more difficult.
At the end of this type of linkage, which is to be understood as a continuum of different intensities of the connection between concrete needs, there are the need structures (need forms) such as the specific needs of private households or the households of employees and civil servants, the city dwellers, the agricultural population, etc., which to a large extent are characterized by the social milieu and the social structure of the users.
In this context, the differentiation according to urgent needs between core needs (the most urgent need) and peripheral needs (the least urgent need) also plays a role, because here too there are different intensities of the link, since the same types of needs, e.g. for clothing in the different intensity levels occur depending on urgency.
III. Needs (the quantitative aspect of the expressions of needs):
This is information about the quantitative needs of individual population groups, measured in average expenditure (per month or per year) or as per capita figures. It is therefore a question of the quantitative realization of the expressions of need, the quantities or the scope of the need for a specific good.

Concrete demand from customers for certain products or - derived from them - required quantities of preliminary, intermediate and end products as well as raw, auxiliary and operating materials (consumption factors). There are various forms of requirements in the production economy:

• As a result of the main production program planning, the primary requirements are determined for sales-specific end products and independently marketable intermediate products such as spare parts. This is a requirement that is specified in terms of quantity and deadline, which results from existing customer orders or can be quantified using forecasting methods, for example.
• The secondary requirements for raw materials, consumables and supplies, individual parts and assemblies, which are included in the marketable products, are derived from the primary requirement, taking into account the product structure. Alternatively, you can estimate the need for preliminary products or required materials based on consumption. In addition, there is often a surcharge on the required quantities (additional requirements), with which, for example, customer requirements can be used to cover a possible product loss due to rejects and the occurrence of shortages can be reduced. The total of these required quantities results in the gross requirement. This quantity must be made available for each product at the latest at the point in time at which delivery to the customer is planned or at which the production of a higher-level product is to begin. The number of units of a product actually to be procured or produced are determined by the net demand. This is the result - if stocks are still available - from the gross requirement minus the available stock.

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