Learn about the Herzberg theory of motivation.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
In the late 1950s, Frederick Herzberg had conducted a study on motivation. The study has developed a theory of work-motivation. This theory has broad implications for management in the effective utilisation of human resources. So, this theory is known as Herzberg Motivation theory of needs. It is otherwise called Maintenance Theory of Motivation, Hygiene Theory or Two-Factor Theory of Motivation.
Herzberg tried to understand from his studies the motivation problem and to identify the human behaviour, nature and needs which are invaluable to organisation and individuals. In this study, he interviewed 200 engineers and accountants from 11 industries in Pittsburgh area. He asked these persons to think of the time when they felt good and bad about their jobs and describe the conditions which caused such feelings.
The study reveals that the factors responsible for job satisfaction are quite different from those responsible for job-dissatisfaction. These two feelings were not obverse of each other. If a factor is responsible for job satisfaction, the absence of such a factor would not mean job dissatisfaction but it might be called the job-satisfaction.
Similarly, a factor is responsible for job dissatisfaction. The absence of such a factor would not mean job satisfaction but it might be called no job-dissatisfaction. Thus, this theory is based on two types of factors. They are factors leading to job satisfaction and factors leading to job dissatisfaction.
According to Herzberg motivational factors are responsible for job satisfaction. Hygiene or maintenance factors are responsible for job-dissatisfaction.
This theory was propounded by Frederick Herzberg and his associates. Alternatively, this theory is also known as motivation—hygiene theory and dual-factor theory.
1. The Hygiene Factors – Company policy and administration, supervision, quality of supervision, interpersonal relations, working conditions, salary, status and job security. Herzberg and his associates found these as only dis-satisfiers and not motivators. Their existence does not motivate in the sense of yielding satisfaction, but their lack of existence causes dissatisfaction. These are known as hygiene, maintenance or job content factors.
2. Motivators – Challenging work, achievement, advancement, responsibility, growth in the job, works itself, recognition. These factors are known as motivators. These are related with job content. Their existence motivates human beings on the job.
According to this theory, it is only the presence of these motivators which produces employee satisfaction and performance. Whereas the presence of hygiene factors merely prevents employee dissatisfaction.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
This motivation-hygiene theory was proposed by psychologist Frederick Herzberg. He investigated the question, “What do people want from their jobs?” He asked people to describe in detail about the situations in which they felt exceptionally good or bad about their jobs.
From analyzing the findings, Herzberg concluded that the replies people gave when they felt good about their jobs differed significantly from the replies they gave when they felt bad. Certain characteristics were consistently related to job satisfaction, and others to job dissatisfaction.
Generally when people felt satisfied, they attributed their satisfaction to themselves mentioning the factors like achievement, recognition, work itself, responsibility, advancement, and growth. And when they felt dissatisfied, they blamed the factors like supervision, company policy, working conditions, salary, status, security, and the like.
The data suggested that the opposite of satisfaction is not dissatisfaction, and vice versa. Removing dissatisfying characteristics from a job doesn’t necessarily make a job satisfying.
Herzberg uses the term motivators for job satisfiers since they involve job content and the satisfaction that results from them. Motivators are considered job turn-ons. They are necessary for substantial improvements in work performance and move the employee beyond satisfaction to superior performance. Motivators correspond to Maslow’s higher-level needs of esteem and self-actualization.
Herzberg uses the term hygiene for dissatisfying factors because they are preventive in nature. They will not produce motivation, but they can prevent motivation from occurring. Hygiene factors can be considered job stay-ones because they encourage an employee to stay on a job.
Once these factors are provided, they do not necessarily promote motivation; but their absence can create employee dissatisfaction. Hygiene factors correspond to Maslow’s physiological, safety, and social needs in that they are extrinsic, or peripheral, to the job. They are present in the work environment of job context.
Motivating employees is a two-step process. First provide hygiene’s and then motivators. One continuum (i.e., a continuous scale) ranges from no satisfaction to satisfaction. The other continuum ranges from dissatisfaction to no dissatisfaction.
Herzberg’s theory has been widely popularized. Much of the enthusiasm for job enrichment, can be attributed to Herzberg’s findings and recommendations. However, the theory is inconsistent with the previous research in that it ignores situational variables. Moreover, the procedure that Herzberg used was limited by its methodology. When things are going well, its human nature to take personal credit. And they blame failure on extrinsic factors.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation (With Criticisms)
Frederick Herzberg, a well-known U.S. psychologist, considerably modified Maslow’s need approach and propounded the motivation – hygiene theory. According to him, there are two separate factors that influence motivation. They are – (i) Satisfiers, and (ii) Dissatisfiers.
The first group of factors are called motivational factors. They are also known as satisfiers. They include – (1) Achievement (2) Recognition (3) Advancement (4) Challenging work (5) Possibilities for growth and (6) Responsibility.
The second group of factors are called maintenance or hygiene factors. They are also known as dissatisfiers. Herzberg called these factors as maintenance factors because they are necessary to maintain a reasonable level of satisfaction in the employees. He was of the opinion that these two factors must be present in all organisations.
Prior to him, psychologists assumed that satisfiers and dissatisfiers were just opposite to each other and dissatisfiers should not be present in any organisation. But Herzberg stated that both factors can coexist.
He pleads that, the hygiene factors should adequately prevail in all organisations at least to avoid dissatisfaction of the employees. If we want to motivate people, further motivators or satisfiers should prevail.
Thus, the presence of dissatisfiers is a must to maintain the employees in the organisation, while the introductions of motivating factors are only optional. When a high degree of motivation is desired, they should be introduced. Herzberg also stated that today’s motivators shall become tomorrow’s hygiene factors. Besides, one’s hygiene may be the motivation of another.
The following are the important criticisms against this theory:
1. The procedure used by Herzberg is very much limited by the narrow scope of the methodology.
2. The methodology is not dependable.
3. This theory ignores situational variables.
4. Herzberg assumes that there is a relationship between satisfaction and production. But, the research methodology used by him had looked only at satisfaction and not at productivity.
Due to these inherent defects, this theory has been extensively tested.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
Herzberg’s two factor theory is also called the motivation-hygiene theory of motivation. The theory is based on the information collected by Herzberg and his associates by conducting interviews of 200 engineers and accountants in the Pittsburg area of United States. These persons were asked to relate elements of their job which made them feel exceptionally good or exceptionally bad.
They noticed that the factors identified as sources of dissatisfaction were related to the environment in which people were working (called dissatisfiers or hygiene factors). They were different from the factors identified as sources of job satisfaction which related to their jobs. These factors are called motivational factors.
Hygiene factors are essential for motivation at work place. The presence of these factors prevents job dissatisfaction but they do not motivate the employees. If these factors do not exist at a work place, then it leads to dissatisfaction among the employees. They are also called maintenance factors or dissatisfiers as they support the employee’s mental health and are required to avoid dissatisfaction.
So the hygiene factors are the ones which should be adequately present in a job so that the employees are not dissatisfied. These factors describe the job environment and include salary, job security, working conditions, company policies, etc. The hygiene factors relate to individuals physiological needs which they want to be fulfilled.
The motivational factors, on the other hand, are an intrinsic part of the job. They motivate the employees for better performance. These factors are also called satisfiers and include factors such as recognition, achievement, advancement, growth, challenging work, increased responsibility. The employees will not be motivated to work if these factors are absent. But a decrease in these factors will not cause dissatisfaction.
Herzberg noted that the two sets of factors are unidimensional as their effect can be seen in one direction only. If hygiene factors are present, they act as maintenance factors and if they are absent, that are dissatisfiers. But the presence of motivational factors provides satisfaction or motivation to the individual. If these motivators are absent the individual will not get satisfaction. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are independent rather than opposite ends of the same continuum.
In other words, removing dissatisfying features from a job do not necessarily make the job satisfying.
It is important for the managers to understand that the two factors are not mutually exclusive and that they should satisfy both types of needs of the employees. If the hygiene needs are satisfied, providing more of them will not further motivate an employee. In contrast, the motivating factors may not be fully satisfied, workers may still be motivated.
Herzberg theory has been criticised on the following grounds:
1. The theory is based on small sample of 200 accountants and engineers which is not representative of the working population. Engineers and accountants may like responsibility and recognition in the job but generally the workers are motivated by salary and benefits.
2. The theory does not take into account individual differences. For instance, the impact of salary and benefits according to age, gender and other variables. The findings of this theory apply to the employees that have similar needs as the test subjects.
3. The theory is criticised on the ground of method used to obtain information. It is the tendency of people to give socially desirable answers in their responses. When satisfied, people attribute the causes of their feelings to themselves. When dissatisfied, they attribute their failure to the external factors.
4. The distinction between maintenance and motivating factors is not fixed. A maintenance factor for a person in USA may be a motivating factor for employee in India.
5. According to this theory, job satisfaction leads to high productivity and job dissatisfaction leads to decline in performance. In reality, there is no direct relationship between satisfaction and performance. Therefore, Herzberg theory is oversimplified model of process of motivation.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
This is an important creation of an eminent psychologist Herzberg. The Maslow theory of need did not provide a satisfactory solution for which the two factor’s theory emerged.
Statement of the Theory – This theory presupposes that there are two types of desires of an individual i.e. motivational factors as well as hygiene factors. In other words the basic two factors which contribute the behaviour of an individual in the organisation are the motivational factor and the hygiene’s factor.
Explanation of the Theory – Herzberg interviewed 200 engineers and accountants who worked for 11 different types in Pittsburgh area.
He explained this theory by asking basically two questions such as:
i. When did you feel particularly bad about the work?
ii. When did you feel particularly good about your work?
These two – questions can be stated by the following two ways:
i. What are the factors or reasons for which a particular individual is satisfied in the organisation?
ii. What are the factors that adversely affect the behaviour of the individual in the organisation?
The different types of answers are grouped under two categories such as:
i. Dissatisfied factors (Hygiene factors) / Job factors / Maintenance Factors.
ii. Satisfied factors (Motivation factors)
i. Dissatisfied factors:
The various factors governing the behaviour of an employee in the organisation is named as job satisfied factors or motivational factors. Due to the motivational factors, every employee good as expressed his vested interest for smooth functioning of the organisation.
The various factors responsible for which an employee is not satisfied with the organisation are highlighted:
a. Company policy
b. Company administration
c. Expressive supervision
d. Working condition
e. Salary structure
f. Personal life
g. Relationship with sub-ordinate.
When the following factors are satisfied, the organisational objective can be easily achieved.
The various factors are obtained below:
ii. Job Satisfied Factors:
d. Personal growth or development.
The above stated factors stimulate the efficiency of the employee and resulting more output.
Herzberg theory is vehemently opposed on many grounds.
The important grounds are listed below:
i. The procedure used by Herzberg is limited by its methodology.
ii. The reliability of the methods is questioned.
iii. This theory does not provide measurement to find out the total job satisfaction or Job dissatisfaction.
iv. It ignores situational variability.
v. It remains silent about establishing relationship between job satisfaction and productivity.
The comparative study of both theories can be analysed under two aspects:
a. Similarities of both theories,
b. Dissimilarities of both theories.
Let us overview these two similarities between Hierarchy theory and two factor theory:
i. Both theories have been widely accepted by managers.
ii. Both theories assume that specific needs energise behaviour.
iii. Both theories result same from the view point of totality of human needs.
iv. The hygiene factors of two factors theory are equivalent to lower order needs (psychological, security and social) of the hierarchy theory.
v. The motivational factors of two factors theory are equivalent to higher order needs (esteem need and self-actualization need)
Herzberg Theory of Motivation – Factors, Critical Analysis and Comparison
In Herzberg’s motivation hygiene model a research study was conducted by Fredrick Herzberg of case- Western Reserve University and Associates. This study consisted of an intensive analysis of the experiences and feelings of 200 engineers and accounts in eleven different companies in Pittsburgh area, U.S.A. During the interview, they were asked to describe a few previous job experiences in which they felt “exceptionally good” or “exceptionally bad” about jobs. They were also asked to rate the degree to which their feelings were influenced for better or worse by each experience which they described.
In concluding the information from the interview, Herzberg concluded that- there were two categories of needs essentially independent of each other affecting behaviour in different ways. His findings are that there are some job conditions which operate primarily to dissatisfy employees when the conditions are absent, their presence does not motivate them in a strong way.
Another set of job conditions operate primarily to build strong motivation and high job satisfaction, but their presence rarely proves strongly dissatisfying. The first of job conditions as referred to as maintenance or hygiene factors and second set of job conditions as motivational factors.
Herzberg’s Maintenance and Motivational Factors:
Their brief description is as under:
According to Herzberg – Hygienic factors include such things as wages, fringe benefits physical conditions and overall company policies and administration. The presence of these factors at a satisfactory level prevents job dissatisfaction, but they do not provide motivation to the employees. They produce no growth in a worker’s output; they only prevent losses in worker’s performance due to work restrictions.
These maintenance factors are necessary to maintain a reasonable level of satisfaction in employees. Any increase beyond this level will not provide any satisfaction to the employees; however any one below this level will dissatisfy them. Any increase in these factors will not affect employee’s level of satisfaction; these are of no use for motivating them.
Under this factor Herzberg includes six factors that motivate employees. These are- (i) achievement, (ii) recognition, (iii) advancement, (iv) work itself, (v) possibility of growth, and (vi) responsibility. Most of these factors are related with job contents. An increase in these factors will satisfy the employees; however, any decrease will not affect their level of satisfaction. Since these increase level of satisfaction in the employees, these can be used in motivating them for higher output.
Further, Herzberg has classified individuals into two parts – (a) motivation seekers, and (b) maintenance seekers. These motivation seekers generally are individuals who are primarily motivated by the ‘satisfiers’ such as advancement, achievement and other factors associated with work itself. On the other hand, the maintenance seekers tend to be more concerned with factors surrounding the job such as supervision, working conditions, pay etc.
While taking critical analysis of this theory it can be said that-“the study of a group of supervisors in utility industry substantially confirms the findings of Herzberg.” Further, “the study of scientists, engineers, manufacturing supervisors, hourly technicians and female assemblers tends to confirm the results and theories from Herzberg’s study. It should be added here that in this study, there are differences among the various group of individuals (scientists, technicians, etc.) about relative importance of various satisfiers and dissatisfies.”
Next, “the study of Ishwar Dayal and Saiyadin have analysed the validity of Herzberg’s theory, their research findings of a study in Indian context are highly supportive of Herzberg’s motivation-hygienic theory.”
Besides the research studies confronting the two factors satisfiers and dissatisfiers many writers and thinkers on the subject have argued against the theory.
They are as follows:
(1) In fact, job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are two opposite points on a single continuum. Individuals on the job are affected by any change either in the job environment or in the job content.
(2) Herzberg’s model is ‘method bound’ and a number of other methods used for similar study have shown different results not supporting his contentions. Thus the theory has limitations in general acceptability,
(3) This theory does not attach much importance to say status or inter-personal relationships which are held generally as important contents of satisfaction.
In spite of these criticisms, Herzberg’s model has been applied in the industry and has given several new insights. One of these insights is job enrichment.
When Herzberg and Maslow Models are compared it can be seen that –
Both the models focus their attention on the same relationship that is what motivates an individual.
Maslow has given it in terms of need hierarchy and has suggested how people try to comparatively higher level needs. Therefore, any unsatisfied needs become a -motivating factor for the individuals and governs his behaviour in that direction. In comparatively socially and economically advanced countries, most of the lower order needs are fulfilled and for people only higher level needs remain motivating factors.
That is what Herzberg has suggested. Most of his maintenance factors come under comparatively lower order needs. Most of these needs remain satisfied and hence cease to be motivators.
But there is a particular difference between the two models. Maslow emphasises that any unsatisfied need whether of lower order or higher order will motivate individuals. Thus, it has universality in its applicability. It can be applied to lower level workers as well as higher level managers.
In India developed countries, where because of lack of socio-economic progress even lower order needs are not reasonably satisfied, such needs are motivation factors. According to Herzberg these are hygiene factors and they fail to motivate workers.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
A significant development in motivation research was made by Frederick Herzberg (1959) and his associates who distinguished between motivational and maintenance (or) hygiene factors in the work situation.
The company policies and administration, supervision, inter – personal relations, working conditions, pay, job security, personal life and status are the hygiene factors. Herzberg propounds that these factors help in removing discomfort, dissatisfaction and discontent on the part of the employees but are not motivators. These factors are known as hygiene factors because they support employee’s mental health. However they are not motivators.
Advancement, achievement, possibility of growth, recognition and responsibility and the work itself.
In general, dissatisfies (hygiene factors) must be taken care of, before motivators can be actuated. Herzberg’s dissatisfies are roughly equality to Maslow’s lower levels, and the motivators are similar to Maslow’s upper levels.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
Frederick Herzberg developed the motivator-hygiene theory. This theory is closely related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but relates more specifically to how individuals are motivated in the workplace. Based on his own research, Herzberg argued that meeting the lower-level needs (hygiene factors) of individuals would not motivate them to exert effort, but would only prevent them from being dissatisfied. Only if higher-level needs (motivators) were met would individuals be motivated.
In truth, Frederick Herzberg proposed the “two-factor theory”— that a series of motivators encourage job satisfaction, while aspects of work termed “hygiene factors” contribute to dissatisfaction in the workplace if they are poorly managed.
In fact, Herzberg developed the motivator-hygiene theory. This theory is closely related to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs but relates more specifically to how individuals are motivated in the workplace.
Based on his own research, Herzberg argued that meeting the lower-level needs (hygiene factors) of individuals would not motivate them to exert effort, but would only prevent them from being dissatisfied. Only if higher-level needs (motivators) were met would individuals be motivated.
Hertzberg, discovered that distinctly separate factors were the cause of job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction. His research revealed that the five factors stood out as strong determinants of job satisfaction. These are called motivators.
i. Achievement – People want to succeed, so if the manager can set goals that people can reach and better, they will be much more satisfied than if they are constantly missing targets.
ii. Recognition – Everyone likes their hard work to by acknowledged, not everyone wants that recognition made in the same way, however.
iii. Responsibility – People like the opportunity to take responsibility for their own work and for the whole task. This helps them grow as individuals.
iv. Advancement – Promotion or at any rate progress are key motivators. In a small firm, providing career prospects for key staff can be a fundamental reason for growth.
v. The attractiveness of work itself (job interest) – There is no reason why a job should be dull. A manager needs to make people’s jobs interesting and give them a say in how their work is done. That will encourage new ideas on how things can be done better.
When the reasons for dissatisfaction were analysed they were found to be concerned with a different range of factors.
i. Company policy – Rules, formal and informal, such as – start and finish times, meal breaks, dress code.
ii. Supervision – To what extent are employees allowed to get on with the job, or do people have someone looking over their shoulders all day?
iii. Administration – Do things work well, or is paperwork in a muddle and supplies always come in late?
iv. Salary – Are employees getting at least the going rate and benefits comparable with others?
v. Working conditions – Are people expected to work in substandard conditions with poor equipment and little job security?
vi. Interpersonal relationship – Is the atmosphere in work good or are people at daggers drawn?
Implications of the Theory:
The implication for managers of the motivator-hygiene theory is that meeting employees lower-level needs by improving pay, benefits, safety, and other job-contextual factors will prevent employees from becoming actively dissatisfied but will not motivate them to exert additional effort toward better performance. To motivate workers, managers must focus on changing the intrinsic nature and content of jobs themselves by “enriching” them to increase employees’ autonomy and their opportunities to take on additional responsibility, gain recognition, and develop their skills and careers.
To motivate employees, it is necessary to supply one or more of the satisfiers (achievement, recognition, etc.,) not just eliminate the causes of dissatisfaction. One of the most starting discoveries of Herzberg’s study is that salary is not a motivator. Employees are unhappy if they feel that their pay is low, but they are not necessarily happy for any length of time if their pay is raised.
The money a company pays to employees simply keeps them from being demotivated. Managers must learn what will satisfy their employees in the long term and make it available to them if they hope to have a motivated and dedicated workforce.
Application of the Theory:
By applying his own theory at the workplace Herzberg concluded that there two sets of factors influence the job behaviour. These factors are in response to two sets of needs – (1) lower-level needs (as an animal) to avoid pain and deprivation, and (2) higher-level needs (as a human being) to grow psychologically. Herzberg identified some workplace factors that meet the first set of needs but not the second and vice-versa. The factors that satisfy the animal needs are called hygiene factors, and those that satisfy human needs are motivators. These two sets of factors are not opposite because they fulfill separate, distinct needs.
Hygiene or maintenance factors are most often conditions that surround the job – poor lighting, limited resources, unfair company policy, or unpleasant coworkers. These factors cause dissatisfaction. What Herzberg found, however, was that the absence of hygiene factors does not lead to satisfaction — just the absence of dissatisfaction. These factors are called hygiene factors.
Motivators are the factors that lead to long-term job satisfaction. Motivators, sometimes called satisfiers, are intrinsic to the job itself — not the environment. Motivators improve attitudes and lead to improved performance. The most common factors associated with motivation are achievement, recognition, and the work itself.
Because eliminating dissatisfying aspects of the job does not create long-term satisfaction, it is important to look closely at these factors the do create satisfied, motivated employees. The factor that Herzberg and his colleagues found appeared most often when workers were asked about their motivating experience is achievement.
Recognition, the second most frequently mentioned motivator, can come from a variety of sources – management, coworkers, customers, or subordinates. Recognition is most effective if it is unexpected. The work itself is motivating, since engineers and accountants often list parts of their job that give them immense satisfaction.
Hygiene factors include working conditions, job security, relationships with other workers, and salary. Motivators include recognition, responsibility, the opportunity for advancement, a sense of personal achievement, and potential for growth — as Herzberg put it, “the more a person can do”, the more easily they can be motivated.
Herzberg argued that job dissatisfaction is as important as satisfaction. He believed that unless hygiene factors were well managed, no matter how good the motivators, staff would not be inclined to work hard. They would, he suggested, be so dissatisfied as to be demotivated. He also believed that hygiene factors do not, in themselves, motivate, but when fulfilled, they reduce dissatisfaction and provide a foundation for motivation. On the other hand, motivations have great potential to increase job satisfaction, but when lacking, actually only result in low levels of employee dissatisfaction.
Motivators in Practice:
Challenging the notion that workers are driven only by money and other benefits, Herzberg suggested that achievement and recognition are powerful motivators. He believed that managers should create safe, happy workplaces and make tasks interesting, challenging, and rewarding. His work influenced a generation of managers.
Herzberg’s findings are significant for business leaders. The two-factor theory proposes that job design is crucial — it must create conditions in which employees can feel a sense of achievement, enjoy responsibility, and gain recognition for their work. Levels of pay may be important for recruitment and retention, but it is less important in encouraging staff to work effectively.
Every day, thousands of people around the world apply for jobs at fast food outlet McDonald’s. Frequently rated at the top of ‘best employer’ lists, the chain is popular because of a friendly working environment and flexible working policies. Initiatives such as the “friends and family or friendship group can cover each other’s shifts — give staff a sense of shared responsibility, and enhance loyalty to the firm.
The top-paying firms are rarely ranked as the best employers. Money matters, but career advancement, job satisfaction, management, attitude, and personal relations are the workplace factors that most motivate us to work harder.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation (With Critical Appraisal)
Considering the criticisms of Maslow theory, Fredrick Herzberg and his associates conducted interviews of 200 engineers and accountants to identify incidents from their jobs which made them feel particularly good as well as satisfied and particularly bad causing dissatisfaction.
After due analysis of these incidents, Herzberg found that factors causing job satisfaction are fundamentally different from those causing dissatisfaction. He arrived at a ‘two factor theory of motivation’ in which he differentiated between two sets of factors, viz., motivators and hygiene factors.
Herzberg defines hygiene factors as those factors which are only necessary to maintain a particular level of satisfaction among the employees but fails to motivate them. These factors such as working conditions, salary, interpersonal relations with superiors, peers and subordinates only act as a source of reasonable level of comfort and contentment among employees. In other words, presence of such factors in an organisation is only a source of avoiding dissatisfaction among employees. However, absence of such factors causes dissatisfaction.
Thus, presence of hygiene factors do not provide any motivation to the employees but their absence leads to strong dissatisfaction. Hygiene factors are also called as dissatisfiers, job context factors or maintenance factors. For example, in a factory outlet, presence of RO processed water in every division gives due satisfaction to the factory workers and its absence will cause strong dissatisfaction. But this factor is not a valid reason for employees to work efficiently and thus ceases to be a motivator.
Another set of factors called ‘motivators’ are those factors whose presence acts as a source of motivation for the employees which in turn influence their performance. These factors are intrinsic to the job itself such as recognition, status, growth and achievement. Presence of such factors leads to satisfaction among employees and therefore, motivators are also called as satisfiers.
An organisation offers a combination of both hygiene factors and motivators to its employees.
As an outcome, there could be four possible scenarios available at workplace:
i. High hygiene and high motivation – This is the most ideal workplace scenario where employees are highly motivated and least dissatisfied.
ii. High hygiene and low motivation – This is the scenario where people are contended with the organisation but are not motivated to work more and efficiently.
iii. Low hygiene and high motivation – A scenario where employees are highly dissatisfied with existing workplace but to the contrary are highly motivated as job is challenging and exciting. This is a very rare combination where dissatisfaction and high motivation goes hand in hand.
iv. Low hygiene and low motivation – This is most unwanted situation where employees are highly dissatisfied and least motivated.
Critical Appraisal of Herzberg’s Theory:
i. Based on Limited Research:
Herzberg’s theory is developed on the basis of interviews of just 200 engineers and accountants. This is quite a small sample size to be generalised. Moreover, sample is of two specific categories of employees whose reactions and answers may not be generalised for all type of employees.
ii. Two Factor Distinction is not static:
The distinction between hygiene factors and motivators is not static universally. What acts as a hygiene factor may act as a motivator depending on the kind of profession one is and may also vary from a developed country to an underdeveloped country scenario.
iii. Individuals Behave Differently:
Individual personality traits influence their respective behaviour towards hygiene factors and motivators. What one perceives as dissatisfier may be perceived as satisfier by another.
Comparison of Maslow Theory and Herzberg’s Theory:
On a closer examination of Maslow’s need hierarchy theory and Herzberg’s two factor theory, it is observed that Herzberg’s theory is a restatement and refinement of Maslow’s theory. Both theories are basically compatible and complimentary to each other.
Both the theories are similar as both stresses on identification of those drives in an organisation which will motivate employees and those which will not. According to Akranni, Maslow’s theory is based on the concept of human needs and their satisfaction while Herzberg’s theory is based on the use of motivators which include achievement, recognition and opportunity for growth.
On comparison, lower level of needs in Maslow’s pyramid prove to be Herzberg’s hygiene factors and upper level needs signified in top levels of pyramid prove to be motivators according to Herzberg.
Maslow’s physiological, security and social needs come under Herzberg’s maintenance or hygiene factors whereas higher order needs, i.e., esteem and self-actualisation needs are characterised as motivators by Herzberg.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
A significant development in motivation theory is based on the distinction between motivational and maintenance factors in job situation. On the basis of his research findings, Herzberg drew a distinction between what he called ‘motivators’ and ‘hygiene’ factors. Some job conditions operate primarily to dissatisfy employees when the conditions are absent, but their presence does not motivate employees in a strong way.
Many of these factors are traditionally perceived by management as motivators, but these are really more potent as dissatisfiers. The potent dissatisfiers are called maintenance factors in job because they are necessary to maintain a reasonable level of satisfaction among the employees.
They are also known as dissatisfiers or ‘hygienic factors’ because they support employees’ mental health. Another set of job condition operates primarily to build strong motivation and high job satisfaction but their absence rarely proves Strong dis-satisfier. These conditions are ‘Motivational Factors’.
Herzberg’s Maintenance and Motivational Factors:
Hygienic factors include wages, fringe benefits, physical conditions and overall company policies and administration. The presence of these factors at a satisfactory level prevents job dissatisfaction, but they do not provide motivation to the employees. So they are not considered as motivational factors. Motivational factors on the other hand are essential for increasing the productivity of the employees.
They are also known as satisfiers and include such factors as recognition, feeling of accomplishment and achievement, opportunity of advancement and potential for personal growth, responsibility and sense of job and. individual importance, new experience and challenging work etc.
Herzberg further stated that managers have hitherto been very much concerned with hygienic factors. As a result, they have not been able to obtain the desired behavior from employees. In order to increase the motivation of employees. It is necessary to pay attention to the satisfiers or motivational factors.
According to Herzberg today’s motivators are tomorrow’s hygiene because the latter stop influencing the behavior of persons when they get them. When a person gets one thing, then something else will motivate him and the need which has been fulfilled will have only negative significance in determining his behavior.
It should also be noted that one’s hygiene may be the motivator of another. For instance, it is likely that workers in underdeveloped economies will designate some of the maintenance factors as motivators because their primary needs have not been fulfilled and they continue to be motivated by these factors.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
Herzberg’s hygiene theory is another important theory of motivation. This theory like Maslow’s need theory focuses its attention on ‘what motivates an individual’. However, the need hierarchy theory of Maslow has been considerably improved and modified by Frederick Herzberg and his associates.
Herzberg developed a two-factor theory of motivation-hygiene factors and motivational factors. Hygiene factors are also termed as maintenance or job context factors. Company policy and administration, quality of supervision, working conditions, inter-personal relationship with supervisors, inter-personal relations with peers and subordinates, salary, status, job security, and personal life come under hygiene factors.
According to Herzberg and his associates, these aspects of hygiene factors are only dissatisfiers and not motivators. Further, if hygiene factors exist in high quantity and quality in a work condition or environment, dissatisfaction does not arise. According to Koontz and Weihrich, “Their existence (hygiene factors) does not motivate in the sense of yielding satisfaction; their lack of existence would, however, result in dissatisfaction.”
The second factor is motivational factors or motivators. According to Herzberg, there are six factors that motivate an individual to do his best. These include achievement, recognition, advancement, challenging work, growth in job and responsibility. These are related to job content. If these factors are available in higher quantity and quality, the employees would be satisfied and not dissatisfied.
In a nutshell, the maintenance factors do not motivate people in an enterprise. But their existence is a must, otherwise dissatisfaction will arise. On the other hand, motivational factors are the real motivators because they have the necessary potential of yielding a sense of satisfaction. In the words of Koontz and Weihrich, “Clearly, if this theory of motivation is sound, managers must give considerable attention to upgrading job content.”
Herzberg’s hygiene theory has been the prey of criticisms. Some critics say that Herzberg methods of investigation tended to prejudice his results. Second, the division between motivators and hygiene is inaccurate and doubtful. Third, this theory does not pay more emphasis on performance, instead it gives more attention to dissatisfaction and satisfaction. However, Herzberg’s theory has its value. It has been applied in industries and has given a lot of new insights. Job enrichment is one of the new insights of the theory.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation ( With Critical Appraisal)
In the late fifties, Frederick Herzberg and his associates conducted interviews of 200 engineers and accountants in the Pittsburgh area of the United States. These persons were asked to relate elements of their jobs which made them happy or unhappy. An analysis of their answers revealed that feeling of unhappiness or dissatisfaction was related to the environment in which people were working. On the contrary, feelings of happiness or satisfaction were related to their jobs.
According to Herzberg, maintenance or hygiene factors are necessary to maintain a reasonable level of satisfaction among employees. These factors do not provide satisfaction to the employees but their absence will dissatisfy them. Therefore, these factors are called dissatisfies. There are not intrinsic parts of a job but they are related to conditions under which a job is performed.
On the other hand, motivational factors are intrinsic parts of the job. Any increase in these factors will satisfy the employees and help to improve performance. But a decrease in these factors will not cause dissatisfaction.
Herzberg noted that the two sets of factors are one-dimensional, i.e. their effect can be seen in one direction only. He admitted that the potency of any of the job factors is not solely a function of the nature of the factor itself. It is also related to the personality of the individual who may be either a ‘motivation seeker’ or a ‘maintenance seeker’.
A motivation seeker is motivated primarily by the nature of the task and has high tolerance for poor environmental factors. On the other hand, a maintenance seeker is motivated primarily by the nature of his environment and tends to avoid motivation opportunities. He is satisfied with the maintenance factors surrounding the job. He shows little interests in the kind and quality of work.
Herzberg’s motivation hygiene theory has received a great deal of attention and it has become popular among managers. One striking conclusion of Herzberg’s theory is that one cannot achieve higher performance simply by improving wages and working conditions. The conclusion should be an eye opener to managers who go on improving wages and fringe benefits with the hope of improving efficiency. Herzberg stressed upon the job as an intrinsic motivating factor.
The key to job satisfaction and high performance lies in job enrichment. Herzberg’s two-factor theory has made a significant contribution towards improving manager basic understanding of human behaviour. His theory is simple and based on empirical data. It offers specific actions for managers to improve motivation and performance. This theory has exercised tremendous impact in simulating thought, research and experimentation in the area of work motivation.
Traditionally, job satisfaction and dissatisfaction were viewed as opposite ends of a single continuum. Herzberg’s findings indicate that dissatisfaction is not simply the opposite of satisfaction or motivation. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are independent rather than opposite ends of the same continuum.
Herzberg’s theory has been criticized on the following grounds:
(i) The theory is based on a small sample of 200 accountants and engineers which is not representative of the work force in general. Other researchers have drawn different results from similar studies. The theory is most applicable to knowledge workers. Studies of manual workers are less supportive of the theory. Therefore, the theory is not universally applicable.
(ii) Herberg’s model is method bound and is limited by the critical incident method used to obtain information. When satisfied, people attribute the causes of their feelings to themselves. When they are dissatisfied they attribute their failures to outside forces. People tend to tell the interviewer what he would like to hear rather that what they really feel.
The interview method used by Hezberg suffers from bias. The methodology has the bias of being able to recall the most recent job conditions and feelings. The method is fraught with procedural deficiencies also. The analysis of the responses derived from this approach is highly subjective. Therefore, the empirical validity of the theory is doubtful.
(iii) The theory focuses too much attention on satisfaction rather than on performance level. There is no direct link between satisfaction, motivation and performance. Therefore, Herzberg’s two factor theory is a grossly oversimplified portrayal of the process of motivation.
(iv) The distinction between maintenance factors and motivating factors is not fixed. What is maintenance factor (e.g., pay) for a worker in the United States may very much be a motivator for an Indian worker. The theory ignores the dominating influences of the situational variables. Motivational and maintenance factors are not wholly unidimensional. They operate primarily in one direction but also partly in other direction.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
For several years managers had been wondering why their fancy personnel policies and fringe benefits were not increasing employee motivation on the job? To answer this Frederick Herzberg of Case Western Reserve University provided an interesting extension of Maslow’s need hierarchy theory and developed a specific content theory of work motivation. It is also called the Dual Factor Theory and the Motivation-Hygiene Theory of Motivation. The theory originally was derived by analyzing “critical incidents” written by 200 engineers and accountants in nine different companies in Pittsburgh Area, USA.
Herzberg and his associates conducted extensive interviews with the professional subjects in the study and asked them what they liked or disliked about their work. The research approach was simplistic and built around the question- “Think of a time when you felt exceptionally good or exceptionally bad about your job, either your present job or other job you have had”.
This approach has been repeated many times with a variety of job holders in various countries. The results indicated that when people talked about feeling good or satisfied they mentioned features intrinsic to the job and when people talked about feeling dissatisfied with the job they talked about factors extrinsic to the job. Herzberg called these Motivation and Maintenance factors respectively.
Hygiene factors represent the need to avoid pain in the environment. They are not an intrinsic part of a job, but they are related to the conditions under which a job is performed. They are associated with negative feelings. They are environment related factors, hygiene’s. They must be viewed as preventive measures that remove sources of dissatisfaction from the environment.
Like physical hygiene they do not lead to growth but only prevent deterioration. Maintaining a hygienic work environment will not improve motivation any more than garbage disposal or water purification. Mr. Fictitious, who is in excellent health will not become any healthier by eating food but if he does not eat food he may become sick and die.
Hygiene factors produce no growth in worker output but they prevent loss in performance caused by work restriction. Herzberg believed that hygiene’s create a zero level of motivation and if maintained at proper levels prevent negative type of motivation from occurring. According to Scott Myers maintenance factors are characterized by the fact that they inspire little positive sentiment when added, but incite strong negative reactions when removed.
Motivators are associated with positive feelings of employees about the job. They are related to the content of the job. They make people satisfied with their job- If managers wish to increase motivation and performance above the average level, they must enrich the work and increase a person’s freedom on the job. Motivators are necessary to keep job satisfaction and job performance high. On the other hand, if they are not present they do not prove highly satisfying.
Herzberg’s theory casts new light on the content of work motivation. During the last thirty years employees have been paternalistically maintained too much and enthusiastically motivated too little Managers have been focusing their attention on Hygiene factors often with poor results. They were preoccupied with the environment of work rather than work itself.
The distinction of motivational and maintenance factors will help managers in spurring individuals to peak performance. The most basic implication of the motivation-maintenance theory is that in order, to maximize human productivity it is absolutely necessary to satisfy employee’s maintenance needs and provide the opportunity to gratify their motivation needs.
The key to motivation lies in structuring meaningful jobs, jobs that are challenging and rewarding that provide increased opportunities for achievement, responsibility, growth and recognition. That is to say, in place of dull, boring and de-motivating jobs, challenging jobs by the managers.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
Frederick Herzberg, a well-known US behavioral scientist and management theorist has proposed a theory of employee motivation based on satisfaction, in 1950 he conducted a study of need satisfaction of 200 engineers and accountants employed by firms in and around Pittsburgh. He used the critical incident method for obtaining data for analysis.
The main purpose of his study was to find out what people exactly want and what motivates them. He asked the employees to describe the situations in which they found their jobs exceptionally good or bad. It was found that the employees named different kinds of conditions which caused each of the two feelings about their jobs are significantly different from the replies when they feel bad about it.
His Theory advocated that, satisfied employee is motivated from within to work harder, Intrinsic factor seem to be related to job satisfaction. On the other hand dissatisfied employees is not self-motivated they were dissatisfied due to the extrinsic factors. Since Herzberg’s research has discovered two sets of factors associated with satisfaction and dissatisfaction of the employee.
Therefore it is known as Herzberg’s two factor theory. The first set of factors known as satisfiers or motivators, are responsible for self-motivation of employees. These factors include job, its importance, opportunities available for growth, advancement, achievement, sense of responsibility, recognition etc. These factors are known as job content factors and are real motivators because they are capable of providing satisfaction to the employees.
The second set of factors called hygiene or maintenance factors or dissatisfies. They are not strong motivators. Since they are necessary to maintain current status, i.e. a reasonable level of satisfaction. These factors cause much dissatisfaction when they are not present but do not provide strong motivation.
The hygiene or maintenance factors include working, conditions, job security, salary, quality of supervision, organisational policies interpersonal relationship with supervisor with subordinates, company policy and administration, personal life, work environment etc.
These factors are extrinsic to the job. Any deficiency or absence of these factors would simply create dissatisfaction, demotivation and low performance but their presence does not motivate the employees. They have been considered as hygiene maintenance factors because their role is supportive just to maintain healthy atmosphere in work setting.
While identifying and differentiating various factors as dissatisfies and motivators, Herzberg has encouraged managers to think carefully about what actually motivate the employees. In case of maintenance or hygiene factors, they do not provide motivation. If they are adequate and present they only prevent dissatisfaction. They produce no improvement but are needed to avoid unpleasantness. In fact they provide an almost neutral feeling among the workers of an organisation but if withdrawn create dissatisfaction.
Like Maslows Need Hierarchy Theory Herzbergs two factor theory of motivation has also been criticised on account of lack of empirical validation but still his contribution to motivation theory remains very useful. He has made it clear that money is a weak motivational tool because at best it can only eliminate or reduce dissatisfaction. Moreover this theory puts emphasis on motivating potentials which can be profitably used for redesigning job, through job enrichment and job enlargement.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation (With Conclusion)
In 1959, Herzberg, Maysner and Snyderman reported research findings which suggested that man has two sets of needs- (a) His need as an animal to avoid pain, and (b) His need as a human to grow psychologically.
These findings led them to advance a “dual factor theory of motivation”. Since then, the theory has caught the attention of both managers and psychologists. Management training and work motivation programmes have been evolved on the basis of this theory.
The dual-factor theory of motivation was inferred from a study of needs satisfactions and the reported motivational effect of these satisfactions on 200 engineers and accountants.
The first set of interviews asks them to recall a time when they had felt exceptionally good about a particular job, the reasons for their feelings of satisfaction and whether this feeling of satisfaction has affected their performance, their personal relationship and their well-being.
In the second set of interviews, the same subjects were asked to describe incidents in which their feelings about job were exceptionally negative and cases in their negative feeling were related to some events on the job.
Herzberg and his associates concluded from their interview findings that job satisfaction consists of two separate independent dimensions-
(1) The first dimension related to job satisfaction, and
(2) Second dimension related to job dissatisfaction.
These dimensions are not two opposite ends of the same continuum, but instead represent two distinct continua.
Based on these two dimensions-
(i) Those job characteristics that are important for, and load to, “job satisfaction” but not to job dissatisfaction are classified as “SATISFIERS” or “MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS” namely-
(d) Work itself,
(e) Possibility of Growth, and
(ii) Those job characteristics that are important for, and lead to, “job dissatisfaction” but not to job satisfaction, are classified as “DISSATISFIERS” or “MAINTENANCE or HYGIENE FACTORS”, namely-
(a) Company Policy and Administration,
(b) Technical Supervision,
(c) Interpersonal relations with Supervisors,
(d) Interpersonal relations with Peers,
(e) Interpersonal relations with subordinates,
(g) Job Security,
(h) Personal Life,
(i) Work conditions, and
According to the theory, “Satisfiers” are related to the “nature of the work itself” and rewards that flow directly from the performance of that work. And it relates more or less to self-actualisation and self-realization in the work, while “Dissatisfiers” are associated with the individual relationship to the context or environment in which he performs the work.
Hypothesis A II:
The second major hypothesis of the dual-factor theory of motivation is that, “The satisfiers are effective in motivating the individual to superior performance and effort, but the dissatisfiers are not”.
In his most recent book, Hertzberg (1966) advances the following analogy to explain why the satisfiers or motivators affect motivation in a positive direction. When a child learns to ride a bicycle, he is becoming more “competent”, increasing the repertory of his behaviour, expending his skills — psychologically growing.
In the process of child’s learning to master the bicycle, the parents can love him with all the zeal and compassion of the most devoted mother and father. They can safeguard the child from injury by providing the safest and most hygienic area in which to practise. They can offer all kinds of incentives and rewards, and they can provide expert instructor.
But the child will never, never learn to ride the bicycle unless he is given a bicycle. The hygienic factors are not a valid contributor to psychological growth. The substance of the task is required to achieve growth goals. Creativity will require a potentially creative task to do.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
This theory has been proposed by Abraham Harold Maslow (1908 – 1970), the father of modern psychology, in 1943. According to him, every individual possesses five types of hierarchy of needs; these are Physiological needs, Safety needs, Social needs, Esteem needs, and Self- Actualization needs.
a. Physiological Needs- These needs are for hunger, thirst, breathing, shelter, sex and excretion.
b. Safety Needs- These needs are for security and protection from physical and emotional harms. The various security needs are physical security, security of employment, security of revenues and resources, family security, moral and psychological security and security of personal property.
c. Social Needs- These needs are for belongingness, affection, love and friendship.
d. Esteem Needs- These needs include internal esteem needs like needs for self-respect, autonomy, excellence, confidence and external esteem needs like needs for recognition in the society and status.
e. Self-Actualization Needs- These are needs to become what one is capable of being. These include growth, morality, achieving one’s potential and self-fulfillment.
Physiological and safety needs are called as lower level needs as these are satisfied externally by things such as home, pay, police, union, contacts etc. Esteem needs and self-actualization needs are called as higher level needs as these needs are satisfied internally within the person.
According to Maslow, an individual can move from one stage to next stage if he/she has fulfilled his/her needs in previous stage. The more the fulfillment, the more is the satisfaction and the more is the motivation. Once any need is substantially satisfied, it no longer motivates the individual.
So to motivate an employee, it is necessary for the management to know at what level of hierarchy he/she is and motivate the person by satisfying the need at that level.
Critics argued that Maslow’s theory is vague and broad. According to them, human behaviour is the most uncertain. Since it cannot be predicted, the motivators cannot be categorized. If an individual is dissatisfied at a particular stage, he/she neither moves upward nor downward.
Critics also said that Maslow’s theory gives emphasis on social and psychological behaviour rather than organizational behaviour. They said it is difficult to prove that human needs are of five types. According to them, needs can be categorized into two- Deficiency and growth needs.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
Another psychologist Frederick Herzberg interviewed accountant and engineers working in the Pittsburgh ricinity. He asked them to relate situations in which they felt particularly good about their jobs and situations in which they felt particularly bad about their jobs. Analysis of interview data showed a distinct pattern.
1. Motivators/Motivating Factors:
Factors that seemed to make individuals feel satisfied with their jobs were associated with the content of the job. These factors are termed as motivators or motivating factors (Factors directly related to doing a job).
The motivating factors include:
i) Sense of achievement
ii) Sense of responsibility
iii) Sense of work itself
iv) Sense of recognition
v) Advancement opportunity
vi) Personal growth.
Again the factors responsible for job satisfaction are different from factors that leads to dissatisfaction. Job satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not opposite to each other. Absence of job satisfaction does not mean job satisfaction but it is no job satisfaction.
2. Hygiene Factors:
Factors that seemed to make individuals feel dissatisfied were associated with the job context. These factors are termed as hygiene factors or maintenance factors. Hygienic factors provide no motivation but they served to prevent loss of money and efficiency. These factors are essential to maintain a reasonable level of satisfaction among employees. They don’t motivate but provide better working conditions. Hygiene factors are elements associated with conditions surrounding the job.
The hygiene factor/maintenance factor includes:
ii) Working conditions
iii) Supervisors (Technical aspects of supervision)
iv) Company policies and administration
viii) Inter relationship with peers, supervisions.
Herzberg’s two-factor theory argues that hygiene or maintenance factors are necessary to maintain a standard level of satisfaction among employees. Hygiene factors cannot motivate them but their absence will create dissatisfaction. These factors are extrinsic to the job.
Herzberg’s motivating factors are known as motivators and are intrinsic to the job. Presence of motivating factors will increase satisfaction and ultimately performance of the employees go up.
According to Herzberg’s, today’s motivating factors are tomorrow’s hygiene factor because they stop influencing them. Satisfaction and dissatisfaction are not opposite to each other, they are infact two independent dimensions. Motivators affect satisfaction and hygiene affect dissatisfaction.
The implications for managers are:
i) Provide hygiene factors to reduce sources of worker dissatisfaction.
ii) Be sure to include motivators because they are the only factors that can motivate workers and lead ultimately to job satisfaction.
Characteristics of Empowered Employees:
Hubert Rampersad identified some characteristics of empowered employees:
1. Empowered employees feel responsible and encouraged for their own task.
2. Empowered employees given a free hand in their work.
3. Empowered employees balances their own goals with those of organization.
4. Empowered employees are creative, trained and equipped.
5. Empowered employees have self-esteem and motivated.
6. Empowered employees continuously improve and monitor their work.
Benefits of Empowerment:
1. Empowerment builds confidence among employees.
2. Empowerment gives pride and generates commitments.
3. Empowerment gives better experience and opportunity.
4. Empowerment improves customer services.
Herzberg Theory of Motivation
Frederick Herzberg developed a theory of work motivation by indicating the way to better performance through increased job satisfaction. He conducted his study on a group of 200 engineers and accountants from eleven industries from the Pittsburgh area in the U.S.A.
His hypothesis about job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction suggests that:
(a) The factors that are present when job satisfaction is produced are separate and distinct from the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction,
(b) The opposite of job-satisfaction is ‘no job-satisfaction’ and not -satisfaction,
(c) The opposite of job dissatisfaction is ‘no Job-dissatisfaction’ and not ‘job-satisfaction.’
Herzberg draws a distinction between what he called Motivator and Hygiene factors.
Factors connected with satisfaction or motivations were called as ‘Motivators’ by Herzberg. Motivators have a positive power to satisfy and produce high performance, and are related to job contents.
These factors are:
(c) Challenging work
(d) Increase responsibility; and
(ii) Hygiene Factors:
The factors related to the prevention of dissatisfaction were called as hygiene factors because these factors primarily prevent dissatisfaction, like hygiene prevents sickness. These factors are related to the work environment.
These factors are:
a. Company policies and administration
c. Inter-personal relations
e. Working conditions Status, and
These factors prevent losses in the performance of the workers. When these hygiene factors are inadequate in an industry, then these will significantly have negative effect on worker’s attitude, but do not have any positive effect, when all the factors are available in the concern.